Direction Reaction Creation
For no good reason, I’ve been reading the liner notes to Direction Reaction Creation, the Jam boxed set (boxed set of Jam sounds delicious) from—I was going to say “a few years back,” but this thing came out in ‘99! (Or ‘97, if you’re a vinylist.) The booklet, which is rather massive, keeps falling open to this passage—a sure sign that I should transcribe it for you:
The strident ‘Here Comes The Weekend’, with its enigmatic reference to human rights abuses in Zaire, was followed by ‘Tonight At Noon’ which once again saw Weller turn to poetry for inspiration—this time that of Liverpudlian beatnik Adrian Henri, whose verse had been anthologized in a 1967 Penguin paperback and British beat poet bible The Mersey Sound. Weller lifted two whole stanzas from Henri’s In the Midnight Hour, suggesting that he was running short of lyrics himself.
“Enigmatic reference” is rather droll, eh?
I poked around the web for information on Henri, and came up with this lovely bit for everyone to zazen on:
[Henri] told me how, after a gig, he had gone back to a girl’s room in some desolate seaside town and lost his wallet. Forced to leave before breakfast in the morning, he walked by the grey waves and, hearing a seagull, looked up - and a piece of bread dropped into his open mouth.
Ed Park is the author of the novel Personal Days (Random House, 2008) and a founding editor of The Believer. His work most recently appears in Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book (Da Capo). He blogs at The Dizzies.