Have a Cigar!
The Memoir of the Man Behind Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam and George Michael
When the music impresario Bryan Morrison died aged 66 in 2008, after two years in a coma following a polo accident, he left behind his unpublished memoir. As a music publisher, manager and agent, Morrison had represented the Pretty Things, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, The Jam, Wham! and many others. He was also the founder and owner of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.
In this candid and outspoken book, Morrison reveals the true stories behind why Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd once bit his finger to the bone, the Pretty Things were banned for life from New Zealand, and he became involved with the Kray Twins. He also tells how The Jam kissed goodbye to success in the USA, he received death threats when Robin Gibb left the Bee Gees, and signing a publishing deal with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley as Wham!
Spanning the golden age of British rock ’n’ roll from the 60s to the 80s, this is the extraordinary story of a cigar-chomping, East End entrepreneur with a passion for art and design, fashion, music and polo.
Reviews for Have a Cigar!
Have a Cigar! is a thrilling affair that takes the reader from the handy fists and feet of London’s East End gangsters to the inner turmoil and confusion of Syd Barrett’s by then Pink Floyd-less world. Morrison’s account affords tremendous insight into the twilight world of the groups, the song publishing highs and lows, the gigs and parties; also putting a degree of flesh onto one or two particular stories, the skeletal bones of which are already known, especially to those who have geeked-out and freaked out to the myriad sounds that made up British psychedelia… It’s an easy-going, hugely enjoyable read, the pages seemingly just turning by themselves as you wonder, eagerly awaiting to learn of what’s going to happen next.
Lenny Helsing, Shindig! Magazine
For me, reading ‘Have a Cigar’ was like finding a box in the loft that you had completely forgotten about which, upon opening, reveals treasures that have been locked away in your memory and transport you back in time… Even if you would not describe yourself as being a huge music fan, I defy you to not be gripped and sucked in by this cigar-chomping music impresario.
Amanda Best, Haynet
The book is written in an easy to read, down to earth style and tells of a lifestyle that could have stepped straight off the pages of a Jilly Cooper novel… Given the sheer force of personality that shines through on the pages of the book, it seems unsurprising that Morrison was attracted to the world of polo. As he says, ‘A game of such intensity, skill, bravery and presence of mind that everything else pales into significance.’ I read the book in one sitting; it is an incredible insight into Morrison’s life and truly a privilege to have even a glimpse of the sheer force of nature he was as a businessman.
Louise Broderick, Haynet
The book reveals the often cut-throat nature of the music business and the chaotic and often destructive lifestyles of those involved… Have a Cigar is a riveting read, bouncing through his music business deals, a brush with The Krays, Bill Gibbs’ fashion business disaster and Morrison’s dogged determination to stick with recording artists he believed in.
Nigel Carr, Louder Than War