Friday, 10 April 2020


This week features a slight detour from the normal programme and its associated steady flow of recordings of someone's fridge as it sounded in 1987, because everyone in the universe is presently confined to quarters and thus in need of light relief. The ever wonderful Die or D.I.Y.? recently did their bit to help us all power through the end of civilisation as we know it with a generous helping of Ivor Cutler; so in the same spirit, at least based on the idea that spoken material is good for coping with periods of solitary confinement, particularly if it's funny, and because even music you love will usually get on your tits after a while under certain circumstances, here's all I have of Smilin' Charles Bukowski.
If you're not sure who Bukowski was, I'm sure you have it within you to look him up. I've seen it opined that he's one of those authors whom no-one actually reads but instead simply claims to read because they think they're all fancy and like really lush but really they ain't and they don't know nuffink, but in my experience this has mostly been opined by aging babymen still reading children's exciting adventures at fucking forty and is therefore horse shit. Bukowski wrote about his life, which was mostly screwing, gambling, and alcoholism, but he wrote with a sharp eye and an astonishing wit, and I would honestly rate him as one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. His readings were pretty powerful, often very funny, even touching, and I have four tapes - three live, and one of Bukowski at home reading into a tape recorder back in 1970. These were lent to me by the late Andrew Cox, who actually properly introduced me to the guy's work by lending me Ham on Rye. The four tapes were sold from the counter of Compendium Books in Camden, if that's still even there - photocopied covers, presumably bootlegs of things which were either out of print or never officially available, so I don't own the copyright, and nor do I claim otherwise, and hopefully my sharing these isn't injurious to anyone's cash cow, although as Chuck himself is no longer with us in any case...
I bought a Bukowski album on piss coloured vinyl about a year ago, one of those 180gsm reissues, which turned out to be one of these readings - not sure if it's the same recording but whatever. If you enjoy this stuff, please seek out more...
...and hang in there. We can do this, unless it actually is the end of civilisation.

Sod it - on an unrelated note (aside from being speech rather than music), here's the Sex Pistol's Heyday cassette while we're here - something to do with Fred and Judy Vermorel and originally issued by Factory.
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  1. Oh, I love old Chuck ... thanks for these!

    ... and if it is the end of civilisation, I'll just take my cue from him and carry on drinking so I don't even notice.

  2. Yeah I did some Bukowski too,