Liverpool in the 1980s. With prospects for the city’s youth bleak, a scheme for unemployed musicians commenced, inadvertently shaping the future for members of Cast, Space, the Lightning Seeds and giving fresh impetus to the idea of song as a saviour for the city. Foremost of the bands to emerge from this ill-fated scheme was The La’s. Inspired by a chance meeting with Captain Beefheart, Mike Badger formed the band with the enigmatic Lee Mavers. First they conquered the city, and then on the brink of hitting the big time, and eventually inspiring what would become Britpop, Badger quit to form Americana pioneers The Onset, find international recognition as a sculptor, produce album art and videos for some of the country’s biggest bands, before finally co-founding Liverpool’s Viper record label (which has recently released its 100th album). Featuring everyone from Arthur Lee to Frank Sidebottom, Jonathan Richman to Half Man Half Biscuit, and above all with new insights into the early years of the great lost Liverpool band The La's, The Rhythm and the Tide is both the personal story of a restlessly creative individual, and a reflection on the ebb and flow of the music scene in the city that he loves.
Reviews'Mike’s book is available now and is an addictive read, not just for La’s fans but to anyone who has ever wanted to be involved in the music business. It shows that it’s not all about the Cowell model and it’s there to be enjoyed. It is also an insightful and affectionate account of the Liverpool Music scene in the late 70s and 80s with an overflowing cast list of Liverpool notables, all of whom are dear to Mike’s heart and have played some part in his fascinating story.'
Del Pike, Get Into This (June, 2016)
'This book does not set out to be a definitive history of The La’s, instead it’s a portrait of a man with a key insight into the city of Liverpool at a significant point of its rich cultural history. It is also a valuable case study on how to retain a level of humanity, sanity and artistic integrity within a charged and divisive political climate. This was, after all, a period in which Margaret Thatcher’s right-wing ideology maintained there is no such thing as society.'
Animal My Soul (May 2016)
'The book follows Badger from the dark days of Post-Punk when Liverpool was a hot bed of talent, not to mention mass unemployment, through the foundations that would become Britpop to the present. Cameos from Captain Beefheart and Frank Sidebottom merely add sauce to an already delicious menu.'
Pat McGuiness, Record Collector
'The Rhythm and the Tide is a fascinating and rewarding experience packed with touching tales and adventures. It's The Rhythm and the Tide is a fascinating and rewarding experience packed with touching tales and adventures. It's not just the story of a prolific artist, but of a city and an era. An era which shaped the future of British music. Funny, sad, poignant and uplifting. A must for all music lovers, artists, historians and anybody who enjoys a good read.'
Liam Doyle, Mongoose TV (December 2015)
'It all makes for a gloriously entertaining read, not least because the authors have an engagingly laidback, anecdotal style. I’ve not mentioned the regular reflections on the spirit and character of Liverpool, or the insights into the city’s cultural scene, or the memories of performing in the States and touring Germany. As you’ll have gathered, Mike Badger’s had an enviably full and fascinating life.'
Merseysider Magazine (December, 2015)
'The new book The Rhythm and the Tide by Mike Badger with the assistance of Cork’s own Tim Peacock delves into Liverpool’s post Beatles cultural community seen through the filter of his own experience as founder member of lost pop heroes The La’s.'
Mike McGrath-Bryan, Cork Evening Echo
'Full of the hope and madness of youth and the creative yearning played out against the backdrop red northern bricks and musical passion and history.'
John Robb, Louder Than War