“Sex, drugs, laughter, gang fights, groupies, lovers, broken hearts. They’re all part of growing up with the Mod band he loves like brothers. Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, Tony Norman dreams of becoming a writer and interviewing rock legends like John Lennon and Mick Jagger”.
A honest and often comical look at Sixties youth counter culture through the eyes of Tony Norman (Mod, Bassist, Journalist, Writer and Cook extraordinaire!), thankfully mycoolsixties doesn`t pretend to unearth any dark secrets from a decade associated with groovy drug taking and sexual debauchery, Tony`s slapstick commentary darts around the era using candid diary entries as obvious points of reference, his writing style is wonderfully flippant and acknowledges his musical shortcomings with convincing grace. The witty catchphrases, lasting friendships and teenage naivety all help to capture the social impact of popular music doing the mid-sixties – Iconic references to the tragic demise of Brian Jones, The Rolling Stones` Hyde Park gig and the world`s emotional outrage of JFK being brutally gunned down mix brilliantly with Tony`s uncomplicated yet awkward wonder years. Achieving a huge chunk of your dreams and delivering the tale with a heartfelt smile is certainly a major blessing.
“We weren’t cool, but the times were cool, being young was cool, the music was cool, feeling the world move every day and knowing in your heart anything was possible was cool… a special time, like no other”.
“I interviewed John Lennon, Mick Jagger and many more. Rapping with rock stars often felt surreal, but playing in The Rest with mates I loved like brothers, that was reality. Young and free in London: no better place to be”.
If you grew up in the bustle of 60`s London or like myself have a deep fascination with musical trends that have instinctively shaped the current genres, you`ll find mycoolsixties warmly executed on so many levels, the Rock N`Roll purist and part-time protagonist will equally grab something from this engaging read, Tony Norman`s madcap philosophies and charming passion will either encourage non-solipsistic views or induce an abrupt community singalong, the latter being more likely. Whichever; Rock/Pop interests or not, an entertaining true story which still feels remarkably fresh, exquisitely told as it happened and a testament to post-war morals and the beat generation.
“Mick is dancing, strutting, pouting, and singing with the ease and grace of a master showman. He has to be the best front man in the world. I always enjoy seeing Daltrey with The Who, but he has one main move, whirling the mike high above his head. Jagger has a thousand moves, gestures, expressions, all flowing from the self-belief that underlines every performance. He is the ringmaster who leads the show”.
“Most of this story is true. Some names and scenes have been amended to protect the privacy of those I knew at the time. Poetic licence apart, we’ll travel those years the way I remember them. Was it hard to get back to the Sixties? No, I loved stepping out on the streets I knew so well and finding them still full of wonder”.
Now a accomplished writer with a career spanning decades in music journalism and Pop management, Tony Norman`s 60`s band `The Rest`disappointingly never got to battle with The Beatles or The Stones up in the dizzy heights of the hit parade during those hazy times, the 350 page paperback comes with a recently recorded 4-track EP which includes the song Ready Steady Go! he wrote in 1966. Mildly nostalgic but actually sounds amazingly current, a great release, let`s hope we won`t have to wait another mini-lifetime for a new song from Cricklewood`s finest.
North-West 2 Mate!