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White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s Paperback – April 1, 2007
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The downside of this book for me is the fact that it stays a bit on the surface. Both the artists as indeed the writer himself stay a bit distant, so that I didn't feel as involved as I could be. It might well be that Joe Boyd just wants to keep it factual and concise, but I think that he could have written a better book had he chosen to go a little deeper into (some of) the artists whose records he has produced.
Nevertheless, this is a fine book and you'll love all he has to write. Like I said, for me not buying and reading it immediately was not an option.
But there are also so many other artists! The book is a fascinating journey through the emerging rock/pop/folk scenes of the 60's early 70's on both sides of the Atlantic, with some gigantic names, and some not so well known on one shore or another. My feeling upon finishing the book was a Question: I wonder what he'll publish next? I want to be there.
Since several reviewers have commented on the book's lack of scenes in the recording studio, I feel that I must address that point. First, I think he did an excellent job of describing what it was like to be in the studio with Nick Drake, and the sections of the book concerning Nick Drake are generally quite strong. But he devotes considerably less time to Fairport Convention, the ISB, and others, and readers expecting a book of tales in the recording studio will be disappointed.
But the book is about more than just music: it's about the '60s, and its about the cast of characters who came into Joe Boyd's life. It is rife with observations about the society of the time and how it has changed. It's nostalgic and really does give you the impression that Boyd's life has probably never been quite as fun as it was then, but it is all tempered by an acceptance that the '60s are over and a knowledge that the decade really wasn't so perfect. In fact, the title "white bicycles" alludes to just that: white bicycles were communal bicycles that the city of Amsterdam produced for its citizens to share, but people ended up stealing them and painting them different colors. The white bicycle was a "failed experiment," a description that many use to describe the decade itself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Joe Boyd's narrative is honest, compassionate, intelligent, well-paced and fun to read. The thread throughout is Joe's adaptability to an ever-changing business landscape, a... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Michael B
I think Joe Boyd actually wrote this himself, which makes it even better. He is a good writer, with an amazing memory, considering the circumstances. Fascinating read.Published 3 months ago by M. Carlson
Insider look at the heyday of British pop and folk music. Could have been a bit more detailed in parts.Published 3 months ago by M. Ruehle
If you've read a lot of books about the history of the music covered by this book, I think like me you'll be somewhat disappointed. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Thomas Barnes
Fascinating book that I know I'll try to read more slowly after not putting the book down until I'd finished it.rPublished 11 months ago by david sorelle
some say this book is so great but to me it was just ok. the author goes on and on about how great he is and how he was involved in everything.Published 12 months ago by Mark A. Blom