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  • By Words by Design
    Oct 24, 2013
    A new and important book has just been added to the archive of accounts of military band life throughout the 20th Century. Dave Spencer’s excellent publication is essentially a report on the life and times of the Band of the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, but it is also more than that because it makes an important contribution to the understanding of social and working conditions and customs of Britain at that time, particularly of Birmingham, where Dave’s early years were spent. Dave first gives us an insight into his two year training period as a musician: he hadn’t envisaged that that was what he would be but was selected for it a few days after he joined. It turned out to be an excellent choice though he had not foreseen it; his family had been very musically talented but he had resisted attempts to get him to learn the piano – though he had had a lovely boy soprano voice and sang in church and school choirs. Now, he was to learn the... More > clarinet and very quickly became very good at it, and was put on the First Clarinet stand as soon as he joined his band after training. Dave then gives us some very clear insights into his life in the Regimental Band, including its many and varied engagements, and in different parts of the world including Berlin where he provides us with some very clear personal experiences of life in that war-torn city, as well as some of the political issues that surround it. The result of Dave’s work is an outstanding and well-written book. His perception and appreciation of many different aspects of military and military band life are exceptionally well described, the prestigious engagements, the bandmasters he served with, and the friendships made while living closely but in harmony with other like-minded people. The book contains only one or two very minor typos but they do not interfere with the understanding of the text, and, more importantly, it includes several attractive photographs, some of the author, some of his colleagues, and some of the places in which he served. Dave loved, and still loves, his music, and I, for one, regret that his army career ended prematurely for reasons that I will not go into here. Had that not been the case, I am sure Dave’s military band life would have been a lengthy and highly successful one. As it was, he enjoyed a further career with the European Court of Justice and lived in Luxembourg for over thirty years. Reviewed by John Curtis< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Words by Design Ltd
October 24, 2013
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.29 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.26 wide x 11.69 tall
Product ID
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