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Saxon - Never Surrender (or Nearly Good Looking): An Autobiography Paperback – 20 Aug 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: IP Verlag (20 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3931624447
  • ISBN-13: 978-3931624446
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.1 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eagle Fly Free on 10 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
Let's be clear. Saxon have never, ever, at any stage in their long career, been anything even remotely approaching good looking. But hey, that's OK. If beauty and talent were one and the same, then Poison would have released `Paranoid', `British Steel' and `Master Of Puppets'. And, for that matter, `Wheels Of Steel', perhaps Saxon's finest forty minutes.
`Never Surrender...', the story of the rise, fall and re-emergence of one of British metal's most august institutions, is undoubtedly long overdue. That it's in the form of an autobiography by frontman Biff Byford, however, is unfortunate. There's a real rock `n' roll tale to be told here, but instead of the plethora of accounts, viewpoints and reminiscences that could have been called upon, the story is based entirely on Byford's recollection of events. He's an engaging raconteur and many of his revelations are surprisingly fruity and near the knuckle, but the wider story of the band and their times remains untold. Beginning in boyhood, Biff charts his musical life with candour and in fascinating detail, and is surprisingly even handed when dealing with those ex-members who incurred his wrath. Speaking of former bassist Steve Dawson, Biff offers perhaps his best quote: "He started to go a bit nuts. He began wearing polka dot jackets and a red trilby with a green feather in it and playing a trumpet a lot."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Crusader on 16 May 2007
Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading this book - I enjoyed it, but it's not exactly classic literature; told in a matey, chatty manner which makes it very easy to read - the size of the font (too large) and the use of German quote marks throughout most of the book (apart from the occassional use of the British ") are two minor complaints. One thing I did notice is that almost everyone that Biff's ever met is a "nice guy" unless he's had an argument with them. The book doesn't really go into a great deal of detail about anything, and if you're a Saxon fan (which as you're reading this, it's a safe bet that you are), I imagine you'll know most of it already.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. J. Andrews on 13 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
It was an interesting read if you want a self critique of each album but where were the amusing stories of life in the studio and shannanagans on the road. Apart from the fact that Biff likes shagging and doesn't like Hammond Organs I learnt very little. The fact that he seems to have contempt for Graham Oliver comes through in spades. It's a shame that the greatest era of this wonderful band has to be tarnished by the negative comments towards Oliver and Dawson. I love Paul Quinn as a guitarist and have always apprecaited that he was a better player/song writer but it doesn't need to be mentioned quite so often in the book. Please don't get me wrong - I have seen Saxon countless times over the years but nothing compares to the headline tours in support of the first three break through albums. That line up of Saxon may not be the longest lived but it was the classic line up and reading so many negative comments about them is a little disconserting.
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Format: Paperback
SAXON's stalwart leader Biff Byford wrote this average rock biography.

Don't get me wrong, this is a good book, I read it in two days. There are huge fonts, the text is concise.

You have here the usual rock biography: sudden ascendance to the top, bad management decisions, the singer talking with pride about the hundred groupies he got, then the band falling from grace, changing some members, and making it to the top again.

Of course, Biff does not think that albums like DESTINY, ROCK THE NATION and INNOCENCE IS NO EXCUSE were near to absolute crap (they are!), but at least he admits that SAXON lacked consistency.

A lot of times SAXON is considered "the Iron Maiden that went wrong". However, in many aspects their actual albums are much more aggressive, well produced and adventurous than the formulaic and boring recent Maiden albums. SAXON don't write eight minutes songs just for the sake of them being long.

Anyway, Biff and SAXON are still going and this book will give you the reasons why.
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