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Customer Reviews

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2013
Having met Norman on many occasions, usually over a drink at his daughters restaurant in Cornwall, I was very keen to read his book as in real-life he is very understated. I knew he was in the music business, I knew he had run a studio and built recording equipment and I knew he had worked with several big name artists including Queen.

Reading the book was like having a 3 day conversation with Norman, I hadn't realised the impact he and Trident studios had on the music industry, just how many bands and artists had recorded at the studio or how special the Trident studio was. When you look at the recording list at the back of the book it is mind-blowing to see who used the studio and its ancillary businesses over a 30 year period.

The other thing the book brings to life is the innovation and risk-taking that Norman took on all the way through his life from being the drummer in the group The Hunters to being first with 8 track recording equipment, being the first to record music videos, tape duplication, outside film broadcasting and more.

Norman's style of writing really transports the reader to a fly-on-the-wall observer as he brings to life many of his interactions with the big names of the music industry as well as some of the local characters of Soho. This would all make a fabulous movie!

I want to thank Norman for writing the book, I really enjoyed reading it and, having read it, I see Norman in a very different light. Oh, and by the way, he can still play the drums! Rock-on Norman!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2013
Very readable and left me admiring the pioneering work of this recording studio. The only drawback on the Kindle was the quality and referencing of the photographs. Norman is one of those characters whose foresight, ambition and integrity deserve greater recognition and praise from the recording industry. Who knows how far the company would have progressed if short-term monetary targets by others hadn't diverted the company from Norman's ambitions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2013
Had the book delivered yesterday, and what an incredibly absorbing read. Great to know the true inside story of a truly brilliant recording studio, and the genuine people they worked with. It's just a shame about the utter pomposity showed by one band who owed their very existence (and fabulous wealth) to a guy who was a true visionary and helped them in any and every way he could, only to be repaid with staggering arrogance. I now have enormous respect for Norman and his friends and colleagues who made it all work. Still, a fantastic book and I'll start re-reading it today. Brilliant.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2013
I've thoroughly enjoyed being transported back in time to the 1960s/70s - when I grew up with TRex. The Beatles, Bowie, Queen and a Soho that had an excitement that has long been lost.
Norman tells it as it was! He brings the era back to life, telling of local characters, events that took place, I found it
Fascinating to hear How Trident came about, and just how many famous people used its services over the years.
The Queen story is really interesting.
All in all a great read !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
Despite being too young to have experienced the bands at the time, I have always been interested in how professional artists really write and record their music - Behind all the PR and on-stage bravado, how do they really get on with their work? And I have to say this book really painted that picture well. It was great reading about how last minute The Beatles recording of Hey Jude was, the accidental solo in the middle of David Bowie's Space Oddity, and the commercial balance of giving bands like Queen artistic freedom versus the need to pay the off-stage bills. There's a link to a Spotify playlist in the book, and it was great to listen to the tracks whilst reading about how they came about. An easy read that felt like an interesting bloke in a pub telling you a great story or two about the songs playing on the jukebox. I really enjoyed it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2013
This is a can't put down read. Clever and witty it shows a man who believed in what he was doing and pioneering in his outlook in an industry that was sometimes stifling. I could see this being transformed into a movie, it's quite "lock stock" in the fast paced way it is written. Yes there are a few paragraphs about a band called Queen but there are also many other paragraphs about the entrepreneurial man who set up arguably one of the best recording studios to date and recorded some of the most iconic acts of the time. Brilliant. Buy it, you'll love it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2013
A really interesting insight to life in the music industry at that time in history, especially as it talks about bands and artists I grew up with in the 70's. Some 'I didn't know that' moments too like Rick Walkman being Trident's session pianist!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2015
As a life long Queen fan, I've known that Death on Two Legs was written about Norman Scheffield. Prior to reading this book, I based my opinion of Norman largely on what was said by Freddie, and on occasion, Roger. Well, after reading the book, I can honestly say that I was mistaken. Norman makes his case by presenting his side of the story and copies of the signed contracts between Queen and Trident were also presented. I understand Freddie's position; but, after hearing both sides of the story, I think he was mostly wrong. To his credit, Norman accepts a lot of responsibility for what happened, and this not a Queen bashing book. On the contrary, the reader is given excellent insight into what was really a magical studio, and the good and bad times that occurred. His writing style was enjoyable. RIP Norman, and I thank you for enlightening me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2014
On the plus side, it's very readable, entertaining, informative and, as it's been said already by other reviewers, it tells the story of a legendary studio and legendary recordings and artists. It's quite nice that he speaks highly of people who weren't necessarily nice to him, and he also admitted his intentions were far from altruistic (why should they be? He and his family needed to make a living), while at the same time defending himself from accusations he's received over the years because of hearsay. There's obviously many sides of every story, and it's good to know his.

It's sort of a trend to vilify music executives and treat them as the worst people on earth, whilst ignoring, overlooking or underrating the importance they have for the industry itself. In a way I guess it makes rock artists more popular when they slam labels and managers... in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if that's often on the advice of said labels and managers as that'll make the artists look 'cooler' and more rebellious and then they'll sell more and everyone will benefit from that. Whether we like it or not, when artists sign up with a company (recording, publishing, distributing, whatever) they become employees and the executives are the investors. Without them, there's no product, no matter how talented the artists are and how much effort they put on writing, arranging and performing the songs.

Having said that, there's one aspect that did disappoint me about the book and is that a lot of the so-called facts are just regurgitated from internet (or old magazine reports). Urban legends, such as 'Bo Rhap' having been played fourteen times by Kenny Everett (Everett officially claimed in 1976 he'd 'only' done it four times), seemed to have been copied and pasted without any sort of verification, thus marring the whole point of what 'setting the record straight' should have been.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2014
Interesting insight into Trident , the fantastic music produced there and the clash of outlooks and egos with Freddie Mercury in particular , the hard nosed London businessman who believed in them versus the rockstar before he was a rock star genius / drama queen / driving force behind one of the best bands ever in my humble opinion .
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