You Know What You Could Be : Tuning into the 1960s
'Mike Heron, as part of the Incredible String Band, changed the way I looked at music. Read it!' Billy Connolly
'Mike Heron's lyrics always sparkled with wit and warmth and his prose is a delightful continuation. The book evokes a smoky, unheated eccentric Edinburgh that was a crucible for so much creativity.' Joe Boyd, author of White Bicycles
This singular book offers two harmonising memoirs of music making in the 1960s. Mike Heron for the first time writes vividly of his formative years in dour, Presbyterian Edinburgh. Armed with a love of Buddy Holly, Fats Domino and Hungarian folk music, he plays in school cloakrooms, graduates to rock, discovers the joy of a folk audience, starts writing songs, tries to talk to girls, wishes he was a Beatnik all while training as a reluctant accountant. When asked to join Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer, the Incredible String Band are formed - and their wildly innovative, astounding music became indelibly linked with the latter Sixties.
Andrew Greig was a frustrated provincial schoolboy when he heard their songs. It changed everything. Undaunted by a lack of experience and ability, he formed a band in their image. Fate & Ferret populated back-country Fife with Pan, nymphs and Apollo, met the String Band and caught the fish lorry to London to hang around Joe Boyd's Witchseason office, watching at the fringes of the blooming Underground scene. It was forty years later that he and Mike became friends.
These entwined stories will delight anyone who has loved the Incredible String Band; and their differing portraits of that hopeful, erratic and stubborn stumble towards the life that is ours will strike a chord with everyone.