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Max Décharné
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message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 19, 2016 09:38AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
A thread to discuss the work of Max Décharné who shares many preoccupations common amongst the Hamiltonian cognoscenti....




Max Décharné is an author, songwriter and musician. He has recorded numerous albums and singles, and eight John Peel Sessions as the singer with The Flaming Stars. A regular contributor to Mojo magazine since 1998, his books include Hardboiled Hollywood: The True Crime Stories that Inspired the Great Noir Films, King's Road, the jive-talk dictionary Straight from the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang, and A Rocket in My Pocket: The Hipster's Guide to Rockabilly Music, a history of rockabilly music (Serpent's Tail 2010). His new book Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang will be published by Serpent's Tail in November 2016.

More about Max's imminent new book Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang...



Slang is the language of pop culture, low culture, street culture, underground movements and secret societies; depending on your point of view, it is a badge of honour, a sign of identity or a dangerous assault on the values of polite society. Of all the vocabularies available to us, slang is the most alive, constantly evolving and - as it leaks into the mainstream and is taken up by all of us - infusing the language with a healthy dose of vitality.Witty, energetic and informative, Vulgar Tongues traces the many routes of slang, beginning with the thieves and prostitutes of Elizabethan London and ending with the present day (where the centuries-old terms rap and hip-hop still survive, though their meanings have changed). On the way, we'll meet Dr Johnson, World War Two flying aces, pickpockets, schoolchildren, hardboiled private eyes, carnival geeks and the many eccentric characters who have tried to record slang throughout its chequered past.If you're curious about flapdragons and ale passion, the changing meanings of punk and geek, or how fly originated on the streets of eighteenth-century London and square in Masonic lodges, this is the book for you.

https://serpentstail.com/vulgar-tongu...


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Impossible for me to be neutral here, as Max is one of my very best friends. I can add, though, that he's working on an article to tie in with the new book, which will run in The Observer either this Sunday or next.

Additionally, there will be a book launch event in London on 4 November, with free admission. Details here...

http://www.thehorsehospital.com/now/v...


message 3: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 19, 2016 08:43AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Thanks Mark. No need to be objective or neutral!

I've got the King's Road book on my shelf ready to read sometime soon. I'l report back.

I notice there's a Flaming Stars gig coming up soon in London. Max Décharné is a busy man at the moment.

Every one of his books looks well worth reading - hopefully I'll get to read them all in the fullness of time.


message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments The Flaming Stars gig, if I remember correctly, is part of a string of gigs honouring the life and work of John Peel.

As far as his books go, you simply can't go wrong -- I've enjoyed each and every one of them.


message 5: by CQM (new)

CQM | 222 comments I'm a little out of touch music wise these days and don't know The Flaming Stars but I was a big Gallon Drunk fan and some of those books do look right up my alley. Might well have to investigate.


message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments The Flaming Stars, if I'm honest, are easily my favourite band as an adult. They sort of take everything I've ever liked about music, and cobbled it all up together. There's elements of Ennio Morricone, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Bad Seeds, surf, rockabilly, Lee Hazelwood, Tindersticks, garage... heaps of influences that don't obviously belong together, but which come together and form something that takes absolutely no time to grow on you.

Besides, you can't really argue with album titles like Bring Me The Rest of Alfredo Garcia...

If you like, CQM, I can cobble together a sort of best-of and upload it here for you to grab and check out. Just let me know...


message 7: by Nigeyb (last edited Oct 19, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
I've only got London After Midnight: Singles, Rarities and Bar Room Floor-Fillers 1995-2005. I say only. It's 42 tracks. Do you think there are any glaring gaps not covered by this comp Mark?

Here's what's on it....

https://www.discogs.com/The-Flaming-S...




message 8: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments That's as solid a comp as one could wish for, really. As far as my ears are concerned, though, they never came up short and there wasn't anything that I'd discount as disposable filler.


message 9: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Thanks Mark. I may have to augment it with a few other bits and pieces. It is splendid.


message 10: by CQM (new)

CQM | 222 comments Mark wrote: "The Flaming Stars, if I'm honest, are easily my favourite band as an adult. They sort of take everything I've ever liked about music, and cobbled it all up together. There's elements of Ennio Morri..."

You haven't mentioned anything I don't like there, indeed you've named three of my all time favourites in the Bad Seeds, Tindersticks and Lee Hazlewood. More than a little partial to a bit of Morricone too. I think I'll definitely have to check them out but don't trouble yourself to cobble anything together. I'm noticing quite a few film titles as their song titles, surely not coincidence?


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments No coincidence there at all... very much influenced and informed by cinema and hardboiled fiction of the pulp variety.


message 12: by CQM (new)

CQM | 222 comments All sounds very good indeed!


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Max has two complete broadsheet pages of today's Observer... Here's the online version which is currently on the front page of the Guardian/ Observer website:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 14: by CQM (new)

CQM | 222 comments “language that takes off its coat, spits on its hands and goes to work” that's a nice quote.


message 15: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Yes it is. Good article too. Should be a good read.


message 16: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments He's never let me down before, so there's no good reason I can think of to not look forward to the new book.


message 17: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Video shot at last night's Flaming Stars gig at The Dublin Castle in London has just been posted online...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJBOq...


message 18: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Thanks Mark. I thoroughly enjoyed watching that.


message 19: by Nigeyb (last edited Dec 03, 2016 05:13AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Max Décharné even wrote the informative introduction to 'Fast One' by Paul Cain.


Is there no end to this man's talents?

Oh, and he likes it a lot...

If there's a better hard boiled novel than 'Fast One' out there, I'm still looking for it


https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...




message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Which edition is that, then? I'll have to scoop up a copy for Max's intro. Is the cover above the edition in question?

And while I'm here, I must put in my strongest recommendation for Max's latest, Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang. I read through in remarkably few sittings, and found it quite worthy of shouting about. Perhaps more than any other books of his, this one is completely shot-through with his own voice, with his own humour and his own passion for the subject matter. Superb and essential, at any cost.


message 21: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Which edition is that, then? I'll have to scoop up a copy for Max's intro. Is the cover above the edition in question?"

Yes indeed. What a magnificent cover it is too eh?

Published by No Exit Press in 2004

I should mention Max's intro is only two pages.


message 22: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "And while I'm here, I must put in my strongest recommendation for Max's latest, 'Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang'. I read through in remarkably few sittings, and found it quite worthy of shouting about. Perhaps more than any other books of his, this one is completely shot-through with his own voice, with his own humour and his own passion for the subject matter. Superb and essential, at any cost. "

I will certainly heed your recommendation Mark. Thanks, as ever.


message 23: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Admittedly, I've hit the age where all minds begin to fill with holes. It's bittersweet. Sometimes liberating, other times frustrating. I have no recollection of Max having done that, but it makes sense, and I'm sure he would have emailed a copy of his short intro to me at the time. I'll have a look before splashing out on another copy of the book.

By the way, Max sent me two links this morning, which I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing here, and which some of you might be interested in checking out. These are done as promotion for his new book, Vulgar Tongues...


BBC RADIO ULSTER The Arts Show
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b083qwr2

It starts at 11 mins 50 seconds, after the interview with the singer from OMD, and runs until 19 mins 30 seconds


Also, GQ magazine posted an excerpt of mine which I got together for them, based on part of my drinks chapter:

http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/...


message 24: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Excellent stuff - thanks again Mark


message 25: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments One more top tip... Max will be featured and interviewed on the BBC6 Cerys Matthews show this Sunday. It should be well worth tuning into, not least of all because Max will be turning up with a stack of records to spin, which were the source of much of the slang covered in the book.


message 26: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Excellent news - I look forward to it


message 27: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Interested parties can now listen back to Max's appearance on yesterday's Cerys Matthews show here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084p0gv

Starts right around the 1:03 mark.


message 28: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Isn't Cerys wonderful? As is Max. Of course.

Enjoyable discussion - thanks Mark


message 29: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Today I got my copy of Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang which I hope to start reading before too long. Hurrah!



Slang is the language of pop culture, low culture, street culture, underground movements and secret societies; depending on your point of view, it is a badge of honour, a sign of identity or a dangerous assault on the values of polite society. Of all the vocabularies available to us, slang is the most alive, constantly evolving and - as it leaks into the mainstream and is taken up by all of us - infusing the language with a healthy dose of vitality.Witty, energetic and informative, Vulgar Tongues traces the many routes of slang, beginning with the thieves and prostitutes of Elizabethan London and ending with the present day (where the centuries-old terms rap and hip-hop still survive, though their meanings have changed). On the way, we'll meet Dr Johnson, World War Two flying aces, pickpockets, schoolchildren, hardboiled private eyes, carnival geeks and the many eccentric characters who have tried to record slang throughout its chequered past.If you're curious about flapdragons and ale passion, the changing meanings of punk and geek, or how fly originated on the streets of eighteenth-century London and square in Masonic lodges, this is the book for you.

https://serpentstail.com/vulgar-tongu...


message 30: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Just 12 pages into 'Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang' and I am already smitten!


message 31: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
I've now finished Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang and it is a supremely enjoyable, informative and rigorously researched trawl through the wonderful world of slang in the company of Max Décharné.

Click here to read my review

Thematic chapters take the entranced reader through the slang history of sex; prostitution; Cockneys, and other regions and countries; homosexuality; criminals; drinkers; drug fiends; music lovers; youth cults and subcultures; music; and the armed forces and services.

If you love language, the changing meaning of words and colourful phrases, wordplay, euphemisms, etc. then Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang is sure to find favour. More so, if the knowledge that, say (and as mentioned above), the word “groovy” was already very old by the time it became common currency in the 1960s, having latterly been a hip jazz term of the 1940s, then rest assured this book will lace your boots, tighten your wig, and quite possibly pad your skull, as it takes you on a global, pan-cultural voyage of discovery. Bravo Max.

Now then, if only someone would write a similarly authoritative tome about Teddy Boys and Girls.


message 32: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Brand new article in The Spectator, by Max...

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/01/d...


message 33: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Great article - thanks Mark


message 34: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments A brand new short film, documenting Max’s band, The Flaming Stars, as they recently played their first-ever Dublin gig.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rr2en...


message 35: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Thanks Mark - I'll settle down and watch that one later


message 36: by Mark (new)

Mark Rubenstein | 1412 comments Something that I’d been working on has been released today, and I think a number of you would been interested. The debut solo album by Max Décharné is released today, and it’s a good’un indeed.

For the uninitiated, here’s Max’s bio...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_D%C...

The album, which sports artwork designed by me, is available digitally via Bandcamp...
https://maxdcharn.bandcamp.com/releases

The aim is for a proper vinyl lp release, through monies raised via the digital purchases.


message 37: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 4031 comments Mod
Thanks Mark - will give that a proper listen tomorrow. A quick skim through the songs suggest it's very fine


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