Tropic Of Cancer-Henry Miller
It will make you weirdly yearn to be broke and have nothing but time, a pen and an unruly imagination.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
She turns faucets of information on historical characters which have the potential to be bleak… into pure unadulterated entertainment.
Death and Taxes-Dorothy Parker
A beautiful rhymer. When I look at a picture of Dorthoy Parker and sense her spirit, I can sense she was much ahead of her time. Not only in writing but in spirit. And she was condemned for it. Ultimately her work had the last say.
Songwriters On Songwriting- Paul Zollo
Anyone who was ever great at writing songs or art for that matter talks about a psychic connection they have to creativity. Everyone ends up talking about this source…..a field of energy in which flows in and out of them. They can’t quite describe it. It makes me feel like less of a freak when I read these interviews and more that I belong to the right club when I hear these things. The only interview in which he spoke about never having had a single preconceived idea was.. Randy Newman. Somehow someway he still writes amazing songs. So if you don’t feel psychic enough… Take refuge in Randy.
Haruki Murkami- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
One of the most calming voices I’ve read. Reads like a meditation. His writing is deceptively simple, but as a writer you learn the hardest thing to do is summarize a flurry of feelings into one or two sentences. He does this masterfully. Currently also reading his book ‘The Wind Up Chronicle’.
Marcus Aurelius- Meditations
Marcus was a Taurus like myself. I sense his earthiness in his writing, especially his letters to his mentor Fronto at the end of the book. I like to think he redefined masculinity at the time as well. He was clearly a very sensitive man and was eloquent in his display. Will most likely read for the rest of my life.
Across The Great Divide- THE Band And America
If in 1957 Robbie Roberson, never introduced himself to Levon Helm, another future young virtuosic young musician from way down south… Polar opposites colliding into each other one night in a run down supper club in Arkansas. Levon from the swamps, Robbie from cold Toronto,.. on tour with the infamous Ronnie Hawkins – Canadian music history simply wouldn’t be the same. Thank you Ronnie Hawkins!
Cat’s Cradle-Kurt Vonnegut
His way of making you smile about horrible events is uncanny. His further ability to provoke interest in the history of war through wit in small, subtle but eloquent chapters is another hook into his literary journey. Also love ‘Mother Night’
On The Road- Jack Kerouac
On The Road has inspired many production techniques of mine in the studio, not to mention writing ones. It’s a celebration of imagination. If the function of an author is to ignite your deepest inner desires and begin to live them out immediately – he and his friends and their stories did very well.
Sammy Chan’s Rhyming Dictionary
A classic songwriter in the classic sense. He wrote for so many people in his time, most famously Frank Sinatra. Sometimes I’ll just read this book as if it’s a novel, going page for page memorizing rhymes. It sounds bleak but I always trust a master who has proved him or herself. He had a short documentary ‘The Story Of A Songwriter’ made about him, which if anyone is interested as to how the trade of songwriting looked like pre Beatles- It’s very fascinating.
Listen to Keegan Powell’s new single here.