Douglas Adams was a genius as a writer and as an articulator of human absurdity.
His trilogy of 6 books in the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy series started out as a BBC radio show, and spawned TV series, stage plays, vinyl releases, a movie, games, comics, and a fan base of tens of millions around the World. His writing gave us catchphrases like ‘Don’t Panic’, popular culture memes and characters, as well as the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything… 42.
He even wrote for Doctor Who and Monty Python, as well as appearing in a Python sketch.
A lover of progressive rock, especially Pink Floyd, he was also an accomplished guitarist and on his 42nd birthday, his friend David Gilmour got him to perform on stage with them, perhaps the only known performance of HHGG band Disaster Area! Adams did release a single in the name of the band as a B side to the HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy TV theme. Adams said that Pink Floyd’s lavish stage productions were the inspiration for Disaster Area – “claimed to be the loudest band in the universe, and in fact the loudest sound of any kind, anywhere. So loud is this band that the audience usually listens from the safe distance of thirty seven miles away in a well-built concrete bunker. Disaster Area’s lavish performances went so far as to crash a space ship into the sun to create a solar flare.“
Disaster Area star and keyboardist – Hotblack Desiato – was spending a year dead for tax reasons in the book, no doubt a spoof on many tax exile musicians and actors in UK at the time, including members of Pink Floyd.
Sadly, Adams died from a heart attack aged 49 in 2001, but his legacy has inspired many bands in name and music style,just as he was inspired by bands of his time.
Finally, always know where your towel is.