Easy On The Eye Books have been busy planning our schedule for 2018 and our next three releases are now being ‘sold in’ to book shops by our distributors. The plan is to issue Boom Boom Boom Boom – The Blues Photos of Brian Smith first. This title brings to print for the first time many of Brian’s wonderful photos taken mostly in Manchester in the early Sixties. He was the official photographer for the pioneering fanzine R’n B Scene, and covered many visiting American blues artists such as Little Richard, Howling Wolf, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, John Lee Hooker and dozens more. You can read more about the title on the site, and subscribe to a newsletter to get advance information when it goes to print. Brian also unwittingly covered the start of the Northern Soul scene at the famous Twisted Wheel club in Manchester, many of the acts being promoted by Roger Eagle.
The next title is Yes – Time & A Word – The Interviews, a remarkable collection of interviews by DJ John Kirkman. Jon has spoken to almost every member of the band past and present, and together these interviews shed interesting light on the band’s history, how the musicians viewed their fellow musicians, the solo projects and much more. The interviews have only been available before in a large format limited edition book sold only through mail-order, but will now be available in a more affordable edition on general sale. The book will be illustrated throughout with photographs and memorabilia old and new.
Finally comes the much anticipated Deep Purple – Fire In The Sky, the Story of Machine Head and Smoke On The Water. This follows our very popular Deep Purple book Wait For The Ricochet, now in it’s second edition. Fire In The Sky tackles the group’s most famous album in the same fascinating detail, looking at the build up to the album sessions in Montreux in late 1971, the astonishing trials and tribulations (and fires!) which beset the band once in Switzerland, and then the subsequent tours leading to the late release of Smoke On The Water. This became their most famous track, and helped propel the band to the top of the American charts, selling over 12 million copies. As before the book is chock full of great photographs, rare memorabilia, a gig list and discography.
Actual release dates will be posted here as soon as we have them, and news of book previews and other promotional material will be sent to people who subscribe to the individual newsletters for each title.
We were very lucky to arrange an interview with bassist Roger Glover to pick his brains for our upcoming book on Deep Purple’s Machine Head album recently (Fire In The Sky.) The band played a handful of British concerts during November, so me and Stephen Clare spoke to Roger at length at his hotel in Manchester (once we’d got past security – which was not for the group, but Manchester United, who use it as a staging post to collect players together prior to matches apparently!).
We did warn Roger that this was likely to be a fairly tightly focused chat, and for two hours he did his best to recall tiny details of the albums sessions for us under a John Humphrey style questioning. This has given us a lot of new information and will help add extra details to the narrative.
I took along a little digital voice recorder which seemed to work fine, but when I opened the audio files on my computer was horrified to see they were all dated 2009, and assumed the worst. Then I realised I didn’t have the recorder in 2009, and had just neglected to set the machine’s auto file dating option! The interview had come out OK, and while it won’t win any Sony Radio awards, is perfectly fine for what we need. We are working for a publication date in early 2018.
In the usual tradition of such meetings, I would post at least one photo of the interview, but were so wrapped up in it we neglected to take any, so I’ll add a shot of Roger during the show instead, courtesy of Vince Chong (the background is from the back projections used during the evening.) We did remember to get Roger to sign our copies of the previous Deep Purple book…
“As is the case with every single book from Easy On The Eye publishing, the quality is incomparable, Graham Bonnet – The Story Behind The Shades is no exception…” Lovely review from one of the biggest Greek rock music sites (rockpages.gr) which can be read in full on our review page. It’s so good when people really get what you’re trying to achieve.
Nice photograph sent by Jonathan Fogerty of the spinal-cord injury charity Spirit, presenting copies of the Easy On The Eye book to staff at the Oswestry spinal-cord injury Centre. Jonathan has flagged the story up on the Spirit website.
Nice to see one of our books ‘in action’ as it were! They will be used by staff and patients at the centre. The book is now being distributed through bookshops and regular online sellers, having been originally mail order only to the medical profession as it were. There are discounts for NHS orders.
Here’s another great (albeit it pre-restoration) shot from the upcoming book of Brian Smith’s blue photographs: Big Mama Thornton, who he photographed backstage in Manchester on a Blues package tour in 1965. We’ve been able to scan this from the original negative. I assumed the others were lost but no; “I only took the one photo, film was expensive as a young lad!” You can read more about the book on the site, and the photo also appears on the book designer’s own site with a sideways look at the outfit!
We’ve been getting some nice comments and reviews in from customers, magazines and rock websites for the Graham Bonnet biography. We have posted some of these on a special review page on the site, but this one from Jens Nepper on the Eternal Terror site in Norway really seems to understand how much hard work went into it!
We have been trying to work out a schedule for our next few titles and plan to make the book of Brian Smith’s rare rhythm and blues photographs our next release, and this will at last appear in early 2018. We will announce pre-orders soon and people will be able to have their copy signed by Brian if they order in advance of publication. The cover had to be submitted to our distributors this week and our designer took the opportunity to tweak this a little: “The cover photo is a no brainer; it both sums up Brian’s skill with a camera, the era in which it was taken, and the sheer joy some of these visiting blues players felt at playing in Manchester. But I was struggling to make my original title text work against the photograph. In the end I decided the vintage typeface was the cause of the problem, and have moved on to something more simple. This allowed me to sneak in a few smaller photos, including a great shot of Brian himself fooling with Screaming Jay Hawkins!”
We can show this new design below. There is still a bit of retouching work to be done but it’s about there.