The Competition: Pulp Who

The Who pulps.jpg

Connor McKnight & Caroline Silver, The Who Through Pete Townshend’s Eyes (Scholastic Book Services, 1974)

George Tremlett, The Who (Futura (1975)

Brian Ashley & Steve Monnery, Whose Who? A Who Retrospective (NEL, 1978)

John Swenson, The Who: Britain’s Greatest Rock Group (Star, 1979)

These four exploitation titles show what can be achieved with a press file, a box of clippings and a typewriter. Standardised, interchangeable and written to be consumed in one sitting, even the photographic inserts appear like TV show repeats: same time, same channel, same thing. 1970s pop biographies were the equivalent of the movie paperback tie-in - adaptations of original scripts - designed to milk a film’s popularity and then to be quickly forgotten. Pure pop artefacts . . .