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The Real Rock Follies
The Great Girl Band Rip-off of 1976

By Annabel Leventon
Published by NW1 Books

The Real Rock Follies: The Great Girl-band Rip-off of 1976 is the true story of how an unknown girl band created a rock juggernaut and had it snatched away. They battled for justice against the big boys, stood up against betrayal, theft, and treachery and lived to tell the tale – just. Author Annabel Leventon describes how she set up the first all-woman rock band in the UK, unique and different from anything that had gone before. They called themselves Rock Bottom. They were raunchy, rude and hilarious, and they nearly made it. Until Thames Television stole everything and made a major award-winning series called Rock Follies, about them, based on them, but without them…

The challenge

A self-published book by an author who isn’t a household name (precisely because her great idea was stolen!) Moreover, journalists under fifty hadn’t heard about the iconic show which was broadcast in the 1970’s.

The solution

Make the most of any relevant angle available. For example, Annabel had excellent quotes from the likes of Stephen Fry and Michael Palin. Also, use the original photos of the band and its artists in the book as they were evocative of the swinging 70’s. Importantly, Annabel played the lead-role in the opening West End production of Hair, the musical, and we decided to launch the book on the date celebrating the 50th Anniversary. This resulted in an interview with the prestigious BBC radio show, ‘Woman’s Hour’.

The result

As one would expect from a band like Rock Bottom, the coverage was a riot! The Daily Mail’s newspaper reviewed the book (ABC circ. 1,464,110), all of Annabel’s local media plus all the leading Oxford media – where she attended University and was very active in the theatre society – covered it. The Lady (26K+ circ.) wrote a long, illustrated feature. Leading theatre magazine, ‘The Stage’, published two interviews. The Johnnie Walker music show (BBC R2) aired an interview and I’ve already mentioned Woman’s Hour (BBC R4). Lastly, professional weekly ‘The Lawyer’ published a piece by the solicitor who acted on behalf of Annabel and her band against the media company since this lawsuit launched his career.