Theres quite a history to the production of this book. It came so close
so many times. It is a testament to how worthy an end result it must be for
the authors to have kept working at it for so many years. OK so they are
fans, but as soon as you hold the thing in your hands you just know it has
to be a pretty definitive piece.
It can be broken down as a non-personal biographical account of Mr
Prendergasts musical career. There is a large leaning toward his film
work (including a fascinating chapter devoted to the Bond years),
but initially we take a stroll through the hits and misses he experienced
in the 50s and 60s. It makes for humbling reading, since its
all too easy to place someone of such notoriety on an unfailing pedestal.
The simple truth is that he worked damn hard to make it into film, and we
follow each important step carefully enough to understand both the time in
which they happened and why they led onto the next.
One of the major attractions of the book to fans will be the huge number
Many have never been seen before, and its always worth having a giggle
at someone trying a beard out (circa 1976 for The Deep). There are
snapshots of backstage functions alongside record company publicity shots,
concert performances, and record sleeves too. The feature that will cross
the fan / student line is the all-inclusive discography at the back of the
book. This is 19 pages all by itself !
The actual text makes for absorbing reading. Only very occasionally do you
detect a shift between one writer and another, but obviously one pool of
knowledge is making way for someone elses. The most respectable aspect
of the book is that it never delves into the mans private life. There
is Eddi Fiegels A Sixties Theme if you want to get into family
and the army, but while it details motivation, it neglects the music itself
all too often. Which is never the case here. The music is the sole focus
of he book and all it wants to do is impress upon you how much of an influence
it has had along the way.
If there is one thing against the book, it is in having to taper the information
from padding out to unwieldy lengths. Moving closer to present day, the wrap
up on films is tighter and tighter to the point its noticeable that
something like Dances With Wolves should have warranted a couple of
pages to itself. This is simple economics however. So pray for the
"Editors Cut" in the future.
Actually, there is another niggle. With so many terrific pictures throughout,
surely there could have been at least one of the heroic authors themselves
? Where are the square-jawed triumvirate ? Perhaps so much effort left them
un-photogenic at the appropriate time. So take heart, and go purchase this