Monday, 21 July 2008

So long Tough Alberto

I don’t add much to the website, which I should do, but here’s an update anyway.
My book God’s lonely Men came out last December and although not being featured in the mainstream media coverage, except for an interview with Dotun Adebayo on Radio Five Live, I have been lucky in having the support that I have. I’ve received quite a few e-mails from people telling me how much they enjoyed the book, people who mostly saw The Lurkers back when Fred, Barney and Deano were in the neighbourhood. I’d like to say thanks very much for your interest and support. I’m going to the punk festival in August with copies of my book and will be on a stall with Arturo.
I have another book coming out with the same publisher called An Unlikely Fooligan. It’s an observation of Japan made during my trips to Japan in 2002 and 2003. I have another book, a novel called Malayan Swing being published by London Books in a few months. I wrote the book in 1993 and 1994, I’ve tightened it up but the story has remained the same.
It’s been a year of massive contrasts for me, what with having my book recently published and my other books soon to be published, and my father dying in March. My dad was a sensitive man, and like me he was a bit of a storyteller. He was short in height and came from a large family in an area where poverty was the norm and one had to fight for what one wanted, and then still in his teens being sent to war. I have learned that whilst my father didn’t ingrain in me the skills and ways to be crafty and compete, or have material possessions and money, he instilled far more, and that was his humility; this was done by showing understanding to people who are weak and different and his kindness towards animals.
When I was a child he would tell me tales of a character called Tough Alberto, who would wreak revenge on those who were bullies. Tough Alberto was six feet tall and always dressed in black, he would appear on the scene when an act of brutish and cowardly behaviour was taking place and the bully would be put to right with superior fighting skills.
My dad’s name was Albert, his favourite actor was Douglas Fairbanks and he loved films, especially westerns with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster in them – they were always dressed in black; I didn’t piece it together until only a few years ago.
So I take care of my mum now – it’s what Tough Alberto would have liked to do.