Shall I Blog

I hadn’t intended to do a blog but this whole Star Trippin’ book-website-thing has begun to take on such a life of its own – so many people have come out of the woodwork because of it, musicians, media-people, readers, old friends, old enemies – that I now feel obliged to comment in some way. So for as long as it lasts I’ll try and keep this going.

I admit, I’ve been taken aback at the force of some of the reactions it’s received – particularly, of course, from those people that read Kerrang! back in the 1980s. So many emails from readers all over the world crying into their beer over what a shame it is that the mag doesn’t exist in its original, freewheeling form anymore. But then rock music doesn’t exist in that way anymore, either. It’s not the fault of the present Kerrang! team that the era they represent is so different from the one me and the original team came to personify. Rock is hardly the only thing that’s changed over the past 20 years. And when I say ‘readers from all over the world’ I mean exactly that. More than 75 percent of the people that have bought the book so far come from outside the UK – often from quite far away indeed. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, USA, Canada, Italy, Belgium, France, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Ireland… the power of the internet, eh? But how did all these people manage to get Kerrang! in the ’80s?

Then are those that plainly never picked up a copy of Kerrang! in their lives but just liked the look of the book, or had read some of my other books. A 20-year-old from Dublin named Danny emailed me last week to say the following: ‘I bought this because I wanted to know more about these classic bands. Having read it, I now want to know why I can’t read classic stories like this anymore. Not just in Kerrang! but in any of the so-called rock mags. Why did you stop?’

Well, Danny from Dublin, I didn’t stop. But what happened next is too big a subject to get into here, except to say that none of us – me or the bands I used to write about back then – look and feel the same way about anything these days. Or if they do they’re in deep trouble. There’s a bigger story to tell there maybe but that’s not what this book is about.

Another comment I got, this time from a magazine editor, was that the book would have been better if I had re-written all the stories. I know what he means but then he was never a Kerrang! reader and just doesn’t understand. This isn’t meant to be a collection of thought-out pieces detailing my feelings now about the bands that shook the world back then, but a reasonably accurate depiction of the stuff that was actually written and published at the time, cobblers and all. More than anything, for me the stories reflect the personality of the magazine back then, and for those of us that were familiar with that background, that style, it would have been utterly meaningless to have tried to ‘improve’ on that now. What for? Again, that’s a different type of book you’re talking about altogether. One I may yet write, but not this time.

Gerry my brother publisher has asked that I give this blog a certain diary aspect too, which I will try and do. Like, today it rained – all day. And I spent most of it paying bills and replying to emails – and avoiding my wife who keeps bothering me about wanting a tattoo (she’s the same age I was when I wrote the stories in Star Trippin’ so you have to forgive her… sort of). But that’s all I can manage for now. I want this to be a blog you can jump in and out of quickly, not a long daily essay you need to swot up on for a test later. More weather reports tomorrow. Maybe…


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