I visited my local bookstore recently; the mission was simple: purchase a copy of musician Frank Turner’s first publication, “The Road Beneath My Feet”. I could have ordered it ages ago on sites like Amazon, but it felt more organic to actually go to a bookstore, and leave with the physical copy in my hand immediately.
Both surprisingly (because the book was technically released in August 2015) and unsurprisingly (because I live in Sault Ste. Marie), I came to find that “The Road Beneath My Feet” was not available there, nor would it be until May. Disappointing news. However, being the type who gets an idea stuck in her head and then absolutely must act on it immediately, I ended up purchasing the electronic version on my Kobo. Not quite the same experience, but I really wanted to read this book, you guys.
“The Road Beneath My Feet” begins at the end; Frank’s former band Million Dead had officially called it quits and he was left at an impasse- to give up and ‘get a job’ (this is what the laminates for the final tour had listed for the date after the final show), or to continue on in a solo capacity. Obviously choosing the latter, Frank goes on to share stories and diaries reflective on the very beginning of his solo career to show #1216 at Wembley Arena in the UK (at the time I’m writing this, he’s completed show 1,867 with no end in sight).
Frank gives readers and fans a very thorough glimpse into the realities of tour life, and writes in a way that it feels as though you’re listening to an old friend tell these stories. He gives an honest, but often humorous portrayal of the side of touring that we don’t often see. A rags to riches story, this is not. Frank Turner has worked for and earned his success, and never appears to be less than grateful that he is able to continue to sustain a career in music.
I would urge anyone to check this book out, whether or not you’re a Frank Turner fan, simply because it is incredibly interesting. Despite a bit of repetition among stories (often drinking and hangovers are a theme), the odds are, you’ll finish it and then want to go back and listen to his albums to get the full effect of some of the songs he mentions. He’s a storyteller through and through, and transitions from singer to novelist seamlessly. I truly hope a second part could be included further down the road.