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Sunday, April 1, 2018
Interview with Author Harold Bronson
My British Invasion
What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea
or experience and conveying it into a book?
As a teenager in the 1960s, the Beatles and other artists of
the British Invasion sparked my interest in rock music. Records such as the
Beatles’ “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Twist and Shout”
were the most exciting records I’d heard. Other records soon followed: The
Kinks “You Really Got Me,” the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over,” the Rolling
Stones “It’s All Over Now.” As rock progressed there were great albums.
As a rock journalist in the 1970s, and later as a record executive (co-founder
of Rhino Records), I interviewed a number of artists from this period.
Years later I came to realize that the interviews I conducted were closer to
the events that transpired than ones done by others decades later, and are
probably more accurate given the natural decline in memory with age. So, I
thought I should share my experience as a music fan as well as provide chapter
overviews on prominent artists. I feel I’ve told my subjects’ stories with more
veracity, insight, and context than others have done.
What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
Most of the chapters are historical overviews of some of the
more substantial artists of the day. There are a number of chapters that
present time capsules. Often younger writers research an era and write about
it. I wanted to capture what I experienced as a passionate music fan. So,
the first proper chapter is My Senior Year. When you hear a title like that,
you think it’s about the writer’s senior year in high school, or college. Well,
it was my senior year at UCLA, but it had little to do with what was happening
on campus. I discuss the records I listened to, the performers I saw in
concert, and interviews I did with music makers not featured in their own
chapter: Ozzy Osbourne, Peter Asher, Procol Harum and others. My British
Invasion is for rock fans who love the music of the period, and for others who
want to know more about the era and the performers. reader?
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish
your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
Although the book adds to and corrects the history of the
artists featured in my chapters, the ultimate realization should be how much
great music was created, and inspire the reader to play records that they might
not have heard in a while as well as seek out ones that are mentioned that they
might not be familiar with.
What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Writing is a great and challenging exercise, from tapping into
one’s thoughts and organizing them, to one’s ability for self-expression, to
achieve eloquence and creativity. For satisfaction, one should look no further
than the composition. If the writer is able to interest an established
publisher that’s icing on the cake.
What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book
publishing industry is heading?
My feeling is that as time goes by people in general, and
young people specifically, are appreciating physical books more than they have
in recent years.
What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
I was focused on writing it, getting the story down and
conveying it. I wasn’t thinking so much in how the sections fit together. So, a
non-obvious challenge to me, was how to organize and structure the chapters.
If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
My British Invasion is for rock fans who love the music of
the period, and for others who want to know more about the era and the
performers. While there have been numerous books on major artists, such as the
Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, I’ve focused on other more prominent
artists who are less examined, like the Yardbirds, the Hollies, the Zombies,
the Troggs, the Spencer Davis Group, among others