For All The Fucked-Up Children of This World
By Peter Kember.
Erik Morse, Dreamweapon, Omnibus Press, March 2004
My reaction to hearing that Dreamweapon was being written was that it was the third person who’d wanted to write such a book, but I could tell Erik was serious from the start. Knowing that he’s a protegé of Victor Bokris gave me enough faith in the project to help him as much as possible. I think Erik has got to grips with Spacemen 3’s influences and sound, though while much of it is his own interpretation, he’s been very thorough in his research.
Certain embittered ex-members would have you believe that I’m somewhere twixt Hitler and Genghis Khan, but Erik, I think, recognised that there needed to a driving force, giving direction and that many of the roles I took on early on for necessity, management for instance, were thankless tasks. But readers will have their own interpretations.
Erik uncovered some unpalatable opinions during the course of his research — many showed their true colours — how can you work with and pretend to be friends with someone who you later dismiss as a talent-less dictator? Having read these sort of books before, I’m well aware of the whingings and bitterness of minor members of bands, who are always the “over-looked” talent, they claim. That said, it’s a very well-researched book.
Dreamweapon was originally intended to be a Spiritualized book, until Erik realised that Jason wasn’t a person with much to say. He’d be the first to complain that Spacemen 3 was very much based around my ideas and manifesto. Some think that Spiritualized’s new sound and the re-emergence of interest in Spacemen 3 from many of the newer bands, is something of a reawakening of interest in S3. I saw Jason live in LA on the tour, it was less rocky than Spacemen days, with 10 people on stage. It was OK, but not a patch on what we were capable of. I sent Jason a note — a peace offering with my new email, phone and address — but nothing so far. I would actually very much like to work with him again. We were kids, expected to be adults. We fucked up. I think there was good chemistry between us musically — I don’t think it’s gone anywhere.
Anyhow, read the book.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Peter Kember (AKA Sonic Boom) lives in Rugby, England and has performed in Spacemen 3, Spectrum and solo as Sonic Boom, as well as stints in Stereolab and Yo La Tengo. His website is here, where his records and merchandise can be obtained.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Saturday, April 10th, 2004.