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Boy About Town: A Memoir Paperback – 4 Jul 2013

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Boy About Town: A Memoir + That's Entertainment: My Life in the Jam + Thick as Thieves: Personal Situations with The Jam
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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 (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,779 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 Bantam Dave TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I struggle to remember what my life was like when I reached my teens. I know I spent a lot of time hanging around with my mates and worrying about my spots and my lack of success with girls but apart from that, nothing. I don't think that's because my memory is failing though, as I'm fairly sure I didn't do anything worth remembering. Tony Fletchers teenage years were different though, because by the time he was sixteen he had launched a highly influential rock fanzine, was part of a rock group, had been an eye witness to the growth of New Wave and Punk and what had arisen from it, become a friend of Paul Weller and had met other legendary music figures, taken speed and had lost his virginity.

What is most remarkable about this book is that this account of Fletchers teenage years only goes up to the age of sixteen. So many experiences are crammed into that brief passage of time that you marvel at how Fletcher managed to find time to sleep and eat. I can only presume that Fletcher's next publication will be a 400 page volume giving an account of his life as a seventeen year old, finishing on his eighteenth birthday. I suppose that this gives a clue why I am a little less than enthusiastic about this book; whilst many of Fletchers experiences are fascinating he also tells us about events that are less so, meaning that there are stretches that I found a little tedious. A little judicious editing here and there to tighten up the text would have surely made it a more compelling and punchier read.

Despite this criticism there is much to enjoy about this book, particularly if you were into New Wave music in the late seventies.
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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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