> Skip to content

A superb memoir by a key member of the 1960s and '70s counterculture in Britain

Through a long and chequered career, Mick Farren has functioned as a writer, poet, rock star, recording artist, rabble-rouser, critic and commentator, and even won a protracted obscenity trial at the Old Bailey. After resisting the idea for a long time, he has finally written his own highly personal and insightful account of the British counterculture in the 1960s and '70s, from the perspective of one who was right there in the thick of it.
With a continuing and unashamed commitment to the tradition of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, he recounts a rollercoaster odyssey - sometimes violent and often hilarious - from early beatnik adventures in Ladbroke Grove, through the flowering hippies to the snarl of punk. He gives a firsthand, insider's account of the chaos, disorder and raging excess of those two highly excessive decades.
At the centre of the book is Farren's career in the underground, as the man on the door at the UFO club, driving spirit at IT and, of course, lead singer with the Social Deviants. He describes his encounters with the celebrated and the notorious, who range from Jimi Hendrix and Germaine Greer to Julie Burchill and Sid Vicious, and concludes that the pop history of bohemian culture does not neatly divide itself into easy decades, but continues to this day, perhaps in different guises, but frequently with the same goals and motivations.

Reviews

On the beaten yet unbroken body of this big, brave, bold and only occasionally preposterous man we can trace the entire map of English counter-cultural insurrection

Julie Burchill, Spectator

A personal, often very funny, sometimes controversial view of the 60s by...an old beatnik who was there - from the teddy boys to the hippies to the punks

Guardian Unlimited

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780712667326

    July 15, 2002

    Pimlico

    432 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781446412480

    January 4, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Recommendations

Not Dead Yet: The Autobiography
The Princess Diarist
Sapiens
Albanese
The Wife Drought
The Amazing Book is Not on Fire
David Bowie
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me
Sick On You
Testimony
Set the Boy Free
Lonely Boy
Rod: The Autobiography
Reckless
Sophisto-punk: The Story of Mark Opitz and Oz Rock
A Light That Never Goes Out
Just For One Day
Moonwalk
Fierce
Pop Babylon