Friday, March 12, 2010


By 1990 beat generation bass poet Jet Harris had recovered from alcoholism associated with his celebrity decline.

An early improvising teenage jazz musician - Harris named 'the Shadows' - template 1950s four-piece English instrumental brand-visual sound-matrix for countless Brit beat groups after.

In 1990, with support of Dave Wheatley, Dave Holbrook, Maggie Holbrook and the Jet Harris Fan Club - a self-published cassette of Harris's 1980s recordings, A Fist Full of Strings (and a bit of chat!), was sent to fans, including Peter Butler and his wife, Lisa.

During the '80s Peter was occupying himself whilst living in Denmark by compiling and customizing cassette tapes with extensive documentary notes, then sending them to rock 'n' roll fans worldwide by snail mail.

Homemade editions of music with customized card & note insets included my favourite, an erotic piece of typed-up & treated work by Pete and Lisa Butler - the reconstructed copy of an obscure 1959 poplit paperback book by Jet Harris and poet Royston Ellis - Driftin' with Cliff Richard. An old Charles Buchan pulp publication transformed into a beautiful artists book.

Excluded from 2009 fiftieth year Cliff Richard and the Shadows reunion concert celebrations, Jet Harris made live return in 1999 concert with Bruce Welch's Shadows. Welch introduces bass poet as "A legend in his own mind."

from beat generation ballads sequence

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