Culture vulture

3rd March 2006 at 00:00
Garry Freeman is very much a progressive when it comes to rock

Music

My huge passion is progressive rock, very much of the 1970s, but still going strong: bands like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Genesis and Jethro Tull, some of whom worked with orchestras and produced long, innovative pieces of music. ELP were doing things that had never been done before.

Music live

I've just finished writing a Live Guide on ELP: I got hold of recordings of 157 of their concerts and wrote detailed reviews. I've also written a bootleg discography - a catalogue and reviews of bootleg recordings of various artists in the 60s and 70s - for Scarecrow Press. The ELP book took me a year: I contact fans through the internet and they send me concert recordings. There are 450 CDs in my car boot and a lot more in my study.

Best film ever

I love Shenandoah with Jimmy Stewart. It has everything: adventure in the American Civil War, family, nail-biting tension. It hooked me on that aspect of American history.

Reading to relax

I read escapist thrillers or travel books. I'm a big Michael Palin fan. My favourite is his first book, Around the World in 80 Days. And I like Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile. I love travelling and I love the Nile: the fact that it's flowed from the heart of Africa, that it's so wide and surrounded by greenery, and yet a mile away is the Sahara, this huge desert that dominates people's lives.

Treat in store

I've started my next Live Guide, on Yes. The third will be on Jethro Tull, and I'm looking forward to meeting lead singer Ian Anderson (pictured) to discuss the book when Jethro Tull performs in Bradford on March 7. I've met all three members of ELP, and worked with Carl Palmer, who runs drum circles for children with special needs, including some at our school.

Garry Freeman is curriculum support co-ordinator at St Bede's RC grammar school in Bradford. His Live Guide to Emerson, Lake and Palmer is published by Helter Skelter Books this summer. He has also contributed to the Hodder series, Discover History. Details of Carl Palmer's drum circles at www.carlpalmer.com. Interview by Karen Gold

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