Friday, October 28, 2011

Pirates Gangsters and Jackknife at the Li Po Cocktail Lounge

 Li Po Cocktail Lounge
916 Grant Street, San Francisco
Tuesday November 15, 7:00 PM

I'll be reading at the Li Po Cocktail Lounge on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM, with two of my favorite poets, Michelle Murphy and Keely Hyslop. I was really jazzed when I approached Michelle and Keely about reading together, although appearing with two great poets - wow! I shall have to be on my best behaviour !!! Looking forward to seeing there ...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tee shirt idea

New Tee shirt idea for my novel ... as I play with ideas ... whatd'yer think?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

comment in the Huffington Post

“Colliding through the internet as you point out, Warren, is the most perplexing puzzle authors face. Yet, I am finding with my novel, "Charlie Six," the debut novel published by a small San Francisco publisher, Poppynoir, that the old fashioned method of taking it to people, alongside never ending internet promotion, is beginning to pay off. When City Lights, one of the most illustriou
­s book stores in the world, refused an in-store reading by me, a natural hook-up as my character, Charlie Six, is expelled from boarding school for reading the Ginsberg poem in the chapter called "Howl," a flash of inspiratio­n came to me. I read instead in Jack Kerouac Alley next to City Lights followed by a party at Specs, a bar across the street. It was a unique event and well attended. We sold a lot of books in the bar, now I read in Alleys all the time, promoted on the internet through my website, www.WhereI­sCharlieSi­, and inexpensiv­e videos posted on YouTube. Now I'm going to start taking my small amplifier to farmer's markets, in fact anywhere there are people gathered, for I believe the biggest mistake new authors make is trying to reach the whole country. First gain a local following, and brick by brick, I do believe you will find a following that will expand, because in the end there is nothing like word of mouth ... the internet goobly-goo­k becomes your fans and not yours.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

East Bay Loop Running a picture of Brixton Key

The East Bay Loop is running a picture of me, Brixton Key.... taken by the rock and roll and sports photographer Michael Zagaris.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Brixton Key Charlie Six Chinatown Reading

The Alley Tour 

Poppynoir is pleased to announce that San Francisco author,
Brixton Key will be reading from his novel, Charlie Six,
on Wentworth (at Washington Street, between
Kearny and Grant Streets, San Francisco.)  
 Tuesday, October 11, at 7:00 PM

Brixton Key’s reading will be followed by a party at
The Li Po Cocktail Lounge
916 Grant Street

“Four Chinese men were noisily playing Mahjong in the private room by the kitchen at Wong’s when I sat down to supper with Morris. They were all chain-smoking State Express 555’s and knocking back Johnny Walker in bucketfuls, with excitement or dread as their winnings went up or down. Morris was as wrapped up in the game as the players themselves. He grimaced, saying “ouch” under his breath when one of them, a waiter with gravy stains on his grubby white nylon shirt, lost twenty quid turning up the wrong tile.” 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch died today. Very sad. He was one of my favorite guitarists, and hugely influential. God rest and thank you for a lifetime of fantastic music.

Bert Jansch 
3 November 1943 - 5 October 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brixton Key Charlie Six Chinatown Reading Tuesday, October 11, at 7:00PM

The Alley tour picks up again in San Francisco's Chinatown on Tuesday, October 11, at 7:00PM when I read from the "Mahjong" chapter from Charlie Six on Wentworth. Wentworth is off of Washington Street, between Kearny and Grant. The party afterwards will be at the fantastically funky Li Po Cocktail Lounge, 916 Grant Street, a gem of a bar and a treat to visit. I'll read again in the lounge from Charlie, I'll even have my good friend, Claudia Holmes, read a little. Young Max won't be there, because although he's grown a beat beard, he's still not old enough for cocktails . And talking of cocktails, as the Sixes often do, the Mai Tai's at the Li Po are out of this world with an added elixir poured from smuggled bottles of wowie zowie from Shanghai. What there is in those terracotta containers old Mr Wong from Soho knows ... wow bless yer cotton socks. Have your hobnailed boots hobbled, as it's a bit of hike up to Grant. See yer Tuesday, and now here's the new video... Pirate TV takes over the Beeb in the wee-wee hours... poppynoir coming through ... nice and almost clear ...


Thursday, September 29, 2011

.............The Charlie Six Chinatown Reading .........

    "Four Chinese men were noisily playing Mahjong in the Private room by the kitchen at Wong's when I sat down to supper with Morris. They were all chain-smoking State Express 555's and knocking back Johnny Walker in bucketfuls, with excitement or dread as their winnings went up or down. Morris was as wrapped up in the game as the players themselves. He grimaced, saying "ouch" under his breath when one of them, a waiter with gravy stains on his grubby white nylon shirt, lost twenty quid turning up the wrong tile. His fellow gamblers all joshed him. Joining them with a good hearted  laugh faking like he was crestfallen, he slammed down another tile winning back twice as much from an impeccably dressed man with damp showing through the armpits of his tailored white silk shirt."     Charlie Six 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Andy Divine - a short story by Brixton Key

Andy Divine
by Brixton Key

                Andy Divine was tinsy. Tinsy ain’t the word for it. I could’ve popped him in my Coca-cola bottle for a swim, and missed hittin’ him with me striped straw. We first met during the Christmas holidays, 1964. The L’Auberge Café, where all the Richmond Mods hung out. I was meeting one of his brothers. It was snowing. He shouted over the slush. Drowned out the jukebox. Louder than the Who. “Oy! Brixton, I know you.” I looked around. Three days home from boarding school. I hadn’t slept yet. I was pep-pilled. Fantastically blocked. For months I’d been locked away in buggery doo dah land. I was deliciously delirious. I was hearing voices. I was free. Touching reality.
Anyway, anyhow, I saw him peaking over his book strewn table, a Black Russian Sobraine cigarette dangling out his lip. Carnaby street gear. Perfect hair.  I’d never seen a bloke so angelic, so pretty. He was notating the margins of a philosophy book in solid gold Parker pen ink. He was fourteen, the youngest of thirteen bothers. My Mum had told me all about the Divines. She needn’t’ve. They were a veritable crime wave. They were always in the newspapers. They were our new neighbours on the eleventh floor of the tower block on the council estate where we lived.
          “Take a load off,” he said.
I was about to, anyway. His was the only empty table in the joint. When a Mod loomed in to join us, a flick knife shot into Andy’s hand, it looked like a rapier in his little mitt. The Face thought twice and moved on.
“Tiny’s always late,” he related. “Ever read Heidegger, he’s a right twat.”
          “I prefer Jean-Paul Sartre,” I said, lighting a Gauloises, snug in my black oilskin mac. I was in a Parisian mood.
          “I don’t much like the Frogs,” he said. “I prefer the Krauts. Nietzsche and Kant are sublime. You can’t beat the Golden Rule.”
          “Then how comes you pushed that Face onwards.”
          “Fuck him, Tiny needs room.”
          Tiny – or Patrick, the only sensible name to call him, was six foot three and a quarter, two hundred and ninety seven pounds of pure muscle, with a brain weighing less than Andy’s nuts. He was always in and out of a jail. He weren’t domesticated. He was a right nutter. His specialty was knocking off chemist shop pharmacies for factory sealed tubs of uppers and downers. He liked pretty pills. He loved Christmas trees. He was very slow.
          I was meeting Tiny to fetch three thousand Black Bombers off his hands for Shakespeare. Shakespeare was Jamaican. Known in seedy Soho as “Mr. Pill.” The Police protected him there. They had to. But moving across the rest of London with a huge amount of amphetamine was right dodgy for Shakes. He always looked up to no good. He was cheeky. He had one of them naughty faces. Not cool for him, as the rozzers love to put the “suss” on Yawdy’s. For schlepping the merchandise to his Soho pad on Dean Street above a strip club, he always tipped me two hundred and ninety-nine pills, upon delivery. Once I asked him, smoking one of his fat spliffs, for an even 300. Ten percent, right smack on the money. He said I was an Imperialist pig. I said he was cheap.
          So there I was waiting on Tiny, chatting with Andy, slinking down in my chair, sipping sweet espresso, pretending I wasn’t unusually tall for a teenager.
          “What do you know about gears, Brix,” Andy asked.
          “I like cool gear,” I said. “I’m always well dressed.”
          “Nah, gears! You know, like engines, not suits, you berk.”
          “I ain’t mechanical.”
          “So who is?”
          “My mate, Taj Mahal, he mends motorcars.”
          “Can he dismantle a lawn-mower?” Andy asked.
          “Two stroke engines, of course.”
          “He’s Indian? I wouldn’t trust that. Hinduism makes them a bit goody-goody, don’t it. I’m nicking lawnmower engines to speed up stolen bikes. But the fuckin’ manufacturers changed the gears on me. I don’t get it. The ponces. It ain’t fair. I’ve eight punters waitin’ for me powered bikes. I need money to invest. I like economics. It’s a breeze makin’ dosh.”
          I was lost in the concept when Tiny barged into the café. He jumped the queue, ordered a triple espresso, tipped the counter girl a shilling, never paid at the register, sat down, handed me the pills in a grocery bag, squeezed his nose and said: “You’ll be pleased to know I popped a bar of soap in with the merchandise, I hate pongy people, don’t you never wash. Smelly bastards, especially you Giant,” he said sniffing at Andy. “Dad wants a word with yer, get on home and stop readin’ all them fuckin’ books, they’re ruinin’ yer head. Well, best get goin’ meself, the filth followed me.”
          “The Police followed you,” I said.
          “They’re sniffing you out now, son,” he laughed, downing his espresso, crushing the demitasse in his hand. As the pottery, white as the snow outside, tinkled to the table, he murmured, “I don’t like silly little cups, and I ain’t spendin’ Christmas day in the nick, sod that.”
          When I got home later, with Gin and tonics to toast holiday cheer with me Mum, she let out a whoop and kissed Mr. Divine, Andy’s Dad, who’d nicely brought over a bottle of Johnny Walker Red … and Sasha, our missing cat, who looked none the worse for having been scarpered for ten days. He sat licking his whiskers on the kitchen counter. 
          “Some tea leaf nicked him,” Andy’s Dad told me with a scornful voice.
          “Who’d steal a cat,” I said in amazement.
          “Worth a lot of dosh, that little bugger, Siamese ain’t cheap.”
          “Our Mr. Divine,” Mum said, “found him in the pet shop in Twickenham.”
          “How,” I asked.
          “My boys, George and Johnny, overheard Willie the Horse braggin’ about a little cat he’d flogged for ten bob, down the pub. They fitted the jigsaw, didn’t they, so they bundled Willie outside, burning the hairs off his hand till he squealed. His fingers was frying. I don’t like rogues picking on the nice people in our building. It don’t show no respect, do it.”
          Since the Divine’s had moved into our building, you could leave yer door wide open all night. There weren’t no more burglaries, muggings of pensioners, or drunken yobs pissing pints down the stairs on their way home from the boozer. Not even a milk bottle went missing from the stoop. Our council estate, where the Police never dared enter, became safer than Buckingham Palace. Mr. Divine didn’t tolerate thievery on his patch.
All the rascals in our building became dead polite. Mr. Divine had rid the estate of nasties, although, it had become dreadful for all the nice middle class people who lived nearby. The local rag reported that crime had gone up drastically in the neighbourhood, but really it hadn’t. See, us who lived on the estate just nicked back things from them who’d stolen them off us, taking a toaster or an electric kettle to settle up the bother. A bit of swiggish. We never called the Police. Why? They never came for the likes of us. But, for the bourgeoisie they did, nice people like reporting crimes. Seeing policemen makes them feel safe, it gives us on the estate the willies.
“So you met my Andy,” Mr. Divine said. “He’s a smart boy like you. You should see his library; he’s nicked thousands of books.”
Now, I knew why I could never find anything to read at the library, all their worthwhile texts were sequestered away in Andy’s room next door.
“He’s a pretty little bugger, ain’t he?” Mr. Divine said smiling. “I always wanted a girl. After twelve boys, I didn’t want another poxy prick to box around.”
I lost touch with Andy over the years, what with always being on the road with bands. I’d moved Mum out of the council estate when the Divine boys were locked away for good. Then, the day before Christmas Eve, 1972, I saw Andy running down the steps of the Old Bailey, the High Court in London, one step ahead of the press cameras to clamber into the back seat of a Rolls Royce. “C’mon, get in,” he shouted at me, “time for champagne.”
Then it popped … He was mister Ponzi scheme himself… “Think Big” was his bank’s slogan… “Only the little banks will take care of you…Together we’ll make Britain great again.”
He’d ripped off half the country … the headlines were taller than him … his board of directors was impeccable, Lord and politicians, who’d let him slip through the Law… England weren’t big enough to contain Andy.  


Monday, September 26, 2011

Thinking my next "Alley Reading" will be in Chinatown

Anyone have any preferences, or ideas about a cool bar for me to read in, somewhere in San Francisco's Chinatown? let me know...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My first Charlie Six reading video is on Youtube

Lots of people at my Alley Tour reading have been asking me to make available readings from Charlie Six. So I thought I'd have a little fun and make actually videos to accompany my voice. The first has just been published to YouTube. Bless yer cotton socks for the ideas and hope you enjoy the costermongers in the East End flogging all sorts of purloined goods. Great old vintage film of London .... 
I give you "The Cost Of Tea In China." 

Charlie Six on display at Bird & Becket in Glen Park

Charlie Six is on display and for sale at the great local independent bookstore, Bird and Beckett, in Glen Park, San Francisco, on Chenery. What a great pleasure to see the novel there yesterday when I popped into the neighbourhood to see my mate, Ric Lopez, who runs Modern Times, and took the great photo of Chris Isaak for his debut album, "Silvertone." I used to live in Glen Park, and spent many hours in Bird and Becket, browsing their huge selection of secondhand books  ... and occasionally selling cool finds to Rick, the wonderful owner of one of San Francisco's best bookstores. Long may Rick stay independent and keep selling all the wonderful words us writers sweat for hours to produce... ain't life grand...


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Charlie Six on Retro:Kimmer

 Thank you Retro:Kimmer for a great mention on your fabulous website.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Alley Tour continues on Thursday September 15 in San Francisco

The Alley Tour 

Poppynoir is pleased to announce that San Francisco author,
Brixton Key will be reading from his novel, Charlie Six,
Next to the old Fab Mab in Rowland Alley
443 Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Thursday, September 15th, 2011, at 6:15 PM

Brixton Key’s reading will be followed by a party at
Specs Adler Museum Café, 12 William Saroyan Place,
(Montgomery and Columbus Avenue)

 (The Fab Mab video)

(The Alley Tour video)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Charlie Six Page on Facebook

Check out my new Charlie Six page on Facebook

The Alley Tour continues in Sausalito on Thursday September 8

The Alley Tour 
Poppynoir is pleased to announce that San Francisco author, Brixton Key
will read from his novel, Charlie Six, on the El Monte Lane stairs in Sausalito
(Next to the No Name Bar)
Thursday, September 8, 2011, at 6:30 PM
Brixton Key’s reading will be followed by a party at the
No Name Bar, 757 Bridgeway, Sausalito, Marin County, California.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

lovely email from David Carlick regarding Charlie Six

A lovely email to start the day from an old neighbour, David Carlick.

I finished the book.
It was fabulous, and I am going to read it again.
The characters became my friends.
(Of course, I have real problems remembering names, so I had to work a bit to keep up, which is always the case when the story is complex, and I like that.)
The story was fascinating, and the way you unfolded was fascinating to me as well.
(Trying to figure out who the guitar player was that our hero was trying to sign.)
The coming-of-age in the period of post WWII/emergence of the British Invasion was so well done.
Congratulations on a remarkable achievement. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mark Plummer interviews Brixton Key

After Brain Surgery for Two Burst Aneurysms Chris Isaak manager is back
with new Novel “Charlie Six.”

            “He went into pre-op as Mark and came out of surgery as Brixton,” is how Brixton Key’s neurologist, Peter Weber, introduced the novelist at his recent reading in Jack Kerouac Alley, North Beach, San Francisco. The Alley Tour is Brixton’s latest twist in a career that has seen him manage Chris Isaak, during his hey-day as San Francisco’s favourite home town artist, work as a journalist for Britain’s Melody Maker music weekly, and the promoter for Carl Douglas’s “Kung Fu Fighting,” one of the largest selling 45s of all time.

Dr Peter Weber leans on a lamppost to the far right of the photo (Michael Zagaris)
            “I’ve never been too enamored by the obvious,” says Brixton Key. “There are routes one is expected to take. Then there is rethinking the past to create something new and fresh. When I managed Chris Isaak, local bands were encouraged to play once or twice a month. Apparently that created an aura of mystery. But I looked back to the bands I really admired in London, when I was growing up, and they played all the time. Both the Rolling Stones and the Who worked residencies, it’s where they built up their chops and their fan base. I thought if we took that back even further to the 1930’s when the big bands played one venue for a week or two it would be tremendous fun.
            “It was amazing how successful the shows were at the Nightbreak, on Haight Street, and Club Nine in SOMA. So much so that Isaak was welcomed into New York for a month run at the Danceteria, and into Los Angeles for a month’s stint at the Anti Club.”

Chris Isaak likes moldy  walls in obscure Alleys
             So why is Brixton Key now reading from his novel Charlie Six in Alleys and staircases in the Bay Area, rather than the usual route of bookstore readings and their formal formula of meet and greet?
            “To tell you the truth, my mind went back to Charlie Dickens. He read his books to large crowds of people at what one might call the dawn of literacy. You see, I’m always being told that people no longer read books. That’s absolutely ridiculous, of course people read books. But novels and novelists have to take it to their audience. We must rethink the whole publishing business.

I like moldy Alley concrete walls too (Photo Malani Khelif)

            “That’s why I signed to a small press, Poppynoir, who formed their business to promote Charlie Six, they are not stuck in the past, because they have no past. They’re looking at the future and it’s exciting.
            “When I thought of the Alley Tour, it clicked into my mindwindows. There’s a chapter in Charlie Six, where my picaresque character Charlie is expelled from school for reading Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ in an English class. So it seemed obvious that I should give my first reading inside City Lights Bookstore, the business built on Ginsberg’s brilliant poem. They hated the idea and thought I was daft, so fine, I’ll read it in the alley next door. 

Reading the "Howl" Chapter from Charlie Six for my urban camping friend (photo: Zagaris)

            “It was brilliant, a lot of the crowd turned up because of social networking through Facebook and my website, but a lot of people were just passing and got hooked, staying to see what was happening. It’s why I wanted a small party across the street at Specs bar. I wanted to break the barrier between people and artist, talk is looser after a beer or two. I made a lot of new friends signing books for the cats and daddyo's who got caught up in the moment, and were enticed to walk across the street to meet me.”
          Brixton Key’s Alley tour will continue in Marin on Thursday, September 8, in Sausalito at the El Monte Stairs next to the No Name Bar. Key’s reading will take place at 6:30PM, after which there will be a party at the famous Marin nightery. More readings in alleys and lanes will held in Berkeley, Northern Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, and in swanky Beverley Hills.

Mark Plummer eating his breakfast at 9 PM with Barry White
                 Lastly, why did Brixton change his name from Mark Plummer? “When I woke up from brain surgery I felt like a different person. I’d never really liked my name for many reasons. Actually the fact that I survived the brain surgery was a miracle, thanks to my neurologist Peter Weber, so I decided I would do three things that I had always wanted to do. Change my name to Brixton Key; go to university to get a master’s degree, and to start writing the books that were lurking in me.”


Brixton Key's Charlie Six
is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and bookstores near you as a Paperback, Kindle or Nook.