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Battle of the Bands/Uncle Jimmy’s Excellent Adventure

Battle of the Bands/Uncle Jimmy’s Excellent Adventure

Lost & Found Album Art Work
Lost & Found Album Art Work

From a kindergarten concert in 1955 to a professional performing career that began in 1964 and continues today, music has woven its way in and out of Jim Chapman’s life. A full-time professional performer for more than twenty years, he made sure his days remained full of music even when it wasn’t paying the bills anymore and was just a hobby. He kept notes on the highlights (and lowlights!) from the beginning of his musical journey, and in this two-part book shares the many adventures that shaped it both on and off the stage.

His professional career took off in London in the 1960’s, in the middle of the greatest popular music explosion the world had ever known. In “Battle of the Bands”, Jim recreates that exciting decade in London through his own memories and the personal reminiscences of dozens of other people who were there, as musicians and fans. The second part, “Uncle Jimmy’s Excellent Adventure”, is part autobiography, part history book, and part comedy, following Jim’s career from 1970 to 2024. The entire volume contains more than 210,000 words and close to 1,000 pictures and illustrations, and is presented in an attractive, full-colour 11”X9” coffee table format.

Jim Chapman: “The project set out to be a straightforward recounting of my life-long involvement with music, written at their urging for my family and friends. I’ve always enjoyed reminiscing about my music- related adventures and have shared many stories with them over the years. It was eventually suggested that I write them down for ‘posterity’ (though whether or not posterity will be interested remains to be seen), hence the personal stories in this book. I believe the details of many of them will be familiar to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the ups and downs of a musician’s life and, if you change a few names and places, I know most of my musical peers will have had similar adventures.

“But after I finished the manuscript and was about to send it to the layout artist, I came across a file of interviews I had done with some local musicians back in in 1989. I had been researching a potential book about London’s 60’s music scene at that time, but the project had never been completed.

Finding the file got me thinking again about the need for some kind of chronicle of that unique decade, and the tremendous influence it had on my entire life and the lives of my contemporaries. The teen ‘scene’ in Canada (and around the western world) exploded in the 1960’s in a way it never had before, and never has since.

“I considered printing my autobiography just for my family, as originally planned, then starting a new book about London in the 60’s. But the deeper I got into my research on the latter, the more I realized how naturally the two sets of stories flowed together.

“As a result, I have combined them in a way I hope the reader will find entertaining, and I am sure the reminiscences of teenage memories of favourite hangouts, foods, fashions, trends, pastimes, music, and more will translate to communities far beyond London, too.”

What people are saying about Battle of the Bands:

“You just be sure to spell my name right, Jimmy-boy. And don’t tell all our secrets!”

Ronnie Hawkins, Canada’s King of Rock and Roll, for whom Chapman played bass in 1972

“I think this is a wonderful project about music in our city, and I am very pleased you have included some of my stories in it.”

Tommy Hunter, Canada’s Country Gentleman, TV and recording star

“Jim’s book is the encyclopedia of those years (the 60's) and an invaluable addition to the history of London's music scene in that decade.”

Bob Klanac, Author of the best-selling book Promo Man, that chronicles the life of Nick Panaseiko, legendary Canadian record promoter

“I can't believe how much information you have collected about our teenage years here in London. Well done.”

Graham Lear, London native and long-time drummer for Santana, Paul Anka, Gino Vanelli, and others

“It's hard to imagine how many hours you had to put in to create this book, and there's an amazing amount of stuff in there. It must be the definitive record of a great time to be a London teenager.”

Grant Smith, London native and Canadian music legend

“What a wonderful achievement and a great gift to all of us who lived that exciting time in our lovely London Ontario!”

Wayne Stone, London native and drummer for 1969 hitmakers Motherlode