As a reader, one might wonder: How it is to write? As a teenager I read two dozen science fantasy books by Michael Moorcock. As I got older I became more interested in poetry and literature and read everything by Albert Camus and ‘Existentialist Contemporary’ Jean-Paul Sartre, investigating André Gide, Guy De Maupassant, Gustav Flaubert, Émile Zola, Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Françoise Sagan, Alain Fournier, Stendahl, Voltaire and the treasures of French literature.
Later I discovered the Russians: Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Pushkin, Bulgakov, Sologub, Tolstoy, Majakovsky – and the riches of the Spanish language writers, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Octavio Paz, Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda and more contemporary writers like Isabel Allende, although one of my favourite books was at the other end of time – Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
In Stockholm I was introduced to August Strindberg, Stig Dagerman, Pär Lagerkvist, Hjalmar Söderberg and Edith Södergran. English writers appeared inbetween – I read a lot of books by Graham Greene, I read D.H. Lawrence, Laurie Lee, William Golding, Agatha Christie and back to fantasy with J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction. I read Anthony Burgess, H.G. Wells and L.P. Hartley, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and John Fowles. I found Alain De Botton and even went to a lecture at the Sydney Opera House. Lately I have discovered and read at least ten of Ian McEwan’s novels as well as recently discovering Robert Aickman.
I read the Germans, Thomas Mann, Günter Grass, Hermann Hesse and the more contemporary reclusive Patrick Süskind. I read the American genius of Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and the first novel of Allen Kurzweil. From Wales I read Dylan Thomas and from Ireland Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan and Jonathan Swift. I bought an old copy of Ulysses by James Joyce because the font on the front cover was beautiful, but the pages were so old and dry that they disintegrated in my hands as I touched them.
I write lyrics, stories and poetry but never did publish anything on paper and now with the internet it seems less likely. I wrote sleeve notes of 40,000 words (see below) and more than a million words on the In Deep Music Archive website so far. Hopefully there will be more creative writing here as time allows in a life where commerce dominates artistic expression. Let’s see what the future holds.
Browse through the sleeve notes here:
Besides writing I’ve always enjoyed art. There’s that word again, ‘art’. It seems to cause consternation with some areas of the Rock ‘n’ Roll fraternity as if it stands for something pretentious, even elitist, defying the principals of Rock ‘n’ Roll and its visceral qualities, its sense of reality, its working class down to earth principals.
For me the word ‘art’ isn’t scary at all, it’s just a different kind of creativity, sometimes visceral, sometimes intellectualized and when Keith Richard’s says “The Rolling Stones aren’t art” despite having a truly talented artist painter (Ronnie Wood) in the band and despite having been at Art School when the band was formed and despite painting himself – The Rolling Stones probably aren’t ‘art’. Although I suspect that Talk Talk for example might have made arty music, I’m not sure where the line between art and Rock ‘n’ Roll lies, except that David Bowie was most certainly both.
When it comes to enjoying art, I love Kandinsky and Chagall, Miro and Picasso, Modigliani and Matisse, Bosch and Van Gogh and when it comes to creating art myself, I have dabbled with intricate patterns that resulted in the cover to Nightjar, released in 2009.