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Paul Muldoon is a writer, academic and educator, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning poet from County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he[…]

Muldoon tells us about “Rackett.”

Paul Muldoon: We have a band called Racket, which basically, it's a rock and roll band, and it was set up by myself and a fellow called Nigel Smithwho's a scholar of English literature, in particular, Marvel and Milton--he does some work with him, used to teach at Oxford. I met him in Oxford actually when I was a professor of poetry at Oxford. He was the head of the English department of the Oxford. He now teaches at Princeton. He's a very, very a kind of serious scholar, but, behind it all, he is a rocker. And so he and I got together.

I have always been interest in trying to songs. I just would love be able to do it. It is a quite a difficult thing to do also.

But anyway we got together and we set up a band, there have been a couple of versions of it, but the present version of--it is a great guitarist, lead singer called Lee Matthew, he is a music scholar. Then we have Steven Alan who is in entertainment lawyer but a trained musician--went to the Berkeley College of Music. Then our drummer, Bobby Louis, also studied music at the College of New Jersey in Trenton. So they're all quite wonderful musicians. 

It's rock and roll. Rock and roll with we hope, you know, demi, semi interesting lyircs. We are hoping--that's the idea. So that the combination. And we keep plugging away at it. And we do it for fun to large extent, but we also work some what serious about it also and not in the sense that we are expecting to be playing Madison Square Garden any day soon. Mind you, if there is anyone from Madison Square Garden listening, you know, you should think about us. And we have to be realistic about that.

I suppose that a 56-year-old like myself shouldn't be cherishing even the remotest notion of that, but then I think of Mick Jagger. Mick Jagger is in slightly better shape than I altogether.

Anyway, back to the treadmill.

I write the lyrics, that's my main role. I write the lyrics, and I play the odd, sometimes miscalculated, chord on a guitar. But I do so with brio, or certainly the attempt at brio. I love it and it's just so much fun. The band actually is great.  I sort of stand to one side, or I will be praising myself, but I'd say they are quite brilliant.


Recorded on: Jan 30, 2008