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24 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great music books
Fabulous book. I picked it up in the library but will certainly buy a couple of copies to give as presents. It's full up with mad little anecdotes from start to finish. An original page-turner which seems to cover every event, trend and star in the history of British pop music - and to connect each of them with their own drug. It all makes sense when you read it...
Published on 9 Feb. 2002 by Amazon Customer

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sex, drugs and rock and roll
I've managed to read a preview of this book, and if you at all interested in the history of British music, and the influence drugs has had in this fickle industry over the years then this well written, easy to read book is for you. Really enjoyable. Note: Fans of Japan and Wham / George Michael will particulary like it!
Published on 13 Mar. 2001 by sleazyred@downtownlasvegas.fre...


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, 15 April 2008
This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
A corny and cheesy title for a corny and cheesy book. The endorsement by Julie Burchill on the front cover should have put me off. Simon Napier-Bell has written this book based on the very flimsy theory that the whole of the British music industry revolves around a) being homosexual and b) takes drugs. Granted both exist in the business but they certainly are not the most important cogs in the rock'n'roll gearbox - but then again, maybe in Simon Napier-Bell's little world they are. Like another reviewer I was glad to get to the end of this book. It covers a well-trod path that most of us have read, better-written, in other places and in other places where the facts and names are all correct. Simon, it's Peter Jenner, not Peter Janner. And it's John Entwistle, not Entwhistle. For heaven's sake, man, didn't you have an editor?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 1 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
A fun look at the British music scene, linking various types of music to the drugs that were taken at the time, and the influence of gay culture. Never dull, something of a page turner, and a convincing argument. I recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He should know, 28 April 2015
By 
ba Francis "Bartlisa" (Morecambe Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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If Simon Napier Bell doesn't know the music industry no one does.
This book is a real insight into the Rock and pop music business.
A very interesting read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powder Burn, 7 May 2013
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This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
An entertaining and interesting book.Napier -Bell tells a good story. The personalities,the stars.the drugs that fuel the music business are all here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read it!!, 21 Oct. 2009
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J. Viney - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
A brilliantly insightful and anecdotal account of the development of the British Music Industry and its artists from the 50's through to the 90's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unrivalled, 13 May 2013
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Mrs. Gillian Reynolds (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
Fascinating, frank, funny, knowledgeable, full of insight, well constructed and thoughtful. I liked this very much and would recommend it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars couldnt put it down, 22 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
a fascinating insight into the world of pop music warts & all you will but you wont be amazed at what goes on within the music industry LOVED IT
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating. Very fascinating. For musicians and music fans ..., 26 Jan. 2015
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Fascinating. Very fascinating. For musicians and music fans alike, this is ace. Very well researched and written by a man that has lived it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery brought as a present Friend is looking forward ..., 23 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
Quick delivery
brought as a present
Friend is looking forward to reading it
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Snort, 30 May 2002
This review is from: Black Vinyl White Powder (Paperback)
Callow has a point he wants to get across in this history of British rock and pop: none of it would have happened without drugs. From amphetamines to grass to LSD to cocaine, everyone from Cliff Richard onwards was popping something to get them through the day. Should we be shocked? No chance. What's alcohol if not the biggest drug of the lot, and, as Callow states, when the Stones sang about "Mother's Little Helper", the Valium nation chose to hear but not to listen. If anything it's worse these days, but it's just not hip to recognise while you're tripping on E's down the club that your old dear is zonked on her own uppers and downers at home.
Being a manager, Callow gives a lot of attention to his peers - most of us are aware of Epstein and the Beatles, but Oldham and the Stones? To his credit, Callow doesn't pretend to be the guru behind the muse, and is always ready to hold his hands up about his inability to nurse the talent. Perhaps if he'd been better at his job, Led Zepplin would never have risen from The Yardbirds as the latter might have stayed the course. As the book progresses, however, you begin to realise that Callow's self-effacing style probably conceals a shrewd judge of both character and potential.
In the end, I was completely taken by the author's arguments and views. Yes, drugs really have shaped our pop and rock culture in a massive way. I agree, the gay community has had more than an influence too. And we Brits should be proud of what this small nation has culturally achieved.
Peppered with some cracking profiles, stories and the absolute cream of rock quotes, I doubt you'll find a more entertaining overview of the British music scene since the fifties. I'd thoroughly recommend this book.
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Black Vinyl White Powder
Black Vinyl White Powder by Simon Napier-Bell (Paperback - 3 Jan. 2007)
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