Short of studio audience passes to Top Gear and a couple of Premiership tickets, what would make Dad's holiday in England complete? Of course: a guide to the country's rock-music landmarks. Compiled by former Global Adviser contributor Max Wooldridge, Never Mind the Bollards will have the old man happily ticking off sites iconic (the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing, pictured above, made famous by the Beatles) and obscure (the unlikely Lincolnshire hometown of Rod Temperton, writer of some of Michael Jackson's biggest hits).
London's rock history alone is so rich, Wooldridge could have filled a volume without leaving his local pub in Wimbledon. But he sportingly burns up motorways and country lanes to get to places like Widnes (Paul Simon wrote "Homeward Bound" while stranded there) and Cotchford Farm (the East Sussex property where Rolling Stone Brian Jones drowned), and his survey reminds us just how much of rock's classic corpus from Pink Floyd's cosmic dirges to the tight-trousered tomfoolery of Iron Maiden was made in England.
There are caveats. Never Mind the Bollards has the whiff of the anorak wearer about it. Wooldridge is, by his own admission, a man who will drive a girlfriend into deepest Hampshire for no other reason than to see where Led Zeppelin IV was recorded. The book is also very much a rock guide some of the meccas of reggae, hip-hop and dance music are name-checked, but ultimately this is a book for fans of Jethro Tull rather than JLS. One can also imagine a market among pub-quiz buffs. Some of the arcana the book imparts address of the doorway on the cover of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, anyone? would make you a real force to contend with on trivia night.