've briefly met Jonny Perkins several times over the past couple of years and I was aware that he is a keen supporter of music in the city of Newport but it wasn't until he was on the judging panel of the 2017 Love Live Music Awards, created by Newport City Radio that I realised just how involved he had been in the Newport music scene in the past.
Jonny has written an amusing account of how he got into music, firstly as a DJ at community clubs, then later as a band manager and promoter, bringing many big names to Newport and the surrounding towns.
Jonny is proud to have arranged the first gig for the supergroup, The Police as well as introducing such giants as The Jam, The Stranglers, Siouxie and the Banshees and The Buzzcocks to audiences in South Wales.
Jonny's musical tastes are wide and varied, spanning SKA, Northern Soul, Tamla Motown, Progressive Rock and Punk and in his book he reminisces about his early memories of music and pop culture from the 1960s up to the 1990s. This book is filled with fantastic photos of Jonny and his pals in their teens and memorabilia from his youth, concert tickets, posters and contracts.
In this book, Jonny talks about the rivalry between the Mods and the Rockers: the differences in their musical preference, clothing and choice of motorbikes. He reminds the reader which were the nightclubs to be seen at and where to catch the best DJs and live bands.
In it 4 the Crack also has a section about the music newspapers which Jonny set up for music fans. The first, in 1974 was called The Welsh Grapevine and informed readers of what gigs were on as well as information on the musicians and record releases.
For anyone who enjoys reading about the history of Newport or those who are old enough to remember the excitement of the live music that was out there during the seventies and eighties, this book is a great read.
It's available to buy from Amazon.
By Kym Frederick
Newport City Radio