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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, HAPPY TRAILS: Andrew Lauder’s Charmed Life And High Times In The Record Business, co-written by Mick Houghton, has been acquired by Lee Brackstone at White Rabbit.

Andrew Lauder

Andrew Lauder on The Table Read Magazine
Andrew Lauder

Although Andrew Lauder is one of the most significant and highly influential figures in the British record industry, few outside of the music industry are likely to be familiar with his name.

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He always saw things from the perspective of a fan, which, combined with his exceptional knowledge of music, made him comfortable around musicians and never happier than when he spent time with them. He was always one step ahead of the next trend, especially in the later 1960s and 1970s when he worked at the legendary United Artists. Although underground music, pub rock, and punk in Britain, for instance, evolved quite merrily, visionaries like Andrew who intuitively saw what was coming and assisted in bringing about those transitions are easy to identify in hindsight.

In addition, he was ahead of the game in other areas; pioneering a more innovative approach to record marketing and promotion and revolutionizing catalog organization and presentation. His tale is told here.

Happy Trails on The Table Read Magazine
Happy Trails

Happy Trails

Donner Music, make your music with gear

Andrew Lauder was thrilled when Lee Brackstone at White Rabbit made it possible for him to write a book about his life because he had always been told to. By the time he was ten years old, he had fallen in love with rock ‘n’ roll, and it wasn’t until the third school he attended that it started to shape his life.

He had his own school band, but the boy with all the 45s and EPS who knew more about pop music than anyone else really made his mark. He only desired a music job, which could only be found in London. He found himself in Denmark Street on the day he arrived, where he was taken in like a chess piece and put in the offices of a prominent music publisher. He made the right decisions almost every time over the next forty years. He was blessed. His love of music led to a permanent job.

Mick Houghton has been a friend of Andrew Lauder’s for a lot of that time. He had the same pop music obsession as a child, which grew during the Merseybeat and R&B booms. He didn’t have to look up the Artwoods, Buddy Knox, or Johnny Kidd and the Pirates on Wikipedia. Because Lauder’s all-time favorite song is Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service, White Rabbit is the perfect publisher for his story. He first became interested in the San Francisco scene after hearing Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, which was always such a big deal for him.

Mick Houghton

Mick Houghton on The Table Read Magazine
Mick Houghton

Lou Reed describes how Jenny’s life “was saved by rock ‘n’ roll” in his classic song Rock & Roll. The same could, in Mick Houghton’s opinion, be said of Andrew Lauder. In 1958, listening to Little Richard and Buddy Holly on the radio sparked a lifelong love of rock’n’roll and the blues.

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He left his home in West Hartlepool in 1965 to pursue a career in music. There, he rode luck in a time when there were many opportunities. Andrew followed his own path as an A&R manager at Liberty and United Artists for the next four decades before starting visionary labels like Radar, F-Beat, Demon, Edsel, and Silvertone. Music was always more important to him than business.

According to Mick, Happy Trails tells a story that is insightful, passionate, and funny. It also shows how a sense of adventure and chance has given way to a more remote and scientific approach in the record business. To borrow a line from the Lovin’ Spoonful, Happy Trails might even explain to a stranger “the magic of rock ‘n’ roll,” to use a classic line.

Lee Brackstone

Publisher Lee Brackstone is of the opinion that this is a tale for true believers who are interested in the backstories of how the underground music scene developed into such a potent countercultural force in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Andrew Lauder’s story is an unlikely and inspiring picaresque as well as a portrait of a once essential but now neglected role in the music business: the mysterious A&R Man. It spans from working with CAN, Hawkwind, Nick Lowe, and Dr. Feelgood all the way through the late 1980s, which culminated in the classic debut album of The Stone Roses.

Since his first encounter with Andrew in 1970, Mick Houghton has collaborated with him on and off. He holds Andrew accountable for motivating him to pursue a career in music after beginning his career as a journalist in 1973. He made a name for himself by founding Brassneck Publicity in 1980, which went on to become one of the most successful independent PR firms for the next 30 years. He has written three highly acclaimed books since 2010: Growing into Elektra: I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn, the True Story of Jac Holzman’s Visionary Record Label: The Biography of Sandy Denny and Fried & Justified, with an emphasis on his own music industry career.

White Rabbit

White Rabbit publishes the most cutting-edge books and voices in literature and music. Brackstone’s titles for his Orion imprint, which will include memoir, history, fiction, translation, illustrated books, and high-spec limited editions, build on the unique success of his publishing at Faber Social with authors like the Beastie Boys, Viv Albertine, and Jon Savage. Sing Backwards And Weep by Chris Frantz and Remain In Love by Mark Lanegan, both bestsellers in the Sunday Times, have already been published by White Rabbit.

Orion Publishing Group

One of the best publishers in the UK is the Orion Publishing Group. Our goal is to make the best books available to as many people as possible. We are confident that Orion will have something for everyone, regardless of their background or skill set.

The Orion Publishing Group was established in 1991 and now publishes under eight primary imprints: Gollancz, the leading UK imprint for science fiction and fantasy; One of the world’s leading publishers of creative arts-related books and gifts is Laurence King Publishing; Brilliant commercial fiction thrives in the heartland of Orion Fiction. Orion Spring, the home of wellness and health books written by well-known celebrities and experts around the world; Seven Dials, the most beautiful and well-made commercial non-fiction film; a trapeze for books of non-fiction and fiction that sell and start conversations; Phoenix, a specialized imprint that publishes memoirs and fiction that combines literary merit with potential for commercial success; and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, one of the most prestigious and dynamic literary imprints in the United Kingdom and around the world; and White Rabbit, which publishes the most cutting-edge books and voices in literature and music;

Hachette UK, a prominent UK trade publishing group, includes the Orion Publishing Group.

Find Happy Trails:

White Rabbit will release Happy Trails on April 27, 2023, in hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats with a foreword by Richard Williams.

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