“You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness)” – a short interview with writer Chris Wade.
Written by Leeds writer Chris Wade and read by the energetic surrealist comedian Charlie Chuck, new audiobook You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness) is a chaotic match made in heaven.
Wade has a seemingly eclectic collection of past works, from non-fiction works writing about classic English punk act The Stanglers, George Romero’s ‘Dead’ trliogy, and the career of actor Malcom McDowell – all the way to anarchic comedy fiction like Cutey and the Sofaguard, as well as running his monthly arts magazine Hound Dawg. This recent project, however, chimes with Wade’s real love, as he admits: “I kind of like to vary my projects but my passion is surreal fiction.”
How does a writer like Wade come to collaborate with Charlie Chuck, though? He explains: “I recently watched a video of Chuck doing stand up and thought how great it would be to work with him, to get him to do this story.” Wade was actually first aware of the talent of his fellow surrealist at the tender age of 8, through Chuck’s work on The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. “I loved him back then as a kid when he was playing Uncle Peter”.
From there, his love and respect for the comedian only grew, as he watched Chuck develop his abilities as a comedian over the years. “He is playing a character as opposed to coming on and complaining about life like so many other comics do and that’s why I love his act,” Wade says. “It can be timeless because it exists in its own world. Very unique and eccentric. It’s an honour really to have worked with a legend of comedy.”
You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness) follows the story of the most exciting stationary shop known to man, the characters of Dickie Bustrash, the Tiny Little Pea Gum Otter, and the woman of his dreams. Wade describes the book as “a surreal look into someone’s day to day life, a life which might be entirely imaginary.”
In his direction to Chuck, Wade “wanted it to have the feel as if you had just sat down in a pub next to this bloke and he started to tell you his life. But it’s so strange that you wonder how much is true and how much is made up from the bloke’s messed up mind. It’s very much blurred between reality and dark fantasy.”
The collaborative partnership won’t end here, we are promised. The duo have announced a musical project where they will cover Ian Dury’s Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, as well as further unannounced works, which Wade says include “a book of odd little things and maybe a few other things.” The union has definitely worked well for the two so far, and Wade was exceedingly pleased with Chuck’s performance: “He reads it brilliantly; it’s kind of touching in a way too. I’m really proud of the whole thing.”
You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness) is available for download on iTunes.