ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Omnibus Press, 257 Park Ave. S., 20th Fl., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Music journalist and author, beginning mid-1980s. Melody Maker, editor of dance section; edited magazines Musik and Mondo.
(As Push; with Mireille Silcott) The Book of E: All about Ecstasy, Omnibus Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail, Sceptre (London, England), 2005.
Has written for Sounds and Melody Maker.
SIDELIGHTS: British-based music journalist Christopher Dawes, who also uses the pen name Push, has written about all kinds of pop music. His career began in the mid-1980s, and includes creating a dance section for Melody Maker, editing the clubbing magazine Muzik, and editing the men's magazine Mondo. His first book was The Book of E: All about Ecstasy, written with Mireille Silcott. He has also written an account of his travels with punk rocker Rat Scabies, who was once drummer for the Damned. Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail reveals the inspiration for a quest that takes the two men into rural France.
Dawes and Scabies meet as neighbors in the village of Brentford, England. The drummer, who is known for setting his drums on fire while continuing to play them, proves to be an interesting and unpredictable friend. He convinces Dawes to join him in his search for the Holy Grail, which begins with investigating reports that a French priest made a mysterious discovery in the late nineteenth century. Their bizarre adventure requires historical research, the purchase of metal detectors, and possibly joining the Masonic Order.
Reviews of Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail described it as a quirky but entertaining book. A Kirkus Reviews writer called it "a dizzy and highly enjoyable caper," while June Sawyers commented in Booklist that "Dawes has a droll humor and a winning style." Entertainment Weekly writer Tom Sinclair recommended the narrative as a "post-punk Travels with My Aunt."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2005, June Sawyers, review of Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail, p. 1742.
Bookseller, February 4, 2005, review of Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail, p. 37.
Entertainment Weekly, July 15, 2005, Tom Sinclair, review of Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail, p. 78.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2005, review of Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail, p. 522.