Category Archives: Hartlepool

Cold London Blues Around The World

20160816_201507Cold London Blues with me (and my other books) here in Poland.

cold london blues burkey

Ronnie Burke in the Boro.

Cold London Blues jeff munday.

Jeff Munday in London.

Cold London Blues Haskins

Micheal Haskins in Florida.

Cold London Blues Peter Ord.

Peter Ord in Hartlepool.

cold london blues marky hewitt.

Marky Hewitt in Hartlepool.

cold london blues sparrow

Denise Sparowhawk in Hartlepool.

cold lodon blues kate

K A Laity in Dundee.

cold london blues mar hammonds

Mark Hammonds in the Boro.

cold london blues vic godard 1

Vic Godard in Surrey.

Mark Hewitt reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick coverOver at Amazon.co.uk

5.0 out of 5 starsPulp if you want it to be but deep if you think about it.

on 24 April 2016
It is quite an art to write a short book that lasts so long in the memory.
First taste is of the instant gratification of junk food but the later lingering after taste is of a very fine wine.
Paul’s books don’t have the life of them polished away like so many, they have a raw edge that allows you to connect and be absorbed into the story.’

RIP John Little

John The Other Record ShopYesterday, I found out that my friend – of about 40 years – John Little had died.

I first met John when I was a teenager, in the mid ’70s. I met him via my older brother Eric, who was a musician.

John knew pretty much every musician in the area because – as well as records- his shop sold guitar strings and the like and he organised trips to gigs for years.

At the time I met him, the shop was still called Kandy Korn – after the Captain Beefheart song.  John had bought the shop from an old hippy called Twink and so the shop retained the old name, decor and paraphernalia for a couple of years. He later changed the name to The Other Record Shop.
The shop was an exotic and mysterious place and an oasis for every rock music fan and overly serious teenager in Hartlepool. It was a kind of sanctuary from real life and John was a bit of a Gandalf figure.
I was a regular visitor, especially on Saturdays, where two or three trips to the shop in a matter of hours wasn’t unusual. John was  always interested in supporting our enthusiasm for music, even when we didn’t share the same tastes. The Enid were ‘his’ band, for sure.
the other record shopI think the line between customer and staff blurred a lot in The Other Record Shop. We always helped out in one way or the other. I worked part-time for John in the early ’80s, though I helped out off and on before and after that. People have often asked if it was like Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity and it was though I think we had a lot more laughs.
John always supportive and encouraged people to do what they want, take a chance and the like, which is maybe why I moved to London and on to Poland and am continuing my adventures, one way or another.
John’s death is sad and the end of The Other Record shop is sad too. It’s the end of an era, for sure.
john mailHere’s a nice tribute to John by Mark Payne from today’s Hartlepool Mail.
His passing was mention on the BBC6 Radcliffe and Maconie show.
And here’s a nice thing about John that Phil Dodd wrote at his blog a few years back

A Letter From Colin Wilson

Wikipedia says:

Colin Henry Wilson (26 June 1931 – 5 December 2013) was an English writer, philosopher and novelist. He also wrote widely ontrue crime, mysticism and the paranormal.[2] Wilson called his philosophy “new existentialism” or “phenomenological existentialism”,[3] and maintained his life work was “that of a philosopher, and (his) purpose to create a new and optimistic existentialism”.

And back in the ’80s and ’90s, I read a lot of Colin Wilson‘s books, mostly his novels and mostly via Hartlepool Public Library.  He even wrote a crime book- The Killer- that was partly set in Hartlepool. There was a lot that I liked about him and his books.

Along the way, I discovered he’d written a book called The Book Of Booze. And for some reason, I wrote to him about it. And for some reason, he replied.

I didn’t have the letter for years and thought I’d lost it on my travels but it recently turned up in a pile of old photos.

So, here it is!20151013_132737

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I’m in the Hartlepool Mail

I was very pleased to find out that my home town’s newspaper, The Hartlepool Mail, had a feature on me this week. The main focus is A Case Of Noir, of course, but there was also some stuff about my family etc.

Thanks to journalist  Tracy Walker for the article and to my brother Brian for the scan.

Hpool Mail