"Think you're the Artful Dodger..."

Georgie Porgie

Jack and the Beanstalk

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Title: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Author: Maya Angelou
First published: 1969
Related work: John Squire, Time Changes Everything

'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou's first work of literature, the autobiographical 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', reflects the essence of her struggle to overcome the restrictions that were placed upon her in a hostile environment. Writing with a twist of lyrical imagery combined with a touch of realism, the work explores her isolation and loneliness and the attributes of her character that helped her cope with the prejudices of society. Quite graphic in nature, the text deals with issues of childhood, rape, racism, and sexism.

When the Wind Blows

A Happy Death

Title: A Happy Death
Author: Albert Camus
First published: Written between 1936 and 1938 and published posthumously in 1971.
Related work: Referenced by The Stone Roses in a 1989 Melody Maker interview.

'A Happy Death' by Albert Camus.

In a Melody Maker feature from 1989, The Stone Roses list 'The Fall' and 'A Happy Death' by Albert Camus among their reading material. Camus also was among Ian's reading material during his stay at Strangeway's prison. The existentialist topic of this first novel by Camus is the "will to happiness", the conscious creation of one's happiness, and the need of time (and money) to achieve this. The author draws from memories such as his job at the maritime commission in Algiers, his tuberculosis, and travels in Europe. It is the precursor to his most famous work, 'The Stranger', published in 1942.

The Fall

Title: The Fall
Author: Albert Camus
First published: 1956
Related work: Referenced by The Stone Roses in a 1989 Melody Maker interview.

'The Fall' by Albert Camus.

Camus' last complete work of fiction is set in Amsterdam and consists of a series of monologues by the self-proclaimed "judge-penitent" Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life to a stranger. In what amounts to a confession, Clamence tells of his success as a wealthy Parisian defense lawyer who was highly respected by his colleagues; his crisis, and his ultimate "fall" from grace, which is meant to invoke, in secular terms, The Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. The post-punk band The Fall take their name from this novel.

The Naked Civil Servant

Title: The Naked Civil Servant
Author: Quentin Crisp
First published: 1968
Related work: Referenced by Ian Brown in a Sounds interview, 12th August 1989.

'The Naked Civil Servant' by Quentin Crisp.

The Naked Civil Servant is the first volume of autobiography by Quentin Crisp, which brought to the attention of the general public his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.

Hammer of the Gods

Title: Hammer of the Gods
Author: Stephen Davis
First published: 1985
Related work: John Squire can be seen reading this in the bath in the first Love Spreads video.

'Hammer of the Gods' by Stephen Davis.

John Squire can be seen reading this Led Zeppelin biography in the bath in the first Love Spreads video.

John Squire reading Hammer of the Gods, Love Spreads video.

The Society of the Spectacle

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Title: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Author: Jared Diamond
First published: 1997
Related work: The Stone Roses, Straight To The Man

'Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies' by Jared Diamond.

An article in The Independent on 8th October 2004 lists this work among Ian Brown's reading material on colonialism. The book attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations (including North Africa) have survived and conquered others, while arguing against the idea that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral or inherent genetic superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians (for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases), he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures, and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.

Oliver Twist

Title: Oliver Twist
Author: Charles Dickens
First published: 1838
Related work: The Stone Roses, Just A Little Bit

'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens.

Just A Little Bit casts a critical eye on the social defeatism of those who do nothing with their lives ("You're too busy doing nothing"), in the context of Oliver Twist. The song is a stinging commentary on those in society who harbor a "poverty-as-romance" mentality.

"Hand after handout / Where's your self-respect ?" relates to a famous moment in the text, when Mr Bumble, a parish beadle, exclaims "Oliver Twist has asked for more !", at the boy's request for more food:

Desiring to get rid of Oliver, the board offers a sum of money to any person wishing to take on the boy as an apprentice. Mr Sowerberry, an undertaker employed by the parish, eventually takes Oliver into his service. After maltreatment, Oliver flees, and encounters Jack Dawkins (also known as the Artful Dodger), who leads him to London, to the lair of an elderly criminal trainer named Fagin. Oliver resides with Fagin and his gang of juvenile pickpockets for some time, naively unaware of their unlawful activities. The following verse of Just A Little Bit highlights the precarious relationship between these two new-found characters in Oliver's life:

Fagin would often ask the Artful Dodger to 'dodge' for him (a dodge is a con or trick). The Artful Dodger is a pickpocket, so called for his skill and cunning in that respect. The leader of the gang of child criminals, Dodger likes to impress Oliver with stories and tricks ("Where's your magic now ?"). Oliver had been sleeping on the streets when he was found by the Artful Dodger. Upon arrival at Fagin's home, Fagin tells the Artful Dodger to run a bath for Oliver:

The above passage underlines how susceptible Fagin's underlings are to ruin; the fruits of Fagin's thievery feed, wash and clothe the Artful Dodger, Oliver and the others, and he could 'pull the plug' on them at any given time; none, not even his most aspiring pupil, the Artful Dodger, would escape the ensuing swirl into oblivion.

Oliver Twist is Dickens's tale of childhood innocence beset by evil, depicting the dark criminal underworld of London. An early example of the social novel, the book calls the public's attention to various contemporary ills, including child labour, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children.

In an NME Q & A session from Christmas 1997, Ian Brown names Oliver! (1968) as his favourite Christmas film.

Stone Junction

Title: Stone Junction
Author: Jim Dodge
First published: 1990
Related work: Several John Squire artworks from 2006 take their name from passages of this novel.




Top row: Stone Junction front cover, 'Omnivorously' and 'Shamus And The U-235'.
Second row: 'Her First Punch', 'It's Your Best Shot At Sanity Man' and 'Annalee Faro Pearse'.
Bottom row: 'Outlaws', 'Only Do Wrong When You Feel It's Right' and 'Johnny Seven Moons And The Golden Gate'.

A number of John Squire artworks from 2006 are named after characters and dialogue from 'Stone Junction' by Jim Dodge.

Stone Junction is the story of a boy, Daniel Pearse, on his journey to adulthood amid magic, mayhem and mysticism, all guided by a mysterious organisation named AMO, the Alliance of Magicians and Outlaws. A series of apprenticeships teaches Daniel meditation, safecracking, poker, and the art of becoming invisible. Opening with his mother's roundhouse right to a nun's jaw, the novel is a modern odyssey of one man's quest for knowledge and understanding in a world where revenge, betrayal, revolution, mind-bending chemicals, magic and murder are the norm.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Title: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank
First published: 1947
Related work: The Seahorses track Sale Of The Century references Anne Frank's diary.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.

Anne Frank was a European Jewish girl who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Anne was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933, after the Nazis gained power in Germany. However, she and her family were trapped when the Nazi occupation extended into the Netherlands. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank's office building. After two years in hiding, the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Anne died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp within days of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father, Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war ended, to find that her diary had been saved and he subsequently acted to have it published. The diary, given to Anne Frank on her thirteenth birthday, chronicles her life from 12th June 1942 until 1st August 1944. It was eventually translated from its original Dutch into many languages and became one of the world's most widely read books.

Bearing the Cross

Title: Bearing the Cross
Author: David J. Garrow
First published: 1986
Related work: The Stone Roses, Daybreak

Bearing the Cross by David J. Garrow.

Winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for biography, Bearing the Cross is a seminal examination of the civil rights activist. The author interviews all of King's closest surviving associates and creates a powerful portrait of the man, and movement for which he dedicated himself.

Brighton Rock

The Pearl Bastard

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

A Brief History of Time

Title: A Brief History of Time
Author: Stephen Hawking
First published: 1988
Related work: Ian Brown can be seen reading this book in the 2004 film, 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology, including the Big Bang, black holes, light cones and superstring theory, to the nonspecialist reader. Ian Brown can be seen reading this work in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'. The book can also be seen in films such as 'Addams Family Values' (1993) and 'Donnie Darko' (2001).

The Road to Serfdom

Title: The Road to Serfdom
Author: Friedrich August Hayek
First published: 1944
Related work: A John Squire artwork from 2008 is named after this book.

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich August Hayek.

A John Squire artwork from 2008, 'The Road to Serfdom', is named after a Friedrich Hayek book of that title. In the work, the Austrian-born economist and philosopher warns of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning, arguing that the abandonment of individualism, liberalism, and freedom inevitably leads to socialist or fascist oppression and tyranny, and the serfdom of the individual. Significantly, Hayek challenged the general view among British academics that fascism was a capitalist reaction against socialism, instead arguing that fascism and socialism had common roots in central economic planning and the power of the state over the individual. The Road to Serfdom is among the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism and libertarianism, and has had a significant impact on twentieth century economic and political discourse.

Top: 'The Road to Serfdom' (Oil, pencil and oil pastel on Board, 33" x 24"), a 2008 artwork by John Squire.
Middle: 'Very Large Turner' (2008) by John Squire. For his 2008 'Noise' series, Squire recorded conversations on buses, in cafes, on the street, from TV and the radio, which were then transcribed and scrawled over Turner-esque canvases. Some words are painted in contrasting colours and leap out, while some are illegible due to the style, volume and blend of text; in other works, the use of text is sparing, gouged deep into the thickness of the paint. J. M. W. Turner (1775 - 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting. He is commonly known as "the painter of light", and his work regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism.
Bottom: 'Rough Sea with Wreckage' (c. 1840 - 5) by Turner.

How to be Free

Title: How to be Free
Author: Tom Hodgkinson
First published: 2006
Related work: Ian Brown bought this book in January 2007.

How to be Free by Tom Hodgkinson.

Ian Brown enquired specifically about this book in a London bookstore on Monday 8th January 2007. Mark Farley dealt with his enquiry, finding him a copy in the shop. Here is the synopsis for the book:

Brave New World

Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
First published: 1932
Related work: John Squire, Cape Cod Morning

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Set in London in the 26th century, this dystopian novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, eugenics and hypnopaedia that combine to change society. The world it describes could also be a utopia, albeit an ironic one: Humanity is carefree, healthy and technologically advanced. Warfare and poverty have been eliminated and everyone is permanently happy. The irony is that all of these things have been achieved by eliminating many things people currently derive happiness from - family, cultural diversity, art, literature, science, religion and philosophy. It is also a hedonistic society, deriving pleasure from promiscuous sex and drug use.

The Doors of Perception

Title: The Doors of Perception
Author: Aldous Huxley
First published: 1954
Related work: John Squire, Joe Louis

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley.

The lyric from Joe Louis, "How does it feel to be... Joe Louis ?" comes from 'The Doors of Perception' by Aldous Huxley. In this work, Huxley explores the idea that the human mind filters reality, partly because handling the details of all of the impressions and images coming in would be unbearable, partly because it has been taught to do so. He believes that psychotropic drugs can disable this filter, and open the "doors of perception". He observed that, when taking mescaline, everyday objects lose their functionality and suddenly exist "as such". Space and dimension become irrelevant, and perceptions seem to be enlarged and at times even overwhelming. Huxley was a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use in a search for enlightenment, famously taking 100 micrograms of LSD as he lay dying. The title - Jim Morrison's inspiration for the name The Doors - comes from William Blake's 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell':

Blake's work describes the poet's visit to Hell, a literary device adopted from Dante's 'Inferno' and Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. It was composed in London between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. Joe Louis has identifiable elements of both Dante's 'Inferno' and the French Revolution.

The Anarchists


Title: Moby-Dick
Author: Herman Melville
First published: 1851
Related work: John Squire, Home Sweet Home

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

"Ishmael's whale" is from Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, a novel often considered the epitome of American Romanticism. It is the story of the ill-fated voyage of the whaling ship, Pequod, to find and destroy the eponymous white whale, driven by the obsessive Captain Ahab. The narrator's reflections, along with complex descriptions of the gruelling work of whaling, and personalities of his shipmates, are woven into a profound meditation on hubris, providence, nature, society, and the human struggle for meaning, happiness, and salvation. Ishmael is the name the narrator takes for himself (the opening line of the book - "Call me Ishmael" - is one of the most famous in American literature). A newcomer to whaling, Ishmael is, at the end of the novel, the only witness alive to tell the tale. "There she blows" is the traditional nautical hail of the lookout in a whaler when sighting the spouting water thrown up by a whale surfacing. Squire has taken this from chapter 47 of the novel:

The Led Zeppelin instrumental 'Moby Dick' takes its name from the Melville novel.

A John Squire artwork from 2008 is entitled 'Grey Imperfect Misty Dawn' (encaustic and silk on canvas, 24" x 39"). This is taken from the beginning of Chapter 21 ('Going Aboard') of Moby-Dick: 'It was nearly six o'clock, but only grey imperfect misty dawn, when we drew nigh the wharf.'

The Women's History of the World

The Scramble for Africa

Title: The Scramble for Africa
Author: Thomas Pakenham
First published: 1990
Related work: The Stone Roses, Straight To The Man

The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Pakenham.

In a Q & A session with a North-West paper (8th February 2000), Ian Brown mentioned this Thomas Pakenham book as being among his reading material in Strangeways prison. In this work, Pakenham details the frantic scramble among European great powers to secure effective control over the landmasses they had divided among themselves on paper. Still ruled by Africans in 1880 and barely explored, by 1902 five European powers (Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy) had grabbed almost the entire continent, establishing 30 new colonies and protectorates, spanning 10 million square miles of land.


Ian Brown in Japan, October 1989.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J. K. Rowling
First published: 1999
Related work: Ian Brown's cameo appearance in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling.

J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban', the third in the Harry Potter series, was bedtime reading for Ian and his son Emilio. Ian is good friends with the movie's Mexican director, Alfonso Cuarón, and this friendship led to his cameo appearance in the 2004 film adaption of the book. He appears as a wizard in The Leaky Cauldron, reading Stephen Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time'.

Ian Brown in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Title: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Author: William Shakespeare
First published: 1603
Related work: The name of Reni's post-Roses project, The Rub.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare.

The name of Reni's band 'The Rub' is from Prince Hamlet's soliloquy in Act Three, Scene One of Shakespeare's Hamlet:

The 'rub' is a problem or difficulty - in this case, to his committing suicide; the term comes from lawn bowling, where the 'rub' is any obstacle, usually uneven ground, that pushes the ball off course.

The Revolution of Everyday Life

Title: The Revolution of Everyday Life
Author: Raoul Vaneigem
First published: 1967
Related work: Ian Brown, Corpses In Their Mouths

The Revolution of Everyday Life by Raoul Vaneigem.

Ian Brown's Corpses In Their Mouths takes its name from a passage of this book. For information on the Situationist movement, see Bye Bye Badman.

Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood


Penguin launched its Decades series in April 2010, with five choice titles from the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and '80s reissued with new artwork. John Squire designed the 1980s selection, under the direction of Penguin's Jim Stoddart.




Top row: The original paperback for 'Paradise Postponed' (left). 'Paradise Postponed' (middle) and 'An Ice-Cream War' (right), featuring John Squire's design.
Second row: 'Hawksmoor' (left), 'A Month in the Country' (middle) and 'Latecomers' (right), featuring John Squire's design. Most of these designs featured already existing Squire artworks, unconnected with the books. The cover of 'Hawksmoor' stylistically stems from 'Clothes Shoes Hair Luggage' (encaustic on board, 23.5" x 33", third row), which featured in the 2008 'Noise' series. The cover of 'An Ice-Cream War' is taken from the John Squire artwork, 'Bathers' (fourth row), which featured in the 2009 'Apertures' series. The 'Apertures' series of artworks were based on the after-image, the visual after-effect produced by focusing on an object and then looking at a blank surface. It usually appears in a colour complementary to the original and obeys Emmert's Law to the effect that its apparent size varies in direct proportion to the apparent distance of the surface against which it is cast. Finally, the cover of 'Latecomers' evolved into 'In A Silent Way' (oil on canvas, 34" x 24", bottom row), which featured in the 2010 'Nefertiti' series. The front cover of 'Hawksmoor' features snippets from the novel. Identifiable pieces of text include: "That Architecture aims at Eternity and must contain the Eternal Powers: not only our Altars and Sacrifices, but the Forms of our Temples, must be mysticall."; "Sin is a Substance and not a Quality, and it is communicated from parents to children."; "...so I walked with all speed up Whitehall and turned into the Strand, and for all this space I could hear the sound of Heels following me."; "And this Image was drawn in my Mind: Mr Hayes, the maggot-headed Rogue and no good Surveyour and writer of Letters that threaten me..."; "Two days before, some Report of our Activities was spread abroad, and thereupon a Riot was raised among the Streets by our Meeting-House..."; "When my Name is no more than Dust, and my Passions which now heat this small Room are cooled for ever, when this Age itself is for succeeding Generations nothing but a Dreem, my Churches will live on, darker and more solid than the approaching Night." (note: the word 'dust' in this text is altered and blurred on the 'Hawksmoor' cover, such that it reads 'dirt').

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