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No Off Switch [Paperback]

Andy Kershaw
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Oct 2012

'Sensational. Wildly hilarious. An amazing read' - Stephen Fry

'Andy Kershaw is a compulsive truth-teller and he does it with verve, wit and passion. He is one of the few truly original voices in broadcasting and his book is already a classic' - Fergal Keane

Andy Kershaw truly has no off switch. As a teenager he was promoting major rock gigs. He was Billy Bragg's driver and roadie one day and presenting Whistle Test and Live Aid the next. A passionate music enthusiast, he is a man with an obsessive curiosity about the world. Over a twenty-five year career, he has worked for the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, shared an office with John Peel and amassed a record collection that weighs seven tons. He has won more Sony Radio awards than any other broadcaster. He has visited 97 countries and as a foreign correspondent, filed numerous reports for Radio 4. He was also one of the few journalists present during the Rwanda genocide.

The past few years have seen him go through a turbulent time in his personal life, but he has put this behind him, written his story and returned to the airwaves fronting the BBC's Music Planet series.

Rebel. Maverick. Music fanatic. Andy Kershaw shares the story of his life with candour, insight, immediacy and incredible humour.



Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753541076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753541074
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Andy Kershaw is such an enthusiast . He has an ability to do things first and ask questions afterward" (Michael Palin)

"It's his ability to convey a sense of moment-by-moment aliveness that makes Andy Kershaw, the greatest living English-language broadcaster" (Toby Litt New Statesman)

"Kershaw has had one hell of a life ... strange and comic" (Independent on Sunday)

"Confirms what a fine travel writer he is, with a particularly sharp eye for the telling detail. Andy Kershaw will always be something of a hero" (Daily Mail)

"I make it a rule not to puff books, but Andy Kershaw's NO OFF SWITCH is sensational. An amazing read. An amazing man." (Stephen Fry Twitter)

Book Description

'I make it a rule not to puff books but Andy Kershaw's NO OFF SWITCH is sensational. An amazing read. An amazing man.' - Stephen Fry

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining read 1 July 2011
By NDM
Format:Hardcover
As a teenager growing up in rural America, I often dreamed of places like London and Leeds, of The Clash and sell-out rock 'n' roll gigs. I wanted to move to England and marry a rock star. It never happened (the rock star part).

And so when I picked up Andy Kershaw's No Off Switch, I was drawn in at once to his fascinating, first-hand account of this world. The book is humorous and full of energy and cheek. Kershaw's lived a life most of us can only dream of, and still, the book is accessible, relatable.

I was touched by Kershaw's honesty and self-deprecating candour about his shyness throughout his youth. About the time he worked up enough courage to approach the cool, assured Entertainment Secretary in the student union at Leeds University; a guy with `bog-brush hair'--a much older, mature student--and ask him for his job when he left. It was Kershaw's first day at uni. He was scrawny and `looked about twelve,' in comparison. And even though he was terrified and the guys hanging around nearby laughed him off, the Secretary, Steve, immediately signed Kershaw up as an Entertainment steward. `I was in. I was signed up. Me. I belonged,' Kershaw writes.

This is just the beginning. Kershaw has a way of inviting the reader in--of hauling us into the moment, right beside him. While he's travelled to 97 of the world's 193 countries, reported from the frontlines during the Rwanda genocide, worked alongside Billy Bragg and the Rolling Stones, his fears and insecurities, his enthusiasm, are what makes this book come alive. Which of us doesn't want to belong? Which of us still remembers the day we stood, with nervous energy, in a crowd at our first concert, our ears blasted by stereo noise, cherishing our ticket stubs?

I highly recommend this book; it captures the essence of youth and is an all-around entertaining read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heady brew 10 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
All those other reviews are right - this is a gripping description of the life of a one-off, packed full of fantastic stories, descriptions, atmosphere and opinion. I don't think I've ever read a book so imbued with personality as this one. This book is quite likely to knock into a cocked hat any other autobiography you may have read in recent years - in fact, Andy Kershaw's life is the kind of life that biography was invented for.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Dr Roots VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For Kershaw fans, I cannot recommend this book enough. I can guarantee you will enjoy every page. I'm 59 and have listened to radio (and music) all my life since I was 5 years old and found a 10" 78rpm of Lonnie Donegan's "Cumberland Gap" and asked my mother to play it. That was it, that was all it took, I was off. And in all that time I have to say that Kershaw is one of the very best broadcasters this country has ever produced. As a music anorak, I'm often heard to say that one of the greatest items in my personal music collection is a number of boxes of tapes of Kershaw programmes from the 90s/new millenium that were completely outstanding in their choice of latin, african, asian, folk, country and r&b greats. I even went out and bought an enhanced FM radio aerial for the purpose. This book is also a must for any fans of the late, great John Walters, who - inevitably and quite rightly - features prominently in a number of chapters. Today, Andy seems thankfully to be over his well publicised difficulties of a few years back. Frankly, I'm not interested in the details of that. As long as all concerned have moved on, I don't see any reason why our airwaves should be short-changed any longer by his absence, since his series for Radio 3 a year or so back. A terrific read from terrific broadcaster.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well that put me right.... 15 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback
To be honest, one of the main reasons for buying this was seeing review after review of how good it is on Andy's Facebook page - nothing can be that good right? I wanted to give it 4 stars!
I was wrong, a compelling story of his exploits over the years with a number of my musical favourites (as well as many I've never heard of..), i cant decide whether he's lead a charmed life, been ridiculously lucky to do so much, or is a product of relentless enthusiasm & curiosity (probably the latter).
I rarely leave any reviews because not much deserves it, but this does.
Refreshingly honest about a number of subjects & unafraid to speak his mind - & after some of the stuff he's seen & experienced you can understand why trivial doesn't concern him - it's a compelling read.
2 complaints: could have done with another 200 pages to get to the end of my holiday......& he really should have lamped Michael Stipe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spit on yer hands and grab another hold! 14 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the most entertaining and informative reads I have enjoyed in a long time! Made me feel poignant reflecting on the loss of a golden era of radio and entertained with descriptions of friends and family along the way. Andy Kershaw knows who he is, and at no point does this touch the misery memoir genre (I'm sure his daddy would never have sold him for a pack of cigarettes). When the third wave of life hits, he voices an appreciation of the support people have given so he 'spits on his hands and grabs another hold'. In writing this, he carries on being a great public service broadcaster for me. Laugh out loud funny and incredibly poignant, a real achievement in writing. (Will now be the most colourful resident in Tod since the departure of Bin Laden's daughter in law!).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
An amazingly honest and touching book, I found it absolutely fascinating
Published 24 days ago by Angie O
5.0 out of 5 stars ... most of his opinions on music and politics but best book I've read...
Totally disagree with most of his opinions on music and politics but best book I've read in ages. Well worth buying!
Published 1 month ago by David Platt
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
Andy has led a much more interesting and varied life than many who only know him for his work in music.
Published 3 months ago by Derek L. Elton
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper lad
I've always rated Andy as a TV presenter since 14th July 1985 - the day after Live Aid. I was lucky enough to go to the actual gig and it was only the following day when I got... Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. Simmons
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
The late great broadcaster Brian Johnson once said in an interview "that the secret of great radio was to think of it as no more than chatting to your friends when on... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. P. Schumacher
5.0 out of 5 stars Sequel please
Andy will never be convicted by a jury of his peers. Multiply three chords and the truth by ten and you still don't scratch the searing honesty of this extraordinary memoir. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. Brewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining read by a good writer
Kershaw is indeed a complex character and greatly underestimated
as a writer. He is politically perceptive and very astute in his judgements about
events. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. J. E. Nadin
5.0 out of 5 stars Took a while...
So, I bought this book from the Songlines tent at WOMAD when it first came out. Got home and it got left in amongst the debris of a weekend camping only to be found a month or so... Read more
Published 8 months ago by M
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy this book, you won't be disappointed
This book is a masterpiece and worth every penny. AK writes in his inimitable style imparting a story which keeps you fascinated, wanting to know more and more. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Alison Hatch
5.0 out of 5 stars No Off Switch
No Off Switch is a fabulous, emotional, funny, wonderful read. It is an insight into one man's very enthusiastic, interesting and eventful life. Read more
Published 9 months ago by A. Sweet
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