Poet Ivor Cutler Dead at 83

Legendary poet and musician Ivor Cutler dies. Hearing him read is the best, but his Glasgow Dreamer is an essential read. Lots of audio here.

It’s very strange for me to realize that I know exactly where I was on the evening of December 15, 1991. I was in my dorm room on Don Street in Old Aberdeen, listening to the John Peel show, probably in bed. I’m pretty sure it was “Glasgow Dreamer Episode 10” (mp3) that led me to buy the book. I probably scribbled the name down in a notebook so I wouldn’t forget. Sometimes I wish I’d have scribbled down a lot more stuff in notebooks, because there’s already so much from that semester abroad that I’ve completely forgotten. The names of streets, the names of my friends, the girls, the brands of ale. But not Ivor Cutler. I remember him.

A decade after I returned to the States, the University of Aberdeen knocked down my dormitory, Dunbar Halls, to make better use of the space. I’d like to go back someday and walk around the neighborhood. But I probably wouldn’t even recognize it. I’m sure it’s changed as much as I have.

“Dunbar Halls sits in a back land area at the very northern tip of Old Aberdeen immediately adjacent to Seaton Park. It has been used for a number of years for University of Aberdeen student halls but the buildings have now passed their best and have been empty for almost two years. Conversation area consent was granted in 2001 to demolish the buildings… It is likely that the University will wish to build modern student accommodation to replace the soon to be demolished structure.” —Aberdeen City Council Planning Brief, March 2003

You can’t go home again.

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