The Gainsbourg essay was first published in the second and (to date) final issue of the music journal Loops (Faber/Domino). Looking at it again, it bounces about from subject to subject a bit too frantically for its own good but probably represents accurately its author’s state of mind at the time.
The pieces inspired by Danny Peary’s Cult Movies books and Colin MacInnes’ Absolute Beginners were written for the website The Second Pass and were originally intended to form part of THE YEAR OF READING DANGEROUSLY; short excerpts from each one appear in the finished book. FWIW A Path out of Childhood might be the best thing I’ve ever written – it’s certainly amongst my favourites.
The Kinks update was commissioned by the 33 1/3 website to mark both the 45th anniversary of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society and the 10th birthday of my book about the LP. It was fun to revisit the album and to type out phrases like ‘Mellotron Mk II’ and ‘most successful flop of all time’ again. Since I wrote this update a few months ago, yet more missing-presumed-lost Kinks material has surfaced in the form of off-air audio recordings of TV episodes of At The Eleventh Hour, the Ned Sherrin-produced satire show for which Ray Davies wrote a topical song every week. If and when I get to hear these recordings, be assured I shall write about them here.
Est-ce Est-ce Si Bon? Gainsbourg in the Culture Bunker