In 1982, aged twenty-three, Simon Parkes paid GBP1 for a virtually derelict building in Brixton. Over the next fifteen years he turned it into Britain's most iconic music venue. And w he's telling his story: full of fond - and wild - reminiscences of the famous musicians who played at the venue, including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Lou Reed, The Ramones, New Order, the Beastie Boys and The Smiths. This is about one man's burning desire for success against the odds, his passion for live music and the excitement of those wilderness years, a far cry from the corporate world that controls the scene today. From rock-star debauchery and mixing it up with Brixton gangsters to putting on the first legal raves in the UK and countless backroom business deals, this is the story of how to succeed in business with experience and fulfil your teenage fantasies.
After leaving The Academy, Simon Parkes went on to run The Coronet in Elephant and Castle, as well as numerous other projects. He also got his life back, got married, had three sons, and did all the things he couldn't do when he was running the Brixton Academy. He and his family still live in Brixton. JS Rafaeli has worked as a copy writer, a brand consultant, researcher and booking agent. He currently plays in a band as well as co-writing this book.