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Sixties City Books
Sixties City Books

Channelling The Beat!: The ultimate guide to UK '60s pop on TV
Peter Checksfield
With 30 years of research, over 700 info-packed pages, and a foreword by Peter Noone, Mike Pender, Tony Crane MBE, Brian Poole, Steve Ellis& Billie Davis,‘Channelling The Beat!’ more than lives up to its subtitle 'The Ultimate Guide to UK ‘60s Pop on TV'! Profiled are over 150 “British Invasion” artists. These include the post ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll of Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and The Tornados; the beat explosion of The Beatles, The Tremeloes and Herman’s Hermits; the rhythm ‘n’ blues of The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things and The Who; and the psychedelia of The Pink Floyd, Procol Harum and Traffic, not forgetting the girl singers such as Cilla Black, Billie Davis and Dusty Springfield. Amongst the 100’s of legendary shows featured are the UK’s ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’, ‘Top of The Pops’ and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’, the US’s ‘The Ed Sullivan Show, ‘Shindig!’ and ‘Hullabaloo’, Europe’s ‘Beat Club’, ‘Popside’ and ‘Twien’, and 100’s of more! So, whether you have just a casual interest in ‘60s music and culture, or you're a more serious researcher and historian, this is the book for you!
Also by
Peter Checksfield
2 new books for 2019:

Look Wot They Dun
70s UK Glamrock on TV
Tell Me What You See
The Beatles on TV/video
The Cutting Edge - Press Release
The Cutting Edge: The Story of the Beatles' Hairdresser Who Defined an Era
Leslie Cavendish
He was the hairdresser of The Beatles and many more 60s celebrities including The Bee Gees, The Who, James Taylor, Peter Cook, Terence Stamp, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills and Nash. Leslie's fascinating first hand account (which he has waited fifty years to tell) includes anecdotes from the drug-fuelled insanity at Apple Corp, Leslie's experiences on the Magical Mystery Tour's psychedelic bus, how one of Leslie's haircuts changed rock and roll history, leading directly to the creation of the groundbreaking Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, behind the scenes portraits of John, Paul, George and Ringo, at home, in the recording studio and in town, and why Leslie never kept a single lock of the Beatles' valuable hair (one of John Lennon's locks was recently auctioned for £25,000 pounds!)
The publication of this book coincides with the start of the most important fifty-year anniversary of the Beatles and of the 60s counterculture. Containing unpublished photographs, the book will be printed in August 2017 for release in September 2017 (Alma Books 9781846884313 £14.99 Hardback).
Fashion Trends - London Look of the 60s
Fashion Trends: London Look of the 60's
Miss Leigh Rudd
with drawings by Brittany Morganti
The London Look of the 1960’s is a value-packed 85 pages of colouring and escape into a stress-free zone, with over 150 original drawings of London's outrageously trendy scene during the ‘Swinging Sixties’.
Creator Leigh Rudd says, “We did not hold back here! We were going for high impact fun at a great price! We want our colouring fashionistas to be entertained and distracted.” There are detailed drawings of the famous epicentre of fashion in the 60’s which was King’s Road in Chelsea, London. This fashionista colouring book is a first! It is a guide to Fashion Forecasting 101 -- whether it is for a career or for yourself. Since Leigh Rudd is the original fashion forecaster in 1968, this is the perfect vehicle for guiding a fashion devotee into this world. It provides imaginative images of all the inspiration and work tools - not to be missed. Rudd gives homage to cutting edge Chelsea in London and designers like Mary Quant and Ossie Clark. The main character is Jordan Parker (a feisty alter-ego of herself in 2016) who hosts the colouring book as a young fashion forecaster. Click the image for the AMAZON link.
Making Waves - David Sinclair
Radio Stations In the Mid-60's - Making Waves
David Sinclair
David was born and raised in the UK and after a somewhat uninteresting series of jobs, was bitten by the broadcasting bug in late 1965 and 'served' aboard Radio Essex, Radio 390 and Radio 270. After the closure of the pirate radio scene he emigrated to Canada and worked in both commercial radio and television. Although now retired, he still does the occasional voice-over.
Kindle Edition

Holding The Fort - Michael Bates
Principality of Sealand: Holding the Fort
Michael Bates
The book uncovers the truth behind Michael's kidnap by armed terrorists, his family setting up their own island nation, government sieges, top secret government documents and multiple attempts to bring an end to the Sealand dream. The book includes previously unseen photos from his family's personal collection. "The story of Sealand is stranger than fiction, better than Hollywood and more surreal than Dali" - Ben Fogle
I Remember Jim Morrison
I Remember Jim Morrison
Alan Graham
Afterword by Scott Graves
As intimate a portrait of Jim Morrison’s character and the forces which shaped his life and death as the reader is ever likely to encounter.
Proceeds go to Kimberely Graham Cancer Recovery Fund.
KINDLE edition
Before The Beatles Were Famous
Before the Beatles Were Famous
Alan Graham
Told with frank wit and realism, Before The Beatles Were Famous is equal parts autobiography and cultural history, spanning the era beginning with Al Graham's childhood in post-WWII Liverpool through the late nineteen sixties in what was then called "Swingin' London". As a chronicle of the times it presents the unvarnished reality of Dickensesque poverty; as a coming-of-age story it is equally candid and unclouded by nostalgia. Excerpt    Bill Harry Interview

The Legend of Time Tunnel - Marcelo Abeal
The Legend of Time Tunnel    
Marcelo Abeal Urquiza
The Legend of Time Tunnel is a new book about The Time Tunnel by Argentinian actor/model/stuntman/author, Marcelo Abeal Urquiza. You can find out more about the book and its author by clicking on the image and visiting his website.
You can also enjoy a gallery of pictures from Marcelo at:
Legend of Time Tunnel Gallery

ISBN 978-987-022774-8

The Isla Vista Crucible
Reilly Ridgell
Three college roommates try to live and enjoy their student lives while caught up in the frenzy of casual drug use, recreational sex, lacrosse, rock and roll music, political activism, riots, and race relations during the tumultuous 1969-70 school year in the unique student community of Isla Vista.
" I was amazed at the dazzling accuracy, and intricate twists of originality, with which he portrays many stock, but absolutely true-to-life, characters "
The King of Carnaby Street - Jeremy Reed
The King of Carnaby Street
Jeremy Reed
John Stephen drove a purple and gold Cadillac and suffered bouts of manic depression that meant he had no need for the drug scene of the day, where speed in the form of 'purple hearts' fuelled all-night raves. As Jeremy Reed reveals in this fascinating new biography of a relatively neglected figure, Stephen ultimately became an icon of the swinging sixties and the Mods.

press release (word.doc)
Veronika Carnaby
In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the "ideals" of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world  Veronika Carnaby blogspot
The Untold 60s - Alex Gross
The Untold 60s
Alex Gross
An insider's Sixties on an international scale! During the Sixties the author wrote for, and occasionally edited, major underground newspapers in London, New York, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Almost all of 'The Untold Sixties' was written during the mid-Seventies, when these events were still fresh in the author's mind, bringing the reader remarkably close to reliving the Sixties in all their intensity.
Boom! - Ted Polhemus
Boom! and Orbiting Neptune   Two new books by Ted Polhemus
As the baby boom generation grew up in the 50s, 60s and 70s the world changed as never before – ‘youth culture’ became where it’s AT, ditto ‘pop culture’ which for the first time in history triumphed over elitist High Culture, likewise, ‘streetstyle’ overshadowed High Fashion as the driving force decreeing what is ‘In’ and what is ‘Out’, America and then ‘Swinging London’ made chic Paris look passé and the ‘counterculture’ challenged (and then became) The Establishment.
Throughout all this I had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time. Now, as ‘My Generation’ enters old age, my new books BOOM! and Orbiting Neptune explore how the world was (and wasn’t) shaped by the Boomers – and, crucially, considers what a post-Boomer world will look like.

For more information about these and other projects or to give your views go to
Orbiting Neptune is a pictorial companion to BOOM! and is available print-on-demand and as an e-book download
Matt Monro - Michele Monro - Titan Books
Matt Monro: The Singer’s Singer : The Life and Music of Matt Monro
Michele Monro
A singer once said “his pitch was right on the nose: his word enunciation letter perfect: his understanding of a song thorough. He will be missed very much, not only by myself, but by his fans all over the world”. The singer was the legendary Frank Sinatra, The man he spoke about: the irreplaceable Matt Monro.

Click on image for more information and other publications at Titan Books
Orbiting Neptune - Ted Polhemus
Going Underground - Suzie Tullett
Going Underground
A first novel by Suzie Tullett
Three men on two scooters (a vintage Lambretta and Vespa) heading down the country to Brighton...
Three women and a heavily pregnant belly in hot pursuit - all squashed into a classic, Union Jack roofed mini...
... and an off duty Police Officer bringing up the rear... and with musically themed chapters it even has its own soundtrack!
The Cavern After Hours
Cavern After Hours
Cavern After Hours is a website, and a book, that focuses very much on 60s bands that never made it big, but still made a great contribution to the mid to late 60's Merseyside Merseybeat scene. The book not only covers growing up in Liverpool during the 50's and early 60's but also includes early recollections of the mythical place only a bus ride away know as the Cavern together with the overall Merseybeat sound which at that time 1962 was only just starting to grow.
Visit this fascinating site!
Flowers In Their Hair - Keith Howchi Kilburn
Flowers In Their Hair
Keith Howchi Kilburn

The book documents the misadventures of Zane as he negotiates the carnivals and combat zones of the 60s… An average hippie, he evades Vietnam, takes part in student uprisings, seeks spiritual enlightenment through psychedelic drugs, gets incarcerated, and lives in communes.
Follow Zane’s journey as his quest for spirituality and love comes to some fruition by the end of the decade.
The 60s - Bill Harry and Robert Orbach
The 60s
Bill Harry and Robert Orbach
The 1960s were a defining period in the 20th century. A new generation took over the world and brought it their long hair, vibrant music and exciting, modern fashion. Moral standards and role models were questioned and often rejected, All aspects of this remarkable decade are covered Politics, Conflict, Sport, Music, People, Style as well as all the key players of the time Lennon, McCartney, Kennedy, Warhol, Armstrong, Dylan, Quant, King, Elvis, Mao.
Birmingham:More of The Sixties - Alton Douglas
Birmingham - More of The Sixties
Alton Douglas
One of many Alton Douglas (quizmaster and co-writer of the BBC Midlands TV series 'Know Your Place') books (33 at the last count) documenting Midlands life during various periods of history and jam-packed with photographs, documents and adverts from the time.
This one features more than 350 iconic photos of Birmingham, and Midlands life, in the Sixties.
Mersey Sound Wave - Bill Hart
Mersey Sound Wave
Bill Hart

A unique artistic commemoration and celebration of the UK's greatest musical era of all time...
Mersey Sound Wave is a
book, a CD, a website and a local institution dedicated to celebrating the history and sound of Mersey sixties music. Click on the image for a 15-page book preview and the sales site.
Click here to visit Bill's 'Mersey Sound Wave' website.
Sc-Fi and Fantasy Modeller Magazine
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Modeller
A quarterly, 100-page, all-colour mag for modellers that regularly features in-depth pieces on the Irwin Allen series, Gerry Anderson subjects, Star Trek, Star Wars, and more, covering the latest releases in genre mainstream and garage kits, plus scratchbuild and conversion projects.
Modelling the 21st Century
A thrilling line-up of Anderson-esque science fiction and fantasy modelling projects. Profusely illustrated throughout with hundreds of photographs.
Psych Trail Mix
Psych Trail Mix
Psychedelia isn't just a kind of music, or a passing fad, it's a whole THING. There's a lot to it!
This is an American website and online 'Print your own 'zine' that allows you to view the zine in .pdf format and hopefully, print it if you'd like to.
It's completely free, and you can also access all the back copies as well!
A Degree of Swing
A Degree of Swing
Colin Miller ISBN 978-1-78091-009-3
The period 1958-64 saw radical changes to the lives of most young people and the beginnings of a culture for the young based around popular music and fashion. This book will bring back many memories for people who grew up in the early 1960s and help later generations appreciate how very different experiences and expectations were for young men and women fifty or so years ago.
London Babylon - Steve Overbury
London Babylon: The Beatles and The Stones in the Swinging Sixties
Steve Overbury
His new book tells the sorry story of the dealer responsible for the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Talitha Getty and ultimately himself. It details the life of the murderer who made it with a princess and it reveals who might have been the real killer of Keith M
oon’s chauffeur. London Babylon examines the life of the man who built the machine that drove Kurt Cobain crazy and the people that drilled holes in their heads. Welcome to Swingin' London!
Guns, Cash and Rock'n'Roll - Steve Overbury
Guns, Cash and Rock'n'Roll: The Managers
Steve Overbury
The book celebrates this special breed – often flawed low achievers but true believers, hard-nosed wheeler-dealers and schemers who were as at home talking to drug dealers and the mafia as they were to corporate lawyers. The music business has a hopeless allure for extreme characters and encourages extreme behaviour. Of the twelve managers featured, at least five of them were drug enthusiasts and four of them liked having guns to hand.
Ridley Road
Ridley Road
Jo Bloom
Summer, 1962. Twenty-year-old Vivien Epstein, a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, arrives in London following the death of her father. Alone in the world, she is looking for a man she had a brief but intense love affair with some months before. Determined to make a new life for herself, Vivien convinces Barb, the owner of Oscar's hair salon in Soho, to give her a job. There, she is swept into the world of the sixties - the music and the fashions, the coffee bars and clubs.
The Big Beat Scene
The Big Beat Scene
Royston Ellis
Over fifty years ago, at the dawn of the Swinging Sixties, Royston Ellis was a spokesman for Britain'steenage generation. Aged 16, he hung around coffee bars and jazz clubs in Soho, chronicling in poetry the life he saw around him. Gradually, he also became closely associated with the emerging music scene. In 1959, he teamed up with Cliff Richard's group, the Drifters, and appeared with them on television and stage shows performing his unique brand of 'rocketry' (rock'n'roll poetry). In 1960, he was backed by the Beetles (as they then were) in Liverpool, and by Jimmy Page at London’s Mermaid Theatre. Before leaving the UK in 1961 to explore the world, Ellis penned the first-ever books on Cliff (Driftin’ with Cliff Richard) and the Shadows (The Shadows by Themselves), as well as The Big Beat Scene, the first contemporary account of the teenage music scene in Britain. Written before the emergence of the Beatles and without the benefit of hindsight, this fascinating document provides a unique, first-hand insight into the popularity and relevance of jazz, skiffle and rock'n'roll at a time when Cliff Richard & The Shadows were at the cutting edge of pop, and the social attitudes of the time. Out of print for almost half a century, this forgotten classic of rock literature is now available once again, with additional explanatory notes and a new Foreword and Afterword by the author.

Excerpts from 'Before The Beatles Were Famous' by Alan Graham

Rock'n'Roll Lunch

It was noon when I arrived. As I descended the steps to the dank basement, a choking wave of disinfectant almost drove me back upstairs. They were still cleaning up from the night before, yet it was busy with patrons at the food counter, eating lunchtime hot dogs and drinking Coca-Cola in tiny glass bottles. The smell of rotten fruit still lingered from the days when the place was a produce warehouse. The rest of the buildings in the area were still in use for that purpose, and the streets were lined with loud, idling delivery trucks. The warehouse filled up with the sound of guitars being tuned on a stage at the back. The ceiling was low and the building long, creating an atmosphere of being in a railway tunnel with a light at the end. A lunchtime rock-‘n’-roll concert in a smelly basement on a grimy backstreet hardly seemed inviting, but when Paul McCartney stepped up to the microphone and belted out the lyrics to Long Tall Sally – “Gonna tell Aunt Mary ‘ bout Uncle John He claims he has the misery but he's havin’ a lot of fun Oh baby, yes, baby – wooo – baby, havin’ me some fun tonight, yeah…” – the basement was transformed into Rock-‘n’-Roll Heaven. Gone was the odor of rotten fruit and disinfectant as the now tightly packed space was electrified with the sound and the intensity of the performers. John Lennon and Paul McCartney harmonized as George Harrison played a sweet lead guitar. Pete Best sat smiling on the drums, and the hour went by much too quickly.

It was 1960, and The Beatles had not yet been discovered. They were wildly popular to a very small but adoring fan base. Red and sweating faces popped up out of the warehouse, and suddenly Matthew Street was jammed with people returning to work. The Beatles emerged and loaded their equipment into a dark green van. I stood watching the soon-to-be Fab Four. John Lennon had a Pomp hairstyle with a DA in the back. With a small black comb, he carefully primped and preened the shiny mass. At that time the Beatles were strictly a cover band doing 1950s rock-’n’-roll. Original music was something of the future; and although nobody, including the Beatles, could imagine it, they would become that future.

The Fab Four

In 1961, I worked for Jackson’s Tailor Shop in Liverpool, England. Lunchtime was the most exciting part of my day. I would make the short walk to the busy fruit market area where one of the warehouses had been converted into a cramped basement nightclub called The Cavern. Monday through Friday, lunch guests were treated to matinee performances by up-and-coming rock ‘n’ roll groups who played the music of such popular American artists as Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, Sam Cooke, and Joe Tex. Sitting down to a meal of ice-cold Coke and a hot dog smothered in onions, I listened to local bands cover Sweet Little Sixteen, Long Tall Sally, Tallahassee Lassie, Three Cool Cats, Rip It Up, and many more top hits from across the pond. Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers, Cilla Black, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes – these were the foundation of the great new “Mersey Beat.”

But amongst all of these rock stars in the making, one band stood out above all others. Clad in black leather jackets, Levi’s, and high-heeled boots and boasting silly haircuts, these lads were cool, cheeky, and gave it their all. Very soon, this group, my favorite, would become famous, transforming rock ‘n’ roll and the city of Liverpool. Originally called The Quarrymen, the world was to know them as The Beatles. The Beatles headed for London – “The Smoke.” I never saw them perform live again but marveled at their meteoric rise. They arranged their own compositions, leaving the old songs in the dust as a new paradigm emerged. We all sang their material with home grown pride. Love Me Do and Please, Please Me were the first to hit the charts. What followed was nothing less than an avalanche of creative energy not seen since the 1920’s renaissance in Paris. When the Beatles left the city of Liverpool, my lunchtime was not the same. Even though the new music raged on, for me something was missing. So, I too left, following my “Fab Four” to London (The Smoke).

At midnight I took the cheapest train out of the Liverpool Central Station. It was a six-hour journey as we stopped to deliver mail at each city down the line. At six a.m. I stood outside of Euston Station surveying my new surroundings and wondering where the Beatles might be. Hopping on the Tube to Marble Arch, I picked the biggest hotel I could find and went in to ask for a job. There were not any, but a sweet old lady in the personnel office gave me a lead for a construction site in a beautiful village on the outskirts of the city. The work was grueling, yet the pay was three times more than I ever would have earned in Liverpool. One morning, I was digging a ditch for a gas main when two Rolls Royce Silver Clouds passed by. The fellow working with me said, “You know who that was, don’t you?” I said, “No, who?” “That was the Beatles,” he replied. “They live just across the street at St. Georges Hills.” Of all the places I could have landed for work, I ended up right where my beloved Beatles dwelled. St. Georges Hills was a luxurious gated community where only the very wealthy resided. Although I never saw them in the flesh or did those Silver Clouds ever pass by again, it was a quiet thrill that I had followed them unknowingly to precisely where they lived. When that job ended, it was onto one factory after another until I donned the cap of a night porter for British Railways. I found digs in Earls Court, aka “Bed-Sit-Land,” a bustling, upscale West London borough populated by single young people. The 1860’s terraced housing had been converted into single rooms and two-bedroom flats – hence, Bed-Sit-Land, short for bedsitter flats. Bed-Sit-Land was also a cosmopolitan tourist hub that attracted students from across the globe. “Michelle, ma belle, these are words that go together well, ma Michelle…” My favorite group was now world famous and their songs dominated the airwaves. It was wall-to-wall Beatles, in addition to talented, groundbreaking groups like the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Pink Floyd.

My favorite perfume at the time was girls. I liked them very much and they liked me. I had two girlfriends from Sweden, one from New Zealand, one from France, one from Germany, and several from Earls Court, who just happened to be from England. The number eventually grew to ten. I now worked as a fry cook at the local Wimpy Bar, the equivalent of the American burger joint and named after the hamburger-gulping character from the Popeye cartoons. Since the Beatles’ phenomenon, England had shed its dreary bounds. It was now awash with an explosion of outrageous fashion, bizarre art, and super cool music. I lived in paradise and was free as a bird. At the drop of a hat, I hitchhiked to anywhere that took my fancy. One summer evening, I stood in front of Earls Court Station watching people – one of my favorite pastimes. A strikingly beautiful girl with long brown hair and blue eyes came out of the building. She looked at me and kept on walking. I followed her, and asking if I could walk with her, she replied, “Well, I’m going home.” “Where do you live?” I asked. “In Vasser Garten.” “I have never heard of Vasser Garten. Is it around here?” “No,” she said, “it is in Stockholm. I am from Sweden.” She stopped and laughed at my surprise. This could be a very long walk, I thought to myself. Tanya explained that she had been working in London for the summer and was about to hitchhike her way back home. That very evening, she was catching the midnight ferry from Dover to France. I volunteered to escort her all the way to Sweden. It was now she who was surprised. “You would? You would?” she exclaimed. I would, and I did. I went directly home, packed a few things in a knapsack, and off we went. We had a wonderful adventure crossing Europe through France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark – all the way home to Vasgatan (King Street named for King Gustav Vaser) in Stockholm. I stayed with her for a couple of weeks. Although she was lovely and fun to be with, Sweden was dull and so were the people. I was used to gregarious and adventuresome folk, full of feeling and e_xpression. The Swedes were decidedly reticent and emotionless.

The night before I left, I sat in a small club where a local guitarist played Beatles music. He struggled with translating the lyrics to Yellow Submarine. When it came to the part, “We all live in a yellow submarine,” the musician had difficulty finding a word for “submarine.” Submarine as a single word is nonexistent in Swedish. He simply replaced it with “under vasabuss” (underwater bus). No matter where I went, the Beatles had been there ahead of me and had left their mark. Back in London, Earls Court was as groovy as ever. Hordes of tourists and students came flooding into the community to experience firsthand the English music scene. The Liverpool accent was now a major asset. American girls hung on my every word and tried to mimic me as they giggled with delight. “Please come and meet my friends” was a common request. As surely as a celebrity without portfolio, I was the next best thing to a Beatle. “Talk like John Lennon. Talk like Paul McCartney. Can you sound like Ringo?” I spoke in my natural voice, with its thick Liverpool brogue, but to my audience it was as glorious as hearing an English rock star. I was the only Liverpudlian in town, setting me apart from everybody else. I was a very singular fellow indeed, unfettered by anyone or anything. I floated in the land of milk and honey, surrounded by beautiful girlfriends.

Rock ‘n’ roll ruled. A massive upheaval in a once-stuffy society blossomed into a wild, hippie counter-culture. Young people opened their hearts and minds to one another, sharing and caring for each other in a near-utopian world. The new music kept on coming, as did the college kids. I found myself at a magical crossroads, with each new face presenting a fresh adventure. American kids were friendly, generous, and intelligent. They brought their own lifestyle to ours. We shared each other’s customs like gleeful children sharing the latest toys. A decade earlier, it was they who had ruled, with Elvis as king and the English mimicking him and his court musicians like devoted subjects. The Beatles now wore the crown. They had hijacked American rock ‘n’ roll, with its complex musical and backup vocal arrangements, and transformed it into the predecessor of punk rock – just four kids and their instruments. Anyone who could play a guitar or a set of drums could form a band. Very soon, there were hundreds of new groups as the Mersey Beat and the English Sound set off to conquer the world.

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