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Local Author Lifts The Lid On Rock ’n’ Roll Legends

Story: Sally Eberhardt | Photo: Ben McShea
Jun 22, 2019
Keith Williams may be a longtime resident of Redcliffe, but he draws on his Welsh upbringing to share his stories about rock ‘n’ roll legends.

Keith grew up in Wales during the 60s – a time when the Beatles topped the charts and Led Zeppelin was emerging as part of a whole new era of music. As a huge fan of live rock music, Keith created opportunities to meet the musicians, many of whom are now true rock legends. With so many fascinating stories to tell, Keith said he was encouraged to write a book.

“I would talk about rare gigs I’ve been to and encounters with famous rock stars and colourful characters along the way. People would say ‘you must write a book and I will buy it’ – thus, Rock Reflections was born,” Keith said.

The book has been described as a musical odyssey through the 60s, 70s and 80s that chronicles Keith’s adventures, from the moshpits and travelling all over the UK for rock gigs, to sleeping on station platforms and sneaking backstage to meet his heroes.

Way before they were famous, Keith was going to gigs by bands such as Guns N’ Roses. He encountered rock stars such as Randy Rhoads and Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple/Rainbow).

He said one of his favourite memories was of Bon Jovi in London in 1985.

“Bon Jovi is on their first headline tour of Europe and Jon is prancing about, trying too hard. After a few songs the PA keeps cutting out, frustrating everybody.

“Jon then shouts ‘Don’t worry about it – we’ll do it on our own.’ He plays acoustic guitar and sings, interacting brilliantly with the audience, providing time for techs to fix the sound problem.

“It was a blessing in disguise for Jon Bon Jovi – that was the moment the rock press deemed him a world-class performer and not just a pretty boy.”

Keith will be at the Redcliffe Markets on the Esplanade on 7 and 28 July, where you can buy his book and get it signed. Rock Reflections is also available to buy via Facebook – search for ‘rockreflectionsbook’.