So on our last show in Lisboa, Portugal, this very cute, colored-hair (can’t remember if it was pink or orange hair) girlish woman that had a riot thing going on, came up next to our tour bus and asked for guest list spots in exchange for 2 copies of her book.
We took the offer and she wrote her (and her man friend’s) name on a piece of paper. It read Karren Ablaze. I saw her during the show because her hair stood out so much. Almost forgot the book inside the bus but managed to put it in my carry on at the last minute. I only had a chance to look at it properly yesterday. Titled “The City is Ablaze!”, the book is an impressive, big, beautifully printed collection of zines (and other special things) she made from the late 80s till mid 90s. It’s been a fantastic, inspirational, melancholic (remember when you could mail a tape and a stamp to a stranger that made zines and they would send a mix back? Oh, those were the times), fun and informative read. It really made me think about people appreciating their place in time and in the world. It’s beautiful to see how proud and how immersed she was/is on the culture of where she was living: Leeds, UK. When people look at their own reality as if it was the best possible, as the place and the time to be, they can absolutely make something outstanding because the reality itself is giving them total happiness and material to be happy with. And that’s what this book has felt like so far. It brought me back to the magical times of outcast childhood: being creative, loving music, having no money in a time without internet and cell phones. Yes!