Making it up as you go along



Built on a series of light-hearted Facebook accounts of his time in the music business, ‘Making it up as you go Along’ is the story of Bill MacCormick’s journey through the outer reaches of the music business in the 1960s and 70s.

Please allow seven days for the delivery of your order. The shipping department is me, my wife, and our 21-year old cat, Twiglet, and she demands we sit on the sofa, and she sleeps on a lap, for a minimum of three hours a day. It plays havoc with trips to the Post Office.

Making it up is now available as a printed book and an ebook (Kindle, Apple Books, Tolino, etc.,)  pretty much throughout the world.

Given that shipping almost anywhere outside the UK/Europe is about the same as the cost of the book then buying it locally or electronically is perhaps a better bet.

Unless, of course, you want the front page of your copy ruined by my scrawled signature.

The choice is yours!


Brought up on an early teenage musical diet of Beethoven, Brahms, the Beatles, Stax, and Tamla Motown, an accidental meeting with Robert Wyatt and the newly formed Soft Machine transformed his world view. Now, radically influenced by the Softs, the Mothers of Invention, Stravinsky, and Charlie Mingus, the book describes his first faltering steps to musical anonymity with school friend and psychedelic guitar titan, Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera, and their school band, Pooh and the Ostrich Feather.

An ‘accidental’ bass player, ‘it’s only got four strings, how difficult can it be?’, with failed prog rock combo Quiet Sun, he somehow survived to play, sometimes tour, and record with:

  • Robert Wyatt in Matching Mole, and on his album ‘Ruth is Stranger than Richard’;
  • Señor Manzanera on his solo albums ‘Diamond Head’, ‘Listen Now’, and ‘K-Scope’;
  • with a briefly re-formed Quiet Sun on their album ‘Mainstream’ on two Brian Eno albums;
  • with the short-lived 801 which spawned the highly acclaimed 801 Live album;
  • and finally with the doomed and doom-laden Random Hold whose guitarist, David Rhodes, later worked (and works) extensively with all-round lovely person and great musician Peter Gabriel.

On the way, the book touches on the social and political issues which influenced the lyrics he and his late brother, and author of ‘Revolution in the Head’, Ian MacDonald, contributed to Phil Manzanera’s 70s albums.

It contains pen portraits and, sadly , the obituaries of several musician friends Bill met along the way: Phil Miller,  Hugh Hopper, Gary Windo, Francis Monkman, Lloyd Watson, and David Ferguson.

And, in appendices too numerous to mention, you may enjoy the press coverage, good and bad, the various projects generated.

Additional information

A normal day in the life of a Mole.
Dave with my bass, Phil with his guitar, Robert with part of a toilet cistern, me with a toy saxophone. Notting Hill, spring 1972.

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  2. sergio amadori

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