During his 63 years on Earth, Ball has been a rock star, a soldier, a university lecturer, a policeman, a martial arts expert and a globe-trotting executive for one of the world’s largest banks, just to name a few of his accomplishments. No matter how busy you are, or how proud you may be of your own achievements, compared to Dave Ball you’re a dawdling layabout.
From head banger to head banker, from Tai Chi to I.T. and all points in between, Ball’s autobiography will put you in a blissful trance. With turns of phrase reminiscent of Jack Kerouac meets Garrison Keillor, Ball recounts his early days in the London rock scene of the 1960s, when he pounded the pavement in search of his big break in the music biz. He made the audition rounds, including a cattle call for Marc Bolan and T-Rex. This particular try-out ended badly when Ball - auditioning as a drummer - suggested that he should play guitar instead because Bolan “was crap at it.”
After stints with Long John Baldry and Bedlam, Ball soured on the music scene and sought a new direction for his life. He enlisted in the Army, where his hefty royalty checks raised the eyebrows of his fellow grunts and superior officers alike. Or as Ball says: “How do you prepare yourself to go from Rock & Roll into the Army. Well, nobody had really tried it since Elvis so I didn’t have much to go on.”
Written with verve, humor and passion, Half Hippie - Half Man and Half Hippie - Half Man: The Addenda stand as shining documents of the many facets of the Baby Boom generation. While few have had Dave Ball’s plethora of first hand experience, readers will relate to Ball’s years of bohemian rebellion, followed by a long and surprising search for one’s true place in the world. While the voyage may be universal, as these volumes make clear, Dave Ball’s life journey has pursued a most audacious path.
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