Real Life Books
The past few months have gone by in a whirl with two major new books hot off the press:
The One & Only: Peter Perrett, Homme Fatale by Nina Antonia (updated and expanded edition) was published in April
Plus Heathcote Williams’s latest, ‘Badshah Khan: Islamic Peace Warrior‘ out in just a few days (2 June)
Peter Perrett christened the book’s relaunch with a secret gig at Rough Trade West which was crammed with fans and a sprinkling of celebs. Rolling Stone Mick Taylor turned up and he and old pal Perrett decide then and there to make music together.
The gig was a brilliant return to form for Perrett who sang and played guitar behind the wooden counter top in one of rock’s more surreal moments. Son Jamie joined him on guitar and wife of 45 years, Zena (who has stood by her man through heroin addiction, serial affairs and losing their beloved manor house home) sat on a plastic crate behind the counter. When Peter played his recently penned song for Zena, Sea Voyager, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as his soft voice caressed the lyrics: ‘Driven to abstraction/ I can’t live without the girl I love/There’s no point living in this world/ When she’s gone’. Even Thin Man had a little sniffle.
And then it was the race to get Badshah Khan to the printers. Like all Thin Man authors, Heathcote Williams has been a joy to work with. He has a bottomless stock of amazing anecdotes which we will not share too copiously as we are begging him to write his memoir. What a brain on the man and what dedication to his craft and message. Thin Man asked him to describe his normal day: a pause… ‘er, get up’ (grins) ‘write…go to bed’.
This summer will see the publication of a short satire on the art scene by Josie Demuth, ‘Liggers & Dreamers’. Thin Man has been editing the copy and laughed til it hurt. Claire Palmer of International Times had a read and wrote the following: ‘This very funny, entertaining and brilliantly observed book does for the liggers and hangers-on of the London art scene what ‘Extras’ did for wannabe actors, with equal aplomb and devastating wit.
Follow the ambitious antics of a group of colourful characters as they tirelessly make their way around London’s most happening Private Views and parties, homing in with varying degrees of skill and cunning to freeload on champagne and canapés “like a flock of seagulls”. …Their endeavours culminate in the challenge of accessing the most fashionable inner sanctums of the Venice Biennale. Some very recognisable famous characters from the worlds of pop music and art also make an appearance, however much the author protests that any
similarity is ‘purely co-incidental’. Josie Demuth has written a crackling social commentary classic for our times.
‘The Collector’ by Jason Gibilaro – the cover image for ‘Liggers & Dreamers’ by Josie Demuth (copyright the artist, may not be reproduced without permission)