Monday, July 30, 2012

#577: Taking some time off....

In the middle of a 10-day vacation from Work.
Bn looking 4 some cheap new music 2 get in2 the house & get me outta my rut, & have found a few good things -- Yes's RELAYER, Pink Floyd's 1st 2 albums & the live 1/2 of UMMAGUMMA (cheap!), Gentle Giant's GIANT FOR A DAY (haven't heard it since '78, 1nce thot it was the worst album ever....), Focus's MOVING WAVES, Icicle Works' 1st, ARETHA'S GOLD, Beatles' ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC, Cat Stevens' TEASER AND THE FIRECAT, Dexy's Midnight Runners' TOO-RYE-AY....

Also found a coupla books: Hartwell & Cramer's YEAR'S BEST SF 16, & Rolling Stone's updated ALBUM GUIDE -- it's always great 2 learn that the music I love the most is really crap....

How bout them Olympics opening ceremonies, eh? Sir Paul may not have bn in perfect voice all the time, but you sure could tell when he was having a great time. & probly the best-ever use 4 "Hey Jude"....

Coming Soon: Reviews of most or all of the above; I Know What I Like; Caffeine Poisoning; Air Force experiences; Newspaper experiences; lotsa nostalgia; + the early-'80s ROCK YEARBOOK series (a real snark-a-thon). Also am compiling info 4 a "100 Best Strange Music Albums I've actually listened-2 all the way thru...." That should B amusing whenever I get it finished. Have come up with 68 albums 4 the list so far....

Driving-around playlist: Here's what I've bn listening 2 while traveling around over the past wk....
Camel -- Breathless, Echoes, Sasquatch, West Berlin, Mother Road.
Nick Drake -- Cello Song, Things Behind the Sun, From the Morning, Hazey Jane 1, Hazey Jane 2, Northern Sky, Pink Moon, One of These Things First.
Gryphon -- Pastime with Good Company, Kemp's Jig, The Astrologer, Unquiet Grave, Juniper Suite, Estampie, Lament, Midnight Mushrumps, The Ploughboy's Dream, Ethelion, (Ein Klein) Heldenleben, Don't Say Go, Ormolu.
Al Stewart -- Roads to Moscow, Carol, Apple Cider Reconstitution, Flying Sorcery, On the Border, Lord Grenville, Year of the Cat.
Caravan -- Memory Lain/Hugh/Headloss, A Hunting We Shall Go...., For Richard (live).
Todd Rundgren -- Real Man, A Dream Goes on Forever, Just One Victory, Couldn't I Just Tell You?, The Very Last Time, Bang the Drum All Day.
Beach Boys -- Wouldn't it be Nice, Sloop John B, God Only Knows, Trombone Dixie.
Billie Myers -- Kiss the Rain.
Weather Report -- Badia/Boogie Woogie Waltz (live).
Kansas -- What's On My Mind, Miracles Out of Nowhere, Questions of My Childhood....

Thanx 2 all of you who R still reading here, even tho I've bn a little quiet this summer. I've got enuf back pages 2 keep you busy 4 awhile. Thanx 4 checkin in anyway.
More soon....

Monday, July 16, 2012

#576: Not Syrupy

On the strength of Max Barry's corporate-future-comedy novel JENNIFER GOVERNMENT (reviewed below under "Jennifer the hit man...."), I backtracked & read Barry's 1st novel, SYRUP (1999) -- which is even faster-paced & funnier & even more cynical about the way Corporate America works.
It's especially cynical about Marketing -- about how it works & about how we are all its creatures.
But mostly the book is harmless & played 4 big laffs. There R lotsa great 1-liners & sudden scene-changes that R intended entirely 4 their comedic effect. It's almost like a series of blackout comedy sketches. There R fewer characters 2 keep track of, but lotsa wild twists & turns. & Love finally does Conquer All on the next-2-last page. There R even little lessons about Marketing scattered thruout the book -- these R mostly pretty hysterical.
Weightiness-wise, this book is about as "heavy" as the slight tingling in the nose that you might get when you pop open a can of soda -- pleasant, amusing & brief. An Xcellent Summertime read.
Briefly: Barry's hero, Scat, wants 2 B rich & famous. He markets a brand-new soda with an arresting name -- Fukk. Scat doesn't actually CREATE the soda, he just develops the concept: Fukk comes in a bold black can. Who CARES what it tastes like? The CONCEPT is the thing. & other than learning that Fukk has 2wice the carbonation of any other soda, we NEVER learn how it tastes.
Scat then creates a hysterical ad campaign 4 Coke. But both his great ideas R stolen from him at the last minute by an insidious backstabbing "friend" who pockets all the credit. & all the $$$.
This friend ends up as a corporate bigwig at Coke -- & Scat & his love-intrest "6" end up working on a $140-million Hollywood film/commercial, the biggest ad of all time ... which is overseen by Scat's backstabbing friend. From the description, this film sounds a little like STAR WARS with all the aliens drinking conspicuously-placed cans of Coke.
Naturally, the filming does not go completely smoothly. & also naturally, there is a long sequence of head-twisting sudden changes, lotsa corporate warfare & in-fighting, & a series of lightning-fast breakups&makeups Btween Scat & 6, & Scat's previous love-intrest, Cindy (soon 2 B re-named "Babe-a-licious" 4 her appearance in the giant STAR WARS/soda movie). Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow & Winona Ryder all have walk-on appearances.
All of this is crammed in2 300 pgs of 1-line chapters, blackout sketches, hilarious entanglements & suprises. It all works out OK, & it's a FAST read. I got thru the book in my spare time during a coupla days off.
At the end, I thot it was intresting how Scat never really CREATES ANYthing new -- he just comes up with ideas that R Xecuted by others. Barry has worked in Marketing & taught college courses in it. He obviously knows his stuff -- & knows what a joke it all is.
& we're surrounded by it.

Latest work playlist:
Pam Tillis -- When You Walk in the Room, I Was Blown Away, Melancholy Child, Homeward Looking Angel.
Pink Floyd -- High Hopes, Keep Talking, One of These Days.
Hawkwind -- Urban Guerilla, Sonic Attack, Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke).
Florence + the Machine -- Shake it Out, What the Water Gave Me.
Wigwam -- Tramdriver, Wardance, Never Turn You In, Losing Hold, Just My Situation, Cheap Evening Return, Sane Again, International Disaster, & most of their HIGHLIGHTS best-of.
Fairport Convention -- Tale in Hard Time, Come All Ye, Meet on the Ledge.
Nektar -- Fidgety Queen.
Gong -- Wingful of Eyes, Bambooji, Chandra, Shamal.
The Who -- I'm the Face, Disguises, So Sad About Us, Our Love Was, Armenia City in the Sky, I Can See for Miles, Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand, Tattoo, Sunrise, Little Billy, Dogs, Dreaming from the Waist (live).
King Crimson -- Happy With What You Have to be Happy With.
Pete Townshend -- A Little is Enough, Rough Boys, Now and Then, Give Blood, Jools and Jim, My Baby Gives it Away, Misunderstood, Empty Glass, Slit Skirts.
Joni Mitchell -- Raised on Robbery.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

#575: I had a dream....

I went to Virgin Records' Manor Recording Studio in England -- or somewhere like it. I interviewed the Manor's resident recording engineer Tom Newman, the guy who got the sounds & twiddled the knobs on Mike Oldfield's TUBULAR BELLS and Hatfield and the North's 1st album.
Tom was happy to talk about the Olde Days, but after we were done hashing that out, he was much more excited to talk about what he'd been up to LATELY.
From a shelf behind him he pulled out an album. What I saw was a bright-yellow Roger Dean-style album cover with a painting of a gnarled old tree whose branches entwined to spell-out a band name: HYMNIST.
The cover opened up to reveal an inner fold showing a map of a magical fantasy land where the songs on the album supposedly took place. Tucked into the corners of the gatefold were mugshot photos of the 3 band members, all wearing studious musicians' expressions. There was lots of long hair & glasses.
I don't remember actually hearing any of the music. But I must have heard it, because I remember saying to Tom that his band reminded me of '70s British folk-rock/progressive acts like Gryphon & Amazing Blondel ... which Tom claimed (to my disbelief) never to have heard. Odd, because those bands were semi-popular at the same time Newman's career was getting started, & the Blondels were from just down the road in Lincoln.
Not sure who the other members of the band were -- it possibly included Virgin Records staffer Christopher Strangeways (great name, huh?). Pretty sure it was a trio, tho. & between the 3 of them, they played as many instruments as the Moody Blues, according to the album credits.
I assume this album was released by Virgin, tho it could just as easily have been issued by Vertigo or Deram or Island or Transatlantic, or any of the other forward-looking, "progressive" record labels of the time.
Not sure what year this dream was supposed to have taken place, but it couldn't have been much later than 1977 -- because such a folk/prog fantasy-world album would've been laughed out of the record stores by the arrival of Punk Rock.
Doesn't matter really -- the album doesn't exist, never did -- I looked it up thru my favorite sources at home + Wikipedia & the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock, just 2 make sure it wasn't something I saw once & then promptly forgot about for the next 35 years....
I've heard Xactly 1 song by Tom Newman as a solo artist -- the modest & brief "Sad Sing," which led-off Newman's 1975 album for Virgin, FINE OLD TOM, & was included on the famous late-'70s 99-cent GREATER ANTILLES SAMPLER album from Island Records -- also the 1st place I ever heard Nick Drake (with the gorgeous "Northern Sky"). "Sad Sing" itself is highlighted by Newman's rather weedy but charming singing voice, & by Mike Oldfield playing some nice "twiddly-bits" guitar. Don't know if this 2-minute track is a good Xample of the rest of Newman's work.... Copies of FINE OLD TOM can B found at for $15-$25 if you feel brave.... Newman also apparently released a later album called FAERIE SYMPHONY which maybe I should check out....
Tom Newman is 69 years old, & tho he's done a few albums himself (& was in a pre-Jade Warrior-members' band called July), he's probly a little old to be hitting the stage again.
What I want to know is: Has this ever happened to anybody else? Dreamed about albums that don't exist? And in such detail?
I've read about people who supposedly dreamed about new Stevie Nicks songs before she ever released them ... & many years ago I saw the front cover of my 1st book in a dream -- odd, because I still haven't written my 1st book. (Course it might also have been a copy of Michael Moorcock's CORNELIUS CHRONICLES too, but....)
And these days I hardly ever remember what I dream. It was very unusual that this 1 should be so vivid.
I think this is just my subconscious's way of telling me 2 get some more weird music in2 the house because I'm bored with almost everything. But....
Anybody else ever dreamed about books or music that don't exist but seem so real that they should have...?

COMING SOON: Reviews of Max Barry's SYRUP, the ROCK YEARBOOK series, Wigwam's HIGHLIGHTS best-of, & other off-the-wall music I've been playing at work lately....

Monday, July 9, 2012

#574: Bear with me....

Re-reading Rafi Zabor's jazz novel THE BEAR COMES HOME (1998) 4 something like the 3rd time. Got all the way thru it a coupla yrs back after 1 earlier attempt -- am now re-reading The Good Parts. You should try 2 read The Good Parts, 2 -- they R very good.
Briefly, THE BEAR is about a bear who plays jazz saxophone, & his struggles & travels, as he tries 2 figure out How & Where a saxophone-playing bear fits in2 Reality. Or If he fits. & there's Love 2 complicate matters, of course.
Some of this is Great Stuff -- vivid & involving & funny. The Bear is Good on the sax. He records an album. He & a busload of laid-back jazzers tour the country in support of the album. The story of that tour & especially the scenes of The Bear playing in various jazz clubs R real & funny, vivid & suprising.
Because all is not EZ 4 The Bear. Tho most people seemta take a saxophone-playing bear in stride, some freak out. Some folks call the cops. The Bear spends some time in jail, & in a psychiatric hospital. He ponders the riddles of life & faces down despair.
& then there's his love life, which is NEthing BUT EZ.
Actually, the dramas that make up his love life -- as necessary & "normal" as they R -- tend 2 drag the book down. The Bear's girlfriend is not always the EZest person 2 live with. & she has 2 daughters that havta B rescued from her abusive X-husband. All this stuff takes 2 long. The book Bcomes 2 long -- it goes on 4 almost 500 pgs. It coulda bn cut by 100 & nothing major woulda bn lost.
But I would urge you -- especially if you're a jazz fan -- 2 read THE BEAR 4 the Good Parts. All the scenes of The Bear playing with his band R magical -- especially 1 long scene that Dscribes The Bear's 1st club performance, near the end of the book's 1st section. His album-recording Xperiences R marvelous. The band's long, winding conversations aboard their tour bus R hysterical. There R lotsa great 1-liners. The REVIEWS of The Bear's album R marvelous. & there R comments about lotsa great jazz musicians -- & sevral jazzers have walk-on parts in the book. The Good Stuff is a lotta fun.
The 1st section of THE BEAR was serialized in the pages of the old MUSICIAN magazine in the late '70s -- during the period when I thot it was the best music mag I'd ever read. Zabor useta write record reviews 4 MUSICIAN, & is also a jazz drummer. He has a coupla other books out -- I, WABENZI is a vivid travelogue of a trip 2 the Middle East, but it's only the 1st 1/2 of the story Zabor was trying 2 tell. Not sure if the other 1/2 ever got published....
THE BEAR won Zabor the PEN/Faulkner Award, & parts of it R an absolute joy 2 read. You can get a copy now 4 about 6 cents at (This is not an ad.) I'm on my 3rd copy....
Am also 130 pgs in2 Max Barry's SYRUP (1999), his 1st novel, on the strength of his JENNIFER GOVERNMENT (reviewed below). In this 1, a young man tries 2 make his fortune at Coca-Cola, marketing a new soda called Fukk. Not CREATING it (who CARES what it TASTES like?), just marketing it. But things Don't Go Well....
This 1 is even more fast-paced & cynical, & the chapters R even SHORTER (if that's possible) -- some R only 1 sentence long. Good fun, so far....

Still bored with mosta my musical intake, but have bn playing stuff at work nevertheless as Summer really gets rolling here in the Pacific NW -- highs the last few days have bn in the low-2-mid-80s, & there's bn nothing but sunshine ... & heat-lightning at nite.
Am saving up $$$ 4 a new-music-acquisition tour of local Goodwills & 2nd-hand shops at the end of this month (proceeds from which I will eventually report-on here of course), but til then here's a list of the latest recommended fave raves from Work....
Joni Mitchell -- Raised on Robbery.
Bob Seger -- Feel Like a Number, Rock and Roll Never Forgets.
Five Man Electrical Band -- Absolutely Right.
Queen -- It's Late.
Boz Scaggs -- You've Got Some Imagination, Dinah Flo.
Billy Squier -- My Kinda Lover.
Cars -- Dangerous Type.
Nick Drake -- Introduction, Hazey Jane II, At the Chime of a City Clock, One of These Things First, Hazey Jane I, Northern Sky, Sunday.
Keith Jarrett -- Country.
Pat Metheny -- First Circle, New Chatauqua, Ozark, Praise, The Search.
Lyle Mays -- Ascent.
Steve Tibbetts -- Ur.
Mary Chapin Carpenter -- This Shirt, Downtown Train, You Win Again, Middle Ground, Passionate Kisses, The Hard Way.
Journey -- Spaceman, Something to Hide.
Police -- Omegaman, Secret Journey, Darkness, On Any Other Day, Does Everyone Stare?
Dream Academy -- Bound to Be, The Edge of Forever, In Places on the Run, This World.
Bangles -- Everything I Wanted, Where Were You When I Needed You?, I'll Set You Free, Be With You, Hero Takes a Fall, Going Down to Liverpool, Dover Beach.
Wigwam -- Bless Your Lucky Stars, Simple Human Kindness, Do or Die.
Golden Earring -- Snot Love in Spain.
The Pop -- Go!
Mark Knopfler -- Going Home (Theme from LOCAL HERO).
Happy the Man -- Service With a Smile, Wind-Up Doll Day Wind, Open Book.
Group 87 -- Future of the City, Moving Sidewalks, One Night Away from Day.
Scarlet Rivera -- Day of the Unicorn.
Camel -- Unevensong, Sasquatch, West Berlin, Mother Road, Never Let Go.
Caravan -- Memory Lain/Hugh/Headloss, Be All Right, A Hunting We Shall Go....
Split Enz -- Hard Act to Follow.
Stories -- Darling, Love is in Motion, Circles, Words, Please Please, What Comes After.
Rollers -- Hello and Welcome Home, I Was Eleven, Stoned Houses #2, Washington's Birthday.
Beatles -- Misery, I Don't Want to Spoil the Party, Everybody's Trying to be My Baby, Rock and Roll Music.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band -- House at Pooh Corner.
Bobby Russell -- Saturday Morning Confusion.
John Fogerty -- Almost Saturday Night, Rockin' All Over the World.
Edward Bear -- Close Your Eyes.
Fanny -- Ain't That Peculiar?, Charity Ball.
Uriah Heep -- Easy Livin'.
Bram Tchaikovsky -- Let's Dance.
Dramatics -- What'cha See is What'cha Get.
Trashmen -- Surfin' Bird.
Fendermen -- Mule Skinner Blues.
Freddy Cannon -- Pallisades Park.
Elvis -- Promised Land.
Chuck Berry -- You Never Can Tell.
Beach Boys -- There's No Other (Like My Baby).
The Records -- All Messed Up and Ready to Go, Teenarama, Girls That Don't Exist, Starry Eyes, Up All Night.
New England -- Hello Hello Hello, Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya, Alone Tonight.
REO -- Don't Let Him Go.
Kinks -- Victoria, Village Green Preservation Society, Dead-End Street, Shangri-La, Apeman, Sunny Afternoon.

More soon....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#573: Jennifer the hit-man

A book review by Tad Blogger

In the future, you can bet that making a living is going 2 B even harder than it is right now.
Much harder.
That's the whole premise behind Max Barry's JENNIFER GOVERNMENT (2003), a fast-paced, complex, laff-out-loud funny novel that depicts a future where global corporate competitiveness has reached its illogical final step.
In this vivid, frantic, surfacey future, people give up their real last names & adopt the names of the corporations they work 4. In this future, the global corporations R HUGE & government is small.
When 2 sociopathic middle-managers 4 a certain global shoe manufacturer concoct a murder scheme 2 further inflate the price of their newest astronomically-priced (& therefore totally cool) tennisshoes, special agent Jennifer Government vows 2 track down the Bad Guys -- but she has 2 go 2 the murder victims' families 1st 2 obtain enuf funding 2 support an investigation.
This is just the 1st stage in a complicated story that scores laffs off of cutting-edge marketing & promotion techniques, people who give up their lives 4 their careers, tunnel-visioned Big Bizness types, worldwide selling strategies, & more.
Oh, & corporate espionage & warfare. Let's not 4get that.
As outrageous as some of the things that happen in this book R, most of the Good Guys R Real People -- you will care about these characters & B cheering 4 them. Only the 2 major Bad Guys veer NEwhere near being stereotypes -- they R just as Bad as they need 2 B. The book climaxes with some hilariously ugly scenes in A Mall. Naturally. & there's a happy ending 4 almost every1....
If you crossed George Orwell's 1984 with a can of Rockstar or Monster energy drink, you might end up with something like this book. As I read it, I thot it was very much a novel 4 the Internet generation -- fast-paced, constantly moving, lotsa characters 2 keep track of, lotsa scene-changes, short chapters, global viewpoint, seeming much shorter than its 300+ pgs....
If you could read the novel in the headlong rush it seems 2 have bn written in, it might work even better -- but I couldn't get thru it that fast. By the end I was having trouble keeping track of who had interacted with who, who answered 2 whom, who had done who wrong, etc. Luckily, Barry kept it all Just Clear Enuf. Might make a really good, fast-paced screwball-comedy movie. Or a video game.
Barry notes that he thot about calling the novel CAPITALIZM, & there R some very clear lessons about how brutal capitalism can B included herein. Luckily, they R mostly played 4 laffs. But the sometimes painful reality is pretty clear 2, just under the surface.
Can't quite buy the back-cover claim that JENNIFER GOVERNMENT is "the best novel in the world ever," but it is a lot of outrageous fun, a wild ride. Barry has written a few other novels -- he makes it look like NEbody could write novels, & I mean that in the best possible way. On the strength of this 1, I already hava copy of his novel SYRUP in the house. Because I 2 am a good capitalist consumer. We'll C how SYRUP works out....

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Monday, July 2, 2012

#572: Just an avg guy....


I don't really give a hoot about Richard Branson, 1 of the richest guys in the world. Couldn't care less about his airline, or his adventures crossing the oceans in a balloon, or his travels in2 space.
But I grabbed THE INSIDE STORY 2 learn more about the early days of Virgin Records -- the early-'70s days when oddballs like Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, Gong, Hatfield and the North, Henry Cow & David Bedford were all in the house. & there's about 4 chapters of details about those early days included here. But I want 2 know more.
1 thing this authorized biography shows is that Branson -- despite his posh background & private-school upbringing -- was very much an average guy, not the financial genius whiz-kid he was sometimes described as. He was VERY lucky with $$$, but not because he was some kind of monetary wizard -- in fact, his early Xpansion of the Virgin record-store chain in England wasn't some 1st step in a carefully-planned program of eventual world domination. The Xpansion was done in a panic, as an attempt 2 outrun his mounting debts. Diversification thru panic. & it worked. But it took awhile....
Branson is depicted by Brown (who keeps this book lite & funny & involving & clever) as rather awkward & clumsy with people, not at peak form in a social setting, but an absolute whiz at deal-making over the telephone. & Branson hired people with talent & then let them run the show while he mostly stayed in the background working on the next deal.
Branson's distant cousin Simon Draper actually handled the music/artists end of Virgin Records & signed-up all those oddballs -- & Branson trusted Draper's musical taste. Branson also hired people like ace recording engineer Tom Newman, PR guy Al Clark, assistant John Varnom & others, then let them run things the best way they knew how.
Branson wanted Virgin Records 2 B more like a family, & it was -- with some people working 4 lower-than-avg $$$ just 2 B part of the atmosphere. & when some of them complained & wanted more $$$, this often confused Branson -- he thot working 4 "fun" & 2 B part of the atmosphere was enuf.
Branson was a likeable, informal, scruffy hippie-businessman, not always in touch with how reality worked 4 his staffers -- at 1 point in the book it's clear he has no idea how much a lunch, a loaf of bread or a taxi ride costs. & he hardly ever carried cash, himself. Speaking of informality -- Branson's 1st wife ran off with oddball singer/songwriter Kevin Ayers, but they all stayed friends, & Branson later bought Ayers' houseboat & lived on it 4 sevral years.
There R just enuf stories about the early days 2 make this book worth reading if you're in2 the musical acts or the time period, & Brown keeps the pace moving. There's lotsa detail about Mike Oldfield, who helped Branson make his 1st million $$$ thru recording & releasing TUBULAR BELLS, Virgin's 1st album, recorded at Virgin's out-in-the-country Manor Studios, another of Branson's brainstorm idea/purchases.
Virgin's family approach worked OK in2 the mid-'70s, but by then the label was losing $$$ -- none of their other acts paid-off & Oldfield's follow-up albums didn't sell phenomenally. Most of the label's early weirdies were dropped late in '76 when their contracts came up 4 renewal -- & when the Sex Pistols came along in '77, Branson looked at them as a clear way 2 renew the label's approach & reputation.
By the time Boy George came along in the early '80s, Virgin had changed in2 basically Just Another Record Label, & Branson was off having other adventures.
Tho they take up about 1/3rd of the book, I wish there were more stories about Virgin's early days. Tho Gong is included in a set of photos, the only time they're mentioned in the text is when the hippie commune/group is escorted out of Virgin's Vernon Yard headquarters. Hatfield and the North Rn't mentioned at all, tho they released both their albums on Virgin. Henry Cow is mentioned only briefly. Tangerine Dream is mentioned only when Brown tracks the British success of their 1st Virgin album, PHAEDRA. The only time Dave Bedford is mentioned is when he "mistakenly" mixes-up letters sent 2 Branson & Oldfield after being dropped from Virgin -- the letter 2 Branson thanking Virgin 4 the opportunity & saying what a gentleman Branson was, & the letter 2 Oldfield (which Branson received) saying what an idiot the Virgin head was & how glad Bedford was 2 B rid of him....
I still think there's a whole book that could B written about Virgin's 1st 5 years or so -- hard 2 believe all those oddballs (& others: Robert Wyatt, Kevin Coyne, Captain Beefheart, Poly Styrene & X-Ray Spex, etc.) could B hanging around the same company & not have more wild stuff happen. Perhaps Draper, Clark, Newman & Varnom could team-up 2 write that book -- maybe they already have & I just can't find it. But that book is definitely NOT the 1 Branson, Draper, Terry Southern & Ken Barry teamed-up 2 write a couple decades back, VIRGIN: A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF VIRGIN RECORDS, which is a coffee-table photo book that closes with Branson signing the Rolling Stones 2 Virgin after he'd bn persuing them 4 years. Lotsa nice photos in that book, but not enuf history.
Overall: Worth it if you're in2 the musical acts or the time period. & Brown keeps it entertaining.