Brian Southall: The Hollies Story: The Road Is Long

The 60s popmasters through a glass, dully.

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The Hollies are overlooked, says the author, because they weren’t as controversial as the Rolling Stones or The Who. Which surely misses the point that the latter made outrageously exciting, life-changing rock’n’roll, whereas The Hollies’ harmonising was merely pleasant.

George Harrison waspishly dismisses them as ‘soulless session men’, and this book does little to counter that opinion, bogged down by tedium and excessive detail. The calibre of anecdotes doesn’t get any better than this - Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty enjoyed a game of cribbage with Allan Clarke on a flight to New York on Christmas Day 1966.

Even the potentially thrilling confession that 1967 single Carrie Anne was a paean of lust to Marianne Faithfull (the band wimped out and ‘hadn’t the balls’ to sing her name) is dampened by nitpicking over variant spellings of the title. The road is indeed long and we’re past caring by the end of it.

Classic Rock 214: Stuff

Claudia Elliott is a music writer and sub-editor. She has freelanced for BBC Radio 2's Sounds of the 60s, Uncut, History of Rock, Classic Rock and The Blues magazine. She is a 1960s music specialist.