Sunday, November 24, 2013

Boom Baby

I'm currently reading a book called Boom Baby, by Brian Nevill, a guy who I don't know but who I believe is a member of the Woodies like me. It's the life story of a baby boomer, born in 1948, who grew up in New Addington, near Croydon, and whose life has revolved around music. It almost makes the book I'm planning to write (and have made a start on) redundant.
Like Brian, I was a baby boomer who grew up near Croydon - West Wickham in my case - and
although I'm a year or two older than him, our experiences, especially where music is concerned, have quite a bit in common. We frequented many of the same music pubs and clubs in the sixties in and around Croydon and in the West End, had similar tastes in music and experienced the same frustration in trying to find decent music to listen to in our earlier years. In my case, I had parents with no interest in pop music at all and went to a school (Dulwich College) where any deviation from the accepted norm in terms of clothes or hair length was not tolerated. Music, especially rock and roll and, later, soul and blues, was an escape from conformity and an outlet for my imagination.
Even more of a coincidence is the fact that my name appears in Brian's book. When I was a trainee reporter on the Croydon Advertiser in the mid sixties I was allocated the sprawling New Addington housing estate as my 'patch' for a year or so, covering any news stories that I could find in the area. In the photo section of Brian's book is a feature from the Advertiser of June 1966 about a musician friend of his who called himself Dave Antony at the time which was written by me. I know that because my by-line appears underneath the article. I have no memory of the occasion myself - but then they say that if you remember the sixties you weren't really there!
The book is a fascinating personal memoir of a South London lad obsessed with music and worth reading. I must get on with my rival manuscript!


At 4:39 pm , Anonymous Brian Nevill said...

Wow. Sorry it's taken me so long to see this, Nick. Thanks for a great review. I'll find you via other social media too. Yes ... odd that previous careers will come back to bite you, you know where! Ha ha. Thanks again. And best of luck with your book ... which I want to read!


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