Sunday, 12 May 2013

Mushrooms and Moonboots

Here’s another piece that didn’t see the light of day in its intended slot. Gary ‘Moonboot’ Masters, of Magic Mushroom Band fame, self-published his autobiography last year through Amazon’s print-on-demand programme and came up with a highly entertaining and vivid memoir that many blog readers would no doubt relish – and many, including myself, will delight in reading about characters from the free festival scene who they themselves have encountered over the years! Again, I’ve resisted the temptation of adding to the original review, hence it remains at the standard 200-words beloved of most music press print magazines.
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A self-published memoir could so easily go wrong that it’s difficult to approach without a sense of caution even though we love that Masters, of free festival favourites Magic Mushroom Band, is keeping the DIY ethic alive with this autobiography (corporate Amazon aside, naturally). At the outset, his highly colloquial writing style makes that caution seem well-placed. Where was the sharpened editorial pencil? But yet...

There’s method here. These are coarse and fruity recollections that wander through his formative years in Acton, his enthusiasm for Pink Fairies, Gong and Motörhead, and on to the festival scene and MMB, with his personality stamping itself on one wacky happening after another, ducking and diving and making things happen through sheer will. He brings the 70s and 80s head movement to life so brightly that you can smell patchouli and it doesn’t matter that the rules of grammar and spelling are eschewed because it has life to it.

Sometimes that life is tragic – it’s not unexpected that there are self-inflicted casualties along the way given the environment and characters that Masters relays, but what’s great is that it’s also a story about living it out of the back of a van or on-site at Stonehenge and creating something out of almost nothing.

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