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Tapestry of Delights Expanded Version review and interview with author, Vernon Joynson

November 27, 2014

Tapestry of Delights Expanded Version review and interview with author, Vernon Joynson

After eight long years, British music historian Vernon
Joynson, offers up this brand new revised and expanded version of his seminal
work chronicling UK Rock & Pop Of The Beat, R&B, Psychedelic & Progressive Eras
between 1963 and 1976. The new edition contains far too much information to be
contained within a single volume. The result is this massive two volume, 2064
page tome published by Borderline Productions and it is more than double the
length of its 2006 predecessor, and triple the length of the original 1995
edition! This is no mere update, however, as many new features have been added,
and each and every entry has been lovingly and meticulously rewritten. As the
author has commented, “this book is lovingly written and compiled by a
collector (helped by other collectors) for collectors and lovers of sixties and
seventies Rock & Pop.” The resulting
set indeed lives up to its lofty ambition of being “The Ultimate Guide To
UK Rock & Pop Of The Beat, R&B, Psychedelic & Progressive Eras 1963-1976.”
So, what does the purchaser get in return for his or her
hard earned currency? As with previous editions “Tapestry” consists
of individual entries for each and every band or solo artist, presented in
alphabetical order. The entries have, as the title implies, been painstakingly
revised and expanded, greatly increasing their value to collectors and fans
alike. In addition, hundreds of new entries (large and small alike) have been
added to this new edition!
What information is contained in the entries you may ask?
First of all, an alphabetic list of personnel and the instrument or instruments
they play. Where more than one line-up occurs, they are likewise listed
alphabetically. The personnel information, in conjunction with the artist or
band’s album discography, indicates which album or albums (vinyl and CD alike),
if any, the individual played on. The extremely detailed album discographies
include the title of the LP or CD, the label and catalog number and the year of
release, along with comments on original releases and reissues alike. Where
more than one has been released, they are listed in order of release.
Compilation albums and CDs are indicated as such in the listing. Unlike
previous editions comprehensive information about overseas issues and reissues
is included, greatly expanding the discographies of many bands. The incredible amount of information
regarding original and reissue releases alike makes this new edition absolutely
essential for every collector’s library.
An exhaustive section devoted to retrospective compilations
of artists’ recordings is included where applicable. Detailed descriptions of
the compilations (number of tracks, inclusion of essential recordings,
rarities, etc.) are given as well as the title, label, catalog number and release
date being included. Information regarding box sets and multi-disc releases are
covered in this section with an emphasis on the most comprehensive releases
available as well as comments on releases to be avoided or purchased with
caution.
The extensively detailed discographies of EPs and 45s are
listed in order of release, but unlike previous editions the EP discographies
now include detailed track listings, and overseas as well as UK issues. The EP and 45 discographies also contain
label, catalog number and year of release information, all absolutely essential
information for collectors.
Without question the most important addition to this new
edition is the “About The Band And Its Music” section which offers
extensively detailed descriptions of the artist’s sound as well as detailed
analyses of the music and in many cases critiques which serve as an invaluable
tool for collectors, aiding them in deciding which bands and/or releases they
pursue. This addition alone may well be worth the cost of the book.
Following the tradition of previous editions the new two
volume edition is profusely illustrated. Hundreds and hundreds of photos are
interspersed throughout the text. Furthermore, each volume has an 8 page full
color section devoted to album cover art.
Lastly, the UK rarity scale has been completely revised.
LPs, EPs and 45s which are rare and sought after have been given a rarity
rating. This scale acts as a guide to the value of particular releases and is
yet another reference tool for collectors. 
Great care has been taken by the author to assure the
accuracy of each entry’s contents. With a work of this depth and breadth
quality control is of utmost importance. Having given the volumes a thorough
examination I can attest to the accuracy and detail contained within the two
volumes. It is at once quite obvious that this project is indeed a labor of
love executed with incredible passion by the author.
The two volume “Tapestry Of Delights” is available
in two formats. The softbound edition is available from both Amazon.com and
Amazon.co.uk and can be obtained in the US at a cost of $100 give or take, and
in the UK for comparable prices. There is also a strictly limited, numbered
(600 copies) hardback set which can be obtained from fine booksellers in the US
and UK. The cost of the hardbound copies is approximately $250 plus shipping in
the US and 100-125 pounds sterling plus shipping in the UK. I must add that the
faux leather bound copies with gold embossed lettering are absolutely
breathtaking!
To sum it up, “The Tapestry Of Delights” is,
without doubt, the seminal work regarding Rock & Pop Of The Beat, Psychedelic & Progressive Eras from the UK between 1963 and 1976. It should be a
mandatory part of any true record collector’s library and essential reading for
music collectors and fans alike. The only real question is whether to purchase
the hardbound or softbound edition. You can’t go wrong either way!
It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine has a few questions for
Vernon Joynson
Author of “The Tapestry Of Delights Expanded Two Volume
Edition”

Hi Vernon, thanks for taking the time to tell our readers
about your seminal work on UK Psychedelic & Progressive Rock “The Tapestry Of
Delights.’ 
What inspired you to write “Tapestry Of Delights” and how
did you decide on the title?
When I was building up my personal collection in the late
seventies and early eighties I was frustrated by the limited coverage that many
of the Rock & Pop encyclopaedias of the time gave to the albums I was looking
for. I set out to try to rectify this and ensure that many bands who may not
have got the recognition they deserved originally got more acclaim
retrospectively. I wrote my first book “The Acid Trip” an introductory guide to
psychedelia in 1982. This predominantly covered the US & UK and as I delved
deeper and deeper into the subject matter I produced further volumes under the
title of “The Flashback” (first published in June 1988). 
By the early nineties I decided to start work on a trilogy
of books whose scope went wider than psychedelia. In any case it had proved
quite challenging deciding which acts should and should not be included in the
earlier “Acid Trip” and “Flashback” books, as many acts went through a
psychedelic phase in the 1966-1969 era, whilst their music in other eras was
not psychedelic. Incidentally, both of these books are outdated now and I would
not recommend that you buy them. If you want to purchase any of my books always
go for the most recent edition of the trilogy below.
The first part of the trilogy was “Fuzz, Acid and Flowers: A
Comprehensive Guide To American Garage and Hippie Rock 1964-1975”, which was
first published in August 1993.
The second part was “The Tapestry of Delights: The
Comprehensive Guide to British Music Of The Beat, R&B, Psychedelic & Progressive Eras 1963-1976”, which was first published in September 1995. 
The final part of the trilogy was “Dreams Fantasies and Nightmares
From Faraway Lands: Canadian, Australasian and Latin American Rock & Pop
1963-1975”, which was first published in September 1999.
I thought of all these book titles (not all at the same
time) whilst lying in the sun and thinking deeply in our back garden!! You
don’t get a lot of sun in England and I find I’m often at my most relaxed and
creative when I’m savouring it and no-one else is around!
How many pages long was the first edition of The Tapestry
of Delights” and how many artist/band entries were included? How many copies were printed? 
The first edition was 600 pages long and I think around
4,000 copies were printed. I don’t know how many entries were included but the
book’s scope aimed to cover mainstream Rock & Pop, Merseybeat, R&B, folk,
folk-rock, jazz-rock, blues-rock, psychedelia, freakbeat, glam-rock and
progressive rock. The scope of the book was much wider than the Fuzz book
because the UK is a much smaller country and had far less acts in this era.
The book was reprinted in September 1996 and again in June
1998. I think each reprint had a
supplement at the end with some additional information.
Wasn’t there an online version of “Tapestry” at one
time?” Who came up with the idea? How was it maintained and how long did it
exist? How did this affect the number of
hard copy books sold?
There were online versions of all three books (“Tapestry”,
“Fuzz” and “Dreams”) for a while. They were devised and maintained by the
publisher but it became too time-consuming and it did affect sales of the hard
copy books. In short it became uneconomic to continue to do this.
When was the updated “Tapestry Of Delights Revisited”
published? How many entries did
“Revisited” contain? How many copies
were printed compared to the first edition?
“The Tapestry Of Delights Revisited” book was published in
May 2006. I don’t know how many entries
it contained, but there were certainly a lot more than in the 1995 edition. It
was 978 pages long and I’m not sure how many copies were printed, but it would
have been in the region of 3,000. There
was also a reprint in 2008.
Now, regarding the new Expanded Two Volume Edition of
“Tapestry.” 
When was the decision made to expand “Tapestry” from one
volume to two? How long did it take to complete
this massive project, from conception to publication?
When I started on the latest revision I was aiming for the
book to be the same sort of size as the September 2010 revision of the “Fuzz”
book, which was just over 1,400 pages. 
However, with the much more detailed discographies, more
comment on the music and many more new entries, it soon became apparent that
the book was going to be too large to be bound as one book, especially if I
wanted there to be a hardback edition too, which I did. So mid-way through it
became apparent that to include everything I wanted the book would have to
extend over two volumes. I do feel bad about this because it is inevitably more
expensive and heavier for the punters as a result.
It took four years of intensive research to complete the
latest version of “Tapestry”. If I hadn’t retired from my full-time occupation
in October 2012 it would have taken considerably longer. Retirement has freed
up much more time for me to work on the books, but I have quite a lot of other
interests too, so I always have to juggle my time to fit in all the things I
want to do, even now.

How many pages are contained in the new edition? Can you give us an idea of how many entries
are included? How does this compare with
the previous editions? 
Volume 1 (A-K) has 1,024 pages plus an eight-page colour
section.
Volume 2 (L-Z) has 1,040 pages plus an eight-page colour
section.
So, 2,064 pages in all, plus 16 pages of colour. 
I’m sorry but I don’t know the precise number of
entries. It would take a long time to
count them, but there are many, many more than in the 2006 edition and almost
every entry has been rewritten and expanded. If you own the earlier editions I
think you will want this and it should make a great present for serious fans of
music from this era.
The volumes are profusely illustrated, each containing an
eight page section of full color album cover art, and photos accompanying
hundreds of the entries. Do you know how
many photos adorn the two volumes? How
was it decided which album art to include?
I’m sorry I don’t know precisely how many illustrations in
all are included but we aimed for one black & white illustration per page
(except in the compilation section at the end of volume two). I have a computer whizz friend of mine called
Ivor Truman who does all the lay out of the books (including the colour
sections) alongside a full-time job. I give him some guidance about what to
include but he has a lot of local discretion too. We aim to use the original
album cover art wherever we can, but in the case of many entries the artists
did not make albums or we don’t have access to them so we have to use CD covers
and retrospective compilations, etc. I am much indebted to Ivor. I believe he always
does a great job for me. I am also very grateful to my good friend Bill
Allerton who supplied lots of interesting illustrations for this edition
too. 
Since 1994, the cover art for all my books (except the punk
one) has comprised extracts from paintings by the artist Andrew Linsell. I am
very grateful to him and to Richard Allen, the former co-owner of Delerium
Records/Freakbeat who originally put me in touch with Andrew. The feedback I get on Andrew’s covers is
always very positive. 
Entries contain extensive descriptions, complementing
exhaustive discographies, of artists’ music and in many cases offer critiques
to aid collectors in deciding which bands and recordings to pursue. How was it possible to realize this most
ambitious goal?
Well it took a lot of very careful and time-consuming
research to compile the discographies, which are far more detailed than in
previous volumes. Keeping abreast of all the reissues is particularly
challenging and I have several sources I work from.
The ability to listen to so much more music online in the
last few years (for example, I never cease to be amazed by what I can find on
utube) has made it easier to comment on the music of a much wider range of
artists than was possible in earlier volumes, when I was largely reliant on my
own collection and comments and tapes, etc from other collectors.
The two volume edition is available in two formats. How many copies of the softbound version are
available and where can they be obtained? There is also an absolutely stunning hardbound version available. How many copies of the limited edition,
hand-numbered, faux leather with gold embossed lettering were printed? How can readers obtain these hardbound sets?
I think around 2,500 sets of the softbound version were
printed and they are widely available from most of the outlets you’d expect to
purchase a music book from. I don’t think anyone will have a problem finding a
copy, but they may have to shop around a bit for the best deal.
The hardback version was commissioned by a distributor
called F. Minor who is handling its distribution exclusively. Just 600
hand-numbered books were printed. (Back
in 2007 the same distributor handled a hardback version of 2004 edition of the
“Fuzz” book).
If you live in the UK or Europe you can obtain a copy of the
hardback 2-Volume Set of “Tapestry” for £99.99 plus postage from F. Minor, Unit
8, Commercial Mews North, 45a Commercial Road, Eastbourne, Sussex BN21 3XF,
Tel: +44 (0)13-2373-6598, Fax: +44 (0)13-2373-8763 or e-mail paul@fminor.com.
The list below is not exhaustive because some stock went to
distributors so we’ve no idea where they’ve ended up, but I’ve listed other
outlets who currently stock the book.
If you live in the UK, stockists include Rough Trade,
Heyday, Spin or Juno. If you live in Germany try Ohrwashel. In Japan try Disk
Union and in the US try Lion Productions and Doug Larson. 
If you still are having problems getting a copy e-mail
paul@fminor.com or enquiry@borderlineproductionsbooks.co.uk, but please note
that Borderline Productions do not supply copies directly themselves.

Thank you so much for participating in this short interview
and congratulations on bringing this most ambitious project to fruition. Is there anything we have not addressed that
readers should be made aware of? Any
final thoughts for our readers?
It’s been a pleasure answering your questions. Thank you for
taking the time to think of the questions and for allowing my project the space
on your website. Whilst I do most of the writing of these books myself, I also
have a small band of helpers for each project. I always include credits for
them in the Foreword of each book. For
example, US garage expert Max Waller has played a key role in “Fuzz” books in
the past. For the latest “Tapestry” volume, folk expert Mike Warth and
freelance music journalist Nick Warburton have been my main helpers, but there
are other too who are detailed in the book’s foreword.
To my readers, I do appreciate that you are being asked to
pay quite a lot of money for these books because of their size and weight
(particularly when they are purchased overseas). For this reason I will be
sticking to single volume books in the future, so I hope you will view this
particular purchase as a one-off.
Finally, thanks so much for all the support you’ve given to
my projects to date.

* Our interview with Joynson from 2011 can be found here.

– Kevin Rathert
© Copyright http://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2014

4 Comments
  1. Rich AfterSabbath

    Thanks Vernon and It's Psychedelic Baby!
    Rich
    www.aftersabbath.com

  2. Kevin Rathert

    Thanks for your kind words Rich! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Vernon is such an incredible guy and Klemen is the best editor in the world. It was a real pleasure to do the review/interview with Vernon and Klemen made everything look so gorgeous!

    Kevin Rathert
    rathert3@gmail.com
    It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

  3. baby barefoot sandals

    Enjoyed the article.... pretty interesting

  4. Kevin Rathert

    Thank you baby barefoot sandals, glad you enjoyed the article. Vernon's books are the most essential volumes in my library.

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