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Romany and Tom: A memoir

Romany and Tom: A memoir

Ben Watt’s father, Tommy, was a working-class Glaswegian jazz musician, a politicised left-wing bandleader and a composer. His heyday in the late fifties took him into the glittering heart of London’s West End, where he broadcast live with his own orchestra from the Paris Theatre and played nightly with his quintet at the glamorous Quaglino’s. Ben’s mother, Romany, the daughter of a Methodist parson, schooled at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, was a RADA-trained Shakespearian actress, who had triplets in her first marriage before becoming a leading showbiz columnist in the sixties and seventies. They were both divorcees from very different backgrounds who came together like colliding trains in 1957. Both a personal journey and a portrait of his parents, Romany and Tom is a vivid story of the post-war years, ambition and stardom, family roots and secrets, life in clubs and in care homes. It is also about who we are, where we come from, and how we love and live with each other for a long time.

About the Author

Ben Watt

Born in 1962, Ben Watt is a musician, songwriter, DJ and author. His first book, Patient: The True Story of a Rare Illness, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, voted a Sunday Times Book of the Year by William Boyd and shortlisted for the Esquire Non-fiction Book of the Year. He is perhaps most well-known for his twenty-year career in alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982–2002). He is also an international club and radio DJ, and since 2003 has run his own independent record labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling. Having recently returned to songwriting and live performance, his first solo album for thirty years is expected in 2014. He lives in north London with his wife Tracey Thorn and their three children.

 

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