In 2014 my book Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond (Jawbone Press) was published. The e-book edition contained an extra 100,000 words. In 2017 I decided that material needed to exist – revised and expanded – in physical form, however limited in quantity. So, I thought, I’ll self-publish a run of 200 copies… and with generous help from a Kickstarter campaign, I did.


After a lot of new research, Echoes From Then: Glimpses of John McLaughlin 1959-75 is the result: 178,000 freshly burnished words and masses of new visual content, from unpublished photos to period press ads. Typesetting and design are courtesy of Jawbone’s Tom Seabrook and Mark Case – the dream team.


The new book is available almost exclusively (for £15 plus P&P anywhere in the world) via Market Square Music.


posted by ADMIN  December 05, 2017 8:20  General

JUNE, 2015

Writing a book is one thing. Having the energy to keep promoting it, once published, is quite another! My apologies for taking a year to update this site.


Before I describe recent activities, I should point out that a COMPLETELY NEW Mahavishnu Orchestra 2 Gig List page has been added herein, thanks to Mark Robinson. Mark has added significantly to the list in Bathed In Lightning (ebook edition) and has asked me to publish his efforts here – which I’m very happy to do. You’ll find it in the BONUS READING section.

During the past year my focus has been on researching and writing two other books: The Wheels Of The World: 300 Years Of Irish Uilleann Pipers, with professional piper John McSherry; and Eyes Wide Open: True Tales Of A Wishbone Ash Warrior, with Wishbone Ash mainman Andy Powell. Both books will ...


posted by ADMIN  June 17, 2015 11:47  General

MAY, 2014

The current issue (May 2014) of Jazz Journal includes a very long and generous review of Bathed In Lightning from the legendary Brian Morton. Brian takes issue with one or two of my views (or stylistic idiosyncracies), which is absolutely fine, but I'm delighted that he appreciates the value of the book as a document on the whole era and sweep of British music in the 60s and can recommend the book so strongly. He concludes:


'Plaudits to Colin Harper for fantastically detailed research... [He] writes with great immediacy and a tone somewhere between the old Melody Maker and the work of Ian MacDonald... A book for anyone interested in British music of the period.'


There's also a terrific review over at Bebop Spoken Here, the fabulous website for jazz buffs in the North East of England, where John McLaughlin grew up. Read ...


posted by ADMIN  May 12, 2014 6:25  General

MARCH, 2014

The legendary Andy Roberts (alumnus of The Liverpool Scene, Plainsong and Wall-era expanded Pink Floyd) is famous as being 'the man who played with everyone'. Indeed, he actually made an album, in 1971, with a band called Everyone. In 1967 he played with John McLaughlin, at one gig - and yes, the anecdote is in the book.


This week, on March 26th, Andy gets to add that all-too-rare phrase "gigged with Colin Harper and Peter Doggett" to his CV when he joins us as musical guest - performing Duffy Power/John McLaughlin songs - at our author event at Waterstones, Piccadilly, in London. Showtime is 6.30pm, booking advised (see online/previous news post for details).

posted by ADMIN  March 24, 2014 5:26  General

The new (April 2014) issue of Jazzwise carries a hugely positive review from Stuart Nicholson. As with Sid Smith in Prog, I'm really pleased that another reviewer has recognised the wider ambition of the book - chronicling London's extraordinary and unrepeatable musical world in the 1960s - and thrilled that my efforts seem to have passed muster.


Among several very generous things which Stuart says is this:


"Harper['s]... book not only does the subject justice, but is also an indispensible guide - the best yet written - to the Brit jazz scene in the 1960s..."


The British jazz scene in the '60s is very leanly served in book form to date. The field is wide open for further investigation and revelations, and I very much hope other writers - and commissioning editors - dive in, and soon. As Sid Smith noted, the era is ...


posted by ADMIN  March 21, 2014 7:07  General

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