an odd boy - volume one

Biographies & Memoirs, Arts, Photography & Design

By Doc Togden

Publisher : Aro Books worldwide

ABOUT Doc Togden

Doc Togden
1959—age 7—old Mr Love played me 78s: BB Broonzy, Bessie Smith, Big Mamma Thornton, Robert Johnson. I was a Bluesman from that moment. It’s a story—as-yet-unpublished—called ‘an odd boy’.

By the time I was 16 the British Blues Boom was in full swing and I was t More...


Volume one of an odd boy is a memoire of an eccentric aficionado of Bach and Blues, poetry and painting. A portrait of the artist as a lad, set in the experimental cultural ferment of the late 1960s. It is a coming-of-age adventure, both surreal and innocent, humorous and poignant, depicting an era when the Arts set a generation’s imagination on fire. The author’s life is a rare roulette wheel of childhood wonder and tragic debacles; a debilitating stammer and a powerful singing voice; bad luck and fierce good fortune. At 16 he’s travelled far in human experience from the midnight expedition he made to the crossroads at the age of 12.

What inspired you to write this book? The Arts. My experience of the 1960s—and Art School in the early 1970s—is still a powerful catalyst. There is nostalgia—certainly—but I hope it is tempered with humour and realism. The ethos was one of enthusiastic openness across different fields of human endeavour. I describe it as ‘the lost time’ – but it can be rediscovered by anyone who is open to the Arts. I wish to inspire people to think of themselves as artists – even though they may never paint, write, or engage in any obvious way. Being an artist simply requires a compassionate state of mind that is open to a joyous appreciation of the sense fields.

‘An Odd Boy’ unfolds like its butterflies, one spectacular sentence after another. I love the meeting of two worlds old and new – in a child who becomes a man. I love the references to song quotes relevant to the each part of the story. A delight to read!

— Deborah Magone