Tonight, whilst on the train home, I looked up from my book and noticed an entire carriage of humans staring blankly down at phone screens. It’s an all too common scene these days and a far cry from my youth when many people read books on public transport. My momentary glance up tore me away from my current literary love, “Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of The Record Industry”. I must say now and, only being 130 odd pages in that this is one of the most mesmerising books I’ve ever had the pleasure of starting.
We start off in the 1850s and move all the way through the generations, mavericks, sharks and superstars who have made music and the industry what it is today. The journey thus far is an epic one which started Paris during 1853 where a simple store owner began wondering how to capture sound. Currently, I’m crossing the lines between bebop, Sun Records, Elvis, Motown and Bob Dylan. Best of all, there are still another 180 odd pages to turn. Of course, I have left a lot of detail out because I want you to go and buy this book and find out for yourself. I want you to engross yourself in the same journey, pulling yourself away from your smart phones and tablets to feel the rush that Gareth Murphy is currently throwing my way.
I think back to those poor, tortured and perhaps miserable souls on the train tonight. I wonder if they remember the last time they read a book. The last time they hurriedly flicked through the pages to get to the next chapter. And the next. And the next. Enthralled with every new line and twist along the way. It truly scares me that people would rather watch pointless YouTube clips nowadays instead of reading the pages of a novel or taking inspiration from an autobiography. How is it that people no longer feel the desire to do so?
If you are still one of the lucky ones who is enamoured by literature, I cannot urge you enough to start reading “Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of The Record Industry”. Epic doesn’t even begin to describe just how good it is.