Chris Difford - Some Fantastic Place - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781474605694
    • Publication date:31 Aug 2017
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781409177531
    • Publication date:31 Aug 2017

Some Fantastic Place

My Life In and Out of Squeeze

By Chris Difford

  • Hardback
  • £20.00

A captivating memoir of Chris Difford's upbringing in South London and his rise to fame in Squeeze, one of the biggest bands of the 1970s and 1980s

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as 'Cool For Cats', 'Up The Junction', 'Labelled With Love', 'Hourglass' and 'Tempted'. Even before his first release in 1977, his love of writing lyrics has never wavered.

Over the course of a thirteen-album career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. His 'kitchen-sink drama' style has drawn plaudits from fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and his influence is keenly felt today. The likes of Lily Allen. Mark Ronson, Kasabian, Razorlight and many more have recognized the debt they owe to Squeeze's music and to Difford's way with words, while journalists were moved by his winning combination with Glenn Tilbrook to dub the pair 'The New Lennon and McCartney'.

In Some Fantastic Place, Chris Difford charts his life from his early days as a dreaming boy in south London with a talent for poetry to becoming a member of one of Britain's greatest bands and beyond. Along the way he reveals the inspiration and stories behind Squeeze's best-known songs, and his greatest highs and lows from over four decades of making music.

Biographical Notes

Born in Greenwich, London, Difford has written lyrics for over thirty years, most notably in partnership with Glenn Tilbrook. The two were primary members in Squeeze and Difford & Tilbrook. Some of their best-known songs are 'Tempted', 'Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)', 'Black Coffee in Bed', 'Cool for Cats', 'Up the Junction' and 'Annie Get Your Gun'.

After the breakup of Squeeze in 1983 Difford continued writing songs with Glenn Tilbrook for artists such as Helen Shapiro, Billy Bremner and Elvis Costello. He has also written lyrics for music by Jools Holland, Elton John, Wet Wet Wet, Marti Pellow and others. In 1985 Squeeze reunited, having hits in the U.S. with Babylon and On, 'Hourglass' and '853-5937'. Difford left the group in 1999 launching a solo career in 2003 with his album I Didn't Get Where I Am. Difford was also manager of Bryan Ferry and The Strypes. In March 2010, Difford curated Songs in the Key of London, an evening of music dedicated to the capital at the Barbican Centre, London.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474605670
  • Publication date: 31 Aug 2017
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: W&N
With hilarious honesty, Squeeze's frontman reveals how his pop career went well and truly Up The Junction! — MAIL ON SUNDAY
As anyone who has listened to "Cool for Cats" or "Up the Junction" will know, Difford's lyrics are superb at noticing the unconscious poetry of everyday life, and the early chapters of this book are tightly packed with the sights, the sounds and especially the smells of his childhood: the "sweetest smell of peat burning on the fire" in his Irish aunt's house, "the dry crusty odour of socks in football boots" at school, or the heady teenage scent of "Brut and spray-on deodorant". — Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, THE GUARDIAN
Loving the Chris Difford autobiography. "Dad said if I joined a rock band I'd be an alcoholic, drug addict & skint. Turns out he was right." — David Hepworth
A witty, charming, acutely observed and astonishingly honest account of what it's like to be a successful musician. I was gripped and fascinated. — Mark Ellen
Squeeze's music has been a part of my soundtrack since first hearing and seeing them back in the late 70's and Chris's book is just as lively and captivating. It's honest, poignant, laugh out loud funny and is a fascinating peep (warts and all) into the life of one of our most talented wordsmiths. Quite simply, i couldn't put it down. — Gary Crowley

This conversational memoir from Chris Difford - one of the principal songwriters of beloved U.K. pop act Squeeze - covers a lot of ground: his south London childhood; the band's career ups and downs; and his non-Squeeze detours, including managing Bryan Ferry.
"Some Fantastic Place" is distinguished by its admirable candour: Unlike many artists, Difford is reflective about the obstacles he's had to overcome (e.g., flying anxiety, substance abuse, relationship breakdowns), and he is direct and forthcoming about how these things inform his life and music, even in the present. However, Difford's dry sense of humor also shines through - for instance, speaking of the band's first, ill-fated U.S. gig, at The Lighthouse in Bethlehem, New Jersey, he writes, "We literally played to one man and a dog. We were forced to play a second set by the owner. The dog left." Lovely and enriching, "Some Fantastic Place" is very much worth a read.

— SALON
Orion

Like a Bat Out of Hell

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall

"I never wanted to be a big star. I just wanted to be the biggest at what I do! Powerful, unstoppable, heavy - when that word still meant something good!" - Meat Loaf, as told to Mick Wall Everything in the story of Meat Loaf is big. From the place he was born (Texas); to the family he was born into (his father weighed 22 stone, his uncle weighed over 40 stone, while Meat Loaf himself weighed 17 stone before he was even in his teens); to the sound he made (a colossal collision between Richard Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen); and of course the records he sold - nearly 50 million in Britain and America alone. Now, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Bat Out of Hell, the album that gave rise to Meat Loaf's astonishing career, and the premiere of Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, Mick Wall, who has interviewed Meat Loaf on numerous occasions throughout his career, pulls back the curtains to reveal the soft-hearted soul behind the larger-than-life character he created for himself. From a tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father to the relentless abusive bullying from classmates and their parents alike, nobody could have predicted Meat Loaf's meteoric rise to fame. But when the messianic rock opera Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977, it became one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide to date. Its release marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and seemingly career-ending lows. By the 80s, Meat Loaf was battling with drug and alcohol addiction and escalating money problems that would eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. But just when it seemed like it was all over, the astonishing success of Bat Out of Hell II and the mega-hit 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' marked an extraordinary new wave of success. Now, Mick Wall will bring this extraordinary story up to date, drawing on the hours he spent with Meat Loaf, both in interviews and on tour, as well as offering up a unique insight from those who have known him best.(p) Orion Publishing Group with Audible Ltd 2017

W&N

Going on the Turn

Danny Baker
Authors:
Danny Baker

Danny Baker's third volume of memoirs barrels along at the same cracking pace as its predecessors, the bestselling Going to Sea in a Sieve (the inspiration for the major TV series Cradle to Grave and subsequent nationwide tour) and Going off Alarming. With his trademark exuberance, he recalls the years which included six years' involvement in the massive TV hit TFI Friday ('piling it up with hellzapoppin' ideas') - during which time he stalked John Cleese in New York, entertained David Bowie and Paul McCartney, bizarrely reunites with Sir Michael Caine, gets befriended by Peter O'Toole and becomes a member of Led Zeppelin for 35 minutes. However, the tales are not reliant on celebrity alone, and the book comes packed with the usual quota of Baker family jewels, including Spud's attitude to doctors, Danny's trip to Amsterdam to get stoned for the first time (he fails), getting caught up in football rioting, and the now infamous 'kaboom' of an outburst following his despatch from BBC London. And then there's the cancer. Spoiler alert: this is the one in which he almost dies. Further spoiler alert: he doesn't.Going on the Turn is a rollicking read that fizzes with wit, warmth and enviable joie de vivre.

W&N

My Father's Wake

Kevin Toolis
Authors:
Kevin Toolis

Death is a whisper in the Anglo-Saxon world. But on a remote island, off the coast of County Mayo, death has a louder voice. Along with reports of incoming Atlantic storms, the local radio station runs a thrice-daily roll-call of the recently departed. The islanders have no fear of death. They go in great numbers, often with young children, to wake with their dead. They keep vigil through the night with the corpse and share in the sorrow of the bereaved. They bear the burden of the coffin on their shoulders and dig the grave with their own hands. The living and the dead remain bound together in the Irish Wake - the oldest rite of humanity.For twenty years writer and filmmaker Kevin Toolis hunted death in famine, war and plague across the world before finding the answer to his quest on the island of his forebears. In this beautifully written and highly original memoir, he gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, and explores the wider history of the Irish Wake. With an uplifting, positive message at its heart, My Father's Wake celebrates the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and shows how we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.

W&N

The Book of Emma Reyes

Emma Reyes
Authors:
Emma Reyes

This astonishing memoir of a childhood lived in extreme poverty in Latin America was hailed as an instant classic when first published in Colombia in 2012, nine years after the death of its author, who was encouraged in her writing by Gabriel García Márquez. Comprised of letters written over the course of thirty years, it describes in vivid, painterly detail the remarkable courage and limitless imagination of a young girl growing up with nothing. Emma was an illegitimate child, raised in a windowless room in Bogotá with no water or toilet and only ingenuity to keep her and her sister alive. Abandoned by their mother, she and her sister moved to a convent housing 150 orphan girls, where they washed pots, ironed and mended laundry, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, and sewed garments and decorative cloths for church. Illiterate and knowing nothing of the outside world, Emma escaped at age nineteen, eventually coming to have a career as an artist and to befriend the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Far from self-pitying, the portrait that emerges from this clear-eyed account inspires awe at the stunning early life of a gifted writer whose talent remained hidden for far too long.

W&N

Being Elvis

Ray Connolly
Authors:
Ray Connolly
W&N

Get Me the Urgent Biscuits

Sweetpea Slight
Authors:
Sweetpea Slight
W&N

But Seriously

John McEnroe
Authors:
John McEnroe
Orion Spring

Lessons I've Learned

Davina McCall
Authors:
Davina McCall

"I am a work in progress. There are times when I feel in control and like I know what I'm doing...and there are times (quite a few)(actually lots) when I've got no idea whats going on, where to turn, what to do, how to behave, and those are the times I've sought help! I have been helped by some extraordinary people. I've been supported and counselled through my recovery from drugs and alcohol. I've been hypnotised to get me through going to the bottom of the sea in a sub (life at the extreme). I've read a squibillion (that's a lot) of fantastic self help books and I have shared and shared with the greatest girlfriends and family of all time. These nuggets of wisdom have at times literally kept me going, so I thought I'd pay it forward and share them with you."Presenter, wife, mother, fundraiser, fitness inspiration and now bestselling author,is there nothing Davina McCall cannot do? But success didn't come easy for Davina, and she has faced many challenges along the way. In this long-awaited book, she shares all the tips and wisdom she has picked up on her 'work-in-progress' journey.Written in the accessible, easy-going and humorous way that Davina has become famous and loved for, Lessons I've Learned will motivate readers to reach their goals, find happiness and fulfillment, and feel more confident.

W&N

I Must Belong Somewhere

Jonathan Dean
Authors:
Jonathan Dean

'An extraordinary family tale of survival' Sunday TimesHuman and curious . . . an admirable family memoir of migration' GuardianJonathan Dean's great-grandfather, David Schapira, lived a life of epic achievement and epic suffering. Forced to flee Ukraine at the outbreak of World War I, he was blinded fighting for his adopted country then survived - just - the concentration camp that country later sent him to. In between he found love and laughter in Vienna, and became the first Austrian lawyer to train using braille - something no Briton would do until the new century dawned. Dean's grandfather, Heinz Schapira, was also a refugee. Aged 16, he said goodbye to his parents and embarked on a nail-biting journey to Britain, to escape his fate as an Austrian Jew. The prejudice he faced and assimilation he achieved are laid out in the pages of his diary, pages filled with pain and joy, surprising observations and irrepressible humour. But this is no ordinary family history. As Dean visits the places which changed the course of his family tree - Vienna, Cologne, Ukraine - he finds history repeating itself. He talks to refugees from the Middle East, people who left their homes and families at the same age as David and Heinz. And he observes the warning signs: the bigoted excesses of Brexit Britain, the rise of the Far Right in Austria, the backlash against refugees in Germany. By viewing these contemporary experiences through the prism of his family history - and vice versa - Dean creates an impassioned, profoundly timely study of what it means to be a refugee, to be European and, ultimately, to be British.

W&N

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

Rosamond Richardson
Authors:
Rosamond Richardson
Orion

Traveling with Ghosts

Shannon Leone Fowler
Authors:
Shannon Leone Fowler
Orion

The Hairy Bikers Blood, Sweat and Tyres

Hairy Bikers
Authors:
Hairy Bikers

Si King and Dave Myers, AKA the Hairy Bikers have travelled an interesting road. Born in the north of England, both Si and Dave had their childhood challenges. For Si, being bullied as the fat kid in class was part of his daily school routine. For Dave, his life changed when he became a childhood carer for his mother. But through the challenges of their early years came a love of really good food.And it was food that brought Si and Dave together. Their eyes met over a curry and a pint on the set of a Catherine Cookson drama, and they knew they would be firm and fast friends for life.From deserts to desserts, potholes to pot roasts, the nation's favourite cooking duo reveals what's made their friendship such a special and lasting one. They've eaten their way around the world a good few times, but have never lost sight of what matters: great friends, great family and great food.In this heartwarming memoir of friendship and hilarious misadventure, Si and Dave take you on the ride of their lives!

Orion

Lemmy

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall

In 'The Ace of Spades', Motörhead's most famous song, Lemmy, the born-to-lose, live-to-win frontman of the band sang, 'I don't want to live forever'. Yet as he told his friend of 35 years, former PR and biographer Mick Wall, 'Actually, I want to go the day before forever. To avoid the rush...'. This is his strange but true story. Brutally frank, painfully funny, wincingly sad, and always beautifully told, LEMMY: THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY is the story of the only rock'n'roller never to sell his soul for silver and gold, while keeping the devil, as he put it, 'very close to my side'. From school days growing up in North Wales, to first finding fame in the mid-60s with the Rockin' Vicars ('We were very big up north, I had a Zephyr 6'); from being Jimi Hendrix's personal roadie ('I would score acid for him'), to leading Hawkwind to the top of the charts in 1972 with 'Silver Machine' ('I was fired for taking the wrong drugs'); from forming Motörhead ('I wanted to call the band Bastard but my manager wouldn't let me'), whose iconoclastic album NO SLEEP 'TIL HAMMERSMITH entered the UK charts at No. 1 - and its title into the lexicon of hip-speak.Based on Mick's original interviews with Lemmy conducted over numerous years, along with the insights of those who knew him best - former band mates, friends, managers, fellow artists and record business insiders - this is an unputdownable story of one of Britain's greatest characters. As Lemmy once said of Wall, 'Mick Wall is one of the few rock writers in the world who can actually write and seems to know anything about rock music. I can and do talk to him for hours - poor bastard.' With the hard part of his journey now over, Lemmy is set to become a legend. LEMMY: THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY explains exactly how that came to be.

W&N

The Actual One

Isy Suttie
Authors:
Isy Suttie

'Isy Suttie turns the painful process of growing-up into something laugh-out-loud funny, and for that I could kiss her' - Bryony Gordon, author of The Wrong Knickers'A cross between Lena Dunham and Victoria Wood' Sunday TimesIsy woke up one day in her late twenties to discover that the invisible deal she'd done with her best mates - that they'd prolong growing up for as long as possible - had all been in her head. Everyone around her is suddenly into mortgages, farmers' markets and nappies, rather than the idea of running naked into the sea or getting hammered in Plymouth with eighty-year-old men. When her dearest friend advises her that the next guy Isy meets will be The Actual One, Isy decides to keep delaying the onset of adulthood - until a bet with her mother results in a mad scramble to find a boyfriend within a month.From papier-mâché penguins to being stranded on a dual carriageway in nothing but a fur coat and trainers, THE ACTUAL ONE is an ode to the confusing wilderness of your late twenties, alongside a quest for a genuinely good relationship with a man who doesn't use moisturiser.

Orion

Pigs in Clover

Simon Dawson
Authors:
Simon Dawson

This is the true story of a Londoner who gives up his job as an estate agent in the city, moves to the wilds of Exmoor, starts a smallholding and becomes self-sufficient, with a few bumps along the way. Simon's journey from urbanite to self-sufficient smallholder is brimming with incidents - some funny and some tragic - leading him to question Mother Nature, himself, the food he eats, and his role in it all. Which makes the transition from city life to self-sufficient smallholder slow, emotional and, for him, often confusing, but it is also beautiful, warming and laugh-out-loud funny.So if you would like to spend time with an accidental smallholder who completely changed one drunken night in Devon, then join Simon, his wife and their extended family as they learn the truth of what it takes to live a self-sufficient life, before eventually becoming as happy as the proverbial pigs in clover.(p) 2016 Magna Large Print Books

W&N

Going Off Alarming

Danny Baker
Authors:
Danny Baker
Orion

Getcha Rocks Off

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall

Hanging out with rock stars, trying to steal their chicks, or throwing up over their guitars after launching into the hospitality a little too enthusiastically, Mick Wall spent much of the 1980s sprawled in limos and five-star hotels with the biggest rock bands in the world, including Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Mötley Crüe, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Van Halen, Motörhead and more. He was Kerrang! magazine's star writer and the presenter of Monsters of Rock, his own weekly show on Sky TV, and the decade passed in a blur of hard drugs, hot women, and some of the heaviest people your mother definitely would not like. Depicting a world where vague concepts like 'the future' are disdained in favour of nights that last a week and weeks that last forever, Getcha Rocks Off is a rock apocalypse Cider With Roadies, and a more frank and disturbing Apathy for the Devil. It is the kind of book you need to put on your leather jacket to read, open that bottle of Jack and reach for the Charlie. And let the good times roll...

Orion

Dorothea's War

Dorothea Crewdson
Authors:
Dorothea Crewdson

In April 1915, Dorothea Crewdson, a newly trained Red Cross nurse, and her best friend Christie, received instructions to leave for Le Tr port in northern France. Filled with excitement at the prospect of her first paid job, Dorothea began writing a diary. 'Who knows how long we shall really be out here? Seems a good chance from all reports of the campaigns being ended before winter but all is uncertain.'Dorothea would go on to witness and record some of the worst tragedy of the First World War at first hand, though somehow always maintaining her optimism, curiosity and high spirits throughout.The pages of her diaries sparkle with warmth and humour as she describes the day-to-day realities and frustrations of nursing near the frontline of the battlefields, or the pleasure of a beautiful sunset, or a trip 'joy-riding' in the French countryside on one of her precious days off. One day she might be gossiping about her fellow nurses, or confessing to writing her diary while on shift on the ward, or illustrating the scene of the tents collapsing around them on a windy night in one of her vivid sketches. In another entry she describes picking shells out of the beds on the ward after a terrifying air raid (winning a medal for her bravery in the process).Nearly a hundred years on, what shines out above all from the pages of these extraordinarily evocative diaries is a courageous, spirited, compassionate young woman, whose story is made all the more poignant by her tragically premature death at the end of the war just before she was due to return home.Read by Julia Barrie and Richard Burnip(p) 2015 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Judi: Behind the Scenes

Judi Dench
Authors:
Judi Dench
Orion

The Universal Tone

Carlos Santana, Ashley Kahn, Hal Miller
Authors:
Carlos Santana, Ashley Kahn, Hal Miller

The intimate and long-awaited memoir of guitar legend Carlos Santana.In 1967 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, just a few weeks after the Summer of Love, a young Mexican guitarist played a blistering solo that announced the arrival of a prodigious musical talent. Two years later he played an historic set at Woodstock and the world came to know Carlos Santana, his instantly recognizable guitar sound, and the band that blended electric blues, psychedelic rock, Latin and modern jazz-?the band that still bears his name.Carlos Santana's memoir offers a page-turning tale of musical self-determination and inner self-discovery, and is filled with colourful detail and life-affirming stories. THE UNIVERSAL TONE traces his journey from his earliest days playing the strip bars in Tijuana while barely in his teens and brings to light the establishment of his signature guitar sound; his roles as a husband, father and rock guitar star; his indebtedness to musical and spiritual leaders-from John Coltrane and John Lee Hooker to Miles Davis and Harry Belafonte; and the deep, lifelong path he developed from his Catholic upbringing, Eastern philosophies and other mystical sources. It includes his recording some of the most influential rock albums of all time, up to and beyond the 1999 sensation SUPERNATURAL, which garnered nine Grammy Awards and stands as arguably the most amazing career comeback in popular music history.THE UNIVERSAL TONE offers an inspiring story of musical fearlessness that finds humour in the world of high-flying fame, speaks plainly of personal revelations, and celebrates the divine and infinite possibility Santana sees in each person he meets.