Rock & Roll:
We have no upcoming gigs and I’m glad. We did a spot at one of those charity all-dayers on Sunday and I decided never again – proper well-organised gigs from now on or nothing. I’ve decided on a new book, and I’m going to tour that, just like we did with Painting Snails. I want to record a song this week and do a simple video.
I wrote a coruscatingly raw and brutal song a while ago about the over-medicalisation of the human condition by both patients and the profession – particularly mental health. It’s so brutal that I couldn’t possibly air it publicly. The key point is that humanity is a spectrum on which we all lie. My observation is that giving a medical label to all aspects of human life isn’t always helpful. The song is called On the spectrum meaning the spectrum of humanity – it’s no use as it is, because any listener will automatically presume that I’m referring to autism and I’m not. I’m re-writing it as a John Lee Hartley song and the chorus will be ‘We’re all on the spectrum of humanity.’
I’ve been racking my brains for a while now, trying to decide what to write next. It came to me clearly a couple of weeks ago when Erin said ‘I hope me and Lizzy are in your next book’. A few people have already said that I should write a sequel.
Often the simplest route is the best. I’ll just carry on doing what I’m doing – the blog is the book and the book is the blog. I’m simply a narrator of a developing real-life story. All the chapter headings will be the same (except America will be Ireland and Cardiff will be Dublin.) I wrote a lot about my dad in the first book. Pamela said that she was disappointed that I didn’t write about my mum more (too fucking painful – that’s why) – maybe I should tell that story?
Every aspect of the first book is ongoing, only it’s got more interesting – The ranch; Rock & Roll; wheels; emergency medicine; Don Juan, The Buddha and me. Most of the same characters are still there (Thomo and I ended up with adjoining desks after all.) There are new characters too. Erin’s brother is also a Rock & Roll Doctor – he plays in a successful band.
I’ll do it exactly the same as the last one – 100% DIY. The only difference will be the marketing and promotion – I’ll do it prospectively and cut a woodblock for each chapter again – I’ll sell prints and snippets of the chapters as I go along – by the time the first edition comes out, there’ll hopefully be an audience ready and waiting. I’ve even got a title and a cover idea.
Our Pendle Radicals project is starting to get exciting: Sick of being Normal – Pendle Punk 40 years on is an observation of the influence that punk has had on a diverse bunch of 12 or so people. There’ll be a narrative in the form of a published fanzine-like booklet and there’ll be big photos taken by Casey – it will be marked by an exhibition and a gig, but like the rest of the above, it will be another chapter in a fascinating story. It’s only recently that I’ve realised how much of an influence it was. Has anyone in your department done a John Peel session? Yes: carry on as normal. No: fuck off and mind your own business. I’ve started work on re-doing the NOTSENSIBLES website and the iconic first version of the album will be on sale soon on CD – Gaz has done all the re-mastering and artwork.
Beryl told me that there’s a long tradition of talking to bees and telling them your story – life events and so on. The hive is all set up but still no bees – Dewy captured a swarm, but then they went home again. I was supposed to take my hive to a beekeeper this morning, but it fell through.
It’s supposed to get sunnier later in the week but it’s still raining in the grim North. Louise and Rachel have just brought me a cheese and onion pie from Haffner’s – perfect timing – once I’ve eaten it, I’m off up to the ranch.