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Re: I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:32 pm
by john poole
I’ve read Mick Houghton’s book now, and if you want to read a Sandy biography this must be the one to go for; he allows his interviews with Sandy’s friends, colleagues and contemporaries to tell the story to a large extent, even when they sometimes contradict each other. He largely avoids the blame and accusations that featured in Clinton Heylin’s book, but of course it still remains an ultimately tragic story as someone who comes across as a larger than life personality in the 60s, begins to struggle with her career, relationships, and lifestyle once a few years into the following decade; a time when Island Records had become a less friendly home for artists who were not making hits. After her second solo album with the David Bailey cover photo didn’t sell as was hoped, her next LP completed and originally scheduled for October, 1973 would remain unreleased until the following June.

The author, who had been an admirer since 1968 seeing Sandy live with Fairport, Fotheringay, and solo, admits in his preface that “I was a typical fickle fan of the day. It now seems as if a lot of us deserted her after 1973” - he concludes that Sandy’s last few years had a sense of irrevocability about them.

The previously linked Richard Williams piece is the best thing I’ve read about the book and worth revisiting for the discussion in the comments underneath, although I’m unsure about the relevance of the Rhiannon Giddens album - she stole the concert film ‘Another Day, Another Time’, but her album only came to life for me with the final track.
http://thebluemoment.com/2015/03/02/the ... ndy-denny/

Of course you may just choose to listen to Sandy’s music.

Re: I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:41 pm
by Adam Blake
john poole wrote:Of course you may just choose to listen to Sandy’s music.



Thanks, John. I've resisted the temptation to buy a copy. I'm all Sandy'd out. But her music remains a constant in my life and I am sure it always will.

Re: I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 11:27 pm
by Adam Blake
Finally getting around to reading this. I am intrigued at what the backstage politics must have been. Clinton Heylin is pointedly not thanked and his full scale Sandy biog of a few years back is mentioned in passing precisely once. I must say I enjoyed Heylin's book as far as it went, although Sandy fans generally felt it was too sombre in tone.

With regard to this new one, however, this fragment is worth the price of admission alone.

Bruce Rowland (later Fairport drummer) recalls: "She and Trev went to this party and, as they enter, sitting on a sofa is the archetypal stick-thin pretty blonde with very straight, long blonde hair. And pretty blonde's were Sandy's bete-noire. Sandy was wearing a big fur coat and carrying a Gladstone bag made out of carpet material. The coat must have have weighed thirty kilos. And she takes it off, swings it round and dumps it on top of this girl, who is crushed by the weight of it. Sandy waits for her to emerge, knowing perfectly well what she's done, helps the poor girl up into the sitting position and says in her poshest voice: 'I'm so sorry, I thought you were a hat stand'".

Re: I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:44 pm
by Chris P
good recounting! How about some live Sandy, Jerry, Gerry, Trevor and Pat:

https://youtu.be/3LiH8_h-1SM

Just listened to the epic Banks of the Nile on disc

I found the Unicorn biog somewhat lacking in literary flair, but it does tell the story

Re: I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn: The Biography of Sandy Denny

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:26 pm
by Adam Blake
Chris P wrote:I found the Unicorn biog somewhat lacking in literary flair, but it does tell the story


Like nearly all music biographies, it's essentially one long magazine article. But it's a decent enough article.