Friday, December 31, 2010

Free signed copies of Kalix, la Loup-Garou Solitaire

A box arrives from my French publisher, Editions Intervalles, containing copies of Kalix, la loup-garou solitaire, the French edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl. This book is huge! It's an enormous volume. After reading about Kalix, you could easily use it for fighting off burglars, or clearing space on a crowded train. Or if you were at some sporting event you could stand on it, and get a much better view.

Rather than leaving this box of books cluttering up the place, I'll give away two signed copies, in a small competition. To enter my small book competition, just leave a comment below telling me you'd like the book. Anyone can enter. After a few days I'll select two winners somehow or other. At random, probably. Unless someone leaves a comment which is so entertaining that it has to be a winner.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Big Eyed Beans From Venus

I was saddened by the recent death of Captain Beefheart, or Don Van Vliet, to give him his proper name. I've listened to his records very often over the years. People mostly mention his experimental music such as Trout Mask Replica, but to be honest, I liked Captain Beefheart best when he was less experimental. My favourite record of his was Clear Spot, and there were other really fine albums, like Safe as Milk and Strictly Personal. All containing a unique sort of blend of growling desert blues and jagged rock. Maybe with some dadaism thrown in, if I actually knew what dadaism meant. Not being that great at writing about music, I can't really describe what these records are like. But anyway, Captain Beefheart was a great singer, he wrote a lot of fine songs, and he played with a lot of good musicians.

I saw Captain Beefheart play in Glasgow in the 70s, twice. Looking back, I'm slightly surprised that this happened. It seems somehow unlikely that the Captain ever arrived in Scotland. However, at the time, Glasgow was a big destination for rock bands, and everybody came there as part of their UK tour.

I started going to see gigs at the Greens' Playhouse - which later became the Apollo - in the early 70s, while I was 14 I think. Making a list, just off the top of my head, by the time I was 17 I'd seen these bands play live -

Led Zeppelin (best thing ever)
Captain Beefheart
Mott the Hoople
Deep Purple
Black Sabbath (Iron Man!)
Hawkwind (space ritual!)
Black Oak Arkansas
Emerson Lake and Palmer
The Groundhogs
The Who (floodlights, smashed guitars)
Roxy Music (Eno in silver feathered jacket)
King Crimson
Fairport Convention
Wishbone Ash
Sensational Alex Harvey Band (Big Glasgow favourite)
Uriah Heep
Lou Reed (in his brief 'blond-haired' period)
Dr Feelgood (? maybe that was later)

And I'm sure there were others that have escaped my memory at the moment. I had a ticket to see David Bowie, just before he became Ziggy Stardust, but the gig was cancelled on the night, leaving us cold and frustrated at the door. Anyway, that's not a bad list of rock music at the time, in these distant pre-punk days.

It was good to see all these bands, at a young age. I wasn't the only person to do this, by any means. Plenty of people I was at school with would have seen all these gigs too.

My big regret is not going to see T Rex. I was put off by the thought of all the screaming girls. When I was 15 I didn't think it would be very good to be surrounded by screaming girls. Because at that age I was stupid. Arrrghhhhh. What a mistake. Marc Bolan was one of the great talents and icons of 20 century music. I can't believe I didn't go and see him when I had the chance. If a time portal was to open up now in London, offering the chance to go and see Marc Bolan and T Rex in 1973, I'd be leading the stampede to get there.

The main venue in Glasgow, the Greens' Playhouse, was an old cinema, capacity about 2,500 I think, so it was quite a small place to see some of these bands. Led Zeppelin were playing in stadiums around the world, but I saw them in that small cinema. It was great.

* and you can read more about this in my fine novel 'Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me' *

I saw Captain Beefheart play twice. For some reason, my memory of these gigs isn't as sharp as some others, but I do remember being quite disappointed at the first concert, which was at the Kelvin Hall. And then the second gig, a year or so after at the Greens' Playhouse, was brilliant. The captain and his Magic Band were on good form and it was a great night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New British edition of The Good Fairies of New York

Piatkus will be publishing their edition of The Good Fairies of New York on the 10th January. Although this book has been available here as an import from America, it's quite a while since it actually had a publisher in Britain. Waterstone's are promoting the book in January and February, so I hope to see bundles of the book lying around on tables in their shops. It's good if you can get your books lying around in bundles on these tables near the front of the stores, but it can be a difficult thing to achieve.


My heart raced as I read that Scarlett Johansson's marriage has come to an end. The poor woman will definitely be in need of some comforting. It's time to relaunch my plan of hanging round in hotels looking forlorn, in the hope that I can meet the beautiful Scarlett and establish some sort of Lost in Translation-type relationship. I have the camouflage t-shirt ready and everything, and can do the Bill Murray ageing desperation part no problem at all. I have Just Like Honey ready to play in a big final scene. As long as Scarlett has the pink wig with her, everything will be just perfect.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Ice and Snow

I've been shivering in the cold as London disappeared beneath the snow. My flat can take a while to heat up, leading to some muttering and cursing while I'm waiting to get warm. Once fully heated, I find it difficult to move from the couch, just in case it's not so cosy anywhere else.

However I have been carrying on with the long walk to the shops which I do everyday, because otherwise I'd never go anywhere. This long walk has proved hazardous. The roads were gritted but not the pavements, which became quite dangerous, with compacted snow and ice.

We had a milder day yesterday and a lot of the snow disappeared, but the temperature has dropped again so I think we might get more. I can't help feeling a bad accident is just around the corner. I may soon be discovered unconscious under a snowdrift, still clutching a box of tea bags and a packet of hobnobs.

The only thing getting me through the freezing misery is football, and I watched a lot over the weekend, much of it involving shouting and shaking my fist at the TV. It ended well for Arsenal, due mainly to the overwhelming brilliance of Samir Nasri.

Am now attempting to plug up some of the draughts in this flat, and stop the cold air seeping in. Unfortunately I'm useless at this, as I'm completely hopeless at anything practical. I should have learned how to do practical household tasks some time, but unfortunately I never seem to have managed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As I was in the kitchen, shuffling around getting cups and the teapot and milk and maybe some hobnobs to go with them, Lady Gaga came on the radio. It struck me that I quite liked the record. And I thought 'that's strange,' because modern music generally it makes me feel grumpy, bad tempered, and, worst of all, old. So  I wondered why I liked this music by Lady Gaga. Then it struck me. It was just disco music. These Lady Gaga records are just disco records. They wouldn't have sounded out of place at any disco in 1979.
So that's probably why I liked it. I always rather liked disco music. Not that I have ever been a great habitué of discos, you will not be surprised to hear.  But at the very end of the seventies and the start of the eighties I did used to go to Heaven, which was (and still is, I think) a large gay disco near Charing Cross.
As far as I remember, London didn't have any late night clubs at that time. Now there are late night clubs everywhere but back then the only places that opened late were small private clubs. So when this very large disco opened in the centre of town, it was quite something. Earlier than this I remember going to a gay bar in Brixton because it was the only place open late. Then when Heaven opened I'd sometimes go there because it was the only place open after midnight.
I trust I'm not being offensive here. Is there anything offensive about the image of the young Millar invading gay discos merely because he needed somewhere to get a pint of lager at two in the morning? Hmm. Possibly. But it's not like I indulged in any oppressive heterosexual behaviour while I was there. Like for instance trying to pick up any of the pretty young women who, for some reason, always also made up a small proportion of the clientele. Well actually I did go home with a really attractive woman I met at Heaven one night. But I didn't make a big thing about it. Maybe I bragged about it a little.
Anyway, I heard a lot of disco music at Heaven, and I always liked it. I can remember listening with interest to drum machines, and various electronic beats, which appeared in disco music before crossing over into more mainstream music. I certainly heard interesting electronics in discos before they appeared in these crappy eighties electro pop records.
I particularly remember Donna Summer's I Feel Love, though actually you didn't have to go to a disco to hear that as it was a massive hit and you used to hear it everywhere. In those days there were a lot of small record shops and outside in the street you could hear the music they were playing. I have an idea that close to where I lived there was one small record shop which constantly played the Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant, and another playing Donna Summers' I feel Love. Though it's possible I've just invented that memory. Hmm. No, on reflection, I think that did really happen.
Anyway, Lady Gaga's music would not have sounded out of place at Heaven in 1980, it would just have sounded like another disco record, which I suppose is why I like her now.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

High Winds, Werewolf Playlist

There have been high winds here recently, and after several dangerous trips to the shops I count myself fortunate to have escaped serious injury. Not only is there the ever-present danger of a tile being blown off a roof and landing on my head, there's the terrifying prospect of scaffolding collapsing. In this part of South London there always seems to be scaffolding around some old building and I'm nervous of it. And when I say nervous I mean I'm scared of it and cross the road to avoid it. I have a morbid fear of being buried under a pile of scaffolding. It's just so dangerous, all these heavy metal poles up there above you. There should be some safe modern version, like maybe scaffolding made of bouncy castle material.

I do have some reason to be nervous of winds, dating from my childhood. In 1968 there was a bad hurricane in Glasgow. I can still remember waking up in the middle of the night wondering what on earth was happening, as the winds roared around the house, and slates flew off roofs. It was so loud. I got up, and found the rest of the family also awake. We all sat downstairs rather nervously through the night, waiting for it to pass.

It happened as a complete surprise, without any warning. Hurricanes are not at all common in Scotland. By world standards, it probably wasn't that severe a hurricane, but there were people killed in the storm. So perhaps my great dislike of strong winds come from that.

In-between coping with this dangerous weather, I completed an interview for Largehearted Boy, comprising a playlist for Curse of The Wolf Girl, which you can find here. I like this playlist.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Outside View

Outside View

In March 1977 the punk band Eater released their first single, Outside View, which I bought, and still have. Last week I bought a t-shirt featuring a picture of the cover. I felt obliged to do this.

Why was I obliged to buy this t-shirt, you may ask? Well, oddly, there was an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Oz was wearing a t-shirt with this picture on it. I was very surprised at the time. I wouldn't have thought anyone in Hollywood would even have known what the picture was. Eater were quite a well known punk band in Britain for a short while around 1977 but I don't think their first single ever achieved global recognition.

But there it was, in Buffy. Ever since then I've had the vague feeling that if there had been a t-shirt in Buffy featuring a punk single I owned, then I really ought to have that t-shirt too. So I have a pleasant sense of completion having now bought this, from a 'Camdens Burning t-shirts' on Ebay.

I still listen to this single, though on itunes now rather than vinyl. It strikes me that after thirty years or so, I still can't make out all the lyrics. Some of them have defeated my best efforts at interpretation. Though generally I'm quite bad at understanding lyrics, and liable to comic misunderstandings. Here is the song on youtube, and here is my version of the lyrics. If anyone can fill in the gaps, I'd be pleased.

A Saturday night in the street
looking through the plate glass windows
outside view

There's a television standing on the floor (?)
??????????? ????????? ???????? ?????
?????????? no more (?)

I wanna come in cos I've got the blues
All that I am stuck with is this outside view

Oh! I'm running about (?)
Got my feet on the ground
??????? ????????? ?????????

Nothing to give (?) and nothing to gain

A cop comes along and says what's your name
(?) Said I am a girl and my name is Germaine (??!!!!)

He says you'd better come along I want (?) a word (?) with you
I will stay out here with my outside view

Oh! I'm running about (?)
Oh! Got my feet on the ground

Oh! ??????? ????????? ?????????
Nothing to give (?) and nothing to gain

Friday, October 22, 2010

Italian Curse of the Wolf Girl

The Italian edition of Curse of the Wolf Girl - Vex e Kalix - will be published by Fazi Editore on the 26th November. Here's the cover -

It's a really nice cover. Publishers have produced some good artwork for these werewolf books.

I urge people to buy them, thereby enabling me to keep on playing Final Fantasy, watching SpongeBob SquarePants and never having to work again. I'm not one of those people who is driven to keep on writing. I could quite happily lie on the couch in a semi-coma for the next three years.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Arrrghhh! People!!!

People are so unbelievably annoying and stupid at times. Making me despise the human race at this moment is the complete mess people round here made of the local council's attempts to encourage re-cycling.

First the council gave everyone these big plastic boxes. You put in all your paper, glass and tin. Then you put the box outside your flat and they collected it. Unfortunately, when the boxes were left outside, other people put junk in them - household garbage, plastic bottles, that sort of thing. Just threw it in like they were rubbish bins. There were a few extra boxes which were always left in front of the block, and these also became rubbish bins. Soon the whole place turned into a big mess.

So. The council abandoned the individual boxes and instead placed three very large bins in front of the block of flats, clearly marked for recycling only. You just took your paper, glass and tin down there and threw it in the big bin. Once again, it was a perfectly good recycling scheme, easy to use.

However people, apparently too stupid to comprehend it, immediately started to ruin it by once more treating these recycling bins as rubbish bins. People would leave other junk beside them. Old carpets, bit of household furniture, even bags of garbage. Even though this was clearly not the place to leave any of this stuff, people did it. What's more, people with large amounts of cardboard to throw away, like large boxes, couldn't be bothered to rip the cardboard up and put it in the bins. Instead they'd just dump a load of boxes beside the recycling bins. Which meant, inevitably, that they'd get rained on. In no time there would be a mass of soggy disgusting cardboard rotting on the pavement. Other people, seeing this mass of rotting cardboard then would leave more junk beside it. Very soon the whole place was a terrible mess, and the council's perfectly good recycling scheme was ruined again.

Now they have put a smaller recycling bin inside the little cupboards where everyone's bins are stored. As these are locked away, this might do better, but I doubt it, because when people go to put their rubbish there they will just toss it in the recycling bins anyway. People already leave stuff in there that the council's garbage collectors obviously aren't going to take away, like old chairs for instance, because these people cannot be bothered to get rid of them properly.

Why are people so annoying and stupid like this? It's not like the recycling was ever difficult but people just made a complete mess of it.

Similarly, adding to my ire, in the supermarket there's a cat rescue bin, placed there by a local charity. You put cat food in there and it goes to a shelter for homeless cats. This is a standard sort of black rubbish bin, but taped to it are pictures of cats. On top of it, there is a big sign with more pictures of cats, and an explanation of what it's for. It says in big letters 'Only put cat food in here.' And do people pay any attention? Naturally they don't. Every time I go to put a tin of cat food in the bin, it's full of rubbish - empty crisp packets and stuff like that - because people are too lazy and stupid to read the sign and realise that it's not actually meant to be a rubbish bin.

Arrrgh. People. Urgh.

* However *

* Calming down for a moment. *

I'm expecting dancing on the streets of Paris today, as Lonely Werewolf Girl is finally published in France, by Editions Intervalles. It has taken rather a long time to get there, but now here it is - Kalix, la loup-garou solitaire.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

At the end of 1978 I was working in the the Unemployment Benefit office in Brixton, as a temporary clerk. At that time in London it wasn't hard to get a temporary job for a few months if you needed some money. When the contract came to an end after a few months, you could sign on for welfare benefits again, and indeed I signed on at the office in Brixton before I worked there, and afterwards too.

The Unemployment Benefit Office wasn't housed in any sort of office building. I think the building had once been a school. That's what it looked like anyway, an old Victorian School. The large hall where people queued to sign on every week might have been the school's assembly room, and the rooms where people worked were probably classrooms at one time.

In some ways it was quite a gloomy place. It was a shabby old building, not renovated, not well-lit, not warm, not comfortable in any way. On the other hand, the staff were mainly young and friendly and that made it not such a bad place to work.

Fortunately for me, my job didn't involve anything awkward. All I did was take fresh claims. When people came in to sign on as unemployed for the first time, I took their details and filled out the forms. I didn't have to do anything like assess their claims, or tell people that they weren't entitled to welfare, or anything like that. Which is just as well, because I'd have hated to do that.

I thought of this office recently when I heard an old Ian Dury record on the radio. Back in the unemployment office, the radio used to play through the tannoy system, and I have a pleasant memory that one day towards Christmas in 1978, the whole office brightened up when Ian Dury's Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick came on. Everyone liked that record. Everyone responded in some way when Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick played. There were clerks behind counters making little shuffling dance steps, or tapping their feet, and other clerks wandering around behind them singing the words under their breath. Everyone was cheerful while this song was on the radio. So I'm grateful to Ian Dury and the Blockheads for that memory.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scottish Usage - Amn't

It comes as a complete surprise to me to learn that in standard English there is no such word - or contraction - as amn't. The proper contraction, so I learn, is aren't.

So -

I'm here, amn't I? - Not Standard English

I'm here, aren't I? - Standard English

Well, this is a surprise. In Scotland, amn't is used in normal speech, without any connotations of it being slang, or improper English. I've used the word all my life and didn't even realise it wasn't normal. Although I have been in England for 30 years or so. Obviously I never noticed I was the only one using it.

Possibly this is something everyone else learned at school, while I missed out. Hmm. It may have been the day I bunked off to get Led Zeppelin tickets. Or maybe some day I just failed to turn up. I didn't have a great record in my final years at school.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Unexpected Dentistry

I'm still in the grip of Final Fantasy 13, and unable to break free. I'm surprised at my own capacity for doing absolutely nothing except play my Playstation. There's starting to be something epic about it.
I had to go the dentist. Not great, as I still have problems travelling there. (Agoraphobia update: not much progress) But maybe it's not so bad. Perhaps it would break me out of my Playstation obsession and get me back to doing other things. Like writing. Which, I believe, I did do at one time.
Travelled on bus to dentist. Slight toothache. I'm assuming this is just a worn filling needing a little attention. However the dentist deems suspicious as he pokes around in my mouth. He takes an X-Ray. Minutes late he announces that the nerve has to come out right away. So now I'm having unexpected root-canal surgery. A poor time in the dentist's chair follows immediately.  And I was already having a poor time with having to travel. All in all this was not a great experience.
Some time later I limped back out into Brixton and caught a taxi home, not in the best of moods. Have now retreated back to  the Playstation, which is much more agreeable than real life.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Lack of Productivity

There has been nothing produced in the Millar household for some time now. Writing has ground to a halt along with all other activity. Dishes remain unwashed, email remains unanswered and bills languish unopened on the carpet.

Why is this? Well, it could be because -

A) Scarlett Johansson has finally accepted my invitation to spend a cozy weekend together.

B) I have been engaged in important charity work for the United Nations.


C) I've been slumped on the couch night and day, unable to drag myself away from my playstation.

* sigh *

Activity will resume when I finish Final Fantasy 13. This may take some time.

I notice this game had quite a lot of criticism from fans of the series, but I've never played any of the others so I don't know how it compares. I seem to be unable to stop playing it anyway.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free Books - German and English

The German publisher Fischer just sent me some copies of Kalix. Fluch der Werwölfe, which is due to be published any day now.  At the start of September, I think. This is their translation of Curse of the Wolf Girl.

I like the cover. It's a really nice book. It's also extremely large, a good deal larger than the English edition. Quite a hefty object in fact. You could really do some damage with this book, if you were annoyed with someone and it was the only object to hand.

I'll give two signed copies of this book away free to any German speakers. If you are German and would like one of these two free copies, then do this -

1) Write a reply here saying you want the book.
2) Write something in German that will convince us you actually are German.
3) Email me your address

And I'll send the first two people to do that a signed copy of the book.

[edit 3.40pm - I've given away the German books now, it's too late to enter. Sorry]

Also on the subject of book giveaways, my publisher Piatkus has a competition to win copies of Curse of the Wolf Girl. Go here to look at the competition. They're giving away ten copies so it is worth entering.

I notice the German edition of the book uses quite an old photograph of me. So if you're planning to visit London from Germany to stalk the handsome young Millar, prepare to be disappointed. I look a lot older now, am ageing fast, and spend most of my time just slumped on the couch watching SpongeBopb SquarePants, occasionally shaking my fist at the modern world. But even that feels like quite an effort these days.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Cover Humiliation. For Me.

I really liked the Piatkus Cover for Lonely Werewolf Girl. Nice fonts, and a picture giving an indication of what a desperate Kalix MacRinnalch might look like. All in all, a very suitable cover. I'm still keen on it.

Unfortunately, as was soon pointed out to me, Piatkus weren't the only people who liked the cover image. So did the designers who produced this -

Well that seemed bad, two books with the same cover image. By the time anyone realised, it was too late to do anything about it. The books were all printed and on their way to the shops. After making enquiries, my publisher learned that external freelancer who designed the cover had used a royalty-free stock image, unknown to them. That was very unfortunate, but there was nothing to do but accept it and move on. Because after all, it's just one of those things.

Well actually, it now turns out to be just two of those things. Witness the third exhibit -

Yes, here we have a third book, using the same cover image. As Madeline puts it on my Facebook page, epic fail. I must admit to feeling quite humiliated about this. And slightly worried about how many other books might turn up with the same image. It's probably lurking on the desks of other cover designers right now, and they're all about to use it. Soon it will be advertising cornflakes. But perhaps I should actually encourage other publishers to use the picture. We might set some sort of record.

Am now off to slump on the couch and play Final fantasy 13. I didn't intend to buy this game, but at the Supermarket they put it in a rack that was right beside me when I was queuing up to pay for my food. So really they tricked me into buying it. I had no choice. I was powerless to just stand in the queue and not put it in my basket.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15th - On this day in 1977...

...I was at a punk gig in the Vortex Club in London. I saw the Slits and the Prefects. (I was surprised to actually find the original advert for this gig, on The Vortex was never as hip a punk rock club as the Roxy, because it opened later, but I still saw a lot of good gigs there.

Off the top of my head, bands I remember seeing in this small venue include Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Rezillos, Generation X, Penetration, The Models (featuring Marco Pirroni) The Slits, The Adverts, Sham 69, Menace, and various others.

The Prefects were a strange band, shambolic even by the standards of the time. I remember them quite fondly, before they disappeared without trace. The Slits went on to have success, though I was never a big fan. I liked them when they were a noisy punk band, but they soon stopped being that. In fact, the only record of the way the Slits sounded in their early days is on the first John Peel session they recorded. That's still a favourite of mine. But by the time they made their first album, they'd changed, and played a lot of different, reggae-influenced music, which I never much enjoyed. I was still young, and only a fan of noisy buzzsaw guitars. I suppose you can't blame a band for wanting to move on from that.

Something I remember about this gig was that after the Slits finished playing, they did an encore and the Prefects came back to join them onstage. The played Louie Louie together, which was unusual. Louie Louie wasn't a song original punk bands played by any means, in fact it would have been seen as rather old-fashioned. But anyway both bands combined for some sort of cacophonous version of it, and it was great. I remember Ari Up, the Slits singer, riding piggy back on the shoulders of the Prefects singer.

Hmmm. More punk rock memories from the 70s. Well at least I'm not having a mid-life crisis or anything.

This is how the Slits sounded in their early days. The song is called Vindictive -

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Curse of the Wolf Girl, UK

Today, the 5th, is the official publication day for Curse of the Wolf Girl in Britain. Or I think it is, I'm a bit vague about the exact publication date. And it seems to have been available for a few days anyway. Hmm. This isn't the most impressive publication announcement ever made. But it's out now anyway. I think this edition should now be available in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well.

In London, Kalix is on her way to remedial college to try and improve her reading skills, Vex is going too, and Daniel is still pining over Moonglow. Yum Yum Sugary Snacks are refusing to rehearse, Dominil is getting annoyed and Decembrius is wondering what to do with himself. In Scotland, Markus, now thane of the Werewolf Clan, is wondering if he should tell his girlfriend about his habit of cross-dressing. Malveria, Queen of the Fire Elementals, and Thrix, Werewolf Enchantress, have some important fashion engagements coming up, but the werewolf hunters haven't forgotten about them, and neither has Princess Kabachetka, Malveria's deadly rival. And, that, off the top of my head, should be enough to get you started.

Meanwhile I'll draw your attention to this podcast from Erik Carlson, made up of music inspired by me, which starts off with the Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin, so that can't be bad.


I miss my old, simple message board. If you'd like to leave me a message, you can use this page.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Punk Rock Ephermera

I'm sometimes surprised by the stuff that appears from old boxes I haven't looked in for years. Yesterday I came across these items of punk memorabilia which I'd forgotten about.

There are two issues of Sniffin' Glue, the original punk fanzine. This was founded by Mark Perry in 1976 London, and ran for a year or so. I bought these two issues in 1977, in the King's Road in Chelsea. (I'm fairly sure that's red ink, and not blood, on the cover)

On the cover of one issue there are pictures of Johnny Rotten, The Clash and the Damned. I think it's the magazine staff on the other. I notice that picture was taken by Jill Furmanovsky, who went on to become a well-known photographer.

Sniffin' Glue had a big role in driving the punk rock explosion in Britain. It was certainly an innovation. I'd never seen a fanzine before Sniffin Glue appeared. Soon afterwards there was proliferation of fanzines, though I don't remember buying any others.

My other piece of ephemera is a little Raincoats booklet, from a year or two later. That's not really punk rock, of course, it was post-punk, and very different in a way. But similar in other ways. It was a creative period in Britain, and there were a few years of this sort of creativity which flowed together. Though the all-female Raincoats were nothing at all like the Sex Pistols or the Clash, they wouldn't have flourished, or probably even existed, without the creative energy and freedom created by punk rock in London. Creative energy which got me writing, as I may have said before. Hundreds of times.

I don't remember when I got the Raincoats booklet and there's no date on it. It was probably soon after their first album came out, in 1979. It think it came from the original Rough Trade shop in Kensington Park Road. I saw the Raincoats play on various occasions around that time.

I don't know what to do with these things now. Put them back in the box, I suppose. But I'm glad I found them anyway.

I just did an interview, answering reader's questions, here at JennIRL.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello Kitty

I'm finding Twitter confusing. I didn't realise there's a link you have to press to see if anyone has replied to your posts. I only found out after I asked my friend @Abby about it. I'm still confused about what posts go where.

This brings on some gloom about the modern world. I've been through websites, newsgroups, message boards, forums, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and God knows what else, when all I really wanted to do was generate a little publicity, sell a few books, and spend the rest of my time watching SpongeBob SquarePants. Was this so unreasonable? Yet now here I am, trapped by technology. Clearly my life has gone wrong somewhere.

* shakes fist at modern world *

I noticed some Hello Kitty bags in the supermarket today, and I was interested in this, because you don't see much Hello Kitty merchandise around here. (Vex, Kalix's friend, is a fan of Hello Kitty) I quite wanted to buy one, and wondered if there was someone I could give it to as a present, but I couldn't think of anyone. My niece is too old, and would be scornful of it. And I couldn't really justify buying it for myself.

Hello Kitty has a little bow around one ear. This looks pleasing, but I'm wondering if it's really practical. Would a bow really stay on a cat's ear? I think it might just fall off all the time.

I was going to finish this blog with the stunning revelation that Hello Kitty was inspired by the broad flat colours of the great artist Matisse, particularly the paper collages he created late in his career. That would have been a good piece of information to pass on. But I've just remembered it wasn't Hello Kitty that was inspired by Matisse, it was Miffy the Rabbit. Hmm. I have no real opinion on Miffy.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Soo Catwoman T-shirt

Here I am in my new Soo Catwoman t-shirt, which I love dearly. Notice the expression of deep concentration as I struggle with the difficult task of taking a picture and talking on the phone at the same time. Afterwards I had to sit down and rest.

Also in picture - MacBook Pro, box it came in, nice little tartan head-scarf, World Fantasy Award, box of tissues, edge of trusty old Mac iBook, blue mug, assorted books, wicker basket containing socks, TV remote and envelope containing bill for something.

I bought this t-shirt from Catwoman Clothing which is the creation of Dion, Soo's daughter. To paraphrase her daughter's words, very many people have used pictures of Soo Catwoman over the years, on books, magazines, posters, clothes, record sleeves and so on, without either asking permission or paying any money, so now they're reclaiming it.

You can buy various designs of these t-shirts either at Catwoman Clothing's Myspace or Soo Catwoman's website.

Here's another picture of one of their t-shirts -

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chinese Good Fairies

Here's the cover of the new Chinese language edition of the Good Fairies of New York, to be published at the end of this month in Taiwan. ( ISBN 9789861736518 )

My name in Chinese, I think  -  馬汀.米勒

(I'm saying 'Chinese' here, but that's probably not quite accurate, because there are different types of written Chinese.)

Here's some of the blurb from the back cover -

Notice the important words, in brackets in English - Jane Austen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Sex Pistols.  Good choices! I'm pleased to be known as a fan of Buffy, Jane Austen and the Sex Pistols. All three were at the top of their genre.

It also mentions Thraxas. I am at this moment planning to write a new Thraxas story, and publish it as an ebook. This will happen some time, though I'm not certain when.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mysterious Painted Mark

Outside the front door of my block there are some small metal covers, all marked 'stopcock.' Recently one of these metal covers has been mysteriously painted blue. I'm very suspicious about this. Why has it happened?

I walked down the block, looking at the other entrances. There are similar small metal covers on the pavement outside other doors. None of them have been painted blue. Or painted at all.

It all seems very suspicious to me. And a little worrying. What can it mean? At present, I'm leaning towards it being a signal to aliens. At this moment, they might be looking at my front door through giant telescopes, and thinking 'that's the place.'

Less likely, but not impossible, assassins have marked my flat for a sudden deadly strike.

Could it be a secret sign, like in The Hobbit, when Gandalf scratches a mark on Bilbo's door, and all the dwarves arrive, thinking Bilbo is an expert treasure hunter? Hmmm. Actually, I've always thought that was quite likely to happen to me one day. I'm sort of expecting to have to help dwarves battle a dragon at some time or other.

It all bodes ill. Secret and mysterious marks outside your house can't be good. I don't like it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Malveria's Shoe Catastrophe

Here is a digital painting of Queen Malveria, by Sam Causon, which she's posted on her deviant art page. I am very fond of this image.

An angry Malveria, with flames flickering around her eyes, is complaining to her friend and fashion designer Thrix MacRinnalch that the heel on her new shoes has broken. It was a very upsetting experience for the Queen. Though, as Thrix does point out, she shouldn't really expect a fashion item like these high heels to survive a harsh environment like the Great Volcano. It's an early scene in Lonely Werewolf Girl, and writing that scene went a long way towards setting the tone of the book. I remember being pleased with it at the time.


I'm not so pleased that every time I log into Facebook an advert appears on my page inviting me to try a 'Mature Dating Service.' Hum. Is this advert targeted specifically at me? Surely there is some mistake. My targeted ad should say something like 'Hello you handsome young stud, here are some glamorous movie stars who want to meet you.' Must send Facebook a strong complaint about the mix up.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

More Computer Problems. Sigh.

What a trying week. My computer broke down, again. I had to have a new hard drive fitted last November, when it was only a couple of months old, and now it’s happened again. A complete hard-drive failure. I had to take it to the Apple Store in Regent Street to get a new drive fitted.

This has shaken my faith in Apple somewhat. Their support and free repair service has been really good, but it’s quite unsettling to have a new MacBook Pro and be on my third hard drive in eight months.

Naturally, the whole thing was very stressful. I was meant to go last weekend but several hours before setting off I managed to pour boiling water over my arm in a shocking household accident. This was really painful, and as I ran my arm under the cold tap I was envisioning myself in a hospital bed surrounded by drip-feeds, skin grafts and anxious relatives. It didn’t turn out to be that serious, though it did hurt dreadfully for a few hours before starting to feel better. By the evening it was all right, if very red. But it had put me right off visiting the Apple store.

The next appointment I could make was last Saturday. That was a poor choice of day. My agoraphobia made the visit difficult anyway, and it became worse as I arrived to find that it was iPad launch day. The Apple store was absolutely besieged by eager customers. There seemed to be several million people there, all wanting iPads. There were assistants and security guards shepherding the vast crowd in all directions. As I stood at the foot of the stairs, waiting for my group of people to be allowed upstairs, I realised that I’d picked a very bad time to visit.

“I’m afraid we’re running late” I was informed. I nodded gloomily, and settled in for a long, quite anxious wait. I couldn’t really blame the store, as the place was absolutely crammed with people wanting iPads.

At least the repair was quick. They’d replaced my hard drive by the next day and I’m now back in business, after the fairly tedious process of reloading my new operating system and software and work files and so on. Urgh.

Will this hard drive last longer than the others? I hope so.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kalix. Fluch der Werwölfe

This is the cover for the German edition of Curse of the Wolf Girl, to be published by Fischer in September.

I put the title - Kalix. Fluch der Werwölfe - into Google translator quite enthusiastically, hoping it might translate as Kalix fucks the werewolf. Which would have been a brave choice of title by the publisher. But it turns out that fluch means curse. That does make more sense really.

Summer appears to have arrived. I have celebrated the sunny weather by having several clumsy household accidents, then sitting in front of my Playstation in a gloomy state of mind, wondering why I'm so clumsy. Some genetic condition, perhaps? Well, I suppose there are worse things than being clumsy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Handsome Young Millar

I don't have many pictures of myself when I was younger. No one in my family took photos, and later, when I left home, I didn't own a camera either.

I regret this. I wish I had a picture of me as a long-haired schoolboy in Glasgow, on my way to see Led Zeppelin. And I'd like a picture of myself with red spiky hair, walking along King's Road in London in 1977, but I don't have that either.

I did just find this picture from a year or two later. I think I'm 22 or 23 in it, though I maybe look a bit younger. And quite a nice-looking young chap, though I say it myself.

For some reason, the main thing I think, looking at this picture, is how extremely shy I was. I spent long periods on my own, probably wondering how people got girlfriends. I don't really remember that period of my life as being much fun, really.

But life did become a lot better later. By the time I was older, wrinkled, broken by life's strain and so on, I was at least much more confident. And confidence is the main thing really, so I have learned.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some Gloom

I was quite surprised at the strength of my reaction to the General Election. Though the young Millar was, of course, an enthusiastic radical, ready to demonstrate with a placard at a moment's notice, and maybe even storm a barricade - OK I never stormed a barricade - you do get more apathetic as the years go by.

It becomes increasingly appealing to just to lie on the couch, warm and comfy, watching TV or just staring into space, rather than actually worry about politics. I do a lot of staring into space these days. And TV watching. (I did manage to rouse myself to go out and vote.)

But despite my greatly diminished appetite for politics, current affairs, and anything which actually requires thinking, I was moved to outrage when the Liberal Democrats agreed a pact, giving us a Conservative government. It's such a grim prospect. Surely no one who lived through the long years of Margaret Thatcher could ever welcome these people into power again? Urghhhh. I despair.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Neanderthal and Proud

I was pleased to read that in most humans, up to 4% of our DNA is Neanderthal. A comparison of the genomes of humans and Neanderthals reveals that most people living outside Africa can trace up to 4% of their DNA to a Neanderthal origin, a consequence of interbreeding between Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens after humans left Africa.

(I'm taking this from this article in The Guardian)

Modern humans and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor but parted company in the evolutionary line some 350,000 years ago. But as a result of subsequent interbreeding, around 60,000 years ago in the Middle East, between 1% and 4% of the DNA in modern Europeans and Asians was inherited from Neanderthals.

I like this. I have sometimes felt sorry for the Neanderthals. They were intelligent. They used tools, and their brains were as large as those of Homo Sapiens. And they made it through millions of years of evolution all the way to only 30,000 years ago, before dying out.

It can't have been much fun, knowing that your species was dying out, and watching it happen, while Homo Sapiens took over. I had a sad image of the last Neanderthal left, feeling very lonely, unable even to find another Neanderthal to talk to.

But this news makes it not so bad. If there was some interbreeding, the last Neanderthal might well have got himself a nice Homo Sapien girlfriend, and passed on his genes. So it wasn't all tragic loss.

Yes, I can definitely feel some Neanderthal inside me.

Neanderthals were shorter than modern humans, with strong cranial features. They were powerful, robust and suited to cold climates. A study suggests some Neanderthals may have had red hair and pale skin.

Well, that sounds like the Scots, actually. I wonder if Neanderthals had also had strong accents and drank too much? Maybe I'm more than 4% Neanderthal. I feel this might explain some things.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Still Here

I have survived, for the moment, the great volcanic crisis. But I'm sort of expecting it to erupt again, and don't feel entirely safe yet. It's another thing to worry about.  I know one day I'll be digging myself out with a shovel.

I suppose the massive destruction and loss of human life would all be worth it if I were to find that it was up to me to re-populate the planet with Scarlett Johansson, the only other survivor. Though I suppose the chances of that happening are quite remote, really.

Ho hum. After Lost in Translation, I am always going to be a little disappointed in life. I know I'm never going to meet Scarlett Johansson in a hotel in Tokyo. She will never rest her head on my shoulder while wearing that really great pink wig. In this rather dingy area of South London, I'm just not going to bump into her. So that will always be a lingering regret.

Back in the real world, I've been trying to format some writing in .epub, a modern ebook format. Having downloaded the necessary software, I've found it not to be as easy to use as I hoped. These things never are. I've surprised myself over the past decade by learning stuff like HTML and CSS and Photoshop and desktop publishing and whatever else I need to get by these days, but I often find it something of a struggle.

There is one football fan forum I visit, where, in the off-topic section, fans sometimes ask for help with computer problems. Unfortunately, the answers from other football fans inevitably include the suggestion 'Try wiping your cock across the screen.' Which, I must admit, did make me laugh the first time I read it. But I don't think this will ever really be that helpful.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Buried Under Volcanic Ash

I write this blog to say farewell to my readers, before London is buried under a giant cloud of volcanic ash. This, I imagine, is only a matter of time. With the volcano in Iceland still spewing debris into the air, and the enormous cloud heading our way, I have abandoned all hope of survival.

Future generations may dig me out one day, a relic of the past. I hope when the time comes, and the great cloud engulfs me, that I'm not doing anything humiliating. If I'm going to be dug up in the future and displayed as a museum exhibit, I don't want to be captured for eternity in the toilet. I'd like to be engaged in something more dignified. Reading maybe, or playing my playstation. That would be OK. Or a lover's embrace, perhaps. That wouldn't be such a bad way to go.

So, farewell. I will attempt to go out with dignity, like Pliny the Elder who died heroically, attempting to rescue people stranded at Herculaneum by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which buried Pompeii. I didn't expect to end my days at the hands of an Icelandic volcano, but you can never really predict the future. Damn these Icelanders and their volcanos.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Last week I did an telephone interview with a Scottish newspaper, the Daily Record, which went well.

I used to deliver newspapers, including the Daily Record, in the morning, when I was at school in Scotland. That was OK, as far as I remember. I didn't mind delivering papers. Possibly there were a few harsh words bandied about when I encountered the milk boys - uncivilised louts, mostly - but nothing too serious.

It does feel like a very long time ago, however. Thinking about my paper round left me feeling old. Gloomy about this, I decided to cheer myself up by immediately buying a T-Rex t-shirt from eBay. And I felt very pleased with this garment, before reflecting that really, you'd have to be quite old to actually buy a T-Rex t-shirt. Hmm. Still, I like my new t-shirt. I put it on then watched some videos of T-Rex on youtube. I have always been a big fan of the band, and Marc Bolan surely remains unsurpassed as the prettiest male pop star in history.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Some Book News

Soft Skull's re-issue of Dreams of Sex and Stage Diving is now available in the USA. As always, the publisher has produced a nice edition with a good cover. Soft Skull have really done a good job publishing my books in America.

This edition will be available in Britain a little later - August, according to

Curse of the Wolf Girl will be published in Germany in September this year, and in Italy in November. I'm not yet certain of the date for Greece.


I'm currently playing Prince of Persia on my new PS3. This is rather different from the Prince of Persia PS2 games, but still very good. The Ratchet and Clank PS3 games were great as well. (I should thank the friend who introduced me to both these series of games.) If only these games companies can keep putting out such fine products, I may never have to write, think, socialise, or even leave the house ever again. I quite like the sound of this.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Manholes of Venus

Talking about adverts in old Marvel comics in my last blog reminded me of their early 80s adverts for Atari games and consoles. I specifically remember one advert where some kid had a really uncool game system, and everyone mocked him for it.

A little internet investigation locates the advert in question -

Isn't this a tragic tale? Particularly poignant is the cruel way the girl with the blond pony tale rejects Maxy. No doubt Maxy organised the whole games night merely as an excuse to invite her over. But when she finds out he only has inferior games, she storms out, crushing him with the cutting phrase 'Later baby.'

Young Maxy would undoubtedly be devastated. Later in life he'd need therapy for his romantic failures. Even then he'd never really be comfortable around girls.

The blond haired girl does appear again in the last panel. But by then it's obvious she only likes Maxy for his games. You can tell from her body language that's she's not really interested in him. Probably by this time she's secretly dating the lead guitarist in the local speed-metal band.

What really sticks in my mind about this advert is not just the way Maxy is spurned by the woman he loves, it's that the game he's mocked for owning is called 'Manholes of Venus.' At the time, nothing struck me as odd about that name. But now I think about it, it's a very strange title for a kids game. Manholes of Venus? Did whoever wrote the advert realise the various interpretations you could put on that phrase? It sounds like something written by Petronius for the Emperor Nero, detailing events at their latest orgy. I really want to play Manholes of Venus.

At the time, at the start of the 80s, an Atari games console would have seemed to me like an unobtainable luxury item. I never knew anyone who owned one. But I recently bought myself a PS3. Ha. Take that, writing career.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I've noticed Oreos in the supermarket recently. As far as I know, Oreos only arrived in Britain fairly recently. They didn't used to sell them here. However, I was aware of them before that, because they were often advertised in the American Marvel comics I read when I was young.

I examined at the packet in the supermarket, and wondered about buying them, but was put off because they contain artificial flavours. I'm picky about artificial ingredients (Mostly for no good reason. I have many pointless food phobias.)

But while Oreos might be a fine product, they are associated with behaviour which strikes me as very strange. Their adverts say you should dunk them in milk. I've always regarded this as odd behaviour. Deviant in fact. The notion of dunking a biscuit - or cookie - in a glass of milk makes me vaguely ill. What's the point of dunking a nice biscuit in a glass of cold milk? Ew. You need tea to dunk cookies in. The drink needs to be hot, to be absorbed properly. It should be tea. (Possibly coffee, although I would regard that as letting standards slip a little)

There's no getting round it. Dunking anything in a glass of milk is just weird. But I'm quite suspicious of milk, generally, so perhaps I'm biased here.

Here is the cover for the American edition of Curse of the Wolf Girl, which is due to be published in August.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pretty Shoes

An email arrives from Amazon, advertising shoes. I'm puzzled. I have bought books and games from amazon. But I wasn't expecting them to start sending me adverts for shoes.

I look at the shoes. I don't like them that much. But are mens' shoes ever that nice, really? I never know what would make for a nice pair of mens' shoes.

Browsing some newspaper sites - possibly with shoes on my mind - I noticed this gallery of shoes in The Times, as pictured here. There are a lot of nice shoes here.

As I may have mentioned before, I am useless at describing things like shoes. If shoes appear in any of my books, there's generally very little description. I couldn't accurately describe any of the shoes shown here. I'd need pictures. But I understand it's generally frowned on to put pictures in your novels, for things you can't describe very well.

(Can anyone describe shoes? I'd be interested if anyone could write a good description of any of these shoes)

It must be quite difficult to walk in these high heels. I'd be hopeless at it. I'm clumsy at the best of times. In high heels, I'd break my ankle before I got out the front door.

I don't suppose as many women are as obsessed with shoes as people pretend. But I have met some who are. I sympathise. I generally sympathise with peoples' obsessions, whether it's high heels or model train sets. Go with your obsessions, I say.

In Lonely Werewolf Girl, Thrix and Malveria are obsessed with shoes and fashion. But they don't suffer for it. They're not made to pay any sort of price for their obsession.

The new edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl from Piatkus has now been published in Britain. Also, the publisher sent me cover art from Curse of the Wolf Girl, which I like. I thought that was due to be published in September or October, but I notice it's listed for August on Amazon, in Britain and the USA.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Road Accident

I saw, or half-saw, a very unpleasant road accident yesterday. I was walking back from the shops when, in front of me, on the other side of the road, a motorbike crashed into the side of a van. Although this was only about 60 yards ahead of me, I didn't see it that clearly, because it was dark, and I was walking along looking mostly at the pavement at the time.

I got a brief glimpse of the van turning into a driveway and the motorbike crashing quite fast into it. I had the sort of impression that the van crossed the road and turned into the driveway when maybe it shouldn't have, and also the bike might have been going too fast. But it was only a brief impression and I could be wrong. Anyway, there was a startlingly loud bang when it happened, much louder that you'd normally hear in a city traffic accident.

Although I was close, there were other people on the pavement in front of me, and by the time I got there, people were already phoning for an ambulance. Other cars had stopped too, and a crowd gathered immediately. The motorcyclist was lying beside his bike. I'm sure he was very badly injured; it had been such a violent smash and he went right into the side of the van. I did see his leg move so at least he wasn't dead.

I stood there uselessly for a little while. You think you should do something but there was nothing to do, really, but hope the ambulance arrived quickly. When I heard the siren in the distance I walked on, thinking that I wasn't helping anyone by standing there staring at it all. It was such an unpleasant incident. I arrived home feeling very sorry for the bike rider, and hoping he would be all right.

Motorbikes seem so dangerous, especially in cities, with cars turning all the time. As I said, I sort of had the impression the accident wasn't the motorbike's fault. But whoever's fault it was, the biker was severely injured, and the van driver wasn't hurt at all.

I had a motorbike accident when I was 18. It wasn't so bad, though I ended up in hospital. I still have scars on my knee, and a crooked finger, which didn't quite set right after it was broken. When I was 18, I thought it was a good idea to ride a motorbike. Nowadays, nothing would get me on one. It wouldn't surprise me if everyone knows someone who's had a motorbike accident, quite possibly a bad one.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Rough Trade

Reading obituaries of the recently departed J D Salinger, I was awestruck by his achievements. After having a big success with Catcher in the Rye he disappeared from view, declining to publish anything else. While doing that, he had various affairs with young women. At the age of 53, he had a long affair with 18-year-old fan, and then he married another woman who was 40 years younger than him.

So basically, Salinger lay around doing nothing very much, living off his royalties, while young women just threw themselves at him. This man is my hero.

I wish I could spend the rest of my life lying on the couch watching SpongeBob SquarePants, meanwhile women are beating a path to my door. It sounds great. It's the ideal life for a writer, never actually having to write anything again. You have to take your hat off to J D Salinger for managing to do this.


Every time I make a foray into modern music the results are disappointing. I was listening to Joy Division's Transmission, and thinking, as I generally do 'This is a great record' and also thinking 'Oh dear, that came out a really long time ago, and I remember watching them play it live before it was even released, so I must be getting old' - when I became aware that there was a cover version, by Hot Chip. I am informed that Hot Chip are a popular modern band. I head for youtube to listen to their version. I don't like it. It makes no sense to me. I can't imagine why they made a cover version like that. (But hey, everything else they've recorded might be great, I wouldn't know)

So, that was another disappointing exposure to modern music.

Watching Joy Division on stage at the end of the 70s was a mesmerising experience. I remember buying the single Transmission, at Rough Trade Records, in their original shop in Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill. Which would have been in 1979, I suppose.

That original Rough Trade shop was like a small wonderland at the time. The walls were covered with picture sleeves from singles, which, in original punk days, was a new innovation. You could go into the shop and end up buying things just by seeing what looked good on the walls. They sold fanzines, too, which was also a new innovation. Somewhere, packed away, I still have some original copies of Sniffing Glue, original punk fanzine.

Here's a picture of where the first Rough Trade record shop was, in Kensington Park Road. It's now a toy shop, Cheeky Monkeys. This picture is slightly distorted, possibly because I'm not very good at manipulating Google street view.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lonely Werewolf Girl in Australia and New Zealand

Piatkus's new edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl has now been issued in Australia and New Zealand, by Hachette. This edition will be published in Britain in March. (ISBN 9780749942830)

In the past, I've sometimes had problems with book distribution in Australia, so I'm pleased this book is now there.

The sequel, due out later this year, will be called Curse of the Wolf Girl. (Kalix is on her way to college, to try and improve her reading skills.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Andi Sex Gang

Here's the trailer for Bastard Art, a documentary about my good friend Andi Sex Gang, which is due out this year, directed by Vince Corkadel.

I was pleased to see the trailer, though slightly alarmed to see myself featuring in it. (In fact I have the last word in the trailer) I can't remember what I said about Andi. Some nonsense, possibly. But the rest of the documentary will be good.

I once did a brief reading at a CD launch for Andi, and from the stage I told an anecdote about him. This anecdote, I may say, brought the house down. Sadly, I can't repeat it here, unless I made this one of these blogs with an adults only warning in front of it.

I first met Andi in 1977. We were both squatting near Clapham Junction. Soon afterwards we both moved to Brixton, and have hung around South London ever since. I'm looking forward to seeing Vince's film, though I'm not certain when it will be released.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Progress

I finally bought a phone with a camera. I may be the last person in the country to have one. When the phone arrived I charged it up and sat down to read the instruction book. After one page of this hefty work, I became bored and depressed. The instructions were simply too tedious to read. So I abandoned it, and will just work the phone as best as I can without reading any instructions.

I have already taken my first picture! As you can see, I have swiftly mastered the art of digital photography. Possibly a new career is opening up.

Getting back to the subject of great 70s music - weren't we talking about that - no? - I was sure someone mentioned it - here are Roxy Music performing their first single, Virginia Plain, on top of the Pops in 1972. I saw Roxy Music play in Glasgow, at the start of their career, when Eno was still in the band. That was brilliant. Although I would have been too young at the time to appear in the audience with full glam-rock outfit and make-up. But that probably wouldn't have been a good idea in Glasgow at the time anyway.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Black Perfumed Scarf

I wrapped up well and struggled out into the snow. Once outside I realised that my neck was really cold. It struck me that I needed a scarf. I can't remember that happening before. I can't remember when I last wore a scarf. I wasn't even sure I had one.

I retreated indoors and rummaged around in the wardrobe. To my surprise, I came across a nice black scarf. I don't remember ever seeing this garment before. I've no idea where it came from.

Pondering the matter - quite suspiciously - I noticed that the scarf smelled of perfume. Quite nicely, in fact. This was odd. Where has this mysterious perfumed scarf come from? I'm baffled. Did some lover storm out in the huff, leaving the garment behind? Always possible, given my poor track record in relationships. Right this moment she might be thinking 'What a useless boyfriend he was. And he stole my scarf.'

But I can't remember anything like this happening. It's a mystery. How long would perfume last on a scarf anyway? Not long, I wouldn't have thought. Or maybe it would, if it was high quality merchandise. Anyway, I'm now wearing the scarf. And probably smelling slightly more perfumed than usual.

London is thickly covered with snow. This is a big pain. I have purchased Tamanohikari Super Premium Ginjo Pure Rice Sake over the internet, and am warming myself with this fine Japanese product.