There’s a very nice piece about Michael Moorcock on the New Statesman website, by Andrew Harrison who went to Paris to interview Moorcock and writes,“Before travelling to Paris, I’d asked if there was anything that Moorcock misses from home that I could smuggle in for him. It transpires that the French capital is well stocked with tea bags and Branston pickle. You have not lived until you have presented one of your literary heroes with the contraband he truly desires: four luxury pork pies.”
I can well believe that’s true. And frankly (and I mean this as no criticism) Mr. Moorcock doesn’t look like a man who’s denied himself many pork pies.
I’ve meet Moorcock a couple of times though I’m absolutely certain he wouldn’t know who I am. The first time was in the early 1980s when I was working at the Words & Music bookshop in the Charing Cross Road in London, and he came for a signing. Apparently it had been a long time since he’d last done a signing and the fans were out in numbers, many of them carrying bags and holdalls and even suitcases full of Moorcock books.
In order to make the task go more smoothly the bookshop had supplied him with two bottles of red wine. As I recall they were litre bottles, but I may be misremembering that. In any case he sat at a table for several hours and signed everything put in front of him. Between each signature he took a sip of wine, small enough in itself, but nevertheless by the end of the session he’d polished off both bottles, and was showing no signs of being even slightly tiddly.
The picture above is from 1970, which I found on the website dragonpage.com. And no, I have no idea who the other people around that table are. Still, there’s only one bottle of wine, nobody has a glass, and it really doesn’t look as though Mr. Moorcock’s in the mood for sharing.
The New Statesman piece is here: