Danny Baker is a great story teller and someone with many great stories to tell. The first thing to confess is that I am very biased in favour of Mr Baker. I am frequently amazed to discover that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. What's not to love? One of the most consummate radio presenters and raconteurs I've ever come across. Needless to say "Going to Sea in a Sieve" the first memoir (of hopefully many more), which takes us from his birth in the last 1950s to the very early 1980s, is - to use a Bakerism - a pip and a dandy. The book is very similar to listening to Danny talk - quick, chatty, witty, and compelling.
The book is crammed full of great anecdotes: passing himself off as David Essex's brother; pretending to be gay; being saved from a murderous mob of Brummie punks by Kevin Rowland; touring with Darts and Ian Dury (curiously Darts were the more hard living group), working in one of the West End's hippest record shops; being given a shirt by Marc Bolan only to see it ruined by his Mum in the wash; doing the last proper interview with Michael Jackson and spotting the tell tale signs of, ahem, extreme eccentricity. The stories are great but also what makes it such a rollicking good read is all the period detail: attending his first Millwall match with his Dad; a glorious holiday in a holiday camp; a failed potato heist that put him off serious crime for life; bottling out of a romantic liaison with one of his school teachers; and so on. There is so much to enjoy and I find it hard to imagine that most people wouldn't devour it - and certainly it should appeal to anyone with a love of music, the seventies, London, the NME, and other associated cultural monuments.