In the summer of 1966, just before this photo was taken, I wrote a song called ‘paperjointman’. I was in the lock-up at the back of the police station in St.Hellier awaiting deportation, saved from a month in prison by the fact that I was 16. My friend Ricky Dance wasn’t so lucky. So they put me in the lock-up, a bare cell, one of a row that opened onto a yard. There was a wooden bed with a wooden pillow and in the corner beside the heavy door that separated me from freedom was a grubby loo without a chain. The chain was on the outside like my boot laces which they’d removed from my worn-out hush puppies just in case I got any funny ideas and tried to hang myself. They fed me fish fingers, cold mash and peas four days in a row, so it wasn’t exactly luxurious. They were waiting to find a buyer for my guitar, an enforced sale to cover the cost of my deportation and all the dinners they fed me. So before I let it go I negotiated that I should be allowed to use it during the daily one hour recreation when the cell door was open and you were allowed into the yard for a stretch in the sun. I’d been teaching myself how to finger pick. I wanted to write a song like the ‘Needle of Death’ by Bert Jansch but not as dark. This song was intended as a celebratory ode to the magical properties of hashish which I’d been smoking for some months, revelling in the magic carpet rides that it provided. Partly also I was thinking about Puff the Magic Dragon and the way in which a subversive topic could be presented with the innocence of a children’s song. The word joint was in currency at that time so I created paperjointman like a mystic shadow puppet, an artifice that gave me freedom to write and sing a psychedelic hymn. This warm island was a perfect place to get stoned, to groove on light and shadow, twisting alleyways emerging to the bright splendour of the harbour full of boats, dockside bars and cafes, wide shore, causeway and castle. But it wasn’t too easy to score in Jersey. When we did ‘gossimer winged feet’ carried us from misty evening to fiery dawn. But beatniks were frowned upon. This place was wealthy and intolerant. Sleeping out on the shore was strictly forbidden and so it was that a police patrol put an end to my island in the sun. But I didn’t waste my time in gaol. I scribbled in my little notepad and then memorised.

Here comes the paperjointman
he’s come from a far off land
with a bag of paper toys
for the little girls and boys
they’ll cherish all their days
though some in different ways
Watch them play these strange little folk
like dragons they sit breathing smoke
in the shelter of a room
they shed depressions gloom
to go floating on high
like birds in the sky
into a wonderland
as directed by the hand
of the paperjointman
He’s got a magic rug
He’s got a dancing bug
he’s got a green glass eye
he’s got a castle up in the sky
His wonderland’s a real paradise
where you can turn water to ice
or balance on your head
make the green grass turn red
see the ocean as a lawn
in the gasfire see the dawn
through the ceiling see the sky
though on the clouds you lie
Paperjointman some say I’ve done wrong
but I believe this is where I belong
up upon your cloud
underneath your smoky shroud
with a mind I can’t control
yet speaking from the soul
and every word I say
it echoes far away
A lot of years have been and gone since those wild and glorious days of youth, an innocent abroad, fire in my boots and the road stretching before me. Nights by the fire remind me of those times. Maco shot this in the wee small hours. He insisted that I stay close to the flames so that he could see me. I almost went on fire. I thought my guitar was going to melt. So that explains why I look a bit uneasy particularly close to the end!