mark blake

Author · Journalist · Editor
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November 2021

Magnifico! The A-Z Of Queen
The perfect book for Christmas, but also the other 364 days of the year… 

Order here!

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August 2021

Magnifico! The A-Z Of Queen
Mercury, May, Deacon, Taylor, Marx, Lennon, Rushdie, Dobson… and more. Available for pre-order now!

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April 2021

Pink Floyd in Classic Rock, Greta Van Fleet in Mojo, new Eddie Van Halen book 
I’ve been writing a book lately, but I also have words in the recent issues of Classic Rock and Mojo. There’s a bumper Pink Floyd story in the current Classic Rock and an interview with ridiculously youthful, Led Zeppelin soundalikes Greta Van Fleet in the latest Mojo. I also had words with Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi about his old friend, Eddie Van Halen, for photographer Ross Halfin’s pictorial tribute, which you can pre-order below.  

Go Here: 

Classic Rock


Eddie Van Halen 

December 2020

Pink Floyd in Mojo & Pete Way photo book
I wrote some words about Pink Floyd and Roger Waters’ ongoing feud in the latest issue of MOJO. Plus you can pre-order photographer Ross Halfin’s pictorial tribute to UFO’s Pete Way, who died in August 2020. I interviewed a bunch of musicians – including Ozzy Osbourne, Rush’s Geddy Lee, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and the members of UFO – for this book. Great pictures and some great stories.  

Go Here:


October 2020

Queen in MOJO
There’s a majestic new interview with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor in the current issue of MOJO. Plus words and pictures from their ex-tour photographer Neal Preston, who shared some hair-raising tales, including the time a Brazilian security guard stuck his gun down bassist John Deacon’s trousers. 

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I went back in time and wrote some words about Kate Bush’s The Kick Inside and Hounds Of Love albums in this bumper new MOJO special edition. Wow!, etc… 

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August 2020

Peter Green in MOJO
In 2012, I conducted the last ever interview with former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green (who died in July) for Classic Rock magazine. Green had battled mental health issues since leaving the group in 1970. By 2012, his sporadic solo career has stalled completely, and this interview was arranged via his lawyer and manager, who wanted to encourage him to start making music again. It was an interesting, unsettling encounter, and I have written about it in this new issue of MOJO. 

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Genesis in Planet Rock
I have some words in the final issue of Planet Rock magazine. Quite a lot, in fact… Among them is a whacking great big story on Genesis’s A Trick Of The Tail album.  

Go here:

Planet Rock

July 2020

Q, Planet Rock and Mojo new issues out now. 
Two music magazines, Planet Rock and Q, bit the dust recently, partly killed by COVID. Without any live gig advertising and reduced footfall to the newsagents during Lockdown, profits dwindled and there was not much point in either carrying on.

I was on the staff of Q in the late 1990s, and it was better than having a real job. In this current issue I’ve written about the time I arranged a meeting between John Lydon and Kate Bush at the annual Q Awards. Lydon was a pain in the arse but very amusing, and Kate Bush reminded me of a tiny, nervous bird with big staring eyes.

To be frank, I never knew there were as many as 100 great live albums, but I have written about some of them in the penultimate issue of Planet Rock. Thin Lizzy’s Live And Dangerous is in there, obviously…. The final issue of Planet Rock will be out at the end of July. It’s being produced on someone’s kitchen table, and we are, literally, making it up as we go along.

Go here:

Planet Rock
Q Magazine

Deep Purple in MOJO
Deep Purple’s Made In Japan came high in Planet Rock’s Greatest Live Albums list, and, coincidentally, I just spoke to their lead singer Ian Gillan for the new issue of MOJO magazine. Deep Purple were meant to be touring soon, but Gillan was locked down at his home in Dorset and had no choice but to talk to me.

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APRIL 2020

Mojo and Planet Rock lockdown issues out now
Two of the mags I write for, MOJO and Planet Rock, have their lockdown issues out now. Lovingly crafted on kitchen tables and in living rooms - and they're both great. Better still, you don't have to leave home to buy them.

Go here:

Planet Rock

FEBruary 2020

Neil Peart in Mojo magazine 
Rush were the first band I ever saw live (in June 1980, I just checked on the internet). So I wrote some words about their late drummer and lyricist Neil Peart in the current Mojo. 

It's here.
1980 remembered in Planet Rock magazine
I wrote about turning 15 in 1980 and hearing Black Sabbath’s Heaven And Hell and AC/DC’s Back In Black for the first time in the new Planet Rock. Now, if only I still had a full coverage of hair and could fit into my old denim jacket… 

It's here.

January 2020

Genesis in Mojo magazine
I interviewed random members of Genesis, past and present, about their mind-boggling concept album, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

It's here.
Motörhead in Planet Rock Magazine
I wrote about the mighty Motorhead and Ace Of Spades in the new Planet Rock magazine. “That’s the way I like it, baby…” etc.

Order it here.
Peter Grant In German
Achtung! My biography of Peter Grant has just been translated into German.

Order it here.

DECember 2019

Ballad of Jethro Tull
A year ago I was approached by Rocket 88, a company who publish glossy, high-end coffee-table books, and asked if I would interview Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson for a book they were doing with him. Over the next few months, I spent a lot of time talking to Ian, who is the most punctual, organised rock star I have ever met, and reminds me of the deputy headmaster at my old secondary school. Mr. Anderson was probably sick of me by the end of it. But we did his book together and enjoyed a very convivial curry in an Indian restaurant near Hyde Park. So here it is: Ian Anderson and his band, all in their own words, with lots of fantastic photographs. 

Available here.

November 2019

Peter Grant Book In Paperback
My Peter Grant biography, Bring It On Home, is out in paperback in the UK now. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who wants to read a book about Led Zeppelin, but with walk-on parts from Elizabeth Taylor, Sid James, Elvis, the Pope and Kenny Lynch…

In bookshops or online here.
Queen in Planet Rock Magazine
I’ve written about Queen in the latest Planet Rock magazine: mainly how Brian May lived in a bedsit with a shared toilet and survived on fish fingers until Bohemian Rhapsody became a hit. There are two covers to choose from. In the shops or online here.

September 2019

Slade In Planet Rock Magazine
Only 12 weeks to go until Christmas and I spoke to all four of the mighty Slade for the current issue of Planet Rock magazine. 

In the shops now or online here.
Roger Daltrey In New MOJO Magazine
New MOJO magazine in the shops. Contains my interview with The Who’s Roger Daltrey. You better, you bet… 

In the shops now or online here.

August 2019

Mojo Magazine
I interrogated Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson for the new issue of Mojo magazine. He did not stand on one leg or play his flute. The flute was at the flute repair shop and he remained on two legs throughout.

In the shops now or order it here.
Led Zeppelin Special Edition
I edited Part 1 of Mojo magazine’s two-part Led Zeppelin special edition, for which I also wrote a big story about Peter Grant. There are some anecdotes in the story that aren’t in the book – including one involving Peter, Ronnie Wood, a dog biscuit and a large Alsatian.

It’s in the shops now or order it here.
Rocks Magazine
Calling all German readers! I have words about Queen in the new issue of German music mag, Rocks.  
Queen Book Published In China
Calling all Chinese readers! My Queen book has just been published in China.

July 2019

Mojo Magazine Podcast
I’m talking about The Who’s Pete Townshend in the latest Mojo magazine podcast.

Listen now.
Mojo Rolling Stones Special Edition
I have words in Mojo magazine’s two-part Rolling Stones special edition.

Order it here.
Top 100 Albums Of The 1970s
The Top 100 Albums Of The 1970s, as voted by the listeners/readers of Planet Rock, are revealed here. 
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