Last night Jan Edwards and I guested on Paul Oldfield’s show on Cre8 Radio – a community radio that broadcasts locally on 87.7 FM and online (we had appeared on the show in 2013 so last night was a return performance – we must have been okay back then). I was there to talk about The Alchemy Press – you can read about Jan’s experiences on her blog. As I said: The Alchemy Press. But the evening’s plans became somewhat altered.
I was programmed to appear at 9.00 pm after Jan had done her stint. But while sitting in the reception area Paul played “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. He then popped out to ask if anyone knew anything about the song. I foolishly said that Neil Young was in the group and that it was written in response to events at the University in Kent, Ohio. I had also forgotten that Stephen Stills was part of the Springfield. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…
In fact the song was written by Stills in 1966, nearly four years before the killings at the Kent State University (students shot by the National Guard for protesting against the Vietnam War). However, I am not alone in conflating this song with that event. “For What it’s Worth”, which starts with that lyrical hook “Stop, children, what’s that sound?”, was composed in response to laws passed in Los Angeles in ’66.
For the record (excuse the pun) the song about the Kent State killings was “Ohio” by CSNY (a so-called super group comprised of David Crosby, Stills, Graham Nash and Young). How could I forget? I hate being put on the spot.
Then the conversation turned to Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett-era), superhero comics and movies, and all that was fine because I only had to give opinions, even if daft, unfocussed opinions. We then talked about Renegade Writers, the group started by Jan and me, and of our upcoming series of workshops, Let the Write One In. Finally though, I did get to discuss The Alchemy Press, its history, its forthcoming schedule – and to mention the three British Fantasy Award nominations.
During the evening I was looking through Paul’s proposed schedule and noticed that he missed out about half the records he had intended to play. He even had to cut short the record I chose — admittedly it was the rather long “Like a Hurricane” by Neil Young (which closes the circle on the Springfield). I guess we all (that’s Jan, Paul and I) chatted on so much. It was a fun evening and we hope to do it again next year.