Eel Pie Publishing

Meet on the Ledge: A History of Fairport Convention

It was 40 years ago that my first book was published. My memory is that my old friend Peter Hogan had been appointed Commissioning Editor at Pete Townshend’s new publishing imprint. I thought he wanted a history of English folk-rock, and I figured anyone of any merit had been in Fairport at one time or another; he claims it was always just about Fairport. This was obviously pre-internet, fax or email, so it was all tracking people down, writing them a letter, keeping a carbon copy, putting a stamp on the envelope, posting it (try telling that to the youngsters today…!) Everyone in the band (apart from Dave Swarbrick) were happy to cooperate. I think they were quite flattered that someone wanted to write a book about them. ‘Rock Books” back then was one on Elvis, Beatles, Stones, Dylan and, uh, that’s about it. I re-jigged it for the band’s 30th anniversary, but it didn’t need much doing. I was happy enough with that first version. Looking back it has stood the test of time. I was lucky enough to interview Sandy Denny when I was freelancing for NME in 1978, so could include her comments. Forty years on, who, indeed, knows where the time goes…