THE CHILLS IN MODERN LITERATURE: PART TWO
While in London we had tried to record 'The Oncoming Day' as a single (with 'I Love My Leather Jacket' as a B-side) but we never quite caught the building tension that 'The Oncoming Day' so desperately needed.
So we listened to 'I Love My Leather Jacket' and realised we had a perfectly good single with that anyway!
All we needed was a B-side and then we found one with a beautiful live version of the song 'The Great Escape' which came from the same live-gig at the Windsor Castle, Auckland as the tracks 'I Think I'd
Thought I'd Nothing Else To Think About' and 'Green-Eyed Owl' - which were later released as a bonus single with the initial releases of the 'Kaleidoscope World' compilation album - first in Germany on Normal Records and then on the newly established Flying Nun U.K. Records.
Phew! History lesson over.
This new single needed a cover and, as I was very much into the progressive British Sci-Fi weekly comic, 2000 AD at the time, I decided to base our logo for our cover art: on the
2000 AD logo of the time:
Obviously I thought I'd better check that this was OK with 2000 AD's alien editor Tharg and his, presumably, more down-to-earth lawyers etc so I sent an envelope to London, England with a brief letter
explaining what was happening and enclosing some early (black and white) Xerox's of my art-work for the cover of what was to become both the 12" 45 "Leather Jacket' / "The Great Escape" Double A-Side
and a 7" version. The "Double A-Side" concept came about because some of us, including myself, thought that both sides might get air-play and make an impact but we was soon proven wrong!
People wanted to rock - not hear some down-beat pulsing thing about suicide.
And the response from 2000 AD...? nothing...
Every morning, after milking the cows, I would walk ten miles to the nearest little village and ask if there was a letter for me.
But nope! Not a thing!
I had forgotten the standard postal delays to be expected in obtaining most Northern hemisphere publications which meant that the
arrival of the latest issues of 2000 AD into New Zealand was sometimes as much as six months behind!
Therefor, just when I had all but forgotten my letter to London, a short saga appeared in the 2000 AD comics (numbered PROG 532) in the Judge Dredd series and there was a character called... [drum-roll please!!] "Morton Phillipps"! ...
Now - I ask you! What are the chances that this rare spelling of 'Phillipps' should suddenly be used by the very comic I had written to at exactly the proper time (if our later calculations in issue dates were correct) and what could be more normal than a friendly bunch of comic artists using the names of some of the fans who wrote to them (especially those who sent them artwork!) to use for one-off characters in their stories?
OK - so the character doesn't look like me. I have never been mistaken for an African-American to the best of my knowledge!
But I still like to think that, for one glorious moment, I existed in that strangely plausible (and therefore very frightening) Mega-City One!
Draw your own conclusions....
MJJP Feb 2010