Friday 24 January 2014

‘All About My Girl’ book review by Paul Hooper-Keeley

Mod author, Jason Brummell, has a new book out called ‘All or Nothing’ which I have all ready to read and review. However, having only recently discovered that he had already got a previous book, ‘All About My Girl, published and in circulation, I thought it only good form to read this one first.

Jason states in the preface that he intentionally uses the flavour of the writings of Colin MacInnes, Irish Jack, Tom Woolfe and Paolo Hewitt in his own book as a respectful way of drawing on their finest parts.

The story is set in the Modernist era of early sixties London with the Scene Club as a central location and the story of intrigue, gangsters and ministerial indiscretions mixed in with music, clubs, tailoring, scooters and pills. It is based on the lives of four individuals and is told in the first person.

Within the storyline, you get parallels to things you’ve seen or read before such as in ‘Alfie’ (northern girl making her way to London via a lorry), Richard Barnes ‘Mods!’ book (re: cycling shirts, watches worn with their faces on the inside of the wrist), Guy Stevens DJ’ing and making tapes of rare soul, Ready Steady Go! scouring the Mod clubs for dancers and the inferences of Pete Meaden and Mickey Tenner being part of the character’s crowd. Then there’s the suit detail; vent length, ticket pockets, cuff buttoning design, cloth, colour etc.

In fact Jason lovingly weaves all of these elements into a rich Mod tapestry in a way that really does make you feel that you are in Ham Yard or at the Flamingo. And this can only be done by someone from the Mod scene, someone who knows what he is really talking about; not some outsider writing from limited research but zero passion and empathy for us.

And the story itself is pretty darn good too, ultimately linking to a sixties scandal that most people will know of.

‘All About My Girl’ is an excellent book and available via PayPal for just £5 (and that includes P&P) – full details can be found at the official web site:

Right, I have to go now – I’ve got the new Jason Brummell book, ‘All Or Nothing’ to read next…….

Paul Hooper-Keeley

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