Saturday, May 07, 2022

A Rich And Varied Life

Well, today I'm responding to the copyeditor's queries for the chapter on Oh Bondage! Up Yours that I've contributed to the One Track Minds anthology of significant records, which is coming out in the autumn (I think). I've got three more corrections to do. Everything I do involves panic. The night before last I woke up at five a.m. panicking in case the Tories did well in the local elections, and had to get up and check the results. With this piece of writing, it's 'Have I mentioned....', and of course I have (I've mentioned everything, or tried to).

I have enjoyed academic writing because of the research and the detail, but not the slog. The books took ten years each and an article or chapter takes more than a week, spread out over months. For this particular chapter, I travelled to Liverpool at my own expense to look through Falcon Stuart's X Ray Spex press archive. I write in between lecturing and gigging. There are amazing upsides: part-subsidised travel to other countries to discuss and talk about my research (New York, Porto, Vienna, Aalborg, Oslo, Limerick, Edinburgh), and meeting an international community of music academics and writers. It's great for self-respect too. Like a lot of people I have confidence problems and suffer from imposter syndrome, probably because of harsh parenting and cruel schooling. But there are books on the shelf that I actually wrote myself, and this is something I never imagined doing. The same with making records. At school, I was all set to disappear because I was so quiet and introverted. Thanks to punk's violent yet inspiring lessons my life changed completely, and that feeling still runs through my veins, even all this time afterwards.


Wilky of St Albans said...

There's a John Otway song with the line:

'it is my shoes, that walk across the stage to the applause'

Not matter how much I might not be enjoying whats happening on stage, I always remind myself that its not me up there, and that the person who is has the balls, the chutzpah, the guts, the self-belief or maybe just the ego to get up there and do it.

Wilky of St Albans said...

Geneva. Find it here:

one of the saddest love songs ever