Ben Graham is a poet, music journalist, cultural historian, author and performer. His most recent work is A Gathering of Promises: The Battle for Texas’s Psychedelic Music, from the 13th Floor Elevators to the Black Angels and Beyond (Zero Books, 2015). Two years in the making, this account of the rise of Texan psychedelic rock in the 1960s was launched at the Levitation Festival in Austin in May 2015, which saw the legendary 13th Floor Elevators play a one-off 50th anniversary reunion show, and has received acclaim from Uncut, The Wire, Record Collector and Caught By The River, among other publications. Excerpts have appeared on the Quietus website, in Shindig magazine and in Optical Sounds fanzine.
Ben Graham writes regularly for the Quietus and is an occasional contributor to Shindig and other publications. He previously wrote for the Stool Pigeon music paper and was a contributing regional editor for The Fly magazine. He has self-published two autobiographical novels, Nowhere to Go (2010) and We Are The Bad Rabbits And We Shall Overcome (2011). In the late nineties his first short story was featured in the notorious ‘chemical generation’ anthology Disco Biscuits, where he was the only previously unpublished author to feature alongside the likes of Irvine Welsh, Martin Millar, Alex Garland, Alan Warner, etc.
Around the same time Ben began writing and performing poetry, having previously written and sung for local rock bands in his native West Yorkshire. On moving south to Brighton he began publishing his work in DIY pamphlet form, staying true to his roots as a schoolboy fanzine editor. He was a regular reader at popular London literary nights like the Book Club Boutique, Beat and Thisisnotabar, and co-hosted the Brighton poetry-art-music salon Everybody’s Got To Be Somewhere, with Gary Goodman and Anthony Murphy. Ben still reads regularly in Brighton and elsewhere and has forged close links with the local experimental music / Discordian chaos community, with whom he sometimes collaborates.
Later this year Supernova Books will publish ‘Counterculture UK: a Celebration’ which includes Ben’s lengthy if selective history of British underground literature, ‘Blast and Bless.’ The photo above is quite old.