Trains and the Curse of P.F. Butson

“Outside a hectic, unromantic and quite frankly putrid existence as a full-time writer (unemployed), and part-time musician (see above), P.F. Butson lives as a partial recluse, blogging often but answering calls seldom. Butson is the author of several failed novels, one of which you hold in your hands.”. These were the words I found tucked away on a memory stick from God know’s when, with the intention at the time of writing a blog of angry commuting and general paranoia and a book under the Butson alias (at the time I was obsessed with being other people, go figure). The book? “Sun, Sea and Suicide” a debut NaNoWriMo misfire when I tried to make good of the shit I was going through circa 2011, based soley in Plymouth and Brighton (one cool, one not). Plus a bit of Natasha Khan and Nick Cave hero worship thrown in for good measure. It turned out both the blog and the book were extremely counter-productive and both they and I thrived on booze, bitterness and commuter anxiety. Despite my best efforts to make it all at least partly tongue-in-cheek the ideas ultimately collapsed under the weight of their own negativity.

P.F. Butson was in fact the name of whoever once owned and labelled with their name a copy of the 1973 Harry Nilsson vinyl “A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night” which I inherited when a friend gifted it me. To this day I’ve never played it on a record player, though I remain a Nilsson fan.

A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, the P.F. Butson special edition (top right corner).

P.F. Butson was also my stage name in the progressive rocktronic supernova that was Larry and the Lungfish (LatL). Never heard of them? Jeebus, where have you been? We even had a Myspace.

Larry, P.F. Butson, Blind Boy Runt, The Grunter Monkey and Boris (I made those last two up as our other bandmates never actually existed).

It was inspired and we were at our most creative. Examples? There was an 100% genuine toilet flush at the beginning of one of our songs, and a three-minute fart solo to outro another (we never quite finished this as there was a national bean shortage at the time).

There was a song about a toad or something I can’t remember the name of (I think it may have been “Gluttonous Pet”, who sang: “Down in the swamp/had my fair share of hookers…” – Runt’s lyrics, not mine).

The original lyrics, now housed in the LatL museum, Keynsham. Bixby refers to Bixby Snyder played by S.D. Nemeth, fictional TV host of “It’s Not My Problem!”, a programme watched by the people of Detroit in the 1987 movie version of Robocop and it’s sequels.

Trashy Horror Novel was our seminal “hit”, having been the only song we actually completed. It went a little like this:

“I work the graveyard shift at the graveyard
Digging x3
Graves! Ooohhewooo
Infatuated by your
Zombie hands your zombie arms your zombie face your zombie heart that beats out if time for meeeee (not at all)
Quick quick quick quick
Trashy horror novel
Nitpick nitpick
Trashy horror novel
Quit quit quit quit
Trashy horror novel
Hands twitch at the graveyard shift
At the graveyard
Tending x3

Et cetera. As I recall it was a song about politics.

End of play, ETA, all these words I hate to say.

The problem with work is that as with most, I don’t want to be doing it but it takes up most of my life. That and sleeping, which seems sort of pointless because dreams are often nightmares but more importantly make absolutely no sense. Why did she become an entirely different he? Where on earth did that come from? For instance.
Whenever I get home it is just an exercise in the uneasy (often queasy) wasting of time. No focus, no idea how to use it constructively. Worrying and wishing for something better, but seeing nothing bright on the horizon.

I read up on whale sharks today. Not quite as bad as all that and I think the odds are stacked against me getting eaten by one.