It’s called Saltdean, and I presume the derivation originates from the sulphurous air that permeates the atmosphere from the sea. It’s about five or six miles outside of Brighton, and unlike its celebrated neighbour, it’s bereft of any of the trappings that you’d expect to find at the seaside; no pier, no cafe, no illuminations or smell of fish and chips. In fact, aside from an imposing hotel that wouldn’t be out of place in The Shining, there’s very little here in Saltdean that one could call memorable.
© Words - Simon Wells - 2014
Turn the clock back forty years, and one would probably find 26-year-old singer-songwriter Nick Drake alone in his bedroom in the leafy, chocolate-box environs of Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire. Deflated, defeated, dented and depressed – Nick’s energy for life had evaporated in a fog of sadness and unfulfilled ambition – the prevailing morbidity dulled only by strong tranquillisers.
This is an extract from Simon Wells’ new book on the historic arrest and imprisonment of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1967. “Butterfly On A Wheel” charts the extraordinary timeline of events that ultimately led to two of the Rolling Stones finding themselves behind bars. This act would spark a chain of events that would lead to public outrage, questions in the House of Commons, and the editor of The Times newspaper likening Mick Jagger to a ‘butterfly on a wheel’.
While it’s somewhat incongruous to imagine a Beatle aged 70, 2010 indeed marks the seven decades since John Winston Ono Lennon first saw daylight. Things have already got off to a quick start; Sam Taylor-Wood’s critically applauded “Nowhere Boy” has done brisk business in these first few days of the year, while a host of documentaries will no doubt emerge on and around October 9th to celebrate Lennon’s auspicious birthday. To all intents and purposes, “Nowhere Boy” was a smart move, with Lennon’s childhood undeniably the only element of his life not entirely dissected over the years.