Rock Family Trees: Returning to the BBC
Pete Frame's Rock Family Tree series is one of the earliest titles published by Omnibus Press and they enjoy an outstanding longevity. On Saturday 9th April, the legendary Rock Family Trees TV series returns to BBC 2 with a new episode on the birth of Britpop, continuing the legacy of the books.
In August 1971, Pete Frame published his first rock family tree in issue 21 of Zigzag, the pioneering rock magazine he had founded in 1969.
Starting in 1979, Omnibus Press has published anthologies of Pete Frame's legendary genealogical charts, including Rock Family Trees; More Rock Family Trees; Even More Rock Family Trees; and The Beatles and Some Other Guys, a chronicle of the Merseybeat era.
They are presented in the form of intricately drawn genealogies, packed with information about the evolution of bands and their musicians. Q Magazine characterised them as 'Exquisitely executed forests of calligraphy'.
The Family Trees give music fans access to information about the development and membership of their favourite bands. John Peel described them as 'Handwritten work of almost lunatic scholarship'. Sir Paul McCartney has also expressed his admiration for the series: 'I have always believed they make great reading for even the casual observer - and those of us with a keen interest in the subject find them irresistible'.
In 1995 and 1997, the BBC aired two six-part television series based on the books. John Peel presented this series, which was seen by more than 200 million homes.
The Family Trees were some of the earliest books published by Omnibus Press (we are currently celebrating our 50th anniversary) and they remain in print today. This remarkable longevity is, for our money, because they not only contain a wealth of information but they are like works of art themselves.