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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Wot? [Ed]


Lyme Regis

Mob 44 7966 473 919


[what sort of word is fucking 'ragabond'? Ed.]




BAKERBACK WRITER! [don't do the funny stuff, never works - Ed.]


RUDE ROCK 'N' WOE BOOK [what is that meant to mean? Is this some sort of King's Speech exercise? – Ed.]


After a six-year struggle [well hardly, six years to get out of bed before noon  – Ed.] to get it into print, Geoff Baker - former PR to Paul McCartney, The Beatles and Oasis [yeah, we know all that toss – Ed.] - is finally [finally? Have you been asked to frequently? What is this pompous finally? Fucking miraculously would be more accurate – Ed.]  publishing his rude, racy and irreverent [what was the point of that? This is not going to be read out loud, why didn't you say bloody rude and funny  – Ed.] novel about the music industry.


Rock Bottom is Baker's black-humoured but fond satire which pokes a tongue behind the scenes and between the sheets at almost every aspect of the record business. [Saucy – Ed.]


The first limited edition of 1,000 copies [what's first limited mean? How many will there be? Oh, clever – Ed.] will be available on Amazon priced £7.99 and £4.60 on Kindle.[Actually that's complete bollocks because I went on Amazon and they said it'd sold out and then my mate bought it from I think this is a fucking front to cover the probability that the book's been BANNED of Amazon. Ed. ] [for being shit – Ed.] [And seven ninety nine's a bit bloody steep, isn't it? You're not Lenny Bruce – Ed.] It will be published by Ragabond Press, a micro publisher that Baker set up with another former journalist, Jill Newton [here we go – Ed.], after the UK's mainstream publishers refused to touch his book. [because they thought it would sell fuck-all – Ed.]


Baker says Rock Bottom is 'a work of complete and utter fiction'.[what the fuck else would it be? And you are not meant to be performing a belly dance, grow up for just ONE day in your life – Ed.] -  The 400-page paperback romps and ruts [who the fuck are you writing for this? Who says romps and ruts? Did you know that an of communication is familiarity? This starting to sound like an episode of The Clitheroe Kid – Ed.]  through the conjoined stories [good way of putting it, I bet somebody else suggested that – Ed.] stories of a flagging rock star, his demented PR [bet you didn't need any help with that one – Ed.] and a blackmailing fan who threatens to ruin the pop idol's reputation by unmasking a long-hidden sexual secret. [Ooer matron, somebody's turned off the lights! Who the FUCK are you writing this for, the Dickens desk of The Times? A long-hidden sexual secret – what, like he's got 4 dicks and he fucks cement? Why don't you just say gay? You should get out of the 1970s more often – Ed.]


'The star, Birmingham-born genius Ian Taylor, is not remotely based on anyone I've known,' said Baker, [pompously – Ed.] 'I made him up and he is as fictional as Henry the Horse who dances the waltz.' [so shut it with jests, they are so crap and only Beatles fans get them. What? Well nobody said. I've never fucking heard of such a thing. JUST for the fans? OK. Well why is he writing to them like he's talking from a mountain in this weird 'smite thee' language? Fuck off yourself – Ed.]


'Instead of writing about actual people I've worked with, it was more interesting for me to create fictional types of that rock world – the musicians, managers, record company execs – and to have a laugh at what fame can do to people and how it can disastrously affect those who work around the famous.  [soapbox – Ed.]


'But what was of most interest to me was to make the fan the central character of the book; the fans' feelings are often overlooked in the music game so I made the fan the heroine for a change. [soapbox – Ed.]


'Rock Bottom is basically a celebrity love story, but it's quite sad in parts – rock 'n woe, we call it. [no we don't. Who is this we? We all of the 80,000 at your astonishingly-successful publishing company? It's a shit pun. Stop it – Ed.]



It is also the flipside of The X-Factor, revealing the madness and misery of making it big, so in some ways it's a cautionary tale for those who long to see their name in lights.

[What? What are you, the Prophet Zorrah? It's not a cautionary fucking anything, it's not your place to make value judgements, chum – Ed.]


'The book is also rather rude. [Well, fucking stroll on. I'd never in a hundred years have expected that – Ed.] We were thinking of having a Parental Advisory sticker on it as the vernacular of the business is certainly not kids' stuff [fuck off with the 'we' again, you are not a religious – Ed.] and as a wordsearch revealed there are 864 f-words in the book [is that true? Bloody hell, really? – Ed.] those who dislike bad language might be better off reading Trainspotting instead.'


Although Ian Taylor's genius but mercurial temperament was drawn from Baker's imagination, he admits that various journalist characters who play supporting roles in the lurid drama were partly inspired by old pals from his newspaper days on Fleet Street. [that's your publicity knees capped, then – Ed.]


'I'll be interested to see if any mates from the hack pack that I used to run with recognise anything of themselves in the book,' said Baker, 54, 'A number of them are editors now.' [that I used to run with? What are you now, the Scarlet Pimpernel? – Ed.]


It has taken Baker more than six years to publish his novel. [you mean it took you five years to write and one year for Jill Newton to write properly, edit, set and publish – Ed.]


'I wrote the original story in three months [get you, Mr Competitive – Ed.] , back in 2004. I got a leading literary agent and he enthusiastically sent the manuscript to every major publisher – but none of them would touch it with a bargepole[because it was the ranting of a madman – Ed.]. Four years of rewrites followed, my funds ran out and if it hadn't been for the support and belief of my wife Amanda throughout it all, I'd be rotting in debtor's prison.' [this is sounding a bit David Gray, although it is clear that your soul deserves some form of eternal detention – Ed.]


'Pissed off but unbowed', Baker and Newton – an old Lyme Regis schoolpal  - formed their own micro publishing company, Ragabond Press. [chosen, and let's guess by whom, from the Book of Weird Names To Call Yourselves – Ed.]


'Jill and I re-met by chance after having not seen each other for more than 35 years. We talked about the book and realised that as she was trained as an editor and a sub and I was trained as a hack, maybe we could combine our skills for the book' said Baker [whose greatest skill appears to be winging it – Ed].


'So between ourselves we took on every aspect of getting a book done – editing, proofing, type-setting, layout, design, photography, distribution, marketing, PR, the lot.' [you mean 'So between Jill and herself' – Ed.]


Now Ragabond Press, which is based in Newton and Baker's home town of Lyme Regis, has seven self-penned books in production and is considering publishing other writers.


'We're going to take several months to slowly plug Rock Bottom, just like I used to with a rock album,' said Baker[pompously again – Ed.], whose next project is Ragabond Press's The Beatles Fanthology, the story of the Fab Four told through the memories and stories of Beatles fans.



Geoff Baker                                                    Jill Newton

07966 473 919                                       


Wednesday, 27 October 2010




So I got back to my editor at the publishers and said about this vulgarity business, may I run a few new words by you?


And she said 'what do you mean, new?'


And I said well, you know you said a lot of women readers won't like me using twat, what if I call it a doodle sock instead?


'No', she said.


How about a cock alley? I said.


'No, still too vulgar and you're making them up'.


I said no I wasn't, these were actual English alternatives from an official dictionary published in 1785 and how did she feel about 'box the Jesuit'? 'What's that?' she said and I explained it was wanking and she put the phone down.


So I called back and said you know you don't like me calling Susie [the hero's adulterous wife] a cheating fucking bitch, how does 'she's a buttered bun' sit with you? And while we're on the subject, may I call her mouth 'a bone box'?


She tutted huffily and I said oh, come on, these are much better words, let's reintroduce the 18th Century to contemporary popular culture.


For instance, I argued, don't you think that a bum brusher is a much better phrase for a schoolmaster? No, she said, she did not.


What about fart catcher, I said. 'What's a fart-catcher?' she said and I said it's what 1785 England used to call the personal assistant of anyone famous, because they walked so close behind their boss, and she said 'that's ridiculous' and I said, well actually, in my experi….but then I thought better of that.


And then she said 'look here, times have changed and our authors must be far more politically correct these days' and I said did that mean I couldn't use Irish beauty to mean a woman with two black eyes? Or a scratchlander to mean a Scotsman?


'I'm Scottish' she said and she didn't have time for all this now as she had to go to the hairdresser. You mean the nit-squeezer I said and she hasn't phoned me back yet.  



Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Book Blog 2



Fuck a priest, I've just heard from the publishers and they said could I take out the vulgarities.


They said 'we are reserving the right to judge that your book may be offensive or pornographic to others and this may effect your royalties'.


Which others, I said.


People who might buy your book, they said.


So I said well hang on a minute, how the fucking hell am I meant to know what people find offensive, who are these righteous cunts? And they said 'that's what we mean'.


So now I'm having to go through the whole bloody book again, rewriting lines like "'Fiddlesticks!', exclaimed the mayor of Hiroshima".


I checked back with the publishers and said what did they call pornographic and they said 'well, you know' and I said no I didn't, actually, and they said 'look it up'.


So I did and then checked back again and said it says here that there has not been a prosecution of textual pornography since Inside Linda Lovelace in 1976. They said 'are you anywhere near inside Linda Lovelace?' and I said well there's no dentistry in the book, what else is banned?


I looked up some more, principally Section 63 of the Criminal Justice Act, and checked back and they said 'what now?' and I said that my attention had been drawn to a definition of  pornography being 'a person performing oral sex with a dead animal' and they said 'yes, and?' and I said 'well how does that work, with it being dead?' and they said I was trying their patience. Only asking, I said. Look up the Obscene Publications Act, they said.


So I did and then checked back and said it says here that a publication is obscene if it 'is likely to deprave or corrupt' and they said 'so?' and I said well, power corrupts so does that mean…. and they said 'just fucking get on with it'.  



Sunday, 24 October 2010

Book Blog 1



It has taken me five bloody years of miserable poverty and near-starvation to get my novel into print – which is pretty good going when you consider that publishers wouldn't touch God's first book for 1,600 years and He had to kill off his main character in the rewrite.


God and I aren't the only ones to have suffered from publishers' clearly-questionable authority as the expert arbiters of what will sell. Apparently it took John Grisham two years and the rejections of 12 publishers before he could go on to shift 250 million paperbacks.


HG Wells had the same problem, more than 10 publishers told him that his War Of The Worlds was a crock of unsellable shit. Mind you, Stephen King topped that – thirty publishers told him that the four-million-seller Carrie was rubbish.


When you add to the tally the many publishers who turned down Orwell's Animal Farm, the 23 of the same who rejected Frank Herbert's Dune and the dozen who said 'no way, never' to J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter then you start to wonder not about how hard it is to get into print but what on earth qualifies anyone to get a job in publishing?


Do they only accept applicants who can display a marked inability to read, or at least can project poor judgement? Publishers must be the literary equivalent of those weathermen who told New Orleans 'good morning Louisiana, it's a fine day ahead and no winds'.


Seriously, how do publishers make a living when time and again and again it has been shown that they would not know how to finger a pulse if they had their heads up inside your carotid artery? What is the mindset that makes these presumably-educated, or at least sentient, oracles say 'you know what, I'm going to pass on this Death Of A Jackal and instead go with Baking In Colour The Armenian Way, I've got one of my hunches about pirozhki'?


Anyway, fuck 'em, blindness is their problem and I don't care because at long last and after more heralding than an international symposium of Peter And The Wolf, my book Rock Bottom is finally coming out for Christmas. I'll be detailing here soon how you can get it.