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Never Mind the Bollards: A road trip around England's rock & roll landmarks (Footprint Activity & Lifestyle Guide) Paperback – 21 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Max Wooldridge turned to writing because his dreams of being a rock drummer were curtailed when he couldn't sustain a basic beat on even a biscuit tin. A former Observer Young Travel Writer of the Year, he contributes articles to many newspapers and magazines in the UK and worldwide, often specialising in the quirky and adventurous. His first job as a teenager was selling ice-creams to gig-goers at London's Hammersmith Odeon, where he saw hundreds of bands perform. He divides his time between Montana and southwest London where he plays acoustic triangle in the prog-punk band The Snowgoose Pistols.
Top customer reviews
Also liked the album cover shots- where and how they were taken and stories behind them.
I found out one of my favourite songs (Mad World) was written five minutes away from where I'm sitting now, as well as the stories behind the songs about places like Primrose Hill and nearby (for me) Solsbury Hill. Slightly disheartened to learn that Ray Davies didn't actually write Waterloo Sunset about Waterloo.
Also made me want to check out bands I hadn't bothered with before, such as Half Man Half Biscuit who sound hilarious.
Great for those `did you know...' moments in the pub.
My own town of Blackpool even had a couple of record labels one of which was reissued on Cherry Red's Punk Collector series but this isn't mentioned because obviously there's nothing too obscure otherwise it would be full of Indie bands like Stitched Back Foot Airman from Stockport.But there was a similar one to this in the 90s just for Manchester bands called And God Made Manchester
This collection must have taken a good deal of research and it probably pays not to think too long about just how much. I think it would be a good thing to have the book as a sort of wikki-blog that people could place their own additions to. Mine would be to highlight the Kah Poo Chinese takeaway in Kilmarnock that Angus Young of AC/DC stated was the best Chinese in the world. It might be difficult to verify the entries, but then I'd like to ask Johnny Cash about his ring of fire. Or maybe not. Sometimes, as Paul Weller wrote after vomiting a takeaway into a litter bin outside a Woolworths in Pontefract, "That's Entertainment" - just like this book is.
With plenty of stories, anecdotes, facts, legends and myths this is always a pleasure to read a little every now and then.
Although arranged geographically, there is an excellent index at the end, thus information on certain bands / musicians can easily be found. After recently purchasing a similar book titled Rock Atlas: 650 great music locations and the fascinating stories behind them that lacks an index, I can say that the one available here is a much appreciated and necessary feature.
There are also many pages with non-geographical related information, such as: Progressive Rock, Strange album titles, famous songs inspired by English people, The Margaret Thatcher "Songbook"; Football and Pop music; Rock myths debunked; Rock films; jailhouse rockers and many more. (pity that most of them don't appear in the table of contents)
Even the Rutles and Spinal Tap make notable appearances...
There's a very funny section with "top tips for aspiring bands".
The paper, text and pictures print quality are consistently excellent. I'll again compare to the above mentioned Rock Atlas. Both have, for instance, a picture of Roxy Music's Siren album cover taken on a beach near Ellins Tower. The Building on Rock Atlas can hardly be seen because of the picture's print quality, even though it's actually bigger than the one that appears here, which is much sharper and the building can easily be discerned.
Another similar comparison can be made with Who's Next album cover...
Overall great buy, even though currently not a cheap one.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the book everyone should read if you want to know "anything" about UK GIG venues and who' played there...Read more
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