New book charts Wellingborough Beck Studios from Bauhaus to The Barron Knights

C-come an 'ave a listen is the follow-up to Back Street Genius

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:00 am

What do sixteen times Grammy winner David Foster and record producers Trevor Horn and Max Norman have in common with Queen's bass player John Deacon, Whitesnake's guitarist Bernie Marsden and goth punk pioneers Bauhaus?

They all began their recording careers at recording studios owned and run by Derek Tompkins - initially at Shield Studios in Kettering, and then Beck Studios in Wellingborough.

New book 'C-come an 'ave a listen' is the the follow-up to Back Street Genius, charting the second half of the career of recording studio owner Derek Tompkins.

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Derek Tompkins in his studio

Due to be published on June 1, Kettering author Dave Clemo has asked music fans to help pay for the printing and distribution costs by ordering and paying in advance for their own signed copy.

Dave said: "The first book was well received with many positive reviews, indeed the first print run sold out before we could offer it to Waterstones and other bookshops.

"Luckily, we had some money in hand from the original crowdfund appeal and were able to order a second print run."

Dave co-authored Back Street Genius with the valuable help from Derek's widow Mavis and Ringstead music fan Roger Kinsey who died unexpectedly last September.

l-r Dave Clemo, Mavis Tompkins and Roger Kinsey

It was Roger's sudden death that spurred Dave on to complete this follow-up without delay.

With libraries closed during lockdown, Dave was unable to continue his research using archive copies of the Evening Telegraph for articles and adverts.

He said: "I did interview a host of people who knew Derek and recorded at his studio, and their memories feature strongly throughout the book. Mavis kindly made her diaries and photographs available and her account of the events leading up to Derek's death in 2013 make poignant reading."

Record Industry mogul and sixteen times Grammy winner David Foster has written the foreword.

The book is ready to roll off the press

He first met Derek and Mavis as a seventeen-year-old back in 1966 and acknowledges that without Derek's mentoring, help and encouragement at the very beginning, his career might have been short-lived.

Mavis said: "I have read through the whole manuscript now and can honestly say this looks like a real winner.

"Dave has thoroughly researched his subject, and has brought humour and a respect for Derek in this, the second book, about his remarkable life as a recording engineer, and the many musicians, groups and friends who knew and benefitted by his expertise and humanity."

Following on from Back Street Genius that covered his time in Kettering up to 1969, Come and 'ave a Listen chronicles Derek's exploits from 1970 until 1984, when Beck Studios was the first choice of countless bands and singers from almost every music genre, both locally and from further afield.

Bauhaus recorded at Beck Studios

Acts as diverse as Bauhaus, The Barron Knights, Coast To Coast and The Jets, plus folk, country, punk, rock, reggae, jazz groups and school choirs were recorded by studio owner and engineer Derek using a mix of self-built and second hand studio equipment in the converted factory in Gisburne Road.

Derek was responsible for a top ten single for the Barron Knights and earned him two silver discs.

The 400-page book should retail at £20 but donors get their copy for only £12.