Bestselling author Tony Fletcher's account of a life in love with music, taking the reader back to the glory days of the 70s.
'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.
Boy About Town tells the story of the bestselling author’s formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one: 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.
Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.
“Wearing the right clothes, liking the right bands – this book summons up what it meant to be a teenager in the 70s.”
“Charming coming of age tale … An innocent’s story, engagingly told.”
“Brought back happy memories when bands and their fans were as one.”
Damian O'Neill, The Undertones
“[A] compelling and evocative memoir …full of great memories of bands, gigs, clothes, girls and parties. It celebrates the vitality of youth and the spirt of the times.”
“[A] gripping account of the post-punk period ... one of the most essential accounts of this tumultuous yet highly productive period of British music ... Tony Fletcher is an extraordinary character … This book will certainly bring back scores of vivid memories for those of us around Tony Fletcher’s age, and is required reading for anyone who wishes to know more about the late 1970’s music scene. More than that though, is the amazing human story and vivid characterisation that will have you hooked throughout as this period once again truly comes to life.”
“[An] excellent memoir of adolescent angst and musical obsession … it is surprisingly candid, wryly funny, occasionally harrowing, yet always honest in its descriptions … brilliantly written.”
All Mod Icon
“Even if you weren’t there when all this happened, the fast paced narrative will make you feel as if you were … An excellent read and I really would urge anyone with even a passing interest in punk, The Jam, The Who or what it was like being a music mad teenager in London in the late seventies to check it out.”
“Autobiography is rarely this can-do and candid.”
“A five star book from the ace face biographer …This honest, pre-pubescent tale of Fletcher’s formative years is frank, candid and, at times, more brutally gory and sexually explicit than a ‘This is England’ sequel. But as his innocent, bullied, under-developed, paternally undernourished, maternally pampered, determined, stubborn squeaky voiced, rubbish-at-sex music-obsessed skinny body is laid out in a top fifty countdown for all to poke at… he suddenly matures, and emerges as a keen, spirited, clever and resourceful fifth year ready to start a record label … right after he loses his virginity.”
Julie Hamill Blog
“A must for anyone with an interest in the 1970s and 80s music scene … Featuring a vibrant cast of supporting characters … Boy About Town in an evocative and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.”
“Funny, fascinating, and at times quite moving”
“Fletcher paints a vivid picture of the time – both through the eyes of a boy dealing with growing up and into the underground music scene of bands, fanzines, small record labels, and a staunchly independent spirit …It’s a great read and one which potentially invites the difficult second album syndrome.”
“Praise for A Light That Never Goes Out: [A] meticulous biography…This exhaustive, well-researched account brings fresh detail and thought to the party.”
The Sunday Times
“Praise for A Light That Never Goes Out: The story of the Smiths told on the basis of interviews with just about every surviving participant in the Smiths' story. As the story winds on, a chain of no-shows, fits of pique and self-sabotage ... reaches its denouement with an episode from April 1987, just prior to the band's formal break-up. Fletcher is the first writer to have got the full story. Such material highlights the extent to which Fletcher has done his research.”
“Praise for A Light That Never Goes Out: An exhaustive labour of love that was three years in the writing but which will be lapped up by fans of the band...written with a real sense of love and affection for the group who, though they were only together for a mere five years, tilted the world on its axis to a degree not seen since the heyday of the Beatles and the Stones…Fletcher is excellent when it comes to widening the view to include the cultural and historical factors behind the band's emergence and the city from which they came.”