Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: Joss Sticks

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Duffy: The big daddy Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa Agarbatti, manufactured by Shrinivas Sugandhalaya 8th Cross, Magadi Road, P.B. No.2318 Bengaluru, 560 023, INDIA. (No street view on Google maps.) They make other great incense, too: Sunrise, Midnight, Rain Forest, Celestial, Blessings, Fortune, Jasmine Blossom (I’m burning this right now), Sandalwood, Patchouli Forest and the frighteningly named Satya Super Hit. Jasmine and Sandalwood take me back to my bedroom in Birmingham, wondering whether I should invest in some of George Harrison’s latest works on Dark Horse. Back to the hours spent looking at the cover of the Incredible String Band’s Relics album. Joss Sticks poster-boy album. Back to the books and the quiet hours of page turning.

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: The Watersons, Specifically The Film “Travelling For A Living,” Equality And Socialism

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Duffy: The Watersons sang unaccompanied traditional folk songs. A lot of seafaring songs from the area where they were born and lived, in the North East of England. A brother, two sisters and their second cousin, who they treat as something of an outsider in the film. Although they made many later records, my favourites are the ones made with second cousin John Harrison. I don’t know if Travelling For A Living is available apart from in the Watersons box Mighty River Of Song. It was filmed for the BBC in the mid-’60s. It shows a world that has gone; can you see a theme in my guest editorship? Norma talks about John like he’d been born into wealth and privilege instead of somewhere else in Hull. “His mother would do anything for him,” Norma says as he is served a revolting but completely normal meal for the time. In many documentary films of this nature, someone will say how they didn’t know they were poor until … In Travelling For A Living, you see a “we didn’t know we were poor” world. Now kids know they are poor. We didn’t. Even with television showing the royal family and Brideshead Revisited, I didn’t really comprehend how much of nothing we had materially. So what we had became more important. The books and records, the jeans. When I left art school in ’79, just as Thatcher began dismantling the goodness, the gap between rich and poor was at its historical low. If people are happy as they are, happy in their community and their union, then the politics of greed cannot thrive. We were happy in our socialist, unionised world. But they couldn’t exploit us if we were happy.

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: Champagne And Other Beverages

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Ruinart blanc de blanc
Pol Roger (Hitler’s favourite)
Blonde on Blonde
Roget’s Thesaurus

Duffy: I really love to drink champagne. It cheers people up. When they wake in the middle of the night and start to worry, I wish I could be there with a very cold glass of champagne and a cheery grin. I hate the way the role of champagne fairy has been overlooked in civilization; it could solve everything. I also hate the way pubs are closing here. Not that proper boozers ever sold champagne. I went for a drink with Nick Rhodes in a pub once. I wish I could remember the name as it seems important. I want to say it was on Constitution Hill, but that seems unlikely. What I do know is it was 1978 and Rob Lloyd was there having a drink with Una Baines. We asked for pink gin not knowing that it was just gin with Angostura bitters. Teenagers in late-’70s Birmingham didn’t make a habit of drinking neat gin. Twenty-two years later, when we resumed our work together, Nick would make out he’d never been in a pub. I would never contradict a friend, but I remembered Una Baines and could never forget pink gin.

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: Sam Shepard Short Stories And Commentary Tracks

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Hawk Moon
Motel Chronicles
Cruising Paradise
Great Dream Of Heaven
Day Out Of Days

Duffy: I love these books like I love Fitzgerald and Hemingway. But these seem closer to us now and closer to me as I go about my menial work at the rodeo. I love the Wim Wenders commentary tracks he has added to his films. I must ask him to do one for my funeral before either one of us dies. Commentary tracks can be great art in their own right. Jack Nicholson’s for Antonionis The Passenger, where he spends the first five minutes explaining for youngsters what an “art-house film” was. Francis Ford Coppola telling us about One From The Heart is equally invaluable; “There is nothing better on earth than lovers,” he tells us “apart from children.” In the commentary to Paris Texas, Wenders points out the moment where Sam Shepard, working on another film up north, can’t get the script to him. With a heavy heart he attempts the dialogue himself. And in some way, aren’t we all waiting for Sam to send us some dialogue? To put some meaning into our stilted verbiage. Please, if you haven’t read these short stories of Sam’s, read them now. For me, they go somewhere beyond the plays; they are intoxicating. And I hear he likes a drink too?

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: David Hockney, Art School, Kitaj, Proktor, Freud & Bacon

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Duffy: I put Hockney first on account of his book David Hockney By David Hockney. Compiled from interviews by Nikos Stangos, its appearance in ’76 (I think I got it for Christmas) was a Beatles moment for me. As a pre-school child, when I saw George Harrison and the other fabs get out of a Bentley either to get their MBEs or at the premier of A Hard Days Night, it is likely that this was the first time a truly working-class kid had been filmed getting out of such a car. We were so cowed by class, so intimidated and tyrannised by class, that the impact of the Beatles, Hockney, Bailey, et alia, working-class people doing anything other than being patronised, was a monumental relief, a revolution, unfortunately a forgotten revolution. I got the Hunter Davies Beatles biography out of the library on the Washwood Heath Road. I loved it all but especially the chapters discussing how they made music. Similarly when I read Hockney By Hockney, the story of a boy who from nothing made so much, whilst also being so unambiguously gay, simply inspired me. It catapulted me to art school, where I gave up art immediately to make Duran Duran with John Taylor, the first bloke I spoke to.

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From The Desk Of The Lilac Time’s Stephen Duffy: “Renaldo And Clara” And Other Things

Stephen Duffy was the first singer in a little band called Duran Duran. He left them in 1979 and began a series of other musical projects before settling into the Lilac Time almost three decades ago with brother Nick. The band’s latest album is No Sad Songs. Stephen Duffy will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Duffy: I run for 40 minutes everyday, and I watch films that may be too idiosyncratic to foist on the rest of the family and dogs. Fellini documentaries that were made cheaply for Italian television in the ’70s: Felliniana. Godard will always make me go the extra furlong. With Bergman, I have spent hours alone on Fåro. We watched every minute of every version of Fanny Och Alexander, including all documentaries and bonus features. But it’s Renaldo And Clara that I return to most often. A film so contumacious that a draft introduction by Allen Ginsberg is memorably more coherent than what’s onscreen. It’s easy to be overawed by editing so transparent it appears not to have been edited at all. Were it not known that he did so for years, employing more application than he has on any other artistic creation. I loved Blood On The Tracks. It still shapes in some ways what I do. Desire did nothing to detract from my idolatry, and I was captivated by the ‘60s minstrelsy of the Rolling Thunder Review. Back then, I was a fresh-faced teen, and now the sight of it all almost topples me from the treadmill. But just as we begin to get embarrassed we are served a transcendental “Tangled Up In Blue,” a performance that could sit next to anything in Don’t Look Back or the similarly obtuse “Eat The Document.” And then we have Allen Ginsberg dancing with Joan Baez like seagulls and other lovely vignettes. Perhaps Dylan thought with such material it would be impossible for it to be anything but a triumph. My bootleg copy is so sketchy, its beauty might be missing. But even so, I think it might be worth someone taking just another couple of years at a Steenbeck flatbed.

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From The Desk Of The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen: PG Tips

From The Desk Of The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen: PG Tips
The Damnwells’ latest album is self-titled for a good reason: It’s the first to include the original quartet since 2006. That was the year Epic dropped the band after a hellish 18 months of two-faced A&R nonsense, endless remixes and postponed release dates. On The Damnwells, the chemistry remains fully charged between frontman Alex Dezen, guitarist David Chernis, bassist Ted Hudson and drummer Steve Terry. Recorded at Texas Treefort Studio in Austin with producer Salim Nourallah (Old 97’s), its 11 tracks ooze a relentless swagger born of perseverance. Dezen will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on the band.

PGTips

Dezen: I don’t drink coffee. It makes me nuts. And coffee culture makes me even more nuts. But I love English breakfast tea. Specifically PG Tips. Those little pyramid bags of love. There’s something very soothing about the whole process of boiling the water and letting the tea brew that gives me peace in the morning. Tea is an event, a respite, which helps give perspective to the day. It’s a simple, lovely joy.

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From The Desk Of The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen: A Good Nail Clipper

The Damnwells’ latest album is self-titled for a good reason: It’s the first to include the original quartet since 2006. That was the year Epic dropped the band after a hellish 18 months of two-faced A&R nonsense, endless remixes and postponed release dates. On The Damnwells, the chemistry remains fully charged between frontman Alex Dezen, guitarist David Chernis, bassist Ted Hudson and drummer Steve Terry. Recorded at Texas Treefort Studio in Austin with producer Salim Nourallah (Old 97’s), its 11 tracks ooze a relentless swagger born of perseverance. Dezen will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on the band.

NailClippers

Dezen: Invaluable. I don’t bite my nails. It’s gross. And nails get long. That’s life. But there is nothing worse, as a non-nail biter, then having a pair of clippers that suck. You want a swift, precise sheering mechanism that delivers a rounded, smooth, neat, trim nail. And you want that to happen quietly. The sound of nails being clipped is one of the worst sounds on earth. But it doesn’t have to be. Go to a beauty supply store. Spend the money. Do your nails a favor.

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From The Desk Of The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen: Batting Cages

The Damnwells’ latest album is self-titled for a good reason: It’s the first to include the original quartet since 2006. That was the year Epic dropped the band after a hellish 18 months of two-faced A&R nonsense, endless remixes and postponed release dates. On The Damnwells, the chemistry remains fully charged between frontman Alex Dezen, guitarist David Chernis, bassist Ted Hudson and drummer Steve Terry. Recorded at Texas Treefort Studio in Austin with producer Salim Nourallah (Old 97’s), its 11 tracks ooze a relentless swagger born of perseverance. Dezen will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on the band.

BattingCages

Dezen: Batting cages are usually found at the same places on the side of the highway with the mini golf and go-carts. The Damnwells used to have a rule back in the day that if someone spotted one of those places from the road, we were obliged to stop, regardless of however late we already were to the next gig. There are a lot less of them than there used to be, so we miss fewer gigs. The ability to stick a token in a slot and smash a few baseballs for a minute is priceless.

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From The Desk Of The Damnwells’ Alex Dezen: Haribo Gummi Bears

The Damnwells’ latest album is self-titled for a good reason: It’s the first to include the original quartet since 2006. That was the year Epic dropped the band after a hellish 18 months of two-faced A&R nonsense, endless remixes and postponed release dates. On The Damnwells, the chemistry remains fully charged between frontman Alex Dezen, guitarist David Chernis, bassist Ted Hudson and drummer Steve Terry. Recorded at Texas Treefort Studio in Austin with producer Salim Nourallah (Old 97’s), its 11 tracks ooze a relentless swagger born of perseverance. Dezen will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on the band.

Haribo

Dezen: Pretty much any gummi product by Haribo. And there are a ton of them. Gummi cherries, gummi cola bottles, gummy tropical plants, gummi smurfs, gummi spaghetti, gummi dinosaurs. Gummi everything! I think the obsession started when I was on tour in Germany for the first time. There was an entire rack of Haribo products at every petrol station. I think I gained five pounds just in gummi bear weight before I left.

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