The Safest Place In The World. A Personal History Of British Rhythm and Blues by Dick Heckstall-Smith. Quartet Books, London, 1989.
The 'blues boom' in Britain, involving Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, John Mayall et al, was of seminal importance in turning it's growing audience's attention to the music's American roots and in paving the way for R&B-influenced rock groups like Fleetwood Mac, the Yardbirds, the Animals and the Rolling Stones. Dick Heckstall-Smith, one of this country's most respected saxophonists, witnessed the whole of this fascinating period from it's very heart, first with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, then with the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Colosseum. In this autobiography - what he calls a 'personal history of British ryhthm and blues' - Heckstall-Smith not only evokes, economically and hilariously, this period, but also illuminates it, reflecting at some length on such knotty problems as racism, drug abuse and the commercialism/art dichotomy. First and foremost, however, he has written an extraordinarily entertaining book : his anecdotes concerning such figures as Ginger Baker, Alexis Korner, Charlie Watts and, above all, the unforgettable Graham Bond, are at once extremely funny and fundamentally serious.
( Inner sleeve note from 'The Safest Place In The World' )
We have managed to supply a limited amount of copies of Dick's biography 'The Safest Place In The World'. We do not have online purchasing facilities at present. The UK ordering details are as follows. Please send a cheque for £18:00 including post and packing made payable to DICK HECKSTALL-SMITH to "Peter Grant, Vinyl Offer Ltd, 5b Camden Rd, London, NW1 9LG " and we will mail a copy out to you. For the rest of the World, please EMAIL us for full details!