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Various Artists

Psychedelic Days: 1960-1969 written by Patrick Campbell-Lyons

Review by Gary Hill

One caveat that I need to get out right away is listing this book under Various Artists. Here’s the thing, Patrick Campbell-Lyons was one of the main guys in the band Nirvana. No, I’m not talking about Kurt Cobain and company. Those of us in the states have probably never heard of this Nirvana, but apparently they were quite well known in Europe in the 1970’s. So, in some ways this book should fit under that group, but truly very little of the book is really about that group. It’s more about the personal memories of a man who was present during the crazy times that were the 1960’s in Europe. It is far more about crossing paths with various members of the rock elite of the time than it is about the band that Campbell-Lyons made a European legend. So, for that reason I’m including this review under Various Artists.

Now, as to the book itself. Let’s delve into the concept of memory a bit. First off, there are those who say that if you remember the 1960’s you weren’t there. This book flies in the face of that as a direct disagreement. That said, the way my memory (and I’m willing to be most people’s memories) works is that I remember certain events in vivid detail. Beyond those, though, there are wide gaps of things missing. This book seems very much like a personal memory in that way. It’s like looking inside another person’s mind and tagging along on a ride as he recounts various events in his life. That makes this intriguing and each little piece is a morsel worth viewing. The main problem from my point of view is that it’s told in a very non-linear way. I keep wanting some kind of overarching theme to pull it all together and it’s just not there. I suppose that makes it even more like memories, but yet, it made it not as compelling a read as I would have wanted. Still, the imagery and stories presented are quite interesting. I should mention, too, that the typeset in this book is extremely large, meaning that while the page count might seem that it would take you a certain amount of time to get through it, it is a much quicker journey. I’d say that you should consider a book of maybe one third to one half its size because of that large font. All in all, it’s a cool ride. I’d think of it as good to very good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 3 at

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