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Killer star Adamski backs friend at secret book gig

Event marks release of Mick The Punk's autobiography, No More Walls

07 May, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Adamski performing as ‘Sonny Eriksson’

HE has performed in front of crowds running into thousands at some of the country’s biggest dance music venues.

But on Tuesday evening, Adamski – who topped the charts in 1991 – stripped things back to perform a secret gig in the more rarefied surrounds of the Primrose Hill Community Centre. Now performing under the new stage name Sonny Eriksson, the 50-year-old, with dyed pink hair and a teddy boy look, played five songs to mark the release of an autobiography written by his friend, James Nelson.

Mr Nelson, 82, who lives in Oldfield Court, Primrose Hill, tells in his book, No More Walls, of his life living homeless in London, battling alcoholism and also in psychiatric care. He had a full lobotomy in the 1970s that left him with a large scar around the circumference of his head. “I wrote No More Walls because I wanted to tell people who I was,” said Mr Nelson.

“I was a very angry man at what institutions had done to me with the psychiatric treatment. In care until the age of 36 I had been given the chemical cosh, ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) and a lobotomy. This is the third edition of my book – it has been translated into German, Dutch and Japanese. It has also been published in Braille, with the help of two blind women.”

Adamski with James Nelson and Camden Mayor Richard Cotton

In a unique event on Tuesday night, long-term friends and acquaintances gathered around to celebrate the book, which has been illustrated with a portrait of Mr Nelson by the television journalist Andrew Marr. Camden Mayor Cllr Richard Cotton said: “It is shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world there are 8,000 people sleeping rough on any one night – 300 to 400 in Camden.”

In the book’s foreword, he wrote: “James’s story demonstrates that there is so much talent hidden in the doorways.”

The event was also put on by the Sybil Shine Trust, recently set up in the memory of the former Labour councillor.

Mr Nelson’s long-time friend Marion Oxley, who said she had spoken to him “pretty much daily” since meeting him in the 1970s, said “He has told me so many stories, such a unique and special man. It’s been a privilege to know him and call him my friend.” The Central and Cecil Housing Trust and Age UK Camden also attended the event and have helped with the publication.

Adamski had a worldwide hit with Killer, which featured Seal on vocals. He said he had known Mr Nelson – who is also known as “Mick the punk” – for decades and had recently visited him in his home in Primrose Hill to record a new track. Samples of Mr Nelson’s voice were used in some of the songs performed at the centre in Fitzroy Road. “It’s an honour to be here for Mick’s book launch. For the purposes of tonight, I’m Sonny Eriksson – a teddy boy from the fourth dimension,” he said.

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