Reviewed By Steve Earles
I first became aware of Glenn Hughes on my 18th birthday via a present of Deep Purple’s Burn album. I was of course already aware of David Coverdale, an MTV-friendly version of Whitesnake being ever-present at the time, but Glenn’s voice and bass-playing was a revelation to me. To this day, ‘Sail Away’ is one of my favourite songs, and I often wonder what this line-up of Purple might have achieved had it stayed together. One of rock music’s great ‘what ifs’. Over the years I became aware of Glenn’s other musical ventures , many (Black Sabbath …uh…featuring Toni Iommi for example) being sadly short-lived and ending badly, this I came to realise was through problems with drugs, but of course, until I read this fine book, I did not know the true story. Credit has to be given here to my friend and writer-extraordinare Joel McIver (the James Brown of rock journalism…he’s definitely the hardest working writer in metal!) for helping Glenn shape and craft his amazing life-story into such a compelling and coherent narrative.
The book is also a joy visually, beautifully designed (courtesy of Andy Vella) and full of rare and unique images and photos, Foruli have to be complemented at raising the bar for rock autobiographies.
I won’t ruin this wonderful rollercoaster ride through the history of rock with spoilers, but man! I will say it’s like the reader suddenly enters a time machine and travels back to through the history of rock and metal, and finds it’s both better and worse than they ever believed. And of course, everyone from Yul Brynner, Ozzy, David Coverdale (which is as it should be!) to Tony Iommi turns up!
As Glenn journeys through his life (as a member of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Trapeze), the reader feels he is experiencing it too. Parts will raise a smile, parts will bring a tear to the eye.
And, most wonderfully of all, it all ends happily for a man who very much deserves the title The Voice of Rock, as clean and sober, he goes from height to height with his fine band Black County Communion. The moral here, is to survive, the wheel of karma really does turn, what goes around comes around.
Featuring a heartfelt introduction from one Lars Ulrich, I heartily recommend with heartily written book.
Someday all rock books will be written and designed this well!