“Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail”
Rat Scabies major literary debut will be published on 23rd May 2005 by Sceptre:
trakMARX is pleased to announce details of the publication, news of a unique promotional event & an exclusive preview sample from the book printed below.
In an unashamed & co-ordinated promotional campaign, both Chris Dawes and Rat have managed to find a window in their hectic schedules to deliver a one off lecture on the subject of their controversial new international best seller
"Rat Scabies & the Holy Grail"
On Sunday 12th June 2005 (just after tea & cakes) they will be making themselves available for discussion and self-promotion during the Sauniere Society Symposium at:
25 Red Lion Square,
W1 (Nearest Tube: Holborn)
tel 020 7 242 8032
fax 020 7 242 8036
"Established in 1929 by the South Place Ethical Society, the Conway Hall is a landmark of London's intellectual, political and cultural life"
All day event
Tickets £28.00 (non members) and for those in the know £26.00
Admission includes all lectures and obligatory free lunch.
£5.00 after tea session (17:30 onwards)
Scabies & Dawes reduced ticket.
Alistair Moffat: “Turning the Hiram key”
Dr. Robert Feather: “The secret initiation of Jesus at Qumran”
Alistair Moffat: “Before Scotland”
Lyn Picknet: “Lucifer”
for further details please visit:
Priory of Sion members receive a 10% discount on all books & T shirts with proof of membership.
“Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail”
Can a Punk Rock Legend Find What Monty Python Couldn't?
Christopher Dawes lives in a quiet English village. His neighbour is Rat Scabies, former drummer with the Damned, best noted for setting his drums on fire while still playing them at a live concert. Life with Rat as a neighbour isn’t run-of-the-mill, but things turn even stranger when Rat announces that he (and Christopher) are going on a search for the Holy Grail.
The saga begins in Rennes-le-Chateau in France, where in 1891 a local priest discovered a treasure whose mystery remains unsolved. Once Christopher and Rat have written a list of things to do (“Buy metal detectors!”), they need only unravel a tale involving the Cathars, the Knights Templar, the Man in the Iron Mask, and Louis XIVand along the way, visit Paris, Rome, Glastonbury, and Tintageland perhaps join the Masons (Rat thinks they know something).
The legend of the Holy Grail is far from unknown, but this is the first time the quest has been given the punk rock treatment. Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail is a psychedelic, Pythonesque road trip, a testimony to the sometimes odd nature of friendship, and a rich historical yarn.
Notes on RAT SCABIES AND THE HOLY GRAIL by CHRISTOPHER DAWES
This book had been staring me in the face for seven years.
When I started writing it, that’s how long I’d lived across the street from Rat Scabies. In that time, the man who sits alongside Johnny Rotten and the ghost of Sid Vicious in the highest of the high chairs of punk rock infamy had become one of my best mates. Back in his days with The Damned, the group responsible for the first-ever punk record, Scabies was often called the fastest and loudest rock drummer in the world. He had a reputation for setting fire to music journalists, too. Which, being a one-time music journalist myself, worried me a little when I first met him.
I’m happy to report that Scabies has never tried to even slightly singe me. He has, however, pulled me into a world of utter madness. A few months ago, for instance, he tried to get me involved in a scheme to import thumb-sized monkeys from China. Another of his recent brainwaves was talking tombstones, but the idea didn’t go down well with the National Society of Independent Funeral Directors. Right now, closely following the instructions in the Bible (Exodus, 25-27), he’s getting together the materials to build a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. He wants to put it in our friend Robert’s garage. Scabies says Robert’s garage could become the new Temple of Solomon.
Scabies remains very much a punk at heart. He still operates well away from the mainstream. He’s still an alternative thinker. And for all of his cartoon lunacy, he’s occasionally serious about his alternative thinking, particularly when it comes to esoteric and occult mysticism. For many years, he’s been fascinated by the bizarre story of Rennes-le-Chateau, a remote village in the French Pyrenees where, in the late 19th Century, the local priest suddenly went from being a pauper to a multi-millionaire. It’s widely believed that he uncovered a fabulous treasure a treasure which some say either included or was associated with the Holy Grail.
Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail tracks Scabies’ attempts to unravel the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau and locate the Grail, and tells how I got roped into going with him on a series of treasure hunting trips to France. Plus a detour to Edinburgh to attend a Knights Templar initiation ceremony. The supporting cast includes a barefooted esoteric guru, an American nuclear bomb-maker turned CIA man, a French-Algerian Arthur Daley, a bloke called Mad Dog, a woman with purple eyes, Scabies’ mum and dad, and assorted occultists, alien channellers, reincarnated medieval heretics and members of various secret societies. I’m not going to tell you whether or not we found the Holy Grail because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I have to admit that I was often not entirely sure what we were supposed to be looking for. I’d always thought of the Grail as a metaphysical symbol, whereas Scabies was convinced it was a golden cup. ‘Probably a bit bashed up, a bit dented,’ he said. ‘Well, it’s bloody old, isn’t it?’.
I’d describe Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail as a surreal road trip, with plenty of horrible history and oddball intrigue thrown in. Somewhere in there, though, I also wanted to write about the enduring non-conformist spirit of punk, about marginal beliefs, and about the concept of faith however strangely placed that faith might sometimes seem.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve promised to help Scabies get hold of two dozen goat skins by the end of the day. He needs them for the curtains of the Ark of the Covenant. We’re going to try looking on e-Bay.
And you’ve really no idea how much I wish I could say that I’d made some of this up.
Guy Debored tMx 19 03/05