The front cover is a glorious photo thanks to none other than Alan Perry and of course the graphical know how of Richard Nagy.
The book comes with a foreword by Steve Hackett which is in his usual humorous style and it pretty much stamps a seal of approval on the whole book from the very first page and it sort of sets up the stall for the rest of the book
Despite the book being 300 pages in length, ONLY 174 pages are written by the author about Steve Hackett’s life and mainly in with regard to Steve’s musical career, either as a writer/guitarist with Genesis or as a solo artist in his own right, Which left me the reviewer feeling a little cheated.
The rest of the book is made up of Discographies which are highly informative but not complete, the Gig guides both of which cover Steve’s career with Genesis and his Solo career where not complete either missing key information. The most interesting aspect was the five pages which are in a rather interesting chapter called “Encounters with Hackett” which made for an earthy read especially when you consider it was the fans who had written pieces for it.
There is also an Index, and a Chronology amongst other chapters for the reader to discover as well proof that some care has been taken in compiling the book
I am quite sure that if the author had more time to interview or speak with more fans he could have filled the whole book with positive experiences that fans have had when either meeting or seeing Steve in concert, I know I have had many positive experiences with Steve and his band/staff myself on more than one occasion.
The Discographies and Gig Guides although incomplete are interesting to even the most casual of reader especially when you begin to learn exactly how hard Steve has worked throughout his career these provide the evidence in some detail that Steve is no slouch and that he has never rested on his laurels, furthermore that he has been signed to a number of record companies of varying names alas not all of the information was provided.
The wealth of photograph’s are very interesting whether they have come from the fans or more professional photographers such as Robert Ellis and together with the authors words they knit the whole tapestry of Steve’s life together extremely well.
Having read the book it most certainly fills the gaps on 70% of Steve’s career but I do feel that from the year 2000 onwards the subject matter suffers from being written about in a rather shorter way than say the period of the book which covers the 1970’s. This is not a jibe at this book in particular as I have read a lot of books about Musicians and it seems to be a similar trend.
The bonus feature of the book being an interview DVD which has an extra of more Photos and also clippings from Steve’s life in music is a further inducement to the casual fan the author manages to put Steve at great ease and Steve seems to colour the story with a wealth of information not known to the average and or even the most heavy duty fan.
Kudos must go to Alan Hewitt for his attempt at telling the story of Steve and his career, alas there were a lot of details missing when compared to the first draft of the book.
Although the book is a little pricey at £24.95 the quality of the book and the printed coupled with the inducement of the DVD which contains an interview and some scanned but uncredited articles add value to the book and justify the price tag.
Sadly the grammatical errors detract from what should be a stout reference or biography of Steve Hackett, the grammatical errors are also detected by independent reviewers on Amazon.
To purchase your copy of The Steve Hackett Biography please visit WYMERUK
I found Wymer’s ordering system to be straight forward to use, and there packaging to be of industry standard which meant my book survived the rigours of the Royal Mail.
For more information about Steve Hackett please visit hackettsongs.com
To view and purchase any of Alan Perry’s photos please visit concert_photography