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Johnny B Goode’s good…

by on October 6, 2013

Right, settle down! Class is in session. Put down that curtain, Patti, we all saw you pocket the lighter. Now, you all know the Chuck Berry original, of course. There can’t be that many people on the planet who have never heard Johnny B Goode. And rightly so. There is a reason that everyone who picks up a guitar at somepoint learns that song – it is because it’s a brilliant Rock N Roll masterpiece. Perhaps less know is the pean of praise by The Pirates (after the late great Johnny Kidd died, no musician of Mick Green’s calibre was ever going to give up, were they?) called Johnny B Goode’s good.

So, why have I been thinking of The Pirates, you yawn? Well, there is a great new young Irish band called The Strypes who have just started their first world tour, according to their FB page. And, also according to their FB page, who were they listening to on the flight to Japan? The Pirates. You see, The Strypes take a lot of inspiration from the original Doctor Feelgood lineup. And Wilko was taught by..Mick Green. Bear with me, please, I’ll be talking about book stuff in a moment, music is my first love. Shame I’m such a bad guitar player, if you are listening, Unsavoury Ron. What I’m looking at are the connections, the flow of inspiration and influence. Mick Green hears the Johnny Burnett Trio play and by the time the heavens have turned a few times, there’s The Strypes carrying on the great Rock N Roll tradition.

It’s all about connections for me this week, it seems. I’m on LinkedIn – probably you are too – but I never use it very much, although I do seem to have accumulated a selection of worthwhile connections, who almost certainly do not know who I am and wouldn’t care if they walked past me as I starved on a street corner. That’s unfair actually, because although we are connected on LinkedIn, I do not know enough about them to know if they would care enough to drop me a fiver, or gift me a drop kick out of their path. Yet we are connected by the internet. Strange isn’t it? I have other internet connections who are as close friends with me as anyone with whom I was at school. With some I share as close a bond as one could hope for in a friend. Others are warm friends who buy my books. And since these are now selling in numbers that mean actual strangers are buying the books, there are people out there who have bought a book and who only know me through the medium of that book: and what (if anything) they have subsequently seen of me online. Or here. It’s odd.

Then there’s the things we authors do in marketing and selling. I’ve been busy writing answers to interviews for various review blogs today in the course of marketing my latest release, The Satnav of Doom. These interviewers are people I don’t really know yet they are asking me (quite reasonably) fairly penetrating and sometimes personal questions. ‘Have you ever written naked?’ I was asked earlier in the year. Actually, it’s a great and fun question to ask, but you have to admit that it is dancing on the edge of respectability. Would you expect a stranger to ask something so personal? Actually, I confess I loved the question so much I’ve used it on an author myself in a Q & A (Sorry, Carol!) I’m meandering again, aren’t I? Sorry, I’m playing Joe Bonamassa quite loudly in the background and he’s a bad influence on me. All that Sloe Gin suiting my mood today..

I can remember when a connection had to be in the direct sense of The Strypes to Mick Green. Yet the internet has changed all that, probably for ever. Now I can be connected to people on the other side of the world, that I have never met and probably never will. The world has in so many ways, become a smaller place: less mysterious and more accessible, more connected. Obviously in many ways that’s a good thing: but am I the only one who also finds it a little sad that all these connections have taken away some of the mystique?.

A final word: Carol has been too gracious to extract revenge on me for that question, and has been nice about Satnav of Doom instead. For which I humbly thank her.

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  1. Yes, connections are very strange things indeed. I seem to have picked up rather a few well known connections myself on LinkedIn including some familiar TV faces! I’m sure they wouldn’t have a clue who I am as wel, but it’s still fun to be connected, albeit in a very strange distant ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Universe’ sort of a way…or perhaps that should be the Salmon of Doubt… 😀

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