Arts and Entertainment

Murray Lachlan Young is a British performance poet - the first poet to be given a £1m record deal - and a regular on Radio 4 and 6.

BOOK REVIEW / Jerry, Jerry, quite contrary: 'Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music' - Jerry Wexler and David Ritz: Cape, 14.99

IN HIS introduction to this book, David Ritz tells us how, when he questioned Jerry Wexler's use of a word like 'ratiocination' even for educated readers, Wexler would reply 'Send the f***ers to the dictionary.' This is told admiringly, but it introduces to us a contradictory man, at once contemptuous and insecure, and a man of whom his mother might have said 'You would think a boy who knew all those big long words could find a more apt one for his readers.'

Remembrance of backstage past: Who'd pay hundreds of pounds for some cardboard? A Led Zeppelin fan, such as Christopher Stoakes

I am sitting in the upstairs coffee shop at the Virgin megastore at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street in London. Opposite me is Andy, mid-thirties and glasses (like me), but (important difference) hair down to his shoulders. He looks like an engaging relic of the Seventies. Andy works for a travel organisation and lives in Croydon, south London. Outside work he plays bass in a band and runs a stall at record fairs. What brings us together is our mutual passion for Led Zeppelin.

ROCK / Squeezing the last drops of nostalgia

WHO SAID South London was a cultural desert? Doughty Deptford balladeers Squeeze suffuse the Royal Albert Hall with a gentle mist of turn-of-the-Eighties nostalgia. The band's melodious mainstays, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, still have the air of a pair of cheeky sixth-formers who have taken their ties off for the journey home, and their boys-next-door lyricism has lost none of its charm with the passing years.

ROCK / Hey, what a concept: They're back, and this time they mean business. Lloyd Bradley witnesses the return of the musos

SUDDENLY, people in the music industry are murmuring about a return to 'proper music'. By which they don't mean acts like 2 Unlimited, who are at the top of the singles chart this week with a thin slice of pop entitled 'No Limit'. They mean those other artists in the Top 40, like Sting, The Beloved, Go West, Heaven 17, or even the newly revitalised Duran Duran.
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us