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on 8 December 2017
good for a Vincent fan
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on 3 January 2011
The Do-Not Press publishes very attractive books on quality paper, with very nice covers. On the surface, this is definitely not a cheap and nasty production.

But, as has been pointed out, there's plenty of typos, missing words, grammatical errors in the text. More importantly, there's just not that much in the way of biography.

Farren wants to paint a picture, not report a non-fiction story. His purple-prosed mythologizing isn't the worst of the genre, but it does go too far. Every once in awhile the author needs a fact to support the last few pages of flowery prose, and he quotes something from a previous biography of Gene Vincent. There are no quotes of any friends, family, associates of Gene Vincent: the author did not do any original research and relied on secondary sources and anecdotes he had heard over the years, plus most valuably, his own experience as a serious fan of Vincent's during the 1960s.

That's when the book is at its best, when Farren is recalling his own experience watching Gene play, or describing the scene in early 1960s England, or in discussing the actual music. He had some good and insightful things to say about the recordings; I wish there was more of that, and a few more biographical facts, and a bit less of the Jim Morrison comparisons.
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on 28 September 2006
Indeed, the synopsis here says everything. And this book not only heralds Gene as the first rock 'n' roller who everyone who came after copied, (or if today's idols don't know his name, they're copying those whom copied him), it is written by a man whom openly cites him as the idol and legend who shaped his own life in rock 'n' roll. So the book is not only a life-story, it is told with an extreme depth-of-feeling and respect for this character, wracked with pain from wearing a leg-iron and trying to kill its pain with drugs and in doing so inadvertantly adopts the frontman stance that would be set in stone forever. A fabulous read, yet a pitiful and endearing story of the very first god of rock 'n' roll.
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on 15 December 2006
A well written book where you can feel the writers love for the artist. It's a well constructed read which draws you easily into both the good and bad of Vincent's character. There are some truly surprising and well informed facts about Gene and other rock stars he encountered that the average reader would not be likely to have heard of.

This is an excellent read, definitely worth a look.
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on 26 June 2010
I picked up a copy of this book in the second-hand book stall of the local village fair. It's very short - excluding the discography, shy of 200 pages, and they're small and scantily populated with text.

Author Mick Farren is clearly a fan and he can certainly string an attractive sentence together. He writes well - I dare say he would count Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs among his influences, although his voice isn't quite as consistent, strident, or compelling - but he has been edited poorly (there are spelling mistakes, malapropisms and typographical errors through out the book).

You have to laud Farren's attempt to mythologise Gene Vincent by sourcing rock's bad-boy genome in Vincent and tracing its heredity directly to Jim Morrison, Joe Strummer and Johnny Rotten. Indeed Farren's assertion that Vincent's motorcycle-injury-prescribed singing stance - hunched over, a leg thrust forward, a leg thrust back - has been adopted to such brooding effect by able-bodied successors as Morrison, Rotten, and Bono and has now become part of the rock idiom - is a fascinating and credible one.

Gene Vincent was a rockabilly pioneer about whom I knew little outside the Stray Cats' "Gene and Eddie" and for a total ingénue, this little book did a job - I know more now, and I'm certainly interested to find out more. But you may (as I did) find yourself impelled to look at Wikipedia to get some fuller, more coherently organised précis of the man's actual biography.

Olly Buxton
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on 4 February 2013
Any book that has a synopsis that declares that without Gene Vincent even Elvis would have struggled, is to be avoided. If the writer sincerely believes such nonsense then he's nothing more than a deluded Vincent fan living in his own dream world. The facts were and are somewhat different. Elvis owed nothing to any other rock n roll star, least of all Gene Vincent. It is he and the rest of them who would have struggled without the influence of the 20th century's most famous musical and cultural icon - Elvis. He changed the world - the others merely followed.
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on 14 April 2011
the book is of no value to gene Vincent fans looking to find information about the personality or the effects rock and roll had on gene vincent
the author mick farren tells the reader his experience on having gone to a gene vincent concert in the final years of his life.
sadly it gets worse the author goes on tangent about contemporary artists like Kurt Cobain and Jami Hendrix
even at £3 this book is overpriced i could find more info about gene vincent on
wikipedia in 5 minutes.
oh yeah and the book is almost pocket sized so it can fit in the bin after you read it in 2 hours
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