I don’t know why Alan said that he helped with my book, though he did like to see himself as a literary figure. Usually when Songs They Never Play On The Radio came up as a topic he was immediately dismissive of it, recommending that people turn their attention instead to Dostoyevsky or Proust.
Alan and I were extremely close, which is why at times there was this adversarial stance, like brothers fighting. We knew each other from the age of twelve and were in the same class at school. I delivered one of the eulogies at his funeral. But sometimes he could be very controlling and when I told him I was thinking of writing a memoir of our time with Nico he said, “I’M the writer … you’re the piano player.” Everyone had very fixed roles in his world and he didn’t like anyone to change.
In interviews Alan often just said whatever came into his head, sometimes to be mischievous, sometimes to surprise himself. Usually, as I said, if the subject of Songs They Never Play On The Radio came up he would brush it imperiously aside. But latterly things did get very mixed up in his mind … dates, places, people. He was on massive medication and had been addicted to Valium for fifty years. Nonetheless, I do take my work seriously and someone else claiming they had a part in its creation when they absolutely did not has to be addressed … even if it does come from a beloved friend.