John Harris

Journalist & Author

The other page: the books you should take to Glastonbury

You’ve packed the wellies and the wet wipes – but which titles should accompany them in your rucksack?

Let’s not tempt fate, but at the time of writing, this year’s Glastonbury looks set to be a relatively sun-soaked experience, very different from the mixture of Brexit misery and mud that characterised last year’s festival. With any luck, these words will be read by people spending long, languid hours sitting on the grass, staring into blue skies – and, from time to time, reaching for a book.

But what to read? Start, maybe, with one of the best music-based texts of the last two years: Playing The Bass With Three Left Hands by Will Carruthers (Faber). A beautifully written memoir of the time when the author was a member of the neo-psychedelic bands Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized, it portrays musty-smelling bohemia in the thrillingly unlikely environs of Rugby, the privations of being a musician while constantly skint, and summer weekends playing fifth on the bill at British festivals. The title comes from Carruthers’s recollection of taking LSD before a performance in Leeds, where he hallucinated that he had grown two extra limbs. “This made perfect sense to me at the time,” he writes, “Three hands are better than none, right?” Then comes the kicker: “I got paid 15 quid for that show.”

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Guardian RSS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. « Corbyn is chiming with the times. But no one can predict anything any more | John Harris | How pop music built liberal Britain | John Harris »
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