The Smile File – The Precursors of Queen – C J Smith

Title:The Smile File

Subtitle: The Precursors of Queen

Author: C J Smith

ISBN: Amazon Paperback : 978-1899750-64-1

ISBN: EPUB/Kindle : 978-1899750-65-8

Amazon Paperback Publication Date: December 2022 

Amazon Kindle Digital Edition Publication Date:  December 2022

EPUB Digital Edition Publication Date: December 2022

Paperback Price: £14.99

Kindle Price: £5.99

Glassboxx E-pub Price : £5.99

No. Pages: 268

No. Illustrations: 80 Black and White Photographs

Size: 23.4 cm x 15.6 cm


BGA Autobiography: general
AVH Individual composers and musicians, specific bands and groups
AJB Individual photographersAVGP Rock and Pop music

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The Smile File

The Smile File – The Precursors of Queen – CJ Smith – About the Book

Art School was the unofficial music school for British musicians in the 60s and 70s and in 1967 CJ Smith attended Ealing Art College. It was there he started writing songs with Freddie Bulsara. This led to the formation of the band, Smile. Bulsara became Freddie Mercury, Smile became Queen and CJ remained true to the blues music that had inspired him from his early teens.

The early days are based in and around Leeds in the 50s and early 60s. The book chronicles a young boy’s struggle against the establishment and his initiation into early bands, living through a cultural renaissance, the huge generation gap, rebellion and sexual awakenings of a whole generation.

CJ’s subsequent escape to London found him at Ealing Art College with fellow students Freddie Bulsara and Tim Staffel, forming the band, Smile with Brian May, from Tim’s previous band, 1984. Here are the untold stories of the formation of Smile with insights and recollections of events around Freddie and the band before their rise to fame. 

Returning to Leeds CJ pursued a colourful musical life in soul, reggae and funk bands; blending various styles of black American music and music and the Woody Guthrie tradition to make his own blend of original songs.

This chronicles the history of a generation – a funny, dark, poignant and affectionate account of an untold musical journey.

CJ Smith at a reading and signing session at the Otley Bookstore.

The Smile File Review - The Blues in Britain - November 2023

The Smile File Review - The Blues In Britain November 2023

The Smile File - Ilkley Gazette - August 2023

The Smile File - Telegraph and Argus - August 2023

The Smile File - The Wharfedale Observer July 2023