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The Independent Culture

I have always been into books on music. Passion Is a Fashion by Pat Gilbert is the real story of The Clash, a detailed history of the band. I am also reading The Spider with the Platinum Hair about the guitarist Mick Ronson who worked with David Bowie. Dylan's Chronicles Volume One is the first book ever written by him about his life, and it is typical Dylan; very contrary. He never gives anything away. I also like fantasy short stories - The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy is by Tim Burton. It is magical.


With all the current Ray Charles hysteria, I have recently dug out a lot of his records from my collection. I haven't seen the film yet, but I have a lot of his music - particularly his live stuff. I've also been listening to The Clash, and I'm into a guy called Perez Prado and his orchestra: The Voodoo Suite is like a jazz mambo vibe and quite exotic. There is also The Pogues; The Best of Studio One Soul; Augustus Pablo and John Holt. Although this might confuse some people I've been listening to Elton John's Greatest Hits.


I was given the Bob Dylan film Masked and Anonymous. He plays a travelling troubadour called Jack Fate. It is quite funny. His acting is passable. The cast includes Penelope Cruz, Jessica Lange and John Goodman, who play the characters Dylan meets along the way. I have a list of films I want to see - The Aviator and Finding Neverland. I liked Meet The Parents. Meet The Fockers is not a bad sequel, with Robert De Niro, and even Barbra Streisand appears. I haven't seen her in a film for a while.

Theatre, opera, visual arts

I have never been to the opera or theatre. I was really fortunate to meet Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood with the Charlatans and we all got to see his exhibition of paintings in LA of people like Keith Moon, Keith Richards and John Lennon. I try and get to the J Paul Getty Museum in LA, and I like all the free levels at the Tate Modern in London.

`The Charlatans Live At Last' DVD is out on 21 March, and a new album is due later in the year. Tim Burgess features on the new Chemical Brothers album, `Push the Button'.