Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gutter Black by Dave McArtney

Hello Sailor were everything that a YA could desire and everything that a parent would least desire.
Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll personified and come to life in what were then the very tame streets of Auckland.
This is Hello Sailors story from the late Dave McCartney's perspective and it is very well told indeed. From his early years growing up, the tale rolls along with a heartfelt honesty. There is no attempt at glossing over the unpleasant, the unfortunate and the downright dangerous, McCartney is fair and balanced and his wordage is perfect for the story he is telling.
The book is engaging, the characters are both fascinating and in some cases horrifying, along with the grittier stuff there is a lot of humour and the book is a standout when it comes to the illustration side of producing it, someone has done a terrific job.
Gutter Black as well as capturing one mans story has also captured a slice of New Zealand music history and has given us a glimpse into a time and place that has now disappeared but with hindsight influences the music business to this day, even if it is what not to do! We don't do a lot of this type of preservation and while I acknowledge that there may not be a rampant market for this type of book, we still need them, they reflect back our history and it is just a wee bit sad that more New Zealand musicians, entertainers etc haven't had the opportunity to tell their story, we tend to get the hokey and the glossy but not the more gritty.
Written by a well educated and intelligent man, Gutter Black is a great read and would make a fabulous gift for anyone who has an interest in either Hello Sailor or New Zealand music history.
Available everywhere.

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