I think this will be enough rock and roll for a while, but after accommodating all choices in consultation exercise, here's one for me. It's Jefferson Airplane performing White Rabbit at Woodstock. The song has associations. Some years ago I remembered that I had decided that I wanted to be a lawyer and a writer when I grew up and that decades had passed without doing anything about the writer bit. I sat down and wrote a novel. It was called White Rabbit. I set about the dismal business of hawking it around literary agents. An agent loved it. We signed a contract. The agent sent it to five publishers. The publishers all said complimentary things about it but no offers. The criticism was that it was episodic. In retrospect, the criticism was valid. Mind you, so was Dickens. The agent suggested a re-write. My heart wasn't in it. The agent gave up on the subject. I asked my friend and neighbour Barry Fantoni to read the manuscript.
'Write another one' He said. Good advice.
So I wrote twentytwelve. I sold it to the first publisher I approached unagented. It was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. The aforementioned agent suddenly took a previously unsuspected interest. It didn't make the longlist. Agent lost interest. So it goes. As for White Rabbit, the manuscript is in a box somewhere. There was a decent novel struggling to get out. Maybe one day I'll pull it apart and put it back together again. Or maybe not.
White Rabbit has another association. I think on some level the associations are linked. Many, many years ago I had a friend who loved the song. He'd play it all night if you didn't stop him. He left the country and we lost touch. Some years later I heard he'd committed suicide. I don't know why. I wont name him but here's to him...