We zoom into London at the height of the swinging sixties, joining wiry little artist Kit Hogarth, singer-songwriter Amanda, hippy impressario Jules Marsden Hunt, the beautiful Beatrice, a spiritual sect called The Woolly Mammoth, Walt Weirdness and Mr Andy Parvin himself, as they build a new hippy paradise.
When you first leave home, it can be tough. Out of the comfy nest, into the crazy world. I left home at the height of Hippydom, when being young constituted a political and social movement. – Sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, Ban the Bomb, stop the Viet Nam war, reject society’s greedy aggressive values. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Racial equality, Women’s lib, back to nature, love, peace and revolution. A heady mix of fight and flight.
I was pitifully inept, but showed willing. Like Andy Parvin, I found it frightening and thrilling. The Andy Parvin Story is not autobiography. All that psychedelic mayhem needed pulling together, to keep the detail but get rid of the repetition.
Soon after the events described in this book, I set out for the South Seas, on my honeymoon, only my wife left me (not funny). Sat outside a rattan hut on Kuta Beach in Bali, I wrote a bad, distraught novel, trying and failing to make sense of it all.
Upon my solitary return from Asia, I remember having a plastic bag with some salt tablets and the bad novel… But that’s the end of it. Somewhere between Leeds, Dumfries and London, the plastic bag disappeared. My life wizzed on and decades passed.
I am standing in a darkened room, rubbing my face with my hands. I want to write something about that time long ago. Especially as I now know how things turned out, and can understand all those people back then, if I can remember.
While my head is full of this, my hand opens a filing cabinet, picks up a folder that says ‘Bali Libretto’ and there it is, the bad novel from twenty-three years ago. …So embarrassing to read, a jumble of passionate nonsense. I got to work immediately.
The Andy Parvin Story is LSD-laced
Here are some extracts to give you a taste
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