Happy Mondays: Excess All Areas

‘An amazing musical narrative compellingly told.’ (Mojo, 4* review)

‘Excess All Areas earns another gold star for the author: meticulous, revealing and continually treading new ground, it’s both a great read and a great music read, regardless of your level of interest in the group. A nigh-on impossible task.’ (Record Collector)

‘The explosive rise and spectacular fall of one of Britain’s most influential and deranged bands.’ (Q Magazine)

‘Witty and gritty’ (Sunday Times)

‘Made me want to go back and listen properly for the first time in 20 odd years… pick up this excellent book’ (Red News)

‘A must read for all Happy Monday fans.. surely the Mondays biography we’ve all been waiting for’ (Louder Than War)

‘There wasn’t a Mondays book out there which was correct, not until Simon came along.’ (Paul Ryder)

‘A well-researched, well-written, honest history of the band… the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll legend.’ (Proper Magazine) Happy Mondays

Reviews  Extras

The Stone Roses: War and Peace

‘This is the one. It’s the definitive biography of the band, stuffed with photos that have never been seen before. The writing feels really fresh and definitive. It’s a classic.’     Alex Heminsley BBC 6 Music Book of the Month

‘A comprehensive, no-holds-barred account… details with steely, forensic precision the story of the group’s ascent, heyday and spectacular implosion. All the triumphs and disasters are here.’    The Sunday Times

‘A forensic, detailed and beautifully researched history of the Stone Roses … full of new stuff.’      John Harris, The Word

‘For the casual listener, or die-hard fanatic, this is a genuine masterpiece.’ What Hi-Fi?

‘This is the one Stone Roses book fans will want to read. Copies of this superb biography will not remain on shop shelves for long.’   The Bookseller

‘An era-defining, definitive biography.’   Q

‘A loving and detailed biog.’   Mojo

‘Cute on the machinations of the industry and internal band politics.’    The Times, Book of the Week

‘Brilliant … forensically put together.’   Gordon Smart XFM

Simon Spence’s Stone Roses compendium has it all – interviews with the Manc group’s closest confidants, unseen photos and a timeline that stretches all the way back to the group’s inception …  The definitive word on the band.’ NME Music Book of the Year

‘Succeeds as a cautionary tale: up-and-coming garage bands would be wise to study it and show it to their lawyers as a prophylactic measure to avoid being fleeced and exploited.’    The New York Times

‘A thorough biography of the Stone Roses … illuminates the bickering and court battles that led to their downfall.’   The Guardian

‘Comprehensive retelling of majestic rise, shambolic fall and royal resurrection of the original Northern wags. Unseen photos include one of entire band pissing in a field.’   Esquire

‘Rich with context. The view from the American industry is particularly illuminating.’    Observer

‘A manful effort to capture the story of the Roses’ rise to British fame and infamy.’    Metro

‘Spence explores this curious tale in depth and style. This is a rich and rewarding record of the story so far.’     The Financial Times, Pop Book of the Year

‘Highly recommended.’     Kevin Cummins

‘You should definitely check it out.’    Sir Paul Smith

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/183114/the-stone-roses/

Reviews Extras Unseen extracts

Staying Alive

‘One of the best, and saddest, rock books you’ll ever read.’      We Are Cult

‘Terrific … fascinating and harrowing … more than just a book about The Bee Gees, more a history of the entertainment business in the 70s.’  New York Post

‘Breezy in-depth account of the Brother Gibb’s dancefloor interlude … never forgets the power and quality of their music.’   Mojo

‘Wonderfully detailed … cataloguing the triumph and the tragedy … a worthy tribute to the brothers Gibb.’     Classic Pop, book of the year 2017

Reviews Extras

Immediate

‘Exhilarating … amazing …  essential reading for the sharp dresser.’    Mojo

‘The rise and fall of the original indie.’   Clash

‘Fact-packed enough to satisfy the most demanding collector, sufficiently thrill-filled for the average voyeur.’    Goldmine

‘Simon reminds me of the son I never wanted.’    Andrew Loog Oldham

‘100% authentic.’     Tony Calder, Immediate co-founder

Reviews Extras

Just Can’t Get Enough

‘Set against the harsh, stark Essex backdrop, Spence’s work is eloquent and structured, curating an exceptional story of creativity, cooperation and expedition. And it’s a superb read, even if you do think Depeche Mode slightly naff. ‘  Record Collector

‘A great read! It covers the very early days of the group & I am featured prominently because I was an eyewitness to that period.’  Boyd Rice, experimental electronic-music pioneer

‘An impressive book shedding new light on the part that their hometown played in molding a band that would go on to sell over 100 million albums.’ Sophia Deboick, The Quietus

‘A special kind of pop biography … impressive and extremely fascinating … goes far beyond simple biographical details.’  Der Spiegel

‘A pearl of a book.’   Musik Express

‘Nuanced, meticulously researched analysis of their genesis.’ The Quietus

‘The best biography charting the very early days of the band up to the Black Celebration era.’   Stereoklang

‘A very fair and accurate representation of the facts … good on Daniel Miller and his musical ideals.’   Rod Buckle, Depeche Mode music publisher

Reviews Extras

Still Breathing

Still Breathing: True Adventures of the Donnelly Brothers

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‘A cracking story with a compelling cast of troublemakers and trailblazers … morbid, curious and entertaining … an adventure worth taking’ Esquire

‘The most important and exciting Manchester based autobiography for years. Spellbinding’ Clint Boon, Radio X

‘… riven with violence and drug-fuelled calamity, laugh-out-loud, throbs with opportunistic entrepreneurial spirit’ The Independent

‘A gripping and gritty story from two iconic Manchester men’ BBC Radio Manchester

 ‘Fucking insane’ Damien Hirst

‘Long-awaited and a hit … embodies the spirit of Manchester’ Manchester Evening News

‘One of the most unconventional and compelling stories in the history of the rag trade’ Huffington Post

 ‘Compulsive reading for any fan of music, acid house, fashion, youth culture, football culture, Manchester’s underworld and, of course, the city itself’ Louder Than War

 ‘From illegal raves and cars shot up like Swiss cheese to the origins of Gio-Goi and the birth of Madchester … endlessly fascinating’ Sabotage Times

‘Explosive… hell-raising and mind-blowing’ The Sun

‘Sensational … the Sex Pistols of fashion’ Radio Times

‘A wild tale … drugs, guns and gangs abound … embedded in the scenes surrounding Manchester’s two greatest loves: football and clubbing’ i-D

 ‘How they escaped their destiny … their father Arthur Donnelly was allegedly part of the infamous Quality Street Gang who were believed to be the organised crime syndicate running the city for decades’ Broadcast

 ‘… the book is immersed in men’s street style … no other British label have their pedigree’ The Sunday Times

 ‘Larger-than-life … Anthony and Chris have touched on almost every aspect of British working-class culture —the whole Manchester scene is encapsulated in their autobiography right across music, fashion, football and gangsters’ Irvine Welsh

‘The true story of their rise, fall and mid-noughties resurrection’ The Big Issue

 ‘Unconventional, funny, reckless and unforgettable … a brilliant adventure’ MTV

‘… what you thought you knew and what you have heard is wrong … until now they have never told and that’s this book’s unexpected twist’ Cass Pennant

  ‘Very entertaining … the Donnellys are a huge part of Manchester’s history’ Peter Hook

 ‘A great book by the Donnellys showing what life was like in northern cities after years of government neglect and indifference in Thatcher’s Britain’ Curtis ‘Cocky’ Warren

Reviews Extras

When The Screaming Stops

‘Unrelenting behind-the-scenes darkness.’ Bookseller

‘Best music book I ever read… a stunning story … very dark, very detailed, a difficult and incredible read. Brilliant.’ Adrian Durham, talkSPORT radio

‘Spence pulls no punches in a well-written book that takes a thorough approach to its grubby subject. It’s all here in profuse, sticky detail … justifiably dives into the excesses of the music industry cesspool.’ The Irish Times

‘Riveting.’ Caroline Sullivan, The Guardian

‘Very well written … full of nastiness and sleaziness …  sordid and distasteful characters …  the music industry side is very, very well done. Recommended.’ RTE Radio 1

‘An impressive work with some truly fantastic set pieces.’ Johnny Rogan

‘Lifts the lid on the squeaky clean 70s teenyboppers.’ Writing.ie, Music Books To Watch Out For In 2016

‘They were five handsome wholesome boys but their gilded lives masked a maelstrom of depravity, shocking by even the standards of rock ‘n’ roll.’ The Scottish Daily Mail

‘A comprehensive, forensic, study.’ Matt Bendoris, The Scottish Sun

‘Lurid revelations about incessant sexual abuse and record industry rip-offs … the first full account of the horrendous saga of the Bay City Rollers and their impossibly sleazy manager Tam Paton … stomach-turning, grim, often jaw-dropping reading.’ Record Collector

‘A grim but fascinating account … a well-written expose … disturbing and absorbing … anyone who thought this boy-band prototype was as clean-cut as their tartan-striped dungarees will be in for a shock.’ The Australian, Book of the Year

 ‘In terms of rock ‘n’ roll debauchery Led Zeppelin have nothing on the Rollers … tells of how manager Tam Paton was a “Mr Big” of the Edinburgh drug trade and died surrounded by gun-toting enforcers, rent boys, cocaine and bin bags filled with £1.5 million in cash.’ The Daily Record

‘Detailed horror laid out … unsparing tales of tawdriness … tenaciously researched.‘ The Beat

‘One of the most depraved and debauched stories in rock history.’ The Scotsman

‘Full of shocking revelations … reveals how their manager urged them to have sex with a paedophile DJ and drugged band members before abusing and raping them.’ Glasgow Evening Times

‘Reveals how, in 2016, the band were forced to settle out of court for less than £70,000 each after a decade long court battle with music industry giants Sony in which they claimed they were owed more than £70 million in unpaid royalties after selling more than 120 million records.’ Edinburgh Evening News

‘An unsettling, enjoyable and thorough investigative work … brilliantly researched.’ Samira Ahmed, BBC Radio 4

 ‘Spence pulls back the tartan curtain and reveals what was really going on, and it’s not a pretty sight … a sad and fascinating story.’ Loud and Quiet

 ‘The full horrific story of the “Scottish Savile” Tam Paton and the Bay City Rollers … Spence should be commended for his brutally forensic detail over 540-pages interviewing Rollers, associates and victims … not for the squeamish.’ Mojo

Reviews Extras