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Take Dangerous Doug's word for it...,
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This review is from: Saint Dominic's Flashback: Van Morrison's Classic Album, Forty Years On (Paperback)
There is this bloke who is always in the pub. The kind of bloke who you would want in your quiz team but he is just too dangerous - we refer to him as 'Dangerous Doug'. I caught his eye. "Read this, everybody should read this" and he thrust forward a copy of Saint Dominic's Flashback. I had no choice, it was easier to read it than protest. He pulled back the copy, "It's only two pints from Amazon. But you need the album as well."
So I got onto Amazon. The book, including p and p comes in at well under 'two pints', but the album came in at a hefty 9 pints and a kebab. I cheated; ordering the book, but using YouTube and Audacity to assemble the tracks.
The album is an absolute corker and I ask myself how had I missed this for 40 years. So I'll be checking Amazon periodically to see if the price drops.
As for the book, Dangerous Doug was just about spot on.
It has to be a labour of love from the author, as are so many self published works. But this author really can put words together that brings the history of this piece of art, and the atmosphere of the time and place, to life. There are times that you are in a grimy Californian recording studios wondering what kind of Van Morrison is going to turn up. It is well research, well written and well presented.
The book may well appeal to a 'long-haired anorak' - if that is not a human oxymoron. Running to about 150 pages, most is dedicated to the assembling of the album. The author gets the history and personnel across well. The last thirty or so pages try to read what is behind the lyrics of each song. That is all a bit dinner partyish for me. I was more happy to read and listen at the same time and allow the foot to tap, the blood to rush and occasionally, the tears to roll.
We know little about the author himself. He was about 15 when the album came out, so he is around my age. He also admits to have been a bit snotty in his music tastes, and there was always somebody like that at school in the seventies. But if he was an early drinker, he forked out about eleven pints of beer money for Saint Dominic's Preview in 1972, and one gets the feeling that it was money well spent. As was the £6 I spent on his book.