David McGill Silver Owl Press $34.95
Here is the author’s own take on the book:
Everybody has a continuously updated Top 20 or so favourite songs. Here is a one-man Top 20 band that may answer Cilla’s plaintive enquiry: ‘What’s it all about, Alfie?’ Launched on Ringo’s birthday, this personal history of popular music was 50 years in the making. It starts with the first liberation of hopscotching down a Bay of Plenty footpath humming ‘Jambalaya’, finds teenage release with Elvis and Johnny Devlin, student sixties with Ringo and friends, OE flowerpower journalism with Jools in Jesus Field, Mick and his mates in the studio, Jimi’s tragic last gig. Back home reconciliation relies on Van Morrison and Tina Turner, finds closure with Split Enz and Don McGlashan.
He is a versatile character, often on National Radio on Sunday afternoon, writes biography and fiction (his last title was “From my cold dead hands” featuring cantankerous geologist Ben Duffie in a timely thriller about the oil exploration industry, published earlier this year) and on top of all that he is also a publisher!