Francesca Garnett and Lisa Bankoff Capture the Grit and Glamour of Swinging London in Fascinating Autobiography

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The girls of psychedelic rock group, Chimera, recall their journey to find their dreams in the heady swirl of the Swinging Sixties.

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London in the 1960s was the capital of cool. Swinging London, as it was called, was a glittering city caught up in a whirlwind of cultural and artistic revolution. Francesca Garnett and Lisa Bankoff, the two girls who formed the core of psychedelic rock group Chimera, personally experienced the grit and glamour of the era. In “MAKING IT! Famous Names and Silly Girls”, they recreate the opulence of 1960s London as they share the exhilarating, almost unbelievable story of how, as young girls, they discovered their passion and dreams in the heady swirl of the times.

This autobiography follows the adventures and misadventures of the authors, two privileged but naïve convent girls hitting the London music scene with stars in their eyes, fire in their hearts and not a lot of common sense. Garnett and Bankoff, the witty, chatty and exuberant narrators, guide readers on a journey through London, Paris, Rome, Western Australia and finally to the conclusion of their musical and spiritual odyssey.

Interspersed throughout their account are memorable encounters with the Beatles and legendary musicians (including Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, who was to become their mentor, friend and manager), amateur groupies, go-go dancers and a host of other men and women bewitched by the dynamism of the era.

“For those of us who grew up in England in the sixties, (this book) is a nostalgic tale that invites readers to relive the excitement of the music scene of the time. We were there. Screaming the name of our idols one minute and sitting and having coffee with them the next! Anything was possible and we knew it,” Garnett says.

Evocative and utterly compelling, “MAKING IT! Famous Names and Silly Girls” is made from the stuff of dreams and the distinctive joie de vivre of youth. It is a stunning glimpse into the world during the Swinging Sixties, the dizzying London music scene and the ups and downs of life. At the center of it all are two girls, their dreams and the music they loved. It is exciting, fascinating and most of all, it is true.

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About the Author
Francesca Garnett and Lisa Bankoff are first cousins. When Garnett’s parents divorced in 1963, their family moved to London. They lived in St. John’s Wood for a year before her mother and sisters moved to Italy. Garnett and Bankoff soon found themselves turning their backs on the gentile expectations of their mothers and instead of becoming refined young ladies, they became teeny-boppers.

EMI recording studios was just around the corner on the legendary Abbey Road and the two girls were determined to make it in the London music scene. After incessant self-promotion and encounters with famous names—including the Beatles and Pink Floyd— the two eventually recorded an album entitled “Chimera” which has been recently resurrected and printed as a collector’s item.

Garnett has lived in Italy for 20 years and has four children. She later emigrated to Perth to join her family when her marriage broke down. Bankoff continued to sing and write until her death in 2003.

MAKING IT! Famous Names and Silly Girls * by Francesca Garnett and Lisa Bankoff
Publication Date: August 16, 2013
Trade Paperback; AU$29.99; 136 pages; 978-1-4836-7614-2
Trade Hardback; AU$49.99; 136 pages; 978-1-4836-7615-9
Ebook; AU$3.99; 978-1-4836-7616-6

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at 1-800-455-039. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (02) 8088 6078 or call 1-800-455-039.

Xlibris books can be purchased at Xlibris bookstore. For more information, contact Xlibris at 1-800-455-039 or on the web at

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