Every Punter Tells a Story Don’t They

Read Mark Baxter's (AKA The Mumper of SE5) blog for Art Gallery Clothing. The Speakeasy is published online every Monday. The Speakeasy is now available as a paperback series. available exclusively from artgalleryclothing.co.uk Bax's musings cover all things mod, everything from sixties film. music & style to football, cycling & art

Doing the work I do in the world of books and films; I often get served up ideas from outside my usual circle. I always take that as a compliment in that I’m trusted with someone’s idea, which could be something they have been dreaming up for a good while. Sadly, due to a lack of time and more often than not, finance, I can’t do much with what I’m offered, although there is always the exception to that rule.

For example, take the latest book which I’m involved in ‘Every Ticket Tells a Story’ which was launched on April 27th, 2023. When I was presented with the idea of it by my co-author on the project, Stuart Deabill, I was immediately taken in by the freshness of the concept, in which we ask a variety of people for their favourite stories from a memorable gig, based around a ticket for that same gig, which they have kept among their possessions.

My main proviso for getting involved was to have the contributors come from as mixed and varied background as possible. So, black, white, young, old, gay, straight, famous or infamous, for starters and build from there. That thought process for me, would ensure we’d get a wide variety of acts and experiences in the book , and that has been the case.

Stuart is someone I have long admired for his get up and do ethos, which in his case, often involves running events, DJing, managing a band, selling T shirts and having his own book publishing company, PLUS having a day job. You can only admire drive like that, and I see a lot of similarities of myself in him, one certainly  being  making the most of a basic education at best and then going on to ‘create’ something in the arts.  

Added to that, when backing and finance for those ideas, is lacking, it doesn’t stop the process. It simply becomes a DIY project, straight from the Punk playbook of the mid to late 1970s.

So, once we had agreed on the idea, we set about finding our people to populate the book. Immediately, I was getting told by most of the ones I spoke to, that they loved the idea, which is of course, the feedback you want to hear, , and soon, the stories began to land.

The range of acts written about for the book, went from Bill Haley in the 1950s, to Kylie in the 1990’s and then onto the present day. I was also struck by the variety of emotions stirred up by Stu’s original idea. We had pure joy, deep sadness, unadulterated laughter and very, very poignant moments all coming at us. I like to think ‘all human life’ is within the book covers. 

On top of asking for the stories, we also asked for photos of the  ticket stubs for the gig that was being described. Only, finding them turned out to be a mission for some. I know from my own experience, you think you have a thing ‘there’, only to discover it has long gone, lost from your possession. So, we soon had to change tack and for those who could not find a ticket to go along with their story, we instead asked for a photo of them, from the time that they attended the gig.

What started to come through was a lovely thing, There they were in some cases 50 years ago, when they and their knees were young and energetic and full of life, when going to a gig was almost a rite of passage and on some occasions, never to be forgotten.

The blurb on the book PR, captures this nicely…

‘Musician Mick Talbot (ex Dexys/Style Council) talks about seeing Dr. Feelgood at the height of their popularity. Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Specials) writes about seeing the New York Dolls at the legendary clothes shop, Biba. Photographer Gered Mankowitz picks Bob Marley at the Rainbow as his legendary show and Darren Russell was in Havana when Manic Street Preachers played for Fidel Castro! Musician and writer Geoff Deane gives us his hilarious take on seeing The Clash in a small venue, that was big on action, in 1979. Film and TV actor Johnny Harris saw The Stone Roses at a tiny venue in London and Lorraine Stanley (Eastenders) speaks about her Glastonbury experience. Music industry icon Andrew Loog Oldham and many others from the arts and the street, relay their memories of watching the likes of Bill Haley, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Clash, The Jam, Sex Pistols, The Who, Curtis Mayfield, Take That, Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, Ella Fitzgerald, Kylie Minogue, Liam Gallagher, Cypress Hill, and Paul Weller, amongst many others….’

The designer on the project and Stu’s partner in the book company ‘Soul Deep Publishing’ is Steve Rowland, and even if I do say so myself, he’s done a mighty fine job.


So where do I get one, I hear you ask?

Whilst stocks last, you can try HERE




Oh yeh, and as mentioned on the cover of the book, this is Volume One, with a second volume certainly in the mix down the line.

After all, every punter tells a story, don’t they?


The Mumper of SE5

Read The Mumper’s other weekly musings on ‘The Speakeasy’ blog page




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THE SPEAKEASY Volume Three by Mark Baxter (The Mumper)

Illustrations by Lewis Wharton

Foreword by Eddie Piller

Available to ORDER exclusively in the Art Gallery Clothing SHOP

The Speakeasy Volume 3 by Mark Baxter, Bax began writing for the The Speakeasy on the Art Gallery Clothing site in 2017 & has covered various mod related subjects from music to film & clobber to art & literature.




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