In our creative writing workshop @ Clapham this week, we have been looking at Gonzo journalism (in its heyday 1967 to 70s), telling a tale, bringing fiction and fact into the equation of music journalism. Our argument is that in the age of brand journalism this is a blessed thing. Specifically, we have been deconstructing Lester Bangs’ work, writer for Rolling Stone and Creem magazine; he reviewed the people or the sentiment. We experimented with this ourselves and below are some of the results. Producers and vocalists, songwriters appreciate the time to think out of the box, without an agenda, such as technical skills, so in London, our writing workshops are not always related or inspired by music. And students are not required to publish or improve any work.
Below are examples of a few:
When I became an adult, I found out I was allergic to the sun. Burning streets and sounds used to deepen my vision, not diminish it. However, the allergy symbolised more than intolerance, it symbolised decay, damnation, dystopia. We, as human beings, are naturally afraid of the darkness, as it is the pit we fall into if we’re not cautious or sober-minded enough. But the times are changing, and, similarly to 1994, the sun is rotting upon us with the power usually assigned to philosophers and kings. The sun is rotting and raining and reigning, and the daylight presented to us shines like the Brave New World we created, in between soma and smiling, and surpassing everything we’re afraid of becoming at night. The daylight is darker, as everything is too bright for us to look at anything, life is too see-through for us to look at each other. The only condition of your current being is based on how blazed your eyes are, how tanned your brain is, how conditioned you are not to acknowledge conformism as the bane of our existence. And the music? The music shines brightly everywhere, leaving no place for obscurity and ugliness, while we fall on colourblind days, and wait for another show to start, another smile to fade. You got it right, Chris, no one sings like you anymore.
Suburban sprawl, inch-perfect cut grass and sodas on the lawn, straws caked in lip gloss, dads talking too loud, embarrassing their kids. There are cracks everywhere, no matter how much they try to paint over them. Plastic people don’t make for good friends, folding up the pain so so small, nobody will ever see it, afraid to be real. Throw another Barbie on the BBQ and forget about it.
Black Hole Sun provides an apocalyptic view of the world, a view from the dying days of the 20th century. Spoken like a prophecy – what has been forever shall be, until eventually, our lives come to a close. Our world will end. Our sun will explode and destroy all we’ve ever known. We will be enveloped and gone forever; we’re forced to ponder the weird nature of our existence, and existentially glimpse at our inevitable and grisly demise.
A Sides was originally released in 1994, re-released on Record Store Day, and now available by mail order (since August 2018)