Johnny Brewton introduced me to Billy Childish.
Billy Childish is a musician/poet/artist. And, instead of writing something up here on my own, I took this straight from his website; check it out, as you can buy great stuff directly from Billy:
“A cult figure in America, Europe and Japan, Billy Childish is by far the most prolific painter, poet, and song-writer of his generation. In a twenty year period he has published 30 collections of his poetry, recorded over 70 full-length independent LP’s and produced over 1000 paintings.
Born in 1959 in Chatham, Kent. Billy Childish left Secondary education at 16 an undiagnosed dyslexic. Refused an interview at the local art school he entered the Naval Dockyard at Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. During the following six months (the artist’s only prolonged period of employment), he produced some six hundred drawings in ‘the tea huts of hell. On the basis of this work he was accepted into St Martin’s School of Art to study painting. However, his acceptance was short-lived and before completing the course he was expelled for his outspokenness and unorthodox working methods. With no qualifications and no job prospects Childish then spent some 12 years ‘painting on the dole’, developing his own highly personal writing style and producing his art independently.
My name is Billy Childish. I was diagnosed dyslexic when I was 28.
I have published 30 collections of poetry and 2 novels. I have made about 100 independent LP records and painted over 2000 paintings. When I was 17 I had a bank account under the name of Kurt Schwitters. I lived on the dole for 15 years.
I am self taught.
I do not like fashion culture.
I do not hate anyone.”
Billy created the woodcuts for Barry Gifford’s The Strangest One of All. Every woodcut is the same subject — William S. Burroughs — the subject of Barry’ s book.
There’s a single woodcut of WSB peering through the die-cut window on the cover of the chappie; and, if you have the edition of 26 lettered copies, you got two bonus woodcuts of WSB, all wrapped up in a nice manila envelope.
Billy fondly calls William Burroughs “the old duffer”; I think that’s pretty funny.