Book number: 94226 Product format: Paperback Author: RICHARD THOMPSON & S. TIMBERG

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Bibliophile price £6.00
Published price £9.99

Sub-titled 'Fairport, Folk Rock and Finding My Voice 1967-75'. In this "droll and very British" memoir, guitarist/songwriter Richard Thompson describes the founding of the band Fairport Convention and life on the road in its heyday. Thompson grew up in a typical 1960s suburban house, with its radiogram and G-Plan furniture. Aged 11 in 1960, Thompson was inspired by Cliff Richard's backing group The Shadows to dream of owning a Fender Stratocaster guitar. His dad brought home a damaged instrument, mended it, and Thompson acquired a beginner's manual. His first guitar teacher, Pete, disappeared when the squat he lived in was razed to the ground, but in spite of setbacks, by the age of 18 Thompson was a competent electric guitarist. His break came when he met Simon Nicol of the Electric Shuffle Orchestra who lived in a big house called Fairport on Hampstead's Fortis Green. Renaming themselves "Fairport Convention" they performed covers of the Byrds and Lovin' Spoonful and started to get bookings. In 1967 Fairport opened for Pink Floyd, a gig memorable for the fact that Floyd's Syd Barrett overdosed on LSD and Dave Gilmour had to play his guitar parts behind stage. Record producer Joe Hopkins of Sound Techniques, who had stage-managed Newport when Dylan went electric, signed Fairport up at that gig. Soon they were doing weekly live shows at Speakeasy, where Jimi Hendrix joined them onstage a few times. Looking down on the Beatles as mere pop artists, Richard refused a birthday party invite from Paul McCartney but with hindsight was embarrassed by his snobbery. In 1969 a fatal road accident killed Richard's girlfriend Jeannie and their superb drummer Martin Lamble. The band eventually reformed and meanwhile Richard's songwriting reflected his new interest in spirituality. Following his marriage to Linda in 1973 the couple made a life-changing pilgrimage to Mecca. The book ends with the decline of folk rock, the end of his marriage and the search for a new direction. 290pp, paperback with colour and other photos including promotional posters and Fairport performing at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music June 1970 and RT with Linda in Hampstead.

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ISBN 9780571348176

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