Neil Mclean pens a heartfelt tribute to the most rock n' roll of writers
Here at Manchester Rocks we are very proud of to be shouting about the music, both new and old and from infamous bands and unearthing underground gems. This being said we always acknowledge anything that we think rocks and for me personally I have taken much of my inspiration from other things outside the box labelled music. Things like comedy, which if we are honest is the rock and roll of all the performing art - basically anything that opens our minds to the new and the outrageous like rock and metal music.
One such influence came into my life about twenty years ago in the form of the novel Soul Music, not Terry Pratchett's first and by no means his last but it was my first foray into the world and mind of such an amazing man. For those of you that haven’t had the enormous pleasure of any of the Discworld novels the brief overview is a flat world sat on the backs of four great Elephants which in turn ride on the back of a great Star Turtle and focuses on the happenings of the inhabitants of this world, a world of magic and myth but on the cusp of science as well. Soul music was Terry’s way of introducing the spirit of rock and roll into this world, making it a sentient force instead of an occurrence was a stroke of sheer genius and enabled the reader to see the rise of a new form of music even if it was through a slightly warped mirror. As in our own world he encapsulated the initial response of the public ranging from the fans and zealots to the previous generations misgivings and abhorrence to this riotous form of noise. In one brief novel the whole of the history of rock and roll was laid out in front of us, all be it is a different setting and with the added inclusion of a manic Orang-utan playing rock organ and building what would seem to be the first chopper bike and an enlivened old Wizard who was determined to paint his room black and wear studded messages on the back of his robes.
"He managed to grab the ethos of rock n' roll and put it into words with added humour and love."
Admittedly this was a tongue in cheek look at our world but as lovers of rock music this is one of the best novels written with our appeal in mind, I don’t even know if Terry was a lover of rock music and if he wasn’t then that would make this book all the more special due to the fact he managed to grab the ethos of our passion and put it into words with added humour and love. So, if you haven’t read this book then I seriously encourage you to and if you have then why not pick it up again and enjoy this special mans talent. Lets face it, where else are you going to read about the Grim Reaper emulating Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell album cover on a chop built by an Orang-utan Librarian or giggle at the fact that Death’s horse is called Binky and is currently being ridden by his Granddaughter Susan?
In closing I feel that all is left for me to say is a monumental Thank you to Sir Terry Pratchett for truly being the rock of writers and bringing so much pleasure to so many over his years, and I hope where ever you are it is filled with the wonderment that you created.