Getting There: TV Smith’s Tour Diaries Volume One- Book Review

Getting There: Punk Rock Tour Diaries, Volume One

Author: TV Smith

Arima Publishing


Published: 2006

You want tour diaries of a punk rock legend with bizarre stories and memorable quotes?  Of course you do, and here they are, in TV Smith‘s rather lovely book ‘Getting There’. 

TV’s first volume of tour diaries has you making the sort of involuntary actions that make people decide not to sit next to you on the train, like grinning inanely and giggling to yourself half an hour after you finished reading it.

The book starts with a short introduction to his musical beginnings, including his time in the Adverts, their appearances on Top of the Pops, and their experience of touring. We are then launched into his tour diaries which chart, in a dry, understated way, some of his experiences as a solo artist at home and on the continent.

This isn’t a book full of bad manners and wild Sex Pistols style parties, this punk has grown up and now watches the antics of the younger generations with amusement. TV is more likely to be drinking and chatting with friends than throwing a telly out of a window…. the people he encounters on these tours however are a bit more unpredictable. Insomniac hotel owners who serve cockroach coffee, an obsessive fan who just won’t go away and a dog that reacts to the words ‘Sid Vicious’, you’d think TV never meets anyone ‘normal’… but then if he did this book wouldn’t exist.

From his tour with Attila the Stockbroker (and Attila’s mother Muriel) in Germany to a day playing songs for a group of students at a school in England, there is always something weird going on and Unexpected Meat Moment’s (UMM) to be had. There are so many quote-able lines and stories I can’t even start to list them, TV’s brilliant narration makes even mundane stories like phoning venues and laying carpet in his bathroom worth reading about. It is one of those books you can’t do justice to in a review, you just have to read it for yourself.

What makes this book (and the other volumes of diaries he has since published) even better is the fact that they are happily DIY: printed to order, so the author is actually the one in control for once!

This book isn’t a life changing read, it’s not profound or soul-searching, it is however very, very enjoyable, and you’d be strange indeed if you didn’t find something in it worth the asking price.

You can buy this book and the other volumes at TV’s web page here and he can also to be found on facebook 

All words by  Lizzie Alderdice, more reviews by Lizzie can be found here.


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