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Deaf School

Liverpool's dynamic music scene gave the world The Beatles. What city could hope to follow that? But 12 years later, in 1974, lightning nearly struck twice. Deaf School were a band formed in John Lennon's old art college, rehearsing in the very same rooms. With their chaotic and wildly entertaining brand of rock cabaret, Deaf School were tipped for instant stardom and signed up by Warner Brothers in California. But suddenly, with the world at their feet, Deaf School were swept aside by Britain's punk rock revolution. "A great band," said the Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren. "But it's just as bad being too early as too late." Though their hopes were dashed the band has never surrendered. And 40 years on, Deaf School's influence is acknowledged by British bands from Madness to Dexy's Midnight Runners. Their reunion shows, still madly glamorous and eccentric, are tribal gatherings for a fanbase that never forgot them. The band's first full-length biography is written by British music writer Paul Du Noyer, a follower since Deaf School's early days in Liverpool. "Deaf School are such a delicious secret," he says. "It's almost a shame to reveal it."
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The story of a great lost 'catalyst' band who changed the musical landscape without commercial success Deaf School members included Clive Langer (Elvis Costello co-writer and Producer) and their songs, attitude and look went on to influence a generation Written by one of the great British music writers of the past 30 years.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Suggs Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Tramcar to Frankenstein 2. Didn't You Have a Beard? 3. `It Was the Death of the Loon' 4. Bunny Money 5. The Invisible River: A Liverpool Interlude 6. Hypertension 7. America Was Our Hamburg 8. `Sound of Rock Fades for Deaf School' 9. The Stopped Clock 10. That Thread of Affinity 11. In Town Tonight! Epilogue: Deaf School and the Icelandic Constitution Appendix: Liverpoem, by Tim Whittaker UK Discography Sources Index

About the Author

Paul Du Noyer is an author and editor. For more than 30 years he was also a music journalist, acting as founding editor at Mojo, editor at Q and as a writer for the NME. Since 1989 he has worked on numerous projects with Paul McCartney, including Paul's tour programmes and CD reissues. In 2010 he assisted Yoko Ono with John Lennon's anniversary CD editions. His books include the classic history of his home town's music scene Liverpool: Wondrous Place.


A breath of fresh air... They were one of the main reasons I wanted to be in a band. Deaf School totally informed the way we formed Madness. Why didn't they make it? It's one of the greatest mysteries in pop. Deaf School were a unique inspirational touchstone for a whole generation of creative rebellion and musical ambition that revived Liverpool's music scene after the Big Bang of the 1960s. The art-school dance goes on forever Formed in John Lennon's old art college, Deaf School started life in late 1973: their initial ad hoc line-up numbering up to 20 people and their DIY attitude predating punk by at least two years. Alongside future Scouse rock royalty including Holly Johnson, Ian McNabb and The Christians' Henry Priestman, renowned music journalist and author of Liverpool: Wondrous Place, Paul Du Noyer quickly became a devotee. Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party shows that his belief in Liverpool's second-greatest cult band has never wavered. Gripping, accessible and scrupulously researched, the book offers candid anecdotal material from the band's surviving members, plus well-placed insiders such as sound man Ken Testi and ex-Warner Bros MD Rob Dickens. It vividly recalls how the anarchic octet's riotously theatrical early days illuminated Liverpool's drab, pre-Eric's era, but also, ironically, how their career was obliterated by punk, despite the group's three legend-enshrining Warners LPs. Du Noyer's diligence in charting the band members' subsequent activities and their series of on-off reunions is welcome, as is Suggs' foreword, in which he openly acknowledges Madness' stylistic debt to Deaf School. The photo section's skimpy, but fondly remembered drummer Tim Whittaker's surreal footnote, Liverpoem, really is quite a way to end it all. Gripping, accessible and scrupulously researched, the book offers candid anecdotal material from the band's surviving members, plus well-placed insiders such as sound man Ken Testi and ex-Warner Bros MD Rob Dickens.

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