The Black Book
By Captain Swing
(The Life And Crimes Of Richard Rouska)
Richard Rouska does it again.
"Written by Richard Rouska, The Black Book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the music, socio-political and fanzine scenes of Leeds and Yorkshire in the 80s. Getting into all the nooks and crannies of Yorkshire’s alternative music and social political scenes, Richard Rouska delivers a quite brilliant new volume ‘The Black Book’, a one of a kind walk through British music from Rouska’ early mod-roots through to punk, indie, alt rock, new wave, synth and every sound, scene and movement that mattered and which made up the musical terrain from the 70s and 80s through to the dawn of the 90s. Obviously possessing a Duracell battery or two, the semi-legendary Rouska comes across as a real force of nature whose drive, blind stubbornness and genuine love and understanding of Britain’s music and respective scenes results in a read like no other. Rouska’s unique perspective as fanzine and record label co-founder, all under the Rouska moniker, makes it an essential read for all fans of that golden era, during the 70s and 80s, of fanzines and fierce independence. The book’s not just about the records, bands or gigs though, it’s as much about the cause and effect it had on the streets of Britain, and all delivered with a narrative and writing style to match the spirit of the man himself. But it’s by cleverly using his own eventful life as a backdrop, coupled with his rather funny as well as intriguing ‘memoirs’ looking back at the Rouska groups, events and releases that for those who were actually there will bring it all back. And for readers like myself who were just too young to experience it all first hand, it’s about as close as you’ll probably get to re-visiting a very special era and the psyche behind it … Richard Rouska does it again."
Carl Stanley - LOUDERTHANWAR
WHAT OTHER READERS HAVE SAID......
Back in the day The Red Guitars were having a blast gigging up and down the UK & Europe, and fanzine’s were where it was at. We met a sparky young guy in Leeds who produced a fanzine either named after him…or was he named after the zine? Rouska was the name. Richard Rouska asked intelligent questions, was genuinely interested in the answers. The Red Guitars were featured amongst a zineful of cool companions, The Mekons, The Three Johns, The Redskins, The Inca Babies, The Skeletal Family, NMA and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. His grainy political and musical ramblings were not wasted on us. As young musicians from Hull, the music biz – with the emphasis on Business – suddenly wanted a piece of us, and Richard Rouska – a real music fan – was one of the good guys for sure....and when his brand new book-fanzine-deluxe-to-beat-’em-all popped up in our newsfeed I was straight on it. Rouska’s Black Book is a riveting, rollicking good romp through the music scene of Yorkshire with a good dollop of socio-political tales running through it’s veins.” LoudhailerUK
“Through the magic of the written word, Rouska takes an entire generational slice of life and reveals what it was like from day one. The day the music world spun 360 degrees off its axis. The day the Rouska Ethic would be born. With a limited pressing of 250 hand-numbered editions, jam-packed with details, stories, and rarely seen (and some never-seen) photos, the birth of punk-rock, glam, and modernist revival are chronicled by one person who took the bull by the horns during the 80′s upheaval, making his own mark in the history of DIY non-conformist ethics.” Tribe4mian
"It's a white-knuckle riot of luminous monochrome thrills. I love this black Punk-zine cut-up stuff, love it so much I think my spleen just fell out!" Andrew Darlington
“Just received a copy of Richard Rouska’s The Black Book...can’t put it down. A must read for anyone into Leeds music in the 80s.” DB
“The corporate world has a lot to learn from people like us, but they ain’t listening—only to the sound of chink, chink, chink.” LL
“If you are interested in the post-punk period and its musical and political fallout, fanzine culture in the 1980s, Leeds and Yorkshire bands in this period and record industry shenanigans, this could be the book for you.” SA
"If you were in Leeds in the 80’s you need to have a skeg at this book, especially if youwere involved in any way in the Leeds Music scene and took to the pavements in Cookridge Street.” JB
“Just flicking through it now stirs many memories.” MG
“Impressed with the depth, you must have been storing stuff in ya head since you popped out, explains a lot!” TM
"I remember Ernie (pictured right) . I was at Kitson College between 1980 and 84 and Ernie always seemed to nab me outside the Merrion Centre. Remember the guy that used to sell the Evening Post on the Headrow? He used to elongate the word Post and ended it with "I'm having a terrible day." GS
"We still have the dreams Rich, one thing is certain for me and you is that the dreams will never die! I blame the Rouska man!" Adrian Fusiarski
"I have never read anything like it and really enjoyed your writing,...it's a totally unique read ....brilliant." CS
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