Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Fans at Your Doorstep...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fans at Your Doorstep...

    Mike,

    In collecting images for the MWM Image Gallery, I came across a cover of a bibliography of your work entitled The Tanelorn Archives ([broken link]Image Here). It's author, Rick Bilyeu, is an old boyfriend of my wife's and she told me that he was such a fan of yours that he flew all the way to the UK and just showed up at your doorstep dressed as Jerry Cornelius.

    I was wondering if you recall Rick's visit and his book. I was also curious if you knew that his vast Moorcock collection (a copy of every single thing you did up until around 1979, all printings) now resides at Texas A&M University.

    Also, do you tend to get a lot of fans just popping in unannounced?

    Incidentally and for what it's worth, the story goes that Rick bought so many of your books at the Powell's Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that he actually raised the value of Moorcock novels in Oregon and Washington.
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-22-2010, 08:21 AM.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

  • #2
    I knew Rick but he didn't turn up unexpectedly, nor was he dressed as Jerry. We had been in correspondence for some time and he did indeed come over specifically to make use of the British Museum resources.
    He was a serious bibliographer and like the best bibliographers would only include work which he had seen personally. He had come to see me to look at work of mine. He had items that I don't think I ever had, or else gave away -- posters for movies, for instance. He was shot when visiting a friend of his in Portland whom the raiders believed (wrongly) was a drug dealer. He was lying face down with a gun against his head. The attacker was tugging his wallet from his pocket when the gun went off by accident. Rick didn't get any help from the authorities after this -- he needed therapy. He gave up his old hobbies and took up martial arts. He was eventually picked up in a public park with an unlicensed
    firearm. He wasn't prosecuted but this was a turning point for him and he left Portland soon after. I next saw him in New York where he was driving a cab. I asked him to stay in touch but sadly he didn't. Very nice guy. I can understand his putting second hand prices up for my work. I've done it with authors I've been enthusiastic about. When I first started buying W.Pett Ridge, for instance, I could get them for a few pence. After a while they started costing several pounds. I remained the only buyer, but the trade had decided there was a bunch of collectors out there. Iain Sinclair and I have often discussed this phenomenon. Between us we've raised the prices of several relatively obscure writers!

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow, Mike! And here I wasn't sure you'd even remember the guy. Other than the 'showing up unexpectedly as Jerry' thing, everyting you said matches the stories I've been told. Don't know how that one story got so muddled...

      Karin still calls Rick from time to time; I'll be sure to let him know he should get back in touch with you. I can direct him here to MWM.

      He's back in Portland, now, by the way. :roll:
      "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
      --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

      Comment


      • #4
        I always wondered what had happened to Rick and why no update to the Tanelorn Archives had ever been done. Does that mean Rick gave up his bibliographic activities long ago? Did you get into Mike's work through your wife PWV or is it just a curious coincidence? :?

        In his intro to the bibliography Rick tells how he first saw the film of The Final Programme in 1976 and was sufficiently intrigued to seek out the books. He tells how he had the Cornelius wardrobe recreated from the film and developed a 'British' accent and how he used to role play Jerry when he went out at night (this is probably where the 'dressed as Jerry' bit comes from), although he appears to have got quickly disillusioned with doing this.

        Nevertheless he had the Moorcock bug and Mike's work seems to have become very important to him in a short space of time, building up a large collection very quickly. He mentions meeting Mike and acknowledges his help in compiling the bibliography. Anyone who has tried to build a reasonable Moorcock collection owes Rick a huge debt for the amount of detail he unearthed. I don't know how he managed to get it all done so quickly, since it seems to have been put together in only a couple of years (78-80) and very accurately too. There's even a listing of some original manuscripts that were held then at Texas A & M (presumably they are still there?)

        There's another 25 years worth of work to be added on to Rick's pioneering effort now...

        p.s. Guy, you get an acknowledgment at the start of Rick's book - you must have had some contact with him?
        'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

        Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

        Comment


        • #5
          Just to tease everyone with the sort of detail in Rick's book, there's a mention of an abandoned short novel in the manuscripts section at A&M, a collaboration with Barrington Bayley, Duel Among The Wine Green Suns, originally intended for Science Fiction Adventures. There's a long comment from Mike on the story in which he says 'I think it's about the worst thing either of us has ever done - although the ideas in it are still good...'

          For true bibliophiles, there's a list of the Texas A & M Moorcock collection here:

          http://lib-oldweb.tamu.edu/cushing/c...lMoorcock.html
          'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

          Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Aral Vilsn
            Did you get into Mike's work through your wife PWV or is it just a curious coincidence? :?
            I read some of the Elric stories in my teens, then stopped reading fantasty for a time. But, yes, my interest reculminated when Karin talked about Rick and his obsession with all things Moorcock. Those conversations definitely reminded me there was a vast amount of Moorcock I hadn't been exposed to (and probably should be).

            (I should take this moment to mention that Karin and I never signed any paperwork, so calling her my 'wife' is, I guess, misleading, but we have been together for sooooo long and I seriously hate the word fiancأ©, so there you go.)

            Originally posted by Aral Vilsn
            In his intro to the bibliography Rick tells how he first saw the film of The Final Programme in 1976 and was sufficiently intrigued to seek out the books.
            And he a a vast collection. Karin talks about living with all those books. Moorcock everywhere. She didn't say this as if it was a bad thing, by the way.

            Originally posted by Aral Vilsn
            He tells how he had the Cornelius wardrobe recreated from the film and developed a 'British' accent and how he used to role play Jerry when he went out at night (this is probably where the 'dressed as Jerry' bit comes from)...
            Yeah, from what I understand, he had quite the obsession for a while. Good thing for us, as it produced one hell of a bibliography! I just ordered it online.

            Originally posted by Aral Vilsn
            I don't know how he managed to get it all done so quickly, since it seems to have been put together in only a couple of years (78-80) and very accurately too.
            Never underestimate the power of obsession. :D When Rick gets into something, he really gets into it. He was also into Dr. Who for a while. Karin knit him a scarf identical to Baker's, from the official pattern. That scarf ended up almost killing him, but that's another story.
            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

            Comment


            • #7
              Seems to be doing alright. Karin called him when we had the 'Most-Travelled Moorcock Book' in our possession. We wanted him to come up to Washington and sign it, but he had to work and couldn't get the time off...
              "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
              --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

              Comment


              • #8
                You will be so pleased when you get your copy of The Tanelorn Archives. It really is an essential work, even though it stops around 1979. Does Karin share yours and Rick's fascination with all things Moorcockian? She's probably getting a feeling of deja vu :)
                'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aral Vilsn
                  Does Karin share yours and Rick's fascination with all things Moorcockian? She's probably getting a feeling of deja vu :)
                  Not to the extent Rick or I do, no, but she'll tell you Gloriana is among the best novels ever written, and she's not big into fantasy. And I try not to bore her with my doings here at MWM too much, though she's getting an earful about this particular thread, for obvious reasons.
                  "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                  --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Was Karin with him when he was doing the bibliography or did they meet later? Just how much stuff did Rick have and when did he dispose of it?
                    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, well, I suspect being shot through the neck and living to tell the tale probably tends to make one rather tough (and from what I've heard, he was pretty tough to begin with).
                      "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                      --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aral Vilsn
                        Was Karin with him when he was doing the bibliography or did they meet later? Just how much stuff did Rick have and when did he dispose of it?
                        No, the book was out by the time they met. From what I understand he still had his entire collection then. Now, I understand it is at Texas A&M.
                        "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                        --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What an odd and interesting set of circumstances and coincidences. Makes you understand how small the world can be. Thanks for the information, PWV!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah, Berry read this and about lost his mind. He's been trying to get in touch with Rick for a while now...
                            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Aral Vilsn

                              p.s. Guy, you get an acknowledgment at the start of Rick's book - you must have had some contact with him?
                              Man, I was so pleased to read this thread! I’d heard a rumour some time ago that Rick Bilyeu was dead. When Berry asked about him recently in this forum I just kept schtum. To hear he’s been through so much awful stuff and survived is at least better news than what I last heard.

                              Yes, I certainly met Rick when he came to London to see Mike all those years ago. For reasons I now forget (probably to do with lack of money) I was kipping on the floor of a friend who lived near MM in the Ladbroke Grove area at the time, name of Phil, who also gets a mention in the acknowledgments section of the Tanelorn Archives. I can’t remember how Rick got in touch with me. It may have been through my working at Forbidden Planet.

                              Phil and I were both big Jerry Cornelius fans and we knew where Mike lived, but had never knocked on his door. We showed Rick the building and its plaque by the doorbell, with the names “Moorcock, Riches, Cornelius� on it, if I recall correctly; hardly a secret hideout! Jerry in particular should surely have been a bit more careful.

                              I can confirm, in all seriousness and truth, that on the few occasions I met up with Rick he was wearing the full-on Jerry Cornelius outfit. It was indeed closely modelled on Jon Finch’s look in the Final Programme movie. Took a bit of balls to walk around the Grove dressed like that. But maybe he bottled out of wearing it for his meeting with Mike. He was well aware what Mike thought of the movie.

                              Every time I get his book off the shelf (which is fairly often) I think about Rick. It’s so good to know he’s still around. I hope he drops in and says hi on this forum. We never kept in touch. Phil and I both moved on from that address pretty soon after.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X