*I recently had the privilege of befriending Jon on Facebook. Another mutual friend of ours told me about his soon-to-be-released book, Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I then decided that I would like to interview Jon in hopes of helping him promote his newest title. Please read about some his fascinating accounts below:
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Well, I never actually thought about it to be honest. My history is that I’ve worked in the music business for forty-three years this year (2018). I have been a roadie and a tour manager, done voiceovers for radio, video, and TV. I have done filmed interviews for various bands and record labels for release and been a radio presenter and written sleeve notes for albums until around 2011. I never thought about it and my first book was on the band Yes called Time and a Word: The Yes Interviews. It has been subsequently published in a second edition as Dialogue and was an official Yes book.
Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)
Never been a fan of fiction though I used to like Michael Moorcock, but I prefer non-fiction like biographies, historical books, etc.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
Music has always been my inspiration, to be honest, and it depends on my mood. Some days, it’s a band like Genesis, Yes, or The Beatles. Other days, it could be Led Zeppelin or even some classical music. It changes on a daily basis, but music has certainly inspired me all my life.
How long have you been a fan of Genesis and what inspired you to write a book about The Lamb?
I first heard of Genesis in 1972 when a friend of mine lent me his copy of Nursery Cryme and I suggested that I listen to it, as I might like it. I did, but the real hook for me was a song called “Harold the Barrel,” which, to be fair, is a little left field, but I remember thinking, “Wow! Where does that come from?” So I sought out Trespass, and when the Foxtrot and the Live album came out, I bought those. I first saw the band for their Selling England by the Pound tour. Ironically, though I had the album, I could not get tickets for The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway shows. The band played in Liverpool for three nights; I remember being hugely disappointed. I wanted to write a book or compile a book of interviews, photos, memorabilia clips, etc. around the 2013 and envisioned the book coming out for the fortieth anniversary of the UK tour in 2015. Sadly, problems with the publisher meant that did not happen. So I recently took back the book and am publishing it myself as a limited edition. It will be out in May 2018. I was probably inspired because I loved the album but never saw the show. The book can be ordered from here.
Have you ever met any members of the band?
Yes, all of them over the years and worked a lot with Steve Hackett in America when he has been on the Cruise to the Edge. Next year, he will be on two cruises: THE ON THE BLUE Cruise with Justin Hayward and Cruse to the Edge again. I also know Ant Phillips very well and have done some filmed interviews with him.
What Genesis shows have you seen live? Any tribute bands?
I have seen Genesis in 1973 for the Selling England tour, the Wind and Wuthering tour, Earls Court in 1977, Knebworth 1978, and the Duke tour in 1980 all three nights again, I think, as my friend was mixing the sound for the band on that tour and the Invisible Touch tour.
Do you have an author website?
Yes, Jon Kirkman
Do you have any blogs?
Well, I have a number of Facebook pages and a Twitter feed for my online station. I am easy to find on the Internet.
Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)
Well, the Yes book was published in two limited edition formats in 2013 and also 2017. Both editions sold out, but there is a sell through edition of the Yes cook coming out called Time and a Word. It is being published in May 2018 and will be available through Amazon and also in book shops.
Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?
I love watching films and walking on the beach with my girlfriend.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Paul McCartney once gave me a lift home, and my phone book has many rock musicians’ telephone numbers in it. I am actually friends with many musicians.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Well, I have an online radio station called Classic Rock Radio. I have also worked (if that is the word) in a record shop which effectively means I was paid to play records all day…Not a bad job. I am working in America next year on the Yes cruise, Cruise to the Edge and also ON THE BLUE cruise with Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and also the Monsters of Rock Cruise. If people want to contact me, please feel free to do so though my website or Facebook pages.
Thanks for all your questions. It was fun answering them.