Paul Reekie – Lost In Action
Five Reasons why the Great Lost Genius of contemporary Scottish letters must not be forgotten
Children of Albion Rovers
In 1996, Reekie’s novella Submission caused a scandal when it appeared alongside work by Irvine Welsh and co in Rebel Inc’s defining collection, which came complete with football cards. Legal action forced the book to be withdrawn until the story was heavily edited.
Reekie’s poem ‘When Caesar’s Mushroom Is In Season’ appeared in the frontispiece of Welsh’s second book, ‘The Acid House.’ The pair read at a large-scale Rebel Inc event at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre. Reekie read his poem, ‘Reekie Don’t Lose That Number,’ featuring the line, ‘Turn the Traverse Theatre into a bingo hall’.
Vic Godard and the Subway Sect
After Subway Sect supported The Clash at Edinburgh Playhouse in 1977, Reekie became president of the Scottish branch of the Subway Sect fan Club. In 2002 he guested on Godard’s ‘Sansend’ album, three years after jumping onstage wearing a kimono to sing a cover of Godard’s ‘Johnny Thunders’ with The Nectarine No 9.
In 1979, Reekie’s band Thursdays shared a record with Joy Division on Edinburgh’s defining post-punk label. Earcom 2 featured Reekie’s astonishing version of Otis Redding’s '(I’m Sittin’) On the Dock of the Bay'. He was seventeen.
Reekie loved Hibs, Noel Coward, Prince, free jazz and King Tubby. He had an encyclopediac knowledge of classical literature, his conversation dazzling and baffling in equal measure. He was unpredictable, wise, sometimes too clever for his own good, and he died far far too soon.