Poet and musicologist, Dr. Brian Hinton MBE is best known to Van fans for his Van biography Celtic Crossroads –The Art of Van Morrison in 1996. He was born on 21 September 1950 in Southampton, England. Hinton studied English at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he served as President of the Oxford University Poetry Society, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Twentieth Century English poetry at Birmingham University. He has also completed a postgraduate diploma in information science.
Hinton is the author of more than thirty books on various topics. His primary interests include music and literary researches into Alfred Tennyson on the Isle of Wight in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, especially in regard to the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Hinton is Chairman of the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust and curator at Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater. He also serves as President of the Farringford Tennyson Society. Hinton is an Associate Editor of the international literary magazine, Tears in the Fence and co-hosted the Tears in the Fence London readings from 2001-2004 at John Calder’s Bookshop, The Cut, Waterloo, London, with David Caddy.
He has organised photographic exhibitions by David Bailey, Charlton Heston, Koo Stark and many others at Dimbola Lodge. In June 2009, he organised a photographic exhibition by American singer and songwriter Patti Smith that took place at Dimbola Lodge.He is the leading authority on the literary history of the Isle of Wight including the Island of Wight Festival. He has written a history of the Wright Festival entitled Message to Love. Brian is also a noted musicologist, with recent books on alt. country music and the authorised biography of folk rock pioneer Ashley Hutchings, as well as a strictly unauthorised study of Van Morrison, which provoked Van to write the song 'New Biography' for Back on Top.
In June 2006 Brian was honoured in the Queen's 80th Birthday Honours List for services to the arts, and is now Dr Brian Hinton MBE.
Some Brian Hinton Interview Questions
A. That’s difficult. I’ve got 10,000 vinyl albums and 5,000 on CD but if pushed I’ll say Mighty Baby by Mighty Baby. They’re a very obscure psychedelic group who played the 1970 festival. I saw them reform and play the Borderline Club in London just a few weeks ago and the lead guitarist is a friend of mine.
Q. If there was one thing you could change in your life what would it be?
Q. How do you think other people see you?A. Well I was known as the Screaming Lord Sutch of the poetry circuit. I nearly knocked one poet out at a reading in Exeter when I got rather over exuberant. I think people know me as an amiable eccentric.