‘Melody Maker needs a bullet up its arse. I’m the gun. Pull the trigger.’ With those immortal words, a youthful Allan Jones concluded his application to that same magazine for the position of ‘junior reporter – no previous journalistic experience needed.’ Well, it certainly did the trick as, in 1974, he got the job, over the years rising through the ranks to become editor, before leaving in1997 to set up and edit Uncut, a post he held for the next seventeen years.
Over the years, he got to meet lots of rock stars (an alarming number of whom are no longer with us), particularly in the period from the mid seventies to the late eighties, when the music press was in its heyday, and where the best of these tales come from.
This book is a collection of his monthly columns, which appeared in Uncut under the title ‘Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before’. Some are as they originally appeared, while others have been reworked and expanded. They are pretty much all entertaining reads, notably his numerous encounters with Van Morrison, Tony Iommi and Lou Reed. The format of the book makes it very easy to dip in and out of, and as the pieces are so brief, usually just three or four pages, you’re always tempted to read just one more.
This is an enjoyable read, especially if, like me, you like this sort of rock anecdote. It’s an undemanding book, but it’s a very pleasant way to while away a few hours.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Rock n roll war stories.
One thing you’ve learned
It’s not everyone that can have the dubious privilege of saying they’ve been called a ‘stupid shit’ by Roger Waters from the Earls Court stage, during Pink Floyd’s 1980 residency with their Wall shows.