Band on the Bus
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Richard King’s new book, ‘Band on the Bus’, published in July 2017, is the definitive story of the world trip. Starting with the story of the Liphook Young Conservatives and their trip to Spain in 1968, the narrative quickly moves on to their bet with Bert Oram, the landlord of The Deers Hut, their ‘local’ pub. ‘If you lot can drive a double decker bus around the world, I’ll give each of you a free pint of beer!’ And that was how it all started. In 1969 the nine friends from Liphook, Hampshire set out to travel the world in a customised Leyland PD2 bus with a mere 700,000 miles on the odometer called ‘Hairy Pillock 2’. Their epic three-year journey took them across Europe to Iran and Afghanistan, through the Khyber Pass to Pakistan and India, then to Australia and, finally, the United States and Canada. Initially planning on getting work as export salesmen, they soon had to supplement their meagre funds by performing the folk songs they sang in the pubs back home, after which they achieved minor stardom as The Philanderers throughout Australia and the US. Along the way they would become honorary citizens of Texas, hold the keys to New York, release a folk music record in Australia, perform for the Shah and Empress of Iran, and appear on countless television and radio shows around the world. In his new book Richard King recounts the entire trip, from navigating perilous Turkish mountain roads and fording flooded rivers in Pakistan to the kindness of strangers and the deep bonds of friendships forged on the road. Band on the Bus is a light-hearted account of an incredible expedition that was very of its era and one that would be impossible today. Available at all good bookshops and on the internet – click here for details

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