Ever read anything of Ian’s? He’s mad. His first book Perry Boys still has me in a bit of a spin. So much so that his follow up ‘Perry Boys – The ones who got away’ remains intact on the bookshelf. I’ll get around to immersing myself in it one day and emerge with an aloofness and vocabulary which merges the science lab with the street. Born in Salford but now spending his days across the pond, here’s what Ian came up with when we asked him to tell us his Favourite Five.
Here’s his blog. http://thenamelessthing.com/
Oh and buy his books.
Item of Clothing
Definitely the old “Rolls Royce”, my Indus Valley Convertible, by RedRunt. RedRunt was a very obscure clothing manufacturer based on Princess Street in Manchester city centre in the early-80s. The lack of a space between the two words was a new concept at that time. A friend of mine was part-owner, so I managed to have some small customisations done to what was already a heavily personalised garment. The Convertible was a jacket. A weird blend of animal and plant textiles. This made it soft, strong and impervious to rain. The entire inside was trimmed out in what they called “chicken leather”, which was actually ostrich skin. This was dotted with evenly-spaced little nodules which were the large follicles where the feathers had been. It had removable sleeves and hood, all attached by red plastic/waterproof zippers that featured the audacious “RR” logo on the slider. They’d totally ripped Rolls Royce off and refused to change it despite actually receiving letters from their copyright lawyers. They were threatened with huge lawsuits but the company folded when my mate (and several of his brothers) were sent to prison for manufacturing snides. Ironically, the Convertible was made in Pakistan by weavers using old techniques, but the snides were all made in factories in Manchester. You might be able to find people who remember RedRunt, though I’ve only ever spoken to two people who do, and one of them was my best mate. The other was a lad I met over the internet in 2007. I don’t even remember what happened to my Convertible, only that it is now long gone. Maybe my sister nicked it, maybe my wife threw it out, but it was amazing.
I’m going to have to go with “Watership Down” here. Don’t laugh. As a kid it was my favourite book of all time, an epic, if you will. When I was an 18-year old acid head my then girlfriend told me she’d seen an interview with author Richard Adams in which he’d said the book was symbolic of England, America and Russia, and that he did a lot of acid and it was inspired by this. I refused to believe it was about anything other than rabbits for many years after. I’ve always been a childish cunt.
In the early- to mid-80s there was a scene in southern California known as The Paisley Underground. It produced a slew of psychedelic bands like Green on Red, the Dream Syndicate, the Rain Parade and the Long Ryders. Its influence spread as far as Australia and Sweden, where bands like the Beasts of Bourbon and the Creeps were carrying the acid torch. If I had to pick one album from this cytoplasmic mass of oozing euphoric terror, it would probably be “Gravity Talks”, by Green on Red. Or maybe “Emergency Third Rail Power Trip” by Rain Parade. Or “Mesmerizer” by Australia’s Lipstick Killers, on which you’ll find a cover of the 13th Floor Elevators’ “I’ve Got Levitation”, performed live in Los Angeles in November, 1981. I always thought the Paisley Underground was pure genius. It took decades for me to realise everyone thought it was shite.
Virtually anything by JMW Turner. His Dido Building Carthage (1815) is one of my very favourites, though. Turner reminds me of being a kid on holiday somewhere natural and quiet. I remember going to Pembrokeshire once with a mate’s family. We stayed at a youth hostel in the middle of nowhere, overlooking a steep inlet with huge trees on all sides. At dusk we watched a solitary seal frolicking down in the dark water, the evening sun on the ripples. It was so fucking tranquil. Turner makes me feel the way I felt at that moment. Escaping from all the bullshit and ugliness, surrounded by nature.
The axe in my desk drawer.