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In 1993 Martyn graduated with Honours from the Open University and set out to achieve his ambition of becoming a published author. An ELP fan since only a few months after their 1970 debut album, he co-authored The Show That Never Ends, the 2000 definitive ELP biography (soon to be re-published in an expanded, revised edition).

Martyn authored the critically acclaimed Hang On To A Dream - The Story Of The Nice in 2002. He has subsequently written many CD sleeve notes for ELP, The Nice, and Refugee. His third book, Hoggin' The Page - The Story Of Tony McPhee & The Groundhogs was published by Northdown in October 2005.

Martyn's newly-published fourth book, Playing The Band, completes an interesting trilogy of works tracing the origins of progressive music in the late '60s. The Nice' main influence was classical music, the Groundhogs came from the blues, and Colosseum's main influence was jazz. The three books together now give a fascinating insight into the differing influences that made the period so unique.

The musical life of Jon Hiseman

This book takes you on the roller-coaster ride that is the life of Jon Hiseman - one of Britainís top drummers. Itís a personal journey through one of the most intriguing and fascinating periods in rock and pop history, telling in detail of the forces, the
personalities, the triumphs and disappointments that make up a life spent at the centre of modern music...and all set against the background of how, in the second half of the 20th century, the British music industry reached dizzying heights...until the advent of new technology brought it back to earth with a bump!

It is not just a story of a life in music; it is a tale of individualism, survival, friendships and rivalry, romance, brutal reality and the occasional insanity. Above all, itís the story of a man who describes himself as Ďa cautious optimistí and who considers his greatest achievement, the enduring love affair with saxophonist and composer Barbara Thompson.

"...the absorbing inside story of Hisemanís professional journey...meticulously produced...a thoroughly absorbing account of a richly varied life on the road and in the studio."

Russell Newmark in The Beat magazine.

Review Quotes of 'Playing The Band' - The musical life of Jon Hiseman

"...very impressed by this entertaining and informative biography of one the greats of British jazz and jazz fusion, Jon Hiseman".

"...I am pleased to report that this is one of the most comprehensive rock/jazz/(blues) biographies Iíve read in respect of its completeness and balance..."

"...extremely readable - I canít recall at any time flicking through any dull pages".

Dick Heath for ProgArchives website.

"Playing the Band" features an extensive cast of musicians and others industry figures with whom Jon Hiseman and Barbara Thompson have been associated over the years. Some of the great characters of British music are here, among them Graham Bond, John Mayall, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Colosseumís original saxophonist the great Dick Heckstall-Smith. Inevitably there are some great stories, some of them highly amusing, but at other times the book can be surprisingly moving.

If you're a fan of any phase of Hiseman's career this book has much to offer and for its comprehensiveness alone is highly recommended.

Ian Mann - website.

A thorough chronicle of one of Britainís all-time great drummers...Martyn Hansonís authorised biography recounts every step of a long and amazingly wide-ranging career...meticulously researched.

Geoff Nicholls, "Rhythm" magazine.

We highly recommend Jonís book "Playing the Band"...

Alex Hutton & Kate Winter:

Anyone remotely interested in British blues, jazz and rock of the past 50 years will find much to relish in the detail on such diverse figures as Graham Bond and John Mayall...Jack Bruce and Dick Heckstall-Smith...Neil Ardley and Gary Moore.

...a suitably sized tribute to an often gargantuan talent, its 400 plus pages complemented by many a black & white or colour photograph...of keen documentary interest. essential read for anyone interested in Hiseman and his times.

Michael Tucker in Jazz Journal.