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UB40 (A Legal Drug) A Fan's Eye View Review by Matteo Sedazzari

"Majestically Written by Tanya Kennedy" 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

UB40 (A Legal Drug): A Fan’s Eye View is a story of passion, addiction, obsession, dedication, and love. Oozing with enthusiasm and majestically written by Tanya Kennedy;
aka Wildcat known to UB40 and fellow fans, wonderfully called the UB Loonies. Devotee enthusiasts who follow the reggae band from Birmingham across the UK and the world.
Initially published in 1995, when the fan’s perspective as a book was not as widespread as they are today. Tanya sadly passed away on 28th August 2020 due to cancer. Her husband,Andy, Jason Disley, and Beatnpress have produced a second edition, with moving and touching contributions from Robin Campbell and Martin Meredith, of UB40. From Robin’s and Martin’s words, it is clear that Tanya was well-loved and respected within the UB40 universe.
Tanya’s recollection starts as a bored teenager in a council estate in Somerset. However, her parents had a keen interest in music, and within her mother’s record collection is UB40’s classic debut album, Signing Off. Yet the discovery of this timeless vinyl record doesn’t turn Tanya into a fan; it is her friends at school, with one boasting to Tanya that she is a member of their fan club. Soon Tanya submerges herself with the music by the lads from Birmingham.
Tanya captures that thrilling and often life-changing moment when you discover a band that resonates with you to perfection. Her words conjure up the warmth, rebellious yet confusing feeling you get from finding something that feels just right for you. It reminded me so much when by accident, I discovered The Jam.
Once you have declared your love and loyalty to a band, your life has a purpose, filled with many holy grails, from seeing the band live to meeting them. Furthermore, friendships, ideology, and adventure come in abundance when you become a fan of a band, as you wait with bated breath for any news on them.
With accurate details and vivid emotional recollection, Tanya takes the reader to that special time of your life, when the band is your world. Nevertheless, Tanya remains grounded throughout her addiction, as she knows that she has to live her own life, as she knows that being a fan is sensational, but it’s not going to pay the bills. Therefore UB40 (A Legal Drug): A Fan’s Eye View goes further than a tribute to UB40; it is an insight into the life of a working-class girl in eighties Britain, which is an interesting aspect of the book, an authentic account from an everyday person.
In addition, Tanya doesn’t put UB40 on a pedestal. She is critical of them moving to a more commercial sound after the release of Red Red Wine and their collaboration with Afrika Bambaataa in 1988, Reckless, a single that she refused to buy, which made me smile.
Other elements of UB40 (A Legal Drug): A Fan’s Eye View that I liked is how Tanya details the songs and the recording of some of the albums. She is a real trainspotter, then she can be a fan on a mission, as she blags her way backstage, sometimes with success, others with not. Her raw writing style is engaging, as it makes you feel like you are standing next to her.
Fans of UB40 will enjoy this book, as will fans of any music and people who lived through the eighties. Yet it’s far from nostalgia; it’s Tanya Kennedy’s story and her love for UB40, a woman who sadly left this world far too early but has left a beautiful legacy in a book that is a page-turning read.

UB40 (A Legal Drug) A Fan's Eye View by Tanya Kennedy 

"This Is An Essential Read For Any Fan" S Kightley

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’ve owned the original copy of this book since 1997 which is when I first met Tanya & we soon became firm friends constantly seen together at gigs all over the world. We have both seen over 100+ UB40 gigs and I could easily continue her wonderful story through the later years but it just wouldn’t be the right thing without Tanya having her obvious input.
Having read the book several times, I have still read my gorgeous new copy and loved seeing the newly added photographs and words from the band.
This is an essential read for any fan. Big love xx

UB40 (A Legal Drug)A Fan's Eye View by Tanya Kennedy - "A Pleasure To Read For Any Fan" ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Having received this book a few weeks ago now I have time to reflect on it.
The book starts with Tanya explaining her restless teenage years before being aware of UB40. How she had found their music and how it had up lifted her moods, so many ubloonies can understand her heartfelt love of the band.
Tanya was determined not only to get to the gigs when she could afford to but to meet the band and spend time with them. Some comical stories of her determination to persuade people to help her meet them. Sometimes successful sometimes not.
The joy she felt when she found the band remembered her name and asked how she was doing!
Dragging her long suffering boyfriend/ husband Andy to the gigs, his love was for Tanya not the band.
The buying of every magazine, newspaper that contained articles of UB40. Having to walk to the phone box to ring up for tickets, the book covered the early 1980s to 1995 long before mobiles!
This book sets a time and place long gone when posting letters to fan clubs and waiting for replies was the norm. When home computers were still far away and information had to be searched for manually.
An occasionally sad but mostly happy story of Tanyas UB40 memories. A pleasure to read for any fan...Jen Loring UBLoonies page..

Jimmy Brown (UB40, Drummer) with his copy of UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy

"Another great piece from the people's poet Jason Disley. A classic collection of poems make this book a must for everyone interested in modern verse. It's diversity represents an anthology for the past year. I would recommend this to anyone who is into the scene....5 star Read"

Mark Palmer 

"Digging into A Fan’s Eye View. Big fan of UB40 and had most of the early records and saw them live. Even went to Jamica a couple of times, I was only 18 at the time and it was the end of the 70’s, pretty hair raising stuff, your experience’s brought it back home. Look forward to the next volume sometime. Cool stuff"

Nick Keen 

"Lou and me raise the hat you see there to Andy, Jason & Tanya of course. Their book UB40 (A legal drug) has sold out, with all funds going to St Margaret's Hospice in Taunton.

A fantastic effort and I hear there will be a second run due to demand for the book, so that aren't done yet. 

Onwards x"

Mark Baxter 

 

"Arrived today and looking forward to diving in,thanks to Jason Disley and massive kudos to Tanya & Andy Kennedy" 

Shay Thornton 

Here's a lovely review about UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy

 

"What a wonderful honest read ♥️"
Bev Major


"Jason Disley’s latest book on Beatnpress is a pocket sized collection of modernist beat poetry entitled Pop Versus Subterranean, with an introduction from poet and artist Becky Nuttall. As Jason explains on his website, the underlying ethos of the collection is the relationship between popular and underground culture, that what is underground today could be popular tomorrow.
But it’s scope is so much wider than that. I’ve been delving into the book a lot over the last few days. The thirty poems here draw you in with their rhythms, take you on a journey with their imagery that conjure up a vision of modern living – pre covid and beyond – mixed with beat literary themes and references. There’s Pop art, jazz, culture, society and suburbia, with an underpinning of social conscience and morality – from the excesses of over-privilege, through Black Lives Matter and revolutions of the past, to reference to Les Zazous of forties Paris. Along with much more.
These are subjective descriptions of Pop art sensibility with, like the very best beat poetry, a turn of phrase, a shared viewpoint into the madness out there. There are those wonderful moments when experiences cross, when you know that you see the world the same way. “A dented tin on a shelf”, “raindrops pooling in my mind”, “peacocks leaving a trail of hypnotic eyes” are a few such instances. They are phrases that conjure up images, ones you won’t quickly forget.
The opening description dedicates the book to “those who are creative. The bohemians, the artists, the mavericks. The go getters and the dreamers. The stylish and the cool.” I would exhort any of the above to get a copy of Pop Versus Subterranean. It is an inspired collection. Rob Massey


"Yay! My Jason Disley collection is complete again with the arrival of his latest collection of poems; POP VERSUS SUBTERRANEAN.

Now, cards on table here, I am a long-time fan of JD’s clever word play and the dynamic rhythm and cadence of those words, and I’m pleased to say that, once again, PVS doesn’t disappoint.

think what I enjoy most is the honesty of the prose. There is the odd poem that I dont think works in its entirety but I’m won over by the fact that JD includes it in his collections... naturally I then turn a page and BOOM! there it is! The killer line or couplet, that stops me in my tracks.

PVS covers 30 poems in its 120 pages of varying length and styles (although JD is instantly recognisable in its rhythmic flow). The imagery, as ever, is strong; the ‘hypnotic teardrop eyes of Peacocks’, ‘treadmills of existence’, ‘liquid streets’ and ‘singing Moonlight’ all dance through the myriad lines.

Again, there is a spiritual keening throughout, in what is (has been especially in the last 12 months) a difficult and concerning time for all. Whilst this collection is called Pop Versus Subterranean, I see often (in the verse) these two sides of the coin are fighting to the same end in the chase to the light at the end of the tunnel." Jason Brummell 

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