Did you know that on the date John Lennon published In His Own Write, Elvis Presley began working on the soundtrack to GI Blues? It was also the day Bowie was detained by guards at the Polish-Russian border and quizzed about the Nazi memorabilia he was carrying: the same day Prince announced he would never record again. None of this happened in the same year, mind, but that’s hardly the point.
The stuff of throwaway syndicated columns the world over, Warner has packed reams of (let’s face it) useless information into one weighty volume, just the thing should you want to add a couple of factoids to a chum’s birthday card. There’s a heavy leaning towards Elvis and The Beatles, probably because their careers have already been annotated in such detail that it’s easy to get the dates right, but the author is guilty of some glaring omissions: Johnny Cash is one the stars featured on the cover, but the book itself makes no mention of his death. Still, it offers hours of distraction and eyebrow-raising oddities, like the fact that Buddy Holly’s glasses lay unclaimed in an Iowa police station for 21 years after his fatal plane crash. A bathroom book for seriously lengthy visits.