Still Life in Forward Motion: A Rock Memoir #0


“Like his mentor, ditch the album and go to the live show. Some artists come alive in the recording studio, yet other artists can turn dull without a crowd to perform to… “

Grows No Moss Magazine, March issue 2001

After that review, James Charlotte a.k.a Charles Snow a.k.a. the lead singer of Raven Snow, couriered a box of wild scattered roses to my desk at GNM Magazine with a death note that read, “bless your heart”. I got the message as loud and clear as one of his decibel smashing sets. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever received from a Rock Star, that prize goes to the wife of a has-been metal head who sent me a fresh turd in a Tiffany box. Manure and Flowers, is the music industry trying to tell me to become a gardener? That got a quick flush down the toilet, and the box was burnt. However, James’ flowers were proudly displayed by my now ex-wife. A constant reminder that I’d never bought her anything as beautiful.

I’ll let James tell you about being King’s protege, the Grammy for Best New Artist (which along with Best Dance Recording, competes for greatest poisoned chalice), escaping from the Lighthouse cult and all the tabloid stuff (or, I’ll tell you myself, as I did help ghostwrite this – cough, cough).

I really got to know James during his time as Head of Marketing at Tartan Lawns Records, where he oversaw King’s mid-2000s comeback, which ultimately was capped off by a glorious rain-soaked Superbowl half-time show. He was savvy and fearsome as a marketer, but also a great guy to have dinner with. It was at this time that we entered into more than just a professional relationship. This was James’ comeback too. Many had written him off after a lackluster show at Glastonbury, and poor sales of his last album. Without this, he very easily could have been a footnote in the story of King’s incredible four decade career.
I’m so pleased that I get to introduce this lovely bloke. The one who just wants to impress his Grandmother and Uncle. Not the enfant terrible of the 90s and 2000s that many would have forgotten were it not for his connection to King.

James is ready to step out from the shadows, and tell his story, once and for all.

Chris Hunter 
Former Music Critic and Editor-At-Large – Grows No Moss Magazine
Freelance Music Critic – Wash Magazine, la tête magazine, Cordial Magazine


It was a bowl of rice that got me. Not a sandwich or the end of a shotgun. I thought I was just getting older and attributed the tiredness and general lack of giving a shit to becoming more mature. I was halfway through teaching a lesson when I had to swallow vomit. But, it didn’t want to stay down, and luckily my student gave me leave to go. I dashed to the toilet and filled it with red wine. I’d vomited blood. A lot of blood. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What do I do now? 

I gingerly crept into my boss’ office. He later told me that I looked like a ghost. I confessed that I’d vomited blood. A call was placed to an ambulance.

I slumped down into an office chair and texted my partner and family that I was going to the hospital. I assured everyone that I was fine (I wasn’t). My Mother wanted to fly to Japan. My partner was going to get in the car and drive up to the city. I thought I’d be at work the next day.

The ambulance turned up later, and I was strapped into a seated gurney. The ambulance called around the different hospitals until they found one that had English speakers. To my shame, despite the fourteen years in Japan, I am still to master the language beyond a few words at the supermarket. My manager rode in the ambulance with me to translate. The nurses interrogated me for an emergency contact in Japan. They wanted a wife. I told them I had a friend outside the city, and gave them my partner’s details. I learned the word “key person” that night. Despite having my friend’s number, they still treated me like a John Doe… if I made it through the night, I knew it was time to finally write my story down. Warts and all.

Go to Part One >>

Note: this is a fictional (well, semi-autobiographical) memoir

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