Soundtrack Of My Life: Garth Marenghi

Best-selling horror writer, shaman, doom-sage – does not do karaoke

The first song I remember hearing

‘Roll Out The Barrel’

“I was conceived post-conga on some distant and particularly drunken New Year’s Eve, but the X chromosome in my father’s sperm was already sentient and clocked this rowdy singalong ahead of the actual act which brought me into being. The piece still thrills me.”

The first album I bought


Bod Dylan – ‘Highway 61 Revisited’

“Which I owned for two days before returning it for a refund. I presumed it was a concept album about a ghostly hitchhiker revisiting the scene of its death in musical form, but it wasn’t. Nothing like that, in fact. Extremely disappointing, both musically and conceptually.”

The song that reminds me of home

AC/DC – ‘Highway to Hell’

“Whenever I’m driving home after a long book tour, I whack this up max vol and prepare myself to greet Pam and the kids.”

The first gig I went to


Nana Mouskouri, Pam’s 40th birthday, Mediterranean Leisure Cruise, P&O Ferries

“It was Pam’s heart’s desire to see Nana live, so how could I refuse? We both got seasick mid-gig, but things brightened up when I agreed to buy Pam a pair of Nan-style, thick, matching spectacles. She wore them non-stop for six months, during which period I fell out of love with her.”

The song I wish I’d written

The Beatles – ‘Paperback Writer’

“Although, if it was me, I’d have specified the genre i.e. Horror or ideally Horrotica. Elsewhere, Lennon McCartney’s lyric is unclear and frankly he fails to display a professional understanding of the writing profession, and to date has yet to publish a single novel.

The song I do at karaoke

“I do not do karaoke.“

The song I can’t get out of my head

“Not a song per se, but the sound of human wailing. I put it on to write, but very often it sticks in my head the whole day. Thank God.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Brahms’ ‘Lullaby’

“I sang it to all four of my daughters when tiny to lull them to sleep and now I’m fucking sick of it.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Paul Hardcastle – ‘19’

“A lot of my characters are ‘Nam vets, and in that respect I can pretty much call myself a Vet, as well. Therefore, in honour of my lifelong military service and self-sacrifice, this track is an appropriate tribute.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Hot Butter – ‘Popcorn’

“I never usually dance, but this track forces the issue. At first I was unnerved when my bones and musculature began to gyrate of their own accord, but I soon realised this was Satanic music. Now I willingly succumb.”

The song that makes me cry

R.E.M. – ‘Everybody Hurts’

“With laughter, I presume? (I never cry).”

Garth Marenghi’s TerrorTome UK Book Tour runs until April 8 – buy tickets here

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