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Smokestack Lightning

Walker Books invited Laurence to share his heady, early years and write his teen autobiography for their series 'Teenage memoirs'. He's recently adapted a serialised version and reads from his book in a special series which will be aired exclusively on Poppyland Radio.

The son of a showman, Laurence Staig grew up among circus performers and fairground folk, first in Manchester and then in London. His father ran a Globe of Death show in Battersea Park Funfair where he helped out at weekends, assisting his father and celebrated illusionist Robert Harbin with their magical exhibits. Laurence's youthful exploits were influenced by the many books he read - the novels of Dennis Wheatley and H. G. Wells in particular - and sixties TV mystery serials such as "The Invisible Man".

His greatest love, though, was for rhythm and blues - the music of the Rolling Stones and Howlin' Wolf, singer of the soulful 'Smokestack Lightning'. A colourful, swinging new culture had been born and Laurence was determined to be a part of it. This exhilarating teenage memoir is his story.

Laurence Staig

Journalist, author, broadcaster, obituary writer, expert on Spaghetti Westerns and festival organiser, Laurence Staig has many strings to his bow. He now lives in Overstrand and is very supportive of Poppyland Community Radio.

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