Hopefully, as I type, webmaster to the stars (certainly those of the jazz pantheon in Norway) ‘Excitable’ Dave Mullan will be working on the architecture of a forthcoming website dedicated to the similarly forthcoming Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond.
The textual content of the site has already been written, including: two extracts from the book; an exclusive essay on the Georgie Fame/John McLaughlin recordings; a ‘deleted scene’ in the form of an unused Introduction to the book; a Q&A with myself about the book; and an essay (with accompanying audio recordings) of rare Mahavishnu Orchestra repertoire.
There will also be a smattering of rare 1968-75 video clips (some not currently circulating) for viewing; some rare ‘60s recordings available to be streamed; and three Mahavishnu Orchestra audio concerts – two of which are not easily available and all three of which I’ve had newly mastered – available to be freely downloaded.
Extracts from the book may also appear on two leading jazz websites in due course and in one UK magazine. More details nearer the time. A first extract from the book was posted on the splendid Afterword site:
In the ‘old days’ people might take the trouble to write you a letter if they had something to say about your book. These days anyone can express an opinion at the click of a mouse. So if you don’t like a word that I’ve used, social media will help you express that view! On the other hand, it’s a great way to have genuine factual slips come to light (as has happened in this case, ahead of print publication). No one is infallible!
On November 13 I will be appearing in a rather ambitious ‘author event’, with small invited audience, at Cormac O’Kane’s studio in Belfast. Northern Ireland jazz colossus and local radio personality Linley Hamilton will compère and conduct a Q&A with me about the book with periodic musical interludes. The event will be filmed in black and white with multiple cameras and Cormac ‘Wizard Of Sound’ O’Kane on the mixing desk, with a view to a podcast shortly after.
The musical interludes will include three or four Mahavishnu Orchestra numbers performed by a specially assembled team under MD Pat Gribben (guitar), best known as songwriter for the Adventures, with Linley Hamilton (trumpet), Scott Flanigan (keys), Ali McKenzie (bass), Peter McKinney (drums).
Local blues legend Ronnie Greer (guitar) will also perform in R&B trio format with Ali McKenzie and Peter McKinney, with guest vocalists Tina McSherry and Triona Carvill, resurrecting three Duffy Power/John McLaughlin co-writes from the mid ‘60s.
In other news… I spend a feverishly busy day at the excellent Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin recently, collecting material for an essay on the history of Uilleann (Irish) piping. I’m at the early stages of working on a book with Belfast piping maestro John McSherry and the essay will form part of that.