Pete Frame was born in Luton, Bedfordshire in 1942.
He was on course to become a Chartered Surveyor until his career path was bent out of shape in the late 1960s. As an emotional response to the heady times, he “dropped out to do his own thing”, to write about rock music – a passion since his schooldays.
Barring a few short-lived detours into the music industries and spells working for a building firm, a brewery and two local authorities, he has been able to pursue this passion ever since.
This has involved extensive freelance work writing for magazines and newspapers (NME, Melody Maker, Rolling Stone, Sounds, Mojo and The Times among them) and writing / researching a number of acclaimed BBC radio documentaries (notably The Story of Atlantic, Not Fade Away and The Paul Simon Songbook).
His most significant contributions, however, have been his own creations.
In 1969, he founded and edited Zigzag, a pioneering rock magazine which anticipated the vogue for such publications by several decades.
It was in the early editions of the magazine that the Rock Family Trees, for which he is probably best known, first appeared.
These subsequently took on a life of their own, being used in the packaging of recordings by Jeff Beck, the Byrds, Eric Clapton, Crosby Stills & Nash, Fairport Convention, Iron Maiden, Talking Heads, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, and many more.
Music Sales/Omnibus Press have now published five anthologies (all still in print) of these genealogical charts, judged by Rolling Stone magazine to be “so elegantly organised as to defy description”.
They have also been used in advertising campaigns and exhibited in galleries around the world (including at the Barbican in 2014), but perhaps gained most attention when BBC Television made two six-part television series based on them, presented by John Peel, which were delivered to more than 200 million homes around the planet by BBC World.
Now living in a remote part of the Highlands, the last decade has seen Pete write and research the acclaimed The Restless Generation (Rogan House, 2007), a 500 page exploration of the rise of rock music in Britain during the 1950s, described by Billy Bragg as “the definitive book on the subject”, while continuing to pursue new paths.