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I am my style – Paul Klee, and Wilko Johnson

The abstract for my workshop has just gone on the website for the European Brief Therapy Association (EBTA) conference taking place in Bern in September. The conference is taking place at the Zentrum Paul Klee, and the title and theme of the conference is “I Am My Style”, an intriguing comment once made by the German/Swiss artist in his diary.

Workshop presenters were asked to include two sentences inspired by this quote, and my starting point was to look up ‘style’ in a dictionary, where I read, “the way in which something is done”. Turning to song for inspiration, I recalled the Fun Boy Three and Bananarama having a hit with It Ain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It back in the 80s, then had some fun on You Tube finding earlier versions.

Then yesterday  morning I came across this great quote by the incomparable guitar hero, Wilko Johnson – “I really did want to play exactly like Mick Green. Of course I got my own style by getting it wrong!” And so I had to include that, not least because I was going to a recording of a radio programme at the BBC Maida Vale studios in the afternoon, focusing on the first album by Wilko’s band Dr Feelgood, with Wilko being interviewed and playing a few songs. If you don’t know him and haven’t heard, Wilko was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been given only a few months to live. He decided against chemotherapy, and is going out with a bang, recording one last album and playing a farewell tour. He was interviewed on Radio 4 a few weeks back, and  if you haven’t heard it, listen now, it’s one of the most inspiring and life-affirming things you will ever hear.

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