From: Steve Novak (Cinefrog@comcast.net)
Date: 25 Jun 2009

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    It is with profound sadness that I read this morning the passing of Swells aka Steven Wells, journalist, polemicist, slayer of all things, iconoclast, and wonderful writer & critic... Inasmuch some crime-noir writers have travelled with rock, punk, concerts, cd¹s and all, some music critics have carried on the rebel yell themselves.. Steven Wells was one of those and his columns from early NME to Guardian and Philadelphia Weekly were always prime reading time...We will miss him much... A great great voice is smiling at us from above now, pint in hand I hope...

    Montois de Détroit

    Here is his last one: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/in-extremis/Steven-Wells- Says-Goodbye-49054426.html

    Steven Wells Says Goodbye His final column.

    By Steven Wells Add Comment|Comments: 12 |Posted Jun. 25, 2009

    Editor's note: Our friend and colleague Steven Wells died Tuesday of the cancer he had documented so well in two cover stories for Philadelphia Weekly. On June 14, he submitted this column.

    Why is it that the people with the most profound stuff to say are also those who are the least capable of being able to express that profundity?

    I am talking about us. The mutoids. The abyss starers. The already organ-bagged cancer boys. While we are in some mere state of deterioration, our ability to comment is still possible. It might even be occasionally interesting. Certainly every writer who has ever contracted cancer has thought so. We can make cancer jokes. Existentialist jokes, even. The world is ours!

    But then as one nudges closer to the edge, in the eye of the tiger storm
    (Tiger Storm, quite possibly the worst line and the best band name ever written), one is more inclined to shit oneself (literally and figuratively) than to throw shit at the system. Which is wrong and weak and lazy but kind of understandable. As is my wife¹s fury this morning upon her discovery that a pair of pre-adolescent oiks destroyed a 95 percent-completed jigsaw puzzle
    (of cats) in the family waiting room. Even as her own dear husband was having his savagely jigsawed abdomen dressed in a hospital room but two doors away.

    But life isn¹t that banal or that stupid. Life isn¹t about grit and grime and squalor. Life is getting angry at destroyed cat jigsaws. Life is the amazement at seeing the Vanity Fair title erupt as a scarlet mohawk-cum-quiff across a dainty Johnny Depp¹s forehead, and the drooling anticipation of watching a Brian McManus-recommended terror-comedy on my computer later tonight. And of course the sight of tireless, tie-less and tire-burning liberal rioters taking to the streets of Tehran.

    I speak as someone whose greatest craving at this exact moment is not world peace and universal democracy or a rational and global redistribution of wealth, but a can of ice cold ginger ale.

    And of course all this bollocks is written by an idiot who has polished his image as an existentialist, atheist hard-man and anti-mope, forever sneering at the tribes who wallow in self-pity -- the gothers, the emo kids, the Smiths fans -- the whole 900-block-wide marching band composed entirely of the white male urban middle classes who are convinced that (as the most affluent and pampered human beings who have ever walked the planet) theirs is a story worth hearing. Blissfully unaware that they are but a few generations away from regular visits to the doctor who would wind parasitic worms from their beer bloated assholes using sticks. (Check out the AMA logos, those smiling beasts are not snakes).

    You could blame this fallacy on poor education, cultural deterioration, or simple moral decline.

    Me? I blame it on sunshine. I blame it on the moonlight. I blame it on the boogie.

    Here¹s the wicki on him:

    Steven Wells (1960­23 June 2009) was a British journalist and author, latterly based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Born in Swindon, England in 1960, Wells moved to the northern English city of Bradford with his family in 1968. Leaving school with minimal qualifications in 1977, Wells worked in a factory and as a bus conductor while becoming involved with punk music, including the radical socialist Leeds art-punk band The Mekons. In 1984, he began appearing as a punk poet and stand-up as a support act to various Northern punk bands, such as The Fall, The Mekons, Gang of Four along with fellow ranting poets Attila The Stockbroker, Swift Nick and Porky The Poet where he performed under the names "Seething Wells", "Swells" or "Susan Williams". In this last guise, in which he would sometimes wear a dress, he received fan mail from Kathy Acker who saw Susan as a fellow radical female writer. Later he moved to London and began to write for the NME, initially under the name Susan Williams. In this guise he championed socialist soul/punk band The Redskins along with American hardcore bands such as Black Flag and the Butthole Surfers. Later on he championed British bands which merged thrash, hardcore and heavy metal, such as Extreme Noise Terror, Napalm Death and the various bands that followed them. He also championed disposable pop artists, such as Daphne and Celeste, as successors to the punk aesthetic. In the 1990s, he diversified, occasionally writing comedy (for shows such as The Day Today) and other non-music related journalism. In 1992, he formed GobTV, a music video directing partnership, with Nick Small. GobTV videos were characterised by extreme visuals, rapid edits, political agenda and humour. GobTV made promos for The Wildhearts, Manic Street Preachers, and Skunk Anansie amongst others and were the top UK directors in 1994 and 1995.[citation needed] The partnership ended in 1996, but the influence of the GobTV style is evident in music video some ten years on.[citation needed] In 1999 he started the Attack! Books publishing house. His debut novel Tits Out Teenage Terror Totty soon followed. His illustrated history Punk: The Stories Behind the Songs (ISBN 1-56025-573-0) was published in 2004. In 2009 he contributed a story to the Love Hotel City anthology (Future Fiction/Creation Books). In later life Wells was active as a sports columnist for The Guardian, FourFourTwo, 90 Minutes, the Quietus music website and the Philadelphia Weekly, and was in the process of writing several books. In June 2006, he wrote in the Philadelphia Weekly about his treatment for lymphatic cancer.[1] He died of the disease on 23 June 2009.[2]

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