October 17, 2010
Playing the Band... - the musical life of Jon Hiseman.
Author - Martyn Hanson
This book takes you on the roller-coaster ride that is the life of Jon Hiseman - one of Britain's top drummers. It's a personal journey through one of the most intriguing and fascinating periods in rock and pop history, telling in detail of the forces, the personalities, the triumphs and disappointments that make up a life spent at the centre of modern music...and all set against the background of how, in the second half of the 20th century, the British music industry reached dizzying heights...until the advent of new technology brought it back to earth with a bump!
There are many stories of Jon's experiences with John Mayall, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, the New Jazz Orchestra, Colosseum, Tempest, Colosseum II, United Jazz & Rock Ensemble and Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia. But, it's not just a story of a life in music; it is a tale of individualism, survival, friendships and rivalry, romance, brutal reality... and the occasional insanity. Above all, it's the story of a man who describes himself as 'a cautious optimist' and who considers his greatest achievement, the enduring love affair with saxophonist and composer Barbara Thompson.
The author of "Playing the Band", Martyn Hanson, had access to Jon and Barbara's extensive archive and after interviewing most of the protagonists, spent about 10 months writing the first draft. Over a period of the next fifteen months, Jon and Martin 'pinged' four further drafts back and forth between them by email. Jon tightened and improved the text and also added many comments and insider stories that the original interviews hadn't uncovered.
Then Colin Richardson, manager of the original Colosseum and long-time friend of Jon and Barbara, undertook the onerous ask of editing the final draft. His many years as an agent and manager in the music business began with The New Jazz Orchestra and continued throughout the '60s and '70s acting, in one capacity or another, for many of the participants in this book. He brought a combination of his specialist knowledge and a long-standing interest in language to the job of polishing and further refining the narrative.
However one looks at the British musical scene in the early to mid 1960s, it was a unique period -- the winds of change, they were a-blowing...it was a time of emancipation from the dominance of American music and the establishment of its own identity, which was new, vibrant and, above all, intellectually challenging as well as being dramatically different. It was truly a fantastic era while it lasted and the musicians you will meet in this book formed an amazing melting pot of talent!
Then there is a drummer by the name of Jon Hiseman, who had by his side for most of his musical career a very special musician and his lifetime companion... Barbara Thompson, who certainly deserves an honorable place in the list of great British musical mavericks. Reading about his remarkable experiences while on the road 'playing the bands', unquestionably establishes Jon's importance as an essential piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is British music.
Published by Temple Music - www.temple-music.com.
Order from the TM website or for European sales, from www.viking-music.de
Publication date 20th October 2010