Steven Wilson was a highly unusual man in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year. For another, he really wanted to do his Prog homework, but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a Prog God.
It was nearly midnight, and he was lying on his front in bed, the blankets drawn right over his head like a tent, a torch in one hand and a large leather-bound book (Citizens Of Hope And Glory – The Story Of Progressive Rock by Stephen Lambe) propped open against a pillow. Steven moved the tip of his eagle-feather quill down the page, frowning as he looked for something that would help him write his essay, ‘Cape-wearing in the 1970s was essential – discuss’.
The quill paused at the top of a likely-looking paragraph. Steven pushed his round glasses up his nose, moved his torch closer to the book, and was then distracted by an advert in Prog Magazine for the Esoteric Showcase at The Borderline featuring Matt Stevens, Sanguine Hum and Tin Spirits.
Which is almost certainly how Steven Wilson came to be at The Borderline last Friday evening, and how I came to take advantage of the fact that I was wearing my new Cardiacs tshirt by having my photo taken with him (by the very lovely Catherine Wightwick) so that I could write this blog and publicise the event which is shown on the tshirt.
Some of you may have heard of the Cardiacs. Frankly, all of you should have. I first encountered them in December 1984 when many of my fellow Marillion fans tried to boo them off the stage at the Hammersmith Odeon, prompting Fish to come on to rightly berate the fans who could not understand they were in the presence of genius. Much of that genius was a guy called Tim Smith, who sadly suffered a severe stroke in 2008. Since then a number of events have taken place to raise funds for Tim, who is at present unable to do many of the things we all take for granted. One of those events was the release of the tribute compilation album Leader Of The Starry Skies, to which Steven Wilson contributed the track Stoneage Dinosaurs, originally from the mini-album Big Ship by the Cardiacs.
And I must thank Steven Wilson for being so willing in allowing me to have a photo opportunity with him to publicise the latest of these fund-raising events, the Wing Walk For Tim, a mad endeavour by Deborah Lewis, who on 27 July 2013 at Membury Airfield, Lambourn, Berkshire will be strapped to the top of a plane and flown around through steep climbs and drops for 10 minutes. Which I would suggest is 10 minutes too long, and has to be worth £10 of your money. You can read more about it here.
All money raised will go to Tim Smith and you can make a donation by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you could always buy one of the tshirts as seen with Steven Wilson for only £15…just go to the event page to order one, or email Deborah.