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Moorcock biography

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  • David Mosley
    replied
    Btw Mike, is it true that you were 'removed' from 'Tarzan Adventures' for publishing too many prose articles/stories? An interview with you on the 3am Magazine website ( http://www.3ammagazine.com/litarchiv..._moorcock.html ) says as much, but as it's not part of the iv proper I wanted to check before adding this 'factoid' to the Biography.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Following on from some of the data I've gotten back from posting the 1955-1960 Bibliography, I've updated the first part of my Biography of Mike ('Years: 1939-1961') to make better sense of his time at Tarzan Adventures and in Sweden, as well as adding a paragraph on Mike's involvement with the BSFA (fandom in general I sense rather than the organisation in particular). Much of the background for this information has been sourced from Rob Hansen's website dedicated to British SF fandom and his 'THEN' articles.

    [broken link]
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-12-2010, 04:11 AM.

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    OK. Should have worked this time.
    I have a weird memory. Very good on images, very bad on proper names, for instance. Sometimes bad on words I use fairly regularly.
    And as for numbers, I'm next to dyslexic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Miqque
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    I can't remember how long I was at TA, though it seemed a fairly long time (maybe everything does when you're that age) any more than I can remember how long I was at Fleetway. Wish I'd kept SOME sort of journal. It would help us all.
    Hey, Mike. I keep a journal (when I can remember to do so), but that doesn't help me remember what I did this morning, let alone my childhood! I find it interesting you have such vivid memories. My own are murky and best come out under a hefty dose of sodium pentathol (which, as you may note, is not available in the local apothecary!).

    8O

    PS - There were some problems with my e-mail. Try it again at miqque @ hotmail.com (taking out spaces. natch).

    PPS - Loved when Una Persson "visited" y'all in Texas in WWS. More on that in appropriate thread! -M.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I can't remember how long I was at TA, though it seemed a fairly long time (maybe everything does when you're that age) any more than I can remember how long I was at Fleetway. Wish I'd kept SOME sort of journal. It would help us all.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Further to Mike's helpful insights and Guy's other thread on [broken link]Sexton Blake Library, I've revised the first part of my biography of Mike somewhat.

    The relevant parts that I've updated are in italics:

    Returning to 36 Semley Road, Michael had an undistinguished education going to an “inferior private school� in Norbury. One of Michael's relatives, Uncle Jack, worked at Downing Street (the official residence of the UK Prime Minister - in those days Clement Attlee/Winston Churchill/Anthony Eden) and would often take his nephew on visits around the building, extoling his admiration of Churchill, a view that young Michael didn't particularly share at the time. In 1950, he would fail his 11+ examination...

    (Note: I'm unsure a) how old Mike would have been when he used to visit (10?) Downing St (I'm assuming pre-teenage) and b) who was PM at the time. My guess is Churchill but reasonably it could be any of the three politicians I name above.)

    His tenure as editor of Tarzan Adventures would be short-lived though as at some point in 1957-8 Moorcock undertook his first hitch-hiking trips around Europe, including to Paris (where he played guitar on the Left Bank and met Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsbergh) and West Germany, where after a particularly drunken birthday celebration in a Hamburg pub, Moorcock discovered his bag, containing his manuscripts, had been stolen. In between trips abroad, Moorcock freelanced at Fleetway, writing various scripts for Tom Mix, Kit Carson and other comic strips, before - on the back of a supportive article that had appeared in one of his fanzines defending the decision of Bill Baker (then editor of Sexton Blake Library) to re-vamp the detective - being employed as Assistant Editor of SBL in 1959. One of Moorcock's tasks early on in this position was to write 'letters' for publication in the magazine's occassional letters page, as well as contributing Editorials from time to time. One SBL editorial that may be attributable to Moorcock at this time appeared in May 1959 (issue 429), which asked whether readers were interested in seeing any SF stories in SBL. During this period, Moorcock probably wrote his Sexton Blake story Caribbean Crisis, although it would not be published - heavily rewritten by Baker who removed all of Moorcock's leftish politics in favour of the more traditional right-wing politics consistent with SBL - until June 1962.

    Again, Mike, I've made an assumption that your time as TA editor was relatively brief as I'm trying to factor in your initial trips to Europe, but like I say it's only an assumption. As is my mention of the Tom Mix, Kit Cason, etc. comics I think you worked on - although maybe those came later on in 1960s? I've only recently realised that you were working on Bible Story (and Look & Learn?) at roughly the same time as you were starting to edit New Worlds.

    Cheers,
    David
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 11:17 AM.

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  • Marca
    replied
    The Lancaster Gate address was Flat One, 51 Lancaster Gate W1 (taken from a repro of one of Mike's old fanzines). Accomodation must have been a heck of a lot cheaper in London in the early 60s...

    There seem to be a lot of hotels in Lancaster Gate now, what was it like then? This hotel is apparently at No. 50, although it says W2. Is this the right area?

    http://www.hotel-zone.com/hotels/105496.html

    It's very tangential to this discussion but a search for 87 Ladbroke Grove turned up this link about the family who lived there early in the 20th Century. I like finding out about the history of houses:

    http://www.greathead.org/Greathead-p/p99.htm#i2457

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    My Auntie Connie is still alive. The last of my aunts alive, in fact. She lives with my cousin Geraldine in Kent. My Uncle Jack died of stomach cancer many years ago (rather too soon, unfortunately, since his wife was a Christian Scientist and refused to let him have treatement). He had retired to Australia but hadn't liked it and came back to retire on the South Coast, along with most of my older relatives. I think he was in Worthing, too, when he died. I was very fond of him. I used to enjoy those visits to Downing Street. He was a great admirer of Churchill, which I really wasn't! I think I've come round to a more measured response to Churchill in recent years. As they go by, he seems a far greater figure in comparison with the likes of Tone.
    I think I married Hilary in 1962. Sophie born 1963. Kate born 1964.
    We lived first at Lancaster Gate, Bayswater, then in Colville Terrace, Notting Hill, before moving to 87 Ladbroke Grove in 1965. I moved out around 1975 and lived across the road at 51 Blenheim Crescent until I left there in 1980, living part of the time in LA before moving to live for about three years in W. Yorkshire (Ingleton as described in White Wolf's Son and in a more fictionalised form in War Amongst the Angels) before moving back to London (corner of Fulham Road and Munster Road) and then to Queens Club Gardens (aka Sporting Club Square) around 1985.
    We then moved to Texas in, I think, 1994. Currently living partly in Texas, partly in Paris,. partly in Majorca and partly in the Bay Area. This coming year we'll probably decide where to settle (prob Bay Area and
    France).

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    See, Demos, I'm actually relying on YOU to tell me what I was up to. I have a very poor memory for my own life, as many will attest, and get events mixed up quite a lot, unless I have some strong 'marker' which gives me a clue.
    Heh, actually Mike I have trouble remembering what I did last month some times let alone 40+ years ago as I'm asking you to do - and I don't have the excuse of living through the 60s to fall back on either. :)

    And very, very many thanks for the further reminiscences, btw. Not only do they make for interesting reading in their own right, but they've helped me make a number revisions to the original entry. I'll admit that the relationship between your mother and Dr Jellinek was something that came to mind when I was gathering my original notes, but I didn't want to appear indelicate in either asking about it or assuming anything when I wrote up the initial draft. Hope I've managed to get most of the events of the 50s in the right order now.

    (Quick question now I think of it: were aunt Connie and uncle Jack (?) on your mother's or father's side? Who was it who worked at Downing St.?)

    Doubtless I'll be back to 'interrogate' you further about the '60s, although I think the chronologies there are clearer than for the previous decade. Things I suspect I'm going to need a bit of help on are when you and Hilary got together and when your children came on the scene. I'll say now that I really appreciate you sharing these memories with us all here, and I hope I can do them justice in the subsequent parts.

    Originally posted by Ant
    So, Dave, we now have two bio entries in the Moorcockapedia...

    I take it MM will supersede AB... ?
    Actually, I'm thinking the Author Bio will probably remain in its own right albeit with some minor updating in due course. The detailed biography will (hopefully) be useful to people who want to know more about Moorcock the man, but the (briefer) AB will be a) easier to digest for people who are finding this site for the first time and b) provide a sort of 'Pass Notes' guide for Moorcock the author. Of course, the AB should link to the MM entry as well. (In fact, in time all M'pedia entries should be cross-referenced where possible.)

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. :)
    Last edited by David Mosley; 03-01-2008, 03:46 PM.

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  • Ant
    replied
    So, Dave, we now have two bio entries in the Moorcockapedia...

    Your new entry for Moorcock, Michael (tid=44) under M.

    And an older Author Bio (tid=10) under A (also linked to from the top left-hand menu on every page).

    I take it MM will supersede AB... ?

    Ciao,
    Ant

    PS. Fine article, btw! :clap:

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    See, Demos, I'm actually relying on YOU to tell me what I was up to. I have a very poor memory for my own life, as many will attest, and get events mixed up quite a lot, unless I have some strong 'marker' which gives me a clue.
    That said, between us we might get somewhere!
    Dr Jellinek was never officially my guardian just as one of our god-daughters wasn't officially our god-daughter, for instance. It's just the nearest, most accurate phrase to describe the relationship and function. He was my mother's close friend. She worked in his company and was one of its directors. He took an interest in me because he saw me as bright and needing some sort of fathering. But there were private reasons, which were not particularly murky, for little of this being official during his lifetime and that of his other contemporary relatives. My mother wasn't, for instance, his mistress as some thought. I suspect, however, that he had been or remained in love with her. He was a committed follower of Rudolf Steiner and those principles informed everything he did, although he was also an active business man who had helped get people out of Austria and Germany during the Nazi period. A very brave and resourceful man, a keen gambler on horses in particular and what I would call a true Christian. He was a better role model for me than my own father, that's for sure!
    I was born in Dahlia Gardens, Mitcham. When my father left, we soon moved to a small shack (or 'cottage') on the remains of what I'm pretty sure was the Norbury Manor estate, across from Mitcham Common. Mitcham is next to Norbury but is in Surrey, whereas Norbury was in SW16 (London). Pollards Hill was a small park in Norbury, not really that close to Mitcham Common (though all of this, of course, was in cycling distance or walking distance). My Auntie Connie lived at Pollards Hill, which was considered the poshest bit of Norbury, as did Edwy Searles Brooks. I started contributing to Tarzan Adventures in 1956. I'm pretty sure that's when I went to work for them, too, though it might have been 1957. Some of that can be checked against the issues of TA which I'm sure are in the British Library (should someone ever have that kind of time!). My first contributions were articles on Edgar Rice Burroughs, then stories, including the Sojan stories. My first hitch-hiking expeditions to Europe were between leaving Tarzan and before joining Fleetway. I freelanced for a short while until Bill Baker offered me a job on SextonBlake Library. In both cases (TA and SBL) I got the jobs because of what I'd written in my fanzines (one was a 'cheeky' interview with the then editor of TA which he didn't like but the guy who took over from him, Alistair Graham, did and the SBL was a piece in defence of Bill Baker's editorial changes to the character and his location). I did some scripts for Fleetway before I got the job, starting, I believe, some time in 1959. All of these periods consisted of weeks and months between jobs, of course, until I left Fleetway, when I was for some time in Sweden and hitchhiked back via Paris. So I'd probably have climbed Partefjellet in 1960. If there's some kind of bio of David Harvey, that date could be checked. Could even have been 1961, I think, though probably no later.
    Anyway, I'll check the thread and see if I can add anything. Don't forget I have no records, virtually no fanzines or correspondence from that period, most of which went into the bit 'TAFF' boxes which were auctioned at various SF conventions every year. Might be some stuff, of course, at the Bodleian, too.
    OK. My dad didn't move to Worthing until much later. He lived in Mitcham, I believe, for a while, then moved to Box Hill. He moved around a fair bit until settling in Worthing a few years before my mother also settled there (not knowing he lived there!). It wasn't Derek Bentley, who was older than me, but his brother, who terrorised me at Norbury Manor! I always reckoned Derek's brother was a lot worse than Derek!
    Can't remember his name off-hand. That family has reinvented itself in recent years and is inclined to sue if they see a chance of money. They even got compensation, as I recall. I remember asking at the time whether the dead copper's family got any compensation at the same time... Derek was an accessory, not the murderer, and even those who disliked him didn't think he was a cop killer, but he was a tearaway.
    The rest seems pretty accurate to me. It leaves out the period (see above) when I was working on the Fleetway staff, but otherwise corresponds to my own memories.
    Thanks, pard.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Ah, thanks for the link Aral. :up: Very interesting stuff, Mike. :)

    I've updated the M'pedia entry based on the new information in that particular thread.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marca
    replied
    Nice effort so far demos, although I can't vouch for its accuracy (hopefully Mike will do that). There are some anecdotes concerning Mike's early European travels in this thread, not sure if you've seen it:

    [broken link]
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-12-2010, 04:10 AM.

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  • David Mosley
    started a topic Moorcock biography

    Moorcock biography

    Mike,

    I'm in the process of creating a reasonably detailed Biographical entry on you for the Moorcockopedia, which is mostly gleaned from your posts on the old Multiverse site (now housed in the 'Q&A Archive Articles' as well as information found on other web sites and interviews you've given over the years.

    So far I've covered your early years up to when you were travelling around Europe, living in Sweden (see previous post re. Partefjallet) and up until Ted Carnell asked you to write the Elric novellas.

    Would it be possible (if you've the time and/or the inclination) to look through the entry and check it for accuracy and/or errors? You'll find the entry at:

    [broken link]

    There's a few points that could do with confirmation (such as: have I got your parents' names correct?; how did Dr Jellinek come to be your guardian, which I assume was as in 'legal guardian'?; and where a Golf Course in Norbury may have been (I think it was near Pollards Hill, but I don't have my notes to hand right now). (If that latter query seems odd its because I'm trying to map where the V1 bombs fell while you were growing up.)

    I'm also not entirely sure about the precise chronology of when you were working on Tarzan Adventures and when you were hitch-hiking around Europe. I think I may have conflated the timelines somewhat there; how long were you editor on TA for?

    Anyway, the current entry should be considered an initial draft rather than a final version (there's some clunky sentences that I want to smooth out) and any comments/observations you can make would be useful.

    Cheers,
    David
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-12-2010, 04:11 AM.
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