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The Autobiography Paperback – 29 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141024283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141024288
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'Heart-rending' -- Daily Mirror

'Very good on what it was like working on the pirate radio ships and how Walker built up a rapport with his listeners'
-- Daily Mail

'Walker writes beautifully' -- The Times

About the Author

Johnnie Walker first made his name in 1966, presenting on pirate station Radio Caroline. He established a long career as a Radio 1 DJ from 1969 to 1976 and championed new names such as Lou Reed, Elton John and the Eagles. He moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s, where he joined KSAN, the most respected FM rock station in the USA, and became very involved in the punk scene. Johnnie came home in the early '80s and, following stints with Radio West and Wiltshire Radio in the West Country, he returned to Radio 1 to front The Stereo Sequence and then went on to present the hugely popular Drivetime show on Radio 2. Johnnie was awarded an MBE in 2006. He lives in Somerset with his wife, Tiggy.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Man Out Of Time on 4 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having known him only as the voice of Radio 2's Drivetime and in short a bloody good DJ I was amazed at reading the 'real' life of Johnnie Walker. I am a 60s and 70s music and entertainment nut and bought this book on a whim principally to get a new first hand account of that era.

I was pleasently surprised by Johnnie's amazing history. The passages concerning his attempts to gain work in the states are probably the best written. Reading of his treks from state to state with his small son reminded me of a classic Hollywood tearjerker just waiting to be filmed.

Candid, in depth and no holds barred, Johnnie isnt afraid to put his hands up to being a prat at times, unlike some authors who take the autobiog route; and his recollections of drug abuse and his inability to be happy are all honest. Likewise his honesty regarding his beliefs and faiths are also refreshing. His fight with cancer is covered well, largely by his wife Tiggy, I sense for the man himself, this is still to raw to fully confront.

If I have one complaint its that a little more may have been covered regarding his showbiz circles, there are several pictures of him hobnobbing with rock stars throughout his varied career yet little tidbits regarding them. But that is all.

In short, an engrossing read, bought on holiday and read in one day.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul M VINE VOICE on 12 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This audiobook,although abridged, is a riot.Read by the author in his own unique style this is almost an alternative early history of radio's important role in the formative years of the British music industry.From its noisy,but optimistic first two decades,to the multi faceted corporate machine of today, and from payola to playlists Johnnie Walker has something interesting to reveal about it all.Single minded,and occaisionally meglomaniacal,the author bares [nearly]all for his public.

Littered with laugh out loud anecdotes,concerning amongst others,customs officers,the Bay City Rollers,and the late John Peel,the author conveys a real sense of fun and irreverence throughout the first two discs,changing the tone somewhat dramatically after his move to the U.S.A in 1976.The authors decision to read his memoirs gives this set a welcome familiarity ,and despite many difficulties,the confessional nature of some of the subject matter becomes a little easier to listen to.

Johnnie Walker has seen all that the music industry has to offer,has had serious health scares,yet it is his optimism,and slightly world weary love of life that makes this release so rewarding.My only real suspicion is that there was probably more than a few stories left out to protect other guilty parties,and this is a shame for the more voyeuristic amongst us.However there is still enough, sex,music,and "class A" naughtyness to keep the listener amused,and that coupled with a spirited reading from the author is quite probably enough!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By G. Hall on 7 July 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers, I too have been a fan since the Radio England/Caroline days, and have followed Johnnie through his long and varied career, and throughout the book, he comes across as the mate you always wanted to have - I consider him a friend after all these years. I was a member of his fan club in the Caroline days, so successfully run by his mother from their home. It comes over from Johnnie that his family was so important to him, there were times I had to stop reading the book, tears in the eyes and a lump in the throat. Many highlights in the book, the pirate days were my favourites, and he speaks with passion about those days too. Highly recommended to anybody with the slightest interest in the music business, perhaps we may get further books from Johnnie, some of the stories of the artistes he met and toured with would be most welcomed. 'Legend' is often a word that gets over used these days, this is the only way to describe the one and only Johnnie Walker, long may he grace our radio waves.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jervis VINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Johnnie Walker has always been a favourite DJ of mine, certainly with regards to his radio personna, his interviewing style, and his choice of music. I certainly haven't been lacking in knowledge of some of the less savoury details with regards to the revelations concerning Johnnie's private life either, but i never thought for one moment his life had been so turbulent as portrayed in this autobiography, and one is tempted upon reading it to see Johnnie from a totally new perspective - he's certainly a far more complex person than his laid back, affable on air personality may suggest, although in saying that that's possibly pretty true of most DJs.

In fact Johnnie's life seems to have been pretty turbulent certainly from very early on, and especially since he took on the role of radio DJ, conventionality and a willingness to cooperate rarely being an option for him, and he does ultimately portray himself as nothing short of an out and out rebel. His constant questioning of authority, especially with regards to his various bosses at numerous radio stations appears to be a recurring theme, in addition to always appearing to take the most drastic measures when not getting his way which was ultimately to walk out of his various jobs. Add to this a suicide attempt, an ill fated period living in the US, the loss of his family through his uncompromising behaviour, in addition to allegations he was a drug pusher and pimp, and within this book there's rarely a dull moment. And just as everything seems to be becoming settled he becomes stricken with cancer!

Actually, there is an enormous sense of clarity in Johnnie's recounting, and despite such drastic events taking place on a regular basis, actually the events are recounted in a very non sensationalised way.
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