Roy Harper – why have I written two books? The story.

Roy Harper – why have I written two books? The story.

In a fit of creativity and great burst of obsessive zeal four years ago I sat down at my computer and wrote a book on Roy Harper. It took me three weeks – an explosion of words in a stream of consciousness.

I suppose I was imagining myself as Jack Kerouac with his long scroll of paper hammering out On The Road in one relentless gush.

First thought –best thought.

It wasn’t so much a book about Roy, although Roy was the theme; so much as the story of a fifty year friendship and two lives that ran down different tracks, in parallel.

I didn’t plan it or research it, I just wrote and it flowed.

I was part telling a story about Roy from my perspective, part talking about the times we lived through and part contrasting that with my life. I thought it gave perspective.

In a blind subjective haze I sent the book to Roy. He hated the writing but said that there was a good book in there.

I found that weird – but when I reread it with more objectivity I could see that it was far too dense and badly written. I’d just gushed it forth.

So, with my good lady Liz doing some great editing, I rewrote the whole book into a completely different style.

I’d nearly completed the rewrite and, on the spur of the moment, checked out whether a publisher would be interested. To my surprise I received an instant response. They liked the writing. They wanted a book on Roy.

However, they first wanted a book that fitted into the series they were putting out – On Track – every album, every track. They sent me a contract. I signed and found myself writing a completely different book – a book about Roy’s songs, albums and poetry.

Thus I ended up with two books on Roy!

Phil Ochs – The War Is Over

Where are the new songwriters who are writing about the topics of today. Aren’t there enough things worthy of criticism?

Phil said it as it was.

As I watched America decaying into rabid packs of vigilante fascists. When Phil spoke of flag waving and treason he was talking about the people rising up against the government to stop an unjust war. He wasn’t referring to the President rousing a fascist mob in order to overturn a democratic election.

As the racist thugs and Neo-Nazis marched on the Capitol the President urged them into a frenzy. The next day he stabbed them in the back and disowned them.

Ever been conned?

As they rot in jail perhaps he will join them?

Unfortunately this war isn’t over. The battle for America has barely begun.

Phil Ochs – The War Is Over – YouTube

So do your duty, boys, and join with pride
Serve your country in her suicide
Find the flags so you can wave goodbye
But just before the end even treason might be worth a try
This country is to young to die

James Varda – May This Moment Ever Glow – Beautiful poetic lyrics that speak of love of the moment in which all life is gathered.

These songs are so bitter sweet – so full of life and love. The poignancy of them touches me deeply. Not everyone can handle them they are so open, so emotional. Death is hard to face.

Opher's World

James VardamaxresdefaultJames Varda6

James has captured something of the mysticism of life in this delicate song. The value of each precious second and the beauty in those perfect moments when all of life is ensconced in the essence of an immaculately magic instant that, throughout all the change, will last forever.

They are moments shared, captured in our memories, and will go on in ever increasing ripples to touch us all with their glow.

Chance and Time is full of that majesty of touch, that chemistry of words, as the vital substance of life and love is crystallised in language and music.

It glows for me.

May This Moment Ever Glow

A bright moon in a May sky

And the air hung with lilac

From a chimney pot

A blackbird sings 

The last song of twilight

Though the air will colder grow

And frost will glaze the garden hoe

And one day it will…

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Nick Harper – Gig at the Back Room Cottingham – A small intimate venue! It’s going to be great!!


Friday 13th March – a week today!!   The fabulous Nick Harper will pluck, twang, bend and trill. It will, as usual be a marvel for all to behold!!

Be there or be square!

Men abed will hold their manhood cheap if they were to miss this breach!!

What sound from yonder Back Room breaks? Tis evening and tis Nick!!!

The venue is tiny! The atmosphere will be amazing! The tickets are few and will be lijke gold dust.

I can’t wait!!!

James Varda needs our support!

James Varda

As you may have heard from my reviews of his great album ‘Chance and Time’ James is not very well. The album is amazing and well worth a purchase. It certainly deserves wider exposure.

James noticed that it is possible to recommend a track for Guy Garvey for his 6 music show. Guy seems like the sort of person who might relate to his music. It would be lovely if you could all give James a big boost by recommending the incredible track – The Doctor Spoke.

It would be wonderful if you could all join me in doing that and wishing James all the best.

The web site is: