Born OTD in 1923, Irish poet, short story writer, novelist & playwright who wrote in both English & Irish. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers of all time, Brendan Behan. This diverse little collection of 21 short prose pieces by Behan, some fictional, some autobiographical, together with a selection from his 1950’s Irish Times column, caused something of a stir when it first appeared in 1981. The title story, After the Wake, was the talking point at the time, since it appeared to be about what was then something of a forbidden subject, homosexual love.

When the present collection appeared the same people dismissed the story as part of the pornographic hack work which, according … More

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant.

By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only … More

The eminent radical historian recalls his struggles against American racism and war, and he expresses his hope for the future, in this memoir and manifesto. The son of poor Jewish immigrants to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Zinn worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and served as a bombardier in Europe in WW II.

He attended Columbia University, received a doctorate in history in 1956, and became head of the history department at Spelman … More

Born OTD in 1948, Kenney Jones. As drummer with the Small Faces, Faces & later The Who, Kenney Jones’ unique sense of rhythm was the heartbeat that powered three of the most influential rock bands of all time. Beginning in London’s post-war East End, Kenney’s story takes us through the birth of the Mod revolution, the mind-bending days of the late-1960s and the raucous excesses of the 70s & 80s.

In a career spanning six decades, Kenney was at the epicentre of many of the most exciting moments in music … More

Born OTD in 1954, Elvis Costello. Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Costello was raised in London & Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line & son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance band vocalist. Costello went into the family business & had taken the popular music world by storm before he was 24. Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing & extensive songbooks of the day.

His performances have taken him from a cardboard guitar in his front room to fronting a rock and roll band … More

Poet, musician, journalist & political activist Attila the Stockbroker has spent 35 years touring the world as a self-sustaining, one man DIY cottage industry. Having performed over 3000 gigs in 24 countries, releasing 30 records & 7 books of poetry along the way, he pauses here to relate his life story, a tale of ranting verse, punk rock & his relationship with the ever changing, increasingly corporate minded politics of the last 5 decades.

An autobiography like no other, ‘Arguments Yard’ bounces effortlessly from frontline tales of touring East Germany, the first ever punk … More