Dave Thompson’s Books

Photo0003English author Dave Thompson has spent his entire working life writing biographies of other people, but is notoriously reluctant to write one for himself.  Unlike the subjects of some of his best known books, he was neither raised by ferrets nor stolen from gypsies.  He has never appeared on reality TV (although he did reach the semi finals of a UK pop quiz when he was sixteen), plays no musical instruments and he can’t dance, either.

However, he has written well over one hundred books in a career that is almost as old as U2’s… whom he saw in a club when they first moved to London, and memorably described as “okay, but they’ll never get any place.”  Similar pronouncements published on the future prospects of Simply Red, Pearl Jam and Wang Chung (oh, and Curiosity Killed The Cat as well) probably explain why he has never been anointed a Pop Culture Nostradamus.  Although the fact that he was around to pronounce gloomily on them in the first place might determine why he was recently described as “a veteran music journalist.”

Thompson was born in Bideford, Devon; raised in Hoo St Werburgh, Kent; and schooled in Bournemouth, Dorset.  He gravitated to London in time to catch the last days of glam rock (and once had the trousers to prove it), and he remains convinced that “American Pie” was written by Fanny Farmer and is best played with Meatloaf.  He lists his five favorite artists as old and obscure; his favorite album is whispered quietly and he would like to see Richard and Linda Thompson’s “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” installed as the go-to song for the sad, sappy ending for every medical drama on TV.

Sylvain Sylvain, Jim McCarty, Kurt Cobain, Phil Collins, Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, David Bowie, John Travolta, Eric Clapton, Jackson Browne, Bob Marley, Roger Waters and the guy who sang that song in the jelly commercial are numbered among the myriad artists about whom Thompson has written books.  He is editor of Goldmine magazine’s best selling range of American record price guides, and has been a regular contributor to Alternative Press, Mojo, Record Collector, Melody Maker and ZigZag, among many other publications.

His non-musical output includes titles on The Rocky Horror Show, Robin Hood, Jack the Ripper, Doctor WhoThe Twilight ZoneSouth Park and a number of numismatic and philatelic titles… which surprises anyone who knows him only for pop groups.  In addition, a reprint of his novel To Major Tom debuted Foruli Books’ fiction line. And he once wrote a book called I Hate New Music.  Because he often does.

2018: The Ultimate Guide to Vinyl and More: All You Need to Know About Collecting Essential Music, from Cylinders and CDs to LPs and Tapes (Backbeat Books)

2018: There’s No Bones In Ice Cream: Sylvain Sylvain’s Story of the New York Dolls (with Sylvain Sylvain) (Omnibus Press)

2018Infinite Quest – A Checklist of Doctor Who Audio & Video Releases (Lulu)

2018 – Motorhead 1975 (with Roger Morton, photos) (Cleopatra Books)

2018 – I Brought Down the MC5 by Michael Davis (editor) (Cleopatra Books)

2018Nobody Told Me: My Life with the Yardbirds, Renaissance and Other Stories (with Jim McCarty, introduction by Jimmy Page) (Lulu)

2018Goldmine 45pm Record Price Guide Eighth Edition (F&W Publications)

2018The Incomplete Angler – Ten Years of Fruits de Mer (Lulu)

2017 – Jack the Ripper FAQ (Applause)

2017Goldmine’s Essential Guide to Record Collecting (F&W Media)

2017The Avant-Garde Woodstock – the International Carnival of Experimental Sound, 1972 (Createspace)
 –         The Avant-Garde Woodstock – the International Carnival of Experimental Sound, 1972 (second ed) (Lulu, 2017)

2017Robin Hood FAQ (Applause)

2017Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Ninth Edition (F&W Media)

2016An Accidental Musician: The Autobiography Of Judy Dyble (with Judy Dyble) (Soundcheck)

2016Eldritch Abbeys and Wyrd Ruins (photos) (Createspace)

2016What Do I Do Now?: Listening to Britpop – Twenty Years Back (Createspace, 2016)
 –          What Do I Do Now?: Listening to Britpop – Twenty Years Back (revised ed) (Lulu, 2017)

2016The Rocky Horror FAQ (Applause Books)

2016The Freakiest Show – the Armchair Guide to David Bowie Cover Versions, 1964-2016 (Createspace)
 –          The Freakiest Show (Revised and Updated Edition) 1964-2017 (Createspace, 2017)
–          The Freakiest Show (Revised and Updated Edition) 1964-2017 (Lulu, 2017)

2016Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1990 Ninth Edition (F&W Media)

2016Goldmine Jazz Album Price Guide Third Edition (F&W Media)

2016Britcoms FAQ (Applause Books)

2015A Seance at Syd’s: An Anthology of Modern Acid-Folk-Haunt-Psych-Prog-Space-Radiophonic-Rock Etcetera Quotes (hardback) (MegaDodo)
  –         A Seance at Syd’s: An Anthology of Modern Acid-Folk-Haunt-Psych-Prog-Space-Radiophonic-Rock Etcetera Quotes (paperback) (Createspace, 2015)
 –          A Seance at Syd’s: An Anthology of Modern Acid-Folk-Haunt-Psych-Prog-Space-Radiophonic-Rock Etcetera Quotes (revised ed, 2017) (Lulu)

2015Time & Some Words – the Anthology of Prog Rock Quotations 1969-1976 (Createspace)
 –          Time & Some Words – the Anthology of Prog Rock Quotations 1969-1976 (revised ed.) (Lulu, 2017)

2015The Twilight Zone FAQ (Applause Books)

2015The Spirit Of Hawkwind 1969-1976 (with Nik Turner) (Cleopatra Books)

2015Haunted America FAQ (Applause Books)

2015Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Eighth Edition (F&W Media)

2015Football FAQ (Applause UK)
2015Soccer FAQ (Applause USA)

2015Death Toll (fiction: by Gareth Tudor-Rose) (Createspace)

2014If You Dig Cliff Richard… Here’s 100+ Albums You’ve Gotta Hear (Createspace)

2014South Park FAQ (Applause)

2014Sherlock Holmes FAQ (Applause Books)
–          Sherlock Holmes FAQ (Barnes & Noble)
–          (trans) Russian

2014Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin (Backbeat Books)

2014Peter Frampton – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2013Doctor Who FAQ (Applause Books)
–           Doctor Who FAQ (Barnes & Noble)

2013The Mothers of Invention – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 200 Motels and more) (e-book)

2013The Clash – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2013Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall (Backbeat Books)
–        (trans) Polish

2013Robyn Hitchcock – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 1976-1996) (e-book)

2013Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2013Mike Oldfield – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: Tubular Bells to Voyager) (e-book)

2013The Ladies of Storyville (Createspace)

2013June 1st 1974: Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Nico, Eno, Mike Oldfield and Robert Wyatt: The Greatest Supergroup of the Seventies (Createspace)
 –         The Greatest Supergroup of the Seventies (revised ed) (Lulu, 2017)

2013John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: the London Years) (e-book)

2013Joe Meek – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2013If You Like True Blood (Limelight)

2013If You Like Bob Marley (Limelight)

2013Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Seventh Edition (F&W Media)

2013George Harrison – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2013Fire and Wine – An Armchair Guide to Steve Ashley (Createspace)
  –         Fire and Wine – An Armchair Guide to Steve Ashley (updated ed) (Createspace, 2016)

2013Essentially Elvis – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2013Eric Clapton – Give Me Strength: the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 1973-1977) (e-book)

2013Emerson, Lake & Palmer – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2012Welcome to My Nightmare: The Alice Cooper Story (Omnibus)
2013 – audiobook (Audible Studios)
–           (trans) Portuguese (Brazil)
–           (trans) Swedish

2012Standard Catalog of American Records Eighth Edition (F&W Media)

2012Music On Film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Limelight)

2012If You Like Led Zeppelin… (Backbeat Books)

2012Hearts of Darkness:… the Birth of the Singer Songwriter (Backbeat Books)

2012A Kind of Love-In – the story of Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity (e-book)

201210cc – The Cost of Living In Dreams (Createspace)
  –         10cc – The Cost of Living In Dreams (revised/updated editon) (Createspace, 2016)
  –         10cc – The Cost of Living In Dreams (revised/updated edition) (Lulu, 2017)

2011Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Backbeat Books)

2011Thin Lizzy – Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
–           Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back – The True Story (Abstract – pirate edition, 2012)

2011Status Quo – Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)

2011Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot (Chicago Review Press)
  –         Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot (updated edition) (Chicago Review Press, 2016)

2010Bayou Underground (ECW)

20111000 Songs That Rock Your World (F&W Media)

2010TV Smith – TV Times 30th Anniversary Edition (Createspace)

2010The Sweet – Blockbuster (Cherry Red)

2010Ozzy Osbourne: Wit & Wisdom (F&W Media)
–           (trans) Finnish

2010Children of the Revolution: The Glam Rock Story (Cherry Red)

2009Fierce Fiction: Dickens, Ainsworth, Bulwer and Thackeray in the Shadows of Newgate Prison (Createspace)

2009Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop (Backbeat Books)
 –          Dangerous Glitter (Veneta – Brazil, 2013)

2009Suede – Armchair Guide (Createspace)
–          The Next Life, First Time Around (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017)

2009Sparks – #1 Songs In Heaven (Cherry Red)

2009London’s Burning: True Adventures on the Front Line of Punk (Chicago Review Press)

2009John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett: Beatback (Createspace)
–         They Did It Otway: Otway-Barrett in the Seventies (Lulu, 2017)

2009Footnotes from the Archives of Oblivion (Createspace)

2009Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists (contributor) (Backbeat Books)

2008I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Primer (Backbeat Books)

2008Doctor Who: Eclectic Gypsy (CGP)

2007Black and White and Blue: Adult Cinema from the Victorian Age to the VCR (ECW)

2007The Little Black Book of Music (contributor) (Cassell Illustrated)

2007The Who – Searching for the Young Mod Rebels (Createspace)

2006Bob Marley – Critical Review (Classic Rock)
  –         Bob Marley – The Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book, 2012)

2006Hallo Spaceboy: The Rebirth of David Bowie (ECW)

2006The Jeff Beck Group – Truth (Cherry Red Books)

2006Marc Bolan – A Critical Review (Classic Rock)

2006The Rolling Stones – Critical Review (Classic Rock)

2005Cream – World’s First Supergroup (Virgin Books)
–          Cream – How Eric Clapton Took the World By Storm (revised/updated edition) (Virgin Books, 2010)

2005The Cure: Inbetween Days (Helter Skelter)
–          Forty Years of In Between Days: Listening to the Cure, 1977-2017 (Createspace, 2016)
–          Forty Years of In Between Days: Listening to the Cure, 1977-2017 (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017)

2005New Order – Armchair Guide (Helter Skelter)
–          A Legacy in Wax: Listening to Joy Division and New Order, 1976-2016 (Createspace, 2016)
–          A Legacy in Wax: Listening to Joy Division and New Order, 1976-2017 (Lulu, 2017)

2005Genesis: Turn It On Again (Backbeat Books)

2005Lost in the Grooves (contributor) (Routledge)

2004Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (ECW)
–      (trans) Finnish
–      (trans) Italian
(trans) Polish

2004Wheels Out Of Gear: 2-Tone, the Specials and a World in Flame (Helter Skelter)
2011Wheels Out Of Gear: 2-Tone, the Specials and a World in Flame (new ed) (Soundcheck 2011)
2017Wheels Out of Gear (2017 edition) (Createspace)
2017Wheels Out of Gear (revised edition) (Lulu)

2004The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (Helter Skelter)
2017The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (2017 Edition) (Createspace)
2017The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (revised edition) (Createspace)

2003Phil Spector – Wall of Pain (Sanctuary Books)
2004Phil Spector – Wall of Pain (Sanctuary Encore Books)
2005Phil Spector – Wall of Pain (updated edition) (Omnibus Books)

2003All Music Guide to Soul (contributor) (Backbeat Books)

2003The Fall – A User’s Guide (Helter Skelter)
2013The Fall – A User’s Guide (revised edition) (Createspace 2013)
2017Words of Expectation: Listening to the Fall (revised edition) (Lulu)

2002The Dark Reign of Gothic Rock (Helter Skelter)
2015The Dark Reign of Gothic Rock (revised edition) (Createspace)
2017In the Reptile House (revised edition) (Lulu)

2002The Beatles Digest Volume 2 (contributor) (Krause)

2002To Major Tom: Letters to David Bowie (fiction) (Sanctuary Books)
2003To Major Tom: Letters to David Bowie (fiction) (Sanctuary Books)
2013To Major Tom: Letters to David Bowie (fiction) (Foruli Books )

2002The Music Lover’s Guide to Record Collecting (Backbeat Books)

2002The Essential Listening Guide to Reggae & Caribbean Music (Third Ear/Backbeat)

2002AMG Guide to Rock (contributor) (Backbeat)

2001Funk – the Essential Listening Companion (Third Ear/Backbeat)

2001Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth (contributor) (Feral House)

200020th Century Rock’n’Roll: Glam Rock (CGP)

2000The Beatles Digest (contributor) (Krause)

2000Alternative Rock: The Essential Listening Guide (Third Ear/Backbeat)

200020th Century Rock’n’Roll: Punk Rock (CGP)

200020th Century Rock’n’Roll: Pop (CGP)

2000The Mojo Collection (contributor) (Mojo Books)

1999Better To Burn Out – The Cult of Death in Rock’n’Roll (Thunder’s Mouth)

1998The Classic Rock Digest (contributor) (Krause)

1997The Goldmine Price Guide to the British Invasion (with Tim Neely) (Krause Pub)

1997Phish – Go Phish (St Martin’s Press)

1996Winona (Taylor Publishing)

1996Travolta (Taylor Publishing)

1995Punk Collectors Guide (CGP)

1995U2: The Making of the Joshua Tree (CGP)

1995The Cure: The Making of Disintegration (CGP)

1995Perry Farrell: The Saga of a Hypester (St Martin’s Press)

1994Space Daze: The History & Mystery of Electronic Ambient Space Rock (Cleopatra Books)
2009Space Daze: The History and Mystery of Space Rock (revised edition) (Createspace)
2017Space Daze: The History and Mystery of Space Rock (second edition) (Lulu)

1994Kurt Cobain – Never Fade Away (St Martin’s Press)
–        (trans) German
–        (trans) Italian
–        (trans) Japanese
–        (trans) Dutch
–        (edition) UK

1994Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward (St Martin’s Press)
–        (edition) UK

1993Price Guide to Collectible Records Third Edition (contributor) (Krause)

1993The Red Hot Chili Peppers: True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes (Virgin Books)
2004The Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way (fully upd and rev ed of 1993, Virgin Books)
–        (trans) Dutch
–        (edition) USA

1993The Industrial Revolution (Cleopatra Books)
1994The Industrial Revolution updated/revised 2nd Edition (Cleopatra Books)
2013The Industrial Revolution – Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Createspace)

1993Rod Stewart – Vagabond Heart (ghost: Geoffrey Giuliano) (Sidgwick & Jackson)
1993 – (hardback edition)
–        (edition) UK

1991In God We Rust – the Collectors Guide to Cull Coins (Ainsworth Press)

1991The Vaasa Plating Guide – stamps of the Finnish Civil War, 1918 (Ainsworth Press)

1991The Standard Catalog of Foreign Coins used in the United States (Ainsworth Press)

1991The 1991 US Soccer Yearbook – a statistical guide to the US international team until 1990 (private)

1991Philately at War – a catalog of wartime stamps and postal issues (Ainsworth Press)

1990The Mystery of the Kushans (Ainsworth Press)

1990A Century of Struggle – a numismatic history of the Irish “troubles” (Ainsworth Press)

1990The Most Beautiful Coin In The World – the story of the Maria Theresa taler (Ainsworth Press)

1990Monsters in the Mail – a catalog of philatelic dinosaurs (Ainsworth Press)

1990Those We Have Loved Volume Three (private)

1989Beyond the Velvet Underground (Omnibus Books)
–        (trans) Japanese

1989Newport County: The Team That Died of Neglect (private)

1989 – Newport County: The Team That Died of Neglect (revised edition) (private)

1989Bono – In His Own Words (Omnibus Books)
–        (trans) German
–        (trans) Serbian

1989A View of the Medway (private)

1988Those We Have Loved Volume Two (private)

1988Those We Have Loved Volume One (private)
2017Those We Have Loved: Casualties and Catastrophes of the Football League, 1888-1988 (Fully Revised Edition) (paperback) (Createspace)
2017Those We Have Loved: Casualties and Catastrophes of the Football League, 1888-1988 (Fully Revised Hardback Edition) (Lulu)

1988The Pogues (Babylon Books)

1988The Dire Straits Collectors Guide (Babylon Books)

1988The Cure Visual Documentary (Omnibus Books)
1993The Cure Visual Documentary (updated ed) (Omnibus Books)
–        (trans) Czech
–        (trans) German
–        (trans) Italian
–         (trans) Polish
–          (trans) Slovak

1988T’Pau (Babylon Books)

1988Kiss – Still On Fire (Caroline Books)

(trans) Swedish

1988Johnny Rotten In His Own Words (Omnibus Books)
–        (trans) Czech
–        (trans) Slovak

1988Babes in Arms – Manchester United and the Munich Air Disaster 1958 (private)

1987The Sixties – Hits & Pics (Telstar Books)

1987The Duran Duran Scrapbook Volume 8 (Babylon Books)

1987The Beastie Boys Scrapbook (Babylon Books)

1987Spandau Ballet Hits and Pics (Telstar Books)

1987Mel and Kim: Hits and Pics (Telstar Books)

1987Half Time: Football and the Cigarette Card (Murray Books)

1987Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Hits and Pics (Telstar Books)

1987Five Star: Hits and Pics (Telstar Books)

1987Feargal Sharkey (Bobcat Books)

1987David Bowie – Moonage Daydream (Plexus Publishing)

1987Chris DeBurgh: From a Spark to a Flame (Omnibus Books)

–   (trans) German

1987Children of the Revolution (private)
2013Hey!: The Story of Gum into Glam, 1964-1987 (revised ed) (Createspace)
2017Hey!: The Story of Gum into Glam, 1964-1987 (revised ed) (Lulu)

1987Callan – Episode Guide (private)

1987Bananarama: Hits and Pics (Telstar Books)

1986TV Smith – Life & Times (private)
2009TV Smith – Your Ticket Out Of Here (revised ed) Createspace)

1986Paul Young (Bobcat Books)

1986Echo and the Bunnymen (Proteus Books)

1986Depeche Mode (Bobcat Books)

1986Billy Idol (Bobcat Books)

1985ZZ Top – Elimination (Omnibus Books)

1985Tears For Fears (Bobcat Books)

1985Simple Minds – Glittering Prize (Omnibus Books)

1985Dead Or Alive (Bobcat Books)

1985David Lee Roth (Proteus Books)

1984U2 – Stories For Boys (Proteus Books)
1986U2 – Stories For Boys (Bobcat Books)
1987U2 – Stories For Boys updated edition (Omnibus Books)

1982John’s Children: Growing Up With (private)
1988John’s Children (condensed/revised ed) (Babylon Books)
2013John’s Children: A Midsummer Night’s Scene and Other Stories (revised ed) (Createspace)
2017John’s Children: A Midsummer Night’s Scene and Other Stories (revised ed) (Lulu)


Wheels Out of Gear: 2-Tone, The Specials and a World in Flame (2017 edition)

Wheels cover preview copyBuy it now from Nook (e-book), Lulu

New (2017) edition of a book first published in 2004, WHEELS OUT OF GEAR is a vibrant exploration of the 2-Tone, Mod and Oi! movements of the late 1970s and early ’80s, set against the turbulent backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain.

To a soundtrack provided by the Specials, the Jam, the Angelic Upstarts and more, Britain reeled beneath a firestorm of brutal, and constantly escalating political confrontation.

Wheels Out of Gear is an unflinching portrait of this tumultuous time, a stoy which Uncutmagazine described as “a fine book that is as much social history as musical biography,” and Record Collectorcalled “a fascinating and essential account of what happened, the way we remember it.”



The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (2017 edition)


Buy it now E-Book, Paperback

To celebrate 40 years of the Furs… a new edition of the ultimate story of the ultimate post-punk band.  Combining the chaos and vocal rasp of the Sex Pistols with a Bowie-esque glamour, the Psychedelic Furs hit the big time in the U.S. when John Hughes wrote a movie based on their early single “Pretty in Pink.” Poised to join U2 and Simple Minds in the premier league, they withdrew behind their shades, remaining a cult act, but one with a hugely devoted following.

This book was first published in 2004.


Those We Have Loved – Casualties and Catastrophes of the Football League, 1888-1988


Buy it now: E-Book, hardback

Originally published across two volumes in 1987-1988, “Those We Have Loved” is the story of the thirty Football League sides voted, or otherwise removed, from the competition in the years before automatic promotion and relegation were introduced..

Colourful contemporary match reports, in-depth background detail and modern analysis combine to tell a thoroughly alternate history of English football; the story of lives lived for the most part at the lower end of the League, but every one tinged with glory and triumph alongside the final tragedies.

Fully revised and updated to note the rebirth of at least a few of the clubs featured, it is a reminder that many of those we have loved are still beloved today.

Featuring full Football League histories of Aberdare Athletic, Accrington, Accrington Stanley, Ashington, Barrow, Bootle, Bradford Park Avenue, Burton Swifts, Burton United, Burton Wanderers, Darwen, Durham City, Gainsborough Trinity, Gateshead, Glossop North End, Leeds City, Loughborough, Merthyr Town, Middlesbrough Ironopolis, Nelson, New Brighton, New Brighton Tower, Newport County, Northwich Victoria, South Shields, Southport, Stalybridge Celtic, Thames, Wigan Borough, Workington, plus wartime guests Aberaman, Bath City, Croydon Common and Lovell’s Athletic.

Visit exleaguefootballclubs.wordpress.com for excerpts and more.


Hey! The Story of Gum into Glam


31qxzBRoDwL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_BUY IT NOW – E-Book, paperback

Back in print for the first time in over 25 years! The original Glam Rock history, tracing beginnings reaching back to “Louie Louie,” and forward to a new age of rocking narcissism. Featuring: Adam & the Ants, Alice Cooper, the Archies, Arrows, Bauhaus, Bay City Rollers, Barry Blue, David Bowie, David Cassidy, Chinnichap, Cockney Rebel, Doctors of Madness, David Essex, Bryan Ferry, Gary Glitter, the Glitter Band, Zaine Griff, Hello, Jackson 5, Tommy James & the Shondells, Jobriath, Jook, Kasenatz-Katz, Jonathan King, the Kingsmen, Metro, the Monkees, Mott the Hoople, Mud, the Osmonds, the Partridge Family, Suzi Quatro, Mick Ronson, Rosetta Stone, Roxy Music, the Rubettes, Sexagisma, Slade, Slik, Sparks, Alvin Stardust, the Stooges, the Sweet, T Rex, Wizzard and many more


A Seance at Syd’s – An Exclusive New Message from Beyond the Realm of Acid-Haunt-Folk-Psych-Prog- Kraut-Radiophonic-Garage-Space Etcetera

A Seance at Syd‘s is available now as an e-book; paperback; and as a limited edition hardback with two CDs stuffed with music 

A Seance at Syd’s – An Anthology of Acid-Haunt-Folk-Psych-Prog- Kraut-Radiophonic-Garage-Space Etcetera is…

A collection of words, wit and wisdom from some eighty different bands, performers, artists and label heads, heralds of and spokesmen for the sprawling mass of musical notions that have made this decade so unexpectedly enthralling.

Includes an Introduction by Nik Turner (Hawkwind etc); a brand new Tale from the Black Meadow by Chris Lambert; cover art by Gregory Curvey (the Luck of Eden Hall); almost 100 illustrations; and featuring in-depth and illuminating interviews with….

Black Tempest, Sproatly Smith, Palace of Swords, Beaulieu Porch, The Rowan Amber Mill, Mooch, The Owl Service, Lost Harbours, The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, Sendelica, The Sunchymes, Alison O’Donnell, Midwich Youth Club, Reverb Worship, Us And Them, Chonyid, Angeline Morrison, King Penguin, Comus, The Bordellos, Crayola Lectern, Army of Mice, Chris Lambert, Sky Picnic, Dodson & Fogg, Crystal Jacqueline, The Chemistry Set, United Bible Studies, Diana Collier, Drew Mulholland/Mount Vernon Arts Lab, the Striped Bananas, Crow Call, Emily Jones, Francois Sky, the Nomen, Gordon Raphael, Head South by Weaving, the Luck of Eden Hall, Amanda Votta, The Hare And The Moon, Icarus Peel, Octopus Syng, Schizo Fun Addict, Grandpa Egg, Eschatone Records, Jefferson Hamer, Ghost Box, The Familiars, Beautify Junkyards, Mega Dodo, Stay, Judy Dyble, Fruits de Mer Records, the Past Tense, The Soulless Party, the Thanes, Tir Na Nog, the Child of a Creek, Astralasia, the Gathering Grey, Mark & the Clouds, Marrs Bonfire, Black Psychiatric Orchestra, The Loons, Mikey Georgeson, Mordecai Smyth, La Meccanica Sonora, Bevis Frond, Paolo Sala, Sand Snowman, the Seventh Ring of Saturn and Will Z.

A Seance At Syds 4FEATURING…

Introduction by Nik Turner (Hawkwind)

A brand new Tale from the Black Meadow, by Chris Lambert

Cover art by Gregory Curvey (the Luck of Eden Hall)

almost 100 illustrations and 500 pages



Ace remixer supremo, visionary seer of the sonic pastures that lurk beyond the imagination, Melmoth the Wanderer’s intoxicating brews can be listened to here – and they should be.  Here he takes time out from manipulating sound and dreamscape to answer the questions that Syd’s seance demands.

1. Tell us about yourself… about Melmoth the Wanderer; how long you’ve been doing it, how you started, etc etc

I come from a very musical family and have always been in bands. Alongside this, I would create sound collages and sample loops for mine and my friends’ listening pleasure whilst out in the countryside taking in the night air (ahem).  On top of this, I also DJ’d chillout and ambient stuff, but rather than mixing beats I would use samples and spoken word LPs picked up from charity shops to pull the mixes together. I guess I was always more about the weird psychedelic surreal possibilities of mixing sounds rather than a banging set list.

The Melmoth mixes started when I first heard Investigating Witch cults in the Radio Age by Broadcast and the Focus Group. I was mesmerized, and to me it not only echoed albums like Lifeforms and ISDN by Future Sound of London, but it was also a lot like the cut and paste approach to my chill out mixes. This coincided with a diagnosis of narcolepsy and a sever bout of insomnia which would have me getting about an hour’s sleep a night for weeks. During those long depressing nights when sleep deprivation started playing with my mind, I started creating The Insomniacs Almanac, which was a pretty dark amateurish exploration into the world of Hauntology, and once it was finished I immediately had ideas for the next…and so it continues.

2. Tell us about your earliest musical experiences, either as a musician or a listener.
My earliest memories of music all come from different members of my family. I remember with great fondness hearing my mother in the kitchen, cooking and singing along to the Fisher Folk and then after tea going up the room I shared with my two older brothers to find them under both sat on the top bunk listening to Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers – `Rubber Ball’ always stands out in that memory. Finally, my Dad would return from work and after he’d had his tea, he would often get the old record player out and relax to Beethoven or Mozart – I favored Beethoven!

The first time music meant something to me personally, and had a real effect on me, coincides with the birth of my Sherlock Holmes obsession and love of dark folkloric stories. As a young child I was given The Hound of the Baskervilles Ladybird Horror Classic on storytape and the music used throughout was `A Night on the Bare Mountain’. I fell in love with the story and the music and since then have always been inspired by the way that a piece of music can almost become another character in a story or a film – shaping the mood and the pace. Each Melmoth mix aims to recreate the atmosphere and effect that listening to that storytape at night under my covers had on me as a very young child.

3. If the Spanish Intuition came to your house and demanded you describe the music you like/work with, what would you tell them?
Music of the night, the light and the half-light. Like the backing track in a great horror film that goes unnoticed, and yet is essential to its mood, atmosphere, suspense and ultimate success. It’s music soaked with haunted echoes.

4. In every field of musical endeavor, there are bands we love and bands we hate. Xould you give us an example of each… and why? (I’ve found from other responses received that older, “classic” bands are the most comfortable target for the latter – so if you see yourself drifting in a similar field to, say, Rush, but wish that they would just go away, here’s your chance to say so. And why.)
I love Spacemen 3 – for me they hold a place in British music history alongside The Jesus and Mary Chain in that, despite being a fringe band, they have influenced, inspired and shaped so many people’s understanding of what is music and what you can use sound for. I think that much like the Velvets before them, if you got it then it stayed with you and changed how you listened to and wrote your own music. Plus, they spawned some amazing offshoots who have all produced epic albums.
I hate no one really – most manufactured pop music is shite, but it doesn’t warrant hatred.  Just a lake of my attention is enough for me.

I will no doubt make myself very unpopular by admitted this, but I do get really annoyed by the reverence and respect that the likes of Kate Bush, Sting, Elvis Costello, Bryan Ferry seem to inspire. I just don’t get why people fall over themselves to proclaim their genius and how it seems to continue to breed….. If you are really serious about your music and appreciate something a bit arty and inventive, how can you not love Kate Bush!!??… Quite easily, thank you, and I don’t need you judging me on it!

5. If you could have a band or artist record a cover of any one song from the past, what it would be – and why?
I would love to hear The Warlocks do a slowed down doped up blues drone version of Hendrix’s `Fire’.

6. Tell us one amusing/horrifying/interesting story concerned with a live performance… not necessarily onstage, either – getting there, getting home, backstage, suffering the support/headline band, absolutely anything as long as it happened on the road.
I had, for my sins, a headless bass for a while – and no backup – and my local guitar shop didn’t stock the strings, so I never had more than one set of spares. I had broken a string in rehearsal and, with a gig that weekend, had decided to clean up and completely restring in preparation. This meant, of course, that I didn’t have a spare set until the shop got my next order in.  During the opening number that weekend, I broke a string but with lightning reflexes quickly worked out how to carry on without that string. Halfway through the set I broke another string and the panicked call went out to borrow the headline act’s bass.

The headliners were a three piece consisting of drums, guitar and hammond organ……no bass. I spent the rest of the set stood back to the crowd playing random notes and dying of embarrassment.

7. Ditto about the studio… recording mishaps or triumphs
I am afraid I can’t really think of any cracking anecdotes. Most of my work is done on my lonesome on a laptop. My triumphs come with the discovery of some great old radio show or original trailer for a long lost horror film.

Recently, I have been trawling through EVP and séance recordings and found some real treats. I have just finished a three-track EP based on the EVP phenomenon, and the last track is made up entirely from these EVP and Séance recordings looped, stretched, reversed and manipulated until they resemble otherworldly drones even more than they did before

8. Wax rhapsodically, please, about any unusual musical instrument that either you can play; that you wish you could play; that someone else in your band can play; or that you simply like listening to.
I always wanted a Sitar or Dilruba and, in fact, a friend who travelled to India bought me a sitar but the closest I got to it was a photo of it sat on the tarmac of the airport in India. where some jobsworth had claimed it wasn’t packed properly and wasn’t willing to load it in case it got damaged… so instead, my friend had to leave it there.

9. What is your favorite of all the recordings you have made, and why?
I am very proud of the mixes I made for Christmas over the past two years. Trying to create a nostalgic piece that has the warm comfortable feeling that a good seasonal book/film/programme has (like The Box of Delights, A Christmas Carol or the Ghost Stories for Christmas series) without being schmaltzy or too dewy eyed was a challenge. I feel I managed to achieve just the right balance, and yet still keep hold of the signature Melmoth twilight paranoia. A nostalgic recreation of the past using sounds and summoning up feelings – pure hauntology!

Listen here and here

10. What is the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to you, or that you have witnessed, in relation to being around bands?

The soundman at Reading Alleycats complaining to us that he’d had a band in the previous week and, try as he could, he just couldnt get rid of the feedback coming from stage – the band had been The Jesus and Mary Chain!

11. You have a time machine, which you can pilot to any time and place you like, for the purpose of making music. Where and when would you go, and why?
If you believe in the Stonetape theory, then studios should absorb something from every person to have recorded there and contain echoes of every track – so, based on that, I would want to record nowadays so as not to miss out on any influences and otherworldly assistance.

However I would love to sit in on Brian Wilson at the CBS Columbia recording studio, when he was in full mad, mad genius mode trying to record Smile, and I would gladly hang around all day every day making tea for The Band at the Big Pink.

Did you miss the launch party at the Half Moon, Putney, Tuesday August 11, 2015?