Irvine Welsh

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Irvine Welsh (September 27, 1958) is a Scottish author, best known for his novel "Trainspotting" (1993), which was adapted to film in 1996 by Danny Boyle. Both novel and film have received a cult following.

In "Trainspotting" Welsh references several of his favorite artists: The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, The Stooges, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Joy Division, The Fall, The Pogues and Frank Zappa. Zappa is referenced no less than five times in the novel, but none of the references made it in the film version.


"S likesay only then thit ah realise that ah am; bored as fuck ken, but physically, likesay . . . aye. The first fortnight was an extended death trip man . . but now, likes, ah could handle some hot sex Wi a Jewish princess or a Catholic girl, complete wi white soacks, goatay be complete Wi the white soacks. Ken?"

(WELSH, Irvine, "Trainspotting", 1993, Minerva, London, page 122)

"Ah decide tae visit Na Na in the sheltered housing gaffs at the bottom ay Easter Road, likes. Na Na hates it thair, even though she's likes, goat a barry pad. Wish ah could git one like that, ken. Dead smart, but only for aulder cats, likesay. Ye just pull a cord and an alarm goes, and this warden like, comes n sorts it aw oot fir ye, ken. That would be right up ma street man, Wi Frank Zappa's daughter, that crazy chick, the Valley girl, Moon Unit Zappa as warden, likesay. A dead peachy scene that would be, ah kid you not catboy!"

(WELSH, Irvine, "Trainspotting", 1993, Minerva, London,page 123)

"Renton gestures to Spud to move over with him. Hating to make the first move, he is delighted when Spud starts talking to her mate, because Spud never normally takes the initiative in that way. The speed's obviously helping, however, even though he is somewhat distraught to hear that Spud is rabbiting on about Frank Zappa."

(WELSH, Irvine, "Trainspotting", 1993, Minerva, London, page 135)

"These bad cats leave the basket tae stalk their prey, and the attnosphere is like ... brilliant. Sick Boy brings oot some E. White doves, ah think. It's mental gear. Most Ecstasy hasnae any MDMA in it, it's just likesay, ken, part speed, part acid in its effects . . but the gear ah've hud is always jist likesay good speed, ken? This gear is pure freaky though, pure Zappaesque man ... that's the word, Zappaesque ... ah'm thinkin aboot Frank Zappa Wi Joe's Garage n yellow snow n Jewish princesses n Catholic girls n ah think that it wid be really great tae huv a woman ... tae love likesay ... no shaggin likes, well no jist shaggin ... but tae love, cause ah sortay feel like lovin everybody, but no sortay Wi sex ... jist huvin somebody tae love but likesay Rents' goat that Hazel n Sick Boy ... well, Sick Boy's goat tons ay burds ... but these catpersons don't seem any happier than moi .The other man's grass is always greener, the sun shines brighter on the other side ... ah'm fuckin singing likesay, ah never sing . . . ah've goat some gear n ah'm singing . . ah'm thinkin ahoot Frank Zappa's daughter, Moon, likesay ... she'd dae us fine... hingin not Wi her auld the recording studio ... jist tae see likesay the creative process, ken, the creative process ..."

(WELSH, Irvine, "Trainspotting", 1993, Minerva, London, page 156)

"We down another pint, then call a joe Baxi. These sports bags wir cairryin man, they should have SWAG oan the side ay thum, instead ay ADIDAS and HEAD, likesay. Two fuckin grand, likes. Phoah! Don't you-ho be te-heh-heh-rified, it's just a token of my extreme . . . as the other Franco, one Mister Zappa, would say."

(WELSH, Irvine, "Trainspotting", 1993, Minerva, London, page page 283)

Other references

In Welsh's sequel to "Trainspotting", "Porno" (2002) the character Spud has a cat named Zappa.

See also