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Before he was famous, Irvine Welsh lived it large and for years Sandy Macnair was his wingman. Welsh was the restless instigator, looking for excitement, desperate to escape the tedium of a humdrum life. And Sandy was there to help pick up the pieces when it all went wrong.

This is the real-life rollercoaster ride that set the scene for some of Welsh's most iconic work – before Trainspotting changed everything. As they gallivanted round Britain, from Edinburgh to York and Glastonbury to London, Irvine and Sandy left a trail of destruction as they dodged the polis, the courts and endless radges, not always successfully.

They climbed the fountain in Trafalgar Square, joined in the riots at Wapping and drank like they had a death wish. And along the road there was the real Begbie, the original Gorgie/Dalry Oyster Bar, ugly confrontations with Hearts fans, crazed motorcycle gangs, close encounters with smacked-out hookers, gin-soaked lesbians and even more polis.

Product Details

Published: 24th August 2011
Format: Paperback 234x156mm
Extent: 224 pages
ISBN: 9781845023683


Sandy Macnair has lived most of his life in Edinburgh. Diagnosed as 'chronically unambitious' from an early age, he has been half-heartedly employed as a shop stockist, civil servant, warehouseman, picture-framer, library assistant, canvasser, machinist, bookshop assistant, cataloguer, postman, proof reader, salesman and courier, with numerous unemployed spells along the way. He has written regularly for the Scotsman, and also been published by the magazines Rebel Inc and Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending. A long time contributor to all the various Hibernian fanzines, he has also self-published numerous booklets on the club's history. He also enjoys listening to ear-bleedingly loud rock music, going to gigs and festivals, hill walking and watching Hibs.


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