Tim Burgess

writes a love letter

to

David Lynch

Illustration by

Cameron JL West

Tim Burgess is perhaps best known as lead singer of iconic English band The Charlatans, but he is also a solo musician,  author, and founder of  O Genesis records. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been hosting #timstwitterlisteningparty, which celebrates a different album each night. We asked Tim to write a love letter to someone whose work inspires him, and he chose David Lynch. The American director behind Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet is, like Tim, a polymath who has also made music, nightclubs, festivals, and launched the David Lynch Foundation, which promotes the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Dear Mr. Lynch

             Or can I call you David? We're not old friends but we have kind of met twice...both occasions via the wonders of  Skype and both times I was thrilled beyond words. One was for an award presentation and the other was a question about meditation in an amazing broadcast that you did from your home. I hung on your every word. 

Heck, we didn't get off to the best start though did we? Well, you weren't to know but Eraserhead near scared the pants of me - I was only 14 when I saw it but those chickens and pencils made a lasting impression on me, I just came out in a cold sweat thinking about them. 20 years later I realised it was me not you so, sorry about that. But then came The Elephant Man, oh the beauty disguised as grotesque, the heart, the soul. You won me back. And I wanted more

 

 I was obsessed with Blue Velvet and its wild darkness.

       I think it was in Rolling Stone Magazine that I read that you were making a TV show. What had gone wrong? You were so far above making television. But I should have trusted you. You didn't just make television, you re-defined it, and I fell even deeper. I was on tour in America when Twin Peaks started, so it somehow made it seem more surreal - if that was at all possible. I'd catch an episode in a Motel 6 or venue, then pretty much drive through the shows scenery in a bus the next day - a close up of a crow’s eye, a minah bird being shot and casino chips being bitten in half - never sure what was real and what was a dream. Iconic images as red herrings as we tried to will Agent Cooper along in his quest to find out who had wrapped Laura Palmer in plastic and dumped her by the river. You introduced us to damn fine coffee and the best cherry pie. You said you'd see us again in twenty five years and we knew you were a man of your word.

 

         I've seen all your films since then on the opening day Fire Walk With Me at the Odeon, Wild At Heart at Notting Hill Gate, Lost Highway at The Cornerhouse, Mullholland Drive at a cinema on Fairfax and Inland Empire on sunset strip. They never ceased to amaze, if at times they confounded and confused me. That's how you play it and I'd never want you to change. 

And just when things couldn't get any better, the return of the mighty Twin Peaks - glorious, majestic and uncompromising. I felt proud of the incredible reviews even though I had nothing to do with the show, I felt like I knew them as old friends …and enemies.. I once had a dream at some time after Lost Highway but before Mullholland Drive where I met you and tried to console you about any bad reviews you’d ever had, I put my arm around your shoulder, and then woke up. Like my own scene from one of your movies. 

 

And then there's the meditation. 

It found me and I discovered that you were an exponent and advocate - it's been a true pleasure to help your Foundation for the last ten years, but I could never do enough to pay back what your work has done for me.

Long may your genius continue

 

Your ever adoring fan 

 

Tim Burgess x

To Terry Gilliam