Guest Post: How the West and The Witchwood Crown Were Won (or Not – an overdue update) By Michael Lane Heath, 30 June 2017

Hey there folks. Been A While, apologies and blah woof. Thank you to all who read my previous columns for keeping the faith.

Been involved with other things, life and family, but the most crucial development of all is that I will have a new book out in the autumn of this year. A music book about a recently deceased New York legend that many of you, not least my benefactors herein, will know of.

It is basically a collection drawn from my personal fandom archives of many rare interviews of said music legend, many not seen since their initial publication or, in some cases, broadcast (a few radio and even cassette magazines – remember cassettes? – were sourced).  It is to be published by a hip and thoroughly legit publishing house out of L.A., that has put out books about everything from the music of David Lynchmovies to Ray Bradbury, even a history of the essential ’70s/’80s Los Angeles Punk/Wave fanzine Slash.

I am very excited about this being my first non-small press-type book. For cover blurbs and advance buzz we have reached out to all manner of clued-in (especially relating to the book’s subject entity) personages: Penn Jillette, Marc Maron, Thurston Moore, Kevin Smith, Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist mob and more besides.

Not only a first time publication of such a themed collection, but the first proper book to have my name on it. Can you imagine? (All I need now is for the rest of the advance dosh to kick in…in betwixt daygigs again, dammit…)

Anyways: is the publisher in question. Look them and my name up on that googly thing. Tell ’em I sent you.

In the meanwhile: Hail to the reemergence the British gent known as Mr. Peter Perrett. In the late 70’s, this UK Peter O’Toole (or Cook)-level louche, doleful, unfailingly drawling, ultimately romantic singer/songwriter fronted a post-punk quartet called The Only Ones. They created one of the great bulls-eye skirting, though well justifiably bowed to, rock classics in a tune called ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ (later covered in typically slapdash tho reverent fashion by The Replacements).

Why the celebration, you might well arsk?  Because, after the band’s implosion in the early ’80s having cut a trio of worthy discs, and being hounded from the States after a truncated opening spot on a 1980 tour with The ‘Oribble ‘Oo (which also involved an unfortunate incident involving Perrett attempting to run over a San Francisco Tenderloin parking lot attendant), followed by years of what the Brits call Class A drug abuse…the dude has gotten clean (five years, so they say) and put together a new album.

It’s titled How The West Was Won (on the Domino label), and from just a listen to the title track and a few others, it’s marvelous and thoroughly inspiring.

Perrett’s singular voice – deceivably hipster-jaded yet knowing, in a manner not unlike his long professed heroes Dylan, Lou and Jonathan Richman – is remarkably intact after years of, ahem, potentially dangerous self-medication.

Even better, on the tunes I have heard so far – the title track (which includes an hilarious observation about Mme K. West that has to heard to be believed) and a valentine to his wife of 40-plus years, ‘An Epic Story’ — his gift for tunes propelled by a rocking backdrop (provided by – wow – his grown sons…I smell a US tour with Willie Nelson’s kids in Promise Of The Real, me) has even more solidly remained.

OK then. Enough for now. I am off to see our web host and his luverly spouse tomorrow. at the preeminent skiffy jernt known as Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

Your assignment today is to listen to ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ and inform me as to why it was not a worldwide Top Ten hit.

Pencils? Timers? Go!


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One thought on “Guest Post: How the West and The Witchwood Crown Were Won (or Not – an overdue update) By Michael Lane Heath, 30 June 2017

  1. Jeez, talk about a memory lane and all that. I have no idea, but I’m thinking it would be great to add to my playlist I’m building for my poetry book, Quantum Singularity. Thanks for the music reminder!

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