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Baker's Dozen

Crime Plays: Writer Ian Rankin On His 13 Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , November 21st, 2012 07:37

Ian Rankin talks to Luke Turner about his life in music, and how he'd like to write novels based on Joy Division and David Bowie albums


Hawkwind - In Search Of Space
It's not much of a contrast with the Alex Harvey Band. It's heavy, not quite heavy metal, but quite propulsive riffs, with a comic book storyline behind it. They used comic book imagery quite a lot as well as science fiction imagery, and the Alex Harvey band did that as well, they'd dress up like comic book characters. So there's showmanship, there's vaudeville, all sorts of things going on there. I was a great reader of comics, so anything that had that kind of vibe to it. I'd bought 'Silver Machine' when it came out when I was about 10 or 11 from Butlin's Holiday Camp in Ayr - it had a record shop. I think I bought that and 'School's Out'. We had an old Dancette record player that I believe my parents had saved up cigarette coupons for. Anybody who says smoking is bad for you is factually incorrect because it brought a record player into our house for the first time. I credit Embassy cigarettes for bringing me the joy of music. Hawkwind are another band I still listen to, and if any version of Hawkwind come on tour to Edinburgh I'll try and get along there. There's a fascinating history of the band that was written a couple of years ago, and their roots were in anarchy and protest movements and doing free concerts and living in squats, they were really right on. By the time I got round to seeing them in the flesh, which would have been about '78, '79, it was basically just a hall full of Hell's Angels, and I felt really sorry for the support act that night. he was a punk poet called Patrick Fitzgerald who basically got bottled offstage. I went and bought his album.