Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Highgate Cemetery

"Come and be buried with me, up in Highgate Cemetery ..." Roy Harper's Highgate Cemetery is a suitably spooky number. I am sure I remember reading somewhere it was inspired by a couple of nights Roy and some mates spent there, having sneaked in to explore the overgrown sections where the weeds and tangled vines hid the tombs, catacombs, sepulchres and statues. Not my idea of fun, but each to their own. Didn't Morrissey and Devoto have a bit of a thing for days out in cemeteries with their cheese and pickle sandwiches? Highgate is one of the more striking examples, and I do like the idea that it's home to Karl Marx and Max Wall. Highgate Cemetery, the song, appeared on Roy's second LP, Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith, from 1967. It featured a couple of other London songs too, in Freak Street and Ageing Raver. The previous year's Sophisticated Beggar debut had appeared on the London independent Strike, and was produced by one of my heroes Pierre Tubbs. Among the many things Pierre has given us is Right Back Where We Started From by Maxine Nightingale, a north London girl herself. Pierre's co-writer on that was J. Vincent Edwards, a great singer himself ...


  1. Didn't Pierre Tubbs also have something to do with J.J. Jackson's(and Pretty Thing's) "Come See Me"?!

  2. He did yeah. He co-wrote it with JJ. And the other side But It's Alright. His is a fascinating story.