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Of beards & beads (qv. 'What might have happened..?' bel

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  • Of beards & beads (qv. 'What might have happened..?' bel

    MM, the discussion of facial hair in the thread noted above reminds me of something you said a long time ago about how rock'n'roll and sf were attractive in their/your early years because adults hadn't really managed to get their hands on either form (I paraphrase, probably badly). I remember having my own very particular ideas about how authors probably looked and indeed conducted their lives; in my mind's eye they were all terribly grown-up and all looked more-or-less like Brian Aldiss. Then suddenly there's this chap whose books you've read and he's got this hat and that jacket and a serious beard and hey, that's not just a guitar, it's a sodding Rickenbacker 12-string! It sounds trivial, but I wonder if you were aware just how different you seemed? Your jacket photos (the one on the Hart-Davis edition of The End of All Songs is perhaps the best case in point) seemed to offer the surprisingly radical contention that it was possible to be a cool (hey, this was 1976), guitar-playing beardie in a big hat while also operating in a profession which demanded intellect, imagination and old-fashioned hard work.

    Speaking of jacket photos, do you still have that leather patchwork jacket which seemed to be your trademark during that period? I seem to recall it finding its way into Jerry's wardrobe at one point. Or maybe it should go down the charity auction route? I recall reading that JK Rowling was going to auction a pair of her shoes for a women's charity, which is both commendable and vaguely pervy. They were expected to fetch آ£3,500. I'm holding out for her knickers.

  • #2
    Well, thanks. I suppose I was so thoroughly a part of the counter culture that I was just dressing like my peers (though most of those didn't have a Rickenbacker 12, either). I srtill have the Rickenbacker and, for that matter, the coat, made for me by a guy in Portobello Road. I wore the coat a month or so ago when we went to a charity fancy dress ball. It
    works well as a pirate coat! I lived in Ladbroke Grove (which to US
    readers was the UK version of Haight/Ashbury) long before the counter culture developed, so I sort of developed along with it. Many of my friends were also musicians and Jimi Hendrix was my near neighbour.
    Great days. Well, more for me than Jimi, in the end, of course...
    There was a coherence about what I was doing and what the rock musicians were doing that never really existed in the US. Not sure why.
    I did of course know American musicians and get to meet some cool
    people, like Lou Reid, Iggy and others, in the course of performing or being in the same places. Before that, of course, I'd been a teenager in Soho during the first Britrock phase, and played washboard a couple of times with the Vipers, who became the Shadows. Probably not a cool
    thing to admit. I then had friends, later, who were punks, so I feel I got the very best of maybe three decades! I just came across a South of Watford TV programme I did in the early 80s in which they were talking about a punk revival. As I said in the programme, I didn't know punk was dead. New Romantics by then, I suppose. I was in a very happy position of being identified with the only old hippies Johnny Rotten and Co respected! I was still only in my thirties, but punks would offer to find me a chair at gigs... Very nice of them. Lemmy got the same kind of respect. Maybe because we actually did try to keep the faith. Brian Aldiss and others sometimes did visit but were never very comfortable
    with the company I kept. Or, I suppose, the lifestyle. I seemed to be able to move perfectly easily between those worlds. It was my natural
    age, I think -- a golden age, as I've often said. Could do with something like it, these days. Though in Austin, of course, I still have
    friends who are musicians, some of them from those times. Trouble is when we ge together we find ourselves talking nostalgically about Ealing comedies and Eel Pie Island. Poor old buggers.

    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
      8O Wow! I'd love to hear some stories about Jimi. Were you friends? How was he to hang out with? Any strange sounds coming from the neighbor's?
      \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

      \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

      Comment


      • #4
        Ahh, the mark of a true professional - MM can still type even when his eyes go misty! Interesting how you sometimes seem convinced that that period was your heyday, yet here you are in cyberspace as if you were born to it - that part of you now simply occupies another plane of existence! Someone's written a few books about that kind of thing...

        Nonetheless, I'm delighted to hear that both the Ricky and the coat have survived the millennium. Ironic that you should dress up as a pirate given your alarm some time ago about the possibility of needing a crutch and parrot. I trust there's no longer any immediate danger of this? I suppose laughing at fate comes with the territory, too. But what did Linda go as? I say we should be told. : )

        I lived around the corner in Ladbroke Road for a while in the early 80s, but I think you were living in Yorkshire by then. The Mountain Grill still seemed to be there in Portobello Road - or at least its fascia was - I'm not sure if it was actually open - kind of hard to tell. Maybe that was always the case. These days, of course, even the underpass has been built under with ugly retail outlets. Maybe Magic Michael's buried in the foundations somewhere.

        Speaking of your old muso friends, where's your fellow Deep Fixture Graham Charnock these days? He had a website for a while describing some then-current musical activity, but that seems to have been consumed by the Original Insect. Finally, on the subject of old TV programmes, do you remember doing your bit for a TV series about 94 years ago called Time Out Of Mind (I never know where to put the caps on titles these days)? I recall you and MJH being up a rockface. Did that survive in any form? Strewth, I think it may well have predated the VCR...

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        • #5
          Sorry, the above came out as a guest posting for some reason, but it's me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Tapes of the Time Out of Mind programme (was that it's name ? Blimey!) do exist and I know I had one for a while. The Savoyards also have one, I'm sure. Harrison and I insisted on the producer heaving herself up the Yorkshire rock to prove something or other. The famous Laurence was also around, as I recall. The last I heard he was working as a steeplejack. Filmed at my house in Yorkshire and environs. Yes, I'd moved from the Grove by 1980 -- leaving a bad marriage and various other crap behind. And was, as you say, living in Yorkshire (same house). We then moved back to Fulham, which seemed miles from anywhere to me. It was the furthest out I'd ever lived. Ballard phoned me and said 'Glad you're back. Come and see me in the suburbs.' I replied 'I'm in the suburbs, you're in the bloody country.'.
            Then we moved to Sporting Club Square (Queens Club Gardens0 where flats now go for close to a million quid. And let's not even think what a
            basement and ground in Notting Hill go for, these days. Changing times indeed. Yes, I can type misty-eyed -- largely, however, because of
            not being able to wake up. Which explains any current lack of coherence,
            if not past lack of it. Jimi and I were very close. He once said to me
            'Hi, man, how's it going ?' That's how close we were. Equally with George Harrison, who once said, 'Sorry, man,' when he trod on my then whole foot. The pirate outfit went with the still gammy leg. Linda went as a female pirate and a fine one she made, looking like a particularly tasty Maureen O'Sullivan ready to order a broadside against any Royal Navy ship which threatened and cut any lubber down who refused to fight.
            Graham and I were enjoying a lively correspondence for a while a few years ago, then he disappeared. I think he gets depressed. We'd had a falling out (misunderstanding) which we were able to reconcile.
            Then we lost touch again, to my regret.
            Bumped into Steve Gilmore, however, in a cafe in Marylebone High Street where I'd gone with Taffy Sinclair. Very good to see him. His wife had twins. He's very cheerful and has a website, though again we've lost touch. Various email crashes, means I lose addresses, too.
            So anyone out there who hasn't heard from me for a while -- I'm not ignoring you.
            Unless you're an arsehole, of course.

            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
              Jimi and I were very close. He once said to me
              'Hi, man, how's it going ?' That's how close we were. Equally with George Harrison, who once said, 'Sorry, man,' when he trod on my then whole foot.

              sniffle Wow, that's beautiful man! sniffle


              :lol:
              When they had advanced together to meet on common
              ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
              and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
              each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
              mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
              killing, and the ground ran with blood.

              Homer, The Illiad

              Comment


              • #8
                Perhaps we can look forward to a sequel to that old Orbit collection. Moorcock's Book of Arseholes will, if it's anything like mine, no doubt run to a fat trilogy.

                Hey, Tom Maschler once trod on my foot, y'know! It was outside Jonathan Crap's offices in Bow Street. I realised at that moment that it was my destiny to spend my life obstructing literary figures one way or another. So here I am, twenty-odd years later, taking up your time. : )

                I can just see Linda as Anne Bonny (only cleaner). I'd surrender at once.

                I'm trying to appear nonchalant despite the revelation that Taffy Sinclair isn't an entirely fictional creation. Or perhaps he is, which is even more alarming...

                By the way, if you want to avoid future email wipeouts, try using webmail, such as mail.com which I use (it's free, too). All your mail and your address book is kept on the provider's server, so you can have crashes or switch ISPs/PCs/countries without your mail being affected even slightly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the tip. This was the Great Multiverse Crash of a few months back. I saved some of the mail but an awful lot was lost, together with addresses. I ought to use a disc backup, too, but I don't. I never seem to have time to set anything up properly. Taffy Sinclair's given name is actually Iain. You might know him better as the author of London Orbital and the forthcoming Dining on Stones.
                  Did I tell you about the time Bob Dylan once avoided eye contact with me ?
                  Actually my then manager was swollen with pride one day. When asked why he looked so pleased he said: 'My old lady is currently screwing Bob Dylan'. That's stardom for you....
                  Incidentally two books which actually tell much of it exactly as it was, at least as I saw it are Mac McLagen's All the Rage and Lemmy's White Line Fever (thanks T). Mac, who was a founder member of one of my favourite 60s bands The Small Faces, and is an outstanding keyboard player, tells some great stories about being on the road with Jagger, Dylan and others. These days he's kept his cred and plays with Billy Bragg. Good guy. Great musician. Great book. Check out his website and The Bump Band.

                  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


                  • #10
                    I'll check out both books - I love that kind of stuff anyway, if it's well done.

                    I used to work with Billy Bragg's singing-teacher-cum-backing-vocalist, Lorraine Bowen (might still be, or not). They seemed to be very much kindred spirits. Nice lady.

                    Years ago I had a short-term job in the book department in Harrods. I think everyone in London who had graduated from a provincial university with a non-vocational degree and who didn't immediately become a teacher ended up working there at some point. It was a great opportunity to observe rock stars displaying the kind of bafflement that only they can exhibit. I remember selling a souvenir book on the Charles'n'Di wedding to John and Rise Cale. Pete Sinfield bought one, too. Mick Jagger strolled in and happened to make an enquiry of the most eccentric bloke on the staff. It wasn't at all clear which of them was having the strangest experience. I honestly think my colleague didn't know who he was, nor would he have cared (he was deeply into the history of the French railway network at the time).

                    Yes, do check out the webmail idea - it'll save you endless grief, as it has me.

                    Well, I'll leave you to finish digesting your breakfast (or maybe your mid-morning coffee) - it's bedtime for decent folk here in England. At least the rain's stopped.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I heard Mac McLagen being interviewed at the 'South by Southwest' Festival just last week. He certainly has some stories to tell! They played some of the songs (new and old) he has played on, and it's fair to say he knows his way around a keyboard...

                      My only musical claim to fame is that I once went to a local club to review some bands for my student magazine and Paul Gallagher, brother of Liam and Noel from Oasis, was there to see a band he was managing. The girl I was with wanted to go and talk to him, so I followed her over with my notepad. He called me a "trainspotter" and then blanked me while he and the girl flirted. He was getting free drinks from the bar, and everyone was sort of checking out his reflected glory... I'm not one to bear a grudge, but I really don't have warm and fuzzy feelings for the man. Add to that the fact that all through my first year I was kept awake by neighbours playing the first two Oasis albums over and over again, and I really don't have much time for any of the Gallaghers. I can't even be bothered to check how to spell their surname. So there!

                      D...
                      "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's funny about celebrity. Mike has talked about this before I think (in the old Q&A). I can remember meeting Gene Simmons of KISS fame, and despite all your preconceived notions of the man, he was amzingly nice, intelligent, and friendly. The circumstances were such that it was a meet-n-greet, and there were two really pretty girls talking to Paul Stanley and he was making time (not wanting them to move along the line), so in the line I got stuck one on one with Gene. He signed a bunch of stuff and looked at some pictures I had and commented on them. Answered some questions. It was an altogether pleasant brush with celebrity. Having said that, I have met several rock stars that were just a-holes in high heeled shoes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The closest to celebrity I've ever come was sitting in on a fiddle workshop Mark O'Connor gave once. Didn't get much chance to talk to him one-on-one, but we did play Ashokan Farewell together which was very cool.

                          Oh, I guess I did get to talk to former Minnesota North Star and Miracle on Ice teammember Neal Broten. I got a bunch of pictures and old hockey cards signed, stuff like that. The local news chanel was there and they let me do the interview, which was kinda' neat, except it was obvious I wasn't asking the questions they expected...heh, I was I was too clever a little kid for them. I asked if he enjoyed playing in Germany the previous season, what he thought about the sweater and logo change for the team, and how was it to play in the 1980 olympics. Finally the news guy had me ask him what he thought of the potential move the Dallas. Of course, I missed the news that night, so I didn't get to see how much they edited out, but oh well...Broten was my favourite player growing up and it was greatt o get to meet him. I was happy that he finally got his name on the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in..hmm...'95?
                          "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                          --Thomas a Kempis

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