Miles Hunt talks Black Country and Shropshire links in popular diaries
Miles Hunt has been releasing records for all of his adult life. And yet, remarkably, he’s never had so many positive reviews as he’s enjoyed for his books.
Though music made him successful, his writing has earned him acclaim from fans and critics alike. His witty, literate expositions have been a revelation – and he plans to continue with his new career as a writer.
The only trouble is, now that his stories are in print, his mates in the pub know what’s coming next. “Putting the stories in the book stops me telling anecdotes – my mates say ‘don’t tell it, I’ve read it’. I’d like to think there’s a wider audience and the books aren’t just for fans of The Wonder Stuff. I know there’s a college in Wisconsin who bought a load of them via our ex-manager. A lot has changed since the 1990s but the general play of the music business is the same.
“The people who give you money as an advance want it back, and they want it back tenfold or more and don’t give a toss about what you have to do to earn it for them.” Miles has other projects lined up, following his diaries.
“I’ve got a novel in the offing, which I’m writing. I’ve held myself up by three or four years by doing the diaries, rather than a novel.
“I was really surprised by the response. I’ve been commercially releasing my creativity for over 30 years and usually with every good review there’s five or six knockings. But as far as I’m aware, there was one guy on Amazon who laughed at the price of the book and that’s been the only negative. There’s 60 or 70 reviews from people who’ve taken the time to buy it with their own money and then been good enough to put a decent testimonial. I haven’t seen a bad review, it’s remarkable. I’ve had a life of bad reviews.”
Shropshire and the Black Country are central to Hunt’s life and story.
He’s lived in Shropshire since the 1990s and still has the greatest affection for the Black Country.
“I moved to Stourbridge when I was 18 or 19. I wasn’t from a stuck up area. I came from a big council estate area in school near Coventry. But when I came over to the Black Country, it was totally different.
“Everyone I met in the Black Country, straight away, was just on the verge of making me laugh. There was a gag coming all the time, which certainly wasn’t the case in south Birmingham. And the gag that was coming in the Black Country was always at the expense of the person telling it. That self-deprecating humour is the charm and beauty of black country people.
Hunt’s musical tastes also changed when he came to the Black Country. He’d been listening to Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan in south Birmingham but the people he met in Stourbridge were listening to new music. “They were very purposeful. And they weren’t like people in Liverpool, Manchester or London – they weren’t serious about themselves.They took the p- out of their own ability. I’ve learned a lesson and have tried to hold onto that self-deprecating humour. It’s a lovely thing to have in yourself, rather than being serious or wound up.”
Shropshire is a joy. He lives on the Shropshire Hills, miles from anywhere.
“I moved up 22 years ago. It’s a holiday destination for Black Country people and our nearest pub is two miles away. Theres’ a caravan site a mile away – and a at the weekends it’s full of Black Country people. It’s fantastic, I get the best of both worlds.”