BY RICH DEAKIN
West Midlands 1980s, home to heavy metal. Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are household names, but over the smoking chimneys and factory yards something new and equally ugly forms…
‘Grebo’ was a media constructed music genre that even today sends a shudder down the spines of discerning music fans and critics. A homegrown proto-grunge — counterpart to the likes of Butthole Surfers, Mudhoney, early Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden in the US — grebo was a British phenomenon that drew on an eclectic range of influences, from punk, 60s garage and psychedelia, through to 70s heavy rock and thrash metal. It foreshadowed rave culture and was steeped in class politics.
GAYE BYKERS ON ACID and CRAZYHEAD hailed from Leicester. They were not the first bands to be labelled grebo but they were the most unashamedly unkempt and came to be considered its greatest exponents. They were “a burst of dirty thunder” and almost no one liked them.
Based on interviews with band members, friends, fans, and roadies, this book is an uncompromising history of an overlooked music scene. Rich Deakin charts its course via the changing fortunes of the Bykers and Crazyhead, taking us on the booze-filled tour buses, behind the dodgy deals and onto the international stage and back again (with a pitstop for a rock movie that swallows lots of money). Their careers were short, but the two bands managed to shake up the UK indie scene and along the way became Britain’s unlikely ambassadors of rock following the collapse of Soviet Russia.
Strap yourself in for a rocket ride of a book. This is GREBO! — the complete loud and lousy story!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Leicester, home of Engelbert Humperdinck and Showaddywaddy, as well as Gaye Bykers On Acid and Crazyhead, RICH DEAKIN now lives in Cheltenham with his partner, Trudi, and two very noisy black cats. With a lifelong love of music, it was punk that fired Rich's imagination in 1977. In the early 2000s he wrote Keep It Together!, a biography of the Deviants and Pink Fairies. Since then he has written for various music magazines, including Shindig! and Louder Than War, and is a regular contributor to Vive Le Rock! He insists he writes about music not from the standpoint of a failed musician but a talentless one.
KEEP IT TOGETHER - IN THE PRESS
“... this hugely colourful tale of the anarchic pilled-up trail blazed by The Deviants, their brothers-in-arms the Pink Fairies... Vividly captures the spirit of the times”