Elton John to chronicle his Circle of Life in autobiography

Elton John is to release an autobiography, promised to be a “no-holds-barred account” of his colourful life.

In a statement Elton John commented: “I’m not prone to being a nostalgic person. I’m often accused of only looking forward to my next gig or creative project. It’s come as quite a surprise how cathartic I am finding the process of writing my memoirs. As I look back, I realise what a crazy life I have had the extreme privilege of living. I have grown up in a period of extraordinary change in our world – and have had the joyful honour of rubbing shoulders and working with so many of the people at the heart of these changes. My life has been one helluva rollercoaster ride and it’s still lumbering on. I hope readers will enjoy the ride too.”

It will be the first and only official autobiography of the 69-year old Elton John, who released his 33rd studio album earlier this year. Throughout his career, he has sold more than 300million records.elton-john-daniel

Stephen Rubin, president and publisher at Henry Holt & Company, commented: “Elton John is an extraordinary pop culture figure whose celebrity transcends his music. Sure we know the lyrics to all his signature songs, but we love him just as much for his charity work, for his wide circle of friends, including royalty, for his supremely unforgettable outrageousness and sense of style and humour, and for his irresistible likability.”

A big-screen biopic, to star Tom Hardy as Elton John was announced in 2013 but has yet to begin production.

 

You can get your favourite Elton John song as a framed vinyl single. If intended as a gift, you can Framed Vinyl Single MFRalso personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque… ORDER NOW…. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

Framed vinyl records and framed CDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Was 1971 a golden year for pop & rock music?

There’s a new book out that suggests that 1971 was the best and definitive year for music in the 1970s: 1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year by David Hepworth.

Goodreads.com rates it very highly in its review: “A rollicking look at 1971 – the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the 70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Joni david hepworth book never a dull momentMitchell.”

The review continues: “On New Year’s Eve, 1970, Paul McCartney told his lawyers to issue the writ at the High Court in London, effectively ending The Beatles. You might say this was the last day of the pop era. The following day, which was a Friday, was 1971. You might say this was the first day of the rock era. And within the remaining 364 days of this monumental year, the world would hear Don McLean’s “American Pie,” The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” and more.”

David Hepworth, author of “1971 – Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year”……was twenty-one in 1971, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. In the book he takes the reader on “a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted.”

Goodreads.com concludes its review: “1971 – Never a Dull Moment is more than a love song to the music of 1971. It’s also an homage to the things that inspired art and artists alike. From Soul Train to The Godfather, hot pants to table tennis, Hepworth explores both the music and its landscapes, culminating in an epic story of rock and roll’s best year.”

For the Record Press author, 1971 will always be synonymous with my childhood. It was the year that the Raleigh 1970s 1 munch bunch pencil topsChopper and its junior version the Raleigh Chipper were launched and revolutionised transportation for my friends and I. In the school playground the Munch Bunch pencil tops were all the rage. For those of a certain vintage who are struggling to remember them – they were the fruit and vegetable people who were impaled on our pencils in the classroom!!

My favourite TV shows were Catweazle, Land of the Giants, Banana Splits and The Persuaders. I have to say I hadn’t discovered pop and rock music at the time. Retrospectively I have developed a fondness for the music of 1971, without being overly enamoured with the year as a musical chapter. So I have to disagree with David Hepworth – I would opt  for 1974, 1975 ( years where  Glam Rock collided colourfully with the advent of Disco ) or 1979 ( where New Wave, Electro-pop, Reggae and Ska co-existed in the UK charts ) as being better years for music in the 1970s.

However 1971 produced some classic songs and hits as illustrated by this Record Press Top 10 Best Songs of 1971 –

Record Press Top 10 Best Songs of 1971marvin gaye what's going on

 

1) Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?

2) John Lennon – Imagine

3) Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

4) Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

5) Carole King – It’s Too Late Babyled zeppelin stairway to heaven

6) George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

7) Elton John – Your Song

8) Diana Ross – I’m Still Waiting

9) Elvis Presley – I Just Can’t Help Believin’

10) Rod Stewart – Maggie May

 

Which is your favourite year for music and why? Tell us about your memories from that year in the Reply Box below.

Framed Vinyl Single MFRFramed vinyl singles, framed CDs & framed book covers with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion i.e. a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. 

THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT.  ORDER@ www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

 

Win a Framed Favourite Book Cover in our World Book Day Competition

World Book Day is on Thursday 5th March. The concept behind World Book Day is to encourage children to start enjoying reading at an early age, so that they carry on this enjoyment into adulthood.

In the Record Press author’s experience, it is the books we read in our formative, early years of childhood, that stay with us for the whole of our lifetime. Books allow children and adults to escape, find excitement, love, and adventure  charlie and the chocolate factory book coverin fiction.  A good book can take us to a different place altogether and the resonance of that “place” and the characters that occupy it, stay with us. When we finish a good book, it is like losing a friend……We almost grieve for it!!

National Book Tokens is sponsoring World Book Day and encouraging schools across the UK to participate.  A schools’ pack has been sent to all participating schools, containing £1 book tokens.  Book shops all over the UK will happily accept them.

World Book Day also supports Readathon, the UK’s national sponsored reading event, which gets children actively reading.  As well as raising money to help seriously ill children, participating schools get free books from Scholastic Book Clubs.

As part of the celebration of World Book Day, MyFirstRecord.co.uk & Record Press would like to hear from you.

Answer the question below in order to simply enter our World Book Day Competition ( Prize details below ).

QUESTION: “What was your favourite childhood book and why?”

Framed Book Cover Harry PotterThe author of the best reply will WIN A PRIZE OF A FRAMED BOOK COVER OF THEIR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD BOOK WITH A COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE ( LISTING THEIR NAME & BOOK DETAILS ).

E-mail your answer to info@MyFirstRecord.co.uk  All entries must be submitted with your name and e-mail address by the 30th March 2015. The winner will be notified shortly afterwards.

Framed book covers with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion i.e. a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!  ORDER HERE…….. http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-book-cover

Celebrate National Storytelling Week with a framed favourite book cover

The Society for Storytelling’s 15th Annual “National Storytelling Week” runs from Saturday 31st January until Saturday 7th February 2015.

“Once upon a time” most of us were read bedtime stories by our parents and grandparents. In the Record Press paddington bookauthor’s case, my Great Aunts read to me as an infant and in particular I remember Auntie Jenny reading me a Paddington Bear book one night, which I can recall I found side splittingly hilarious. In fact the recent release of the Paddington Bear film re-activated those memories. The reason the Paddington Bear episode has stayed long in the memory is because both Auntie Jenny and I were laughing uncontrollably. It is true to say that the resonance of that early experience of the joy of a book led to my love of reading as a child. This love of books and reading was reinforced in the 1960s and 1970s by the BBC1 programme, “Jackanory”, where an actor / celebrity would read a novel to “Children’s Hour” viewers over five days.

Another defining moment was when I was given C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” as a present in 1971 and I cannot think of another book in my childhood that captivated me as much as that story of the magical, snow laden land of Narnia, to be found at the back of a wardrobe in a rambling old house. The first time I stepped through that wardrobe, there was no coming back for me – it fired lion witch & wardrobe book covermy imagination in a way that no book has done before or since. The TV adaptions of the book “The Chronicles of Narnia” simply do not do the books justice. The books are totally magical. I read all seven books avidly from “The Chronicles of Narnia” – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle. Every couple of weeks I would go down to the library with my Dad on a Saturday morning and get the next book in the series, if available. When they weren’t available, the wait was agony!!

In 1973 my Uncle gave me a copy of JRR Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and similarly I was totally captivated by the world of Bilbo Baggins!! Those formative childhood years taught me the power of storytelling, which has remained with me in adult life and no doubt Framed Book Cover Harry Potterguided me in the direction of becoming a Blog writer.

What are your favourite books from your childhood? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Buy an original and unique gift for a family member or friend, by ordering the front cover of their favourite novel / book from their childhood , framed and mounted with a personalised engraved plaque.  ORDER NOW…www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-book-covers/framed-book-cover

 

Framed classic romantic book cover makes a unique Valentine’s gift

For all the modern and contemporary romantic novels out there, somehow it is the classics that seem to capture the public imagination, never more so than in film and TV spheres. Why is this?

Despite the immense popularity of E.L James “Fifty Shades of Grey”, the Record Press author found that although most of my female Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austenfriends had read it, they were left singularly unimpressed. Why is this? On one level, they all commented on how poorly written it is.  I suspect that for all its erotica, there was a lack of romance as well, where the hero did not measure up to a classical romantic hero like Mr Darcy in “Pride & Prejudice”.

The fact is that classical romantic fiction remains the top-selling sector of the book market. So what is the appeal of these classic romantic stories? Could it be that contemporary, modern day women feel underappreciated and dissatisfied in their own love lives? The heroines of romance novels by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters are normally the recipients of old fashioned courtship, encompassing the lavish attention and unbridled devotion of their male suitors. Romantic heroes like Mr Darcy cater to their love object’s every whim, and by doing so bring into sharp focus the romantic inadequacy of the 21st century man. Not only do the men and women in the classic romantic novels connect on a sexual level, they reciprocate each other’s emotional desires.

For women the classic romantic novels capture the thrill of completely engrossing a man, without having to compete with football on television, texts and the internet on the iPhone or any number of framed the notebook front coverother distractions that exist in the real world. So come on fellas, accept that your girlfriend and wife has good grounds for being overlooked and neglected romantically and make amends……….By buying her the ultimate unique Valentine’s gift!!

Buy an original and unique Valentine’s Day gift , by ordering the front cover of your girlfriend/ wife’s favourite romantic novel / book , framed and mounted with a personalised engraved plaque.  ORDER NOW…www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-book-covers/framed-book-cover

If you need some ideas, here are a Top 10 most popular classic romantic novels –

Top 10 best classic romantic novels

 

1)      Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2)      Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronteemily bronte wuthering heights

3)      Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

4)      Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

5)      Emma by Jane Austen

6)      Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

7)      Persuasion by Jane Austen

8)      Gone with The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

9)      Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

10)   Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

 

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Framed Raymond Briggs The Snowman book cover makes perfect Xmas gift

Raymond Briggs’ “The Snowman” is the most beautifully written and illustrated book and the animation in the film is equal to it. is arguably the most perfect Christmas short story ever written………

Fans of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” might disagree with this assertion, but the Record Press author will always maintain that Raymond Briggs’ “The Snowman” epitomises Christmas.

the-snowmanFor those who have been living on Mars and therefore never encountered snow, Raymond Briggs’ “The Snowman”  is the tale of a little boy who builds a snowman one winter’s day. That night, as the clock strikes midnight, the snowman comes to life. The first part of the story deals with the snowman’s attempts to grasp modern technology and appliances, toys and other objects in the boy’s home in the solitude of a night time house. The little boy and the snowman then wander outside and go for a ride on a motorbike, encountering pheasants, rabbits, a barn owl, a fox and a brown horse. Then the boy and the snowman take to the sky, flying over the boy’s town, over houses and large public buildings before flying past the Royal Pavilion and West Pier in Brighton and then out over the ocean.

Their journey takes them to the Arctic, technically not the North Pole because amongst the animals they encounter are penguins!! The two wander hand-in-hand into a snow-covered forest and attend a snowmen’s party and then meet Father Christmas and his reindeer……..so it must be the North Pole after all!! The little boy is a recipient of a scarf with a snowman pattern. The story has a sad, poignant end when the following morning the sun has come out and the little boy wakes up and rushes out into the garden, only to discover the snowman has melted. The boy reaches into his pocket and finds the snowman scarf given to him by Father Christmas. At least he has a souvenir of his adventure with the snowman!!

Talking of a souvenir……… Both “The Snowman” book and film are the perfect Christmas tale and as such would make the perfect Xmas gift!!

Celebrate your love of Raymond Briggs’ “The Snowman” , by ordering the front cover of “The Snowman” bookthe snowman , framed and mounted with a personalised engraved plaque.  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-book-covers/framed-book-cover

Alternatively celebrate your love of Raymond Briggs’ “The Snowman” by ordering the “The Snowman” film DVD , framed with a personalised engraved plaque.  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/

The perfect personalised present for Christmas!!

Framed book covers and framed film DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for other special celebrations  / special occasions i.e. a wedding, a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

A framed book cover makes a unique personalised gift

A recent article in the Radio Times on the Radio 2 presenters’ favourite book made for interesting reading!!

Radio 2 mid-morning DJ Ken Bruce’s favourite novel is “The Code of the Woosters” by PG Wodehouse, which delighted him as a code of the woostersteenager with it’s larger than life characters, so much so that it introduced him to the phenomenon of laughing out loud as he was reading. For Radio 2 lunchtime host Jeremy Vine, Agatha Christie’s “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” was given to him by his Mum at the age of eleven and set him on a journey whereby he read all 73 of Agatha Christie’s “whodunit” novels. Apparently he only guessed the murderer correctly on two occasions!!

Meanwhile Radio 2 drive-time presenter Simon Mayo’s favourite book is “Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone”. He was introduced to the Harry Potter novel by his 10 year old son. He quickly became a fan and read all seven Harry Potter books to his kids over the years. The Record Press author remembers that his brother in law Toby had exactly the same experience in the 1990s, being completely and compulsively drawn into the magical world of Harry Potter as he read to my nephews at bedtime.

For Claudia Winkleman, her favourite novel as a teenager was Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”. Claudia’s favourite charlie and the chocolate factory book coverchildhood book was the children’s perennial favourite Roald Dahl’s “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”, so much so that she named her daughter Matilda. Funnily enough, a friend of mine Laura named her daughter Pandora, having been a massive fan as a child of the “Diary of Adrian Mole” books by Sue Townsend. Vanessa Feltz lists three novels from her childhood as having had the biggest impact on her: “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery, “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and Susan Coolidge’s “What Katy Did Next”.

The interesting point that comes out of the Radio Times article is that the books that the Radio 2 presenters list as their favourites are generally from their childhood. In truth the books that have often had the biggest impact on our lives were those read during our seminal, formative years. They introduced us to magical worlds and a route to total escapism. The Record Press author was late learning to read, probably six or seven, but when I did finally master the art of reading, it was like the proverbial  dam wall bursting, cascading books through my bedroom……..

Those books are far too numerous to mention, as in the school holidays I would lie on my bed and read a book a day. However if I had to pick out one book that inspired and moved me the most, it would have to be “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis the lion the witch & wardrobe book coverfrom his “Adventures of Narnia” series. The concept of entering a magical, secretive world through the back of a wardrobe completely caught my imagination!!

That was it – I was hooked and avidly read the whole series of Narnia Adventures. The next time a single author and a series of books engaged me in the same way was as an adult when I discovered Nick Hornby in the 1990s. His novels “Fever Pitch” and “Hi-Fidelity” completely spoke to the 30 something me, not just because they were about my two greatest passions, football and vinyl records / music, but because fundamentally the main protagonists in the books thought and acted totally like me!! In fact we were one and the same person……..Never underestimate the power of books. They allow us to dream like nothing else in life!!

In our lives, books along with music, have the greatest power to inspire, move and entertain us. A good book that really engages us is like a best friend and we almost mourn and grieve the loss when we read the final word of that final chapter………

That is why as Proprietor of MyFirstRecord.co.uk, I have recently added a new product to our range of framed vinyl singles, framed vinyl albums and framed CDs………We are now pleased to be able to offer you the option of buying a framed favourite book cover!!   

Simon Sterland   Proprietor of MyFirstRecord.co.uk

Framed Book Cover Harry PotterWhich is your favourite book? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Celebrate your love of your favourite book, by ordering the front cover of your favourite book, framed with a personalised engraved plaque.  ORDER NOW… www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/framed-book-covers/framed-book-cover

Framed book covers with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a wedding, a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday, a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!

 

Top 5 Songs to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Death of C.S. Lewis

The assassination of President John F Kennedy on Friday 22nd November 1963 inevitably overshadowed the death of Clive Staples Lewis on the same day. For those struggling with the name, he was commonly known as C. S. Lewis, the author of arguably the best children’s book of all time “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” from “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Somewhat ironically C.S. Lewis was known to his friends and family as “Jack”, as was the ill-fated American President. If Jack Kennedy has been an icon in the Record Press author’s adult life, then C.S. Lewis was an inspiration and icon in my childhood. I was given a copy of “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” as a present and I cannot think of another book in my childhood that captivated me as much as that story of the magical, snow laden land of Narnia, to be found at the back of a wardrobe in a rambling old house.

The first time I stepped through that wardrobe, there was no coming back for me – it fired my imagination in a way that no book has done before or since. The TV adaptions of the book “The Chronicles of Narnia” simply do not do the books justice. The books are totally magical. I read all seven books avidly from “The Chronicles of Narnia” – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle. Every couple of weeks I would go down to the library with my Dad on a Saturday morning and get the next book in the series, if available. When they weren’t available, the wait was agony!!

To mark the 50th anniversary of his death, C.S. Lewis will be rightfully, but somewhat belatedly, honoured with a memorial in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey. On Friday as the world marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy, also spare a thought for the passing of one of the greatest children’s book authors, probably only matched by Enid Blyton, JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling.

In the timeworn traditions of this music blog, here is the Record Press Top 5 Songs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis –

1) Genesis – I Know What I Like ( In Your Wardrobe ) ( 1974 )

2) Yes – Wondrous Stories ( 1977 )

3) Earth Wind & Fire – Fantasy ( 1978 )

4) Pilot – Magic ( 1974 )

5) Beatles – Paperback Writer ( 1966 )

 

Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration  / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!!  THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!