- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1976 KB
- Print Length: 94 pages
- Publisher: Robin Valk; 1 edition (11 April 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JN00I50
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #853,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Survivors: Music and musicians in the UK's West Midlands. (A Radio To Go ebook Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Robin Valk is the man to tell those stories from the West Midlands of England. He began broadcasting on the then only commercial radio station in the region over 40 years ago. His evening rock show immediately became required listening, especially at a time when information about bands, gigs, releases, etc. was very limited and largely reliant on word of mouth. His show became a sort of conduit. He interviewed anyone who mattered (and plenty that didn't). He was empathetic to their endeavours. He 'got them'.
To read 'Survivors' is to participate in a roller-coaster, helter-skelter, and, erm, other fairground analogies of the times: the music, the bands, the bust-ups, the fans, the deals, the recording studios, the gigs, the song-writing, the discarding, the rehearsals, the triumphs, and the disasters. The book does not seek out scandal or sensation - but it doesn't have to, because the real stories have plenty. But much, much more than that, it has charm and insight.
Because, away from the hype and nonsense of the rock world (including, let's face it, much of the radio and the music press) 'the business' is full of people who were dedicated to their own favoured genres and sub-genres, who tried to do something different, something amazing, something that would stop you in your tracks (pun intended) and make your jaw drop; that would fill your mind with images, longings, joy, sadness; that could set you free. And the book is much, much ore than a nostalgic thang for ageing punks, head-bangers, or whatever - although it will provide a nostalgic glow for many (and what's wrong with that?). Because Robin is always looking for the next thing; he supports and promotes (in the best possible way) the current 'scene' and seeks to guide those with talent and promise.
Although I haven't lived n the West Midlands for decades I do return there quite frequently and I know how respected he is by past and present musicians. His heart and his mind remain open. That is the spirit of the book. Not to put the past in a box to rummage through on a rainy day, but to take from it what was good and great, and to learn. The era of Simon Cowell, Spotify, iTunes and internet radio seems a universe away from the scene of 1974, yet this book is invested with the spirit of today.
As Robin writes in the book: "The talent is everywhere; it's where you live, and on the web. If you haven't caught anyone new recently, get out there and see what you can find." But take this with you on your e-reader. You'll enjoy the journey and you won't see the 'scenery' quite the same way again.
Survivors is a collection of interviews with some very, very talented people. They would have made great listening on a radio station but, for reasons best known to others, that wasn't possible. The book is the next best thing.
If you have an interest in music from the West Midlands, or even Heavy Metal Gods playing golf, give it a go. I did.