My sneaky crusade to play “Louie Louie”, and why it failed

Jack Ely died last week. Jack who? The guy who sang “Louie Louie” for the Kingsmen, back in 1963. His rendition was so garbled the CIA investigated the song for seditious content. Which was a bit of a waste because actually, there’s nothing to the lyrics of ‘Louie Louie’. I mean – nothing. They’re moronic.… More My sneaky crusade to play “Louie Louie”, and why it failed

The three questions all authors must ask before starting

It’s amazing how many writing lessons I find in music. When I was a kid and learning music, there was an attitude that rock musicians were musical Neanderthals who could strum a few chords while making animal noises. ‘Proper’ music was ‘classical’, around which the Royal Schools grade courses I was doing was framed. The criteria for… More The three questions all authors must ask before starting

Essential writing skills: penning things “in the style of”

One of the biggest challenges any author has to meet is mastering the mechanics of actually writing. Only once that has been nailed is it possible to tackle the other challenges of content. A lot of aspiring authors, I think, try to handle the whole lot at once, and it’s difficult. But there’s a quick… More Essential writing skills: penning things “in the style of”

Write it now: breaking through the writing limits with music

It occurred to me the other day that, as writers – many of us plunging into National Novel Writing Month – we can learn a lot from eighties Brit synth-pop – and how that (briefly) re-framed music. The genre was a child of the late seventies. Trevor Horn’s ‘Video Killed the Radio Star‘ brought the… More Write it now: breaking through the writing limits with music

Pointing the foam finger at twerking and other dumbness

I had to look up the word ‘twerking’ to understand the storm over Miley Cyrus’ adventures this week. Like most neologisms it’s mutated; in the 1930s Walter Edmonds used it to mean ‘an insignifcant male’. It was related, in that sense, to ‘twerp’. Today’s meaning’s been added to the OED. I’m not sure that’s wise;… More Pointing the foam finger at twerking and other dumbness

Sixty second writing tips: music to my writers’ block

We all know, I think, about music and writing – how different music can sets different writing moods. You’re pretty much guaranteed to write something different while jouncing along to Katy Perry than you would if you hurled Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries through your sound system. It’s a powerful technique and one I figured… More Sixty second writing tips: music to my writers’ block