Did It Myself
[Last update: 08/04/15]
It began on 16 October 2012 when I walked into The Man of Kent, Rochester, ordered a pint of Biddenden's and waited for a man called Bob Collins to arrive.
At that point I had only a fraction of the knowledge I needed to produce a 504 page book on the subject of Medway music. Bob, who'd once been in a popular Medway band called The Dentists, proved an excellent person to start with, not least because he was writing a book about Medway music too.
Within a couple of hours, he'd given me a fantastic survey of not just his band, but what had been going on in the area since the mid-70s to the present day.
904 days later, I receive a knock on the door from another Bob. This one's Bob Carling, from
Cultured Llama, the publishers of Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway. He has come armed with copies of my book to sign - and the usual small stash for me to keep and do with as I will.
In the days between those two encounters with two Bobs a lot has happened. I've interviewed Billy Childish while he busied himself with an enormous painting, I've enjoyed a cup of tea with Lupen Crook and I've drunk countless pints of cider in pubs in the name of research.
My fellow drinkers have included Bruce Brand (The Milkshakes, Thee Headcoats, The Masonics), Johnny Barker (The Daggermen, Johnny and the Bandits, The Buff Medways), Graham Day (The Prisoners, The Prime Movers and The Solar Flares).
Meanwhile Wolf Howard (The Daggermen, The Buff Medways, CTMF and many, many more) has popped round my house for a cup of tea (and admired my cat). It's been a gas and, in a funny old way, I'm kind of sad it's over.
Do It Yourself is now available to buy from the usual places for £15.00. You can get it direct from Cultured Llama's website, but if you're buying from beyond the UK, your best bet may be to go to Amazon or the like.
If you happen to be anywhere near the place the book celebrates on 23 April 2015 please swing by The Barge, Gillingham from 8.00pm. We're having a launch party to celebrate the book's arrival. Nick Hughes (Gash, Cenet Rox), David Read (The Claim) and Stuart Turner (Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society) will be performing.
There will be a quiz ("Are You a Medway Buff?") and if you're lucky I might even read an extract or two from the book. The night will be compered by the fantastic Peter Cook.
It would be fantastic to see you. I'll even sign a copy of Do It Yourself, available for a one time only discounted rate.
Catch up soon. I'm off for a magnum of champagne.
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(Join the Do It Yourself: A History of Music in Medway Facebook group to find out more about my book.)