Tony Fletcher - Author

About the Author

Tony Fletcher is the author of seven non-fiction books and one novel. His biography of drummer Keith Moon, Dear Boy, has been named in many a Best Music Book list, and his biography of R.E.M. has been published in several languages. His most recent book is A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths.

Featured books by Tony Fletcher

Boy About Town

Boy About Town

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/08/2014

'I was no longer fitting in at school. I was unsure of my friends, and they were increasingly unsure of me. I wanted to be a rock star. But while all around, voices were starting to break, acne beginning to appear, facial hair sprouting, I remained all flabby flesh and innate scruff, with a high-pitched whine and not a muscle to my name. I was the runt of the class and rarely allowed to forget it. I had no father at home to help me out, and could hardly talk to my mum. So I took solace in The Jam.' As a boy, Tony Fletcher frequently felt out of place. Yet somehow he secured a ringside seat for one of the most creative periods in British cultural history. Boy About Town tells the story of the bestselling author's formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one: attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods and skinheads and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage boy's unending obsession with losing his virginity. Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.

Other books by Tony Fletcher

In the Midnight Hour The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett

In the Midnight Hour The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2018

R.E.M. Perfect Circle

R.E.M. Perfect Circle

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/04/2018

Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980, R.E.M. released their first single, Radio Free Europe, in 1981. By the time the band broke up they had recorded fifteen studio albums, 63 singles, sold more than 85 million records, signed the biggest recording contract in music history, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.

In the Midnight Hour The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett

In the Midnight Hour The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/01/2017

Wilson Pickett was arguably the greatest male soul screamer of the 1960s and '70s. Well known for his unprecedented string of Soul hits, including In the Midnight Hour, Land of 1,000 Dances, and Mustang Sally, Pickett has sold millions of albums, and tens of millions of singles. A first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he collaborated with some of the biggest names in '60s and '70s pop, rock, and soul, recorded for the most renowned labels in soul and R&B, and was a legendary presence on stage, his performances frequently culminating in stage invasions by frenzied audience members of all colors eager to bask (and dance) in his radiant aura. Equally well known for his personal troubles, his musical brilliance and success - like that of so many other superstars - Pickett's career was punctuated by violence, drug and alcohol addictions, and fits of erratic and wild behavior. In In the Midnight Hour, veteran music journalist and biographer Tony Fletcher not only tells the full story of Wilson Pickett's incredible career, and troubled life, but goes beyond the individual anecdotes to illustrate how Pickett's journey - geographic, musical, and cultural - was emblematic of both that of his generation of southern black men, and that of black American music in the second half of the twentieth century. He grew up in Alabama under Jim Crow in '40s where he experienced the peak of the gospel circuit before moving north to Detroit as part of the Second Great Migration, where he recorded for the nascent Tamla/Motown label. In the 60s he participated in integrated recording sessions for Stax and Atlantic, before moving back to Alabama where he took part in sessions at Muscle Shoals that made the studios signature sound famous, and at the beginning of the '70s, found himself in Philadelphia where he was instrumental in the birth of the Philly Soul sound. While centered around Wilson Pickett and his music, In the Midnight Hour will also be about the roller-coaster journey he took in his life, the social upheavals that surrounded him, the genre he helped shape along the way, and the pitfalls of the fame that success brought him. The first biography of one the most famous, influential, and fascinating figures in soul and R&B, In the Midnight Hour will find an eager audience among fans of Wilson Pickett, and soul and R&B music in general, as well as readers interested in the development of black music during the second half of the twentieth century.

In the Midnight Hour

In the Midnight Hour

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: eBook Release Date: 06/12/2016

He was the Wicked Wilson Pickett, the legendary soul man whose forty-plus hits included "e;In the Midnight Hour,"e; "e;634-5789,"e; "e;Land of 1000 Dances,"e; "e;Mustang Sally,"e; and "e;Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You."e; Remarkably handsome and with the charisma to match, Wilson Pickett was considered by many to be the greatest, the most visceral and sensual of the classic 1960s soul singers, and as a man who turned screaming into an art form, the most forceful of them all. He was the living embodiment of soul. More than that, Wilson Pickett's journey reads like a guide to popular black American music in the late 20th century. From the gospel-rich cotton fields of Alabama to the pre-Motown metropolis of Detroit, and throughout his career at Atlantic Records--he was the first artist on that label to record at Stax in Memphis, Fame in Muscle Shoals, and Sigma in Philadelphia, and rehabilitated an exiled Bobby Womack and introduced Duane Allman along the way--Wilson Pickett led the shifts in Rhythm and Blues and soul music. Pickett's downfall, precipitated by the move towards softer soul and then disco in the 1970s, proved equally dramatic, leading to a heavy alcohol and drug addiction, a reputation for violence and gun use, a no-show for his induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and two jail terms later in the decade. Nonetheless, the "e;Wicked"e; Pickett climbed out of these depths to end his career with a Grammy-nominated album before his death in 2006. For this first-ever accounting of Wilson Pickett's life, bestselling biographer Tony Fletcher interviewed members of the singer's family, friends and partners, along with dozens of his studio and touring musicians. Offering equal attention to Pickett's personal and professional life, with detailed insight into his legendary studio sessions and his combative road style, In the Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett is the essential telling of an epic life.

In the Midnight Hour

In the Midnight Hour

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: eBook Release Date: 06/12/2016

He was the Wicked Wilson Pickett, the legendary soul man whose forty-plus hits included "e;In the Midnight Hour,"e; "e;634-5789,"e; "e;Land of 1000 Dances,"e; "e;Mustang Sally,"e; and "e;Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You."e; Remarkably handsome and with the charisma to match, Wilson Pickett was considered by many to be the greatest, the most visceral and sensual of the classic 1960s soul singers, and as a man who turned screaming into an art form, the most forceful of them all. He was the living embodiment of soul. More than that, Wilson Pickett's journey reads like a guide to popular black American music in the late 20th century. From the gospel-rich cotton fields of Alabama to the pre-Motown metropolis of Detroit, and throughout his career at Atlantic Records--he was the first artist on that label to record at Stax in Memphis, Fame in Muscle Shoals, and Sigma in Philadelphia, and rehabilitated an exiled Bobby Womack and introduced Duane Allman along the way--Wilson Pickett led the shifts in Rhythm and Blues and soul music. Pickett's downfall, precipitated by the move towards softer soul and then disco in the 1970s, proved equally dramatic, leading to a heavy alcohol and drug addiction, a reputation for violence and gun use, a no-show for his induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and two jail terms later in the decade. Nonetheless, the "e;Wicked"e; Pickett climbed out of these depths to end his career with a Grammy-nominated album before his death in 2006. For this first-ever accounting of Wilson Pickett's life, bestselling biographer Tony Fletcher interviewed members of the singer's family, friends and partners, along with dozens of his studio and touring musicians. Offering equal attention to Pickett's personal and professional life, with detailed insight into his legendary studio sessions and his combative road style, In the Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett is the essential telling of an epic life.

Boy About Town

Boy About Town

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/08/2014

'I was no longer fitting in at school. I was unsure of my friends, and they were increasingly unsure of me. I wanted to be a rock star. But while all around, voices were starting to break, acne beginning to appear, facial hair sprouting, I remained all flabby flesh and innate scruff, with a high-pitched whine and not a muscle to my name. I was the runt of the class and rarely allowed to forget it. I had no father at home to help me out, and could hardly talk to my mum. So I took solace in The Jam.' As a boy, Tony Fletcher frequently felt out of place. Yet somehow he secured a ringside seat for one of the most creative periods in British cultural history. Boy About Town tells the story of the bestselling author's formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one: attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods and skinheads and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage boy's unending obsession with losing his virginity. Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.

A Light That Never Goes Out The Enduring Saga of the Smiths

A Light That Never Goes Out The Enduring Saga of the Smiths

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/09/2013

To this day, they were, their fans believe, the best band in the world. Critics and sales figures told a similar story. Yet for all their brilliance and adoration - their famously energetic live shows routinely interrupted by stage invasions - The Smiths were continually plagued by their reticence to play the game, and by the time of 1987's Strangeways Here We Come, they had split. Tony Fletcher's A Light That Never Goes Out - part celebration, part paean - moves from Manchester in the nineteenth-century to the present day to tell the complete story of The Smiths. The product of extensive research and unprecedented access, it will serve to confirm The Smiths as one of the most important and influential rock groups of all time.

Boy About Town

Boy About Town

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2013

'I was no longer fitting in at school. I was unsure of my friends, and they were increasingly unsure of me. I wanted to be a rock star. But while all around, voices were starting to break, acne beginning to appear, facial hair sprouting, I remained all flabby flesh and innate scruff, with a high-pitched whine and not a muscle to my name. I was the runt of the class and rarely allowed to forget it. I had no father at home to help me out, and could hardly talk to my mum. So I took solace in The Jam.' As a boy, Tony Fletcher frequently felt out of place. Yet somehow he secured a ringside seat for one of the most creative periods in British cultural history. Boy About Town tells the story of the bestselling author's formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one: attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods and skinheads and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage boy's unending obsession with losing his virginity. Featuring a vibrant cast of supporting characters (from school friends to rock stars), and built up from notebooks, diaries, interviews, letters, and issues of his now legendary fanzine Jamming!, Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.

The Clash: The Music That Matters

The Clash: The Music That Matters

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/02/2012

The ultimate book on records by The Clash. An album by album, track by track, examination of every song released by The Clash, from their first single 'White Riot' to Combat Rock and beyond. Includes sections on compilations, live recordings, films, and post-Clash work by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. Features include a chronology of key events in the story of the Clash. An album by album, track by track analysis. Details of reissues and the state of the current Clash catalogue. 16 pages of pictures

Remarks Remade: The Story Of REM

Remarks Remade: The Story Of REM

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: eBook Release Date: 28/10/2009

REM are the most influential, prolific and vital American group of the last quarter century. From their humble post-punk beginnings in the college town of Athens, Georgia to their current standing as a global phenomenon, REM have consistently bucked audience expectations and defied music biz rules.This new edition of Tony Fletcher's acclaimed biography brings the band's story right up to date, covering the departure of drummer Bill Berry, Michael Stipe's increasing role as a spokesman for humane causes, Peter Buck's 'air-rage' trial and the group's music right up to their 2001 Reveal album.

All Hopped Up and Ready to Go Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77

All Hopped Up and Ready to Go Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/10/2009

From Tony Fletcher, the acclaimed biographer of Keith Moon, comes an incisive history of New York's seminal music scenes and their vast contributions to our culture. Fletcher paints a vibrant picture of mid-twentieth-century New York and the ways in which its indigenous art, theater, literature, and political movements converged to create such unique music. With great attention to the colorful characters behind the sounds, from trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie to Tito Puente, Bob Dylan, and the Ramones, he takes us through bebop, the Latin music scene, the folk revival, glitter music, disco, punk, and hip-hop as they emerged from the neighborhood streets of Harlem, the East and West Village, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. All the while, Fletcher goes well beyond the history of the music to explain just what it was about these distinctive New York sounds that took the entire nation by storm.

Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon

Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon

Author: Tony Fletcher Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/07/2005

Keith Moon was more than just rock's greatest drummer, he was a phenomenal character and an extravagant hell raiser who - in a final, uncharacteristic act of grace - actually did die before he got old. This new edition includes a newly written After word that consiers Moon's lasting legacy, the death of John Entwistle and The Who's ongoing career in the new millennium. In this astonishing biography, Tony Fletcher questions the myths, avoids the time-honoured anecdotes and talks afresh to those who where closest to Moon including Kim, his wife of eight years, and Linda, his sister and Annette Walter-Lax, his main girlfriend of the final years. Also interviewed are Oliver Reed, Larry Hagman, David Putnam, Alice Cooper, Dave Edmunds, Jeff Beck, John Entwistle and many others who worked and partied with him. In interviewing over 100 people who knew Moon, Fletcher reveals the truth behind the 'famous' stunts that never occured - and the more outrageous ones that did! He also uncovers astonishing details about Moon's outrageous extravagance which was financed by The Who's American success.

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