A Very British Revolution
Release 21st September 2023 ( Personal book signing at chelsea Library Thursday 9th November 2023 18:30 - 19:30 GMT )
Revolutionary Swinging London Era The Swinging Sixties in London was a vibrant and transformative cultural era that left an indelible mark on film, music, fashion, and art. This revolutionary period, spanning roughly from the mid-1960s to early 1970s, was characterized by an explosion of creativity, social change, and youth-driven rebellion. In film, iconic works like "A Hard Day's Night" captured the spirit of the era with the rise of the Beatles and their influence on pop culture. The films of directors like Richard Lester showcased the energetic and irreverent attitudes of the youth. Music played a pivotal role as well, with the British Invasion bands like the Rolling Stones and The Who becoming global sensations. Fashion became a powerful vehicle for self-expression, as designers like Mary Quant introduced bold, mod-inspired clothing that defied tradition. The miniskirt became a symbol of female empowerment, while men embraced tailored suits with flamboyant twists. This spirit of innovation extended to art too, with the emergence of pop art led by figures like David Hockney and Peter Blake, who celebrated consumer culture and mass media through their work. 'A Very British Revolution', explores in essence the Swinging Sixties in London was a kaleidoscopic burst of color, sound, and rebellion. It ushered in a new era of youth culture that continues to inspire and influence artistic expression to this day.
Searchers - Crazy Dreams! Every Song From Every Session, 1963 - 2023!
Release: July 2023
" An amazing Searchers recording log!” - Mike Pender MBE
Liverpool has always been a hotbed of musical talent, but it will always be remembered the most for that musical explosion of the ‘60s, when, for one brief moment, the city was the cultural centre of the universe, with artists that include The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer, Cilla Black, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Merseybeats, The Fourmost, and of course The Searchers. Famous for their pioneering brand of jangly, harmonised Pop, they proved to be one of the most influential groups of all, with The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, The Ramones and The Pretenders amongst those who took inspiration from the band. Yet, they’re also one of the most eclectic, with a musical legacy that encompasses Folk, Country, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, Rockabilly, Soul, Garage, Psychedelia, Bubblegum, Proto-Glam, Reggae, Country-Rock, Orchestrated Ballads, Power Pop, New Wave, and even Power Ballads and Synth-Pop. Profiling demos, singles, album tracks, live recordings, outtakes, radio broadcasts, solo projects and more, and with a foreword by Mike Pender MBE, 'The Searchers - Crazy Dreams!: Every Song from Every Session, 1963-2023' is the ultimate guide to their extraordinary 60 year career.
Lee Lewis - Breathless! Every Song From Every Session
Release: 18th March 2023
In the summer of 1952, a 16 year-old Jerry Lee Lewis traveled from Ferriday, Louisiana, to New Orleans, and cut a Demo record.
In April 2022, a frail 86 year-old Jerry Lee Lewis, suffering from the debilitating effects of a stroke 3 years earlier, taped a Gospel album with his cousin Jimmy Lee Swaggart in Baton Rouge. It was his final recording.
When he passed away a few months later, almost inevitably, the obituaries focused on his often controversial personal life. Peter Checksfield met Jerry Lee Lewis several times, and befriended family members and musicians associated with him. He draws on these experiences, as well as nearly half a century of collecting and concerts, to create the definitive guide to The Music.
Encompassing Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country, Blues, Pop Standards, Gospel and just about everything in between, this book will leave you BREATHLESS!!!
500 Rolling Stones Cover Versions That You Must Hear!
Release: 8th November 2022
Mick and Keith learned fast. They released their first original song ‘Stoned’ as the UK B-side of their version of Lennon-McCartney’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ in November 1963; within 18 months they had written and recorded ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, and had become The Beatles’ biggest musical rivals.
In the 60 years since they started, there have been thousands of Rolling Stones cover versions. Music historian Peter Checksfield listened to most of them (so you don’t have to), and came up with the best 500, in a staggering variety of genres: Rock, Blues, Soul, Garage, Psych, Prog, Beat, Reggae, Ska, Pop, Funk, Disco, Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Glam, Metal, Punk, New Wave, Indie, Gothic, Grunge, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Bossa Nova, World, Gospel, Electronica, Boogie Woogie, Jazz, even Cabaret, Polka and Classical.
Also included are a mammoth 130 exclusive interviews with many of the musicians involved.
Of The Pops: The Punk and New Romantic Years 1976 - 1986
Release: 27th June 2022
The follow-up to the acclaimed ‘Top Of The Pops: The Lost Years Rediscovered 1964-1975’, this 650 page A4 sized book recaptures the years from the dawn of Punk to the tale-end of the New Romantics, via Disco, New Wave, Reggae, Heavy Metal, Synth-Pop, Gothic Rock and so much more! Included are:• Complete episode listings to all 567 episodes from 1976 to 1986. • Nearly 2000 black & white screen-shots of TOTP performances. • 1200 mini-bios on every act seen, heard or danced to. • Details of all lost and cancelled episodes. • Exclusive memories, anecdotes, memorabilia and photos from artists who performed on the show. So, whether you were there at the time, or have discovered the show retrospectively, this is the ultimate guide to TOTP's last golden era!
Of The Pops: The Lost Years Rediscovered 1964 - 1975
Release: September 2021 - Running from 1st January 1964 to 30th July 2006, BBC TV’s ‘Top Of The Pops’ was the UK’s longest-running and most influential music TV show. Yet, unbelievably, the BBC didn’t start semi-regularly keeping tapes of the show until the spring of 1976. Fortunately - thanks largely to sneaky TV technicians, overseas TV stations and early home-video pioneers - the picture isn’t quite as bleak as it first appears.
This book affectionately recaptures those musically and historically important years, and includes:
• Complete episode guides to all 619 episodes from 1964 to 1975. • The 1969 ‘Pop Go The Sixties’ and 1970 ‘Into 71’ one-off TV specials.
• 100’s of black & white screen-shots of surviving footage. • Nearly 900 mini-bios on every act seen, heard or danced to during those years.
• Memories and anecdotes from over 50 artists who performed on the show, as told exclusively to the author.
All this and more make this the definitive book on 'Top of The Pops’ golden “lost” years!
Release: May 2021 - NO other ‘60s TV show could boast such a cool list of acts, not the UK’s ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’, ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ and ‘Top Of The Pops’, and certainly not American rival shows ‘Hullabaloo’, ‘Shivaree’ or ‘Hollywood A Go-Go’. In this book, Peter Checksfield looks at every artist and their songs in every episode, from its tentative Pilot shows, through to its ground-breaking peak, to the show’s dramatic and swift demise. With over 500 screen-shots, mini-bios, US and UK chart positions, anecdotes, trivia and more, this really is the first and last word on America's greatest music TV Show! Apart from the fact that the show featured up to an hour of non-stop music and (mostly) live performances, just a few of the 300+ artists who appeared on the show from September 1964 to January 1966 were… Rock 'n' Roll: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, The Coasters. British Invasion: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Manfred Man, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, The Yardbirds, The Zombies, The Pretty Things. US Artists: The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Turtles, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Kingsmen, The Sir Douglas Quintet, The Righteous Brothers, Sonny & Cher. Soul: James Brown, Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke, The Temptations. Girl Groups: The Shangri-Las, The Ronettes, The Blossoms, The Ikettes, The Angels, The Dixie Cups, The Supremes, The Chiffons. Solo Artists: Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, P.J. Proby, Gene Pitney, Donovan, Lesley Gore, Sandie Shaw, Jackie DeShannon, Marianne Faithfull, Cilla Black!
Follow Peter Checksfield on Amazon
A Rave Up!
Release: March 2021
Possibly his best yet! Peter is building a definitive list of Sixties music memorabilia and reference which you really must explore if you love the Sixties!. Featuring in-depth reviews, full track listings, and cover photos, this extraordinary book includes more than 500 UK and US albums released by British Beat Groups and singers during the early to mid-sixties.
Amongst the 120+ acts are early pioneers Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, Billy Fury and The Tornados; Mersey legends The Beatles, The Searchers, Gerry and The Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer; Manchester’s The Hollies, Freddie and The Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders, and Herman’s Hermits; London groups The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds and The Dave Clark Five; Beat Girls Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Lulu and The Liverbirds; and many, many more.
With added details of exclusive European releases, band line-ups and composer credits, this really is The Definitive Guide to British Beat Albums in The Sixties!
Follow Peter Checksfield on Amazon
Wyngarde: A Life Amongst Strangers
Release: February 2020
“Tina Wyngarde-Hopkins’ has written a most remarkable biography of Peter Wyngarde; he really couldn’t have had a more devoted biographer, whose book is full of fascinating stories and anecdotes from his life and career. She has delved, researched, discovered, analysed, and championed a great actor, who was once recognised as one of the most exciting stage performers on the planet. Well done! This is an essential book for anyone who values this extraordinary man and his work. It’s a large book that needs patience to get through, but his was a long, intense and brilliant life.” Steven Berkoff – Actor, Writer, Director
“I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone, not just for the author’s strenuous work in setting the record straight but also for her sincere, unvarnished depiction of a man who could be awkward, difficult, and provocatively iconoclastic, as well as one possessing unique personal and creative talents.” Tony Williams – Film International.
Youth! The ultimate visual guide to 50s & 60s rock & pop at the
Release: June 2020
There have been many publications on Rock and Pop Movies, but these are inevitably more about the movies than the actual music. This book eschews in-depth analysis and reviews, and instead concentrates solely on the artists featured and the songs performed. Featuring a staggering 700 black & white screenshots, and detailing appearances by over 400 British and American artists in more than 300 movies, this really is The Ultimate Visual Guide to 50s & 60s Rock & Pop at The Movies!
Peter Checksfield’s books have been reviewed positively by ‘Record Collector’, ‘Mojo’, ‘Shindig!’, ‘The Beat’, ‘Ugly Things’, ‘Folkrocks’, ‘Wired Up!’, ‘Making Time’, ‘The Joe Meek Society’, ‘The Strange Brew’, ‘The Daily Beatle’ and more.
Go to peterchecksfield.com for more info!
Follow Peter Checksfield on Amazon
Stomp! : American music that made the British beat, 1954 - 1967
Release: March 2020 - Another great and heavily researched book by Peter Checksfield to go with the titles already in his 'stable' for those of you who love pop history, facts and trivia.
Question: What do ‘Halfway To Paradise’ by Billy Fury, ‘Sweets For My Sweet’ by The Searchers, ‘Do You Love Me’ by Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake’ by The Swinging Blues Jeans, ‘Silhouettes’ by Herman’s Hermits and ‘Sorrow’ by The Merseys ALL have in common? Answer: As well as all being timeless classics of course, they were all covers of songs originally recorded by American artists, in these cases, respectively, Tony Orlando, The Drifters, The Contours, Chan Romero, The Rays and The McCoys.
Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk, Blues, Pop, Soul, Girl Groups, Musicals... these are just some of the American music genres that inspired The Brits, who ultimately would come up with many new musical genres of their own. Covering the dozen or so years from the dawn of Rock ‘n’ Roll & Skiffle in 1954 to the decline of the Beat Groups in 1967, and featuring over 2000 songs and 1500 different artists, this book really is the ultimate guide to the music that changed the world. Click the link for Amazon page: Kindle and Paperback options plus the other Peter Checksfield publications.
Follow Peter Checksfield on Amazon
Cutting Edge: The Story of the Beatles' Hairdresser Who Defined an Era
He was the hairdresser of The Beatles and many more 60s celebrities including The Bee Gees, The Who, James Taylor, Peter Cook, Terence Stamp, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills and Nash. Leslie's fascinating first hand account (which he has waited fifty years to tell) includes anecdotes from the drug-fuelled insanity at Apple Corp, Leslie's experiences on the Magical Mystery Tour's psychedelic bus, how one of Leslie's haircuts changed rock and roll history, leading directly to the creation of the groundbreaking Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, behind the scenes portraits of John, Paul, George and Ringo, at home, in the recording studio and in town, and why Leslie never kept a single lock of the Beatles' valuable hair (one of John Lennon's locks was recently auctioned for £25,000 pounds!)
The publication of this book coincides with the start of the most important fifty-year anniversary of the Beatles and of the 60s counterculture. Containing unpublished photographs, the book will be printed in August 2017 for release in September 2017 (Alma Books 9781846884313 £14.99 Hardback).
Big Beat Scene
Over fifty years ago, at the dawn of the Swinging Sixties, Royston Ellis was a spokesman for Britain'steenage generation. Aged 16, he hung around coffee bars and jazz clubs in Soho, chronicling in poetry the life he saw around him. Gradually, he also became closely associated with the emerging music scene. In 1959, he teamed up with Cliff Richard's group, the Drifters, and appeared with them on television and stage shows performing his unique brand of 'rocketry' (rock'n'roll poetry). In 1960, he was backed by the Beetles (as they then were) in Liverpool, and by Jimmy Page at London’s Mermaid Theatre. Before leaving the UK in 1961 to explore the world, Ellis penned the first-ever books on Cliff (Driftin’ with Cliff Richard) and the Shadows (The Shadows by Themselves), as well as The Big Beat Scene, the first contemporary account of the teenage music scene in Britain. Written before the emergence of the Beatles and without the benefit of hindsight, this fascinating document provides a unique, first-hand insight into the popularity and relevance of jazz, skiffle and rock'n'roll at a time when Cliff Richard & The Shadows were at the cutting edge of pop, and the social attitudes of the time. Out of print for almost half a century, this forgotten classic of rock literature is now available once again, with additional explanatory notes and a new Foreword and Afterword by the author.
Trends: London Look of the 60's
Miss Leigh Rudd
with drawings by Brittany Morganti
The London Look of the 1960’s is a value-packed 85 pages of colouring and escape into a stress-free zone, with over 150 original drawings of London's outrageously trendy scene during the ‘Swinging Sixties’.
Creator Leigh Rudd says, “We did not hold back here! We were going for high impact fun at a great price! We want our colouring fashionistas to be entertained and distracted.” There are detailed drawings of the famous epicentre of fashion in the 60’s which was King’s Road in Chelsea, London. This fashionista colouring book is a first! It is a guide to Fashion Forecasting 101 -- whether it is for a career or for yourself. Since Leigh Rudd is the original fashion forecaster in 1968, this is the perfect vehicle for guiding a fashion devotee into this world. It provides imaginative images of all the inspiration and work tools - not to be missed. Rudd gives homage to cutting edge Chelsea in London and designers like Mary Quant and Ossie Clark. The main character is Jordan Parker (a feisty alter-ego of herself in 2016) who hosts the colouring book as a young fashion forecaster. Click the image for the AMAZON link.
Night At The Black
William H.Howells 2016
'The Cavern, Liverpool; the Kaiserkeller, Hamburg; the Black Lion, Cardigan - yes, we played them all.' 'The Black Lion was a huge joint with a coach house for live music. I became the agent for sending bands there. That was good fun....' (Allan Williams, The Beatles' first manager).
'I used to call Cardigan "Little Liverpool"....' (Bill Harry, founder and editor of Mersey Beat). 'Black Lion? Oh, yes I used to go there every Saturday night then, but I don't remember much now. None of the groups. To tell you the truth I was too drunk most of the time - as you were at that age.'
'My father warned me never to go near The Black. If he knew half the antics that went on he would have killed me.'
Read how the borough councillors failed in their attempt to stem the tide of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll in Cardigan. Discover why The Beatles turned down an offer to play in the eisteddfod tent at Parc Dolwerdd. Embark on a 'magical mystery tour' of Saturday Night at The Black Lion, Cardigan, during the swinging sixties.
Over 100 illustrations, many of which you will not have seen before.
Monro: The Singer’s Singer : The Life and Music of Matt Monro
A singer once said “his pitch was right on the nose: his word enunciation letter perfect: his understanding of a song thorough. He will be missed very much, not only by myself, but by his fans all over the world”. The singer was the legendary Frank Sinatra, The man he spoke about: the irreplaceable Matt Monro.
Click on image for more information and other publications at Titan Books
of Sealand: Holding the Fort
The book uncovers the truth behind Michael's kidnap by armed terrorists, his family setting up their own island nation, government sieges, top secret government documents and multiple attempts to bring an end to the Sealand dream. The book includes previously unseen photos from his family's personal collection. "The story of Sealand is stranger than fiction, better than Hollywood and more surreal than Dali" - Ben Fogle
Cavern After Hours is a website, and a book, that focuses very much on 60s bands that never made it big, but still made a great contribution to the mid to late 60's Merseyside Merseybeat scene. The book not only covers growing up in Liverpool during the 50's and early 60's but also includes early recollections of the mythical place only a bus ride away know as the Cavern together with the overall Merseybeat sound which at that time 1962 was only just starting to grow.
Visit this fascinating site!
Stations In the Mid-60's - Making Waves
David was born and raised in the UK and after a somewhat uninteresting series of jobs, was bitten by the broadcasting bug in late 1965 and 'served' aboard Radio Essex, Radio 390 and Radio 270. After the closure of the pirate radio scene he emigrated to Canada and worked in both commercial radio and television. Although now retired, he still does the occasional voice-over.
Legend of Time Tunnel
Marcelo Abeal Urquiza
The Legend of Time Tunnel is a new book about The Time Tunnel by Argentinian actor/model/stuntman/author, Marcelo Abeal Urquiza. You can find out more about the book and its author by clicking on the image and visiting his website.
You can also enjoy a gallery of pictures from Marcelo at:
Legend of Time Tunnel Gallery
the Beatles Were Famous
Told with frank wit and realism, Before The Beatles Were Famous is equal parts autobiography and cultural history, spanning the era beginning with Al Graham's childhood in post-WWII Liverpool through the late nineteen sixties in what was then called "Swingin' London". As a chronicle of the times it presents the unvarnished reality of Dickensesque poverty; as a coming-of-age story it is equally candid and unclouded by nostalgia. Excerpts from the book
Bill Harry Interview with Alan Graham
King of Carnaby Street
John Stephen drove a purple and gold Cadillac and suffered bouts of manic depression that meant he had no need for the drug scene of the day, where speed in the form of 'purple hearts' fuelled all-night raves. As Jeremy Reed reveals in this fascinating new biography of a relatively neglected figure, Stephen ultimately became an icon of the swinging sixties and the Mods.
press release (word.doc)
In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the "ideals" of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world Veronika Carnaby blogspot
An insider's Sixties on an international scale! During the Sixties the author wrote for, and occasionally edited, major underground newspapers in London, New York, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Almost all of 'The Untold Sixties' was written during the mid-Seventies, when these events were still fresh in the author's mind, bringing the reader remarkably close to reliving the Sixties in all their intensity.
Bill Harry and Robert Orbach
The 1960s were a defining period in the 20th century. A new generation took over the world and brought it their long hair, vibrant music and exciting, modern fashion. Moral standards and role models were questioned and often rejected, All aspects of this remarkable decade are covered Politics, Conflict, Sport, Music, People, Style as well as all the key players of the time Lennon, McCartney, Kennedy, Warhol, Armstrong, Dylan, Quant, King, Elvis, Mao.
- More of The Sixties
One of many Alton Douglas (quizmaster and co-writer of the BBC Midlands TV series 'Know Your Place') books (33 at the last count) documenting Midlands life during various periods of history and jam-packed with photographs, documents and adverts from the time.
This one features more than 350 iconic photos of Birmingham, and Midlands life, in the Sixties.
Psychedelia isn't just a kind of music, or a passing fad, it's a whole THING. There's a lot to it!
This is an American website and online 'Print your own 'zine' that allows you to view the zine in .pdf format and hopefully, print it if you'd like to.
It's completely free, and you can also access all the back copies as well!
Three men on two scooters (a vintage Lambretta and Vespa) heading down the country to Brighton...
Three women and a heavily pregnant belly in hot pursuit - all squashed into a classic, Union Jack roofed mini...
... and an off duty Police Officer bringing up the rear... and with musically themed chapters it even has its own soundtrack!
Summer, 1962. Twenty-year-old Vivien Epstein, a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, arrives in London following the death of her father. Alone in the world, she is looking for a man she had a brief but intense love affair with some months before. Determined to make a new life for herself, Vivien convinces Barb, the owner of Oscar's hair salon in Soho, to give her a job. There, she is swept into the world of the sixties - the music and the fashions, the coffee bars and clubs.
Isla Vista Crucible
Three college roommates try to live and enjoy their student lives while caught up in the frenzy of casual drug use, recreational sex, lacrosse, rock and roll music, political activism, riots, and race relations during the tumultuous 1969-70 school year in the unique student community of Isla Vista.
" I was amazed at the dazzling accuracy, and intricate twists of originality, with which he portrays many stock, but absolutely true-to-life, characters "
All Original Material Copyright SixtiesCity
Other individual owner copyrights may apply to Photographic Images