First World Problems

A great friend of mine is looking at launching a radio station in Liverpool sometime in the next couple of months and has asked me to put a show together for it. I snapped his hand off. When you write all day and write all night, anything that doesn't involve writing is a welcome break - particularly if it's something you love sinking your teeth into.

I'm working on a demo show right now to trial some different formats (you can really get some traction in GarageBand even using its most basic features) but my problem is what to call it. I have four options:

1. Bad Hare Days - which is a play on my publishing company here... obviously.

2. Black Dye White Noise - which is the name of a show I used to do.

3. The Dope Show - I'm leaning heavily towards this because it just sounds like a radio show.

4. Howl - Which is the title of the new music book I've been writing forever (and was once called Raised On Radio but that's an awful name for a radio show).

I've opened the comments on this post. If one of these jumps out at you instinctively, I'd love to hear your thoughts because I've gone into OverThinking mode.

So far as I know, the show will be broadcast online but it might get an FM channel as well... it used to have one when it existed in a previous incarnation. Not important. I'll keep you clued in with links and other relevant things as we move along. 


Friday means packaging books to ship out. It should be a royal pain but I get a peculiar satisfaction from wrapping the packages in brown paper and making an unholy mess on the table. If it was practical in any way, I might also enjoy driving around delivering them by hand but alas, it is not.

A whole lot of years ago, when I began my 'publishing career' with a rock fanzine made in my rented room in North Wales, doing the work wasn't hard at all. Painstaking yes, but not hard. The hard part was letting people know you had something they might be interested in. Back then, I used to advertise in the free classified column they ran in Kerrang! magazine and it worked... to a point. Where else were you going to advertise an indie glam-rock fanzine and hope to find people on the same wavelength?

Today, 'you' simply hit the internet and hope for the best there instead. It's not so different really.

As the months moved on into more issues of that little rag, I figured it needed and deserved more if we were ever going to get the hell out of Dodge. There were other classified adverts in the mag and damnit, other fanzines too - it needed a different approach. So I did what I have always done in these situations and ignored all of the road-blocks between myself and what I perceived to be the end-game. In this instance, the end-game happened to be poaching (with nothing but bravado) the stand that belonged to the merchandising giant Winterland (I think that's what they were called) at a Gods of AOR festival at the Astoria in London. It wasn't really our target audience but it was an audience and as luck would have it, we sold all of the copies we took down with us and were out of there before Winterland even arrived to evict us for our bare-faced cheek... 

...and one day, not so long after this event, I noticed we were sending more copies to the USA than we were selling here.

Today, I noticed the same thing. Today, along with the copies of Cities of the Dead (and The Day The Sky Fell Down too, which was neat) that went out to readers in the UK, I also mailed an exact same number stack of books to the USA and I find that just as exciting now as I did then. Maybe more so.

Just a kid who used to wear brown socks from the smallest house ever in North Wales who went out for milk one day. That's still how I see myself.

Alabama, California, New York, Rhode Island and Kansas - places that only existed in films when I was sticking the pages of that fanzine together. Inside of my head, the six year old boy who wonders how hot the fire is, lives on. A six year old boy who knows he's going to have to stick his hands in to find out for sure.

I never take any of it for granted and I hope I never will. If you're one of those people 'here' or 'there' who like what I do enough to buy a book, thanks for throwing some logs in. 

Everything Burns When It's Hot Enough.

Sion Smith