Wednesday, 10 June, 2020 in Book Reviews, Books, Culture, Music

Into Books Review: Just A Shot Away – 1969 Revisited Part One

Book: Just A Shot Away: 1969 Revisited Part One
Author: Kris Needs
Publisher: New Haven

Music journalist Kris Needs has written for pretty much any music magazine worth its salt for the past 40 plus years. His latest book, Just A Shot Away covers the first half of 1969 through the lens of his 14-year old self, exploring the scenes and music that subsequently shaped his life and career.

The detail in the book is highly personalised and captures those feelings of attending your first gig (Donovan), the anticipation of playing a new slab of vinyl, listening to Peel on the radio late at night and the thrill of being member 100 of the Jimi Hendrix Experience Fan Club.

At school, Needs outlines the concert trips organised by his Chemistry teacher, Robin Pike to see the likes of Donovan, Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. Thus, a lifelong friendship was forged.

The great thing about this book is Needs brings his love of music to the page in a very engaging way. For me, while there is coverage of bands we all know and love, I’ve also discovered new bands and artists and I had not heard of or had paid little attention until now – that’s a great thing in my opinion. Captain Beefheart, Marianne Faithfull, Robbie Basho and The Silver Apples all feature and loads more.

Part Two covering July to December is scheduled for release soon and I for one am looking forward to it – if it’s on a par with Part One, it’ll be an absolute treat. Into Creative will  be publishing an exclusive interview with author Kris Needs.

Just A Shot Away can be purchased here.

John Welsh


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