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Fuzz to Folk: Trax of My Life [Paperback]

Ian Green
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Jan 2011
In Fuzz to Folk Ian Green chronicles his life thus far from National Service call-up to regular army service, to thirty years as a policeman and finally to founder of Greentrax, Scotland's leading traditional music label. Green has played a significant role in the resurgence and vitality of traditional and folk music in Scotland. His inspirational autobiography includes details of his involvement in the careers of Brian McNeill, Dick Gaughan, the McCalmans, Eric Bogle and many others. With Green's unique insight, Fuzz to Folk is an authority on the Scottish folk scene, and a fascinating glimpse into the life of a policeman on the street.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Luath Press Ltd (10 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906817693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906817695
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,137,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


Since first meeting Ian Green at the Edinburgh police folk club ('Fuzzfolk') during my early teens, I've watched a man who has worked tirelessly to turn his passion into a profession, a dedicated, caring individual who has frequently risked all to promote the music and musicians he believes in. The Greentrax Empire has grown, but it's not really an empire it's more like one huge, happy family with a proud and beaming father figure watching over it. --Dr PHIL CUNNINGHAM MBE

'You know he would put his hand in the fire for you that's Ian Green.' --Brian McNeill

'A man whose personal integrity and passion for the music are only two of the reasons why I admire him tremendously.' --Eric Bogle

About the Author

Dr Ian Green Hon. Doc. RSAMD was born in Forres, Morayshire in 1934, the son of a Highland piper and head gardener. The changing life in rural Scotland resulted in many moves until the family finally relocated to Edinburgh where Ian completed his education. He followed his father into gardening and began an apprenticeship. When National Service beckoned, Ian signed for three years in the army, serving as a vehicle mechanic in the REME, including two years in Korea and Japan. He was demobbed in 1955 holding the rank of full corporal. Another change of direction saw Ian join Edinburgh City Police, later Lothian and Borders Police, in which he served 30 years. During this time, he married his wife June and raised three children. Ian gained wide police experience in various specialised departments before being promoted to sergeant and latterly inspector, retiring in 1985. During his service Ian pursued an interest in folk music and was involved in many aspects of the music as organiser of the Police Folk Club ( Fuzzfolk ), co-editor of Sandy Bell's Broadsheet, co-founder of the Edinburgh Folk Club, concert promoter and assistant to Dr John Barrow, director of the Edinburgh Folk Festival. In between times, Ian found time to grow and exhibit award-winning chrysanthemums, and represent Scotland in the Annual International Angling Match. In 1986, Ian launched Greentrax Recordings which has become one of the most successful independent record labels in the uk. Many awards have been bestowed upon Ian, including the Hamish Henderson Award for services to traditional music, entry into the Scots Trad Awards Hall of Fame, and culminating in an honorary doctorate from the RSAMD in 2006. This autobiography looks at Ian's active, varied and interesting life as he turned 76 years of age.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kent his faither 23 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a lucky find this book was. It dredged up a load of memories.

I worked for this guy's dad at Craiglockhart in the 1970s and he was a real character. He spoke a strong northern lingo and being a city boy it took a while before I figured out what he was instructing me to do. This led to several farcical misunderstandings! He was missing a thumb. I forget which hand.

Ian's writing style is straight from the hip and he doesn't hold back - as I imagine he was as a copper. We could do with more of them around now. Great stories of flying about the streets on bicycles, on foot and in dodgy panda cars after the "neds"!

Some of his narrative is very personal stuff which makes for uncomfortable reading at times.

What I liked was his obvious pride in his achievements along with a ready acknowledgement of his faults. I was sorry that the one type of music Ian doesn't dig is Jazz. I'm sure he'll master it eventually!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a man 18 Feb 2011
By chon
Never have a read an autobiography which combined such a mix of sometimes very personal information, plugs for products and rumbustious criticism of people and organisations who have displeased you. I read in three days including one night I couldn't put it down until 2am. A great read.

So many memories for me. I was at that notorious Alan Stivell concert at the Usher Hall and with Davy Steele in the spiral staircase at the Edinburgh Folf Festival Festival Club singing my heart out. I was a sometime visitor to the Police Club and whatever happened to the Buffs Club where I heard Cyril Tawney and Nadia Cattouse. I played that recording Hamish Henderson made of the Corries singing Rivonia in my radio programme just three weeks ago. The Macs CD The Greentrax Years was my selection as best CD of 2010 in my `best of ..' programme recently.

Fuzz to Folk: Trax of My LifeLang may yer lum reek
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Insight 18 Feb 2011
Ian Green is known as one of the great Gentlemen of the British Folk Scene, and this welcome autobiography gives a unique insight not only into his life, but into the Folk Music Scene itself. The Greentrax label is world renowned for its innovation, vision and commercial honesty, in a sector previously laregely dominated by narrow profit-based ventures or inefficient half-heartedness. This books tells the story not only of the label, but of the soldier, policeman, family man and friend behind it. The style is so well judged and reflects Ian's conversational style so perfectly that you feel you've just had a wonderful evening's chat with the man.
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I took this book on holiday and finished it over two days. It is a great read! It is written by a caring, sincere man who has a deep love for his country and its traditional music. He has come on a long journey from his humble roots and has been successful in everything that he has done, both with his previous careers and with Greentrax Recordings.
I am privileged to know him and remember him from both his Police Career and his involvement with the Police Folk Club in Edinburgh, and more recently with his Greentrax business.
He is an honest family man who has done his country a great service by bringing Scots Traditional Music to a wider audience.
Well done Ian, a great life story (so far) and keep up the good work with Greentrax. Scotland is proud of you. Jim
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5.0 out of 5 stars BOOK OF THE MONTH APRIL 2011 31 Mar 2011
Fuzz to Folk is the Scots Magazine's book of the month for April 2011. The reviewer said that this autobiography 'hits the right notes'.....

See for yourself - it is a facinating book
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By Fiona J
This is one of the most honest, informative and entertaining works I have ever read which tells about the Scottish music industry as well as a man's formative life. Ian Green writes with an honesty that is infrequently found these days. At times heartrending, at times funny, sometimes controversial , sometimes intriguing- but always hugely interesting . I knew Ian Green before this book was published but feel I know him so much better now- his writing is never pretentious but always as if you were sitting next to him in a music session in the Park Bar in Glasgow . Stories of musicians, characters and situations which will surely ring true to so many folk, bringing back memories and emotions to so many people Ian has known and helped over the years.
We get a real insight into the man and his pre-music life, showing us how and why got to where he is now, at the helm of Scottish Music. A read which shows a different world, different times, a more gentle time perhaps, different values.
A real, genuine read, no airs and graces, he says it as it is- a read which deserves to get a wider audience than just those with an interest in Scottish music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise
A really enjoyable read. The life story of a man who worked hard to achieve his ambitions and an interesting insight into his career and adventures in the Army and the Police... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by Carmel Bogle
4.0 out of 5 stars Fuzz to Folk
Very informative wide ranging. No airs and graces - the story is told from the soul which makes it interesting and exciting as well as being easy to read and understand.
Published on 25 Feb 2011 by Rob Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a surprise
This is remarkable book. Somewhere down the line I seem to have underestimated this man because he has produced an archival document that rivals the best and yet, at the same time,... Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2011 by McCalman
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of a truly remarkable man
You can't measure what this man has done for Scottish music, but you'll get some idea if you look at the Greentrax catalogue, and his various awards. Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2011 by Scott Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Fuzz to Folk Review by Mary Kathleen Burke (Celtic Music Radio)
An immensely Enjoyable Read.Well!, I thought I Knew Dr Ian Green .Now I really feel I know him very well and I mean that in the nicest possible way . Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2011 by Mary kathleen Burke
5.0 out of 5 stars As if it had always been waiting to be written!
This is an outstanding read, autobiography of an interesting and varied life, honestly told and written in a very readable and straightforward manner. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by may
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