Author:Judy Dyble with Dave Thompson
Dame Judy has obviously been asked many questions about her time as the first lady of Fairport Convention, or at least has been asked the same few questions many times, and she gets on with answering them early doors. Almost the first page in the book deals with the issue that any reminiscence of those times from this distance is likely to throw up mildly conflicting memories, which very sweetly punctures the self-importance of anyone ready to correct her on the exact date that she may have been at The Roundhouse to see Pink Floyd, and some of the more self-aggrandizing recollections regarding her departure from the Fairports which might appear in other memoirs of the era *cough – White Bicycles*. Tellingly, each chapter begins with a diary entry – not necessarily one from the era in question, but the inference is that this stuff was being written up as it happened.
Before addressing the Jimi Hendrix story, confirming singing on The Incredible String Band’s album, meeting Sandy Denny for tea, and having to flounce into a room upon her being asked to vacate the lead singer’s position, she writes (or is at least transcribed) warmly and engagingly about coming of age in the Sixties, in much the same way that Viv Albertine did about going through a similar process a decade later, pointing out that no-one really saw the time as one of change and musical revolution until much later on. Refreshingly, she reflects on the era with a commendably down to earth eye for the minutae of the times. There’s also a lot of fag smoking.
To be honest I’m only half way through so far – at this point she’s made an album, dated Richard Thompson, been fired from Fairport Convention, doodled some ideas with Robert Fripp and split up with the bass player who would later form Foreigner. She’s nineteen.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
One thing you’ve learned
The autoharp that Judy played on the first Fairport album was not destroyed as she thought, and is currently in the possession of Simon Nicol.
Record Collector August 2016