October 25, 2011

AUDIO: Derek Raymond on le train noir


A black train.

The brief selection of audio we have today comes once again from the series of interviews done by Cathi Unsworth (Bad Penny Blues, The Singer) on her former “Dark End of The Street” program. In today’s interview, Cathi is talking with Welsh author and critic John Williams (Into The Badlands, Cardiff Dead), who became a great friend of Derek Raymond after meeting him on the famous Grenoble “crime train” which was taking an impressive collection of European and American writers to a crime convention.

The Coach and Horses aka The Office of Derek Raymond.

The clip is short, but illustrates the gravity with which Derek Raymond influenced his contemporaries. One of the obscurities to be heard in this clip is a reference to Raymond’s office in SoHo. The Coach and Horses is a legendary pub in which Derek Raymond frequently slaked his thirst. It was also the place where Williams and Raymond formed a lasting friendship. As Raymond’s health failed him he turned to Williams for help. Williams  invited him into his home for his last days and in turn Raymond entrusted his estate to Williams.

And so here is Williams describing to Unsworth what their first meeting was like. Note the sullen James Ellroy, drinking coffee after coffee on a train full of cognac.

John Williams Meets Derek Raymond by MelvilleHouse


Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.