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Toughguy in fairyland
on 16 August 2011
Covering the notorious journalist, musician, author and general loudmouth's London years, this book gives a not-so romantic perspective of the swingin' years of the UK capital. Always opiniated, always judging and luckily always being _there_, Farren tells of an uglier side of the hippie dream, and delivers with great bravour, sardonic wit and with a macho style that could be annoying - but is somehow balanced with a hint of young man's despair.
Farren's freak bands certainly were no Pink Floyd, actually you get another level underneath London's underground scene: a sub sub culture. Still, in regards of namedropping, London in the 60s was incestuos as far as who mingled with who (not to mention who played in what band), so they're all there, no worries. As the original freak scene dwindled, a new one took over. A fine anecdote is that of a sneering (when is he not?) John Lydon, measuring Farren's hippie flares and finding them too wide: A new freak scene taking over from the old. The cover image shows him as a rough'n tough doorman for the UFO club (if I remember correctly). And that sort of sums him up: a greasy biker type, living on the outskirts of the hippie dream. Always there, always observing - but not always taking part in the dream itself.
It's a fun read, and your image of the swingin' sixties might be altered forever. Recommended historical read.