It's been a while. I'm sorry it's taken so long. Throughout all the twenty five
years and more since I recorded my first six albums, I have been
continually impressed and humbled by the length of people's memories of the songs
which Clive James and I wrote together. These new recordings owe
a great debt to several of those long-memoried people.
In all those years of doing other things to pay the rent - all of them enjoyable in
their own ways - I never abandoned music completely. Or perhaps it never
abandoned me. In 1996 I was due to have one of my regular lapses at a folk club
in Eastbourne. Steve Birkill, whose memory is not only long but also uncommonly
well documented, learned of this event through an Internet listing and thereby
discovered that I was (a) still alive and (b) functioning musically. He made the trip
to Eastbourne from his home in Derbyshire in order to verify both assumptions, and
having done so, he instigated the Smash Flops website (www.peteatkin.com) which
has now grown to become an information resource that rivals anything set up by
the Mormons. (Steve tells his side of the story in Vol. 2)
Since then all sorts of people have made the same discoveries, each of them
previously having thought that they were the only person in the universe to remember
this stuff. As a result a new and entirely positive kind of virtual community has
grown up which has, among other things, helped convince See For Miles Records
to license and reissue all of the albums I made in the seventies. And now these
new recordings are also the result of their encouragement.
Dave Lewis's contribution to these recordings has been great and significant as
well as wonderfully skilful and subtle, and his encouragement vastly important.
And he is perhaps unique among bass players in that I had to ask him to turn
the bass up in the mix.
I owe further huge thanks to Simon Fish and to Colin Tully, for reasons that will
need no explaining. Big thanks too to Dave Brown, esteemed leader of the
Shrinks, not least for introducing me to Dave Lewis in the first place and
therefore for being the unwitting catalyst of this whole enterprise.
But as always my biggest thanks are due to Clive. I have always believed
that Clive's lyrics are as good as any work he has ever done - and that's
saying something. Getting together with him to work on these new songs has been
a life-transforming piece of monumental good luck.
Pete Atkin September 2001