Sunday, 25 March 2012

ROBERT CALVERT: Starfarer's praise

Graham Inglis and I have been mates for over twenty years, and for the last seven he has been sharing my house in rural North Devon. He is a mega-Hawkind fan, and when I first started to work for Gonzo Multimedia, and my first job was to prepare a new edition of Robert Calvert's book of poetry Centigrade 232, one of the first things that I did was to ask for his aid. We worked hard on the new edition, and it was published last month.

Apparently one of the major reviewing dudes in Hawkwindland is a chap called 'Steve Starfarer' who runs a website called which describes itself as: "...a less-than-reverent fan site devoted to Hawkwind, inventors of space rock".

He recently gave Centigrade 232 a through and pretty good review, culminating:
"It has so much more impact given the way it is presented in this new edition. And the wider availability is excellent, perhaps affording Calvert the best chance at the recognition that he sought, nearly twenty-five years after his passing. Good job all round".

The review can be found:
about half way down the page. I accept his criticisms (which are pretty minor) but I would like to set the record straight on one matter, the cover.

Steve writes: "I was surprised to see that the cover has the same image as the 2007 Voiceprint edition’s, although it’s provided in a larger format: approximately 6” x 9”." Further on he writes: "Further digging reveals that Gonzo and Voiceprint are in fact the same outfit, more or less, which explains why the new edition looks so similar to the previous one: they probably reused the same printing plates etc.. "

Not actually the case. Keeping the cover was my choice and mine alone. Rob Ayling originally asked me for a psychedelicy cover, but I put the whole package together trying to bear in mind that Calvert wished to be known as a poet rather than a rock music performer, and I thought that the cover of the 2nd edition was really rather nice. I have never actually seen the first edition, and as far as I am aware no-one at Gonzo actually has a copy, so I had to err on the side of caution whilst correcting errors, and deciding what bits of artwork to leave out and what to keep in.

Thanks for your kind words Steve. I appreciate them. I hope that the next time I design a Hawkwind related package it, too, will meet with your approval.



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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.