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(UK: Soundcheck Books, 2013; 208 pages, PB. ISBN: 978-0957144262)
UFO are one of heavy rock's most influential groups, admired by Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam and Slash from Guns N' Roses, amongst others. Albums like Lights Out, Obsession and Strangers In The Night have all achieved classic status. The list of musicians who have passed through their ranks reads like a Who's Who of rock: Pete Way (God bless him), Michael Schenker, Larry Wallis, Bernie Marsden, Paul Chapman, Billy Sheehan, Jason Bonham, Aynsley Dunbar and more, have all done time in one of the most enduring, and endearing, bands. Using extensive research and first hand interviews, top metal writer Neil Daniels traces UFO's history from their space rock roots in 1969 through to the present day, as the band, with original member Phil Mogg, just keep on rocking. The book contains a wealth of anecdotes about a group renowned for partying as hard as they rock and doing nothing by halves. High Stakes & Dangerous Men includes a foreword by the American broadcaster and author Eddie Trunk and an afterword by British rock journalist Peter Makowski.
"The book is most interesting for readers in the USA, where UFO were never given the proper respect they deserved...UFO has proven to be influential to everyone from Metallica to Pearl Jam, and with this book Neil Daniels reminds us that, at the end of the day, it's the music that matters most and UFO sure made some damn good music."
Jeb Wright – Classic Rock Revisited (www.classicrockrevisited.com)
"UFO was best known for the hits like 'Doctor Doctor', 'Love to Love' and 'Lights Out', but Daniels' terrific history uncovers so much more, including the virtuoso abilities of members like Schenker and Moore and the deeper cuts on the albums that were far more than simply blues-based riffs. The author has dug deep--one of the hallmarks of his inventive canon of books--to translate UFO's mythology and has done so by an extensive collection of firsthand interviews with band members, associates, fans and hired help."
Steven Rosen – Curled Up With A Good Book (www.curledup.com)
"UFO are still touring and recording and well worth seeing live, although their set list is still heavily based on the classic Strangers In The Night album. If you're a fan of the band grab this book to sit along Martin Popoff's earlier tome on the band."
Jason Ritchie – Get Ready To Rock (www.getreadytorock.com)
"High Stakes & Dangerous Men is a prescribed reading for every UFO fan – but what is more, it's a prescribed reading for every rock fan as well."
Alexandra Mrozowska – Hardrock Haven (http://hardrockhaven.net)
"Neil Daniels, noted British music journalist, took the opportunity to prepare a book to be dedicated to the London-based group, gathering and assembling a series of interviews collected along the many years of his career, quite weary, experienced by the British combo... Daniels in the writing of the book did not lack anything, entering into the details of each tour, album, line-up, producers, relationships with record companies, recording studios and all that in over 40 years has revolved around the music sphere UFO."
Stefano Giacometti – Hardsounds (www.hardsounds.it)
"I would say grab hold of this book, it's interesting and an insightful book to be savoured and enjoyed."
Seb Di Gatto - The Mayfair Mall Zine (www.themayfairmallzine.com)
"...Daniels has truly supplied fans with an 'ultimate' recap of UFO's history. It'll be challenging for even an avid fan to read this from cover to cover and not be surprised buy something he or she didn't know."
Scott Jeslis – Metal Express (www.metalexpressradio.com)
"Daniels follows the band history from the early days and weaves the often-confusing personal changes into a comprehensive whole. He is detailed and thorough, discussing off-shoot projects of Michael Schenker and the pair of Mogg/Way albums, which we learn are basically UFO albums with a different name as the name was tied up in legality...High Stakes & Dangerous Men pays tribute to this veteran band and is a very pleasurable reading experience."
Joshua Wood – Metal-Rules (www.metal-rules.com)
"As a British rock institution they came up with some classic hard rock songs and at the time of writing in 2013 seem to have come full circle with their acclaimed Seven Deadly album and a more settled line up. High Stakes & Dangerous Men is a no frills account of a no frills rock band and a tribute to them in that they have managed to sustain some longevity as a band of the people."
Mike Ainscoe – Mudkiss (www.mudkiss.com)
"Neil Daniels has written a meticulously researched book about British band UFO, which formed in 1969 and has since released with varying line-ups more than twenty studio and live albums. Not since Martin Popoff's Shoot Out the Lights (2005) has this underrated rock band been graced with such an informative and insightful rendering. Daniels writes with the enthusiasm of a fan but with the fair but critical eye of a seasoned journalist."
Lisa Torem – Penny Black Music (www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk)
"As a UFO fan for many years, I enjoyed the book from cover to cover. I will keep it in the bookshelf for future reference. That's just about the highest compliment I can give any rock biography."
Patrick Prince – Powerline Mag (www.powerlinemag.com)
"...what really lifts High Stakes & Dangerous Men above the average rock band biography is the authors' appreciation for the great music the band created over the decades (and indeed still are with recent albums such as The Visitor and Seven Deadly). The underappreciated Paul Chapman era is well featured along with some of their more obscure 90′s albums and the reader is left in no doubt there is much more to UFO than merely Strangers In The Night."
Dean Pedley – Sea Of Tranquility (www.seaoftranquility.org)
"There are interviews with peripheral figures (including producer Kit Woolven)..."
Geoff Barton – Classic Rock
"Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to not only the diehards (who will snap it up anyway), but also those who want to delve just a little further than Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg (who emerges as quite the dictatorial figure in places), and the band's often horrendous choice of stage outfits! It becomes clear that the stakes may have been high, but these particular dangerous men lost as often as they won..."
Steve Pilkington – Classic Rock Society
"Neil Daniels has made a great job of covering this very complicated story of a list of musicians joining UFO (and rejoining on occasions), with Phil Mogg being the only constant. Furthermore, full marks are deserved for bringing to life the contribution of each of these band members and not exclusively focussing on the Mogg/Way duo."
Rob McKenzie - Fireworks
"Daniels has probably done it again: great band, good story, sometimes a missed opportunity, but often a lovely read, this is never boring. UFO: still out there. Make contact today."
Steve Swift - Powerplay
"I finished Neil Daniel's UFO book and didn't know that Pete Makowski had written an Afterword which is worth the price of the book alone. It tells of 1981 and how he and I ended up on Concorde (the homosexual at the BA desk took a shine to Peter, I gave the pervert Pete's home number). We had a real old rock'n'roll trip to LA and San Francisco which in truth I had forgotten about. Pete really should do a book he describes those days so well."
Ross Halfin – Photographer (www.rosshalfin.com)
"...Laurence Archer, Clive Edwards and producer Kit Woolvern break ranks to spill a few truths about the alcohol-fuelled and tempestuous recording of the High Stakes And Dangerous Men album."
Dave Ling – Journalist (www.daveling.co.uk)
Neil, I started reading your Pantera book today. So far so good. I was surprised to see you included more of my quotes than I expected you would. I am still waiting for the UFO book to come out on Kindle. I am too old and decrepit to read the small print of paperback books!
Don't tell anyone I said anything nice about another author's book...It's bad for my image...but I really enjoyed the UFO book. Really took me back to the Bushell era of Sounds where Pete Way's stripey trousers seemed to be on the cover every week. Good work.
My name is Cameron Davidson and I am the photographer whose images were used in the reissues of /No Heavy Petting/ and /Phenomenon/. I just finished your /High Stakes and Dangerous Men/. It is an excellent companion to Martin Popoff's book. Toward the end of the book, you mention the venue /JAXX/ and state that it is in West Virginia. /JAXX /was located in Springfield, Virginia. (just outside of Washington DC) /JAXX/ is now called /The Wild West/. Delightful book. I've photographed Michael several times and spent a day with Pete when he and Michael were recording The Plot. I was saddened to read about his liver disease.