In 1968, singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan left London for the Outer Hebrides in a horse-drawn wagon with her partner and dog. Having previously come to the attention of Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, her reasons for leaving London could, on the surface, be put down to having had enough of compromising – with the music industry, and with city living. Within the pages of Wayward, her first memoir, what becomes apparent is that Bunyan’s reasons for wanting to escape run far deeper.
The musician’s reflections on her travels made their way onto debut LP Just Another Diamond Day, released in 1970 to no fanfare. Bunyan turned her back on music, and three decades later discovered by chance that …Diamond Day had built up a weighty cult following, leading to new music and a new chapter in her life.
Wayward is a deeply personal memoir and travelogue that draws the reader in, who is made to feel like they are with Bunyan, constantly rooting for her as well as experiencing the same highs and lows. A beautifully written and moving book penned by a gentle soul who has never toed the line – especially admirable in an era when tolerance for outsiders was low.
Wayward, Vashti Bunyan (White Rabbit)
Price: £16.99. Info: here
words DAVID NOBAKHT
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