Ian Marchant lives five minutes walk from my house in Presteigne. I’d heard his name mentioned here and there, and after meeting Bob Rowberry a few months ago (and learning about Ian’s book based on Bob’s adventures) it felt like a very natural progression to pop round to Ian’s for a chat. In this episode you’ll hear about his life as a writer, what it’s like to reinvent contemporary British trainspotting and be interviewed by Noel Edmonds, as well as a deep dive into the topics covered by his important new book A Hero For High Times: A Younger Reader’s Guide to the Beats, Hippies, Freaks, Punks, Ravers, New-Age Travellers and Dog-on-a-Rope Brew Crew Crusties of the British Isles, 1956–1994 (Jonathan Cape, 2018).
Roger Lewis, writing in The Times, has already called it “a seditious, crackpot, transcendental riot… my book of the year, and it’s only February.” I’ve just ordered my copy and I would ask you to consider doing the same. I’m genuinely excited to learn more about this period of immense counter-cultural influence which happened before I really came of age. I’m hoping it can help fill in the large gaps in my understanding of my own cultural heritage and I have a feeling it will provide many laughs along the way!
On a personal level, there is something beautifully fitting about the fact I now live in this small town in the Welsh borders in which the man who has written such a book also resides. I feel among friends. As I mentioned last time, it has been perfect timing to meet Ian and an honour to be able to release an episode of the podcast to coincide with the publication of the book.
I really hope you enjoy this episode, we had a lot of fun and I can safely say you will learn a thing or three!