About Me

Tollesbury, Essex, United Kingdom
I was born in the Summer of 1969 in Dagenham, just on the border of East London. School was largely unproductive but enjoyable, setting me up for something of a wayward but interesting life! On leaving school I had various jobs including putting up stalls at Romford Market, working in a record shop, putting up ceilings, gardening and road sweeping. After resigning from an insurance company to play in a band, I found myself unemployed for two years. Then finally I got back on my feet and I've been a psychiatric nurse since 1997. I wrote A Cleansing of Souls when I was 22 years old and followed it up with Tollesbury Time Forever almost twenty years later. I started writing The Bird That Nobody Sees in September 2011 and it was released in July 2012. In terms of writing, my heroes are Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. I would also include Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits as literary influences. So that's me I guess - scruffy, happy and in love with literary fiction, music and life...

Friday, 14 October 2011

What is it about The Beatles?

I was born in August 1969. John Lennon left The Beatles a month later. I'd like to think my birth had no part to play in the fracturing of the Fab Four.

Simon Anthony, the hero of Tollesbury Time Forever, grew up with The Beatles. He relates the good times of his life with those early, bouyant albums and feels personally betrayed when they split up, unable even to listen to the likes of Revolver or Sergeant Pepper.

Now I was barely a month old when The Beatles split, so why is it that I feel such an afinity to them, to their music and to all they represent? I have thought long about this, during the writing of Tollesbury Time Forever and since. And the conclusion I have arrived at is that during the few short years from their first album to their last (March 1963 to September 1969 - just over 6 years!) they gave us what it is to experience life - from the exuberance of youth through the questioning and confusion of the middle years to the maturing of later life where things come to a natural end. They gave themselves to us, simple as that. In September 1969, John was 28, Paul was 27, George was 26 and Ringo was 29. I can never get over how young they were when it all finished. I qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse when I was 28, the same age as John when the Beatles split. I just can't get my head round it.

So what is it about The Beatles that moves me so? You know, I don't think I can put it into words. I once had a dvd collection of the history of The Beatles. It ran to about eight dvds. And I could never get past the first three. I started watching the fourth, when the divisions between them started to appear and I just felt so sad. Even now I struggle to listen to anything past Help even though I know the music on those later albums is wonderful.

Thinking about it, maybe it is that they represent for me Hope and a belief that Love and Goodness can overcome bitterness and acrimony. And to think for one moment that The Beatles, those purveyors of love and goodness actually succumbed to the very bitterness and acrimony they eschewed in every note and every word, well I just can't consider that for too long.

So as Simon Anthony learns to do eventually, I guess I may sit down and listen to Abbey Road. And if I had a pipe, I would probably light it up...


katsmountfort said...

Great blog, Stu. I feel exactly the same about the Beatles though I was born a little earlier - end of '64. And I know what you mean about those early albums - although logically I see that Revolver was the better album, I love the sheer happiness of A Hard Days Night

Stu Ayris said...

Thanks so much for your kind words Kat. I'm glad I'm not alone! The older I get, the more I think I understand what it is they mean to me. It's a strange old thing how you can feel such emotion over something so intangible - I love certain authors and certain films but there is something about The Beatles that touches me in a different way - something really personal. I guess that's why I made the main character in Tollesbury Time Forever live it out second hand!


Nick Wilford said...

Hi Stu, been looking at your blog and your book sounds intriguing. I think music can be a good theme running through a book - if it's done well it gives it a great resonance, eg Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. Grew up with the Beatles via my dad really, and although I don't listen to them as much now, it's amazing how many songs can be instantly recognised - they've got that universal quality.

Look forward to hearing more about your progress with the book!

Stu Ayris said...

Hi Nick! Thank you so much for reading the Blog and leaving your comment. It really is very kind of you. In terms of the novel, I really appreciate your interest - its the kind of thing that keeps me motivated to persevere with getting it published!



Nick Wilford said...

No problem! Just started up my blog and still getting to grips with the whole thing. Would appreciate it if you took a look. With how difficult it is to get a book into a mainstream publisher, us little people need to give each other all the advice and support we can!

Stu Ayris said...

How right you are Nick!! I've only been doing this for three and a bit weeks but already I feel, despite the rejections, that I'm getting somewhere!! If you email me the link to your blog, I will check it out and put it on my site - any help you need, just give me a shout! Come on the little people!!


Nick Wilford said...

Hi Stu, a link to my blog is on my profile. Don't worry, we have all received countless rejections! I got 12 from agents for my first book and 3 non responses - don't let that put you off though. My problem was I never got feedback for it, and I think that's the best thing you can get. Always learning!