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Author Topic: New book  (Read 4423 times)
JohnV
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« on: March 05, 2018, 02:43:29 PM »

At the risk of self-advertising (mods, please slap my wrists if this is bad form!), I thought I'd like to announce my forthcoming book on Steeleye Span, 'All Around My Hat'. (I can see a few eyebrows being rolled, but it does sound more colourful than 'The Steeleye Span Story' or similar). It will be available through Fonthill Media probably in late 2018, in a similar format to recent titles I have published on Jeff Lynne/ELO, Beatles, Lindisfarne, and (due in a few weeks) Steve Winwood. I have been in touch with a few relevant very helpful people, some of whom will be known to members of this forum, and am on the point of contacting others. Can I say that I have been fairly thoroughly through the other threads here in the course of my fact-finding, and found some very useful info - hopefully without plagiarising anyone. To steal from one source is plagiarism, to steal from several is research, to use an old cliche...
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quodlibet (Ian)
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 03:36:18 PM »

(Attempting to roll eyebrows) To use another old cliche....... see you in court.    Grin
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Brian D
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 08:29:28 PM »

It's about time there was a book dedicated to Steeleye. I'll look forward to reading it.
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steve from oz
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 09:48:09 PM »

Will be a great Christmas presents from me to me
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Bob Barrows
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 10:21:45 PM »

Not a mod here, but we do prefer that you make an attempt to actually participate in the forum so we get to know you a bit before you begin self-promotion.
Think about someone walking into a pub and shouting "buy my book!" as an analogy. If instead, you introduce yourself to the patrons, buy some drinks, come back a couple times, and then start talking about the book you've written, you're much more likely to have a good reception.

That said, your book does pique my interest and leads me to wonder how much participation the members of Steeleye had in the writing of the book.
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JohnV
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2018, 10:37:40 PM »

Thanks Bob, message received and point taken. I am already in active contact with two current members with regard to the book and within the next few days plan to increase that total, all being well. My book on Lindisfarne was much the better for having some very helpful input from two of the original line-up.
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Andy
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 01:37:15 AM »

Participation is better than "being in contact with two people".

And I *am* a Mod.
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JohnV
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 07:26:34 AM »

Now three people, excluding a few from whom I am awaiting a reply, so that figure should hopefully increase within the next few days!
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Andy
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 08:23:56 AM »

Sigh. *Missing the point here*.
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David W
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2018, 08:54:37 AM »

So then, other than the niceties of board etiquette tell us a bit about this book please John, and maybe about yourself.

Will it be a cuttings cut and paste job trawling through previous band interviews, reviews etc and knocking them up into some kind of order with a few comments gleaned from fan boards such as this?

Or have you been granted access to the band themselves, past and present, interviewing Ashley, Maddy, Rick and many others to gather new information. Is there a Steeleye archive somewhere (Park maybe) or with Maddy which offers new insight into the development and longevity of the band?

And of you - music journo maybe, you have mentioned books on Lindisfarne, ELO, Steve Windoow and the Beatles? Let us know a bit and you  may find people friendlier.

Cheers,

DW
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JohnV
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 12:12:25 PM »

Thanks David.

So then, other than the niceties of board etiquette tell us a bit about this book please John, and maybe about yourself.

The book will be 192pp, paperback, about 65,000 words including index, discography, brief bibliography, references notes etc. There will be 16pp plates, colour and black and white. Some will be familiar, but I am hoping to obtain a few rarely-seen images as well.
 
Will it be a cuttings cut and paste job trawling through previous band interviews, reviews etc and knocking them up into some kind of order with a few comments gleaned from fan boards such as this? Or have you been granted access to the band themselves, past and present, interviewing Ashley, Maddy, Rick and many others to gather new information. Is there a Steeleye archive somewhere (Park maybe) or with Maddy which offers new insight into the development and longevity of the band?

Previous band interviews are always a valuable source, and this is where my research always starts. Once I have covered the familiar ground (which apart from anything else, saves me wasting other people's valuable time by asking questions for which answers can easily be googled or found elsewhere), that is where the digging for primary sources comes in. This includes talking to people associated with the group - webmasters who have conducted previous interviews, people at Park Records, and then of course the most important people, members and ex-members themselves. For obvious reasons I do not wish to give away too many details before I am sure that everything will work out, but I am currently in contact with several of these, and am hoping to get some insights, memories and the like which will not already be  familiar to other fans such as members of this forum.
Writing books on bands and artists doesn't always guarantee access to the subjects themselves. In certain cases, those subjects are extremely private people who restrict interviews with others to the bare minimum for various reasons, and also insist that people who are working for them (and who might otherwise have been able to help) are bound by confidentiality agreements. In other cases - I won't name names, and you may be able to guess who I am talking about - former members of a group do not do interviews because of bad experiences that means they simply don't like talking about it any more. They have sometimes done fairly guarded chats in the past which are easily accessible, but have said all they want to and will not be drawn any further.
Those are the negatives. The positives are that sometimes, although you can never take it for granted, your heroes are happy to talk once they know you are genuine. Rod Clements and Ray Laidlaw of Lindisfarne were very forthcoming and answered all my questions, some at great length, even about slightly contentious matters concerned with group dissensions, fallings out and so on. Here you are treading on slightly thin ice - but this is the sort of thing readers want to know about. The same thing applied when I was co-writing a book on Mungo Jerry some years ago. Nearly every member and ex-member was glad to talk freely and put their own point of view, and as a result my co-author and I learned quite a lot, in some cases fairly hair-raising - and we were also told a few things which we were told to leave out of the book, as certain parties could afford better lawyers than us. Ray Dorset became a good friend and we are still in regular contact almost thirty years later.

And of you - music journo maybe, you have mentioned books on Lindisfarne, ELO, Steve Winwood and the Beatles? Let us know a bit and you may find people friendlier.

I have been writing books for close on forty years, including history, biography, music, true crime and local history, and occasional fiction. Having been a library assistant for over forty years I was recently made redundant and am now a full-time writer. I live close to Dartmoor, was not long ago diagnosed with ASD, am married, have two cats and a dog, have played on an amateur basis with bands myself (guitar, harmonica, mandolin, bass, occasional lead guitar), written songs, co-wrote one with a friend who recorded and released it on his last solo CD, and have recently taken up my old hobby of painting again. Apart from that, there's not much to say.
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mickf
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 12:24:54 PM »

I've read John's Lindisfarne book. It was a decent publication and it certainly didn't just go over old ground. So I'm certainly interested in this forthcoming book.
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JohnV
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2019, 07:51:06 PM »

It's been a long time (what does that remind us of?), but ALL AROUND MY HAT: THE STEELEYE SPAN STORY is now scheduled for August 2019 publication through Fonthill Media, and I am currently on the first proof checking stage.
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Jamie73
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 03:43:01 PM »

Looking forward to it!  Smiley
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JohnV
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2019, 02:52:48 PM »

Latest from the publisher is that this will be delayed until November. Rather disappointed, but still hope it will not be delayed any further and that it will be ready for the Nov/Dec UK tour.
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Greg E
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2019, 03:24:27 PM »

that's a shame, any particular reason for the delay? and will it be available to buy on the tour or is an 'unofficial' publication so available online only.

There is a documentary being made about Steeleye by Park Records I believe, I assume for a DVD rather than a TV programme. Either way will be interesting to actually watch/read something new this year to finally celebrate their 50th Anniversary. I suspect that will be available for the UK tour. (I think it is with a live DVD as well)

What of course everyone actually wants is a rarities Box Set CD/DVD. But of course Park won't be doing that anytime soon!
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Chris
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2019, 03:41:20 PM »

One of the gigs I went to earlier in the year was filmed by multi-cameras - I suspect this is what you are hearing of.
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Greg E
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2019, 03:52:57 PM »

yes indeed, we are overdue a live DVD (last one 2013) . Although of course they have filmed them previously and not released them. They filmed them in 2018 as well. I'm hoping any live DVD would actually cover both tours because then we would get Jessie and Violeta (fiddles) and a better cross section of songs.

But there is definitely a documentary being made as well...
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Greg E
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2019, 04:44:17 PM »

the book is showing up on Amazon and WH Smith as due on the 5th Dec


As for the documentary Bob Johnson has been interviewed ...  Shocked   which will be his first appearance "in Public" for 19 years I believe

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