Tuesday, July 16, 2024



In the 60s Worthing was a good place for music. It had a large Assembly Room and a Pier Pavilion which promoters would hire to put on bands of all descriptions. Here's some examples: Cream, The Who, The Byrds from California, The Jeff Beck group, Small Faces, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac. Underground groups from London like the Edgar Broughton band and Mott the Hoople.

We formed a group called the Worthing Workshop and started putting on our own events at these and other venues in pubs and clubs. Nightime 'meeps' on the downs with LSD. Free festivals in the park in the town. We hooked up with the art school and put on Hawkwind. We set up a short-lived folk-club in a bar near the station. It was opened by Shirley Collins, now widely regarded as the Queen of British Folk.

Several of us were to move into the music business in some way or other principally Ian Grant and  Alan Edwards who at various times worked together to stage and promote bands such as  Big Country and the Stranglers. 

 At the age of 20 Alan had returned from a trip to the hippie trail and discovered the London punk scene, cut his journalistic teeth on the music paper 'Sounds' and developed his skills by establishing a public relations agency called the Outside Organisation. 

This book catalogues his remarkable career in the celebrity entertainment world of music and sport. His closest contact was David Bowie who he collaborated with for thirty years. Mick and Keith of the Stones also used his skills as did the Spice Girls

Alan is a grand storyteller and his knowledge, tactics and experience have made him a number one entertainment PR. Good going man!

Ian went on to handle many bands with great success. I worked on the underground press, the NME and many other projects including an official portrait of Big Country entitled 'A Certain Chemistry'.  I continue to enjoy recalling those younger days and caring for my archive of memories.

Thursday, July 04, 2024


 No person had better credentials to write up the story of Guns N' Roses than the late Danny Sugerman who, at an early age, got his first lessons in rock 'n' roll excess from the legendary Jim Morrison.

The back blurb reads: 'In 1987, GUN N' ROSES blasted their way out of the ruins of the Los Angeles Heavy Metal Scene - and announced to the world that they were the future of rock 'n' roll.

'Fifteen million copies of their first album, and half a decade of sex and drugs later, no other  band can match them for excitement...energy...controversy...or excess.'

The story begins with Axl's slagging off his own band in front of 83,000 people in the autumn of 1989 and using racist and offensive language. Rumours had gone round that the Guns would be opening for the Rolling Stones USA tour. In the end they played only four Los Angeles dates. The contrast between the two bands is carefully studied throughout.

This remarkable book not only provides a close-up picture of the band members and their full-on sex and drugs habits but also brings to life their battles  against the music business. Sugerman also makes comparisons with poets from the past like Shelley who was an opium addict. How drugs like heroin in music began with jazz. He delves into the origins of music and recognises that rock stars have links with the shaman of the past. His detailed interviews brings the band's characters to life. Surely this is one of the greatest music books about one of the greatest bands of our time who are always on the edge, right where they belong. 

[See my earlier review of Sugerman's 'Wonderland Avenue']