Inspiration. With apologies to Joe and the boys…

I was seventeen (and playing Def Leppard’s Hysteria on heavy rotation) when, on December 21 1988, Clipper Maid of the Seas exploded over the village of Lockerbie. It was the shortest day of the year, and truly the darkest. I read stories of those who never made it home juxtaposed with those who missed the flight. Years later, whilst further indulging my love of music, I discovered that some great musicians, namely the Four Tops and John Lydon, had been scheduled to board the flight but missed it due to delays. Those not so fortunate: Paul Jeffreys, bass player with Cockney Rebel, and poet/lyricist Joanna Walton who had worked with Robert Fripp.

I got to thinking…

What if one passenger – a girl, perhaps – was just about to change the world?

Women. I have my opener. So I thought deeper…

What if she was carrying an earth shattering secret which, at the end of the flight, she was due to unleash? What if that was why the flight was downed? Hundreds dead to conceal one target? Surely fewer questions would be asked about the individuals if the target was seemingly a group or nation as a whole?

Rocket. A thumping beat. Deeper…

What if the faction, my Gods of War, charged with the bombing had been very carefully set up? What if this act of mass destruction was designed not to hide how big this secret might be – but to show how big it is. To show one man the lengths to which its protectors would go.

Armageddon (It). Double entendre, a message within a message. Deeper still…

All that remained was the most important part of my album – the dynamics. Love and Affection nestled alongside Hysteria. Piano giving way to heavy guitars – the heart pounding intertwined with the heart wrenching.

Of course, I reasoned. The secret itself. It would not just be big. Hell no, it would be personal. Love, as they sing, bites. It bleeds. “It’s bringing me to my knees”.

So… Red light, yellow light, green light. Go…

I started to Run Riot: Prodigal Lara trying to get home, back to the arms of Jack Bernstein; her father. Jack has something his daughter’s killers want and the killers have something that he wants. The album had begun but it had become one of duets; each side firmly proclaiming that they were one step ahead of the other…

In Mutt Lange style, I got to structuring a heavy Thriller. Tweaking, editing, cutting and pasting until I felt I had a carefully crafted opus which grabbed you, kept you hooked and finished every bit as forcefully as Leppard’s searing cry of “A.. ni… mal!!!”

But… as many a radio DJ has discovered to their cost… you should hold your breath. There may actually be more to come…

Many months of very careful production after that, I had Codex.

And some people still think that a novel, like a great album, just… falls out of the sky.

CODEX by Adrian Dawson, Last Passage, £9.99. www.codexunlocked.com

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