Having been a fan and avid attendee of theatre for many years I bought this title on impulse, purely because it promised to be a very different take on the world of the actor and, somewhat selfishly, I thought it would help while away my current daily commute into The City. I was not disappointed; this book is an amazing find, grabbing the listener from the off and introducing them to an array of famous lives such as Olivier, Geilgud, Richardson, Edith Evans, Nigel Hawthorn, John Schofield, and looks at the effect they had on the world of theatre and how it impacted them.
The success of this title is in no small way down to Simon Callow whose infectious love of the theatre and the people in it is clear from the very start. Weaving his story broadly around his own life and career as an actor, Callow touches on aspects of the world of theatre that few audience-goers consider, and he gives a fascinating insight into the intrigues and alliances that are formed during a production. And yet he manages to maintain direct contact with you, the listener, talking as if you're sitting at a bar, passing the day.
My morning commute just isn't the same without Mr Callow and his tales, this is a must-have title.
This is easily one of the best audiobooks I’ve heard since joining Audible over 5 years ago, made all the more delightful a find as I’ll admit I bought this on impulse.
It deals with author Joe Boyd’s experiences working as club owner, gig promoter, road manager and record producer during the heady days of the 60s, and the many talented and potentially ill-fated people he met along the way. From the early pre-pop days of jazz quartets and endless one-night stands through The Beatles, Woodstock, Altamont and beyond the book never flags and manages to convey the sights, sounds and mood of probably the most important decade in pop music history. And it’s not all name-dropping and tales of expensive parties (although there is some of that of course). Whilst some of the acts Boyd deals with go on to worldwide fame and acclaim (Pink Floyd and Fairport Convention most notably) many more never quite achieved their potential as with The Incredible String Band or, worse, only found fame posthumously as with Nick Drake.
Joe Boyd also narrates his tale brilliantly, and is both engaging and entertaining so that you can feel his excitement at a pending opportunity, his anger when he is being lead a dance by record labels, and his sadness and regret at the many vulnerable souls (Syd Barrett, Sandy Denny, Jimi Hendrix, Nick Drake) who fell along the way. The final chapter is possibly the finest piece I’ve heard on the music business and how it, and life in general, has altered since the heydays of the 60s.
Joe Boyd disproves that oft-quoted saying, as he does remember the 60s, and he WAS there. Highly recommended.
This is possibly one of the best audiobooks I've heard. The author narrates in an engaging, light manner and openly explains how his business grew to be worth millions in spite of the fact that he didn't want it to.
His points on decision-making and changing tack are very well made, and his ongoing experience with staff and suppliers fresh and entertaining. I must've listened to this book 3-4 times back-to-back, it is just that good.
For me a huge plus was discovering the web site the book is based upon, and after only 1 week I've already sold my first music CD in the USA!