IT AIN'T PETERS AND LEE
THREE YEARS, NINE MONTHS, THREE WEEKS, SIX DAYS and a shed load of hours in the making…
The story of the LEEDS pop, rock, alt, post punk, indie, goth et al music scene 1977 to 1987 and all points on the periphery. Find herein a multiverse of bands (Jeez they made a film about one label and several bands in Northern Ireland – imagine what a blockbuster this would make… numerous labels and hundreds of bands!), scenes within scenes within dreams within a scene. It’s an encyclopaedic month by month by year by blow by blow account of every event in the lives of every backstreet card carrying Leeds socio-muso-political activist who ever dared to strike a chord in anger.
The Sisters Of Mercy, Gang Of Four, Mekons, Soft Cell, March Violets, Delta 5, Age Of Chance, Utah Saints, The Three Johns, The Wedding Present and perhaps The Cassandra Complex you will have heard of....but The Jazz Hipsters, Jeremy 'League Of Gentlemen's Flowers For Agatha, The Sinister Cleaners, Third Circle, The Buttercookies and so so so many more? Well, the great and the small are here! It's an unwholesome cacophony of snapshots randomly lifted from the echoes of the past (infernal personal experience, selected interviews and exhaustive research) like the lottery of the lives of the relived within – all the big guns and the small fry vie for an equal share of the space and glory – 223 pages of A4 with text (260,000+ words) and pictures (many exclusive ones by Steve Drury) crammed in. Legend has it that Steve once managed Party Day but we can’t be sure.
All has been done for the pure undiluted torture and hell of it…perhaps some unrequited love but sure as not for the money!
Richard Rouska has done this before – he is a serial offender – and what he does pulls few punches (he has been known to beat himself up on numerous occasions). Prisoners of fortune are allowed to run free for he will be taking none!
If you were in a band in Leeds 1977-87 and not in this book you were not a band in Leeds during this period – sorry but you weren’t (although I’m sure that last statement will come back to haunt me lol).
Its not meant to be definitive – an impossibility but it has taken THREE YEARS, NINE MONTHS, THREE WEEKS, SIX DAYS and a shed load of hours in the making…to provide insights galore and perspective for sure from on the scene to post scene and upon years of reflection.
It’s the story of a scene that was a law unto itself.
In the early eighties someone said that Leeds had more bands per head of population than New Orleans...and that's a lot… about 300 and then some. Jez 'Utah Saints' Willis said it was John Peel (only cos he'd heard me say so) ... but it was me...spinning the myth that Leeds was a 'happening' scene' ...which it was. However, it was no exaggeration to say that during 1977-87 or parts thereof Leeds had one of the most proactive scenes in the UK? I'd say that was pretty accurate (but I would) and I'd add that the quality n'number of bands creating a cacophony of chaos nowhere in the UK has seen the like of then or...since...even in Leeds!
Read here and only here the insights, rare interviews, anecdotes, tales of the unexpected and a "where are they now" perspective. Cultural history perspectives were never this much fun or indeed so solacious.
WHAT OTHER READERS HAVE SAID......
People just luuuurve to say nice things. It’s those that say nowt we’d always be more interested to hear from but never mind here are the kind thoughts about IT AIN’T PETERS & LEE…
“Richard Rouska has created something absolutely incredible. How RR has managed to piece together the month by month, year by year, story of the Leeds Music Scene between 77-87 is beyond comprehension, it's not just a list of dates and times, he has managed to do it with a wit and humour that could only be his - bringing personalities to life with his reporting and commentary.
Richard himself has always been one of the true champions of the sounds of Leeds - a controversial fella but one that commands instant respect for his vision and contributions to the scene.”
- Steve Hulme aka Stevie Vayne
“Oh, this has got me excited. Verrry excited! Memories are made of this.....”
- Alan Davis
“Richard Rouska Well Done ! I’m so glad someone managed to assemble this glorious inky biopsy of the Leeds music scene in the 80s, with all its bile, guile and sweet successes ! Oh and finally the two window cleaners aka Silent Ambition what’s not to love here...”
- Choque Hosein
“Great book: well done sir. Loads of memories recalled with your aid. Very pleased with the Surfin Dave stuff, gobsmacked that Anabas got a photo.”
- Mick Green
“Encyclopaedic or what?!”
- Pete Cahill
“Richard Rouska's super detailed account of the Leeds music scene from 1977 to 1987. A superb addition to any music lover's library”
“Lots of pictures and well worth the money. The first page has a quote from Michael Wood (rip), what more of a recommendation could you get.”
- Matthew Faulkner
“This week's intriguing read. Bedtime will never be the same again.”
- John Boocock
“Arrived earlier - a very large hit of nostalgia, has made me snigger and despair in equal measure and I've only just dipped into it for the last hour. A month by month account with me an extremely minor bit part actor on the edge of things… your take on the bloody mess that is the music industry should be taught in every degree course.”
- Sean Albiez
“These two hundred and twenty pages of densely packed information create a real sense of the reality of life in Leeds in the decade under discussion, and this book is an essential purchase for those with an interest in the Leeds music scene at that time.”
- Nikolas Vitus Lagartija
“I don’t know how he did it but Richard Rouska’s labour of love has produced a fascinating and engrossing journey through the Leeds music scene over the 10 years between 1977-87. Facts by the million; quotes, stories and reminisces from those involved. It’s a great read and a slice of Leeds history.”
- Howard Corry (YEP)
Book of the week!
“Students of incendiary Eighties indie guitar noise, hold on to your hats! This epic literary blast from shy and retiring Leeds musician/author/legend Richard Rouska is arguably the definitive document of the alternative "pop" scene as it evolved in the immediate wake of punk.”
- Richard Newson, Sounds.
“Mr. Rouska you git ! Picked up the book for a quick flick through - 3 hours later, can't put the fecker down! You've pulled it out of the hat again. Exhaustive and exhausting. Well done. A fantastic effort”
- Steve Trattles, Whippings & Apologies.