David Bowie: The Golden Years, by Roger Griffin


This *treasure* has just arrived at Storm HQ, and I’m so delighted to see it has come out looking every single bit as good as we could have hoped for. This has to have been one of our favourite projects ever to be involved with: Roger Griffin’s David Bowie: The Golden Years, published in Tokyo in Japanese by our colleagues at Shinko.

It’s now just over a year since the great man left us, and in this house we have not stopped talking about him and his singular contribution to the history and culture of music. There will never be anyone like David Bowie, and we are naming our forthcoming cultural review after a lyric on his groundbreaking futuristic trash glam album Diamond Dogs.

David Bowie: The Golden Years has been in preparation for several years, incidentally, and in fact I had it on my catalogue for six book fairs before it finally got finished! The author, the editor and the design team (and now the Japanese translators and designers too) have really put an awful lot of work in, and how it shows. The “golden years” of Bowie’s career are 1970-1980 in Roger Griffin’s esteem, and I tend to agree. Like many others of my generation, Bowie’s songs during that period gave me a much-craved feeling of safety as a child (“Oh no love! You’re not alone”) and it’s notable how very many of us have said that since he died. And of course the manifold costumes and looks of those years have inspired way too many to count (hello, wonderful Tilda!) and will no doubt continue to, forever…

Very well done then to author Roger Griffin for getting this together. I wish Shinko much success with this superb edition. It’s been a pleasure helping birth it into existence.

Wishing all a happy and peaceful weekend.

Tune of the day: An absolute favourite from the era covered in this gorgeous book, although it will always remind me of being in a world of adventure as a young student in Paris in 1985/6

Japan: A Foreign Place, by Anthony Reynolds

japfinA Foreign Place is a comprehensive biography of the influential band Japan by musician and author, Anthony Reynolds.

Chronicling the rise and fall of one of the 1980s most respected and beloved bands, Anthony’s intimate book lifts the veil on the creative processes and personal histories of a fascinating group of introspective musicians whose activities have frequently been shrouded in secrecy.

Previously responsible for well-received books on The Walker Brothers and Leonard Cohen, here Anthony engagingly details the strange twists and turns that saw a group of friends from working class South London develop from unpromising provincial Glam Funk origins to eventually become the authors of the innovative and exotic sonic assault of the globally successful Tin Drum.

Written with the full approval and co-operation of Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen and Rob Dean, the book contains many unseen period photographs, as well as first-hand accounts of the band and its music from friends, music industry associates and musical collaborators.

Here’s an interview with Anthony at Davidsylvian.net

The first publishing venture for Burning Shed, the UK edition of A Foreign Place is presented as a limited edition deluxe hardback edition designed by Carl Glover.

Here’s a review from Goldmine:

Of all the bands swept up in the so-called New Romantic movement of the early 1980s, Japan were always among the most inappropriate. Five years earlier and they’d have been riding the darker side of the glam movement, allied with Bowie, the Doctors of Madness, Be Bop Deluxe and Roxy Music; and even in their own time, they had more in common with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Eno and Robert Fripp than they ever did with the chart-topping concoctions of the funny haircut brigade.

But a few hits and a glamorous image were hard to argue with, even when you delved deep into their albums and became lost inside the convolutedly art-infused experimentalism that was their natural state of being. Nevertheless, Reynolds handles the contradictions well as the story tracks Japan from the alternative obscurities of their earliest guise (those first Ariola albums remain deathless classics) through the years of high conceit and ambition, onto the band’s somewhat sorrowful demise.

Punctuated throughout by band members and associates, and written with an enthusiasm that never flags, A Foreign Place is not simply a vivid document of a vibrant band. It is also a window into one of the most formative quarters of all that modern prog aspires to.

And another from Classic Pop:

Classic Pop_Japan review

Looking Through You: The Beatles Book Monthly Photo Archive

The latest beautiful foreign edition of the Beatles Monthly photo archive book, Looking Through You, is now at the printers. This one is the slipcased French edition, to be published on October 20th by Hugo et Cie in Paris…


The Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus- December 11, 1968: As seen through the lens of Michael Randolph


I’m delighted to announce that foreign rights are now available for this extraordinary forthcoming title…

The legendary portrait photographer, Michael Randolph had known The Rolling Stones since the early 1960s and on 11 December 1968, following an invitation by the group’s founding member, Brian Jones, he was able to visit the set of their latest venture, a big-top-themed concert which went by the name of The Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus. The black & white images he took that day, over 200 in total, would become totally iconic.

Known for his excellent images of leading ladies such as Sophia Loren, Vanessa Redgrave, Dame Edith Evans and for his superb, behind-the-scenes photographs taken during the making of James Bond’s You Only Live Twice, Michael Caine’s Deadfall, and Simon Ward’s Young Winston, Randolph was the only recognised photographer at the event which, unbeknown to everyone at the time, would become the last time that some of the decade’s most famous and celebrated musical stars would gather to play together under one UK roof.

Legendary performers of the day, including Beatle, John Lennon, Cream guitarist, Eric Clapton, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, Jethro Tull (featuring Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi on guitar) as well as The Rolling Stones themselves were all captured by Randolph in pin-sharp quality. He managed to eavesdrop on them relaxing, rehearsing, and philosophising and witnessed first-hand, and up-close the performances, highlights of which included the “super group”, Dirty Mac, which comprised of Lennon, Clapton, Jimi Hendrix Experience’s drummer, Mitch Mitchell and The Stones’ Keith Richards. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus was also the last time that Brian Jones was seen strumming his guitar in public. The years had not treated him well and he could hardly play anymore… and it showed. The images Randolph captured that day, in jaw-dropping quality, show him weary and lethargic.

In the Fall of 2014 music historian, archivist and author, Keith Badman approached Randolph with an idea to dust-down his most prized snaps and allow digital restoration for a definitive publication of the event. Alongside Michael’s spellbinding collection of black and white images, there is also a selection of colour photographs depicting the event.

This inspired and insightful book is co-written by Keith Badman and designer, artist and author Paul Skellett. This beautiful publication will feature many tales about the show; how 5-year-old, Julian Lennon, on the set that day with his dad and Yoko, was introduced to ‘Pot’; the anger and frustration by the performers when the innovative French movie cameras employed on the set kept packing up, how the fledgling Led Zeppelin was passed over as the opening act in favour of Jethro Tull and how the film shot that day went missing and was not found until 1989, 21 years after the event, languishing in band mate, Ian Stewart’s barn propped against some bales of hay, on the verge of being thrown out.

Pictures and text combined, this will serve as the ultimate deluxe publication of The Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus, the very last major UK pop/ rock get-together of the 1960s, when some of the world’s best musicians of the day came together to play for one last time. Published in various limited editions in the UK by Archivum, the book is produced by Paul Skellett, co-author and designer of the highly-applauded sell out releases, Eight Arms To Hold You, All You Need Is Love and Tom Murray’s Mad Day Out. “Our mission is to create beautiful and affordable collectible books that only fans can own,” said Paul Skellett co-owner of Archivum Publications. “These releases are strictly limited edition. Fans won’t see these in the stores. It gives them a really beautifully made and presented adventure through the rehearsals and performance of The Rolling Stones’ truly legendary day.”

The Rolling Stone Years, by Baron Wolman


One of the greatest titles in our photographic series is Baron Wolman’s The Rolling Stone Years, a collection of his iconic and influential photographs taken during his days as Rolling Stone’s chief photographer.

Here is the cover of the Italian edition from Editore White Star.