Sunday, November 15, 2015
Beat Poet Royston Ellis
Royston Ellis (1941) is an English novelist, travel writer and erstwhile beat poet. In June 1960, he travelled to Liverpool, England to perform a poetry reading at Liverpool University. As he usually read his poetry with backing from jazz musicians, Ellis searched among the locals for suitable musicians to accompany him and met the young group known as The Beatles.
Ellis bonded with John Lennon in particular, both sharing an enthusiasm for the American Beat poets, and spent the week at 3 Gambier Terrace with Lennon, Sutcliffe, et al. Lennon saw Ellis as "the converging point of rock 'n' roll and literature".
Ellis is one of the people the song "Paperback Writer" was based on, quoting a comment he had made years earlier.
At 20 Ellis retired from the teenage beatnik and rock and roll scene and left England permanently for a life of travel that took him to East Berlin and Moscow, where he read his poetry on stage with the iconic Russian poet Yevgeni Yevtushenko. Then, via Guernsey where he became a registered ferry boat engineer, he sailed to the Canary Islands and acted as an Arab with Cliff Richard in the movie Wonderful Life.
He hiked around West Africa then landed up in the British Virgin Islands before settling, in 1966, in Dominica where he wrote the best-selling Bondmaster series of historical novels as Richard Tresillian.
In 1979, after his hillside log cabin in Dominica was blown down by Hurricane David, he moved to Sri Lanka where he still lives in a colonial cottage overlooking the Indian Ocean.