Liverpool in the 1980s. With prospects for the city's youth bleak, a scheme for unemployed musicians commenced, inadvertently shaping the future for members of Cast, Space, the Lightning Seeds and giving fresh impetus to the idea of song as a saviour for the city. Foremost of the bands to emerge from this ill-fated scheme was The La's. Inspired by a chance meeting with Captain Beefheart, Mike Badger formed the band with the enigmatic Lee Mavers. First they conquered the city, and then on the brink of hitting the big time, and eventually inspiring what would become Britpop, Badger quit to form Americana pioneers The Onset, find international recognition as a sculptor, produce album art and videos for some of the country's biggest bands, before finally co-founding Liverpool's Viper record label (which has recently released its 100th album). Featuring everyone from Arthur Lee to Frank Sidebottom, Jonathan Richman to Half Man Half Biscuit, and above all with new insights into the early years of the great lost Liverpool band The La's, The Rhythm and the Tide is both the personal story of a restlessly creative individual, and a reflection on the ebb and flow of the music scene in the city that he loves.
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 198 x 128 x 18 mm
This book does not set out to be a definitive history of The La's, instead it's a portrait of a man with a key insight into the city of Liverpool at a significant point of its rich cultural history. It is also a valuable case study on how to retain a level of humanity, sanity and artistic integrity within a charged and divisive political climate. This was, after all, a period in which Margaret Thatcher's right-wing ideology maintained there is no such thing as society. * Animal My Soul (May 2016) *
The book follows Badger from the dark days of Post-Punk when Liverpool was a hot bed of talent, not to mention mass unemployment, through the foundations that would become Britpop to the present. Cameos from Captain Beefheart and Frank Sidebottom merely add sauce to an already delicious menu.
-- Pat McGuiness * Record Collector *
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