Route Acquires Iain Matthews Memoir Thro’ My Eyes

Ian Clayton and Iain Matthews

Thro’ My Eyes: A Memoir by Iain Matthews with Ian Clayton

Route is delighted to announce the acquisition of the memoir of legendary singer-songwriter Iain Matthews. Thro’ My Eyes: A Memoir tells the story of over fifty years of making music.

It’s the swinging sixties and a young man leaves behind a humdrum Northern life and heads for Swinging London. He lands smack dab in the middle of Carnaby Street. Within months he is in a band and a year later he’s invited to audition for Fairport Convention. He shares lead vocal duties first with Judy Dyble and then with Sandy Denny in perhaps the greatest line-up of that much loved band of folk-rock pioneers.

In 1970, he forms Matthews Southern Comfort and has an international hit with an arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s counter-culture classic ‘Woodstock’. With the ultimate earworm still high in the charts, Iain walks out on the band and after just a few months of reflection, releases the classic album If You Saw Thro’ My Eyes. Then with Andy Roberts, he puts together the highly revered Plainsong. They make just one LP, the critically acclaimed In Search of Amelia Earhart.  Iain then takes the opportunity to move to California to pursue an interest in the emerging West Coast singer-songwriter movement. He criss-crosses the States for the next thirty years, first as a major label artist, initially with Elektra and then Columbia, and eventually as a latter day troubadour with a guitar and a pickup truck.

Back in Europe since the turn of the millennium, Iain finally settles down with a wife and family but continues to pursue the muse.  Still possessed of one of the greatest male singing voices Britain ever produced, Matthews is now in his sixth decade as a professional musician. He has written a compelling memoir of a life on the road, in the studio and at home. It’s a story of music, journeys, life and what it does to us, through the eyes of one of our most enduring singer-songwriters.

Route editor Ian Daley said of the acquisition, ‘We touched on Iain’s early career in Clinton Heylin’s biography of the Fairport Convention diaspora What We Did Instead of Holidays, so it’s a real privilege to work with the man himself on this great book. His dedication to music and his determination to keep learning and moving forward is an inspiration.  It’s been an enlightening experience, and a joy to immerse ourselves in his tremendous body of work.’

Iain Matthews: ‘Through a series of false starts this book has taken me more than ten years to write. I was finally able to bring it home with the invaluable help of my dear friend Ian Clayton. I simply could not have done it without him. Writing a song is something I’ve become quite adept at, but a book is a whole other matter. There were times when I felt I could not summon forth the memories and it was not going to happen, but miraculously it did. Now that it has I feel both exhilarated and proud that my life lesson has been captured in print. It’s an amazing feeling to know.’

Ian Clayton: ‘Iain’s book tells a very real story of a young man from humble beginnings who pursued a dream through music, went through plenty of ups and downs and finally found his peace. I have read a lot of books by musicians, most of ‘em are flimsy, this one has depth and authenticity, it will stand on its own feet for a long time to come.’

***

Iain Matthews first gained public attention in 1967 as a founding member and vocalist for the innovative music group Fairport Convention. In 1970 he created his own band Matthews Southern Comfort and had a worldwide hit with Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock’.  During the 1980s Matthews turned his attention to the business of music as an A&R person for both Island and Windham Hill Records, but was encouraged by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin to rekindle his creative flame. In 2000, Matthews moved to the Netherlands where he currently lives and works.

Ian Clayton is an author, broadcaster and storyteller from Featherstone, West Yorkshire. His stories are about making sense of where we come from. His books include Bringing It All Back Home, a bestselling book about music; Song For My Father about his lifelong search for a father figure; Our Billie about loss; and most recently It’s The Beer Talking about a life in public houses and ale.

***

Thro’ My Eyes: A Memoir by Iain Matthews with Ian Clayton will be unveiled at Cropredy Festival in August this year, with advance editions made available from www.route-online.com thereafter, including a Deluxe edition which comes complete with a double CD of Iain’s songs. The book will have a trade release in Autumn 2018.

Stay in touch with Route for further updates.
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Keep up to date with Iain Matthews work at www.iainmatthews.nl
Ian Clayton website: www.ianclaytoninfo.wordpress.com

 

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What We Did Instead of Holidays

Fairport Convention And Its Extended Folk-Rock Family
A History by Clinton Heylin

Route is delighted to announce the publication of a stunning new biography from one of the leading rock historians in the world. Click here to pre-order a signed first edition hardback.

In June 1968, a group of Muswell Hillbillies made their official album debut as Fairport Convention. In the next fifteen years, three of those founding Fairportees – Richard Thompson, Ashley ‘Tyger’ Hutchings and Simon Nicol – along with the next generation of Fairport recruits – Iain Matthews, Sandy Denny, and the three Daves: Swarbrick, Pegg and Mattacks – would form a veritable dynasty of English folk-rock, each pursuing their own path, but always returning to work with each other, to collectively produce albums with a near-eternal appeal.

Which is why every year since 1979 in a field somewhere near Banbury, 20,000-plus fans have congregated to celebrate this music’s enduring appeal at the Cropredy Festival.

So, fifty years on, now seems like the right time to tell the full story: to collect all the family lore that surrounds Fairport and its surrogates, and to disentangle the many highs and lows from those first fifteen years of Fotheringport Confusion.

Drawing on interviews with all the musicians and key figures in English folk-rock – including producers extraordinaire Joe Boyd and Sandy Roberton – Clinton Heylin has produced the definitive history of a folk-rock family in its golden era.

Candid, clear and cogent, presented with insight and chronologically, Clinton Heylin ties the loose threads of Fairport and its offshoots together in their own words. Diving deep beneath the surface of the music into the lives of the principals, he answers many un-asked questions.
Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention co-founder & longest serving member

We were young and ambitious. Learning the game without a manual or safety net. No one was exempt. Clinton Heylin has absolutely nailed the way it was. I recognize myself in this story and realized some interesting things about my former band mates. An enthralling read for any Fairport fan.
Iain Matthews, lead vocalist of Fairport Convention 1967-69

First edition hardback contains three colour photo-sections with previously unpublished photos.

ORDER: Be among the first to read this book. Click here to pre-order an exclusive author signed first edition hardback.

Clinton Heylin is one of the leading rock historians in the world, with over two dozen books to his name. These include biographies of Bob Dylan (Behind The Shades), Van Morrison (Can You Feel The Silence?), Bruce Springsteen (E Street Shuffle) and Sandy Denny (No More Sad Refrains), as well as his acclaimed pre-punk history, From The Velvets To The Voidoids, and the one and only history of rock bootlegs, Bootleg. His highly acclaimed titles It’s One For The Money and Anarchy In The Year Zero were nominated for the Penderyn Book Award. His most recent titles, JUDAS! and Trouble In Mind, are in-depth accounts of the two electrifying periods in Bob Dylan’s career when he was roundly booed. He lives in Somerset.

 

New Title | Trouble In Mind

Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan’s Gospel Years – What Really Happened
by Clinton Heylin

‘When I get involved in something, I get totally involved. I don’t just play around on the fringes.’ – Bob Dylan

In 1979 there was… trouble in mind, and trouble in store for the ever-iconoclastic Dylan. But unlike in 1965-66, the artifactal afterglow – three albums in three years, Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot of Love – barely reflected the explosion of faith and inspiration. One has to look elsewhere, and in Trouble In Mind, Clinton Heylin has; connecting the dots on the man’s gospel years by drawing on a wealth of new information, newly-found recordings and new interviews. His primary goal? To make the case for a wholesale re-evaluation of the music Bob Dylan produced in these inspiring times.

‘The only Dylanologist worth reading.’ – New York Times

Trouble In Mind is the perfect accompaniment to the forthcoming gospel years bootleg series. Get yourself ready. The book is published 30 October 2017. Pre-orders will be shipped in advance of publication date. Be among the first to read it. Click here to pre-order an advance signed copy.

| See page for JUDAS! by Clinton Heylin |

 

New Title – Leave The Capital

New book by Paul Hanley refashions the history of Manchester music

Route is delighted to announce the acquisition of the debut book by legendary drummer Paul Hanley. His book, Leave The Capital, refashions the history of Manchester music and looks beyond the big bang theory of everything starting at the infamous Sex Pistols gigs at the Free Trade Hall. If that was the single catalyst, then why didn’t every other city the Sex Pistols play make such a significant response? Hanley argues that it was the existence of two top class recording studios in Manchester that made the difference: Strawberry and Pluto. To be able to record in their home town gave musicians the wherewithal to express themselves free from the shackles of the London-centric, music industry taste-police.

Hanley’s story gives credit where it’s due to the overlooked pioneers of Manchester music, and how Manchester made a much bigger contribution to the sixties’ ‘British Invasion’ than is generally acknowledged; Manchester bands were often lumped in with their contemporaries from Merseyside. Hanley illustrates that without the endeavours of Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders or Herman’s Hermits, there would never have been an Unknown Pleasures.

Route editor Ian Daley said of the acquisition, ‘There are many reasons why we love this book. It is a refreshing expansion of the Manchester music story, told with authority by someone who played his part in shaping its history. Paul’s passion for music and his home city pour off of every page, but this isn’t just a story of Manchester. It’s also an important account of how free cultural expression was wrestled from the stranglehold of the entertainment corporations in our capital city and how that inspired the development of new independent cultural industries in the North, a continuum that Route is very much a part of.’

***

When British bands took the world by storm in the mid-sixties, the world turned and looked at London. Despite the fact that the most successful of these bands hailed from the North West corner of England, for the USA, London was the source of these thrilling new sounds. And in many ways it was – The Beatles, The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits recorded all their hits with London-based producers, for London-based companies in London studios. And that’s how it remained, until four Mancunian musicians became alive to the possibility of recording away from the capital.

Against the prevailing wisdom, they opted to plough their hard-earned cash back into the city they loved in the form of proper recording facilities. Eric Stewart of The Mindbenders and songwriter extraordinaire Graham Gouldman created Strawberry Studios; Keith Hopwood and Derek Leckenby of Herman’s Hermits crafted Pluto. Between them they gave Manchester a voice, and facilitated a musical revolution that would be defined by its rejection of the capital.

This book tells the story of Manchester music through the prism of the two studios’ key recordings. Of course that story inevitably takes in The Smiths, Joy Division, The Fall and The Stone Roses. But it’s equally the story of ‘Bus Stop’ and ‘East West’ and ‘I’m Not in Love’. It’s the story of the Manchester attitude of L.S. Lowry, by way of Brian and Michael, and how that attitude rubbed off on The Clash and Neil Sedaka. Above all, it’s the story of music that couldn’t have been made anywhere else but Manchester.

***

Paul Hanley was the drummer in Manchester legends The Fall from 1980-85 and now plays with Brix & The Extricated.  He’s currently completing his English degree with the Open University and occasionally writes for Louder Than War. He’s married with three children and once got 21 on Ken Bruce’s ‘Popmaster’.

 

 Leave The Capital published in November 2017.

Leave The Capital website

You Can Drum But You Can’t Hide

youcandrumbutyoucanthide3dpair

New Title: You Can Drum But You Can’t Hide by Simon Wolstencroft

Of all the iconic musicians and scenes that emanate from Manchester, Simon Wolstencroft is the one who joins up the dots. He learnt his chops playing with Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke, but turned down The Smiths because he didn’t like the cut of Morrissey’s jib. He parted ways with his schoolmates Ian Brown and John Squire before The Patrol became The Stone Roses. He spent eleven glorious years in The Fall and when that journey inevitably hit the buffers he hooked up with his old mate Ian Brown and went on to collaborate with a string of his musical city’s luminaries.

You Can Drum But You Can’t Hide hands you an access all areas pass to the back alleys and living rooms of the musical mavericks synonymous with the city of Manchester. As rival camps retreat to their own grudges, Wolstencroft is the humble bee who crosses borders and pollinates. With humour and candour, ‘Funky’ Si’s memoir recounts a life of drumming, parties, drugs, friendship and a love of making music.

‘Wolstencroft’s book gives us a whole new perspective about Manchester’s music scene. A cracking read.’ — Louder Than War

‘Essential.’ — Vive le Rock!

‘This punchy and addictive memoir proves as endearing and self-effacing as Wolstencroft himself.’ — The Quietus

‘An ideal read for all fans of Manchester’s groups, artists and music-history.’ — Your Own

Click here to order a signed copy

Other order options:
Kindle Edition | Amazon | Book Depository

For more see the book website: youcandrum.wordpress.com

King of Clubs

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King of Clubs
by Maureen Prest

King of Clubs is a personal memoir of visionary showman James Lord Corrigan. Written by Corrigan’s confidant Maureen Prest, this is the only insider’s account of what really went on at his world famous Batley Variety Club, both in front of house and behind closed doors.

By bringing stars like Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Morecambe and Wise, Eartha Kitt and Gracie Fields to a humble mill town in Yorkshire, not only did Corrigan change the face of show business, he gave thousands of hard-working people something to smile about, a reason to put on the glad rags and be entertained. He was a showman extraordinaire and sprinkled stardust for all to share.

From his origins on a travelling funfair, his audacious climb through the world of show business, his turbulent marriage to his glamorous wife Betty, and his dramatic retreat, this is a story of rags to riches and back to rags. With a twist.

‘What was special about Batley was James Corrigan. He made the whole thing happen. He was special.’
Shirley Bassey

‘Corrigan did more for night life in Great Britain than anyone. I would put him with the great showmen.’
Danny La Rue

‘Batley Variety Club was a pinnacle in our career, even though we played the London Palladium.’
Cannon & Ball

‘Batley is a living aspirin.’
Louis Armstrong

Maureen Prest was the promotions and public relations manager for Batley Variety Club 1967-1974. She was a close friend and confidant of James Corrigan, the founder of the club. Maureen has worked as a theatrical agent, artist promoter and record producer. After leaving show business in 1974, she launched a successful fashion business with multiple outlets. Her book King of Clubs tells the amazing personal life story of James Corrigan.

King of Clubs will be released on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Batley Variety Club, 26th March 2017. Be amongst the first to read it. Click here to pre-order a signed first edition. Orders will be despatched upon publication.

Launch event
Friday 24th March, 11am
Batley Town Hall

JUDAS

JUDAS!
From Forest Hills to The Free Trade Hall
A Historical View of The Big Boo
By Clinton Heylin

>>CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW<<<

News of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize received a mixed reception in the literary community. But Bob Dylan has always had his detractors, even at his blistering best. Which is exactly what this book covers, charting Dylan’s self-conscious descent into Rimbaud’s ‘unknowable region’; from the day after the Newport Folk Festival in July 1965, where he stunned the folk world by turning up with an electric guitar, to the final punch-drunk performance at the Royal Albert Hall in May 1966, his level of creative output was unmatched at the time and since. All the while he was facing a hostile press and even more hostile crowds. In Manchester, some wag even shouted ‘JUDAS!’

Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar?
Bob Dylan

In 1966 There Was… the sell-out tour to end all tours. Bob Dylan and The Hawks found themselves at the epicentre of a storm of controversy. Their response? To unleash a cavalcade of ferocity from Melbourne to Manchester, from Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall. For the first time, the full story can now be told from eye-witnesses galore; from timely reports, both mile wide and spot on; and from the participants themselves. And what better tour guide than Clinton Heylin, the esteemed Dylan biographer and one of the world’s leading rock historians. The price of admission? Thirty pieces of silver. The password? Play f***ing loud.

The definitive written account of Dylan’s historic and pivotal 1965-66 world tours.
Bobdylan.com

British writer-historian Heylin is perhaps the world’s authority on all things Dylan.
Rolling Stone

>>>CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW<<<

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