The Grand National Lobotomy, Including The Last Picasso by John Watts
John Watts’ 34 year career has included 20 albums & 3000 concerts festivals worldwide. His family were singers. He developed his musical career in punk clubs while studying clinical psychology and working in mental hospitals. He and his band Fischer-Z were signed by UA Records alongside The Buzzcocks and the The Stranglers. The band toured Europe and North America with artists such as Bob Marley, The Police and Dire Straits. European success increased exponentially with Red Skies Over Paradise (1981), establishing John Watts as a “political commentator in song.” His first three solo albums included the experimental The Iceberg Model (1983). A second Fischer-Z era included single success, ‘The Perfect Day’ and the political ‘Say No’ single. During this period Watts performed to 167,000 people at a Peace Festival in East Berlin alongside James Brown. He made Destination Paradise (1991) at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios and his next 3 albums continued to highlight some of the darker areas of human exploitation in their lyrics.
He returned solo again with Thirteen Stories High (1997) before producing Bigbeatpoetry (1999) with DJ Ingo Worner – revealing a radical approach combining poetry, prose and song lyrics. His current era of multimedia solo material began with Ether Music & Film (2002), where he travelled internationally in search of random musicians and recorded them in situ on his laptop. Real Life Is Good Enough (2004), included a book of poetry and short stories. His 2010 last solo release Morethanmusic added improvised orchestral cut-ups and a filmic dimension.
The Grand National Lobotomy is a two way book comprising an anthology of poetry and the script of John Watts' play The Last Picasso. The poetry is divided into sections including Life & Death & Philosophy, Up & Away Characters Observed, 10 Poems in a Day; all reflecting John’s sardonic humour. The Last Picasso is the story of a writer resolving things with his daughter before his death. In exchange for helping him, Picasso is allowed to return to earth and create one last great artwork!
More information about John Watts' book, play, music and tour can be found HERE:
Old man pigeon bends double His trolley and stubble At odds with the “Hovies” Flinging bread at the birdies
A carpet of rat-packing pigeons surround him The seagulls stand off at a far greater distance Baying and screaming, the old man is beaming Feathers and claws reinforce his existence
He hobbles to wooden seat Scavengers follow Old Jesus in grey cap and blue jacket humble Where cat food replaces the loaves and the fishes He dips in his finger and samples the manna
“Feeding the five thousand” bird version” remake! Observed by the painters on ciggie and tea break With only the blackbirds left out in the cold He drags off his trolley across Western Road.
‘Burtherflyday’ Poem for her
A pair of butterflies flit upstream over my shoulder I'm cooler
in the pool of high esteem I dream of never ever getting older
They live for but one day or two Much less then I will be with you Though all their lives are spent as one they never eat or sleep or love or dwell together, share a bed
enjoy a meal or place their heads
side by side until they wake
No birthdays pass to celebrate
In twenty minutes they return
still locked in flight above my head For them almost a year has passed You've only smoked one cigarette!
in the pool of high esteem I dream of never ever getting older.
The Last Picasso is a musical black comedy staged as an interaction
between actor and screen projection, with live musical performance.Two men meet
beyond the realms of reality, in a quest to put right their pasts. In exchange
for helping a dying writer, Picasso returns to earth and creates one last great
John’s international World-Go-Round Tour
features The Last Picasso play, music from his new World-Go-Round CD
and readings from his new poetry book.
“With ‘The Last Picasso’, John Watts has created
nothing less than a completely new genre. A miscellaneous mixture of a musical
play, rock concert and a multimedia performance. As a storyteller as well as a
musician, a film author and a picture composer, he managed to bring an
incredible, ironic, intelligent story on stage which is not a biography of
Picasso's life, but rather deals with various shapes of perception. In a
somnambulistic way, John Watts lets his figures walk on a thin line between
poetic afflatus and the verge of mental insanity. This entertainment of the
grandest kind is a show you definitely can't afford to miss.”
Morgenpost Hamburg – Feb 23rd 2012
Newly confirmed dates for The Last Picasso on The World-Go-Round tour:
22.05.13 GENT De Vieze Gasten theatre 31.05.13 BERLIN Amphitheater Monbijoupark 27.06.13 FREIBURG ZMF 29.06.13 FREIBURG Slowclub 05.07.13 MONTE CARLO, MC 06.07.13 NICE, FR 02.08.13 EDINBURGH Fringe Festival Symposium Hall (until 10.08.13) 12.09.13 KOLN Kulturkirche 13.09.13 BRUSSELS, B 15.09.13 PARIS, FR 18.09.13 ZURICH, CH 20.09.13 LISBON, PT 26.09.13 AMSTERDAM De Kleine Komedie 09.10.13 VANCOUVER, CA 14.10.13 SEATTLE, USA 17.10.13 LOS ANGELES, USA 21.10.13 SAN FRANCISCO, USA 24.10.13 TORONTO, CA 30.10.13 MONTREAL, CA 02.11.13 NEW YORK, USA 13.11.13 ISTANBUL, TK 26.01.14 DELHI, IN 01.02.14 COLOMBO, LK 11.02.14 GOLD COAST, AU 17.02.14 SYDNEY, AU 28.02.14 AUCKLAND, NZ 05.03.14 TOKYO, JP 20.03.14 HAVANNA, CU 25.03.14 MEXICO CITY, MX