My Back Pages

 Portsmouth, 1962-1972

 Aspects of my life & the Portsmouth music scene 


  Nigel Grundy


An A5 format book of 342 pages containing over 600 monochrome photographs and images, mostly of the 1960s Portmouth music scene. With a foreword by Dave Allen, this largely autobiographical book covers ten years of the author’s life in Portsmouth from 1962 – 1972. During that time he was involved with the Mod and Hippy scenes and photographed many of the top local and national bands, including Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Arthur Brown, Sandy Denny and others who visited the city’s music venues from Portsmouth Guildhall to the Indigo Vat, a small cellar club in Hampshire Terrace. The book includes photographs, people and places the author knew and also interesting reminiscences from some of the musicians who played in local Portsmouth bands during the 1960s.



 Front cover



 Back cover.




Emails from some of the people who bought the book.


'I think it is absolutely great. I've only scratched the surface but it has already bought back all sorts of happy memories about things I had completely forgotten about. The book is such a gem as I knew a lot of the people, places and incidents you talk about. Portsmouth during those times in the sixties when we were just beggining to enjoy a little adolescent independance was such an exciting place to grow up. It was a small enough city and the places to hang out were relatively few but exciting and there was a real spirit of togetherness amongst the people of our age (except when the fights used to break out at the Birdcage or along Pamerston Road!).
Rest assured the book will be read cover to cover and kept on the shelf with my other most treasured volumes.'

Nick Voaden.

'Book received this morning, thank you very much. Congratulations on producing a hugely interesting collection of social documents and
marvelously entertaining anecdotes! I've only got another 14 pages to go and I already want to start reading it again!'


Greg Smith, The British Music Archive.  

'Great job from the guy with the ‘press pass’ who managed to ‘blag’ so many fab pictures of the happenings from those days, and make something else worth being ‘proud’ about for those of us who served their time in those heady days………..well done Nigel….. Along with Dr. Dave & Mick Cooper you’ve given Pompey Pop a very respectable and memorable place in a lot of our hearts forever.'

Phil Freeman, singer with 1960s band Image and sound and light technician for Gentle Giant.


'Received the book Saturday. Thanks so much. I usually don't indulge in any nostalgia but I really enjoyed reading it and seeing all your photos. I don't ever remember seeing the GG Trident pics so they were a treat.'


Ray Shulman. Multi-instrumentalist, Simon Dupree and the Big Sound & Gentle Giant.
'Read your book in one go on Monday. Found it very much unputdownable and it revived so many memories - The Peter Pan shop, Verrecchia's, The Woburn music festival (I can remember going there but can't remember how or where we slept) etc, etc. Your photos are stunning too - makes you realise how many of the top bands played here.
I think it's a must read for those who lived through the 60s in Portsmouth or to anyone who wants to know what life was like in those days.'
Graham Laker.
'I just finished 'My Back Pages' and want to thank you for all the work you clearly put into sharing your photographs of Portsmouth in the Sixties. I grew up in Pompey and-like you-the music and the Mod scene were immensely important to me. Your detailed chronicling of the 60s was fab. Thank you.'
Richard Fudge

'Hi, I'm the ex-Southern Grammar School oik what bought a Book from you on Sunday eve. Marvellous is the 1st word to describe it, well up to your usual standard, (I have Requiem, Wyllie etc. by you). This is well worthwhile, so much more intimate detail than Dave & Mick`s Pompey Pop but highly complementary. Thank you.'

Dave Quinton.

'I loved your book and you brought back very happy memories and I particulaly liked the way in which you mention me, "I liked Brian," You made my day!'

Brian Kidd.


'We've spent the last couple of hours grabbing the book from each other saying "do you remember when...." and " I was there...."
Memories of gigs and faces come flooding back. Book is a great memory and I thank you for that. I'll show the kids but won't let them borrow it!'
Kevin Purdy.
'I read the book from cover to cover, and of course enjoyed it very much - not least because I could relate to so much of it, and `memory lane` is a great place to visit from time to time. It is such a personal anthology, I like the fact that you are inviting the reader to draw their own conclusions about the journey you take us through, rather than the obvious temptation to give your own opinions about the amazing events etc that took place. This allows the `trip` to be personal to us too - very important I believe. There is no doubt that the book will add considerably to the knowledge of Portsmouth at a seminal moment in local history.'
Bill Patrick.
'The book is great - well written and a good balance between autobiography and music history. Very well produced, too, with a good selection of photos.'
John Sadden.

Very many thanks for the book which arrived today, Friday. That’s a great service, many thanks. What a wonderful book. I only lived in Portsmouth for a couple of years, 1964/65, but there was such a great music scene there at the time, it brought back so many memories and so many familiar names. Funny how the memory works: I vividly remember going into the coffee bar with booths, near the Guildhall, but the name Verrecchia’s means nothing to me at all. I was very pleased to see photos of my old mate John Morgan on page 270/271. I played with him in a purist blues band called JM Blues, in Devon, in the late 1960s, before he formed Spirit of John Morgan. Anyway, once again, very many thanks for the book; I shall now read it in detail.

Paul Morehead.


At the book launch Nigel Grundy and his friend Morley Stewart-Jones, who is also in the book, were interviewed on Radio Solent by presenter Alex Dyke. Below is a transcript of a rather delightful exchange.


Alex Dyke: There are some pictures of you guys in the book and you look very, very, cool, it must be said, you’ve got some real nice gear on.

Morley: Are you saying we haven’t now?

Alex Dyke: Yes I am, I think the wives in the studio look really good and they have made a bit of an effort. Nigel looks like a cross between an old press photographer, well past his best, crossed with Columbo, that would be fair wouldn’t it?

Morley: Probably, yes!

Alex Dyke: Morley’s laughing, but he looks no better, he’s wearing a denim shirt – an inexpensive denim shirt.

Morley: It is, yeah, M&S.

Alex Dyke: Well yeah, but it doesn’t really look like M&S - and a really old 80s leather jacket and he looks like he’s come out from a repeat of Bergerac. So that’s what they look like in case you’re wondering, but don’t even think about that, when you buy My Back Pages just enjoy them looking gorgeous in all that 60s gear.





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