Words & Music

Over the next few weeks I will adding links to much of the music mentioned in Making it up as you go Along.

There will be a few personal and factual notes attached.

Chapter 1 – Pooh and the Ostrich Feather is finished. It can be found here

Bill MacCormick

Music – Politics – History

In the 70s I was, somehow, a bass player. In the 80s and 90s, a political organiser, local councillor, and pollster. Since then, I’ve written a few books about the Great War. And now one about my time in the music biz. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see it.

Just to confuse the issue, the music book is written by me – Bill MacCormick. And the history books by Alan MacDonald… who is also me, but using my middle names. Make sense?

In ‘About’ there’s a biog. In ‘Just out’ details of two new books. ‘Why the Great War’ explains my fascination with the subject. ‘Military History’ is info about three earlier books. ‘Music’ covers albums I recorded 1971-80, and ‘Links’ is about people I worked with. ‘Ian MacDonald’ is stuff about my late brother’s  proper books. Finally, ‘My Blog’ allows me to vent about anything which takes my fancy.

For a nice review of Making it up please go here

NOTE: Making it up is now enabled for world-wide distribution so check your local retailer. It is also now available as an ebook (Kindle, Apple Books, etc.,)

A few random thoughts

The continued robust, and with some faiths, aggressive existence of organised religion has been one of the great disappointments of my life. When I was little, my parents dutifully took us to church, St Thomas with St Stephen Church, Telford Avenue, Streatham, every...

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Making it up as you go along

My meander through the outer realms of 1960s and 70s rock music. From my school band with guitar legend Phil Manzanera, to my work with Robert Wyatt, Matching Mole, Quiet Sun, the 801, and Random Hold. With some politics, a bit of football history, film stars Julie Christie and Warren Beatty, and the odd embarrassing moment thrown in along the way.

All to be taken with a pinch of salt, and not remotely seriously.

476 pages, 112 photographs. £19.99 + P&P

newly published

The first week of the Great War

August 1914. Lagarde – a tiny village in German-held Lorraine, or Lothringen as it was known then.

It was the scene of a vicious small-scale action in the chaotic opening days of the Great War. One which caused consternation and argument in France, and overblown rejoicing in Germany.

Two French battalions and two batteries were wiped out, but a madcap cavalry charge, and 19th Century infantry tactics, cost the Germans dear.

The Affair at Lagarde describes in detail the fighting around this remote village and its military and political repercussions.

276 pages, 65 photographs, five maps. £15.99 + P&P

My previous books about the Great War

Z Day: The Attack of the VIII Corps at Beaumont Hamel and Serre

The 1st July 1916 was a day of loss unparalleled in the Britain’s history: 19,000 dead, another 38,000 wounded.

Despite the terrible losses, every Army Corps gained some German territory, however small and whatever the cost in blood. Except one: VIII Corps.

Bravery, sacrifice, chaos, stupidity, incompetence – all featured in the attack of the VIII Corps. ‘Z Day’ endeavours to untangle the many myths associated with this attack, and holds to account those whose decisions led to the loss of over 14,000 men in just a few hours.

Pro Patria Mori: The 56th (1st London) Division at Gommecourt

On Saturday, 1st July 1916, the men of the 56th (1st London) Division, went ‘over the top’ to storm Gommecourt – a village recognised as the strongest position in the German lines. ‘Pro Patria Mori’ recounts the experiences of the London men who fought and died at Gommecourt. Using the personal recollections of those involved, many previously unpublished, the book is a day by day account of the planning and preparation of the attack. 

716 pages, fully indexed, with over 200 photographs and 20 maps and plans.

A Lack of Offensive Spirit?: The 46th (North Midland) Division at Gommecourt

The 46th (North Midland) Division’s attack at Gommecourt on 1st July 1916 is one of the more controversial incidents of the war. The men were accused of cowardice (“A lack of offensive spirit”), and of being drunk. Maj. Gen. Stuart Wortley, was the only General sacked as a result of the catastrophe. The book tells the story of the 46th Division through the tragedy of the Hohenzollern Redoubt to the outcome of the attack on Gommecourt.

708 pages, fully indexed, with over 20 maps and plans and 45 photographs.