A Quick Q & A with author Vernon Joynson
Congratulations on your newest work, A Melange Of Musical Pipedreams And Pandemonium and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for our It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine readers.
Your newest title has been published as part of a revision of your previous book Dreams, Fantasies and Nightmares from Far Away Lands Revisited is it not? Why the new title rather than an updated edition of Dreams?
It would not have been possible to update the Dreams book as a single volume to the quality and standard I wanted and I had feedback about the high freight costs of shipping two-volume books and the weight of carrying them around. I also wanted to introduce the music from some new parts of the world to my readers so it made more sense to write two new titles.
Melange includes entries for bands from nations not covered in Dreams. What are the new nations included? Why were they chosen?
The new areas covered are Turkey and the Middle East and the Afro-rock bands that were largely based in Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana.
I chose them because I think my readers will find them of interest. I think they will be pleasantly surprised by some of the music and there has been a lot of interest in the Afro-rock bands in recent years.
Melange includes entries for bands from Turkey, Africa and The Middle East. How was information contained in these entries obtained? What difficulties, if any, did translating the languages involved present?
The discographical information was largely obtained from online research. The music descriptions were obtained by listening to records in my collection or by listening downloads done by friends (for example, my good friend Bill Allerton burnt many Israeli albums onto CD-R for me and I used utube a lot where I couldn’t obtain CD-Rs.
Translating the languages (primarily Turkish) meant that the Turkish and Middle Eastern section took a disproportionately long time to research and write. I was mostly reliant on google translate for the Turkish translations.
Entries for bands from Canada and Latin America are not included in Melange. Will these nations be covered in a future work? If so, what will be the new work’s title and when can readers expect it to become available? Will it be a limited edition as “Melange” is? If so, do you know how many copies will be printed?
Yes the intention is that vastly expanded Canadian and Latin American sections will appear in my next volume provisionally titled A Potpourri Of Melodies And Mayhem, which will be longer than the Melange book. The intention is to offer it as a numbered, limited edition, but at present I can’t say precisely how many that will be or when the book will appear because I don’t know. I am hoping it will be later this year though. It has already been written. A Brazilian friend of mine has done all the translations from Spanish and Portuguese in the Latin American section for me.
For readers not familiar, would you please describe the information contained in individual band entries and how did you arrive at what information to be included?
The information I include is what feedback has indicate the punters really want to know (and which other books fail to provide in the same detail or, in some cases, at all).
The main music genres covered are rock, pop, beat, r’n’b, folk, psych and prog, but the book goes beyond this in some cases to cover some jazz and pop/soul and rock/soul acts.
Each entry provides detailed artists discographies (album, EP and 45). The discographies are extremely detailed and, for most entries, artists’ overseas releases are included, as well as comprehensive reissue information, details of retrospective compilations and appearances on various artists’ compilations, where applicable.
Most entries contain bibliographical details and descriptions and critiques of the music in as much detail as possible.
There is a rarity scale for all album releases covered in the book.
Does Melange follow the format of your expanded 2014 two volume edition of The Tapestry Of Delights which covered UK rock & pop of the beat, r&b, psychedelic and progressive eras 1963-1976? What if any, are the differences in formatting?
The book follows precisely the same format as the two volume edition of The Tapestry Of Delights.
Who published Melange and how many copies were printed? How was the number of copies printed chosen and why?
Melange was published by Borderline Productions like my previous titles since 1988. The 13-digit ISBN is 9781899855216. There are precisely 850 numbered copies, although some of these were allocated to people who assisted in various ways, specific libraries and as review copies, so I believe the number offered for sale is nearer to 820.
Where and how can our readers obtain copies of Melange? What is the retail cost of the new book? Should our readers expect to pay full retail price or to your knowledge are copies available at a discounted price?
The relatively small print run has pushed up the purchase price to more than we’d like at £49.95, but there are plenty of online retailers selling copies of the book at good discounts. If readers do a bit of research there should be absolutely no need whatsoever to pay as much as £49.95 for a copy, although the best deal will depend greatly on where in the world you live.
All your previous titles include beautiful full color sections containing photos of album artwork. Is this the case with Melange as well? If so, how did you obtain the photos?
Yes there is a 12-page colour section using photos in Borderline’s archive of album covers, mostly from my collection, but supplemented by covers supplied by other collectors too.
The book is published under your name, but are there any people in particular that you would like to give a special shout out to regarding the new publication?
Yes there are. Although I do the vast majority of the research and writing myself I have a small team of helpers whose assistance is vital in enabling my vision of the books to become a reality. The full list of names is stated in the credits section of the Foreword, and I can’t mention everyone here, but I must mention Ivor Trueman who has handled the artwork and inserted the illustrations into my books for many years now and I am eternally grateful to him. Mike Warth has assisted me with the research on this one and added many entries of his own. Nick Warburton has made some of his research and illustrations on specific South African and Australian artists available to me. The Australian collector John Banks assisted me greatly with expanding some of the Australian entries and provided some additional ones. Clark Faville has spent a huge amount of time casting a critical eye over the text and has provided the rarity scale for this book. The artist Andrew Linsell, who has supplied the detail for most of my recent covers for some years now, has allowed detail from his 2015 painting “Ventriloquist’ to form the basis of the front cover. I hope readers like it; personally I think it is one of his best so far!
As always, I am sure there are questions I failed to pose to you. If so, what are they and what would you like our readers to know in their regards?
Your questions are very comprehensive. I can’t think of anything else right now, although I’d like to emphasise that the entries don’t literally end at 1976 – it’s just the discographical detail that stops then when bands or artists were around for much longer. You can still read about what happened to them after 1976, although not in as much detail as before 1976.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine readers. Having received and read A Melange I know I join our owner/publisher Klemen Breznikar in congratulating you on the new title and thank you for your tremendous contributions in documenting the wonderful music recorded from 1963 to 1976.
It’s a pleasure. The feedback from readers and reviewers like yourself motivates me to keep writing these guides.
– Kevin Rathert