Edward Barton Unofficial Web Page: Articles / Interviews
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12th November 1988
EDDY IS miserably depressed, his brow so deeply furrowed you could plant wheat in it. "People are more interested in my Teddy bears than in my records."
There are queues outside Edward Barton's squat. "They want to see my collection of children's shoes and babies' dummies, my cake sculptures and my wooden throne . . . but nobody, nobody ever asks about my songs!"
Eddy is a poet as sad and affecting and ridiculous as his own rhymes. "'Eccentric', 'mad', 'weird' . . . it's boring." These are the adjectives that will follow him to his grave. "I've measured myself against other people, stood next to them and asked: 'Am I madder than you, mate?' I've decided no, I'm probably not."
So, to shift public attention from his personal life to his music, Edward has grown a big, red beard, refuses to answer the front door and has formed a record label, Wooden. "Nobody else who has a record label wanted me on it..and anyway, being on someone else's label is likestaying at their house too long."
Unwelcoming and unwelcome, friendless Edward turned to his brother, Pin, forfinancial support. Pin is a secondhand jean tycoon. "He's a lovely man."
Through Wooden, you can now buy 'Barber Barber Z Bend', by Eddy himself, or 'Slap Belly Slap', by Slap, Edward's 'dance project' with the band called Chapter.
In the new year, an urban wood nymph called Jean will offer her version of Barton's 'I've Got No Chickens'. And then there'll be the compilation album, a hundred quite famous but unnamed stars giving renditions of their favourite Ed Barton classics.
"Eddy gave me a tape of a song he wants me to cover," confided James' Tim Booth, "but I can't work out the melody. I'll have to make it up."
Edward, isn't this vanity publishing? "People out here really need my records," says Edward, pulling lice from his beard. He's an obstinate old fart.
[Author: Mike West]