Its 1977 and I am about 15. I like a song that I see on TOTP and hear on the radio. I have no idea its based on a book which was made into a film in 1969. Nevertheless a few weeks later the film is on TV and I watch it, its really good, the credits refer to a writer called Horace McCoy. I go to the library and i order it because its not excatly in high demand. A few eeks later it arrives and i read it in about 2 hours (if that, its very short). 40 years later I’m chatting to my daughter about economic depression and the interwar years (because I am interested, because I studied it and because I don’t know anything about the Kardashians or Love Island). We get the dvd and the book, I read the book again and it makes me angry and sad all over again. We watch the film, its still good.
Before we had the internet you had to dig around a bit to find stuff out, a lyric here, an interview in the NME there and if you wanted to you could find out some interesting and marginal stuff which not only wins you pub quizzes but which also teaches you how to find out interesting stuff thats not readily available. Music was one of the crucial routes into so many of the things i like now.
They Shoot Horses is hardly a cultural highpoint but it is very good indeed.
Anyone else found a path to a work of art through the medium of song (any answers which refer to “that book by Nabokov” and “shaking and coughing just like the old man in ” will be ignored).