1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left (Hardcover)

1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left By Robyn Hitchcock Cover Image
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Description


The great eccentric of British psychedelia—beloved by everyone from Led Zeppelin and R.E.M. to the late Jonathan Demme—pens a singularly unique childhood memoir . . .


“A bright, nostalgic look at the exhilaration of 1967, this book—illustrated throughout with Hitchcock’s surreal sketches—will appeal to not only the author’s many fans but also anyone interested in the music and culture from the golden age of psychedelia. Wistfully reflective reading.” Kirkus Reviews


“Memoirists rarely begin their work with a stroke of genuine inspiration, and Robyn Hitchcock’s ingenious idea to limit his account of his life to the titular year gives this sharp, funny, finely written book an unusually keen, wistful intensity without sacrificing its sense of the breathtaking sweep of time. I absolutely adored every line of 1967 and every moment I spent reading it.” —Michael Chabon, author of Telegraph Avenue


1967: HOW I GOT THERE AND WHY I NEVER LEFT explores how that pivotal slice of time tastes to a bright, obsessive-compulsive boy who is shipped off to a hothouse academic boarding school as he reaches the age of thirteen—just as Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited starts to bite, and the Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band explodes.


When he arrives in January 1966, Robyn Hitchcock is still a boy pining for the comforts of home and his family’s loving au pair, Teresa. By December 1967, he’s mutated into a 6’2? tall rabid Bob Dylan fan, whose two ambitions in life are to get really high and fly to Nashville.


In between—as the hippie revolution blossoms in the world outside—Hitchcock adjusts to the hierarchical, homoerotic world of Winchester, threading a path through teachers with arrested development, some oafish peers, and a sullen old maid—a very English freak show. On the way he befriends a cadre of bat-winged teenage prodigies and meets their local guru, the young Brian Eno. 


At the end of 1967, all the ingredients are in place that will make Robyn Hitchcock a songwriter for life. But then again, does 1967 ever really end?



About the Author


Robyn Hitchcock is a rock ’n’ roll surrealist. Born in London in 1953, he describes his songs as “pictures you can listen to.” As much a child of Dalí, de Chirico, and J.G. Ballard as of his 1960s musical heroes, he is a master of the absurd, reveling in the beauty of the unexpected. His first publicly visible band, the Soft Boys (1976–81), has remained an influential art-rock touchstone for generations of musicians. Hitchcock has floated at a tangent to the mainstream for nearly five decades, and his songs have been performed by R.E.M., the Replacements, Neko Case, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Lou Barlow, Grant-Lee Phillips, Sparklehorse, and Suzanne Vega with the Grateful Dead, among others. He came of age in the 1960s while he attended Winchester College, an eccentric boarding school in the south of England. This is the subject of 1967, which is both a memoir and an album, released simultaneously. Hitchcock lives in London with his wife Emma Swift and two cats, Ringo and Tubby.

Praise For…


A bright, nostalgic look at the exhilaration of 1967, this book—illustrated throughout with Hitchcock’s surreal sketches—will appeal to not only the author’s many fans but also anyone interested in the music and culture from the golden age of psychedelia. Wistfully reflective reading.
— Kirkus Reviews

British singer-songwriter Hitchcock wistfully reflects on boarding school and the music that shaped him in this captivating chronicle of the year he credits with sculpting his artistic sensibility . . . Hitchcock is loose, energetic company, writing with infectious enthusiasm about the liberatory sights and sounds that continue to inspire him. Readers need not be fans of Hitchcock’s music to find this enchanting.
— Publishers Weekly

Robyn Hitchcock, the English singer and guitarist and former member of the Soft Boys and later the Egyptians, is a sui generis figure. No one quite like him exists in pop culture. His quirky memoir, 1967, focuses on a crucial year in his life—the titular 1967 when he was a precocious 14-year-old boy and left home for the first time to attend boarding school …  Like Hitchcock and his music, the memoir is wild, surreal, and wonderfully weird … These small but important glimpses into his still-developing psyche add up to a portrait of a young burgeoning artist and point the way to the Robyn Hitchcock of this moment.

— Booklist

Memoirists rarely begin their work with a stroke of genuine inspiration, and Robyn Hitchcock’s ingenious idea to limit his account of his life to the titular year gives this sharp, funny, finely written book an unusually keen, wistful intensity without sacrificing its sense of the breathtaking sweep of time. I absolutely adored every line of 1967 and every moment I spent reading it.

— Michael Chabon, author of Telegraph Avenue

1967 . . . in which our hero looks down from the future at his squeaky realm of boyhood, a world of Day-Glo sunsets, and would-be denizens of music and the mind. Cometh the year, cometh the groover.

— Johnny Marr, guitarist and cosongwriter of the Smiths

Robyn Hitchcock belongs to an almost extinct species, ‘The Totally Original Artist,’ once relatively commonplace, now only occasionally glimpsed in the dense tree canopy of the pop rainforest. Mysterious, elusive, a kind of rock ‘n’ roll olingo . . . 1967 presents his many fans with a tantalizing print-bite of how he wound up in those trees and in so doing (whether he likes it or not) became a National Treasure.

— Nick Lowe, singer-songwriter

It’s daft (but smart), ever so surreal, and pure Hitchcock . . . Yes, this is a book for Hitchcock fans and music geeks generally. But it’s more. It’s an Anglophile’s dream, set in the world of cloistered boarding schools and the quite English eccentricities of family life . . . After giving us so many memorable songs, he’s given us music on the page, a singular memoir that was one wild year—and a lifetime of memories—in the making.
— Chapter 16


Product Details
ISBN: 9781636142067
ISBN-10: 1636142060
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English