Robyn Hitchcock – Itchycoo Park: 13th Floor New Cover Of The Day

Robyn Hitchcock has announced 1967: Vacations In The Past, an acoustic musical companion to his critically acclaimed new memoir, 1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left, arriving via Tiny Ghost Records on Friday, September 13. 1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left is on sale now from Akashic Books.

Here’s the blurb with (lots) more about the album, the book and the tour:

Robyn HitchcockA 12-track collection comprising all-new versions of songs from and inspired by that epochal year, 1967: Vacations In The Past is heralded by today’s premiere of Hitchcock’s rendition of Small Faces’ classic “Itchycoo Park,” performed with longtime friend and musical companion Kimberley Rew and available everywhere now.

“Finally, after 45 years of playing together, my old pal Kimberley Rew and I strum two acoustic guitars on this version of Itchycoo Park,” says Robyn Hitchcock. “Given how deafening the pair of us were in the Soft Boys this is quaint and merciful.

“I love playing these 1967 vintage compositions. As great songs do, they bottle fragments of time like fireflies in a jar. The original recordings were heavily produced, but my versions on this album are based on one or two acoustic guitars with a few effects thrown in to spice the sound and nod to the times.

“Itchycoo Park was written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces. Like many songs from this era, it appears to celebrate being on the right side of your drugs: seldom a long phase, alas.”


1967: Vacations In The Past sees Hitchcock offering up his own distinctive takes on songs by Jimi Hendrix, Traffic, The Move, and others, milestone music which both redefined the shape of things to come and left an indelible mark on his own work as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Produced by Hitchcock with his longtime collaborator Charlie Francis (R.E.M., The High Llamas, Martin Carr) at studios in Sydney, Cambridge, Cardiff, and San Francisco, the album features auxiliary musical contributions from such friends as Kelly Stoltz, Kimberly Rew, guitarist Davey Lane (You Am I, The Pictures), and Lee Cave-Berry. Among its myriad highlights are stripped-bare takes on such ornate classics as The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life,” The Kinks’Waterloo Sunset,Pink Floyd’sSee Emily Play,Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” and fittingly, “Way Back In The 1960s” by The Incredible String Band.

“For me, 1967 was the portal between childhood and the adult world,” says Hitchcock, “where these songs flickered in the air to greet me like hummingbirds. They’re full of saturated color and melancholy, just as I was charged with hormones and regret as one part of me said goodbye to the other. Perhaps I peaked then – at the supernova of boyhood – the black hole of the grownup world awaited me with its dwarf-star mentality, all beige and hell and compromise.

“Forever after, I’ve wandered beneath the dayglo Waterloo Sunset and burned the Midnight Lamp, yearning for that time. A Whiter Shade of Pale, she’s the wan ghost that haunts me in summer twilight, all the way down to the river where the specter of Emily plays, Ophelia-like, with strands of green waterweed. Look – they’re full of dead minnows! See, now she’s draping wet strips of it over her hair!

“By coincidence, the world was changing as fast as I was, and music embodied that change. The world grew hair, became infused with new desires and crawled out of its grey nest to test its fresh, multicolored plumage. We all crash eventually, but at least some of us take off first: if we are left only with sullen cravings and a sense of loss, well, so be it. 1967 is a phantom heart that glows inside me, lighting me up like a lamp on a good day. ‘So long, Mum! Thank you, Dad! I’m off to infinity! Please leave my dinner in the oven.’”



(Tiny Ghost Records)

Release Date: Friday, September 13, 2024

Robyn Hitchcock


A Whiter Shade of Pale

Itchycoo Park

Burning of the Midnight Lamp

I Can Hear The Grass Grow

San Francisco (Flowers In Your Hair)

Waterloo Sunset

See Emily Play

My White Bicycle

No Face, No Name, No Number

Way Back In The 1960s

Vacations In The Past

A Day In The Life

Hitchcock is marking the arrival of both 1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left and 1967: Vacations In The Past with a typically busy schedule that includes live performances and free bookstore events in Europe, the US, and the UK through September and beyond. For complete details and ticket availability, visit



12 – Rome, Italy – Industrie Fluviali

18 – Nashville, TN – Parnassus Books *

31 – Hoboken, NJ – Little City Books *


1 – New York, NY – Rough Trade NYC *

5 – Cambridge, MA – Porter Square Books *

30 – Malvern, UK – West Malvern Social Club

31 – Hebden Bridge, UK – Trades Club


1 – York, UK – The Crescent Community Venue

3 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK – The Common Room Of The Great North

5 – Bath, UK – Komedia Bath

6 – Cambridge, UK – The Portland Arms

7 – Cambridge, UK – The Portland Arms

8 – Oxted, UK – United Reformed Church

10 – Oxford, UK – The Jericho Tavern

11 – Brighton, UK – Komedia

12 – Ramsgate, UK – Ramsgate Music Hall

13 – Twyford, UK – St. Mary’s Church, Twyford

14 – London, UK – EartH


Told with the inimitable wit, wisdom, wordplay (and original illustrations) fans have come to expect from this one-of-a-kind artist, 1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left is a singularly unique portrait of a bright, slightly awkward boy becoming a significantly taller young man, as both he and the black-and-white world around him blast off into an iridescent new future. Hitchcock details a truly epochal year via his own exceptional experience, expertly chronicling a life-changing, mind-blowing 12-month span that both redefined the shape of everything to come and left an indelible mark on his own work as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

1967: How I Got There and Why I Never Left begins as 13-year-old Robyn arrives at Winchester College, a 600-year-old boarding school in the South of England, away from his rather complex relationship with his rather complex family for the first time. Hitchcock is quite suddenly thrown into the bottom tier of a determinedly male hierarchical universe, a backdated realm of arrested academics still living in their monochrome past and hormone-addled teenaged boys teetering on the precipice of young manhood. Slowly and not entirely surely, he finds his way – and his place in this strange, peculiarly English, new world – through the strength of his humor, intelligence, and most importantly, an ever-increasing love of art and music.

With the help of his school’s antiquated House Gramophone, Hitchcock hears sounds that had never been heard before, from the Earth-shaking appearance of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to the early songs of Bob Dylan, the latter of which shook him to his very core and undeniably shaped his own work and worldview forever to come. The secrets of the universe are soon revealed via encounters with a young (but already exceedingly Eno) Brian Eno and the electrified mayhem of Jimi Hendrix and the Pink Floyd, revelatory music that ultimately inspires him to play his first guitar and begin writing songs of his own. By 1967’s end, the young Robyn Hitchcock is no longer a boy, still not quite a man, but undeniably, irrevocably different – slightly wiser, somewhat less innocent, and beginning to take shape as the band leader, master songwriter, and utterly original artist he would soon become.

“1967 is the point when I and the world went through the change,” Hitchcock says. “It was all just blissful synchronicity as I grew nine inches in 15 months, just as Dylan was electrified and pop groups turned into rock bands. Arguably as much was lost as was gained, but at the same time, you had Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and others producing music that couldn’t have even been described three years earlier. You had The Beatles producing inaudible shows with tiny amplifiers wearing suits and ties, in many ways playing to the old rules of showbiz, and then suddenly up came Dylan with his thousand-watt PA and Jimi Hendrix with his Marshall stacks, and the whole thing erupted.”

Robyn Hitchcock


“A charming and compulsively perceptive work.”

– The Telegraph (*****)

“Brings to mind the great Italian novelist Italo Calvino… 1967 taps into the music high that untethered the restraints of boarding school and shaped his life and music for eternity.”

– PopMatters

“Hitchcock is loose, energetic company, writing with infectious enthusiasm about the liberatory sights and sounds that continue to inspire him. Readers need not be fans of Hitchcock’s music to find this enchanting.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Robyn Hitchcock is an erudite writer with a talented pen (finger) and a way with words… An essential snapshot in time of a nascent psychedelic music fan who goes on to create his own style.”

– Psychedelic Scene

“It’s an artistic and personal coming of age even for those who haven’t fallen under the spell of Hitchcock’s eccentric musical output. (But really, if you read the book you’ll need to hear his music and if you love his music, you’ll definitely want to read his book.)”

 – Parade

“A bright, nostalgic look at the exhilaration of 1967, this book – illustrated throughout with Hitchcock’s surreal sketches – will appeal to not only the author’s many fans but also anyone interested in the music and culture from the golden age of psychedelia…Wistfully reflective reading.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“Memoirists rarely begin their work with a stroke of genuine inspiration, and Robyn Hitchcock’s ingenious idea to limit his account of his life to the titular year gives this sharp, funny, finely written book an unusually keen, wistful intensity without sacrificing its sense of the breathtaking sweep of time. I absolutely adored every line of 1967 and every moment I spent reading it.”

 – Michael Chabon, author of Telegraph Avenue

“1967…in which our hero looks down from the future at his squeaky realm of boyhood, a world of Day-Glo sunsets, and would-be denizens of music and the mind. Cometh the year, cometh the groover.”

– Johnny Marr

“Page Turner could be the name of a lead singer in a sixties psychedelic band, but it’s not – it’s a description of Robyn Hitchcock’s tender and hilarious memoir.”

– Joe Boyd

“Robyn Hitchcock belongs to an almost extinct species, ‘The Totally Original Artist,’ once relatively commonplace, now only occasionally glimpsed in the dense tree canopy of the pop rainforest. Mysterious, elusive, a kind of rock ‘n’ roll olingo . . . 1967 presents his many fans with a tantalizing print-bite of how he wound up in those trees and in so doing (whether he likes it or not) became a National Treasure.”

– Nick Lowe


With a career now spanning six decades, Robyn Hitchcock remains a truly one-of-a-kind artist –surrealist rock ‘n’ roller, iconic troubadour, guitarist, poet, painter, performer. An unparalleled, deeply individualistic songwriter and stylist, Hitchcock has traversed myriad genres with humor, intelligence, and originality over more than thirty albums and seemingly infinite live performances. From The Soft Boys’ proto-psych-punk and The Egyptians’ Dadaist pop to solo masterpieces like 1984’s milestone I Often Dream of Trains and 1990’s Eye, Hitchcock has crafted a strikingly original oeuvre rife with sagacious observation, astringent wit, recurring marine life, mechanized rail services, cheese, Clint Eastwood, and innumerable finely drawn characters real and imagined.

Born in London in 1953, Hitchcock attended Winchester College before moving to Cambridge in 1974. He began playing in a series of bands, including Dennis and the Experts which became The Soft Boys in 1976. Though light years away from first-wave punk’s revolutionary clatter, the band still manifested the era’s spirit of DIY independence with their breakneck reimagining of British psychedelia. During their (first) lifetime, The Soft Boys released two albums, among them 1980’s landmark second LP, Underwater Moonlight. “The term ‘classic’ is almost as overused as ‘genius’ and ‘influential,’” declared Rolling Stone upon the album’s 2001 reissue. “But Underwater Moonlight remains all three of those descriptions.”

Hitchcock embarked on his solo career with 1981’s Black Snake Diamond Röle, affirming his knack for eccentric insight and surrealist lyrical hijinks. 1984’s I Often Dream Of Trains fused that approach with autumnal acoustic arrangements which served to deepen the emotional range of his songcraft. Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians were born that same year and immediately lit up college rock playlists with albums like 1986’s Element of Light. He signed to A&M Records in 1987 and earned early alternative hits with “Balloon Man” and “Madonna of the Wasps.” Hitchcock returned to his dark acoustic palette with 1990’s equally masterful Eye before joining the Warner Bros. label for a succession of acclaimed albums including 1996’s Moss Elixir and 1999’s Jewels For Sophia.

Having first reunited for a brief run of shows in 1994, The Soft Boys came together for a second go-around in 2001, this time releasing Nextdoorland to universal applause. Hitchcock joined the Yep Roc label in 2004, embracing collaboration with such friends and like-minded artists as Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings (2004’s Spooked) and legendary producer Joe Boyd (2014’s The Man Upstairs). Beginning in 2006, Hitchcock released a trio of albums backed by The Venus 3, featuring Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin.

Hitchcock moved to Nashville in 2015 where he quickly found a place among the Music City community, recording such albums as 2017’s self-titled Robyn Hitchcock to 2022’s acclaimed Shufflemania! Indeed, Hitchcock has proven an irrepressible collaborator throughout his long career, teaming with a boundless series of fellow artists over the years, including R.E.M., Andy Partridge, Brendan Benson, Johnny Marr, Sean Ono Lennon, Grant-Lee Phillips, Jon Brion, The Decemberists, Norwegian pop combo I Was A King, Yo La Tengo to name but a very few.

Along with his musical efforts, Hitchcock has appeared in a number of films, among them collaborations with the late Jonathan Demme on 1998’s concert documentary Storefront Hitchcock as well as roles in 2004’s The Manchurian Candidate and 2008’s Rachel Getting Married.

An inveterate traveler and live performer, Hitchcock has toured near constantly for much of the past four decades, playing countless shows around the world, from Africa to the Arctic. Locked down in Nashville and London by the global pandemic of 2020, Hitchcock and his partner Emma Swift began their Live From Sweet Home Quarantine livestream series, performing weekly sets joined by their two cats, Ringo and Tubby. 2021 saw the publication of Hitchcock’s first book, Somewhere Apart: Selected Lyrics 1977-1997, featuring 73 songs and 34 illustrations in a beautiful cloth-bound edition from his own Tiny Ghost Press.