IT IS quite unusual for a book launch to be held at a record fair but the content of Rock’n’Roll Unravelled made Northallerton Record Fair the perfect venue for the official North East England launch.

The Fair, on August 20, was well attended, in spite of the inclement summer weather. A steady stream of record buyers defied the rain and made their way to the Town Hall, to peruse the offerings available throughout the day. The books were displayed on a table just to the left of the fair’s entrance. Ideally placed for the attending record buyers to browse through Rock’n’Roll Unravelled, in between hunting down collectable vinyl albums and singles.

There was enthusiastic interest in the book. One of the copies sold was destined to be an early Christmas present! “The book makes an ideal present,” said author Derek Shelmerdine. “Its unique three-part structure links the development of rock’n’roll from its roots in the blues, to punk in the mid-1970s”.

The 700-pages of Rock’n’Roll Unravelled are not just about the music but also look at how external events, such as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights struggle, helped to shape it. Music and world events; births and deaths; covers and originals; recording sessions and record releases; failed auditions; landmark concerts and festivals; how major bands came together – it can all be found, and more, in Rock’n’Roll Unravelled.

Author, Derek Shelmerdine grew up in the 1950s and ’60s, the dawn of youth culture. He played drums in Cleo’s Mood in the mid-1960s and was a roadie with Pat Travers Band and London pub-rockers Meal Ticket in the mid-1970s. He now makes regular radio appearances talking about rock’n’roll, these include: BBC Radio York, Chelmsford Community Radio and Meridian FM in East Grinstead.

Researching and writing Rock’n’Roll Unravelled was a seven-year labour of love. Derek Shelmerdine chose to publish it independently because of his background in sales and marketing, as he puts it: “I found the opportunity to sell my own book, about my favourite subject – irresistible!”.