Letters of not*: Steven Wells

Swells_letter

Undated letter from the late, great Steven Wells (10 May 1960—24 June 2009), written in a loose parody of my then soon-to-be-published novel CHARLIEUNCLENORFOLKTANGO. Swells had been a big fan of CHARLIEUNCLE…, having seen some of the many spoken-word outings that I was doing with the material at the time. ‘Roadrage’ — from the title of my 1997 novel — was the nickname that only he used, whenever we spoke.

This letter dates from autumn 1999, during the run-up to the launch of Swells’s Attack Books imprint.

ROADRAGE!

HERE’S SOME BASTARD POSTCARDS, YOU FUCKER!

DO YOU BLEEDIN’ WANT SOME BLOODY MORE, YOU TART? I’M FLAMING TRYING TO SHITTING SET UP SOME WANKING STUDENT GIGS, YOU TOSSER.

CUNTING WELL SPEAK TO YOU SODDING SOON,

SWELLS

As well as Swells’s own debut novel Tits-Out Teenage Terror Totty, and Stanley Manly’s Raiders of the Low Forehead, the Attack launch list included my novel Satan! Satan! Satan! — the title of which is of course a quotation of the opening vocal loop (at 00:57 in the Youtube video below) of ‘Sweat Loaf’ by Butthole Surfers (whom we both admired) from their 1987 LP Locust Abortion Technician, though it is possibly more well-known in the UK because of Orbital’s 1991 sample.

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* with apologies to Shaun Usher’s great Letters of Note project.

Other posts about Swells on Tony White’s pieceofpaperpress.com.

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