SNIFFERDOG: the backstory
Within months of moving to London, in 1967 John Mister found himself at the heart of that Summer of love’s music scene. He was at all the early recording sessions of Tyrannosaurus Rex, and credited (under the alias Horace Parkin) with providing ‘Sunlight’ on their first album (Marc Bolan thought the name John Mister too straight for an album called ‘My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair, But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brow’). He was later to discover his too straight name being celebrated on the T. Rex song Mister Mister.
In 1973, after film school, screen immortality arrived for Mister Mister with a bucket on its head. In a 6 frame cutaway, he had his throat ripped out by a killer rabbit in one of the most successful British comedies of all time - Monty Python and the Holy Grail - but from that career high it was downhill all the way into what sometimes seemed like an endless routine of film editing.
Persuaded by Charlie Gillett in 1979 to get some recognition for the songs he’d been writing since his teens, he put together a band (featuring the great Roy Dodds on drums and the soon-to-be superstar producer Robin Millar on guitar) and began performing.
But as it became obvious that extreme stage fright was a perfect recipe for a drug addled and miserable future, he fell back into the day job.
Subsequently whenever he was editing (rock videos for everyone from Madness and Madonna to Thomas Dolby and Ryuichi Sakamoto, and award winning documentaries for Nick Broomfield, Kim Longinotto, Saul Dibb, Laura Fairrie, Sarah McCarthy and many long suffering others) he could routinely be heard whimpering, “but I don’t want to be cutting films - I just want to SING!”
It was only a bout with Lymphoma in 2017, and having his life saved by the angels in the haematology department at UCLH, which persuaded him finally to get back to the terrifying business of performing. He launched the album The Strange Ways Of Love with a benefit gig for UCLH in 2018.
15 years in the making The Strange Ways Of Love is a collection of ten songs, produced by Roy Dodds with a full supporting cast of fabulous musicians, including Cameron Louis Warren, Tyrena Agyemang, Vashti Gleave, Graham Henderson, and Hugh Burns, and featuring the illustrations of Rufus Dexter.
Physical copies of The Strange Ways Of Love can be obtained for £10 plus postage (all proceeds going to Haematology Cancer Care) from firstname.lastname@example.org
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