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  M A Y   2 0 1 7

• • • A Savoyard's meeting with the Lord Mayor

CC, MB, CAB

l to r: Clara Casian, Michael Butterworth, the Lord Mayor of Manchester
Carl Austin-Behan. Photo by Jonathan Barlow

Manchester's Lord Mayor, Councillor Carl Austin-Behan, took time to reminisce with Savoy's Michael Butterworth about the city's brush with repression under Police Chief Constable James Anderton (1976–1991). The occasion was a preview for the La Movida exhibition, HOME art complex, April 13th, where Clara Casian's new film about Savoy and censorship, House on the Borderland, is being screened.

The exhibition celebrates the immense upsurge in artistic innovation that occurred in Spain when censorship was abolished following General Franco's death in 1975. Among the counterculturalists of La Movida Madrileña was filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar: "We weren't a generation; we weren't an artistic movement; we weren't a group with a concrete ideology. We were simply a bunch of people that coincided in one of the most explosive moments in the country." Casian's film connects the Savoyards of Manchester with that "bunch of people". Butterworth's recollections for Casian of The Savoy Wars – a twenty-five year battle with the Manchester police that paralleled the Spanish artists' struggle against Franco – are overlaid with Fay Ballard's narrative of her father JG Ballard's creation of an artwork.

The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson's novel of cosmic terror, is the name we gave to Savoy's first retail bookshop, opened in Manchester in 1972 and inspired by Derek 'Bram' Stokes' London-based shop, Dark They Were and Golden Eyed. Casian's film is intended as an intermediate work between her earlier films about Savoy, and a planned feature film. The latter will be co-developed by Feature Expanded, an international programme between HOME Manchester and Lo Schermo Dell'Arte film festival, Florence, Italy. La Movida is curated by Sarah Perks and is part of HOME's ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival running from 14th April until July 2017 at HOME, Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN.

• • • A King of the Wild Frontier

The Gas by Charles Platt

Savoy Books 1980. Cover art by Harry Douthwaite

Charles Platt's classic novel of comic depravity and future sex, The Gas, is being reissued by Orion as part of a nine-book deal that will see most of Platt's titles available once again. Other titles will include Dream Makers, his book of interviews with SF writers, first published by Savoy as Who Writes Science Fiction?, and his 'New Wave' science-fiction novel The City Dwellers. All titles will be in ebook format.

Prior to Lord Horror, The Gas was Savoy's most notorious title. Not only did bookshops in Britain refuse to sell it, our distributors of the time, New English Library, declined to handle it. The book also came under the censorious purview of the Manchester police, and its seizure in 1980 resulted in Savoyard David Britton's first prison sentence: twenty-eight days in the riot-torn slammer of Strangeways. (For writing and publishing Lord Horror he was sentenced in 1993 to four further months in Strangeways and other prisons.)

With this history in mind, Platt has dedicated the reissue to David Britton; the new edition will also contain an insightful introduction by Platt outlining his novel's chequered history including an account of the police attacks on Savoy Books and our fight-back. To the finger-wagging moralisers who object to extreme content in fantasy, Platt's introduction offers this reminder: "In the immortal words of Robert Crumb, 'It's only ink on paper, folks!'"

• • • Good Things Come in Threes

Cawthorn Elric

James Cawthorn T-shirt design featuring Elric of Melniboné from Michael Moorcock's 1963 novel, The Stealer of Souls. Limited to 10 shirts. The handwritten caption from Moorcock, dated Xmas 1993, adds: "To celebrate over 30 years of fruitful collaboration!"

Another book not by Savoy! The long-awaited hardcover memorial for the late James Cawthorn, James Cawthorn: The Man and His Art, is now approaching completion. The book is the result of the combined forces of Maureen Cawthorn Bell (Cawthorn's sister), publishers Jayde Design and cheerleading from the wings by Savoy Books. The process of selecting artwork for this career-spanning collection is now complete, and the book is awaiting design by John Coulthart before heading for the printers in July 2017.

As well as the swords-and-sorcery artwork for which he is known, the book will encompass Cawthorn's writing and film work, designs for T-shirts and shops, together with more personal material such as family photographs, Christmas cards and cartoons done for friends. Cawthorn was the first artist to depict scenes and characters from the The Lord of the Rings (after Tolkien's own illustrations, of course), and this artwork from the late fifties and early sixties, recently exhibited at the Great Hall of Newcastle Castle Keep, will also be included. The book will represent a lifetime's work from the artist whom Michael Moorcock calls the greatest British fantasy artist after Mervyn Peake, and the definitive portrayer of Moorcock's own Elric of Melniboné. This is a Savoy book in everything but name: we have acted as advisers, and thrown open our archives to the editors at Jayde Design, John and Maureen Davey. Drawn from the Cawthorn archive at the Bodleian in Oxford, Maureen Cawthorn Bell's own collection, and Savoy's archives, the book will be a lovely distillation of memoir and artwork from over two thousand illustrations spanning Cawthorn's career.

Watch this space for the publication announcement.


  N O V E M B E R   2 0 1 6

• • • End of Year Round-Up

La Squab

The Aesthetic Minx keeping abreast of the latest art-world iniquities.
From the pen of Le Guidio, as always.

• Forthcoming from Savoy

David Britton's new Lord Horror novel Razor King is finished and will be published in Spring 2017. For the new book Kris Guidio has supplied sixty-four pages of full colour illustrations in which he pays tribute to two of Savoy's favourite artists, James Cawthorn and Ken Reid. Michael Butterworth edits the dense horror; John Coulthart designs. These twenty-five chapters of otherworldly deviance set in the two-gun Wild West of Auschwitozaliala bring the Lord Horror series of novels to its unnatural end.

Razor King

Contracts have been signed with major Russian company AST Publishing for The Lord Horror Trilogy. This will be an omnibus edition of the first three novels: Lord Horror, Motherfuckers: The Auschwitz of Oz and Baptised in the Blood of Millions. Max Nemstov, translator of JD Salinger and Thomas Pynchon, has been given the task of converting these wayward books into Russian. Tentatively scheduled for publication in the summer of next year, The Lord Horror Trilogy constitutes the first major publication of the novels outside the UK.

Razor King

In July, Savoy commissioned recent Manchester Metropolitan University Masters' graduate Jonathan Barlow to undertake a critical overview of the Lord Horror canon. Tentatively titled By Gas Mask and Fire Hydrant: The Novels of David Britton, Barlow's book is planned to contain previously unseen photographs and other visual material. A new addition to the Savoy family, Jonathan was first encountered by Savoy at The Science Fiction 'New Wave' at Fifty Conference at the East Anglia University in May 2014. His paper 'Fractured Narratives and Mutable Characters in Lord Horror: Reverbstorm' was reprised in expanded form for the debut screening of Gareth Jackson's film Lord Horror: The Dark and Silver Age at the Anthony Burgess Foundation in August 2014. Film performance and accompanying talks were part of the Butterworth Exhibition, curated by The Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books. Barlow's thesis, Rock'n'Roll and Auschwitz Spell Lord Horror: Challenging Holocaust Piety in the Novel of David Britton, was completed in 2016. His article 'New Wave Swords & Sorcery: Jerry Cornelius and Lord Horror' will appear in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. We were impressed. The obvious candidate to do a new book on Our Man Horror.

The Dark and Silver Age

Still from Lord Horror: The Dark and Silver Age

• Projects underway

We are still at work on our Fenella Fielding recordings. Those yet to be released include selected extracts from Michael Moorcock's An Alien Heat, a reading of 'Love' (the opening chapter to Michael's book on Mervyn Peake), an incisive reading from JG Ballard's Crash as well as tracks left over from the album Fenella Fielding: The Savoy Sessions.

• Savoy e-books

Several sought-after titles from the Savoy back catalogue (such as Zenith and Engelbrecht) are planned for electronic publication in the near future. No date has yet been set, but the new line is also scheduled to include a long out-of-print Michael Moorcock title, to be announced.


  O C T O B E R   2 0 1 6

• • • Berlin reading of The Blue Monday Diaries: In the Studio With New Order, Michael Butterworth's new book

The Blue Monday Diaries

Mike will be reading from his book at:

Posh Teckel Bar, Neukölln, Berlin, on Saturday 5th November 2016 at 8pm.

The reading will be followed by questions and answers, and a book signing where copies of the book may be purchased. The evening will continue with music by DJ Frank Blümel. If you are in Berlin come along for a great night, and say hello to Mike. More information about the Diaries can be found in the publication announcement below.

* * * * *

Day-by-day, minute-by-minute, this is a uniquely personal account of the making of Power, Corruption & Lies, New Order's acclaimed second album, and 'Blue Monday', the classic electro anthem that it spawned. Created by Michael Butterworth, who was there at the invitation of the band to witness it all firsthand. 'Blue Monday' became the fastest selling 12" single ever and the pressing of the vinyl in 1983 – in the shadow of Ian Curtis' tragic passing – marked a thrilling new phase in the career of the band, and the history of music in general.

Three decades on, author Michael Butterworth – the trusted friend who gained access to a string of notoriously private sessions at London's Britannia Row Studios – breaks the silence to reveal exactly what went into the recording of this timeless track. Committed to creating an authentic record of the band's arduous creative process, without the aid of a tape recorder, Butterworth worked alongside his friends for the duration. From beneath a perpetual fug of dope smoke, speed and alcohol, within the confines of the band's minuscule rented flat, he acted as New Order's designated scribe, censoring not a single detail in their 24-hour schedule.

Obsessively detailed, mundane and illicit by turns, The Blue Monday Diaries provide a uniquely intimate insight into the personalities of the band – as well as the process of making music – that no Joy Division or New Order fan should be without.

'Well-written, friendly and very easy to live with.'
— Peter Hook

'An important part of musical history.'
– Peter Saville, Joy Division and New Order designer


  A U G U S T   2 0 1 6

• • • Another Savoy author incarcerated

A Serious Life

David Mitchell, author of Savoy's A Serious Life, has found himself in a spot of bother as the following report from the South Wales Evening Post of March 16th 2016 graphically testifies:

Jail for man who tried to murder friend with claw hammer and 'giggled' at victim's cries for help

A MAN who attempted to murder his friend — repeatedly smashing him in the face with a claw hammer before punching him and throttling him — has been jailed.

A court heard the reason why David Mitchell launched the ferocious attack is likely to remain a mystery — the defendant himself is unable to offer an explanation.

The victim only managed to escape with his life after he stuck his thumbs in the attacker's eyes and fought him off.

John Hipkin, for the prosecution, told Swansea Crown Court that 56-year-old Mitchell and the victim had worked together for five years before losing contact when the victim went to university.

They got in touch again in the summer of 2015 through social media and, in September they met-up in a pub in Neath.

They later when back to Mitchel's house in Melyn where they drank whisky together and talked.

Mr Hipkin said that during the evening "there was not a cross word between them" — then out of the blue Mitchell attacked his friend, kicking him in the face and disorientating him before repeatedly hitting him with the hammer.

His victim slumped to the floor from the chair he was sitting on and Mitchell then sat astride him, punching him in the face before grabbing his throat and squeezing.

The court heard that when the victim tried to call for help, Mitchell "giggled" at him before telling him "Stay still — it will be quicker for both of us".

The victim finally managed to free himself and lay on the floor for a couple of hours — it is thought Mitchell had fallen asleep — before feeling it was safe enough to flee the house and ask a passer-by for help.

Mr Hipkin said that a detective and a paramedic who saw the victim in the aftermath of the attack said he had suffered the worst injuries either had seen in the course of their duties.

The court heard that among the injuries suffered by the victim was a fracture to the cricoid cartilage — the ring of cartilage that surrounds the windpipe — something which experienced Morriston A&E consultant Mike McCabe had never seen before.

Mitchell, of Briton Ferry Road, Melyn, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder when he appeared in the dock today for sentencing.

The court heard the former carer for vulnerable adults was unable to explain why he had launched the attack on someone he regarded as a friend.

The incident has left the victim — who works as an IT consultant — with facial scars and a degree of palsy on the right side of the face, damage to a hand, and vertigo. He has not yet felt able to return to work.

Judge Paul Thomas QC said Mitchell's victim must have been petrified during the attack, which he described as "unprovoked, ferocious and sustained".

The judge said he had seen photographs of the injuries the defendant had inflicted, and "they can only be described as stomach-churning".
He said he was satisfied the defendant had not provided a motive for the attack not because he was trying to hide something but because he genuinely didn't known.

The judge added: "Why it happened will, I suspect, remain a mystery".

His Honour sentenced Mitchell to 10 years in prison.

Jason Evans / jason.evans@swwmedia.co.uk / @EvansTheCrime

* * *

Strangely, no mention is made in the report of Dave's work as respected author, editor and publisher of longstanding of such media luminaries as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, James Williamson, JG Ballard, Ramsey Campbell, Colin Wilson, HP Lovecraft and others, in his various imprints Oneiros Books, the internet magazine Paraphilia Magazine he co-founded and the titles he packaged for James Havoc's Creation Books press. Dave's enduring admiration for HP Lovecraft was best extolled in his publication for Creation Books, The Starry Wisdom.

Oh David, why did you do it?


  J A N U A R Y   2 0 1 6

• • • The Blue Monday Diaries: In the Studio with New Order
by Michael Butterworth

The Blue Monday Diaries

A Tale of Two Cities

Not a Savoy book, but a grand boon companion. Inside this record of Michael's days with New Order in the Britannia Row studios during the time they cut 'Blue Monday' runs the parallel story of Savoy's days in central Manchester at the same time as Factory Records.

The early Factory Records and Savoy Books cross-pollinated one another. Michael's book sets the record straight, at one point mentioning to his readers, "Factory has gone, but Savoy is still here."

In a day-by-day, minute-by-minute diary, Michael—who was there at the invitation of the band and their manager Rob Gretton—documents the making of New Order's second studio album and the 12-inch single it spawned.

Michael Butterworth

Photo by Sarajane Inkster

Other people and subjects meander through his narrative including Ian Curtis, Michael Moorcock and Linda Steele, PJ Proby (lots of him), Peter Saville, Malcolm Whitehead, Claude Bessy (who used Savoy-supplied visuals, from comic books to hardcore weirdness, in his role as official Haçienda video jock), Fenella Fielding, Michael Johnson, Open Head Press, the Altrincham music scene. Most of all, the Savoy bookshops themselves—purveyors of literature, comics, bootlegs and independent records in the 1970s and 80s to the Factory and Manchester music scenes.

Out now.

The Blue Monday Diaries: In the Studio with New Order
Michael Butterworth
Plexus Books (2016)


  A U G U S T   2 0 1 5

• • • The Cramps at the Haçienda

The Cramps at the Hacienda

The Cramps at the Haçienda
May 23rd 1984

Savoy Music 2015
Format: DVD [PAL]
Release date: 24th August, 2015
RRP: £10

Savoy were present at a packed Haçienda 31 years ago, a nightclub which, for all its status as a local legend, seldom witnessed sights as wild and ecstatic as this. Lux Interior, Poison Ivy and Nick Knox were touring the UK for the second time that year, and were consequently at the peak of their considerable powers. A natural and charismatic showman, Lux made the seething crowd an extension of a performance that pushed itself to the edge of outright mania: stripped to the waist, cajoling, back-talking, and stage-diving repeatedly. At the climax he disappeared into the melée to surface at the foot of a pillar where a blue light blazed: while the band thundered away behind him Lux bellowed that he could see Jesus Christ. Given the intensity of the evening, he probably could.

Ivy has always been one of the world's great rock'n'roll guitarists, and was on exceptional form that night, flame-haired and scowling. Nick Knox's locomotive rhythms pulsed with a voodoo reverberation through the crowd; easy to see why Ringo Starr once declared The Cramps to be his favourite band.

The band is no more but records such as this remain, and this was a night to treasure and be astonished by: the last great rock'n'roll outfit in all their incandescent fury. Without the efforts of Linda Dutton this performance might have been lost when the Haçienda video crew showed no interest in taping the event. Linda commandeered a camera and began filming.

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  F E B R U A R Y   2 0 1 5

• • • Guidio / Moorcock: interviewed and interrupted at YouTube

John Waters and Kris Guidio

The Pope of Trash—John Waters—and Baron von Guidio meeting in Liverpool

In 2006 Savoy and Excalibur Films arranged the first full-length filmed interview with Savoy artist Kris Guidio. Kris is seen in conversation with the actress Kath Godfrey in the artistic splendour of his Liverpool lair, part of an ongoing series of short videos recording the people and places of Savoy. Who wouldn't love to live in an apartment that looks like this?

The Vengeance of Rome

Cover for The Vengeance of Rome, PM Press 2013

And from 1992, another Savoy video made in conjunction with Excalibur Films. This records a reading at The Conservatory, St. Giles High Street, London, that was part of a tour undertaken by Michael Moorcock to promote his Colonal Pyat books. The video is also the only filmed record of character actor the late Freddie Earlle in his role as the splenetic, self-aggrandising and delusional Pyat, a unique interpretation of the character. Michael joins Freddie as authorial foil. Peter Ackroyd and Andrea Dworkin are seated in the audience; Michael's agent at the time, Giles Gordon, may be seen standing at the bar.


  J A N U A R Y   2 0 1 5

• • • Long Gone Kim

Kim Fowley

Mr. Fowley by Mr. Guidio

"Oh yes, our music! I almost forgot our music: our music after all the hype is brushed aside is that of the penniless black blues boys bound to the car washes of our rich musical industry; you'll find Kim there, he knows their hunger, he knows their pain, he knows their need, he knows their music, and most of all he knows what to do about it, and does." PJ Proby, on his friend Kim Fowley

"With Kim Fowley's death it's all executives. Or is that executors?"
Michael Moorcock

The original Hollywood trashman Kim Fowley died of 'cancer' ("funniest sound I've ever heard") on Jan 15th, 2015 at the age of seventy-five. Over recent years his Ichabod Crane cancer/polio emaciation only added to his image of King Weird. His extraordinary life was lived to his own rules. We admired not only his tenacity but the unique knowledge he gained first hand by travelling all the most fascinating byways of rock'n'roll.

Kim Fowley was the man in the know we went to for sleeve notes when finishing our Fenella Fielding Savoy Sessions CD. We felt certain he'd get the connections, the uniqueness, the spin of the unconventional, and the crazy warpedness of the project. We approached him in 2010; he replied back immediately. He'd heard of Savoy and was pleased to be asked. He set about producing what he said would be 'award winning' liner notes for us—and in any other universe they would have been! Over the next few years a fascinating correspondence developed. He talked about relocating to Manchester, and could we put him up in Dave's spare room? The chance to talk with such a raconteur first hand was beguiling. Unfortunately, before any real action could be taken, Kim's cancer flared and the visit was put on hold till happier days.

Goodbye Kim, it was nice knowing you. We'll meet up again very soon in Rock Valhalla.

With your friend PJ Proby, who you called the best rock'n'roll performer you'd ever seen; with your time in Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and your 'Help, I'm a rock' vocal; and with your booking Eddie Cochran's last show in America, and calling him the "first real punk rock singer", you'll always be the man to stand with and revere. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow.

Some essential reading at UglyThings Magazine: 'Kim Fowley: Sins & Secrets of the Silver Sixties', the definitive interview from 2001.


  P R E V I O U S   B U L L E T I N S

August 2013–December 2014: Invictus Horror / Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds / RIP Colin Wilson / Roger Eagle and Captain Beefheart / More Beefheart / Exhibitionism

May 2012–May 2013: Savoy on the move (again) / TS Eliot's Four Quartets read by Fenella Fielding / Sit Down! Listen To This!: The Roger Eagle Story / Lord Horror: Reverbstorm / Goodbye Gus / Reverbstorm reviewed / New CD release: Fenella Fielding reads Colette

April 2011–April 2012: La Squab sets sail! / La Squab: The Black Rose of Auschwitz / Fenella Fielding: The Savoy Sessions / Rubric at Savoy

February 2010–December 2010: Savoy at Ballardian 2 / Engelbrecht lives to fight another day / Michael Moorcock goes Into the Media Web / News for purchasers of Baptised in the Blood of Millions / Into the Media Web sells out / Don Van Vliet, 1941–2010

January 2009–November 2009: Lord Horror in Penny Blood magazine / RIP Lux Interior / Kris Guidio remembers Lux / Kim Fowley delivers sleevenotes for the Fenella album / Baron von Guidio with Space Fairies / Savoy profiled at Ballardian

August 2008–December 2008: Savoy music on iTunes / Jim Cawthorn 1929–2008

September 2007–February 2008: The Adventures of Little Lou by Lucy Swan published / New books announced: Moorcock's Into the Media Web and a new edition of Engelbrecht / Savoy signs with online music distributer The Orchard

May 2007–September 2007: The Fenella Fielding sessions continued: a studio filled with an array of talent / Kris Guidio: The new montage photo-shoot / Coming soon: Horror Panegyric / Jim Cawthorn

May 2005–December 2006: More squibs from La Squab / Isis of the Aethyr! / More from the Terrible Twins / Sieg Heil Iconographers in print / The Love Sessions / Mitchell book wins award / Moorcock in conversation with Alan Moore

July 2004-January 2005: Fenella news / The Odyssey of a Dogged Optimist / Savoy on Banned in Britain / Fuck Off And Die in print

November 2003-March 2004: A Serious Life / Fuck Off And Die / More Fenella / The Adventures of Little Lou

October 2002-March 2003: Pipped to the post / A Tea Dance at Savoy / Hoogstraten announcement / Fenella again

June 2002-August 2002: Arcturus published / Fenella! / Here we go again

October 2001-January 2002: The Killer published / Jim Leon-RIP

April-September 2001: New links and updates / Zenith the Albino published

February-March 2001: New Lord Horror novel / New Proby picture galleries

November-December 2000: New picture galleries / Engelbrecht triumphs

August-October 2000: Website upgraded / Zenith announcement / New Britton novel

June 2000: New book line announced / Reverbstorm #7 published

November 1999: John Coulthart's The Haunter of the Dark

October 1999: Savoy on the move

June 1999: Savoy comics seized and then released

July 1998: PJ Proby rip-offs alert


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