‘The labour and the love seep from every page. For Old Molly Metcalfe, for Leopold Alcocks, for Sister Josephine, but mostly for yourself, if your hands aren’t too encumbered, gather a book or two for Jake…” – Jon Richardson
“A timely paean to a velvet larynxed, storytelling wonderman…” – Cerys Matthews
by Paul Thompson and John Watterson
Beware of the Bull – The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray is the first, much-anticipated biography of the late, great Yorkshire singer-songwriter.
Admired by Neil Gaiman, Cerys Matthews, Alex Turner and Jon Richardson, among others, Jake is increasingly recognised as one of the greatest and most original artists of the twentieth century; a unique talent and master storyteller, whose songs are full of wit, poetry, irreverence and humanity.
The book reveals a life as extraordinary as his writing: the difficult upbringing in the terraces of Leeds; strict Catholic education and transformative experiences in France and Algeria; first career as an inspirational, unorthodox and highly creative teacher; Jake’s meteoric development as a writer and performer, and subsequent discovery by the BBC; the Abbey Road recordings and his unexpected influence on The Beatles; the fame and fortune brought by a remarkable television career… and Jake’s rejection of it all.
This is the story of a complex, charismatic and self-effacing man whom many loved, but few understood. Beware of the Bull has been written with the full support of the Thackray family. Granted exclusive access to personal papers, it shares a wealth of previously unpublished lyrics, poetry and letters, and is illustrated with rare and never-before-seen photographs. Through it all, Jake’s unique voice is heard afresh and his life and work better understood.
Hardback – 480 pages
*Postage and packing included with UK orders only. Overseas customers may call us direct on 00 44 113 225 9797 during UK office hours, or order via this site and we will then reply to quote the required amount of postage for your country
Those intrepid explores from Scratching Shed found me bronzing my lean godlike body in front of a nuclear power plant. All that radiation and I’m still not a superhero. They wanted me to return and annoy the teachers and parents of the world with my in-depth poems about the things that matter most: spots, farts and burps. At first I refused the riches and wealth they offered, but I finally broke when they offered me a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich. There’s only so much a man can take. So here it is, the poetry book I said I would never write. It’s full of poems – many of which you may have read in the hugely successful Potty Poet series, plus lots of new ones that only the people who live here in my little cell with its lovely padding have read (just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there). If you really want to know what it’s like to have a spot on your bum or get your willy caught in your zip then read this book. It doesn’t contain any answers to life’s embarrassing problems but it does let us laugh at the misfortune of others.