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Masthead

Alan Johnson

In My Life
  • In My Life

  • From the moment a young Alan Johnson first twanged the strings of his plastic ‘Tommy Steele’ guitar, he was determined to become a rock star.

    Alan’s life has always been lived to a musical soundtrack. His earliest memories of the bleak, post-war, pre-rock ’n’ roll west London landscape into which he was born are suffused with the melodies that wafted from the rented Bakelite wireless in the slum where he lived with his frail mother and dauntless sister. His love affair with pop music blossomed alongside the music itself, which exploded into being in the mid-1950s and came to embody the iconoclastic spirit of a new era.

    In this memoir, Alan looks back at his pursuit of rock stardom, and his parallel life as a supermarket worker, postman, union official and father of three, through the music that accompanied it – on vinyl, cassette tape or blasting from the stages of the Marquee club in Soho or the Wimbledon Palais; the sounds of Chuck Berry and Lonnie Donegan, of the Yardbirds and Dylan, of Bowie, Elvis Costello and Springsteen . . . not forgetting the Beatles, the band he has worshipped since 1963.

    In My Life recalls with affection a vanished world of Dansettes, dancehalls and smoky pubs, Flower Power and platform shoes. Honest, poignant and very funny, it is more than just a nostalgic celebration of music: it offers a new perspective on the singular life of Alan Johnson the man.

RELEASED 27/06/2019

Alan Johnson was born in May 1950. He is a British Labour Party politician who served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Johnson was the Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle until his retirement from politics in 2017. His first book, This Boy, won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013. His second, Please Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014. His third, The Long and Winding Road, was published in 2016 and won the Parliamentary Book Award for Best Memoir.