Other People's Stuff

Let's throw some radio into the world. An hour or so ago, Lauren Laverne had Robert Plant on her show. You can find a link to that here if you happen to be in the country - if you missed it, it's up online for a month or so - but later tonight, at 19.00 (that's seven o'clock if you didn't sign up for the armed forces) you can catch more from Mr Plant on 6 Music and there's details on that, right here

This is not me. This is Robert Plant. You can tell the difference really easily because this is Robert Plant and I am not. Though, in a thick Victorian fog at night, I suppose you could be forgiven.

This is not me. This is Robert Plant. You can tell the difference really easily because this is Robert Plant and I am not. Though, in a thick Victorian fog at night, I suppose you could be forgiven.

Which is all an excellent prelude to the world trying to tell you he has a new album out next Friday 13th called Carry Fire that looks like this:

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He's on tour too... officialness can be received in the House of all that is Holy here. Go see.

If you can't wait that long and need some new music in your life, Marilyn Manson has a new album out called Heaven Upside Down and so do Black Country Communion (IV), Black Stone Cherry (Black To Blues) and the always amazing Dan Reed with Confessions. 

In the earbuds this week, I've been exploring Southern Gothic country artists. I believe it goes under the rough banner of Cemetery and Western. It's good stuff but I need to spend more time with it... it's seeping into Deadbirds and I kinda like it. It feels very comfortable but more on that some other time.


Not a whole lot of action under the covers with a torch to report on in the book front this week, mainly because I haven't read one single thing. I've still got Whiteout kicking about in the wings for Romania next week (I'll be here if you happen to be close by) and in the holes, I've been dipping in and out of this... which is everything it should be and more:

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Meanwhile, out on the movie front, this looks fantastic. There is no other way to describe it. I haven't been as game for a cinema trip (even if it's by myself) for a long time. Release date is mid-January and it looks like one of those movies that won't be hitting the multiplex at convenient times at all. So be it. I hope I don't forget - January is months away! 

You can watch the trailer for The Hero here.

You can watch the trailer for The Hero here.

Just to balance out the highbrow-ness is this entry, I am also really fucking looking forward to this with Bruce Willis doing what Bruce Willis does:

Yep... there's a lot of white space on this poster. I guess I could have made it a lot smaller really.

Yep... there's a lot of white space on this poster. I guess I could have made it a lot smaller really.


So basically, everything cool I have to tell you about this week is in the future.

Sorry about that but it's something to look forward to, right?

More From The Road

I dropped some text up here yesterday that almost sounded like a motivational speech. It wasn't meant that way - I am no motivator. I was just thinking out loud but nothing would make me happier than if you happened to pick up the gauntlet and joined me in my 9:18 goal of throwing some happy shit at the world instead of just shit for the next year.

It's only a year - it will fly by. Trust me. Plus, the place could use a break don't you think?

On a different note, I learned something new today - please allow me to share my cultured find.

Pictured here is a letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac. The caption beneath is the entry in the auction book when it went up for grabs at Christie's:

CASSADY, Neal (1926-1968). Typed letter completed in autograph and with autograph additions, corrections, and deletions in pencil and pen, to JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969), Denver, 17 December 1950. 18 pages, comprising nearly 16,000 words, some pale browning and minor marginal chipping. Estimate: $400,000-600,000

CASSADY, Neal (1926-1968). Typed letter completed in autograph and with autograph additions, corrections, and deletions in pencil and pen, to JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969), Denver, 17 December 1950. 18 pages, comprising nearly 16,000 words, some pale browning and minor marginal chipping. Estimate: $400,000-600,000

I like Kerouac a lot. Some days we get along better than others. Some of his books have great covers and some of them really suck - for some reason, this is important when walking into Kerouac's house. Anyway, though I had heard of this letter - which was lost, found, failed at auction and is now at the Emory in Atlanta -  I never knew how it was written was the inspiration for the style Kerouac used when he wrote On The Road.

I hunted around for a variant of the picture I could actually read - and found one. It's odd. It's like listening to an album of a band you don't rate and finding out that one of your favourite bands copied everything about it and just added a little of their own sugar on the top to push the casual observer off the kerb. 

Maybe people who are better versed in The Beats will laugh at my ignorance here but ignorance is a wonderful thing when it means many years later, you can discover new things and have a whole new lease of life injected into something you loved already.

Unless perhaps, twenty years down the line, you happen to find out your lover once killed a school friend with a pencil and a live sea-sponge stolen from the marine tank in the teachers staff-room. That's not so wonderful, but you could write a book about it, so all would not be totally lost.

Maybe I will type a letter on my Olympia and send it to a writer-friend in the vague hope that one day, somebody I don't know and will likely never meet may likewise benefit from me emptying my head of its frustrations onto a piece of paper.

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If you're interested, this Olympus is indeed very portable - I don't think she is much heavier than the MacBook Pro I used to have. The case is held together with gaffer tape but that's nothing new, everything I ever owned that's ever hit the road with me has been held together with the stuff. It is 100% possible to write a book on her.

It would be a very slow book to write, but it would be a book all the same and probably a very different type of book than I would write on this MB-Air. Maybe during my December sabbatical from technology (that's a very real thing here) I'll spend some quality time with her and get to know her better than I do at the moment. Maybe I'll learn how to strip her down and rebuild her, get real smooth at dropping sheets of paper in and out of the roller and figure out how hard to tap the keys to get the most out of her.

Most of all, maybe I can just get better at typing on her and actually write that book.

How hard can it be?

#9:18

I love it when people get self referential with each other - it reminds me of the days when Bowie and Bolan would do it, even if it didn’t last very long. My friend Beccy just fired up a new blog where she does what I would term as ‘whatever she likes’ which is the very best way to run a blog. She grabbed hold of my idea of projecting herself forwards 12 months into next September 2018 - see this if you missed it and you can read about her state of affairs here. She has a baby now - which is great! She’s on the road with her man in their van - which is just as it should be. In fact, just like when I roughed up my original '9:18' entry, things look peachy.

Except now, it’s October - only 11 months to go to nail shit to the floor!

Fuck. I lost a month already. See what happens when you’re not paying attention to driving your life car. If I check properly, I think it’s really only two weeks, but you see how these things - namely time - can get behind you until one day, you’re a news item like Tom Petty... except, unlike with Tom Petty, there is nothing to report because you didn’t leave anything worthwhile behind - you didn't do anything that was different to the thing you always did. 

You just let the time slip away.

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So what did you change in the last two weeks to make 9:18 rock like a hurricane for yourself, the human race and the spinning ball of dirt we call home? Here’s what I have got on the cooker:

  1. The books will be ready when they’re ready. One is coming soon. On this front, as previously told, I threw my all in with a new kind of publisher so I didn’t have so much work to do behind the scenes. If I’m right, that will be a much better place for me to be in come 9:18.
  2. You’re never too old to get Blood on the Tracks and Deadbirds continues to grow in the home studio that is my head. I love my Gretsch and we are working on it - things are moving forwards one day at a time. 
  3. I’m stepping up my action on Big Bear Rescue behind the scenes. It’s all moving far too slowly for my liking but it’s moving and I’m looking for some ways to throw petrol on the fire. The bear thing doesn’t seem enough though. I’ve been looking at the oceans (again) and big cats too. I’m thinking that I should find a way to bring them all under one roof. It can be done. Somehow.
  4. I prepped up five radio shows, with another 3 to go, giving me a total of eight hours... or four x two hour episodes of Black Dye White Noise that will be ready to roll when my buddy presses the button on a radio station he bought. I may not have mentioned any of this previously and none of it may happen but I’ll be ready to go if and when he is regardless. Having a radio show could be handy come the revolution. You can reach a lot of people with a radio show.
  5. I’ve booked up some trips between now and then - three so far - on which I plan to write… a lot. This makes me a travel writer just like I always wanted to be. Sometimes, you can fulfil a dream even when nobody else is watching you know. Lonely Planet don’t give a damn about how I look upon the world but that’s OK because I have never used one of their guidebooks either. This is a big tick in the Column of Life for me. I don’t need validating with it - I do it therefore I am. I need to bring this thinking into all areas of my life - and in all probability, so do you.

There are other things to add here but they're too small to look at today. If I ask myself the question again though - ‘what do I want my life to look like in 9:18’ - I can at least say I have thrown enough stones in the lake to make some ripples. The trick now is to continue throwing stones in the same lake and building them up until they become waves. 

In one single year. You can change your world. I’m certain of this. 

In one single year, you might even be able to change The World. All you have to do is begin.

#9:18

This looks like a good place to drop in something smart but I can't think of anything better than this, so I won't bother:

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Sion Smith9:18