This incredible book, written by the singer for punk rock 'n' roll band Goldblade in
truly is a breathtaking overview of an exhilarating decade.
And it isn't just music that is covered, as the always-opinionated Robb proffers his honest
opinions about anything and everything that had a profound effect on the face of
the Nineties - packed into 52 eye-opening and surprisingly diverse chapters.
Whether he's discussing politics, fashion, drugs or football, Robb confidently
comes across with wit, charm and a fierce level of intelligence.
Indeed, John himself personally witnessed some key moments in the history of the decade that were far more important than any of the movies or music that prevailed at the time. For instance, he was there for the fall of the Berlin Wall, a hugely important event that effectively kickstarted the decade with a certain degree of optimism for a great many Germans and the world at large.
Robb also openly shares his love for the hustling mayhem that New York never fails to
provide (You'd just sit there and soak it all up, the power and the beauty of the concrete
city beast, John reveals in a wicked spurt of urban-affiliated poetry), and raves about
the genius of the long lost Kurt Cobain (who John describes as an introvert in an extrovert's
world), whilst he never forgets how important the drugs scene so often proves to be in
the culture of a nation, a musical movement - whatever.
Drugs have affected every move or change in pop: hippies and acid, punks and speed, house and E, nearly every fake celeb and media whore in the late nineties and cocaine. A new chemical means a new culture. Whether that's good or bad or right or wrong is beside the question.
The Nineties must have taken Robb an age to write. It is well-researched and informative to such an extent that Robb can only be proud of his writing achievement here. It's not exactly an easy thing to set about summing up an entire decade in one book, but Robb has come amazingly close... especially when he rants and raves on about some topics that you just wouldn't think he'd even give a second thought.
But to mention the Spice Girls (and their feministic Girl Power),
Pete Waterman, and the world's seemingly unavoidable obsession with the medium
of TV talk shows is to further ensure that The Nineties is pretty much an 'all present and correct' starting stone for those people who really were there (but for some reason can't remember what went on), and for those people who might be too young - or old - to fully appreciate the many ins and outs and highs and lows of such an intense decade... the last decade of the last century that should never ever be forgotten. And in this sense, this book assumes an almost biblical authority on some of the most important lives and times that dominated those over-way-too-soon ten years...
It's up to you the reader to change things. So stop moaning and get creating.
ISBN 0-09-187135-2 (first published in 1999 by Ebury press)
Reviews, Books - Lost Souls by Michael Collins Reviewed By Steve Rudd
We only live once. I don't think we ever really confront that until it's too late.
Understandably shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Lost Souls is not your average mystery-thriller
novel, with this engrossing 'whodunnit' focusing on a small-town cop trying to get to the bottom
of the mysterious death of a three-year-old girl.
The prime suspect is the local football star,
Reviews, Theatre - Sep 20 - 25th - The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Northern Broadsides Company at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough by Patrick Henry
The scandal school of the title locates itself in tea-parties gathering mostly at the home of
Lady Sneerwell, who has a voracious addiction to gossip amid the Darjeeling and cream cakes
passed around her close acquaintances equally hooked on rumour-peddling.
Suspectedly, no-one has any friends in this circle or in upper-class society at
Reviews, Books - Harry Potter Series by Mark Petherbridge
In my opinion, the Harry Potter books are fantastic, whether it's read to escape into the intriguing, yet marvellously complex world or to read in third person about a boy whose life is a series of amazing adventures, in a secret yet in-your-face wizarding world.
According to recent studies (the source being Newsround) these books have
Reviews, Books - Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck Reviewed By Steve Rudd
People don't take trips - trips take people.
It's almost impossible, in this day and age, to not have heard of John Steinbeck.
First and foremost, his Of Mice And Men short story is the staple part of almost every school
curriculum, while his Grapes of Wrath novel is equally as well-known.
Steinbeck was born and raised in the Salinas area of California,
Reviews, Books - Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway Reviewed by Steve Rudd
No, I wasn't naïve enough to be fooled into thinking that this exquisite novel from the legendary Hemingway was an in-depth car manual designed to accompany the latest Ford creation.
Far from it, in fact, for this story follows a bunch of friends who travel from Paris to Spain, and to the town of Pamplona in particular to witness the bull-running and -fighting events of the infamous
Reviews, Theatre - June 6-11th - The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare and Sweet William by Alan Plater. Northern Broadsides Company at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough by Patrick Henry
These two works played in a week of repertory constitute essentially company productions,
without star actors nor prominent leading characters, giving all-round strength to the
enterprise, but also some weaknesses.
It is absorbing to watch how the actors from the classic comedy are deployed in the cast
of the new Plater piece.
Reviews, Books - Swan Song by Robert Edric Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Swan Song is the third and final part of Robert Edric's cycle trilogy. Although Edric does not describe himself as crime-fiction writer per-se, he skilfully demonstrates the strength of the genre. Although crime-fiction is generally criticised for not being literary enough, Edric uses it as a vehicle with which to explore contemporary society.
Reviews, Books - The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth Reviewed by Steve Rudd
So, The Phantom of The Opera is perhaps one of the best-known stories in the world, but how many
of you good people realised that a sequel to the story has actually been written - and has been
kicking around for some years now - by the one and only Frederick Forsyth?
The original, horrifying Phantom of The Opera story was penned by Frenchman Gaston Leroux, but the world at
Reviews, Books - The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac Reviewed by Steve Rudd
He doesn't need any money... all he needs is his rucksack.
There really was no end to Jack's writing talents after all! This is the fifth book of his that I've had the pleasure of reading, and it is by far and away my favourite.
When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing.
Packed with all the excitement of his classic masterpiece On The RoadRead more...
Reviews, Books - I'm a Teacher Get Me Out of Here by Francis Gilbert (Short Books) Reviewed By Cathy Walker
As I am about to change career to become a primary school teacher, I picked up
I'm A Teacher Get Me Out Of Here with a little trepidation. I'd heard that it presents the
reality of working in a 'tough school', of what a hard and challenging job being a teacher truly is.
I can't wait to become a teacher and I didn't want
Reviews, Events - Nights Out - Tuesday 24th May 05 - Benny Hill Preservation Society By Adam Atkinson
My utter fascination with all things Benny started as early as the age of three, when I by
chance happened upon some irrelevant sketch involving the Benster dressed as a cardiac
surgeon examining some saucy minx. 12 years later I would see my own Uncle Frank arrested for the very same thing.
Reviews, Books - In The Winter Dark by Tim Winton Reviewed by Steve Rudd
A menacing short story from the ever-interesting Australian writer Tim Winton,
this is a thrilling venture into dark and macabre territory that focuses on a few
people who live in a secluded valley that seems to also be inhabited by a mysterious
creature that preys both on their animals and their worst fears.
Reviews, Books - The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan Reviewed by Steve Rudd
First published way, way back in 1915, this is the story that inspired the infamous movie of
the same name that was directed by the king of noir, old Alfred Hitchcock.
I have it on good authority that the film version does in fact differ to quite a large extent to this novel, but what the hell.
I can't imagine the book being any less suspenseful or tense
Reviews, Books - Junky by William S. Burroughs Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Where to start with a man of William's legendary literary standing?
Born in 1914, in his own time he came to be regarded as one of the most
important American writers of the Sixties Beat generation - during which
time his writing was revered in the same way that the work of
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg was.