Having been a Focus fan since that first jaw dropping appearance on the OGWT I have been waiting for a book about this wonderful band ever since. At long last, here it is.
My copy only arrived yesterday but I devoured it in less than 24 hours and, despite my expectations having been lowered by having read a rather uncharitable (and suspiciously vitriolic) Amazon reader review (axe to grind?), I was surprised and pleased to find that it really is an excellent read. Yes, the language can be a bit flowery in places, but so is their music.
The book provides a firsthand account of the life and death and re-births of this Dutch band with a text based largely on interviews with those involved. Indeed, only two major players seem not to have contributed, Bert Ruiter and Martin Dresden. According to the acknowledgements many dozens of others have given of their time, including Van Leer, Akkerman, Van der Linden, Kemper, Catherine, Allen, Albers, Havermanns, producer Mike Vernon and, rather bizarrely, Victor Spinetti. I shall let you read the book to find out how a Welsh actor was involved. No spoilers here.
For me, the book answered the questions that have troubled me for many years about break ups, make ups and inspirations. It gave me a valuable insight into people who have become musical heroes to me over the years and into the thought behind the music they produced. I particularly enjoyed the sections about Hans Cleuver and Martin Dresden about whom I did not know a great deal. I will know listen to `In and out of Focus' in a new light.
It is a must read for died in the wool Focus fans and a great bookshelf addition for those interested in the history and mythology of rock music.