The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop can change a light bulb)

The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: is randomly decrepid and is neo-bankrupt: is so analogue it's anal.

Cornish Postcards

I have a feeling that wherever I go, whatever I do, the same questions will be asked of me: ‘Are you open?’, ‘Do you have a loo?’, ‘Do you have … Continue reading

16th October 2017 · Leave a comment

Chic Cadence & Latticed Lampshades

To read a sentence of David Foster Wallace is to discover a man on the precipice, for his writing ganders chaotically like a studded skein of geese, with a literary … Continue reading

6th October 2017 · Leave a comment

Leafology, Dynamite & Richard Nixon

The Leafology beauty product range is my latest sales product here and is an attempt to go commercially peripheral. It’s a range of beauty product that includes body care, lip … Continue reading

26th September 2017 · Leave a comment

Oxford Review of Books

At only £3, the first issue of the excellent (termly) Oxford Review of Books is a bargain and available here in the Bookstore. The newspaper is formatted as the London … Continue reading

19th September 2017 · Leave a comment

Ungaretti’s Typewriter

A new addition to the Beatnik landscape: Ungaretti’s Typewriter. Customers (all two of them) are invited to type any random thought, flow of consciousness dribble, abstract or recited prose or … Continue reading

19th September 2017 · Leave a comment

Homily to Keith Jarrett

What Keith Jarrett plays on any concert evening is so often spellbinding. It needs to be to stand above his histrionic and hissy fit, hypochondria, grunts, Gurdjieff philosophy and Garbarek … Continue reading

8th September 2017 · 1 Comment

Mad Dogs, Power Drills & Englishmen (*), or Fool Britannia

(*) who are allowed to identify as women, should they wish… In Romania it is a logistical problem only (witness the photograph): the plumb line inadvertently cuts through vegetation. If there isn’t … Continue reading

28th August 2017 · 1 Comment

Romanian Postcards

Not only has Romania moved tectonically since my childhood days (it never used to be next to the Ukraine in my school atlas), its spelling has changed: we used to … Continue reading

26th August 2017 · 1 Comment

Toilets (or J. Alfred Pisspot)

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock hangs on the inside of the shop toilet door. It would be included in any anthology of poetry read best in the loo and, … Continue reading

26th August 2017 · Leave a comment

Heathcote Williams: The Local Polemic

Painted fluorescent over two walls of the Albion Beatnik loo is Heathcote Williams’ poem ‘Books’. The poem was written perhaps eight or nine years ago. Heathcote Williams died recently, undoubtedly … Continue reading

23rd August 2017 · Leave a comment

Parliamentary Filibuster & an Experimental Novel

Published today by the Albion Beatnik Press is Ilia Galán’s novel All: 111 pages, and 31,113 words (31,107 are the same word). Its original Spanish publication in 2004 caused a … Continue reading

30th July 2017 · Leave a comment

Sucking Mintoes in the Bath with Agatha Christie

“Poetry is not the most important thing in life… I’d much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha Christie and sucking sweets.” – Dylan Thomas The Orient Express stops … Continue reading

1st July 2017 · Leave a comment

Siciliano, Spirituality & Saccharin

The mid-twentieth century vogue for transcribing Bach chorales or instrumentals for the piano was a meeting point of nostalgia and aspiration, perhaps sounding boards to reflect hope against the political … Continue reading

30th June 2017 · Leave a comment

Sunrise at Wittenham Clumps

I spent the night on the Round Hill at Wittenham Clumps to catch sunrise, fortified by a fire, tea, and the best company. Paul Nash described the view from The … Continue reading

26th June 2017 · 3 Comments

The Modern Baker

This book ‘feels’ right. Is produced by a shop in Summertown I’ve never been to (Summertown to me is a ghastly concoction of the town planners’ fevered mind, mock Corinthian … Continue reading

22nd June 2017 · Leave a comment

It’s the Church Pew that Moves, Not the Earth

You gotta be bonkers not to love Barbara Pym’s novels. Her acme was a 1950s suburban or neo-rural setting where The Archers doesn’t quite meet James Bond, coz you don’t get … Continue reading

20th June 2017 · Leave a comment

All What Larkin by Peter J. King

Published today is Peter J. King’s new poetry pamphlet, All What Larkin, published by the Albion Beatnik Press. Philip Larkin wrote jazz criticism for the Daily Telegraph for ten years … Continue reading

14th June 2017 · Leave a comment

Machiavellian Eisteddfod, Acetate Gold & Death by Corn Flakes

The Oxford Silent Film Society has had regular and mesmerising screenings in the Beatnik. All of the films have been of interest historically, although some nearly as dull as lukewarm ditchwater … Continue reading

9th June 2017 · Leave a comment

The Fabrications by Baret Magarian

[https://youtu.be/1XrbTqiQGcg, The Mighty Boosh innit] So Howard Moon says it’s more about quality than quantity in the modern novel. For sure, but I can’t think of too many exciting novels … Continue reading

7th June 2017 · Leave a comment

Everything Wrong With You Is Beautiful

I’ve always liked Tina Sederholm’s poetry. There is a plumb line weighted with honesty that cuts through it, and she probes either side of its divide. Her whole craft is … Continue reading

3rd June 2017 · Leave a comment

Dornford Yates: Snobbery with Violence

It is wonderful to judge a book by its cover, to date a book by its cover also. Here is a recent second-hand addition here: Blind Corner by Dornford Yates, … Continue reading

27th March 2017 · Leave a comment

Artur Schnabel: All Gas & Gaiters or Skittles & Bluster?

ARTUR SCHNABEL’s memory lapses in performance were legendary and he remained seemingly impervious to any embarrassment in concert; like a car driver never tempted to look in his rear view mirror to … Continue reading

27th March 2017 · Leave a comment

Filming Bernard O’Donoghue read ‘Connolly’s Bookshop’

Bernard O’Donoghue’s poetry collection The Seasons of Cullen Church (Faber, 2016) is lyrical and observant, an elegiac lament, beautiful so often, riddled with memories of a childhood spent near Cork. … Continue reading

14th March 2017 · Leave a comment

The Moving Toyshop & the Awkward Hour Between Evensong & Cocktails

EDMUND CRISPIN’s The Moving Toyshop is one of the classic Oxford novels. Crispin was the pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery, a composer of vocal and choral music which included An Oxford … Continue reading

27th February 2017 · Leave a comment

Orwell & Top Cat

GEORGE ORWELL is the twentieth century Shakespeare, for so much of his writing has strayed into common parlance. Orwellian is a control of policy by a Liquorice Allsorts of disagreeable … Continue reading

31st January 2017 · Leave a comment

Kerouac & the Sputnik

Whilst living a fairly dissolute life – a university drop out, a naval honourable discharge, arrested as an accessory to murder – Jack Kerouac wrote constantly throughout the turmoil in … Continue reading

18th January 2017 · Leave a comment

Opening Lines

I recently posted online my two favourite opening lines from novels: Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess: “It was the afternoon of my eighty-fifth birthday, and I was in bed with my … Continue reading

11th January 2017 · Leave a comment

Fettled Hands: You Can Call Me Hal

Pianists each have a distinct touch and each have fettled hands. My pick of the best is displayed below. Dinu Lipatti could stretch an octave and five, brittle and perfect, fluttered his fingers … Continue reading

6th January 2017 · Leave a comment

Catgut & Chopsticks: Chris Garrick & David Gordon

The Bookstore is christened the Beatnik because of Kerouac and Ginsberg’s association with jazz. The shop has a wholesale stash of jazz literature, a wonderful jazz CD cupboard painted (in fact on both … Continue reading

5th January 2017 · Leave a comment

Let’s Talk of Graves, of Worms, & Epitaphs; Make Dust our Paper…

So here’s a nice little copy sold yesterday of George Herbert’s The Temple & A Priest to the Temple, Everyman edition, the binding slightly shaky but from a time when … Continue reading

4th January 2017 · Leave a comment

Stig of the Dump, Ardizzone, Go-karts & Girlies

So I met someone last night who is known as Stig (he’s got an otherwise posh name). He’s nicknamed after Clive King’s hero, Stig of the Dump, the now classic … Continue reading

2nd January 2017 · Leave a comment

Table Talk: Arthur, Brexit & Presidential Hacking

Arthur, occasional shop dog, spent another week curating the shop floor, guarding it with the speed of a soft-shelled tortoise in need of a shave on speed. He settled in … Continue reading

23rd December 2016 · Leave a comment

Ulysses, a Hundred Visions & Revisions, Before the Taking of a Toast & Tea

I never thought I could announce that because of the Christmas rush… well the Beatnik has sold out of James Joyce’s Ulysses. A modernist vade mecum (stream-of-consciousness, experimental prose full of … Continue reading

21st December 2016 · 1 Comment

Tea & Scone with Barbara Pym

If you buy a BARBARA PYM book from the shop before Christmas, you’ll get a free pot of tea with scone, butter, jam and cream. That’s better than any discounted … Continue reading

13th December 2016 · 1 Comment

Bobby Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games

The great chess players of the past are fascinating characters. Even if long dead and with an afterlife only of algebraic notation, they can impose themselves upon our imagination still. … Continue reading

12th December 2016 · 1 Comment

Julian MacLaren-Ross: Squandered Daylight, Neon-moonlight

JULIAN MacLAREN-ROSS (1912-1964) delineated with brilliance and acuity the sleazy bohemian atmosphere of post-war Soho through a series of amusing short stories and eight novels. His writing style is lively, … Continue reading

9th December 2016 · Leave a comment

Things that Annoy Booksellers, part 1

Odd that as the Kindle and the computer are so efficient – I am told we no longer need books or paper – that any bog standard academic these days … Continue reading

7th December 2016 · Leave a comment

Gerald Kersh Died with His Boots Unclean

One of the great chroniclers of London’s metropolitan life was the versatile GERALD KERSH (1911-1968), although he came to settle in Barbados (where his house burnt down), then Canada, and in … Continue reading

6th December 2016 · Leave a comment

Hans Fallada & Despair at Brookfield Farm

HANS FALLADA was published by Melville House only in 2009, Penguin thereafter (translated by Michael Hofmann), so he is a recent invention in the English-speaking world, and a surprising commercial … Continue reading

4th December 2016 · Leave a comment

Colin MacInnes & London’s Jazz Age

Colin MacInnes, who died in 1976, is a fascinating novelist. He identified both the rise of the rebel teenage generation and an emergent multicultural London. He was openly gay at … Continue reading

1st December 2016 · Leave a comment

Onanism Fleshed Out: Dan Holloway’s Evie and Guy

I so often go on and about Dan Holloway’s onanistic novel Evie and Guy, and am pleased to have heard that Dan is preparing a second edition. It is a … Continue reading

30th November 2016 · Leave a comment

The Limits of Nostalgia

I went to Brighton recently, not a first call for bucket and spade for it’s all shingle and, this time of year, freezing cold. In my childhood, news consisted of Francis … Continue reading

28th October 2016 · Leave a comment

Matchbox Stories from Book Ex Machina

In stock is the tiniest literary magazine in the world: Matchbox Stories from Book Ex Machina, an original publishing initiative from a writer and photographer in Cyprus. Each issue is a … Continue reading

27th October 2016 · Leave a comment

Judge a Book by its Cover

The earliest surviving dust jacket dates from 1833: a plain buff-coloured paper with the title overprinted in red. In the twentieth century the potential for the dust jacket as a … Continue reading

24th October 2016 · Leave a comment

The Shop Corner of Shame

The latest book in the shop Corner of Shame – that is the resting place for books rejected by customers because considered too expensive – is The Death and Letters … Continue reading

19th October 2016 · Leave a comment

Malcolm Saville’s Yard Broom

Malcolm Saville was born in Hastings in 1901 and educated there. His first job was as a clerk with the Oxford University Press, and the rest of his working life … Continue reading

10th October 2016 · Leave a comment

Three Doorbells in Search of a Door

It took an act of generosity from a Portuguese friend to deliver the rooster, an ornament as fine as a Botticelli angel. But it took my brilliance with a drill to … Continue reading

9th October 2016 · 2 Comments

A One-Night Stand with Erroll Garner

I am reminded by the recent release of lost studio takes by Erroll Garner, Ready Take One, that my eyes have been thrown always to the heavens with wonderment at … Continue reading

28th September 2016 · 1 Comment

Spiritual Synaesthesia: John Coltrane at Ninety

In a brief and urgent career, John Coltrane transformed jazz and became a beacon for much else; he died aged only forty in 1967. A spiritual awakening in 1957 removed from him … Continue reading

25th September 2016 · Leave a comment

She’s Leaving Home

She’s Leaving Home on the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album is one of the more sublime and yet sorrowful songs in their catalogue. Like Eleanor Rigby from the earlier Revolver LP it did not include any … Continue reading

13th September 2016 · Leave a comment

Salzburg: Mozart & Lot’s Wife

Salzburg on a clear day is an impressive city to fly into. The city is stockaded by mountains, mainly southward, but when the stockade appears to consist of both mountain and … Continue reading

9th September 2016 · Leave a comment

Buy One Get One Free

This decade’s Beatnik BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) offer: a cup of tea, a free piddle, in any order. All for £2. Usually over seventy types of tea, loose leaf mainly. … Continue reading

2nd September 2016 · Leave a comment

Gloves & Swing: King Joe & Count Basie

Joe Louis is held often to be the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. He held the world title from 1937 to 1949, and he was perhaps the first African American to … Continue reading

28th August 2016 · Leave a comment

Ten Books to Make You See a Big Picture

This selection is made from the Albion Beatnik Press’ book Fifty Shades of Re(a)d (an attempt to curate a vital book collection). These books attempt to take us outside of … Continue reading

22nd August 2016 · Leave a comment

Arthur Does Casablanca

Arthur, a finalist in last year’s Canine Halitosis World Championship, stumbled through my life again for two weeks this summer. His boundless lackadaisical posture, his turbulent sangfroid nature and his … Continue reading

22nd August 2016 · Leave a comment

Arthur on the Rocks

I wrote some time ago about Arthur, scruffy dog with boundless enthusiasm ultimately for being himself, for whom I became a temporary carer. Even my inability to remember his name … Continue reading

10th August 2016 · Leave a comment

Miles and Muhammad Ali: the Momentum of the Moment

The personas of Miles Davis and Muhammad Ali have fascinated the world always. Both men are iconic: you would expect to see them in any poster shop in any far-flung corner of the world … Continue reading

1st August 2016 · Leave a comment

Miles, Boxing & Jack Johnson

“Boxing’s got style like music’s got style,” said Miles Davis. “Joe Louis had a style… and Sugar Ray Robinson had his style – as did Muhammad Ali… But you’ve got … Continue reading

31st July 2016 · Leave a comment

Shrödinger’s Piece of String or How Long is a Cat?

It makes sense to save money and avoid exploitation from unscrupulous traders who overcharge. Yet discounted prices can sometimes involve moral deviance, zero hour contracts, for instance, and unfair, perhaps even … Continue reading

5th July 2016 · Leave a comment

Call It Anything: Miles at the Isle of Wight

The third Isle of Wight Festival took place in August 1970. With Bob Dylan as headline act the previous year (returning from voluntary exile and turning his back on America’s … Continue reading

2nd July 2016 · 1 Comment

A Privy Culprit of Poetry Readings

What is the collective noun for poets? I was asked that recently and was rather stumped for an answer. It’s been like Radio 4’s Any Questions recently, and not so … Continue reading

5th June 2016 · Leave a comment

Rebellion & Scar Tissue

I wonder what gives old guys like this, haphazard and without shirt and tie, an authenticity to their rebellion, because don’t we laugh normally at older people who flash their trendiness … Continue reading

4th June 2016 · Leave a comment

Patrick Mackie & John Clegg: poetry reading, 10th June

PATRICK MACKIE lives in Gloucestershire. Recently published by CBeditions is The Further Adventures of the Lives of the Saints; an earlier collection, Excerpts From the Memoirs Of A Fool, was published … Continue reading

18th May 2016 · Leave a comment

The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library was refurnished by 1613, and the Old Schools Quadrangle extension was already under serious planning – to be measured in cubits rather than feet and inches, based on … Continue reading

11th May 2016 · Leave a comment

Four Books to Visit a Shrink with

The book cover designs by Oxford based artist Stella Shakerchi for four of the titles from the forthcoming Oxfordshire Art Weeks exhibition (from 7th May), 50 Shades of Re(a)d, with … Continue reading

5th May 2016 · Leave a comment

Fifty Shades of Re(a)d

It was Oxford based artist Stella Shakerchi who came up with the idea of hanging a collection of book cover design in the Albion Beatnik Bookstore windows, and the shop … Continue reading

1st May 2016 · Leave a comment

This Is A Bookshop

The poster found often in the shop window did for a few golden days go viral and rampant on the internet. Its tale is told here by Dan Holloway in … Continue reading

27th April 2016 · Leave a comment

The Tail of Arthur, Shop Dog with an Identity Crisis

Some shop customers here in Oxford may have noted that the Beatnik did have a guard dog for a few weeks. Woof, woof. He didn’t care for some customers too much … Continue reading

15th April 2016 · 1 Comment

Not The Oxford Literary Festival (Rides Again) 2016

Coincidentally simultaneous with the Oxford Literary Festival™ (sponsored this year by The Financial Times and well known philanthropists HSBC), the Not The Oxford Literary Festival™ (see tailpiece for our very … Continue reading

27th March 2016 · Leave a comment

Father & Son

Compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Carole King, Billy Joel and many other Americans – whose lyrics followed dramatically the contours of the melody and effortlessly displayed an emotional … Continue reading

15th February 2016 · Leave a comment

The New Yorker

HISTORY The creation of The New Yorker is a true case of necessity being the mother of invention. In the early 1920s, a New York couple – Harold Ross and … Continue reading

8th January 2016 · Leave a comment

Recommended Graphic Novels

Persepolis [2003] MARJANE SATRAPI This is the story of a young girl growing up in Iran. Illustrated by Satrapi’s deceptively simple and yet wonderfully expressive drawings, it is a fascinating coming … Continue reading

6th January 2016 · Leave a comment

The Sandspout

The bookstore will launch its own magazine, entitled The Sandspout (although the title will be in small print as I’m quite ashamed of it.). A Sandspout is the sand sucked into … Continue reading

4th January 2016 · Leave a comment

Recommended Historical Novels for Children

Historical fiction is a fabulous genre. It allows us all to empathise with someone from a different time with whom we would otherwise have no connection. It can illustrate historical points … Continue reading

3rd January 2016 · Leave a comment

Great Children’s Novels with Great Sequels

Books with sequels are ideal recommendations for children: if they are enjoyed, the quieter they are for longer. Here is a random selection:- The Borrowers by Mary Norton Mary Norton (1903-1992) … Continue reading

3rd January 2016 · 2 Comments

A Straight Line to Joy: a Choice of Jazz Books

There are only a few writers who are able to write well and with authority on all aspects of jazz. Philip Larkin pleaded for a “belle-lettriste of jazz, a Newman … Continue reading

2nd January 2016 · Leave a comment

Is There Anything to Read after Harry Potter?

It was often alleged that the craze for Harry Potter books throughout the 1990s fuelled an awakening in the art of reading. I was doubtful at the time, even more … Continue reading

2nd January 2016 · Leave a comment

In Search of Dinu Lipatti

DINU LIPATTI was a Romanian pianist who died in 1950 at the tragically early age of 33. He succumbed to complication arising from Hodgkins’ lymphoma. Yet for all its brevity and … Continue reading

2nd January 2016 · Leave a comment

An Introduction to Charles Mingus, the Angry Man of Jazz

“He got so heavy that the bass was something he just slung over his shoulder like a duffel bag, hardly noticing the weight. The bigger he got, the smaller the … Continue reading

22nd December 2015 · Leave a comment

Novels Set in Oxford

This is a non-alphabetical list of novels set in Oxford, not necessarily recommended as some are a little bit toffee-nosed and derelict, but all are well regarded and all are … Continue reading

19th December 2015 · 2 Comments

From Straight Lines We Make Curves… An Appreciation of Michael Garrick

English jazz pianist and composer MICHAEL GARRICK, a pioneer in mixing jazz with poetry recitations and large-scale choral works, died in November 2011. For the non-cognoscente his compositions could be overly complex, … Continue reading

18th December 2015 · 1 Comment

Books for Christmas

A book is a wonderful gift because it incorporates both the intent and a flavour of the giver as well as, hopefully, the character and purpose of its recipient. The giver … Continue reading

15th December 2015 · Leave a comment

A Love Affair with Libraries

Quite a few times on the internet recently I have stumbled across a collection of startling photographs taken of old Cincinnati Public Library, bulldozed in 1955: greyscale, razor sharp images of silhouetted and … Continue reading

20th November 2015 · 1 Comment

Zizek & the Art of Powder Room Publicity

A special offer to flush away chic and incontinent communism: a free loo roll given away with every volume of Zizek bought in the Beatnik. Zizek is unrivalled at self-promotion; to … Continue reading

19th November 2015 · 2 Comments

The Jazz Etiquette

Alternate Wednesday in term time, the likes of Gilad Atzmon, John Etheridge, Alan Barnes, Tim Whitehead and Chris Garrick play here. The shop space is quite a groovy atmosphere, lights turned low, … Continue reading

17th November 2015 · 1 Comment

Maybe I’m Amazed

Here is the finest of Paul McCartney’s songs, the highlight of the album released to announce formally the break-up of the Beatles, the eponymous McCartney, the song of course being Maybe I’m Amazed; … Continue reading

15th November 2015 · Leave a comment

Christopher Wren in Oxford

I think that Christopher Wren was a bit of a donkey aesthetically, an opinion likely to raise eyebrows. In the late seventeenth century most architectural roads led to Wren; he hovers … Continue reading

12th November 2015 · Leave a comment

Miles as Engine Driver

Miles Davis battled various physical ailments throughout the last twenty years of his life until his death in 1991. He had spent five years sidelined in the late 1970s, holed up … Continue reading

10th November 2015 · Leave a comment

The People’s Favourite Hamburger

In the Romanian mountains not so long ago I stopped at the roadside to taste melons the size of Goliath’s testicles and wild red berries sold by peasants. Then at table … Continue reading

21st September 2015 · Leave a comment

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: Hobnail Boots and Angel’s Slippers

ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI was notorious more for cancelling his own concerts than attending them, or for driving his Ferrari cars in the Mille Miglia road race rather than working in the recording studio. … Continue reading

18th August 2015 · 1 Comment

A History That Dare Not Speak Its Name

This Tuesday, 9th June at 7:30pm, Nicholas Kollerstrom will be talking in the Albion Beatnik. Nicholas was an honorary research fellow in the history and philosophy of science at University … Continue reading

8th June 2015 · 1 Comment

Albion Beatnik Events: May 2015

Some events over the next month to which all are invited: Friday 1st May 8:00pm JAZZ OxJaMS Trio CD launch: George Haslam, Richard Leigh Harris and Steve Kershaw present their new CD … Continue reading

1st May 2015 · Leave a comment

The Discordant Who? Atzmon and Debate

I read the other day that Gilad Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who? has been taken off the virtual shelves of the Guardian book web site. My first reaction was to be … Continue reading

28th February 2015 · 2 Comments

London Novelists 1930-1960

PATRICK HAMILTON’s father was a barrister, but an inheritance altered his perspective – drink, travel and mistresses then took precedence, his wife and three children ignored. When Patrick was twelve, … Continue reading

24th February 2015 · Leave a comment

Louis Armstrong: “The Beginning and End of Music in America.”

LOUIS ARMSTRONG transformed jazz in the 1920s and gave it a direction and purpose. He remains one of its most important figures, changing the nature of soloist and ensemble. He … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Spot the Difference Between a Bookshop and Nostalgia (Not Everyone Can!)

http://www.cherwell.org/…/we-should-stop-fetishising-indepe… is one student journalist’s take on Oxford’s small bookshops… Lily is bright (and groovy): bookshops have been fetishised into a commercial vacuum and have become part of the National Trust’s … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

The Scottish Renaissance: Salt in Your Porridge, a Sporin and a Scottish Accent

The early part of the twentieth century witnessed a growing cultural self-awareness in many places. The Harlem Renaissance explored black culture and radiated around urban America from its base in … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Under an English Heaven: Michael Garrick’s Jazz Praises

MICHAEL GARRICK’s Jazz Praises, composed in the 1960s, is a unique creation. Critic Derek Jewell endorsed it enthusiastically in The Sunday Times and it was broadcast on both television and radio. It … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Lists Galore: 1/ Favourite American Novels of the Early Twentieth Century

To make the autodidact completely at home in the Albion Beatnik, here’s a pointless list of twentieth century American novels we think you should have read. Sometimes they are even on … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Anna Kavan: Addicted and Addictive

ANNA KAVAN was born Helen Emily Woods in 1901 in Cannes, France, and was raised and educated in Europe and California. Her wealthy English parents were cold and displayed scant … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

A Chameleon Chasing an Audience: the Musical Life of Miles Davis

“I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning . . . Every day I find something creative to do with my life.” Born in 1926, … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

The Legend of St Elmo: Elmo Hope & Bebop Piano

ELMO HOPE is seemingly a forgotten pianist of the bebop era. His unfulfilled musical life tells us much about the jazz experience of 1950s America, but much more about the … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Joe Harriott: Fire in His Soul

JOE HARRIOTT is no longer a forgotten father figure of modern European jazz. An excellent new biography of this seeringly brilliant and individual saxophonist has been published… Since his death in … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · 1 Comment

Interview with Verushka Byrow on the Australian Book Site editingeverything.com

The link for this interview is: http://editingeverything.com/interviews2/the-albion-beatnik-bookstore-interview/ VERUSHKA: The dictionary tells me that a beatnik is a usually young and artistic person from the 1950s and early 1960s who rejected the … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

Anais Nin and Henry Miller: Compendium of American Sexual Neuroses

ANAIS NIN was born in France, although when she was eleven her father, a Catalan composer, deserted the family and her Danish mother took the three children to America – it … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

The Beat Generation

As with many movements, the BEAT GENERATION began with a few like-minded friends, in this case writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso. Although they were sometimes … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

“Son, You Hot!” Hampton Hawes and the Fire Inside

HAMPTON HAWES (1928-1977) was one of the greatest jazz bebop pianists. But at the summit of his career, celebrated as New Star of the Year by Down Beat magazine in 1956, … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment

A Bookseller’s Pompous Manifesto

Publisher John Murray wrote in 1842 that “I am very sorry to say that the publishing of books at this time involves nothing but loss.” The plights of publishing and … Continue reading

23rd February 2015 · Leave a comment