I wrote this book back in 1981 after I had been successfully running a History of Rock Music adult education class for four years.
It came out as four volumes and one thousand five hundred pages. It charted the history of Rock Music from its seminal forces back in 1900 to the Post Punk 1980s. It had biographical detail of all the major artists and bands, descriptions of the music and details of the relationships between different genres. There were twenty flow charts showing how it all evolved and progressed.
I sent it to a Literary Agent who was very impressed. He got a publisher on board and we had some positive meetings in London and Portsmouth.
The publisher loved the books but thought it was far too big to successfully publish. He adored the flow charts and was impressed with the detail. The upshot was that he wanted me to use the charts and produce a book that was under 200 pages and he guaranteed to publish it.
I went away and spent the summer producing the Rock Routes book along the lines he had laid out. I sent it to him and he loved it. We negotiated a deal. I was to receive an advance. I went out and bought the kids Christmas presents with the advance (two mountain bikes). The cheque never arrived. It was always in the post. Finally they told me that the book had been turned down by the board on the basis that the flow charts superficially resembled Pete Frame’s Rock Family Trees.
I threw Rock Routes in a drawer and never looked at it again for thirty years.
Rock Strata Volumes 1 – 4 exists as typed document. One day I will maybe get around to retyping it on the computer. Until then it lies in a drawer as a huge wad of files.
I did resurrect Rock Routes and have now got that digitalised and ready to go!