What a fantastic read this is. One of the best music autobiographies (and I’ve read a few!)
In this book, Richard tells his life story in a confessional and friendly manner. There is a focus on the 80s, when he became one of the most famous DJs in America. His involvement with the KROQ radio station helped many bands, British ones in particular, break into the US. He has many other hats, such as TV host, producer, promoter, scriptwriter, diving instructor… and now author! Born in Bristol and growing up in Torquay, Richard (known as Dick Sheppard, until he worked for KROQ) dreamed of working in radio and of one day moving to Los Angeles. At the age of ten, he made a list of ten things he wanted to do when he grew up and amazingly enough he achieved all of them. He really strikes you as the kind of person who follows their dreams and has all the right attributes to be successful whatever they do.
The book is stuffed full of anecdotes, funny, shocking and sad. I’m sure it will have extra appeal to readers who grew up listening to him in Southern California, but anyone who likes new wave music or is interested in radio production will enjoy it. It was great to read about Richard’s friendships with musicians such as Duran Duran, Michael Hutchence, Adam Ant, Spandau Ballet, Morrissey and Depeche Mode (his favourite band, whose song ‘World in My Eyes’ is the title of the book). DM are the most-written about band here and Richard had a significant role in two iconic events, the Pasadena Rose Bowl concert which formed the 101 documentary film and the Wherehouse record store ‘riot’. He also attended Live Aid at Philadelphia, helped Michael Jackson’s videos get played (apparently he was ‘too black’ for MTV) and was to marry Terri Nunn (singer in the group Berlin) but blew it because of his womanising ways. There is an awful lot packed into this book! But there is never a dull moment.
There are a generous number of photos included, whether promotional material, press cuttings, snaps with colleagues, musicians and girlfriends, or signed records. The text is well-written but needed more proof-reading.
A recommended read. Published by Indigo River, 2017.