Simon & Schuster UK has bought I Was There: Dispatches from a Life in Rock and Roll by Alan Edwards, founder and CEO of public relations giant the Outside Organisation, who has represented some of the biggest music stars on the planet from David Bowie to Amy Winehouse via the Rolling Stones, Blondie, Prince and the Spice Girls.

Alan Edwards - I Was There

CEO and Publisher, S&S UK and International, Ian Chapman acquired UK & Commonwealth rights from Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown. S&S UK will publish in Summer 2024.

I Was There traces Edwards’ career from the thriving punk scene of ’70s London, which inspired him to set up his own PR company, through his work with acts such as Blondie and the Rolling Stones, his collaboration with David Bowie over nearly four decades, his move into the pop world with the Spice Girls, and beyond. Along the way, we are treated to Edwards’ fascinating observations about the brilliant artists he has worked with and what makes them tick. We also get a front-row seat to the rise of PR as a major force in British society, from the seven-figure media deal Edwards brokered for the Beckhams’ wedding to the role of spin in the New Labour government.    

Alan Edwards says: ‘I realised early on in my career that I was a witness to rock and roll history – I was always writing notes on scraps of paper, airline tickets or the backs of my hands. But it was only years later, when I finally sat down to make sense of it all, that I realised I had wandered through some of the most incredible moments in the last half-century of culture. I’m thrilled that Simon & Schuster UK has been so enthusiastic about the book and I’m delighted to be sharing these dispatches with the world.’

Ian Chapman says: ‘I Was There is a fascinating portrait of the career of a remarkable PR – far from over, by the way – with intimate, first-hand tales of a world so foreign to many of us. Illuminating, funny and moving, the book is interspersed with descriptions of some of the most successful artists in the world, and through it there runs a very personal thread which tells of Alan’s own heritage and life. At the heart of the story sits David Bowie with whom Alan shared a close relationship. I look forward to being able to share this rich reading experience with as wide an audience as possible.’

Jonny Geller says: ‘A legend of the music business, Alan’s memoir is funny, warm and a real insight into the years when British music and culture truly went global. Alan is one of the best-liked figures in the industry and his book will be a must-read for anyone interested in what really goes on behind the scenes with our favourite artists.’ 

Buy the book on Amazon.