The bar at a Hawkwind gig always sets the tone. At the tender ages of 45 and 46 we are, apart from a couple of Carnaby Street dandies, the youngest in the place by quite some way. And with our sensible hair and middle-aged man-from-M&S attire we are the straightest too. Queuing at the bar we’re surrounded by a sea of dreadlocks and pony tails, leather and denim, pierced noses eyebrows and lips, sequinned dresses and platform biker boots, male pattern baldness and blue rinses; all on people at least a decade older than us.
I have a little story. I tell it only because at the moment all stories seem to be so goddam fucking miserable, and this one is not. I mean, it’s not going to turn your life around or anything, but it does have a happy ending.
First, a little history.
I read Steinbeck again.
I’d left him lonely on the shelf for years, happy in the knowledge that he was and always would be my favourite. But the TV reminded me so sharply of Cannery Row, the favourite of my favourites, that I had to pick him up again after all this time.