Nick Power is a songwriter and keyboardist in Liverpool band, The Coral. He also has five books of poetry out. The last available copies known to man are currently on the shelves at Boneyard HQ. We spoke by fax machine recently, it’s his preferred method of communication. This is how it went.
Nick: Herman, have you any copies of my book left in your place? All my stock has sold out.
Mark: Yes Hank. I have so many they are coming out of my ears. I don’t think I ever managed to sell a single copy, despite them getting prime location in the Boneyard. Alas it seems your wordsmith ways have went over the heads of the locals here. Shall I send them back to you?
Nick: Don’t worry at all, poetry is a hard sell!! I’m just glad copies of it exists out there in the wild. I’m gonna order a reprint. Thanks for the prime location.
Mark: Perhaps I should stir up some publicity to help sales along. Fancy an interview in the paper if I send over some questions?
Nick: Hell yea!
Mark: Ok great, I’ll bop you some questions.
Nick: Yea fire them over. Nothing is taboo!
Mark: here ya go!
What was the first record you owned and do you still have it?
Rendez-Vous 5’ by Jean Michelle Jarre. My dad bought it for me and told me the back story: an astronaut friend of Jean’s, Ron Mcnair, was meant to play saxophone on the track from the Space Shuttle Challenger. But he never made it; the space shuttle exploded on take-off. Ron died and Michelle-Jarre changed the name of the track to ‘Ron’s Piece’ in tribute.
That summer, I paid my own tribute to McNair. I designed and built the first sustainable rocket ship capable of taking a fleet of astronauts to Mars and back in under a year. Unfortunately those plans were found and destroyed by the then president of the United States, George Bush sr.
What was your favourite record store when you were growing up? Is it still there?
Hairy Records on Bold Street in Liverpool. It was underground then, a long basement room under a clothes shop. They had everything. There was a room exclusively for Lee Perry and dub. They really ripped me off on some vinyl exchanges, but I didn’t mind, I’d found the secret portal. My friends and me would give the people who worked there names: ‘Soft Hands Man’. ‘Fat Bob’. ‘Robbie Fowler Ears’. It’s gone now, bankrupt.
What does your record collection look like?
I had to trim the fat: get rid of my Hawaiian folk moods and Gene Pitney compilations. Though I did just buy a job lot of Chess 45s. It never ends.
What was the first song you learned to play?
Something by The Stone Roses or The LA’s probably.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson. Probably my favourite writer.
What are your thoughts on the Burbs?
The greatest movie ever made! It’s got everything: small town paranoia, love, friendship, B-Movie horror, eerie horror, Vietnam vets. I could go on. In fact I could recite the whole script if I was with my brothers.
Give us five films to watch.
King of Comedy
What is the weirdest gig you ever played?
There’ve been too many. We did a corporate gig once in Paris. To a load of Prozac billionaires or whatever. We didn’t really go over. We were in our Krautrock period and they were in blazers and jeans. I think they meant to book The Coors.
Who (dead or alive) would you most like to have a jam with?
Erm. You know, Bob Marley, Bill Shankly. Lennon. Elvis, Sinatra. You know where I’m going with this…
Who would you hate to be stuck in a lift with?
A man who lives above my local off licence called Gluvver.
What did you dream last night?
I keep waking up dreaming I’m choking to death. Haha. Seriously.
What would your autobiography be called?
‘From Showman to Shamen’.