by Roger McGough - £9.99 Arrow Books Ltd (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099478751 | ISBN 10: 0099478757
Roger McGough is one of Britain's best-loved poets, whose humour, distinctive voice, and sharp eye for the idiosyncrasies of everyday life, have made him a household name both as a poet and a broadcaster.
1967 saw not only the publication of The Mersey Sound with Adrian Henri and Brian Patten, which was to become the bestselling British book of poetry ever, but also the release of Thank U Very Much, the first hit song for The Scaffold, followed a year later by the group's world-wide number one hit Lily the Pink, which brought overnight fame. Since then McGough has moved in a seemingly contradictory world where poetry coexisted with comedy and pop music, and although his faux-rock 'n' roll days may be over he has continued to extend his range to become one of the leading lights of British poetry for children and adults alike.
This is his autobiography - and like the best of his poetry it is packed with humour, surreal observations, nostalgic reminiscences and bittersweet tales of love, life and loss. He tells of growing up in Liverpool during the blitz, to the skiffle-crazy days of his adolescence, through to his time at university - and his meetings there with Larkin. He explores the ups and downs of being thrust into the limelight with The Scaffold, adrift in Soho helping to write dialogue for the Beatles' film Yellow Submarine, and adventures in New York writing the lyrics for a broadway musical. Having travelled widely over the years, his meetings with characters such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Allen Ginsberg, and Salman Rushdie amongst others are recalled with rare zest, but its his word-playfulness and gift for weaving the minutiae of everyday life into his stories that sets this apart from other books.
His life story is one that will be universally identifiable to those who grew up with him - who embraced the verve and irreverance of the sixties, as well as those who want a glimpse into the life of an outstanding writer and performer. Here is the funniest, most poignant autobiography you will read by a man whose hugely popular take on life resonates with honesty and humour.
(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)
In booklists: Poets and Poetry: Liverpool, Merseyside and North West, Liverpool & Merseyside in Writing, Local Lives: Liverpool, World Poetry - England, Writers and Poet's Lives and Works, In categories: Poetry & Writing, Local Interest, History & Biography,