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Fuzz to Folk: Trax of My Life Paperback – 10 Jan 2011
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Since first meeting Ian Green at the Edinburgh police folk club ('Fuzzfolk') during my early teens, I've watched a man who has worked tirelessly to turn his passion into a profession, a dedicated, caring individual who has frequently risked all to promote the music and musicians he believes in. The Greentrax Empire has grown, but it's not really an empire it's more like one huge, happy family with a proud and beaming father figure watching over it. --Dr PHIL CUNNINGHAM MBE
'You know he would put his hand in the fire for you that's Ian Green.' --Brian McNeill
'A man whose personal integrity and passion for the music are only two of the reasons why I admire him tremendously.' --Eric Bogle
About the Author
Dr Ian Green Hon. Doc. RSAMD was born in Forres, Morayshire in 1934, the son of a Highland piper and head gardener. The changing life in rural Scotland resulted in many moves until the family finally relocated to Edinburgh where Ian completed his education. He followed his father into gardening and began an apprenticeship. When National Service beckoned, Ian signed for three years in the army, serving as a vehicle mechanic in the REME, including two years in Korea and Japan. He was demobbed in 1955 holding the rank of full corporal. Another change of direction saw Ian join Edinburgh City Police, later Lothian and Borders Police, in which he served 30 years. During this time, he married his wife June and raised three children. Ian gained wide police experience in various specialised departments before being promoted to sergeant and latterly inspector, retiring in 1985. During his service Ian pursued an interest in folk music and was involved in many aspects of the music as organiser of the Police Folk Club ( Fuzzfolk ), co-editor of Sandy Bell's Broadsheet, co-founder of the Edinburgh Folk Club, concert promoter and assistant to Dr John Barrow, director of the Edinburgh Folk Festival. In between times, Ian found time to grow and exhibit award-winning chrysanthemums, and represent Scotland in the Annual International Angling Match. In 1986, Ian launched Greentrax Recordings which has become one of the most successful independent record labels in the uk. Many awards have been bestowed upon Ian, including the Hamish Henderson Award for services to traditional music, entry into the Scots Trad Awards Hall of Fame, and culminating in an honorary doctorate from the RSAMD in 2006. This autobiography looks at Ian's active, varied and interesting life as he turned 76 years of age.
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I worked for this guy's dad at Craiglockhart in the 1970s and he was a real character. He spoke a strong northern lingo and being a city boy it took a while before I figured out what he was instructing me to do. This led to several farcical misunderstandings! He was missing a thumb. I forget which hand.
Ian's writing style is straight from the hip and he doesn't hold back - as I imagine he was as a copper. We could do with more of them around now. Great stories of flying about the streets on bicycles, on foot and in dodgy panda cars after the "neds"!
Some of his narrative is very personal stuff which makes for uncomfortable reading at times.
What I liked was his obvious pride in his achievements along with a ready acknowledgement of his faults. I was sorry that the one type of music Ian doesn't dig is Jazz. I'm sure he'll master it eventually!
So many memories for me. I was at that notorious Alan Stivell concert at the Usher Hall and with Davy Steele in the spiral staircase at the Edinburgh Folf Festival Festival Club singing my heart out. I was a sometime visitor to the Police Club and whatever happened to the Buffs Club where I heard Cyril Tawney and Nadia Cattouse. I played that recording Hamish Henderson made of the Corries singing Rivonia in my radio programme just three weeks ago. The Macs CD The Greentrax Years was my selection as best CD of 2010 in my `best of ..' programme recently.
Fuzz to Folk: Trax of My LifeLang may yer lum reek
His Army days were full of great stories and characters experiences of Korea and some horrific tales and honest confessions of some situations he found himself in, to His Romance with June his wife, his heartache having to leave her behind and the happiness as love was rekindled on his return.
The really comical descriptions of some of the criminals he came into contact with in his time in the police force really gives you an great picture of how life was then compared to today and how a good clip around the ear at times for the offender was suffice, unlike today when the police have to be wary as the law seems to be more on the side of the offenders. One persons passion for Folk music and the birth of Greentrax Now "Scotland's favorite and leading record company for folk music in Scotland.The full story of Greentrax and Ian's knowledge of The Scottish Folk Music Scene from many years ago to the present day. The many connections he has made over the world is fascinating .
In ,well chosen words Ian tells it exactly as it was in a language we can all relate to and with such brutal honesty and great humor .I would enjoy this book even if I had no idea who Dr Ian Green was but the fact is, he is a man who has experienced life in many different scenario,s . A man of honesty and integrity. I have even more respect for him having read his life story and I still have fits of the giggles when I think of some of the situations he was in and feel sad for some of the challenges he faced. He has shown the true person behind the Child, The Man,The Soldier the Policeman The managing Director of Greentrax . A wonderful Book which I will treasure and refer back to in years to come . Mary Kathleen Burke
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