Alan Clayson is the author of over 30 books. These include biographies of Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg and the Troggs, plus Death Discs, the subject of a programme he scripted and hosted on BBC Radio 2 – plus the bestsellers Backbeat, Beat Merchants and a history of the Yardbirds. A 2002 tome concerning classical composer Edgard Varèse led to Gail Zappa appointing Clayson to pen a life of her late husband. He has also contributed to such diverse journals as Rock ‘N’ Reel, The Guardian, Mojo, Sunday Times, Mediaeval World, Guitar & Bass, Vintage Rock, Hello!, Record Collector and, as a teenager, the notorious Schoolkids issue of Oz.
In the late 1970s, Clayson was spoken of in the same sentences as the likes of Tom Robinson, John Otway, Elvis Costello and Wreckless Eric. Indeed, Melody Maker decided he "occupies a premier position on rock's Lunatic Fringe" in the light of his impact and that of his accompanying Argonauts. "Alan Clayson and the Argonauts were one of rock's most glorious and enjoyable follies," averred Rock ‘N’ Reel, "and somewhere there is a parallel universe where they are bigger than the Beatles."
Clayson compositions have been covered by Dave Berry (in whose backing group Clayson played keyboards in the mid-'80s), Stairway and Jane Relf. He has worked too with The Portsmouth Sinfonia, Wreckless Eric, Dick Taylor, Jim McCarty and Screaming Lord Sutch among others.
List of articles in the library by artist
Retrospective and Interview by Alan Clayson, unpublished, 2015
If known chiefly as a blues paladin, Mike Vernon plunged headfirst into many other – often unexpected – musical waters. Alan Clayson investigates. ...
Obituary by Alan Clayson, Guardian, The, 14 February 2005
BORN IRENE Amburgey, the second of three sisters, Martha Carson was a guitarist in a troupe, led by her father, that entertained at functions close ...
Comment by Alan Clayson, unpublished, 2017
IN 2015, 74-old Gary Glitter began a sixteen-year prison term for crimes that, seemingly, were beyond the prerogative of a rock star's outlaw chic. This ...
Obituary by Alan Clayson, Guardian, The, 6 July 2002
SPEEDY KEEN, who has died suddenly aged 56, was a mainstay of Thunderclap Newman, the pop outfit responsible for the anthemic 'Something In The Air', ...
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