CHAPTER 2:  X Days

I spent the next six months scribbling ideas in a notebook sitting in a coffee bar. On my own. Dreaming.

See, I had always loved those books about 60's groups in London, about the 2 i's coffee bar in Soho, imagining that the groups just happened to form there. You know, like in lots of those old black and white movies. I guess I had this fantasy vision that I could just hang out in a coffee bar and somehow would be inspired and become absorbed into a new scene. A new beat generation would be there just ‘being’, New Ginsberg reading over there, A new Jagger in the corner with a Stooges album under his arm, a real Life Ziggy buying a coffee on his way home from art college. It was that easy in my head. I suppose I was also following Malcolm McLaren’s rules - step 1. Create a scene. Your group comes out of that creative pool...

I had found my magical coffee bar one day by just setting off on foot from the Mews in Maida Vale towards Belgravia (up market I figured) and chancing upon this coffee house. It was called "The Village" and it was in Shepherd’s Market, in Mayfair, which at that time was the place where all the hookers hung out. I guess I thought the name was a sign, after the mysterious Village in the Prisoner TV series , and it even had a basement - wow it could also be a club I thought eagerly, my imagination swirling with possibilities. Having found ‘the place’ I would faithfully go there every day, drink coffee and read my Colin Wilson books, willing it to happen. It actually became like a scene from the Prisoner; a little world of my own unto itself, as I sat there scribbling notes and ideas in this red, leather bound note book. Pouring over the music paper small ads for any musician adverts that sounded interesting. The Italian owners must have thought I was mad, sitting there every day on my own pretending it was 1960.

But I believed, and still do, that you have to go through it. There is no easy route to success, that you have to believe in it enough to make it happen. After all, sitting at home in the Mews all day wouldn’t make anything happen, I wouldn’t meet anyone there. As far as I was  concerned it was like I went off to work every day.

Of course I went to gigs too, to see if by chance someone else had been discovered, was out there already, that I might be able to steal.... One night a young journalist I knew told me about this little band playing at London's Embassy club.

There were only three people in the audience and afterwards I was so exhilarated by what I had seen that I had to speak to the singer - Andrew Eldritch - and ask if he would leave this unheard of group, The Sister’s of Mercy to join me and my new vision. I instinctively felt Eldritch had something really special, that he was the real thing and we talked excitedly that night. But he had his own vision to follow, however, because of that connection, we became friends and kept in touch through his rise to what would ultimately be Goth God. Andrew faithfully sent me every Sister’s of Mercy single in the post for the next six years, I knew he was something very special.