What We Did Instead of Holidays

Fairport Convention And Its Extended Folk-Rock Family
A History by Clinton Heylin

A stunning new biography from one of the leading rock historians in the world.
Click here to order a signed first edition hardback.

In June 1968, a group of Muswell Hillbillies made their official album debut as Fairport Convention. In the next fifteen years, three of those founding Fairportees – Richard Thompson, Ashley ‘Tyger’ Hutchings and Simon Nicol – along with the next generation of Fairport recruits – Iain Matthews, Sandy Denny, and the three Daves: Swarbrick, Pegg and Mattacks – would form a veritable dynasty of English folk-rock, each pursuing their own path, but always returning to work with each other, to collectively produce albums with a near-eternal appeal.

Which is why every year since 1979 in a field somewhere near Banbury, 20,000-plus fans have congregated to celebrate this music’s enduring appeal at the Cropredy Festival.

So, fifty years on, now seems like the right time to tell the full story: to collect all the family lore that surrounds Fairport and its surrogates, and to disentangle the many highs and lows from those first fifteen years of Fotheringport Confusion.

Drawing on interviews with all the musicians and key figures in English folk-rock – including producers extraordinaire Joe Boyd and Sandy Roberton – Clinton Heylin has produced the definitive history of a folk-rock family in its golden era.

Candid, clear and cogent, presented with insight and chronologically, Clinton Heylin ties the loose threads of Fairport and its offshoots together in their own words. Diving deep beneath the surface of the music into the lives of the principals, he answers many un-asked questions.
Simon Nicol, Fairport Convention co-founder & longest serving member

We were young and ambitious. Learning the game without a manual or safety net. No one was exempt. Clinton Heylin has absolutely nailed the way it was. I recognize myself in this story and realized some interesting things about my former band mates. An enthralling read for any Fairport fan.
Iain Matthews, lead vocalist of Fairport Convention 1967-69

First edition hardback contains three colour photo-sections with previously unpublished photos.

ORDER: Be among the first to read this book. Click here to order an exclusive author signed first edition hardback.

Clinton Heylin is one of the leading rock historians in the world, with over two dozen books to his name. These include biographies of Bob Dylan (Behind The Shades), Van Morrison (Can You Feel The Silence?), Bruce Springsteen (E Street Shuffle) and Sandy Denny (No More Sad Refrains), as well as his acclaimed pre-punk history, From The Velvets To The Voidoids, and the one and only history of rock bootlegs, Bootleg. His highly acclaimed titles It’s One For The Money and Anarchy In The Year Zero were nominated for the Penderyn Book Award. His most recent titles, JUDAS! and Trouble In Mind, are in-depth accounts of the two electrifying periods in Bob Dylan’s career when he was roundly booed. He lives in Somerset.

Published by Route

EXTRACT: Read Clinton’s prelude to the book: A Coat of Many Colours

VIDEO: John Wood In Conversation With Clinton Heylin

LISTEN: Clinton interviewed by Tim Moon on The Folk Programme on Coast and County Radio

More by Clinton Heylin:
JUDAS! From Forest Hills to The Free Trade Hall, A Historical View of The Big Boo
Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan’s Gospel Years – What Really Happened
Anarchy in the Year Zero: The Sex Pistols, The Clash and the ’Class of 76

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