What Julian Wolfendale commendably doesn’t mention on his book jacket – or, in fact, until page 332 of the book itself – is that he is the son of Arthur Brown. Born in 1964, at which time the future God Of Hellfire was still a student of philosophy at Reading University, Julian was adopted at the age of six months, and didn’t fully discover the identity of his real parents until he was pushing 30.
The story of his amicable reconciliation with his father is a comparatively slender strand in a narrative which candidly retreads the circuitous path of Julian’s life. The early chapters are a dismaying litany of fistfights, petty theft and drugs, with the sole constant being an eagerly annotated backdrop of music as a source of solace and inspiration. Experiencing a punk epiphany, Julian becomes a regular fixture at Statics and UK Decay gigs: but a fleeting sense of belonging does little to halt his rudderless and bedevilled progress. By the time he’s in his 20s and dealing acid and speed, deliverance and a sense of purpose is long overdue, and the reader is practically punching the air as Julian goes straight and embarks upon the long journey back to his fundamental self.