Latest updates

Cover art, and some dates for the diary . . .

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Dear all,

I'm delighted to share that the official publiction date for Memory Songs is Thursday May 17th 2018. You will of course receive your contributor's special editions before that - we're aiming for early April.

Also, I can at last share the brilliant artwork by Mecob design . . .

And some dates for the diary - the official launch is Thursday May 17th 2018 at Watersone's, 11 Islington…

Merry Christmas

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Dear all,

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Thank you for your continued support and patience - I'm thrilled to report that Memory Songs is in the final stages of production. Proofs are being locked off and final touches put to the cover design.

The official publication date is May 17 2018, but you will recieve your contributor copies before that.

The launch party is at Gower Street Waterstones…


Monday, 7 August 2017

Dear all,

Just a quick update for Memory Songs - the manuscript is with the copyeditor for its final edit, and a design brief has been sent to the art department. It's all moving forward, and I just wanted to thank you for your continued patience and support. Your copy will be with you in Spring 2018, and copies hit the shops in May 2018. It's a long wait, but it will be worth it, I promise! In…

101% Get It On

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Dear supporters, just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for getting Memory Songs over the finish line. It's now 101% funded. I'll be posting here with updates on the progress of the book, and when you can expect to hold a finished copy in your hand. In the meantime, in way of celebration, here's Marc Bolan in a wide-lapelled pink satin blazer and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt singing 'Get It On'.…

That's Jimmy Page over there . . .

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Dear all, Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support. Memory Songs has passed the halfway mark now, and we're going for the big push to get it fully funded. Please do keep sharing, spreading the word, and if you fancy pledging again (soon be time to think about presents for Christmas 2017 . . .) feel free! In the meantime, here's a Jimmy Page story that didn't make it into the book. Stop…

Do You Remember the First Time? #6. David Bowie

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Fast forward. A long way forward. David Bowie Is at the V & A, the first survey of a pop star’s work ever held at the museum. On display were guitars, posters, set-models, costumes, album sleeves, handwritten lyrics – all manner of curios and relics from the great man’s personal archive. In among the tat and ephemera there was even Bowie’s coke spoon.

Attendance was healthy. In fact, it was so…

Do You Remember the First Time? #5. The Clash

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Although Joe was the chief inspiration in the Clash, the tune that recalls the first summer in London is one of Mick Jones’, ‘Train In Vain’. It is the slightest of songs, bolstered only by handclaps, harmonica, a shiver of tape-echo delay, and a shaker that arrives towards the end, to add some jalapeno heat. It’s all about feel; Topper Headon’s drum introduction sits perfectly, is neither too fast…

Do You Remember the First Time? #4. Pulp

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

At some point in 1994-5, I began to suspect the best writer of his generation, or at least the only one interested in the truth, was in fact Jarvis Cocker. The song that convinced me was ‘Sorted For E’s & Wizz’. Its buoyant, acoustic-driven tempo, pleasantly suggestive of floating on MDMA, punctuated by a series of dramatic accents, forms the backcloth to Cocker’s story of disillusion down at the…

Do You Remember the First Time? #3. Manic Street Preachers

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

At the end of 1992 the most exciting band in the world was Manic Street Preachers. When they made their debut on Top of the Pops earlier that year, the singer’s bare chest was smeared with lipstick, spelling the words ‘You Love Us’, the title of the song they were playing. It was a deliberate provocation to a studio audience they had correctly surmised would hate them. Large sections of the rock press…

Do You Remember the First Time? #2. John Barry

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The first James Bond film I remember watching on television was You Only Live Twice, on a Sunday evening in 1977. Sitting on scatter cushions, wearing loud pajamas, a melting choc-ice in hand, I recall those two hours as an episode of dissipation; an almost total sensual immersion. Not just because of the obviously risqué content, but the surface elements: the music, the set design, and, especially…

Do You Remember the First Time? #1. Suede

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting a series of extracts from the book (and also stuff that didn't make the cut) under the title Do You Remember the First Time? Named after the Pulp classic, these posts will contain fragments of writing about that revelatory moment when a new song or artist arrives in one's life . . . please feel free to share, and let me know about the first time you heard one…

The Next Level

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Dear contributors, thank you for your continued support, nearly 50 of you now, and every pledge much appreciated! If there is a Beatles/Bowie/Bryan Ferry lover of literary non-fiction in your life, or just someone who likes a sharply-written music memoir, please let them know about MEMORY SONGS! And we'll get the book to its next milestone . . . Best wishes, JC


Friday, 29 July 2016

Dear all, thank you for your continued support. We're at 10%! Please keep spreading the word!

Very best wishes,

James x

Week Two

Friday, 15 July 2016

A big thank you to everyone who has pledged towards Memory Songs so far. Your brilliant support means the book is already 7% funded! Please spread the word! Onwards and upwards.


Publication date: May 2018
104% funded
91 backers