Mostly, though, Boyd demonstrates clear-eyed analysis and an unusual awareness of the broader picture.
Indeed, White Bicycles is virtually unique among rock memoirs in its avoidance of woolly sentimentality and wild exaggeration. There is something of the scholar about Boyd, a detachment that belies his pivotal status as a participant. Occasionally, Boyd's self-discipline robs us of incidental pleasures that a more rambling raconteur might have offered.
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Describing a trip through the Deep South in search of authentic blues, he crafts single-sentence summaries of experiences that other writers would have spent paragraphs on. But there's more than enough vivid reminiscence to keep the book buoyant, and Boyd's prose can convey a lot in a few words. Recalling the Blues and Gospel Caravan tour he organised in , Boyd notes that legendary blues buddies Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee "cordially loathed" each other offstage.
Meeting Pink Floyd's dandyish managers in , his first impression was that they "looked like monkeys dressed up for a PG Tips commercial".
John Hopkins, his UFO Club confederate, is framed by a drug squad officer who, to clinch the bust, "reached, conjurer-like, behind his sofa and pulled out an evidentiary plum". The 16 pages of black and white photographs, like Boyd's text, capture evanescent history with remarkable clarity.
Here is John Lee Hooker playing a blues all-nighter at Alexandra Palace, hunched in front of a crowd of solemn, nerdy white youngsters. Here is Nick Drake, hesitantly stroking a keyboard with one hand and sucking on a cigarette with the other.
White Bicycles: Making Music in the s
Rock autobiographies usually rely on pre-existing devotion to the artists concerned. White Bicycles has, I think, enough of a grasp of larger issues - historical, philosophical, psychological - to be of interest to readers unfamiliar with the records Boyd produced.
Such readers might be forgiven for not suspecting that Joe continued to play an important role in the s, 80s and 90s, because White Bicycles sticks so scrupulously to its stated timeframe. Now that's self-discipline for you. Topics Books. Higher education Music books reviews. In he started Hannibal Records and ran it for twenty years. He lives in London.
White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s (Unabridged)
He produced the documentary 'Jimi Hendrix' and the film 'Scandal'. In he started Hannibal Records and ran it for 20 years. Boyd lives in London. As a memoir of the enchanted Sixties, White Bicycles is among the elite. It isn't just that Boyd was among the era's movers and shakers, he has a rare recall of events 'I never got too stoned,' he confesses and a fluid, engaging style. The book bristles with evocative anecdotes It's a colourful story, beautifully told And this book is the perfect literary echo of a lifetime's subtle facilitation Boyd's pages abound with astute observations and fascinating personal detail Boyd remains a true believer, for whom it was a joy to have been alive in that permissive dawn.
I was so engrossed I missed my train station. Convert currency. Add to Basket.
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