I finished Martin Newell's This Little Ziggy last night and I must say it is one of the best autobiographies I've ever read. Full of unabashed love of the music he grew up with - the pop of the 60's with great new songs in the charts every week, the harder rock of the early 70's with Stray, The Pink Fairies, etc. - as well as a lovely account of what it's like to be young and in your first real band, The Plod. Also refreshingly free from any bitterness about not having "made it" despite having worked very hard and tried your best. That the important thing was having fun and playing music. His remarks on the music industry all ring true but he doesn't let them get in the way of recounting a great story of growing up, it's trials and tribulations, the downright unfairness of it all sometimes, but also the excitement and, quite often bawdy, fun to be had and knowing that if you stick to what you believe in, you just might enjoy yourself and do something of worth. I really loved this book and recommend it to anyone. As well as the man's music. I've been listening to the early Cleaners From Venus records a lot again (the first three will be reissued by Captured Tracks in March) and I'm still very impressed not only by his prolific output, but the quality of the songs as well, some POP classics here. Two that have been stuck in my head, from the third Cleaners tape, Midnight Cleaners:
Corridor Of Dreams:
Wivenhoe Bells II:
And Martin reading an excerpt from This Little Ziggy:
Buy the book from the Wivenhoe Book Shop who published it and support local and independent book shops!