So, George Pelecanos recently did a reading in London's Boogaloo Pub to promote his latest book, The Way Home. Now, this wasn't just any old run of the mill author event where you hear a chapter or two and, if you're lucky, you get your book signed. No, no, no. It wasn't like that at all. Pelecanos did in fact read but, after he was through fielding a few questions, he welcomed the always legendary, oft time legless Pogues onstage to perform a few numbers. Pelecanos you see, in his role as writer and producer, has used many a Pogues' tune on the hit HBO show The Wire. Oh and to answer your question, yes, Shane MacGowan was there too doing his best James Joyce, eye patch and all.

 

Arguably, the Pogues are among the most literate bands of all time. Meaning, not only is MacGowan a true poet, he, and other members of the band, take their song writing cues directly from some of our greatest authors. The Gaelic phrase Pogue Mahone (kiss my ass) is uttered at least once in Ulysses and the renowned Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan appears in a Pogue song or two. Unflattering as it may be, the band's "Down All the Days" recounts the life of Christy Brown, the Irish author afflicted with cerebral palsy, who wrote My Left Foot.

 

"I type with me toes
Suck stout through me nose
And where its gonna end
God only knows"

 

This all leads me to wonder, if the 1850's folk song "Finnegan's Wake" inspired Joyce to write Finnegans Wake and Nick Hornby always has a sound track playing in his head, what other examples are there of a music inspired book and/or a book inspired song that you all can think of?

 

 

Click here to see the Pelecanos/Pogues event.
Message Edited by PaulH on 08-06-2009 04:33 PM
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