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ROY BARTON

Roy (at High Rocks, Kent)

Having sat down and theorised on what I would have in my stash if I was ever deserted several things came to mind. Most of the music tends to be reflective. There’s hardly a modern author in the books and the films are all over the place. Most of this I will probably go into detail on as I rattle them off. This is only how I feel today of course Tomorrow I may choose something totally different.

MUSIC:

One of the finest groups to come to the fore in Britain quite recently is Muse. Quite staggering musically. Matt Bellamy is probably one of the finest singer/songwriters around today and quite possibly the best guitarist and pianist on the planet at the moment. He can mix it between classical and all out thrash in the blink of an eye, quite seamlessly. Not just a musician but a real artist too. Choosing one of their songs, I have decided to go for the ballad Unintended. It was a tough choice but I was in that kind of mood when at the time I guess.

Another brilliant songwriter at the moment is the American Rob Thomas. His group, Matchbox 20, don’t seem to have got the recognition they deserve over here. I have chosen You Won’t Be Mine. Simply dripping with strong production. His voice fills the whole area around you and you actually see what he is singing in the song, despite the obscure lyrics. Yet another awesome ballad.

A few guitar men and groups next. Firstly Jeff Healey. I have had the utmost pleasure and good fortune to have seen him live. Totally blind and playing a guitar flat against his lap, rivalling ax greats of the present and past. Another tough one to pick. He writes his own songs and makes great cover versions of others. I have chosen a cover - As The Years Go Passing By. Absolutely top-notch blues the way it should sound.

Whenever I let my hair down and go all out to deafen myself one band helps perforate my eardrums more than any other. Metallica - possibly the biggest selling heavy metal group ever. Again I have chosen to go mellow and pick Nothing Else Matters. Nice guitar riffs and words. Takes me back to folks I met in Turkey.

I have stayed away from mentioning Rick Springfield - but no more! very good songs from every decade but, for a change, I have gone back to the 70’s and picked Treat Me Gently In The Morning. I remember Radio One playing this when they still had proper DJ’s at the end of the eighties, and thought it was a very obscure one to pick as it wasn’t on the current album. Took ages to find but set me on the road to discover his music.

I have left this one to last to shock a few people. Music today is generally poor despite most of my selection being fairly modern. One of those strange anomalies I guess. But it probably shows that there is good music around that just doesn’t chart. One that does though is Eminem. Like him or loathe him he says quite a bit about the problems of today. I personally think he’s probably one of the greatest lyricists of his age, and quite thankfully so do quite a few others. It takes a lot to please young and old alike but for some strange reason I can’t work out a lot of older people love him.

Anyway it was another hard choice but I chose The Way I Am. Whenever I listen to him it has a claming affect on me. Probably because I just think I could never be that angry.

Well that’s the songs. Sorry I missed out the Connells, Chris Rea etc and I deliberately stayed away from the Beatles. But who knows how I’ll think tomorrow.

BOOKS:

Hmmm tough one. Don’t think I read enough to be fair and I guess sitting on a desert island is almost like having a holiday - i.e - you finally sit down with a book. Only one 90’s writer in here and he’s not a writer by trade. Don’t know why that is but one day I’ll work it out. Til then here are my choices.

Harry Harrison is best known for Stainless Steel Rat books, But amongst those, if you’re very lucky you will find an amazing trilogy. East Of Eden is a great tale about lizard creatures and prehistoric man. Books that I could not put down until I had read them completely. Can’t say much better for a story than that.

Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was probably the most boring film to sit down and watch. The book in contradiction is a very well written and crafted story. One of many books that has been spoilt by the film interpretation.

Science fact is almost as fascinating, but more completely bewildering. A Brief History Of Time by Professor Stephen Hawking is a huge undertaking, and possibly a huge leap into the dark. I’d take this because it would take being on a years of being on a desert island to actually understand it fully.

Back to science fiction for a classic - H. G. WellsWar Of The Worlds. No-one had done anything as totally wild as this at the time. The father of science fiction and a damn good story to boot.

OK - here’s my other obscure one. I have to admit it - I like American Wrestling. It’s something that impresses me quite a bit and more so once I had read this next book. Have A Nice Day, written by Mick Foley, but credited to one of his wrestling persona’s Mankind. This book will grip you in a chokehold and slam you to the mat ... whoops, sorry, getting carried away there. Anyway, it shows how one man followed his dream to take part in this wild and extremely dangerous sport, and the sacrifices he made along the way. Sport or just entertainment. Read it and Choose.

Last choice has to be Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The jury's out as to who the father of contemporary fiction may be - anyone from Ernest Hemmingway to Jack Kerouak has been mentioned but my money's on Huxley. They were all banged up solid with drugs but i won't hold that too much against them. Their work has been very inspiring to many of todays acclaimed writers and may as well try to keep that record up.

FILMS/ VIDEO/ DVD/ WHATEVER ELSE THEY THINK OF:

First up - Gattaca. I like lo-sci-fi. The kind of stuff that doesn’t blind you with wild science. This takes a step in that direction and reflects some of the writing I have done. Jude Law is a fantastic actor and is superb in this tale of a near future society where your class is defined by your genes.

Lord Of The Rings. Need I say anything. Quite simply the most incredible undertaking in modern cinema - and the results speak for themselves.

It’s A Wonderful Life. Just simply to reflect and feel grateful whilst stuck on a damn island in the middle of nowhere.

At last the BBC have brought a long DVD of The Goodies (called 'At Last' funnily enough). Doesn't have Bunfight at the O.K. Tearooms, but otherwise it'll do until they release 'The Complete Goodies'!

Last two are films that make me laugh or smile. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, carried off so brilliantly by the talents of Michael Caine and Steve Martin. Makes me laugh ‘til it hurts.

Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray. Would most likely be living that on an island anyway but always makes me feel good.

Well, guess that’s ‘bout it.

Oh yeah.

Forgot.

SPECIAL OBJECT:

Well believe on the radio they give ya plenty of paper and pens so I’m definitely going to jam to my hearts content with a GUITAR.

Hope those choices bemuse and confuse a bit. Here’s to the next time and it all changes.


© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions and Roy Barton
© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller and Roy Barton
© Web Design and Layout - Andrew J. Müller
2009


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