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Boy About Town: A Memoir Paperback – 4 Jul 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann; 1st edition (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434021679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434021673
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Fletcher is the author of six non-fiction books, a memoir, and a novel. His biography of drummer Keith Moon has been named in many a Best Music Book list, and his biography of R.E.M., updated in 2013 as 'Perfect Circle,' has been published in over half a dozen countries. His 2009 study, 'All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music From The Streets of New York 1927-77,' published by WW Norton, covered multiple musical genres and was internationally acclaimed. His most recent biography, 'A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths' was published by William Heinemann in the UK, by Crown Archetype in the US, and is now available in paperback. His memoir of his South London schooldays, 'Boy About Town,' is also now available in paperback through Windmill Books.

Fletcher gained his entry into music journalism by founding a fanzine at his London school in 1977; by the time Jamming! ceased publication in 1986, it was selling 30,000 copies a month. Along the way he interviewed the likes of Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and U2, as well as dozens of up-and-coming, predominantly independent post-punk acts.

A contributor over the years to a multitude of magazines, newspapers, radio and television shows, primarily in the UK and USA, Fletcher now lives with his family on a mountaintop near the village of Woodstock in New York State. There he runs, skis, maintains his web site www.ijamming.net, serves on his local school board, and plays Hammond B-3 and Rickenbacker in the Catskill 45s, a group that only performs songs from 45 calendar years ago.

Product Description

Review

"Wearing the right clothes, liking the right bands – this book summons up what it meant to be a teenager in the 70s." (Guardian)

"Charming coming of age tale … An innocent’s story, engagingly told." (Mojo)

"Brought back happy memories when bands and their fans were as one." (Damian O'Neill, The Undertones)

"[A] compelling and evocative memoirfull of great memories of bands, gigs, clothes, girls and parties. It celebrates the vitality of youth and the spirt of the times." (Sabotage Times)

"[A] gripping account of the post-punk period ... one of the most essential accounts of this tumultuous yet highly productive period of British music ... Tony Fletcher is an extraordinary character … This book will certainly bring back scores of vivid memories for those of us around Tony Fletcher’s age, and is required reading for anyone who wishes to know more about the late 1970’s music scene. More than that though, is the amazing human story and vivid characterisation that will have you hooked throughout as this period once again truly comes to life." (louderthanwar.com)

Book Description

Bestselling author Tony Fletcher's account of a life in love with music, taking the reader back to the glory days of the 70s.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is rather a sad book on reflection. It's a nostalgic look back at a Golden Age of youth music (late 70s/early 80s), and charts, (literally, from 50 down to No.1 in chapter numbers) Tony Fletcher's journey through his teenage years. Quite a story, too with all of the complexities and contradictions of growing up. In some ways he's very advanced for his years (older friends, good musical taste, rubbing shoulders with various stars), but by his own admission he was a very late developer physically (this leads to bullying, insecurity and introversion). And what emerges is a picture of a young lad pushing himself to grab a bit of music industry lime-light for the sake of some self-empowerment and as an escape from having his trousers pulled-down in the playground. Fletcher starts a fanzine, eventually called "Jammin'" and eventually an industry success, and one that gives him access to Keith Moon, Pete Townshend and Paul Weller, and hence a musical heritage linking Mods ancient and, er, modern. But he has two real aims - to be a rock star himself, and to lose his virginity - so, it's a universal story that lots of people can relate to. But here's why it's so sad . . . I'd never heard of Tony Fletcher before reading this, so while he crowingly loses his cherry before the end of the book, rock stardom obviously eluded him, and the conclusion really is that a book that is packed with hope, expectation, ambition and optimism (and ends with a chapter entitled "Start"), is really a (chart) count-down to the end of what probably turned-out to be the author's own Golden Age. Again, something too many of us can probably relate to.
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By Plastic45 on 18 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So first, sorry if this review dips its grubby hand into the Pocket of Clichés & let me make it crystal clear folks, this book is anything but cliched.

Refreshing & a REAL (360) page turner is the only way i can describe this delightful read from the talented Author Tony Fletcher, who also penned contender for best ever biog, 'Dear Boy' about Keith Moon, if ever there was one & as always paints pictures with his words.

From appointments with Madame Hand & her five lovely daughters, the running of the (much missed) excellent fanzine 'Jamming' turned record company, meeting your heroes (Well, some of them),catching gigs every other night, forming a band and what that alone brings to a teenagers life (I saw Apocalypse at the Rainbow 15th of November 1980 if the old grey cells recollect, Teddy anyone?), all this and sitting them dreaded O levels, what a blast!.

A message of "Be careful what you dream of..." Well, no! not at all, in fact, sometimes, dreams do come true (If you're prepared to put the work in!).

So thank-You Tony for the already four times read 'Boy About The Town'; I will dip into it forevermore.

So, in brief, if you love the eclectic music of 1976-1980 & all it evoked, knew of certain (so called )ever changing movements from those 'Back in Day' times, then this is the book for you, enchanting, stirring stuff indeed.

Sir Eon Ballinger (DJ) France 2013
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Format: Paperback
This is simply wonderful stuff!

Anyone who grew up listening to the music of the late 70s/early 80s will love this book. When I started reading I wasn't sure if it was going to be a novel, autobiography or a music book, but it cleverly manages to span all three.

The attention to detail is what really brings Boy About Town to life, beautifully evoking memories of the readers own musical journey from, from sweaty gigs in the Marquee club, to lovingly studying the artwork the the latest albums, which was critical in those days! For a brief moment It captures those glorious days, as if you are right back in the moment!

My only criticism would be that it ended to early, I wanted to know what happened next, but hopefully we can all look forward to a follow up, "Man About Town?"

Frankly I was staggered!!
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Format: Paperback
Finished the book and I can recommend it greatly. The great thing is that the book is a first -hand witness from one of the most exciting era's in muisc. An era which still influences today's music highly. Tony is firmly rooted in the scene, but does not jump on the bandwagons. He is too independent for that and remains an observer. This enables him to give a very accurate review of things. It is a great insiders view on the rise of punk, the jam especially
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By David on 4 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are one of the thousands who know the music between 76-82 will never be bettered then this is the book for you. The stories and memories contained within this book won't be the same as yours but they'll be so close that you will laugh and cringe in equal measure as you recognize the author's faltering adolescent steps. For those of us who stayed as Thick of Thieves read on.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. S. BAGNALL on 5 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book received Thursday 4th July. Book read by Fri 5th July.

That should tell you all there is about the immediacy and likeability of Tony Fletcher's Autobiography Part One (I hope that there is a Part Two; if not, there should be a law set down to force him to write it!)Because even if you weren't there when all of what happens happened (and I was)the style of writing and the urgency of the prose makes you feel like you were, hidden somewhere on the set of Tony's life with a (yet-to-be-invented) camcorder, lapping up every fried egg sandwich, Cow Gum fume inhalation and nocturnal emission with gusto.

I should explain that by 'being there' I am talking about both the era and the school that Tony attended from the age of 11 - although at the time I was (and still am) 3 years older than him - but the music and politics and dress styles and tribalism of the time are still with me, and "Boy About Town" had my mind nodding with recognition at events and bands of the era, as well as in sympathy at his failed attempts at relationships and school playground acceptance. And it is with great pleasure that I read that I discovered John Peel before him as the late great one doesn't even make an appearance until halfway through the book; in fact, it was on his radio show that I first heard "Glad To Be Gay" and that was before Mr Fletcher. One up to me! (Mind you. That's the only point I get if we are counting. Tony then runs away with it if we are.)

All throughout his life, the "runt" continues to be a runt, but defies all logic and manages to make it somewhere despite a lack of transport (only in London would he have been able to pull this all off [no double entendre intended!
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