Peter Culshaw

Indiscreet astronaut

Among my more bohemian friends in 1980s London, Brion Gysin was a name spoken with a certain awe. He was the man who William Burroughs, the author of Junky and Naked Lunch, said was ‘the only man I ever respected’. Gysin was a modernist novelist, inventor and artist. He and his mathematician friend Ian Sommerville

Cuban comet

By chance, my first night in Havana in 1987 was the night the clubs went dark to mark the death of Enrique Jorrin, the inventor of the cha-cha-cha, whose rhythmic brainstorm had gone global. My grandparents used to dance cha-cha-cha at Latin nights at the Grand Hotel in Leicester in the 1950s. Rubén Gonzalez, Jorrin’s