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Powder: An Everyday Story of Rock'n'roll Folk [Paperback]

Kevin Sampson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

25 May 2000

Keva McCluskey craves success. Other bands are making it big and now his worst enemy is on MTV. Without being recognised among the great songwriters of our time, Keva feels he cannot confront his horrific past. That's why he formed the Grams.

James Love wants all the sex, cocaine and groupies that fame can bring him. That's why he joined the Grams.

Guy de Burnet wants to sell records the ethical way. That's why he formed a record label which prizes morality as highly as platinum discs. When he signs the Grams, it can only end in tears.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (25 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099289962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099289968
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Keva McCluskey, lead singer of Liverpool band The Grams, is convulsed with jealousy when their inferior rivals Sensira hit the headlines. But a fortuitous meeting with society Trustafarian Guy de Burret boots the unsuspecting Grams straight into the harsh limelight. The band's camaraderie is rent asunder, as a bewildering host of journalists, music moguls and parasites works its sinister magic. The Grams have to fight to save their minds, their bodies and their friendship. They win, lose and ultimately, win again in this bacchanalian tale of sex, drugs. And rock'n'roll.

Powder describes a world riddled with falsehoods in an entirely truthful voice. Sampson knows the business inside out, and the book teems with the sort of detail few music lovers could conceive of. Ordinary lads turned rock gods acquire some laughable foibles, and Sampson draws his characters, and their picaresque adventures, with laugh-out-loud wit and often moving warmth. (Keva's worst fear is turning 30, while drummer Beano only wants a nice girl to cook him stew). This is a breathless, adrenaline-fired tale-- whether you are a vinyl junkie or watch the pop world in fascinated horror, you will find Powder as bewitching as the world it depicts. --Matthew Baylis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A code-red book... Drop what you're reading and read this immediately... A rip-snorting, rollicking ride from obscurity to rock 'n' roll debauchery and through the other side." (Alex James, Blur)

"Brilliant, funny, sharply-observed... The airport-busting novel of the summer" (Loaded)

"Powder is more essential to your well-being than 97 percent of the albums that'll come out this year." (Melody Maker)

"A pacey and hilarious catalogue of vanity, insecurities, bonhomie and belligerence... A portrait of the contemporary music industry that is almost uncanny in its accuracy." (Independent)

"Tells it like it is - Sampson is never better than when revelling in the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - All young bands should be made to read Powder; if it doesn't put them off, nothing will" (The Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read If you're In a Band - It's a MUST! 2 Nov 2001
I play for a band, struggling a bit - and this book gave me so much inspiration! I think it's grounding in semi-fact with the ficticious The Grams and Sensira is its biggest hook. Love the way it uses authentic muso Liverpool hangouts, and typically unreasonable scallies! In the words of James Love - read it an' that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It rocks! 21 Feb 2001
By A Customer
How often do you a buy a book of 500 pages and read it within a day? This is one I just could not put down. It came with me on the tube, in the bath and, erm...on the loo (highest accolade in my book!)The pop-arty cover gives a hint of the sex and laffs and joie de vivre of Powder, but what came as a real surprise is the depth of emotion and the real sense of journey for all the main characters. It's a savage, funny, brilliant book and anyone who's ever tuned into Radio One will absolutely love it. Can not recommend too highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A long old book with few rewards 21 Aug 2000
There are a few really great characters just waiting to burst out of this book, but only Wheezer really gets a chance. The rest of the characters - mainly the band - are too much like conglemerations of our current headliners. There are way to many asides - the whole Guy thing dies half way through.
Some of the perverted stuff is interested and I expect Mr Sampson could write some good porn if he specialised!
Still, I would like to hear the Grams myself - can a first album be really that good? (Like Ride - remember them?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Classic tale of rock and roll as an idealistic Liverpool band struggle to make the big time. In the first part of the book we get to know the band, their management and enjoy their rise to fame. At first everyone is along for a laugh but soon greed, ego's and excess take their toll. It is interesting that as the band become more and more cyncial it is the management that looks for the ideals they started with. Hilarious, witty and outrageous it's a great summer holiday read. Kevin Sampson's time as manager with 90s Liverpool band 'The Farm' means this is an authentic portrait of the music world. More importantly it's a great story with good characters.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Simply Gorgeous 14 Mar 2002
Fell in love with the enchanting tale very early on. Steeped with emotion, tragedy and melancholy this book will grab you where it hurts.
Keva is a captivating star, and we follow him and his band on his immense journey to fame with him and his sometimes hapless band members. Sensitive, brooding and full of promise, readers may fall just a little bit in love with Keva, certainly I had doubts of his lovers suitability in the book; would they be good for him long term and did they understand his fragility? Sampson has the ability to involve readers in this way through his fanstatic portrayal of the main characters, be prepared to share the full spectrum of emotions with characters - hard men may weep!
Keva is immense. Guy, on the otherhand, caused me some concern as I progressed through the book. He was absenbt for large parts of the book and even though we were up to speed on Guy's background and problems I could not quite get to grips with the way that Guy evolved and it did not really gel with me.
Quirky Wheezer was another joy, fascinating to see the development of him as well as the rest of the cast. I did feel that things came to a speedy conclusion with Wheezer, and his treatment towards the end did not sit very well with me although I very much appreciated the realism.
I felt the main characters in the book were great; very real and entertaining, and I enjoyed understanding what made them tick and having their faults highlighted so often. Gritty stuff. None of the women made a substantial impression, they came and went and none of them quite made the grade. Plenty of others grace the pages, there's a lot of laugh out loud moments with the Scallys...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The devil has all the best tunes 7 Feb 2001
By A Customer
A fantastic book, whose faults are more than eclipsed by it's sheer insight, enthusiasm and ambition. We will never know what "Beautiful" sounds like, but we know in our heart of hearts that is really is one of the greatest records ever made, and the reason why a bitter, jealous no hope from Liverpool becomes, in the space of a year, a bitter, jealous rock god. A stunning cast of characters, led by James Love, and his charity work with the disabled, Wheezer, the dreamer turned hero, Guy de Guy, the redemption seeking rich kid, not to mention Beano, Tony, Todd, Ticky, Hannah, Celeste, all of them real, all of them completely believeable. This is crying out to be filmed, but how the hell are they going to get the songs right?
One of the few books I've read which warrants a follow up...
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1.0 out of 5 stars A pretentious worthless read 19 April 2013
By jimmy
I've read 16 pages of this book and given up. If you're a struggling musician who believes that everyone else in the industry is garbage except for you, then you may find this book appealing. But for everyone else, it's not even worth devoting the time. All of the characters that I've stumbled across in these first few pages have no redeeming qualities about them whatsoever and these first few pages are awash with rock stereotypes. It's not been well thought out at all and seems to be a story by numbers. I couldn't have cared less about any of the characters and so after 16 pages, I already felt I'd wasted my time. Don't buy it - there's so much better out there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I rarely give up on a book, but I may have to make an exception for this. It has such a good base for a fantastic story, but I end up not caring about the characters or their... Read more
Published on 22 April 2012 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars You'd think you were reading a biography of a band/the record industry
I bought this book after reading the author's prevous books Awaydays and Leisure and being a big music fan I can't help but compare the book to real bands as Kevin Sampson has... Read more
Published on 5 Dec 2009 by Ross1927
3.0 out of 5 stars a fun read, but in need of a decent editor
I enjoyed this book - it's an involving plot, and you're drawn in by the rise and fall of the band and the odd cast of characters, as well as by the author's genuine love for the... Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2009 by book devourer
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor effort.
This is a surprisingly unsurprising read, simply cataloguing what we already know goes on in the music industry through the eyes of a band as they rise and fall. Read more
Published on 7 July 2009 by Script Angel
1.0 out of 5 stars one star for the cover design
Have just given up on this book - boring is the only word I can be bothered to think of to attribute to it. So painfully contrived with all the name dropping of bands names .. Read more
Published on 17 May 2009 by Bettylou
2.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
I did get recommended this book in the first place by 2 people, i was attracted by the cover, (i always like to judge books by their covers,) so was relatively enthusiastic about... Read more
Published on 3 April 2006 by T. D. Kirk
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of trees
This is a very bad book.
The characterisation is tissue-thin, the events arbitary and the themes non-existent. Read more
Published on 2 May 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book I've read
I chose this as a dumb, airport kind of book.
What I found was an extraordinary book.
Extraordinarily terrible. Read more
Published on 6 May 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
This is a great book that I couldn't put down until I'd devoured every Rock 'n' Roll page. The style is enjoyable and this is easily Kevin Sampson's best book. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2002 by Mr Kirk J Kenny
1.0 out of 5 stars Dial-a-cliche
This book contains just about every rock cliche available and doesn't contain a single likeable character. Read more
Published on 1 Mar 2002
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