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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Praise: David Keenan's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , December 2nd, 2020 09:46

Jennifer Lucy Allan hears about high-fiving Edgar Froese, frightening the neighbours, disavowing the devil and how Scottish author David Keenan is all about saying yes. Portrait by Heather Leigh.


Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds
If my mum was at work we would go to my Aunt Sheila's house after school. My cousin's bedroom was so seedy. Between the two beds they had an old stereo that was treated so badly they used it as an ashtray. I thought that was so cool, it seemed so dirty and sexy. They were older than me and one day asked if I'd heard War Of The Worlds. I hadn't, and they said I'd better get ready, because it's a disturbing ride. That first sound of the aliens was just too much, I didn't know what the fuck was going on. I said I didn't want to listen to it any longer, and left the room. But I couldn't get it off my mind. So when the boys weren't in their bedroom I would sneak in and put it on.

So I'm listening to that romantic song – ‘the autumn leaves lay undisturbed now / cos you're you're not here...’ – I've never had a girlfriend in my life, but I'm imagining what romance is like. Then I spot this baby blue letter, folded up and pinned above the headboard. It was a love letter to my cousin from a girl he must have been shagging, I'll never forget it, it said things like, 'I long to hold your naked body close to mine'. I remember thinking what the fuck? Women are longing to hold men's naked bodies?! Not only that, he's got it pinned above his bed where his mum could even read it! It was this thing again, where the aliens were coming, at the same time as this revelation of this newly sexual world. My cousins were already living in it, and I was nervous, scared and excited, because it was me next. So every time I hear War Of The Worlds I go back to that very naive slightly pre-adult self.