I’ve been writing and singing songs all my life – an obsessive activity you might say – for all possible occasions and people, both young and old (go to www.sunnysongs.co.uk for kid’s material) I’ve also been a great fan of singer-songwriters – starting with the likes of Woody Guthrie, The Carter Family, Hank Williams and other mainly American folkies, up to the present day crowd including Sam Baker, Elbow, Paloma Faith, etc. I’m not bothered about genres, though I prefer acoustic styles, but just like to hear a good lyric put to an original tune.
‘The Singer-Songwriter’s Last Stand’ is my first adult book (I’ve written four children’s novels), a fact-based fictional acount of my musical travels in both the Sixties and present day. Each chapter is inspired by a song – an audio CD accompanies the book – although the connection isn’t necessarily literal. The two main characters, Alwyn Stevens (the author’s alter-ego) and Arthur Grimsby (a legendary musician thought killed in a bizarre accident over twenty years ago), meet seemingly by chance in Newcastle one morning and proceed on a journey of discovery.
The book assumes that every song tells a story (song tales) which may only be hinted at in the verses themselves. The real work, I heard some pro musician say recently (I forget his name) is in setting up the band, making arrangements, travelling, dealing with management, promoters and inter-personal shit, etc, leaving the actual playing as almost an after-thought – the reward at the end of one’s journey you might say. Geronimo, illustrated on the book’s cover, was the title of a pop song Alwyn made in his youth but which ends up going disastrously down the pan – as with so many youthful attempts – but maybe the journey wasn’t wasted after all? And maybe Arthur Grimsby wasn’t such a wild reprobate as everyone assumed. The book tells all – hopefully in a light-hearted but sometimes poignant way.
Apart from Alwyn’s story there are also many interesting references to other singers and musicians, as well as historical and other background information. It is hoped the book will eventually go digital, with audio-visual clips to download.
The above pic was taken at:
31 Heaton Hall Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tyne And Wear