The Book…

‘One night in February 2012, my friend Kyle (he’s a lawyer who looks like Buddy Holly) and I were crawling the bars of Clarksdale, Mississippi. We walked into Red’s Blues Club on Sunflower Avenue, and saw an obese black man drinking alone. Kyle and I bought drinks and then engaged in conversation with the large dude, who quickly established that we were tourists.

Yo’ ain’t gonna see the real blues,” he said. “Clarksdale ain’t nothin’ but a blues theme park for white folks. It ain’t the real blues.”

It was short conversation. One of us (probably me) asked one question too many, at which the large dude promptly stood up and walked out of the bar.

Later that night, and after several beers, Kyle said, “You know, that whole scene in Red’s would make a great opening to a story.

I got to thinking what the man had said about the real blues, and wondered how a modern day white, middle-aged blues tourist would react to seeing the blues as it was played in 1930s Mississippi.

Thus Fat Man Blues was conceived.

“HoboJohn” is an English blues enthusiast on a pilgrimage to present-day Mississippi. One night in Clarksdale he meets the mysterious Fat Man, who offers him the chance to see the real blues of the 1930s. Unable to refuse, Hobo John embarks on a journey through the afterlife in the company of Travellin’ Man, an old blues guitarist who shows him the sights, sounds and everyday life in the Mississippi Delta. Along the way, the Englishman discovers the harsh realities behind his romantic notion of the music he loves and the true price of the deal that he has made.

Signed paperback available to Order Direct

E-Book / Paperback – available from Amazon

Fat Man Blues has been adapted to screenplay for a feature film, and there is a storyboard for a 10-episode TV series.

The Trailer…

The Poem…

I wrote a poem about the story of Fat Man Blues (condensing 300 pages into 48 lines). American writer, Michael Clark very kindly narrated it for me.

Fat Man Blues

Well I was sitting in a juke joint
In Clarksdale, Mississippi,
Just minding my own business
And getting high on booze
When in walked this old white boy
Said his accent came from England
Said he’d come to Mississippi
Come to see the delta blues

I said there ain’t no delta blues
Down here in Clarksdale, Mississippi,
Cos it ain’t nothin’ but a theme park
For white folks just like you
But if you come along with me
I can show you all the good stuff
Where life’s like what it was
When they played the real blues

So then I dropped some names
Like Charley Patton, Robert Johnson
And the white boy looked at me
Like something just come loose
He said all those boys are dead
I said that’s a matter of opinion
And then I made an offer
That he could not refuse

See, the white boy had a poison
That was growing deep inside him
And I knew his clock was ticking
Knew his time would soon run out
So I laid it on the table
Told him I could fix his problem
If he’d come along with me
There was never any doubt

So I took out all the poison
And we met up at the crossroads
And I tuned the white boy’s gittar
And I said the deal was done
Then I took him back in time
To 1930s Mississippi
Where he walked the delta land
And went looking for some fun

Now White Boy he was happy
To be walkin’ Mississippi
What he don’t know didn’t hurt him
He thought he’d nothin’ left to lose
But be careful what you wish for
Cos the devil’s in the detail
And you better read the small print
Of the Fat Man Blues