In Richard King’s ‘How Soon is Now?’ he chronicles the people behind the independent record companies that soundtracked my early life. Instead of focusing on the music, it is a history of the people who sank their time and energy into the production and promotion of this music. If you look at the subtitle of the book you will see a potential problem with the focus, and in a review of the book Sukhdev Sandhu points to more; in fact, King’s love-song to the labels can be further understood with the knowledge that King himself ran Planet Records, in Bristol. So, without him my record collection would be without Movietone, Crescent and Flying Saucer Attack.
There is a book to be written on the history of poetry publishing of the last 100 years. A history of the people losing their money and their time in the the name of publishing the work they believe in. Without the people running open mics, and festivals, and small presses, and magazines, and… and … there would be no contemporary poetry in this country. At all.