Hard Boiled Eggs & Nuts
Willie McIntyre reviews a new book
How does one describe a book which has everything? Words like “fascinating” certainly come to mind. But my overriding impression of this book is that it is unique.
Roger Robinson and David Wyatt invited one hundred Sons of the Desert and friends to write articles on nominated subjects and the resulting book is truly astounding. The idea of inviting one hundred contributors to write articles was to celebrate 100 years since Laurel & Hardy first appeared on screen together in The Lucky Dog in 1921.
Paul Allen, Roger Gillette, Jason Liddiard and Marcia Opal write about Sons conventions, covering UK, European and International conclaves, each with personal slants.
Events such as the Ulverston Carnival and the Oliver Hardy Festival in Harlem are also covered, as is the Sondayz in the Netherlands and the annual Laurel and HarDay in Wigan.
Jack Delente even describes a convention which preceded the Sons of the Desert by some decades, when the Club Laurel et Hardy (with an estimated membership of two million in 1939!) staged a convention in 1936 in Paris.
Bram Reijnhoudt recalls the continuing role of the Perfect Day Tent in the Netherlands. The Blockheads Tent of Prato in Italy comes under the spotlight with Alessandro Santi.
Bob Satterfield writes about Laurel and Hardy locations in the USA.
Eric Woods writes about the Laurel and Hardy statue in Ulverston and how it came into being.
Articles about the music of Laurel and Hardy come from Marc de Coninck and from Piet Schreuders.
My favourite Sons artists are each featured in chapters - Tony Bagley, Barrie Finney and Steve Lilly.
John Ullah talks about his particular fascination with Charlie Hall and Alistair Young likewise has reason for his special interest in James Finlayson.
Dave Tomlinson talks at length about a special book he possesses which once belonged to Stan Laurel, called Clowns and Pantomimes.
Highly respected authors Randy Skretvedt, Richard Bann, Glenn Mitchell, Scott MacGillivray, Rob Stone and Irv Hyatt have chapters, ranging from personal experiences to specific film projects and historic events such as the Hollywood Victory Caravan.
Along the way we also read from equally respected authors Antony Mitchell-Waite, Wes Butters, Michael Ehret, Brad Farrell and Danny Lawrence on topics ranging from cartoons to Stan Laurel’s dad.
Marion Grave and Mark Greenhow enthuse about the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston, with fond memories of the great Bill Cubin. Wolfgang Günther talks about his Laurel ad Hardy Museum in Germany. Linda Caldwell writes about the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem. All simply glow with enthusiasm. So does Harry Hoppe, who treats us to delights from his Laurel and Hardy Archive.
Liam Muldowney talks about Laurel and Hardy’s trips to Ireland in the 1950s.
Scottish connections are recounted by Bill Crouch, Dougie Brown and Dave Stevenson. Mike Jones highlights the connections of Stan Laurel with the North-East of England.
Roger Gordon chronicles the life of Jack McCabe.
Bill Oates records the history of the Intra-Tent Journal. The Perry Winkle magazine gets the treatment from Eric Schultz. Even Bowler Dessert gets quite a few mentions. Thanks for that, folks!
If you think that is all, you are very wrong. There is much more. This book is not only unique, it will definitely amaze you! Buy it now.
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