A writer and musician. He was born in Oxfordshire, grew up in Portsmouth and now lives in London. He is the author of the celebrated, KING’S ROAD – THE RISE AND FALL OF THE HIPPEST STREET IN THE WORLD, originally published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2005 and in 2021 relicensed to Omnibus Press for a revised and updated edition; HARDBOILED HOLLYWOOD – THE ORIGINS OF THE GREAT CRIME FILMS and STRAIGHT FROM THE FRIDGE, DAD – A DICTIONARY OF HIPSTER SLANG.
He has written about music regularly for Mojo magazine since 1998, prior to which he wrote extensively about film for Neon. His work has also appeared in the Sunday Times Colour Magazine, the Observer, the Guardian and the TLS, among others.
In his musical career, Max has released eleven albums and something in the region of thirty singles since 1989. He played drums with his friend Nikki Sudden before joining Gallon Drunk in 1991, with whom he toured the world. Since 1994, he has been the singer and principal songwriter with The Flaming Stars. In a long and varied career in the music business, he has also recorded nine John Peel Sessions and played shows all across the USA, Canada, virtually every country in Europe and also in Japan.
He is probably one of the only people currently writing about music to have played on the main stage at the Reading Festival, Madison Square Gardens and at the Hollywood Bowl.
An updated edition of STRAIGHT FROM THE FRIDGE was published by No Exit in 2009 to critical acclaim, while a US edition of HARDBOILED HOLLYWOOD appeared from Pegasus in January 2010.
Max’s history of Rockabilly – A ROCKET IN MY POCKET was published by Serpent’s Tail in June 2010 and was quickly reprinted; the publisher has secured a deal for Italian rights with Elliot Edizioni and French rights have sold to Rivages (All rights via the publisher).
Max also contracted with Random House Books for a volume of social history entitled CAPITAL CRIMES which was published in Autumn 2012. His alternative history of English slang, VULGAR TONGUES, was published to great acclaim by Serpent’s Tail in November 2016. (all rights via the publisher).