Ten years have passed since the start of Chelsea editions and they wanted to celebrate it with the publication of their reference number twenty. This is the first international adventure of Ediciones Chelsea, the Spanish version of ‘Boy About Town’ of the English journalist Tony Fletcher, translated by Ricky Gil (Brighton 64) and prefaced by the popular Catalan writer Kiko Amat | The book will be on sale this Tuesday throughout Spain.
As the back cover of the new publication of the editorial of Alejandro Diez, «Tony Fletcher is not a stranger to most of us. Music journalist and writer, author of books on the Clash, REM, Wilson Pickett or the Smiths, Fletcher is world famous for ‘Moon’, Bestselling biography that dissects the life and excesses of the lunatic drummer of the Who. In ‘Boy About Town’ he offers us the account of his years of learning. Refractory to the tribalism of those times, Tony is punk without safety pins, mod without a parka and a fan of reggae without dreadlocks. His childhood curiosity and his stubbornness throw him out into the streets, until he becomes one of the key characters on the scene, walking unapologetically down the alley where protagonists and privileged witnesses mix. An unprejudiced and sincere narrative, full of music, a sense of humor and adolescent energy, ‘Boy About Town’ will delight punks, mods and nostalgics of a time when the pavements of London burned, fanzines sold more than a thousand copies The Jams were # 1 and the guitars cut like razor blades.
The prologue is written by the popular Catalan writer Kiko Amat, who states: «We have been reading canonical chronicles about the new wave and punk rock for so many years that we sometimes forget that many of them were recorded by reporters who hated it. Fletcher invites us to remember the truth, what fans and enthusiasts on foot (or squter) thought, about those records, groups or tribes that the Respected Critics of Private School despised from their pulpits. Contrary to what NME and Melody Maker, the mod revival was not only not a derivative and sterile fiasco, but a really powerful, original and autonomous movement that resulted in numerous pop anthems (although many groups did not get to realize its potential). ‘This Is the Modern World’, The Jam’s second album, was not only not a record flop, a disappointment after the promise of ‘In the City’ (as Mick Warren and other shaggy NME snobs claimed), but contrary. New Musical Express and Melody Maker were not the reliable music weeklies, and Sounds poisonous to uncouth and criminals, but, as they suspect, the opposite: Sounds, with its postpunk, anti-hippy, pro-mod revival, pro-2-Tone, pro politics. -Oi !, pro-NWOBHM, pro-UK82, pro-fanzines, pro-glam no arty and pro-DIY, and their quarry of young working-class journalists, was the genuine and, by their range of styles, exciting.
Lastly, a warning. Despite the racket that I just gave you about youth as the central axis of the book, the truth is that this book talks a lot about pop music. Much. An atrocity. To tell the truth, I can’t think of too many books that talk about pop music with such an intimate knowledge and even level of detail.