- Hardcover: 704 pages
- Publisher: William Heinemann (6 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0434020664
- ISBN-13: 978-0434020669
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.4 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths Hardcover – Import, 6 Sep 2012
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More About the Author
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.
"[A] meticulous biography…This exhaustive, well-researched account brings fresh detail and thought to the party." (The Sunday Times)
"A finely judged re-telling of a remarkable tale with valuable first-hand accounts of the band’s American adventures, their rapid development into a wonderful live act, plus insights into the spiralling pressures and frictions that faced the individual band members." (Sabotage Times)
"An exhaustive labour of love that was three years in the writing but which will be lapped up by fans of the band...written with a real sense of love and affection for the group who, though they were only together for a mere five years, tilted the world on its axis to a degree not seen since the heyday of the Beatles and the Stones…Fletcher is excellent when it comes to widening the view to include the cultural and historical factors behind the band's emergence and the city from which they came." (Irish Independent)
"The story of the Smiths told on the basis of interviews with just about every surviving participant in the Smiths' story. As the story winds on, a chain of no-shows, fits of pique and self-sabotage ... reaches its denouement with an episode from April 1987, just prior to the band's formal break-up. Fletcher is the first writer to have got the full story. Such material highlights the extent to which Fletcher has done his research." (Guardian)
"Tony Fletcher’s account is a highly enjoyable way of revisiting [the] story. Crucially, he avoids areas well-served by other Smiths tomes and brings sufficient new material to reward even well-read fans…It’s a tale that’s been told before, but in his biography of the Manchester four-piece Tony Fletcher reveals new details and brings new depths to the story of Morrissey, Marr, Rourke, Joyce and the birth of the band." (Mojo)
The first group biography of one of the greatest British bands of all time - The Smiths.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Some might recall author Johnny Rogan's book about the Smiths from the mid-nineties with the same fondness as I do, and if you are among those who do you surely will enjoy reading A Light That Never Goes Out. Those who are familiar with the author will know that he has written two distinctly different types of musical biographies; short concise bios such as his Clash, Bunnymen and REM books, and complete compendium encyclopedic bios such as his Kieth Moon bio and his recent All Hopped Up book about the history of the music of NYC; this book falls into the latter category. Though some might criticize the book for being too long or diverging too far from the main theme, I found that his detailed description of Manchester and the early lives of Moz and Marr was insightful. I find it very interesting to try to understand where artists come from; what makes them who they are. Just as you can't understand The Ramones without understanding 60's pop & 70's NYC grittiness, it would be impossible to understand The Smiths without having the background that Tony does such a great job of relating. Maybe to some older readers who were around to have seen The Smiths and were teenagers during those years this all seems obvious, but 35 years later it is a history lesson for some that needs taught.
Once Tony gets through that essential and interesting background his descriptions of the Smiths Story as it happened (especially the American Tour which I always thought Rogan's book was lacking in good info) is well-written and fresh.Read more ›
For The Smiths everything happened fast.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book by Keith Moon biographer Tony Fletcher is superb on the background and run up to the Smiths coming together, particularly on Morrissey and Marr's childhoods but it's... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Robbie Matador
Not surprisingly, this book isn't really for women. It's written from a male fan's point of view, with lots of tedious facts and geeky details. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Carolyn Smith
really interesting and great book for smiths fan but if you havent heard of them or dont adore them you might not like it as much but it's still interesting and really well writtenPublished 21 months ago by daniel
A very readable and enlightening take on an already well-worn saga. No new info but immensely enjoyable. Worth every pennyPublished 23 months ago by Jonathan Muirhead
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