ROCK LIBRARY - DAVE THOMPSON : "Punk was fun"
Let's start at the beginning, you were born in the 60's, so you were surely rocked by the wonderful music of all those English bands of the time. What are your memories of it ? Can you tell us about your discovery of the world of childhood through your musical memories?
Music was always on in the house, either the radio… I grew up on pirate radio and BBC radio comedies; or my mother playing records (Merseybeat, Cliff Richard, etc), One of my earliest memories… I’d have been three, going on four at the time… was singing “She Loves You” in a Doctor Who/Daleks voice until my mother couldn’t take it any longer. And it just went from there; there was never a time when I wasn’t listening to music.
Did you already know at that time that you were going to devote yourself to writing? What brought you to it?
I was probably 12 or 13 when I discovered the British music press, and that was immediately what I wanted to do for a living… initially so I’d get to hear (and review) David Bowie albums before my schoolfriends. As it turned out, it would be almost 20 years before I reviewed my first Bowie album, and it was Tin Machine Live. Be careful what you wish for!
I’ve always loved Victorian and early 20th century literature, so that’s what I’d curl up with. Musically, glam rock was my big thing, but with a few tangents… Genesis (with Gabriel), Hawkwind, a few proggy things. Loved Bowie, Bolan, Mott, 10cc, but that whole period 1972-75 probably had some kind of impact.
Did a particular article make you want to write about music?
Nik Cohn’s Awopbopaloonbop book. It was the first music book I ever read, at a time when I didn’t know such a thing was even possible.
Why write about music and not playing music? Do you believe in the myth of the unsuccessful musician who then criticizes the works of others?
Not at all. I never had any interest in playing an instrument, and definitely none in appearing in public.
Which classical writers do you think have influenced your writing style? Which music writers have done so as well?
Classical writers… hard to say. I read a lot of Orwell and Dickens, so there may have been some seepage. Auberon Waugh (son of Evelyn) was a long-time hero for his journalism. Music writers - Mick Farren and Charles Shaar Murray were (and remain) my favourites.
How did you get into the small world of the music press? You have, I believe, created a fanzine ?
I ran TV Smith’s fan club for a few years in the early 1980s, and did a fanzine for every London gig, which then went monthly once they started playing out of town. That introduced me to a few “real” writers, but it also gave me the confidence to offer things to different magazines, and I took it from there. My first published/paid work was for Record Collector magazine, in 1983.
Punk was fun. Somehow, probably from going to gigs all the time, I got to know various people who would become a part of it - I actually wrote a memoir of sorts about the 1976-77 period, called “London’s Burning,” it came out back in the 2000s, and I was surprised how many of the people I consider friends today, I first met during that period.
You wrote a lot about music dinosaurs but also about the punks who were fighting against them. What is your position on this? Were you also a music extremist who would have calmed down ? (We were all young!)
I was never a music extremist - I’d go see the Adverts one night, Hawkwind the next, and the something weird at the ICA the next. I must admit a lot of the older artists I once liked did start to let me down music-wise during 1977-78 Genesis, ELP and 10cc in particular… but I don’t think that was punk’s fault. It was because their latest albums were crap.
Could you specify for each decade you lived, 5 artists that you consider to be the ones that allowed you to survive musically in the face of the boredom that many others were bringing? Is there a decade that particularly bored you?
60s… trying to remember what I liked that young - I only ever heard the hit singles. Cliff, the Stones, Arthur Brown, Julie Driscoll, and probably the Beatles.
70s - from the first half - Bolan, Bowie, 10cc, Hawkwind, Genesis. From the second half - The Adverts, the Slits, Doctors of Madness, Rikki & The Last Days of Earth, Heavy Metal Kids.
80s — TV Smith/Explorers, Len Bright Combo, Kiss That, Ian Mitchell Band/La Rox, Lords of the New Church. The late 80s/early 90s… I honestly can’t think of much.
90s - Suede, Pulp, David Devant & His Spirit Wife, Sleeper, Catatonia
2000s - Owl Service, the National, Polyphonic Spree, Jem, t.a.T.u
2010s - Chemistry Set, Soft Hearted Scientists, Mordecai Smyth Tess Parks, Hare and the Moon
2020s - Goat Girl, Audiobooks, Rowan Amber Mill, Charming Disaster, The Courettes
I like those writers where reading them feels like you’re sitting around together and the author is just ranting and rambling about whatever the subject might be … lots of bad puns, good jokes, detours and meaningless asides, but all nailed to firm fact and lots of detail. I kind of hope that’s how my style comes across.
Are you a fan of written manuscripts or do you prefer the keyboard?
I’ve been using a keyboard for so long I can’t even imagine trying to use a typewriter again….
Are you as enthusiastic about current music as you are about older music? Do you have moments of lassitude, the desire to stop writing? And if so, what reignites your flame?
I usually find something that interests me - the 2000s weren’t so inspiring for a while, but then I found the wyrd folk movement, the Fruits de Mer label, and a lot of bands floating around those poles. And that woke me up again.
Do you think that little teenage Dave would be proud of the work you have produced? If he had found himself in front of a display of all your books. Which ones would he buy and which ones wouldn’t?
I think he’d be thrilled! As for what he’d buy… anything about glam and punk. A few others for “old time’s sake.” The ones he woudn’t buy… yeah, well there’s a few that even I wouldn’t buy.
None, really. My wife’s big joke is that when I’m between “commissioned” books, I’ll write one for fun, and some of my favourties of all my titles are the ones I’ve self-published for the hell of it - the Hawkwind encyclopaedia, a book about ex-league English football clubs. In fact, my next one out, about the Child Ballads (An Evolving Tradition) is one that I was fully intending to publish myself, but I happened to mention it to a publisher friend and he said he’d do it.
A lot of people don't appreciate books like "the 100 albums you must listen to before you're gone". What do you think about this kind of literature, is it interesting to write?
I enjoy then, especially when I disagree with almost every inclusion. I’ve really only done two, “Candy Striped Cauliflower Capers,” which will be out next month I think, and is a kind of “recommended listening” guide to wyrd folk and modern psychedelia; and “1000 Songs That Rock Your World,” which was fun because I was convinced nobody would agree with most of my picks. In fact, I received a lot of mail from people who actually agreed - my number one, incidentally, was “Bus Stop” by the Hollies.
What did you like in the gothic rock wave of the 80s ? Did you meet many of its members and how did you discover this music?
It was just a great time, with some excellent bands, and really nice people. I’m not sure whether I actually “discovered” the music, though; it was a gradual process - I loved the Banshees and the Cure from very early on, and slowly it seemed like there were more bands around with similar ideas/influences. I was a huge Bauhaus fan from the very first time I saw them, long before the first album - but I also loved the Psychedelic Furs and would have put them in the same kind of area, at least at first. So I was never strictly goth - it was just around at the kind of gigs I was going to, and to be honest, I kind of lost interest once it started to get really regimented.
I don’t like writing obituaries, and turn down far more than I write - I wrote a book about 25 years ago called “Better to Burn Out” (NOT my choice of title) where I remembered various friends and heroes who passed away too young. That was as far as I wanted to go down that road… the obits I’ve written since then have tended to be for people I knew, or because I feel I have something to say about them.
As for who is interested in rock music - young audiences are largely interested in young performers, older ones in older ones. It doesn’t matter whether it’s rock, pop, or whatever; that’s how it’s always been, and how it should stay.
What has been the happiest moment in your writing life?
That’s a hard one. Every time I finish a book, probably!
Which artist did you meet that made the biggest impact on you and why?
When I was younger, I was always interested in the people “behind” the stars… I loved the Stones, but Andrew Loog Oldham fascinated me. Ditto Bowie and Tony DeFries; ditto T Rex and Tony Secunda. Meeting them, talking about what made them tick… that’s probably the answer. Secunda was actually my agent for a few years, until he passed away.
No, but one changed my way of working. The first time I ever interviewed TV Smith for the fan club fanzine, I had my list of questions and he suddenly looked at me and said ‘you’re not listening to my answers; you’re just planning your next question.” And he was right. Since that time, I have never had a list of questions.
Faced with your large production of books, do you have time to be passionate about other subjects? If so, which ones are important to you?
Gosh…I think because music has always been a major part of my life, I so when I’m not writing, or listening to music for a particular project, it’s nevertheless a part of what I’m doing - whether rearranging my CDs and LPs, reading… the important thing, though, is my tastes go far beyond what I write about. For example, I collect Ziegfeld Follies sheet music listen to the bluegrass channel on Sirius; scour used record stores for old Red Sovine and Elvis albums.
At the same time, though, I’ve also written extensively about football, various other hobbies (coin collecting, stamp collecting), film, television - I even wrote a history of porn films. So it’s not only music.
Let's talk about France, what has marked you about this country? Do you know the history of its culture? Are you in contact with musical authors from this country?
I don’t actually know any French people at all! I spent some time in Paris in 1983, and enjoyed it a lot. Unfortunately, the friend I was staying with was English, but her friends only spoke French. And I didn’t. I listened to a lot of radio while I was there, though; bought a few records, too.
I’m trying to think of what’s on my iPod at the moment… Noir Desir were a favourite for a while; Duel, too. Early Coralie Clemente, odd albums by LaFille and Brigitte…. I know very little about any of them, but they’re great records.
You have written books about or with members of the New York Dolls, MC5. Can you tell us about their creation? Do you have particular memories of their writing?
Nothing interesting, I’m afraid. Michael Davis I was put in touch with by his record label; Sylvain Sylvain, his agent called me… then that led me to Walter Lure, although I’d known him loosely back in his Heartbreakers days. Sylvain was one of the funniest and most interesting people I’ve ever met. And Walter - I think we bonded over a shared love of Victorian English literature!
You must have seen a lot of concerts, what were the best ones for you and why?
I’d say look at the list of my favourite performers from the 70s and 80s, and those are probably my favourite shows. My first ever gig was Bowie in 1973, so that’s definitely up there. 10cc on the “Original Soundtrack” tour is another. But really, I could go on all day about any of the bands on those earlier lists.
Is there a book that you didn't manage to finish because of the difficulties you encountered? What is it that makes you refuse to write a new book?
There’s a few I wish I hadn’t finished, but they shall remain nameless. As for refusing - there was a time I’d say yes to everything. Now, I tend only to do ones I’m genuinely interested in.
Have you ever been tempted to write under a pseudonym in order to see if your name sold better than what you write?
Ha! I have written under pseudonyms, but usually because I don’t want people to know it was me. And no, I’m not going to tell you what I wrote….
What are your next projects?
My book is about the Child Ballads, it’s called “The Evolving Tradition,” and that’s out in July. After that. I’m sure there’ll be something…
Thank you Dave
It was fun! Thank you….
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PUBLISHED BOOKS
2023 - An Evolving Tradition - The Child Ballads in Modern Folk and Rock (Backbeat Book)
2023 - Candy-Striped Cauliflower Capers—A Wyrd-Psych-Folk sampler 2013-2023 (Lulu)
2023 - TV Smith: Fire In The Darkness (A Performing History) (Lulu)
2022 - Roxy Music in the Seventies (SonicBond Publishing)
2022 - The Hot, Sweet, Smokey, Muddy Sound of Chinnichap and Mickie Most - The Greatest Glam Show in the World (Lulu)
2022 - Growing Up With John’s Children (full revised 40th anniversary edition) (Lulu)
2021 - Rozz Williams In His Own Words (Cleopatra Books)
2021 - The Grunge Diaries - Seattle 1990-1994 (Backbeat Books)
2021 - She Walks In Beauty: My Quest for the Bigger Picture (with Jim McCarty) (Lulu)
2021 - I Feel Love: Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and How They Reinvented Music (Backbeat)
2020: To Hell and Back: My Life in Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, in the Words of the Last Man Standing (with Walter Lure) (Backbeat)
- (audio) (Tantor Audio, 2021)
2020 - Encyclopaedia Hawkwindia (deluxe edition) Lulu 2020)
- updated paperback (2021)
2019: Come and Get These Memories (with Eddie and Brian Holland) (Omnibus Press)
- (edition) (Omnibus Press 2021)
- (audio) (Blackstone Publishing 2021)
2019: Paul Simon FAQ (Backbeat Books)
2019: Goldmine Record Album Price Guide 10th Edition (F&W Publications)
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)
- (edition) (Omnibus Press 2021)
- (audio) (Tantor Audio, 2021
2018 – Infinite 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 (Cleopatra Books)**
2018 – Nobody Told Me: My Life with the Yardbirds, Renaissance and Other Stories (with Jim McCarty, introduction by Jimmy Page) (Lulu)
– Si J’avais Su… (French language edition) (Lulu 2020)
2018 – Goldmine 45pm Record Price Guide Eighth Edition (F&W Publications)
2018 – The Incomplete Angler – Ten Years of Fruits de Mer (Lulu) – The Incomplete Angler (limited boxed edition) (Fruits de Mer)
2017 – Jack the Ripper FAQ (Applause)
2017 – Goldmine’s Essential Guide to Record Collecting (F&W Media)
2017 – The 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)
2017 – Robin Hood FAQ (Applause)
2017 – Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Ninth Edition (F&W Media)
2016 – An Accidental Musician: The Autobiography Of Judy Dyble (with Judy Dyble) (Soundcheck)
- revised edition to come
2016 – Eldritch Abbeys and Wyrd Ruins (photos) (Createspace)
2016 – What 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)
2016 – The Rocky Horror FAQ (Applause Books)
2016 – The 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) – The Freakiest Show (Revised and Updated Edition) 1964-2019 (Lulu 2019)
2016 – Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1990 Ninth Edition (F&W Media)
2016 – Goldmine Jazz Album Price Guide Third Edition (F&W Media)
2016 – Britcoms FAQ (Applause Books)
2015 – A 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)
2015 – Time & 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)
2015 – The Twilight Zone FAQ (Applause Books)
2015 – The Spirit Of Hawkwind 1969-1976 (with Nik Turner) (Cleopatra Books)
2015 – Haunted America FAQ (Applause Books)
2015 – Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Eighth Edition (F&W Media)
2015 – Football FAQ (Applause)
– (US edition) Soccer FAQ (Applause, 2015)
2015 – Death Toll (fiction: by Gareth Tudor-Rose) (Createspace)
2014 – If You Dig Cliff Richard… Here’s 100+ Albums You’ve Gotta Hear (Createspace)
2014 – South Park FAQ (Applause)
2014 – Sherlock Holmes FAQ (Applause Books)
– Sherlock Holmes FAQ (Barnes & Noble)
– (trans) Russian
2014 – Robert Plant: The Voice That Sailed the Zeppelin (Backbeat Books)
- audiobook (Tantor Audio, 2021)
2014 – Peter Frampton – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2014 - Ivan Kral (ghost) (forthcoming?)**
2013 – Doctor Who FAQ (Applause Books)
– Doctor Who FAQ (Barnes & Noble)
2013 – The Mothers of Invention – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 200 Motels and more) (e-book)
2013 – The Clash – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2013 – Roger Waters: The Man Behind the Wall (Backbeat Books)
– (trans) Polish
2013 – Robyn Hitchcock – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 1976-1996) (e-book)
2013 – Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2013 – Mike Oldfield – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: Tubular Bells to Voyager) (e-book)
2013 – The Ladies of Storyville (Createspace)
2013 – June 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)
2013 – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers – the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: the London Years) (e-book)
2013 – Joe Meek – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2013 – If You Like True Blood (Limelight)
2013 – If You Like Bob Marley (Limelight)
2013 – Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Seventh Edition (F&W Media)
2013 – George Harrison – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2013 – Fire and Wine – An Armchair Guide to Steve Ashley (Createspace)
– Fire and Wine – An Armchair Guide to Steve Ashley (updated ed) (Createspace, 2016)
2013 – Essentially Elvis – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2013 – Eric Clapton – Give Me Strength: the Ultimate Listening Guide (Part One: 1973-1977) (e-book)
2013 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer – the Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2012 – Welcome to My Nightmare: The Alice Cooper Story (Omnibus)
– audiobook (Audible Studios, 2013)
– (trans) Portuguese (Brazil)
– (trans) Swedish
2012 – Standard Catalog of American Records Eighth Edition (F&W Media)
2012 – Music On Film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Limelight)
2012 – If You Like Led Zeppelin… (Backbeat Books)
2012 – Hearts of Darkness:… the Birth of the Singer Songwriter (Backbeat Books)
2012 – A Kind of Love-In – the story of Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity (Createspace)
- A Kind of Love-In – the story of Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity (Lulu 2019)
2012 – 10cc – 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)
2011 – Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Backbeat Books)
2011 – Thin Lizzy – Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
– Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back – The True Story (Abstract – pirate edition, 2012)***
2011 – Status Quo – Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book)
2011 – Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot (Chicago Review Press)
– (updated edition) (Chicago Review Press, 2016)
2010 – Bayou Underground (ECW)
2011 – 1000 Songs That Rock Your World (F&W Media)
2010 – TV Smith – TV Times 30th Anniversary Edition (Createspace)
2010 – The Sweet – Blockbuster (Cherry Red)
2010 – Ozzy Osbourne: Wit & Wisdom (F&W Media)
– (trans) Finnish
2010 – Children of the Revolution: The Glam Rock Story (Cherry Red)
2009 – Fierce Fiction: Dickens, Ainsworth, Bulwer and Thackeray in the Shadows of Newgate Prison (Createspace)
2009 – Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop (Backbeat Books)
– Dangerous Glitter (Veneta – Brazil, 2013)
2009 – Suede – Armchair Guide (Createspace)
– The Next Life, First Time Around (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017)
2009 – Sparks – #1 Songs In Heaven (Cherry Red)
2009 – London’s Burning: True Adventures on the Front Line of Punk (Chicago Review Press)
2009 – John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett: Beatback (Createspace)
– They Did It Otway: Otway-Barrett in the Seventies (Lulu, 2017)
2009 – Footnotes from the Archives of Oblivion (Createspace)
2009 – Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists (contributor) (Backbeat Books)
2008 – I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Primer (Backbeat Books)
2008 – Doctor Who: Eclectic Gypsy (CGP)
2007 – Black and White and Blue: Adult Cinema from the Victorian Age to the VCR (ECW)
2007 – The Little Black Book of Music (contributor) (Cassell Illustrated)
2007 – The Who – Searching for the Young Mod Rebels (Createspace) – The Who – Searching for the Young Mod Rebels (Lulu, 2019)
2006 – Bob Marley – Critical Review (Classic Rock)***
– Bob Marley – The Ultimate Listening Guide (e-book, 2012)
2006 – Hallo Spaceboy: The Rebirth of David Bowie (ECW)
2006 – The Jeff Beck Group – Truth (Cherry Red Books)
2006 – Marc Bolan – A Critical Review (Classic Rock)***
2006 – The Rolling Stones – Critical Review (Classic Rock)***
2005 – Cream – World’s First Supergroup (Virgin Books)
– Cream – How Eric Clapton Took the World By Storm (revised/updated edition) (Virgin Books, 2010)
2005 – The 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)
2005 – New 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)
2005 – Genesis: Turn It On Again (Backbeat Books)
2005 – Lost in the Grooves (contributor) (Routledge)
2004 – Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water (ECW)
– (trans) Finnish
– (trans) Italian
- (trans) Polish
2004 – Wheels Out Of Gear: 2-Tone, the Specials and a World in Flame (Helter Skelter)
– Wheels Out Of Gear: 2-Tone, the Specials and a World in Flame (new ed) (Soundcheck 2011)
– Wheels Out of Gear (2017 edition) (Createspace, 2017)
– Wheels Out of Gear (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017)
2004 – The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (Helter Skelter)
– The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (2017 Edition) (Createspace, 2017)
– The Psychedelic Furs – Beautiful Chaos (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017)
2003 – Phil Spector – Wall of Pain (Sanctuary Books)
– Phil Spector – Wall of Pain (Sanctuary Encore Books, 2004)
– Phil Spector – Wall of Pain (updated edition) (Omnibus Books, 2005)
2003 – All Music Guide to Soul (contributor) (Backbeat Books)
2003 – The Fall – A User’s Guide (Helter Skelter)
– The Fall – A User’s Guide (revised edition) (Createspace 2013)
– Words of Expectation: Listening to the Fall (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017))
2002 – The Dark Reign of Gothic Rock (Helter Skelter)
– The Dark Reign of Gothic Rock (revised edition) (Createspace, 2015)
– In the Reptile House (revised edition) (Lulu, 2017)
2002 – The Beatles Digest Volume 2 (contributor) (Krause)
2002 – To Major Tom: Letters to David Bowie (fiction) (Sanctuary Books)
– To Major Tom: Letters to David Bowie (new edition) (Sanctuary Books, 2003)
– To Major Tom: Letters to David Bowie (new edition) (Foruli Books, 2013)
2002 – The Music Lover’s Guide to Record Collecting (Backbeat Books)
2002 – The Essential Listening Guide to Reggae & Caribbean Music (Third Ear/Backbeat)
2002 – All Music Guide to Rock (contributor) (Backbeat)
2001 – Funk – the Essential Listening Companion (Third Ear/Backbeat)
2001 – Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth (contributor) (Feral House)
2000 – 20th Century Rock’n’Roll: Glam Rock (CGP)
2000 – The Beatles Digest (contributor) (Krause)
2000 – Alternative Rock: The Essential Listening Guide (Third Ear/Backbeat)
2000 – 20th Century Rock’n’Roll: Punk Rock (CGP)
2000 – 20th Century Rock’n’Roll: Pop (CGP)
2000 – The Mojo Collection (contributor) (Mojo Books)
1999 – Better To Burn Out – The Cult of Death in Rock’n’Roll (Thunder’s Mouth)
1998 – The Classic Rock Digest (contributor) (Krause)
1997 – The Goldmine Price Guide to the British Invasion (with Tim Neely) (Krause Pub)
1997 – Phish – Go Phish (St Martin’s Press)
1996 – Winona (Taylor Publishing)
1996 – Travolta (Taylor Publishing)
1995 – Punk Collectors Guide (CGP)
1995 – U2: The Making of the Joshua Tree (CGP)
1995 – The Cure: The Making of Disintegration (CGP)
1995 – Perry Farrell: The Saga of a Hypester (St Martin’s Press)
1994 – Space Daze: The History & Mystery of Electronic Ambient Space Rock (Cleopatra Books)
– Space Daze: The History and Mystery of Space Rock (revised edition) (Createspace, 2009)
– Space Daze: The History and Mystery of Space Rock (second edition) (Lulu, 2017)
1994 – Kurt Cobain – Never Fade Away (St Martin’s Press)
– (trans) German
– (trans) Italian
– (trans) Japanese
– (trans) Dutch
– (edition) UK
1994 – Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward (St Martin’s Press)
– (edition) UK
1993 – Price Guide to Collectible Records Third Edition (contributor) (Krause)
1993 – The Red Hot Chili Peppers: True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes (Virgin Books)
– The Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way (fully upd and rev ed of 1993, Virgin Books, 2004)
- (trans) Dutch
– (edition) USA
1993 – The Industrial Revolution (Cleopatra Books)
– The Industrial Revolution updated/revised 2nd Edition (Cleopatra Books 1994)
– The Industrial Revolution – Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Createspace, 2013) - The Industrial Revolution – 25th Anniversary Edition (Lulu, 2019)
1993 – Rod Stewart – Vagabond Heart (ghost: Geoffrey Giuliano) (Sidgwick & Jackson)**
– (hardback edition)
– (edition) UK
1991 – In God We Rust – the Collectors Guide to Cull Coins (Ainsworth Press)
1991 – The Vaasa Plating Guide – stamps of the Finnish Civil War, 1918 (Ainsworth Press)
1991 – The Standard Catalog of Foreign Coins used in the United States (Ainsworth Press)
1991 – The 1991 US Soccer Yearbook – a statistical guide to the US international team until 1990 (private)
1991 – Philately at War – a Catalog of Wartime Stamps and Postal issues (Ainsworth Press)
1990 – The Mystery of the Kushans (Ainsworth Press)
1990 – A Century of Struggle – a Numismatic History of the Irish “troubles” (Ainsworth Press)
1990 – The Most Beautiful Coin In The World – the story of the Maria Theresa taler (Ainsworth Press)
1990 – Monsters in the Mail – a catalog of philatelic dinosaurs (Ainsworth Press)
1990 – Those We Have Loved Volume Three (private)
1989 – Beyond the Velvet Underground (Omnibus Books)
– (trans) Japanese
1989 – Newport County: The Team That Died of Neglect (private)
– Newport County: The Team That Died of Neglect (revised edition) (private, 1989)
1989 – Bono – In His Own Words (Omnibus Books)
– (trans) German
– (trans) Serbian
1989 – A View of the Medway (private)
1988 – Those We Have Loved Volumes 1 & 2 (private)
– Those We Have Loved: Casualties and Catastrophes of the Football League, 1888-1988 (Fully Revised Edition) (paperback) (Createspace, 2017)
– Those We Have Loved: Casualties and Catastrophes of the Football League, 1888-1988 (Fully Revised Hardback Edition) (Lulu, 2017
- Until the Crowds Return: A Century of Football League Outcasts 1888-1988 (Lulu, 2020 )
1988 – The Pogues* (Babylon Books)
1988 – The Dire Straits Collectors Guide* (Babylon Books)
1988 – The Cure Visual Documentary (Omnibus Books)
– The Cure Visual Documentary (updated ed) (Omnibus Books, 1993)
- (trans) Czech
- (trans) German
- (trans) Italian
- (trans) Polish
- (trans) Slovak
1988 – T’Pau* (Babylon Books)
1988 – Kiss – Still On Fire (Caroline Books)
- (trans) Swedish
1988 – Johnny Rotten In His Own Words (Omnibus Books)
- (trans) Czech
- (trans) Slovak
1988 – Babes in Arms – Manchester United and the Munich Air Disaster 1958 (private)
1987 – The Sixties – Hits & Pics* (Telstar Books)
1987 – The Duran Duran Scrapbook Volume 8* (Babylon Books)
1987 – The Beastie Boys Scrapbook* (Babylon Books)
1987 – Spandau Ballet Hits and Pics* (Telstar Books)
1987 – Mel and Kim: Hits and Pics* (Telstar Books)
1987 – Half Time: Football and the Cigarette Card (Murray Books)
1987 – Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Hits and Pics* (Telstar Books)
1987 – Five Star: Hits and Pics* (Telstar Books)
1987 – Feargal Sharkey* (Bobcat Books)
1987 – David Bowie – Moonage Daydream (Plexus Publishing)
1987 – Chris DeBurgh: From a Spark to a Flame (Omnibus Books)
– (trans) German
1987 – Children of the Revolution (private)
– Hey!: The Story of Gum into Glam, 1964-1987 (revised ed) (Createspace, 2013)
– Hey!: The Story of Gum into Glam, 1964-1987 (revised ed) (Lulu, 1987)
1987 – Callan – Episode Guide (private)
1987 – Bananarama: Hits and Pics* (Telstar Books)
1986 – TV Smith – Life & Times (private)
– TV Smith – Your Ticket Out Of Here (revised ed) Createspace, 2009)
– TV Smith – Your Ticket Out Of Here: A Performing History Volume One 1973-1992 (Lulu, 2020)
1986 – Paul Young* (Bobcat Books)
1986 – Echo and the Bunnymen (Proteus Books)
1986 – Depeche Mode* (Bobcat Books)
1986 – Billy Idol* (Bobcat Books)
1985 – ZZ Top – Elimination* (Omnibus Books)
1985 – Tears For Fears* (Bobcat Books)
1985 – Simple Minds – Glittering Prize (Omnibus Books)
1985 – Dead Or Alive* (Bobcat Books)
1985 – David Lee Roth* (Proteus Books)
1984 – U2 – Stories For Boys* (Proteus Books)
– U2 – Stories For Boys (Bobcat Books, 1986)
– U2 – Stories For Boys updated edition (Omnibus Books, 1987))
1982 – John’s Children: Growing Up With (private)
– John’s Children (condensed/revised ed) (Babylon Books, 1988)
– John’s Children: A Midsummer Night’s Scene and Other Stories (revised ed)
– John’s Children: A Midsummer Night’s Scene and Other Stories (revised ed) (Lulu, 2017)
* pseudonymous works
** ghost-written works
*** stolen/bootlegged works