Where did I get to in 2008, now that I look back to my final blog posting of 2007? Well, I'd have to say that in personal terms I had an enjoyable and successful year freed from the rigid structures of the 9 to 5. I did a marketing course a few weeks back where I was asked about a typical working day. Ha! The previous day I'd spent the morning working on some credit management stuff, driven to Devon in the afternoon to do a presentation to a prospective client on e-billing opportunities and been on the phone for an hour in the evening interviewing Steve Lake from anarcho-punk band Zounds. And that wasn't an untypical mix of jobs, so I can say that certainly 2008 was varied and interesting, if a little bit 'false' in the sense that I had one particular contract that provided the financial foundations for all the other stuff that I was free to do. And it was a year, as I anticipated, where I built financially for 2009. Not quite as well as I should perhaps have done but enough that I can start the year still not feeling the pressure of impending overdrafts.
The festivals book, Festivalized, has occupied a lot of writing time and still there are many potential contributors still to be interviews, and previous chats waiting to be transcribed, and it's clear that any and all spare time in January will be devoted to finishing this project to final manuscript stage, but I think both Bridget and I are very excited about the material that's been gathered and the extensive list of contributors assembled. The biography of Armand and Michaela Denis that I talked about at the end of last year, however, still remains just that... talk; it's very much the next item on the agenda and I'll be spending time in the first quarter of 2009 trying to get this one off the ground. There's two or three other possibilities as well, so I'll be pulling together a collection of proposals and once again revisiting the idea of acquiring an agent.
I continued to write for Record Collector and Rock N Reel, contributed to the Independent and other places, and felt I made some modest in roads into getting my name about. The sleeve notes for Freq and Cherry Red's two Hawkwind compilations were particularly pleasing jobs. The last quarter of the year was particularly intensive with a couple of projects that should see the light of day in 2009 all being well. And, as Bridget noted the other day, one of the great things about 2009 has been the wealth of great contacts with fascinating and eloquent people that we've had through the festivals book.
2009, I want to achieve another book sale, gain more freelance work with a wider range of magazines and newspapers, and expand my writing 'subjects' so that I'm not so dependent on writing about music. On the other hand, I've plenty of CDs waiting review for the Spacerock blog and there'll be a major overhaul of that over the coming week.
On the credit management front, this should prove a busy year if I market my self properly and I need to set-out from day one as I mean to continue, pitching for work, networking and generally getting myself noticed and contracted. One thing is for sure, in this awful business environment there is work out there for me and what I must do is chase it for all I'm worth.
I caught up with the guys from Space Ritual at Glastonbury Assembly Rooms a few weeks ago and enjoyed again chatting with Nik Turner and Jerry Richards. And at Falmouth Princess Pavilions in early December, enjoyed meeting up for the first time since the publication of the Waterboys book with Anto Thistlethwaite who now plays with the Saw Doctors. One of life's gentlemen. A couple of days later, and I was a Truro Hall for Cornwall, relishing the opportunity to interview Jeremy from the Levellers for the festival book and, knowing him to be a big Waterboys fan, pressing a copy of Strange Boat on him! Fascinating chat about his days on the travelling scene and a great gig as well.
Jerry Richards, Nik Turner, Bridget Wishart,