It was more than a decade ago that Jeff Perkins had finished his personal quest of collecting any available piece of information about the late great David Byron, the original singer with URIAH HEEP and the leader of ROUGH DIAMOND and a band of his own. Byron, who died in 1985, still remains one of the most revered frontmen, and Perkins came up with a brilliant tome called that depicts not only David’s life but also Jeff’s journey on the way to the book’s issue: contacting the singer’s connections, getting interviews with the likes of Mick Box and Ken Hensley who came up with the titular phrase, visiting his old haunts. It was sold out in a record time, and since then the author has been receiving requests for a new edition. Now, the wait’s almost over, and December will see it reprinted.
Says Jeff Perkins:
“The reprint came about through a Facebook group set up to mark the tenth anniversary of the original release and asking for a second edition. A lengthy search then took place to try and find a publisher. Eventually Jurgen Ludwig who runs a German based company Cenarius Verlag Hagen stepped forward and rescued the whole idea. We decided to keep the book as it originally came out – with just a new introduction to explain what had happened over the last ten years… and a few of the most obvious mistakes ironed out.
There has been a lot of developments and new discoveries about the life and career of David Byron since the first edition appeared – and the new introduction points people towards them. Of course, the main development since that time is the rise of social media and the increased use of the Internet. However, I felt that to include those new details would be unfair to those that have been busy unearthing them and doing the groundwork – after all I know how much work that means! So we decided, rightly or wrongly, to let the book go out as it originally was. The first edition sold out in a less than a month, and ever since we have had requests from people quite literally all over the world for copies which we didn’t have. So a re-print seemed to be the perfect answer for those people that couldn’t get one first time around.
Remember it was always intended to be an account of a journey we took to try and discover from beginning to tragic end the life and career of David Byron. I have never read it – and after the book was completed I felt totally burnt out emotionally which resulted in me being strangely Heeped-out for a few years. When I heard a classic URIAH HEEP track, it instantly transported me back to parts of that journey and story and all the triumph and tragedy it involved. It took a few years to be able to move on and even think about a reprint of the book.
I am honoured and somewhat surprised by the continued interest in the book. I only hope that it somehow lives up to the hopes and belief shown in it and helps fill in some gaps in David’s story. Most of all I hope that it serves his memory well. He was a great rock star in the true sense of the word. I am not sure now quite why I felt driven – as a total amateur – to take on such a huge project and sure enough I quickly got consumed by the weight of it. I, like many others, have always felt that David had never really achieved the recognition that he truly deserved. That is why the book was written. I hope people enjoy it and feel inspired to play some of those classic albums again… as if they don’t already!”