Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Lake Forest Author's UK Rock Profiles Re-Released 40 Years Later

Dan Wooding—a veteran Lake Forest author, broadcaster and journalist—wrote two books in the 1970s about a couple of England's rock-and roll legends, and both works were just re-published with new titles.
Wooding, 72, wrote the books while working in London, where he was a senior reporter for theSunday People and the Sunday Mirror.
His first book, originally titled “Rick Wakeman, the Caped Crusader,” profiles the keyboard wizard.
“Many in the UK only know Rick as a ‘Grumpy Old Man,’ but actually he is one of the greatest rock keyboardists that the world has ever seen," Wooding said in a written statement. “I came across Rick Wakeman while he was rehearsing in a place called the Musical Bargain Centre in South Ealing, and we soon became great friends, especially after I learned that Rick was a christian and had been a Sunday school teacher at the South Harrow Baptist Church.”
That book has been re-published with the title “Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s.”  It now includes a foreward by Elton John, who Wakeman worked with on several of his records.
Wooding's second book, originally titled “I Thought Terry Dene Was Dead,” is about the 1950s rock-and-roll star who was discovered in the Two I’s Coffee Bar in Soho and quickly went to the top as the ‘British Elvis.’ His success was short lived, however. He quickly fell from grace after he suffered a breakdown while serving in the British Army and was told to leave, and then faced a battle with alcohol.
“Terry was at an all-time low when he happened to be walking through Trafalgar Square when he came across a group of Christians and, after a time of chatting with them, he committed his life to Christ,” Wooding said.
That story has now been re-published under the title “Terry Dene: Britain’s First Rock and Roll Rebel.”  The new version includes a foreword by Marty Wilde, the father of singer Kim Wilde and another of Dene’s contemporaries. In his foreword, Wilde wrote:
“Whatever happened to Terry becomes a great deal more comprehensible as you read of the callous way in which he was treated by people who should have known better—
many of whom, frankly, will never know better—of the sad little shadows of the past who eased themselves into Terry's life, took everything they could get and, when it seemed that all was lost, quietly left him...Dan Wooding's book tells it all.”
Now in his 70s, Dene is singing again and his rich voice, which has been likened to a cross between Elvis and Roy Orbison. He performs at various nostalgia concerts, mainly in the UK.
Both of Wooding's books were re-published by Gonzo Media in London, which has mainly featured 1970s music, but recently decided to move into the publishing field. When Wooding was approached with the idea of re-publishing his books, he said he was "quite delighted."
"I never dreamed they would be re-released,” said Wooding, who has authored more than 40 books.
Wooding plans to continue his collaboration with Gonzo Media. The next project will be a re-release of “King Squealer,” a book that Wooding co-authored with the late super grass great Maurice O’Mahoney. The book chronicles O’Mahoney’s life of crime. After being caught on an armed robbery, O'Mahoney turned in 'Queen’s Evidence'—which is evidence from someone who has been accused of committing a crime, given against the people who were accused with them, in order to have their own punishment reduced.
Wooding moved to Southern California in 1982 and now runs the ASSIST News Service, and has a radio and internet TV show based in the Los Angeles area.

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What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.