The author of highly acclaimed Keith Moon and Smiths biographies now tells his own story of a life in love with music, taking the reader back to the glory days of the 1970s.
I was no longer fitting in at school. I was unsure of my friends, and they were increasingly unsure of me. I wanted to be a rock star. But while all around, voices were starting to break, acne beginning to appear, facial hair sprouting, I remained all flabby flesh and innate scruff, with a high-pitched whine and not a muscle to my name. I was the runt of the class and rarely allowed to forget it. I had no father at home to help me out, and could hardly talk to my mum. So I took solace in The Jam.
As a boy, Tony Fletcher frequently felt out of place, yet somehow he secured a ringside seat for one of the most creative periods in British cultural history. This is the story of his formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, told via a Top 50 countdown: attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods, and skinheads and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage boy's unending obsession with losing his virginity. Featuring a vibrant cast of supporting characters from school friends to rock stars, and built up from notebooks, diaries, interviews, letters, and issues of his now legendary fanzine Jamming!, this is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing, and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.