Wednesday, 9 February 2011


I am sure all Macca, Beatle and music fans will enjoy the new Geoff Baker book.  And I've got a feeling that it won't be long before this paperback writer will be selling loads across the universe and with a little luck will be back in the sunshine again very soon (edit. sorry!)

Note to the timid - if your not keen on naughty girls who have let their knickers down then just let it be!

After a six-year struggle to get it into print, Geoff Baker - former PR to Paul McCartney, The Beatles and Oasis - is finally publishing his rude, racy and irreverent novel about the music industry.

Rock Bottom is Baker’s black-humoured but fond satire which pokes a tongue behind the scenes and between the sheets at almost every aspect of the record business.

The first, limited edition of 1,000 copies will be available on Amazon from February 14th, priced £7.99. It will be published by Ragabond Press, a micro publisher that Baker set up with another former journalist, Jill Newton, after the UK’s mainstream publishers refused to touch his book.

Baker says Rock Bottom is ‘a work of complete and utter fiction’. The 400-page paperback romps and ruts through the conjoined stories of a flagging rock star, his demented PR and a blackmailing fan who threatens to ruin the pop idol’s reputation by unmasking a long-hidden sexual secret.

‘The star, Birmingham-born genius Ian Taylor, is not remotely based on anyone I’ve known,’ said Baker, ‘I made him up and he is as fictional as Henry the Horse who dances the waltz.’

‘Instead of writing about actual people I’ve worked with, it was more interesting for me to create fictional types of that rock world – the musicians, managers, record company execs – and to have a laugh at what fame can do to people and how it can disastrously affect those who work around the famous.

‘But what was of most interest to me was to make the fan the central character of the book; the fans’ feelings are often overlooked in the music game so I made the fan the heroine for a change.

‘Rock Bottom is basically a celebrity love story, but it’s quite sad in parts – rock ‘n woe, we call it. It is also the flipside of The X-Factor, revealing the madness and misery of making it big, so in some ways it’s a cautionary tale for those who long to see their name in lights.

‘The book is also rather rude. We were thinking of having a Parental Advisory sticker on it as the vernacular of the business is certainly not kids’ stuff and as a wordsearch revealed there are 864 f-words in the book those who dislike bad language might be better off reading Trainspotting instead.’

Although Ian Taylor’s genius but mercurial temperament was drawn from Baker’s imagination, he admits that various journalist characters who play supporting roles in the lurid drama were partly inspired by old pals from his newspaper days on Fleet Street.

‘I’ll be interested to see if any mates from the hack pack that I used to run with recognise anything of themselves in the book,’ said Baker, 54, ‘A number of them are editors now.’

It has taken Baker more than six years to publish his novel.

‘I wrote the original story in three months, back in 2004. I got a leading literary agent and he enthusiastically sent the manuscript to every major publisher – but none of them would touch it with a bargepole. Four years of rewrites followed, my funds ran out and if it hadn’t been for the support and belief of my wife Amanda throughout it all, I’d be rotting in debtor’s prison.’

‘Pissed off but unbowed’, Baker and Newton – an old Lyme Regis schoolpal - formed their own micro publishing company, Ragabond Press.

‘Jill and I re-met by chance after having not seen each other for more than 35 years. We talked about the book and realised that as she was trained as an editor and a sub and I was trained as a hack, maybe we could combine our skills for the book’ said Baker.

‘So between us we took on every aspect of getting a book done – editing, proofing, type-setting, layout, design, photography, distribution, marketing, PR, the lot.’

Now Ragabond Press, which is based in Newton and Baker’s home town of Lyme Regis, has seven self-penned books in production and is considering publishing other writers.

‘Rock Bottom comes out on Amazon on February 14 and we’re going to take several months to slowly plug it, just like I used to with a rock album,’ said Baker, whose next project is Ragabond Press’s The Beatles Fanthology, the story of the Fab Four told through the memories and stories of Beatles fans.

Geoff Baker 
07966 473 919 or 01297 443932 
Jill Newton
07533 900 537 or 01892 864 520

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