A Life Dedicated To Music

Mike Oldfield Biography by Chris Dewey

This hardback biography of Mike Oldfield was published to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Tubular Bells on 25th May, 2013.

How Mike Oldfield came to be who he is, his drive to become a musician and his personal motivations about his distinguished career are covered in detail in his own excellent autobiography, Changeling, published by Virgin books in 2007. A Life Dedicated to Music deliberately takes a different approach, documenting the events of Mike’s career through the information gathered in interviews during 27 years of producing Mike Oldfield fan magazines. The views of the musicians, music industry professionals, assistants and fans closest to Mike have been assembled in chronological order for the first time, with the addition of some new interviews and my own personal views, resulting in the first comprehensive record of Mike’s 45–year career to 2013.

Mike Oldfield took the time to read and approve this book before publication. I was particularly pleased to hear that he is comfortable with me publishing it, as I have set out to make the content as accurate and valid a representation of his career as I can.

New interviews and contributions have also uncovered hidden facts, anecdotes, photos and stories, so there will still be some new information in this book for everyone! such as the memories of Chris Braclik, who learned to play guitar with Mike, played at his first gigs at The Blues Club with Mike in Reading, travelled with him to the Edinburgh Festival in 1967 and later recorded Mike's earliest known compositions in his own band. Stories from Sally Oldfield, Terry Oldfield, Caroline Monk, Jeremy Parker, Rick Fenn, Philip Newell, Barry Palmer, Les Penning, Phil Becque, Roy Rashbrook, Carrie Melbourne, Paul Harris and many others reveal great insight into the professional life of Mike Oldfield. There are over 50 photos and images, many never published before, including childhood photos such as Mike's first holiday without his parents in Blanes aged 14 and track sheets for Tubular Bells III and The Millennium Bell. This photo was taken by Les Penning in the seventies and submitted by him for the book. Les developed the photo himself but rushed the fixer bath, so it deteriorated badly over the years. With some love and care and the magic of Photoshop, I restored it to its full glory.


Download a free sample of the 220-page book (938 kB PDF), including the first chapter now. If you enjoy what you read and would like to read the complete book, it is available to order now. Please allow up to 3 days for despatch. The high production costs mean that the hardback will only be published in English.


"The definitive book for any Oldfield fan" Thomas Aitken
“A fascinating account of the life of a true musical genius” Colin Brett
“Very enjoyable - you found some extremely interesting angles to explore! Mike was very impressed...Terry Oldfield
The perfect companion to Changeling Pat Gleeson
"...it sends you back to Oldfield's albums with refreshed curiosity" PROG Magazine No. 37 (10.07.13)
"It is remarkable, given the amount of material already written about Mike, that new information and facts have emerged through the research and interviews involved in compiling this book. This work brings all the knowledge and passion into one place, a real book, some might say like an old tin box of treasures, but refreshing in this transient electronic age." Paul Harris (author of Then and Now Tour Programme and Best of Tubular Bells sleeve notes)
"The book reads very well, Chris - well done" Tom Newman (producer, Tubular Bells)
"Really impressed by its content and how you developed the story in a very catchy way. Both [Changeling & A Life Dedicated To Music] complement each other to give a great overview on Mike." Tatiana Porto
"I'm not normally a book reader but was hooked on this - I couldn't put it down." Dennis Jones.
"A great book. With its unique approach it reads like a great documentary and contains many fascinating stories. An essential read for every Mike Oldfield fan." Lee Thomas
"I am enjoying the book - very interesting and a very enjoyable read! You have done a good job!" Philip Newell (engineer, Tubular Bells)
"The content amassed has made this book a thoroughly enthralling read from start to finish. I do not think I have ever read a book throughout more than once, and now, several times! A remarkable book!" Michael Kuleczko (Dark Star Co-Editor)
"Couldn't put it down when I had 'a quick look'!!" Tim Godden
"Looks great. A good read" Rick Fenn (musician who collaborated with Mike in the early eighties)
"What an achievement. A quality product that will endure. Very special" David Porter (fanzine editor)
"I'll only say, you all should buy it! You won't regret it." Nacho Marin
"It is not a book... it is a jewel! One of the best items in my collection." Yannick Dély
Exceptionally well-written. If you only read one Mike Oldfield book, make it this one!” Joan Hawkes

ISBN 978-1-906385-35-4 (hardback)

ISBN 978-1-906385-37-8 (eBook)


The book also has its own Facebook page, "Like" the page to be kept up to date with new anecdotes and photos, in-keeping with the content of the biography.