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Words Adam Anonymous
Photography Cleveland Aaron
A self-dubbed “serious businessman in the Scottish hoi polloi”, by day Pat W Hendersen
may play the straight-laced breadwinner. His career as an author, which is about to begin
in earnest with fi rst novel Decade, tells a rather crazier tale from his past, however…
Despite diving headlong into the early 1990s Scottish rave scene, Decade is any way made these people out to be heroes. I was involved but I was never
far from a mere musical document of the era. Featuring an entirely fi ction- going to let it control my life as it does with some people. Drugs on the oth-
al cast, yet paying lip-service to real-life cultural signposts – The Rhumba er hand went out of control a little, to the point where you just had to think
Club, Andrew Weatherall, Ali Cooke – Decade chiefl y centres on ten years ‘Wait a minute, is my life to do with drugs? Are drugs ruling it or what?’ It
in the lives of unlikely pals Martin and Colin. Following them from forma- was pretty crazy to be honest. When it’s just the weekend, it’s fi ne, you can
tive schooldays as jack the lad and gentle giant respectively into far less inno- get as high as you like. But when it starts to go into the week and encroach
cent times, events begin to spiral out of control when wasted weekends lead on your professional life, you have to take a step back. I wouldn’t change a
to involvement in the drugs underworld, winding up to a gripping climax. thing, but I think I got out at the right time.”
“I was involved with that [rave] scene. There was a story to tell,” explains Now based in Angus after living in every city in Scotland, Hendersen, 37,
Hendersen, who has assumed said penname to preserve the sobriety of his has the experience and retrospect to refl ect on such hectic periods in his
business career. “A lot of drugs were taken, a lot of things happened, but younger life with lucidity, conceding Decade does sound a subtle warning
obviously it had to be a work of fi ction. So I gleaned a few of the characters, note on the dangers of drugs. “The fi rst page is a dedication to a few people
the kind of things that they said, and assembled them together.” that didn’t make it in the ten years I did that,” he laments. “They died very
young, mainly because of drugs: deals, involvement, violence, too much, or
None of Decade’s colourful litany of characters – from school bullies, gang bad luck. So, yeah, there’s a bit of caution involved.”
members and drug dealers to school gossips, jailbirds and revellers – are the
author in literary disguise, Hendersen insists. Although drum & bass isn’t specifi cally prevalent throughout Decade, mean-
while, Hendersen has found himself drawn toward d&b in recent times.
“I tried to avoid that. Some of the dialogue came to me as the sort of witty “When you went to clubs such as The Rhumba there was a range of music
thing I might be able to say, but I wasn’t basing any of the characters on my- played and drum & bass was one of them,” he recalls. “At this point in my
self. I was one of the people in the background. Everybody kind of knew who life I’m an ageing punk rocker, but there’s absolutely no punk rock out there
I was but mainly because of the amount of…” He trails off, suddenly aware to respect, or even indie; it’s all gone to pot. Drum & bass and, to a certain
he may be about to reveal a little too much of past hedonistic habits. “I don’t extent, hip-hop is becoming what I listen to. It’s pathetic really because I’m
want to go into the illegal connotations of what I did during that time, but I far too old for it! But it’s just better, y’know.”
think you get the idea…”
There are no signs of age slowing his writing output, however. With a sequel
Hendersen was brought up in Dundee and left in his early 20s after uni- already in the works, Hendersen hopes Decade is just the beginning of his
versity – “it was always a good move to get away from the place,” he says, with alternate calling. “If I was to become the next Walter Scott I wouldn’t com-
a knowing half-laugh. Initially a punk rocker, his love for that safety pin- plain,” he chuckles, “but writing’s great. It’s not like work. You can actually
affi xed genre was soon eclipsed once the rave scene took hold north of the sit and therapeutically enjoy the act of writing. So long as that’s okay and
border. While the gang violence that courses through a signifi cant chunk of people are happy to publish it then I’ll keep going.”
the book was never truly in his blood, narcotics held a stronger sway…
The following three pages contain an extract of the Prologue and Chapter
“The gang violence was okay,” he assures us. “As a youngster I stood back, One from Decade. To buy a copy go to
shook my head about it, and it probably comes on in the writing. I’ve not in
K34-37_Decade.indd 34 19/3/09 15:10:12
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