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on 3 June 2011
I must admit to being a very keen fan of Peter King having possessed an alto saxophone for 62 years and struggled to get even one third of the way to his fluency or creativeness on the instrument as a tool of modern jazz. Peter, on the other hand has been a world class performer since his middle teens. But as this auto-biography demonstrates excellence secures no automatic reward - our musical hero has been impoverished for most of his life. It is a long, detailed, honest and sad story with just occasional glimmers of hope and success. I found the book to be a riveting read as I had "grown up" knowing of and listening to most of the characters mentioned. But in the final analysis Peter has overcome both health and family tragedies to be able to claim his position as one of the finest jazz alto players in Western Europe - it is just tragic that in the UK we have no mechanism for rewarding such talent.
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on 12 May 2011
Peter King has long been one of the finest jazz saxophone players in the UK ( and beyond). An intelligent and sensitive man, he has now written an astonishingly candid and deeply fascinating autobiography that deserves to rank with the best autobiographies written by a musician of any kind. It is a remarkable history of the highs and lows of the British jazz scene of the past fifty years. More than an autobiography, it's an extremely important social and historical record. Highly recommended!
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on 26 April 2013
I am a jazz fan and have been listening to Peter King for perhaps 50 years - with long breaks between hearing him. I have often been disappointed that he has not, for years at a time, been appearing anywhere accesible to me, except on his recordings.
This book explains why - in describing in very candid detail the sad and addicted life he has led.
I find it amazing that he could, during such times, produce such brilliant music.
I am glad that I bought and read the book but saddened to recognise how so much of his life was wasted.
It was, as others have said, fun reading the narratives and background to the whole UK modern jazz scene and , in that respect, added a lot to my knowledge as well as stirring a lot of good memories.
Thank you, Peter, for taking the time to put the book together and sharing it with us all.
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on 18 November 2012
Peter King is a great jazz saxophonist. Unlike most British players of his generation (he was born in 1940) his reputation extends well beyond the UK and it has held up over recent years. His autobiography is fascinating not just for his unsparing account of his years as a drug addict but more broadly for the fascinating picture it provides of his own extraordinary and constantly-questing personality and of the changing but always difficult life of a dedicated jazz musioian. It's a memorable book that stays in the mind. You don't have to be a jazz fan to enjoy it -- though that does help.

Phil
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on 8 April 2013
Peter King is a tremendous jazz sax player that is not well know (sadly) here in my country (Argentina). I have discovered him around mid nineties and always intrigued me from where come these wonderful musicians. This book helped a lot and is a very and welcomed surprise that him wrote an opera and also he is a heavy and expert aeromodelist!.
Take it easy Peter you are a big artist y this is a great book, as your music.
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on 27 November 2012
As a musician who played in England in that era of the 60's to 80's and actually was privileged to play with Pete a couple of times although I moved in lesser circles, I found the book to be a revelation and learned so much about my heroes of the time.
I recommend it to any jazz lover.
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on 12 May 2011
This is an amazing book for anyone who loves the music, and the playing of arguably the worlds best altoist. It is filled with stories of the musicians you love. It chronicles the drugs and the release from them with Linda. Peter has such depth: aerodynamics and opera are not often skills of a musician.
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on 30 November 2013
A fascinating insight into the life of an English jazz musician - eloquently written. Not only is Peter King a top musician, but also a brilliant story teller! Hard to stop reading!
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on 25 January 2016
A wonderful book. Bares all in a dignified way. A top jazz player (up there with Charlie Parker) yet so modest. It was tough for many acomplished musicians to eke out a living when the Beatles hit the scene. The drugs, the despair, the highs and the lows are all told so honestly and movingly. I particularly enjoyed his memories of Tubby Hayes and the 'insider' track on the importance of a good rhythm section. A first class read delivered effortlessly on my Kindle
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on 25 February 2015
I thought this book was very well written and a wonderful insight into the life of a superbly talented musician
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