Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Peter Butler produced two homemade publications before self-exile in Denmark, Christmas 1983.

As well as Elvis, Pete was obsessed by Billy Fury, The Beatles (particularly John Lennon - John Ono Lennon as he referred to him on letter envelopes) and Cliff Richard as young British Elvis imitator. What Pete was most obsessed by was dead rock 'n' rollers. A morbid inspiration that drove some of his thinking and writing when down in the dumps.

The two stapled zines were a Billy Fury discography tribute, and hand-drawn entitled 'poems, thoughts and things'. Photocopying done at Adland, 32 High Street, South Norwood, London SE 25. A third zine, also with hand-drawn cover 'rough ideas ...and great works of my times ... a slice of my life' is dated 1984 and produced in Denmark.

Pete's girlfriend Lisa, later to become his wife, contributed drawings to 'poems, thoughts and things'. The text is typed on a manual typewriter. Peter's ode to Elvis Presley 'An American trilogy' is scanned here as visual.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Partly inspired by another British television comedy drama series, this time Auf Weidersehen Pet from 1983 - Peter Butler took Norman Tebbit's advice, got 'on his bike', travelling by ferry to Denmark. In London he'd met a Danish girl and fallen in love. The young woman was named Lisa, forename of Elvis Presley's daughter.

Pete Butler, being Pete Butler, and an Elvis fanatic read into this personal coincidence absolute poetic romanticism. A cosmic gift from the King himself. For Pete, surely it must be the work of Elvis the King? In beat generation take on epic of Gilgamesh, a poet is writing young Brit into new script as likely lad construction worker character, breaking away in self-exile from Margaret Thatcher's UK. Trying his luck in Europe. Divinely guided by a Danish girlfriend with the same name as the King's daughter.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Reading Peter Butler in UK workplace Seventies lends representational confusion to On the Buses tv sitcom character Butler. Butler, televisual workplace character, fed ontological factory girl Pete Butler.

In this youtube clip from 1990, Wogan interviews Reg Varney (Stan Butler) and retired cast 20 years on.

As Sir Terry retires from BBC Radio 2 today, the cover to Peter Butler's homemade zine from 1983 is scanned for online beat generation ballads sequence.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Factory girl Peter Butler collected 'The Elvis Presley Story' comic-strip serial in the Daily Mirror between Monday, September 12 and October 21 1977.

Years later he customized photo-copied bookwork from material treated with coloured felt-tip pens.

In storage, glossed ink from Elvis Lives! promotional sheet for 'Elvis Shrugged Graphic Novel - (a witty science fiction parody ...)' has impressed itself on plastic cover to Pete's homemade book.

from beat generation ballads sequence

Thursday, December 03, 2009

beat generation ballads on youtube

Quality self-publisher Miss Dorothy Squires reads 'Happy Heart' at London Palladium 'Poetics of Linguistically Innovative Rendition' colloquium

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

beat generation ballads on youtube

Forty years on from their hit Eurovision 'links von mir' ditty, former German Democratic Republic's own Cliff and Livvy, Chris Doerk and Frank Schöbel, celebrate 20 years since bourgeois revolutions of Russia and Eastern Europe at 'Poetics of the Fall of European Stalinism' colloquium event

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

beat generation ballads on youtube

1968 Eurovision Song Contest with Chris Doerk and Frank
Schöbel - East Germany's own Cliff and Olivia - performing singalong toon to London noughties poetry gig pub function-room hearers

Never mind, this video available for embedding but German YouTube visitors excluded. That's odd.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Billboard Toots
2 minimovies

Thursday, November 12, 2009

scratch card

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'boy dolls kiss kiss (try a little tenderness)' drawing from beat generation ballads sequence

Monday, November 02, 2009


1977 was year job nut. National Front invade Lewisham. Johnny Rotten beaten up by teddy boys. William Burroughs sends good on yer telegram to Sex Pistols for topping UK hit parade with 'God Save the Queen'. Rockin' Records in Maple Road Penge had copies if Woolworths did not. Colin sold Sniffin Glue and autographed copies of Patrik Fitzgerald's 'Safety Pin Stuck in My Heart' EP with 'Screaming and Shouting (like a kid gone wrong)' track. Pete the factory girl could dance to this.

Peter Butler was an Elvis fanatic. Fan as fanatic. Pete didn't come to work at Holdsworth the day Elvis died. He began an Elvis archive of voice, image, name - self-publishing unique homemade books. Elvis photographs, press cuttings, line drawings reproduced on 1977 photo-copiers. Elvis, king of rock and roll. Elvis, last and first king. Twelve-tablet epic of Lasluz Laserlee. Twelve-ballad epic of Elvis Presley.

In 1970s epic of Gilgamesh President Richard Nixon is troubled King who meets wild half-bull Elvis Enkidu and they become brothers-in-arms as Mesopotanian gods decree. Not later Elvis in comic book superhero jewel-encrusted Vegas jump suit. Elvis young 1950s animal with sideburns.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu return from House of Shadows to great-walled city of Uruk. Return to Graceland. Ann-Margret plays Shamat, priestess of Ishtar.

In the next 25 years Peter was to self-publish two photocopied collections of his writings and poetry; make DIY Elvis books and artworks; contribute to rock 'n' roll fanzines, international Elvis Monthly features; Chinese poetry magazines (one had work by Rod Mengham in it) and write hundreds of letters to Elvis fans from Texas to Tehran.

from beat generation ballads sequence

Friday, October 30, 2009


During the fall of 1962, before second Pan books' printing in England of On the Road with William Eichel backcover photo of Kerouac, American beat writer William Lee gathered together his typescripts and cut-ups for Nova Express.

Lee'll finish his science fiction novel in London. Protagonist anti-hero British-based Scotland Yard nova cop 'Inspector J. Lee'. Writing agent up against cosmic terror. Imagery 1920s Henry Miller and 1930s Lester Dent pulps. Doc Savage villains with terrifying psychic powers.

Lee juggled his time since 1960 between America, Paris, London and Tangiers.

Flight from Washington DC checked in London Airport midday cold March 1963. The writer had spent most of Sunday afternoon with immigration officials, convincing them he was in UK to write and broadcast, not sell narcotics.

"Been clean since 1959. Need to make a call if that is permitted, gentlemen."

Lee'd made literary and arts supporters in Blighty after previous problems applying for UK visitor status. Macmillan's government was in terminal crisis.

"Mr Fixit will have a word with Brooke, Bill."

One telephone call to the Home Office from Arnold Fixit and Lee is given three-month permit to stay.

from beat generation ballads sequence

Monday, October 12, 2009

Billboard Toots

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Two linked poems sharing short 'penned in the margin haiku moment' from beat generation ballads:

Tears in the Fence
casual reading issues -
thirty-four to thirty-eight

Bob Dylan's New Morning LP
moonlight on a frozen
theme-timed lake

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I first met Peter Butler in 1977 when he was nineteen-years-old working for Holdsworthy Limited in southeast London as frame-builder at Holdsworth's bicycle factory, Cambridge Grove.

deep topography from archive of now the rubble

The company prided itself on specializing the hand-built Claude Butler model (Peter was not related to Claude Butler).

Peter was six-foot five and wore a pretty pink ribbon to tie his waist-length hair in a pony tail. The factory's health and safety regulations forbade long hair worn loose. Pete's persona and stance was one of contradictory compliance and defiance. It showed.

from beat generation ballads sequence work-in-progress

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Ishtar & the Bull of Heaven' from beat generation ballads sequence

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


'A' is not equal to 'A' - Sean Bonney, the commons II (Openned Press, 2009)

In 1969 I meticulously copied a photographic image of Elvis Presley from Picture Show Annual 1958 after copying William Eichel's backcover photo of Jack Kerouac. Made my own On the Road Jack in pencil and yellow crayon with wash.

Jack looks good but Elvis was best drawing ever using soft B and 2B leads. Elvis in pencil on cartridge paper. Something else. More than just another fan pic.

Elvis had recorded a little known Bob Dylan song 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time' in 1966. Featured as bonus track on Spinout (US California Holiday) movie soundtrack album.

The Elvis recording and drawing sparked visual poem for printmaking entitled Have You Ever Tried To Be Like Bob Dylan (no question mark) for five design exhibits (one design per page) with Presley drawing pride of place design 'A'. Other designs 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E' followed to complete sequence.

In 1970 I touted the sequence around London looking for fine art or limited edition publisher-printmakers to produce an edition. Thought I'd found an art agent who said he'd got me publisher and exhibitor - naive of me to believe this shit - only commercial advertising studio/printshop experience. No literary or art world contacts. No higher, further, or even Sixties art school education. 'Like a complete unknown' (in the words of the song).

When I didn't hear anything and returned to collect the sequence, design 'A' was missing, stolen perhaps from offices of dodgy art agency.

So like Epic of Gilgamesh this 78rpm bakelite ballad has broken lacuna.

visual association: Sophie Robinson's titling of poem concerning loss of young life (Aerin Davidson) as
lower case


Missing Elvis design 'A' compensated by other visual associations:: Peter Butler's fanzine poems American Triology & Reason to smile::: Jeremy Reed's The Sun King: Elvis the Second Coming & Heartbreak Hotel:::: the Elvis of Thom Gunn's Sense of Movement::::: Bono's Elvis: American David.

because I have forgotten it is all gone

'Have You Ever Tried To Be Like Bob Dylan: Missing Elvis' from beat generation ballads sequence

MJ Weller work-in-progress blog try out

Monday, July 20, 2009

Images from beat generation ballads sequence scanned for screen reading

'modern sounds in country and western'

'Gilgamesh and Enkidu'

'Ginger Spice, Kate Moss & Amy Winehouse as three suburban goth cartoon fates'

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"...comic goodness..." at the verbal arts centre (courtesy of John Robbins, Inside Outsiders #42)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

London Under Construction

Thursday, May 28, 2009

visual association for Harry Godwin

Thursday, February 26, 2009

EGNEP's London mini-tour March/April/May. North, South, East, West (dig that city psychogeography...and look out for Michael's fictional selves & home'baked characters: Mick Weller, two or three Mike Wellers, MJ Weller, Professor Michael J. Cox, and others. Gigs around a fiver to get in (organisers may listen to special pleading from impoverished attendees) on entry, start around eight pm (except Cafe Oto which'll be like watching/listening lazy terrestrial afternoon tv/radio alternative 1981)

Wed 4th March: Klinker South - Ivy House 40 Stuart Road Nunhead SE14
Thurs 5th March: XING THE LINE (multi-hand benefit for Paul Sutton) - Leather Exchange SE1
Sun 15th March: Sundays at the Oto - Cafe Oto 18-22 Ashwin Street Dalston E8
Tues 21st April: The Blue Bus (other reader: Jow Lindsay) - The Lamb 94 Lamb's Conduit St London WC1
Thurs 7th May: Klinker North - Cross Kings 126 York Way N1

all been & gone - dark daddy whispers night night

Thursday, January 22, 2009