This month, we’re reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. Got thoughts? Leave ’em here! Or better yet, if you’re in the Sacramento area, come to the Arden Dimick Book Club, at Arden Dimick Library, Feb 23, 2014, 2PM!
Douglas Adams was born in 1952 and died much too young in 2001. He lived in England all his life. Adams was a slow writer, once famously saying, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by”. He had a hard time breaking into comedy writing until the radio series version of Hitchhiker’s Guide became an unexpected hit – it went on to become a series of novels, a TV series, a movie, a comic book, and a computer game,
Douglas Adams was friends with some amazingly cool people. If he threw a party, you wanted to be there. Case in point:
1. He was friends with the lead guitarist for Procol Harem (Gary Booker). At one of Adams’ parties, Gary played the full four verse version of Whiter Shade of Pale.
2. He played left-handed guitar and on his 42nd birthday he got on stage with Pink Floyd and played two songs with the band. He was friends with Pink Floyd’s guitarist, David Gilmore. References to Pink Floyd show up in several of his books. Look, here he is!
3. Lala Ward, who played one of the companions in the show Doctor Who, was a close friend of Adams and he introduced her to his best friend, Richard Dawkins, the scientist and prominent atheist. Dawkins and Ward married a year later. This is a total tangent, but I have to let you know that Lala Ward has an asteroid named after her. It’s ‘8347 Lalaward’.
4. Douglas Adams was friends with the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, especially Terry Jones and Graham Chapman. Adams appeared on Monty Python twice.
5. Douglas Adams wrote several scripts for Doctor Who and collaborated on a show with Tom Baker. Tom Baker, of course, played The Doctor on Doctor Who, alongside Lalla Ward. Tom Baker and Lalla Ward were married for a while but divorced, at which point Adams introduced her to Richard Dawkins, thus ensuring a perfect chain of geekyness that would not be rivaled until David Tennant, who played the 10th Doctor, married the daughter of Peter Davidson, who played the 5th Doctor. OK, that last bit doesn’t have anything to do with Douglas Adams, I just think it’s cool.