Another Roy Harper snippet from the book – Review of One Man Rock ‘n’ Roll Band.

One of my favourite tracks. An incredible sound. I’ve heard him do this so many times live – such power!! Just listen to that guitar!!

One Man Rock and Roll Band

In the zoo that was once on the top floor of Harrods Roy introduced himself to one of his more serious girlfriends by saying that he was a one man rock and roll band. It seems highly appropriate given the immense sounds that Roy can generate by just himself and an acoustic guitar.

   The track starts with Roy’s unique electrified acoustic guitar style tuned to DADGAD which is why it feels rather Indian in style. The picking, chords and rhythm are distinctive. His voice calls over the top of the strident guitars. With the heavy guitar sound Roy really creates a one man rock and roll band.

   This is an anti-war song. The sixties was the time of the Vietnam War, a most unpopular war with soldiers returning home to an antagonistic reception.

   There are references to the First World War. This was supposed to be the war to end all wars – yet many wars later the clamour for war continues.

   The song also refers to the huge peace rally outside the American embassy in Grosvenor Square when the usual thugs turned up to turn a peaceful protest into a violent riot. Roy is suggesting how much more effective it might have been if the marchers had walked behind medal-wearing First World War veterans in a united and peaceful demonstration against an unjust war.

   It culminates with a crash of piano reminiscent of the Beatles on ‘A Day In The Life’ before fading out on a drone along with noodling guitar.

   Roy mixed this song blind by covering up the board and just following what sounded right! He achieved a stunning piece of music, poetry and production.

Roy Harper: Every Album, Every Song (On… by Opher Goodwin (

(1) Roy Harper – One Man Rock And Roll Band (Remastered) – YouTube

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