Dylan Jones, Editor of British GQ and Mayfair Times columnist, has published a book about one of the greatest songs in the canon of American music.
Day catches up with Jones to find out why Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell's song The Wichita Lineman has such a special place in his heart.
You clearly have a close relationship with Jimmy Webb’s The Wichita Lineman. Have you wanted to write a book on this subject for a while?
It’s something I’ve been thinking about for years, but have never had the time to do it.
After the success of my Bowie book (David Bowie: A Life), I wanted to do something else that was close to my heart. This is that book.
As well as providing the history of the song and its creation, the book is also part travelogue. How important is it to immerse yourself in the culture when writing a book like this?
I think it’s invaluable. You need to understand how a place feels, how it looks, how it had the ability to produce such great art.
You have to properly immerse yourself, or else you may as well just be writing an entry for an encyclopaedia. There is no substitute for journalism.
What wider knowledge can we glean from stories like that of The Wichita Lineman?
I hope that the book gives the reader a clearer idea of the song itself, but also of the culture of the time it was born in.
Why does The Wichita Lineman hold an important place in the history of American music?
It’s an incredibly simple and yet incredibly complex song.
The Wichita Lineman: Searching In The Sun For The World’s Greatest Unfinished Song, by Dylan Jones, is published by Faber & Faber.
Picture of Dylan Jones copyright iFLACK.