Who am I?

I've been here for a while. It's only courtesy to introduce myself.

 

 

I am a prolific writer of Science Fiction, Rock Music and alternative style semi-autobiographical books and fiction. I have written 54 books. If you’re looking for something different then you have found it! Just buy one from Amazon and see!

 

My influences include Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Captain Beefheart, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Hitchins, Roy Harper, Bob Dylan, Margaret Atwood, Woody Guthrie and Kurt Vonnegut Jnr.

 

I was born in 1949 in the Thames Delta in the deep South outside London. I grew up in the 1960s and was thoroughly immersed in the London scene and counter-culture. I was a student through all those heady days and lapped up the idealism and optimism of the times. We knew we were changing the world and bringing new sensibilities to bear. Those were the days that spawned feminism, the green movement, anti-capitalism and civil rights.

 

I was there through the whole gamut of Rock Music. As a kid I heard Little Richard on the radio and then there was the Beatles, Psychedelia and the London Underground, Acid Rock and the West Coast alternative culture, IT, OZ and a thriving Rock scene and cultural tsunami.

 

I got to see most of the important acts – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Cream, Roy Harper, Captain Beefheart, Country Joe & the Fish, Muddy Waters, Pink Floyd, Son House and Bo Diddley – and hosts of others. I went to all the big festivals and events.

 

The 1960s counter-culture was not a fashion statement; it was a way of life. It looked at the boring establishment, the old-boys network, the stereotypical attire, the joyless lack of creativity, the conventions, religion, politics, blatant selfish greed, exploitation, inherent racism and sexism and looked to create something better. I was part of it.

 

We stood up for our ideals – the anti-war movement, liberation of sex, and the bringing of freedom and colour into a drab 1950s post-war society.

 

Then came Punk and the music went on and on and on…… I never stopped listening, going along and enjoying.

 

On a creative front, having discovered that despite my passion, I have no talent for music, I went into the realm of writing.

 

In the 1970s the energy and creativity dropped out of the counter-culture. Earning a living loomed and I went into teaching where I stayed true to my ideals. I extolled the virtues of fun, freedom and the joy of creativity. I brought a bit of colour into the profession and did things my way. I must have been successful because I rose up to Headteacher and my school became one of the best in the country. It’s Open, Caring, Friendly ethos was mine and I proved it worked. If you treated young people respectfully and made learning fun everything would work. It did.

 

During the course of my teaching career I built up a large number of books. I wrote whatever took my fancy. I never wrote for financial gain or to get famous; I wrote what I was interested in, moved by or felt the urge to do. I produced Sci-Fi to alternative fiction and Rock biography and history – whatever I enjoyed. I always harboured a desire to make a living out of writing but was always more than content to be a teacher.

 

To be a teacher is a privilege. A teacher is the equivalent of the tribes shaman; the holder of wisdom, dispenser of knowledge. I was happy with that.

 

On the family front I fell in love when I was eighteen and married in a great event in the woods in 1971. We have been together ever since and have four very dynamic, individualistic and vibrant kids who are changing the world in their own ways. They fill me with great love and hope for the future. My five grandchildren are growing up and are enthusiastic, loving citizens of the world.

 

I believe in equality, tolerance, justice and freedom. I respect other people’s points of view and do not expect people to share the same beliefs as me. I work in my own way to produce a positive zeitgeist and would like to live in a world where there is harmony between people and respect for the environment.

 

I deplore violence, fanaticism, war, coercion and intolerance.

 

I love smiles, love, argument and beauty in all its many forms.

 

I am enraged and saddened by what we are doing to the natural world through the pressure of our numbers, pollution and destruction of habitat.

 

I now live in the North of England and continue writing and doing my bit to change the Zeitgeist.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2017 - 6:45pm
I thought it was time to give you all a bit more background. It's only polite.
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:02pm
Opher nice to meet you.. My goodness the music alone growing up.. You had the best of them.. Teaching is a wonderful profession if a teacher is like you. I had 2 of those still remember them like it was yesterday. For an English Chap you are pretty cool. Not the stuffy way portrayed on the tube. Lol.. 
Paul H. Mayo Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:04pm
Enjoy you writing, don't ever stop.
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:08pm
Donna - us English guys aren't stuffy - leastways the ones I know aren't.
Yes the music was great and the friendships better.
I loved my teaching and the wonderful kids who taught me.
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:08pm
Paul - thank you so much for that. I really appreciate it.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:28pm
Only toured through London once for a conference.  Only real "sight seeing" was heading out to Bletchley Park (quite a ways out), to make a homage to a hero of mine, Alan Turing.  They'd just got a statue of Turning, made to look like a stack of tractor feed printouts.  There was also a replica of "Colossus" just being completed at the time, too.  English folks and Brits in general, I know, are all cool folks without exception.
John G Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:28pm
With all due respect, somewhere along the way you lost the ability to explore new ideas and lost your way with the tolerance side of things.
I believe many of your views are intolerant and incorrect. And that they would lead to great injustice.
 
Saint George Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:37pm
to explore new ideas
 
Statism, socialism, and inflation are "new ideas"? Excuse me, but . . .
 
LOLzZZZZ, Heee, har-har, eeee! Those crap ideas have been around a long time!
 
Boy, you are stupid in an extra special kind of way!
 
Much mirth! Thank you for that.
Dave Volek Added Sep 11, 2017 - 8:29pm
Nice Auto-Bio
I takes a little courage to open up like that.
Are your SF books anywhere in the e-book world?
wsucram15 Added Sep 11, 2017 - 8:45pm
Opher..we have already met, in some ways..I have known you for years.  I think you might be the only person who gets that statement.
Even A Broken Clock Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:39pm
Opher, good post. One comment that I have does not concern you directly though. I want to note the passing of one of my favorite Sci-Fi writers, Jerry Pournelle. His book Lucifer's Hammer with Larry Niven was close to my favorite book in the genre.
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 10:36pm
You and I could be brothers!  We had the same favorite writers and singers.  I wanted to write sf so bad.  My favorite sf writers were Heinlein, Zelazny, Simak, Bester, John Christopher.
 
Here's one of my sf mini novels.  
 
http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/the-last-man-on-earth-a-mini-novel-2/
 
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 10:39pm
His books are available at Amazon as paperbacks and ebooks.
 
https://www.amazon.com/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:36am
Opher
 
Nice to meet you LOL
 
We're on a several track philosophically, except that I'm some kind of a hobo which you seem pretty settled and down to earth.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:37am
"several" ??? SIMILAR. Here i's 8 am, sorry. Not my time to wake up normally....
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:08am
Jeff - Turing was amazing and terrible the way he was treated. Bletchley Park was quite something - bit of an enigma. Sorry you didn't get to see more of Britain - it has its wonders and beauties, but glad to hear that the Brits you know are all good.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:11am
John G - well I obviously would disagree with you on this. I do not think my views are intolerant at all - except of injustices. I would be very interested to discuss with you why you think them intolerant. You never know you might just persuade me to think differently. Perhaps we could engage in a reasoned argument?
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:23am
Saint - Statism, socialism, and inflation are "new ideas"? Excuse me, but . . .
??? Did I say those ideas were new?
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:24am
Dave - Cheers for that. Yes they are all up there digitally and paperback on Amazon.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:25am
wsu - I get it. Yes and it was good to meet you.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:27am
EABC - Thanks for that. Sad to hear about Jerry. That was one of my favourite books too. He was a great writer.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:30am
John - good morning brother. A fine crop - I'd add people like Asimov, Clarke, Vonnegut, Sheckley, Dick, White............. I used to consume Sci-fi nonstop. I love it.
I'll check that out when I get a minute.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:32am
SEF - A pleasure to meet you too. Yes - strangely I'm settled - in an unsettled way.
My hobo days are behind me now but I still love travelling - but not by thumb these days.
John G Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:33am
I doubt it. I think you'd probably have to take the red pill. You're way too invested in the establishment narrative in ways that you don't/can't recognise.
That's the problem that we on the left have with you liberals. Your lens is a capitalist one.
And your intolerance won't allow you outside that lens. You'd rather condescend than learn.
MJ Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:45am
Opher, I hope I do not have to sympathize with your children.
My Father used to be a teacher and principal too before he became a farmer and he never stopped teaching us.
Please to meet you!
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 8:26am
MJ
 
A teacher should be an adviser, firsthand ;-)
A Classicist Writes Added Sep 12, 2017 - 8:58am
OG -- I am new to Writer Beat; however, enjoy reading your articles.  It's nice to have a rounded picture of you -- a very well-rounded person.  Thanks for this, keep writing and greetings from London = )
Ric Wells Added Sep 12, 2017 - 9:01am
Asimov was one of my favorites but also enjoyed Hubbard. Satan's Contact still one of my favorites. Like the movie also. Like you I write to write. It is self expression and in my case a catharsis at times. Also fortunate to have some musical talent. Visiting is what truly feeds the soul. A'ho my friend.
MJ Added Sep 12, 2017 - 9:06am
Stone, sometimes they try and advise on issues they nothing about--remember they are used to a class with children, a captive audience.
Opher sounds balanced!
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:34am
John G - I have never known you try to explain. Instead of criticising and pigeonholing people why don't you try an honest debate?
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:35am
MJ - I actually ended up teaching my own kids. I don't think they found it too hard though. I used to really get along with my students.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:36am
SEF - that's right. If you get it right it is a great relationship of mutual respect.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:37am
ACW - thank you and greetings to you in London from Yorkshire.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:38am
Ric - I would love to have had some musical talent. I'm jealous.
Ric Wells Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:54am
You probably do opher. But haven't found your niche yet. Pick up a cowbell or a jewshatp. See what happens. 
A Classicist Writes Added Sep 12, 2017 - 11:02am
Ey up, OG -- you're in Yorkshire?  Seethes with the green bile of envy...
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:16pm
Ric - I've tried a variety of instruments Ric - nothing works. I think it's my ears, my mind and my fingers. They appreciate but can't produce.
Ric Wells Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:18pm
Musicians need listeners who appreciate what is being played. It is teamwork.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:18pm
ACW - Appen I am. It's lurvly up ere. I used to live in London. That was lovely too - but different. I was born in the Thames delta in the deep south but they pushed me through the Watford gap.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:21pm
Opher
 
The main thing is a feeling of rhythm to start with. Music is 5% talent and 95% work.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:23pm
BTW: Just like writing. You might have the imagination, but when your vocabulary is only minimal, it won't work. And that's also not talent but - work.
Ric Wells Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:55pm
Agreed SEF
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:59pm
:-)
Ric Wells Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:09pm
Dedication and patience. Lots and lots of patience.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:23pm
Ric
 
That's why I don't play a better guitar after almost 40 years. I lack persistence and patience. I can only play when I feel. And exercise don't produce feelings ;-) 
Ric Wells Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:27pm
Even when so practice scales it evokes feelings. I wander off the scales and improvise but always start and end where I began. A trick I taught my guitar teacher when I started 10 years ago
 A lesson he has passed onto his students. I also remember something Frank Zappa said. When you play no matter what you play if it sounds good to you it's music. Never forgot that.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:31pm
Yeah. True.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 12, 2017 - 4:32pm
opher goodwin sez:  Bletchley Park was quite something - bit of an enigma. Sorry you didn't get to see more of Britain- LOL Yeah, Bletchley did have an enigma. If I'd had a month, would have gotten more "flavor" of UK.  Going to see Bletchley Park was "best use" and  left me wondering where "personal computing" would have gone had Turing been allowed his lifespan. 
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:02pm
SEF - when I was in college I roomed with a friend who was an outstanding guitarist. He taught me to play three cheat chords for the Doors Light My Fire. I spent 6 months and finally managed to get it into a semblance of the song. One day my friend was idly picked at the guitar. He played Light My Fire all the way through with proper chords and tiddly bits. It was then that I realised that not in a million years would I achieve such mastery. I stuck with writing. It was probably for the best.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:04pm
Ric/SEF - I agree. But I don't have time to dedicate to two such time-consuming occupations and I'm far better at writing than I could ever be at music.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:05pm
Jeff - yes Turing's genius was cruelly wasted. What a great shame. Who knows what he could have achieved?
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:15pm
Who is Turing ?
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:28pm
Alan Turing was an English genius mathematician who cracked German ciphers and created the Enigma machine that speeded up the end of the war.
He was also the founding father of the modern day computer.
He was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, underwent chemical castration and committed suicide two years later.
The way he was treated was abominable.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:34pm
Ah ok. You see ? Gender shit even back then as a masquerade for other purposes....as religion...as -isms....as PC....as as as.
 
SHIT I'M SO GLAD TO FUCK OFF THIS WESTERN HYPOCRIT SHIT IN 3.5 MONTHS !
 
LOL
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:41pm
SEF - At least in the gay world things have gotten a lot better over here. We no longer have our Turing's and Wilde's persecuted and hounded to death.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 12, 2017 - 7:46pm
opher goodwin kindly explains Alan Turing to SEFa.: Ah ok. You see ? Gender shit even back then as a masquerade for other purposes....as religion...as -isms....as PC....as as as.-See for long time.  When you think we don't pay our musicians and poets, we kill our geniuses for reasons less than sound, but very, very "popular."  You can imagine how it made Oscar Wilde, too.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 12, 2017 - 8:11pm
Ric Wells notes: Dedication and patience. Lots and lots of patience.-AND Musicians need listeners who appreciate what is being played. It is teamwork.-Called "being in a band," the latter, Ric.  Yes...and learning showmanship is vital.  BTW, having had to transition from guitar, since my left hand no longer works like it should, I started playing a shot keyboard piano, and have achieved some success. I recommend trying that, if you've an interest.  Just learned a convincing piano version of Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Rivera Paradise," and hope I can work this into a performance at the neighborhood block party in a year.  But even if they're neighbors, gawd, I don't want to sound like a schmuck.  So it's still as its always been: Dedication and patience and practice.  Some stuff never changes.  LOL
Jeff Michka Added Sep 12, 2017 - 8:13pm
Alan Turing was an English genius mathematician who cracked German ciphers and created the Enigma machine- Actually, just ciphers.  The Germans had already invented the Enigma device.
wsucram15 Added Sep 12, 2017 - 9:40pm
SEF..so true.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2017 - 3:45am
Jeff - yes you're right - it was the ciphers. I got carried away.
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2017 - 3:46am
Jeff - music is one of the highest achievements of mankind - I just wish I could contribute.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 13, 2017 - 5:23am
Just stumbled onto and old Japanese song I like:
 
Beat Crusaders - Ghost
 
Traditional Japanese music ;-)
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 11:38am
opher goodwin sez: music is one of the highest achievements of mankind - I just wish I could contribute. - It has always sounded like you have, opher.  music is in the studio and on the road, to borrow a beat phrase.  You mentioned Kerouac, are you familiar with his "Desolation Angels?"
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2017 - 7:56pm
Jeff - Oh yes - That was my favourite Kerouac. I actually preferred it to On The Road. I first read that when I was eighteen (a frightening thought of how long ago that was)
opher goodwin Added Sep 13, 2017 - 7:56pm
SEF - I'll play it tomorrow - just got in after a gig and am knackered.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 8:22pm
opher goodwin notes: Oh yes - That was my favourite Kerouac. I actually preferred it to On The Road.-My feeling as well.  I've hiked up to where the fire lookout Kerouac manned was several times.  I can well imagine his Eastern/NYC mind getting blown by the vistas seen from there.  The North Cascades are imposing to a non-wilderness eye.  "Desolation!! All is Desolation."
opher goodwin Added Sep 14, 2017 - 9:49am
Jeff - I would have loved to have done that. I'm very jealous. Did you see any bears?
Jeff Michka Added Sep 14, 2017 - 12:35pm
opher goodwin writes: Jeff - I would have loved to have done that. I'm very jealous. Did you see any bears? -If you ever get out to the PACNW in the states you can.  Popular hike for obvious reasons.  And have never seen bears there close up.  At extreme distance, but plenty of signs they're around.  Mostly black bears, but supposedly there are browns (Grizzly) now in North Cascades Wilderness.
opher goodwin Added Sep 15, 2017 - 3:49am
Jeff - we saw some brown bears in Yellowstone and went up to Washington and Oregon (when St Helens was blowing up) and had a look around Kerouac's haunts on the way. Didn't get to Desolation Peak though - had little kids with us.
opher goodwin Added Sep 15, 2017 - 3:57am
SEF - just played it. Liked it too. How come bands like that, that I've never heard of, play to such enormous crowds?
Strange digital masks!
Jeff Michka Added Sep 15, 2017 - 9:54am
opher goodwin writes: Jeff - we saw some brown bears in Yellowstone and went up to Washington and Oregon (when St Helens was blowing up)-Wow, that was 37 years ago. At the time was commuting from Seattle to Portland, three times a week.  And although Desolation hike isn't too bad, it is "adult" only.  Kids will really complain the last couple of kilometers. Very cool checking out Kerouac haunts, opher.
Michael Cikraji Added Sep 15, 2017 - 12:02pm
Ever wonder what Opher looks like without the shadow?... here's a good picture!
Opher without shadow
opher goodwin Added Sep 15, 2017 - 1:07pm
Jeff - Kerouac was a big man in my life.
opher goodwin Added Sep 15, 2017 - 1:09pm
Michael - an interesting observation - quite close. I have the same number of features, though slightly differently shaped. I like the obvious attraction to the fairer sex though. Perhaps I'd settle for your photo interpretation. Good one.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 15, 2017 - 2:02pm
opher goodwin writes: Jeff - Kerouac was a big man in my life.- LOL opher as"The most interesting man in the world,"eh?  The Beat authors were a big influence in mine, too.  Ginsberg, Burroughs.
opher goodwin Added Sep 15, 2017 - 2:10pm
Jeff - they opened the floodgates for me. I think the Beats paved the way to an alternative way of thinking. Howl opened my eyes to poetry. On the Road opened my eyes to a different set of priorities.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 15, 2017 - 2:25pm
opher writes: Howl opened my eyes to poetry. On the Road opened my eyes to a different set of priorities. -Just so!  Desolation opened a new set of eyes for me. Very Powerful stuff.
opher goodwin Added Sep 15, 2017 - 3:15pm
Jeff - and still inspires me to this day.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 15, 2017 - 9:35pm
I've got Howl about 40% in the can with a "serial reading" of it done by individuals doing stanzas w/some sound effects backing.  A Group speaking at certain logical points.  Hope to complete recording next year.  Howl is just so powerful.  Hey SEFa...Howl by Ginsberg IS America...to be read aloud and loud.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 15, 2017 - 9:38pm
From Howl, by Alan Ginsberg:  I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, :-)
Jeff Michka Added Sep 15, 2017 - 9:41pm
...Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland
   where you’re madder than I am
I’m with you in Rockland<chorus>
   where you must feel very strange
I’m with you in Rockland,<chorus>...Wow, eh?
opher goodwin Added Sep 16, 2017 - 4:27am
Jeff - and his other brilliant poem America is almost as good. I'd like to hear that version of Howl you are doing.
opher goodwin Added Sep 16, 2017 - 4:33am
Jeff - WOW!!! Indeed.
I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 16, 2017 - 11:39am
opher goodwin sez: Jeff - WOW!!! Indeed.
I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.-LOL, guess I'm not alone in this kind of thought, either.  LOL A WB "Beatist" club.  beats (literally) the WB rightist club or WB gentleman's anti-semite club!  So, everyone to the back of the bus.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 16, 2017 - 12:06pm
opher asks: I'd like to hear that version of Howl you are doing-Will put up a clip on YouTube when I get more recorded.  Hoping to get a good chorus together to chant "I’m with you in Rockland." 
A Classicist Writes Added Sep 16, 2017 - 12:28pm
Please forgive me for this OG, because I really enjoy reading your articles (I mean to go to Amazon to look at your books!); but, every time I see the title of this article, I want to sing, "two four six oh onnnnnnne)!  = )))
opher goodwin Added Sep 16, 2017 - 5:12pm
ACW - sing sing sing it's so good to sing - sing as much as you can - fill your lungs - go for it - I read it and want to sing that classic Country Joe and the Fish number of the same title. I love that opening line - 'Who am I to stand and wonder? to wait while the wheels of fate slowly grind my life away'.
A Classicist Writes Added Sep 16, 2017 - 6:16pm
OG--yes, yes, YES!!
opher goodwin Added Sep 16, 2017 - 6:22pm
ACW - I can hear you!! It's good!!
A Classicist Writes Added Sep 16, 2017 - 6:24pm
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world! = )))
opher goodwin Added Sep 17, 2017 - 5:41am
Me too!! It feels good! Tarzan of the city!!
Jeff Michka Added Oct 16, 2017 - 7:19pm
Well, guess we just don't still know, opher...