Terminally ill author's poetry and pictures on cancer and punk rock

Adrian Francis Fox drumming for Shane McGowan's band The Nipple Erectors at The Roxy Club, 1977

Adrian Francis Fox drumming for Shane McGowan's band The Nipple Erectors at The Roxy Club, 1977 - Credit: Adrian Francis Fox

An Islington local with terminal cancer has written a poetry book about his struggle with the illness and being part of the punk rock movement in 1976-77. 

Adrian Francis Fox, 62, has achieved his long-held dream to become a published author with his book Through Onyx Voids. 

In 2017 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given four to seven years to live.  

Shane McGowan and Adrian Francis Fox at a gig in 1978 at the Conway Hall

Shane McGowan and Adrian Francis Fox at a gig in 1978 at the Conway Hall - Credit: Adrian Francis Fox

Adrian said: “When a person such as myself is first diagnosed with terminal cancer, it is a great shock, but you collect yourself, deciding then how best to use your remaining time. 

“In my case, I resolved to write a book of poetry, taking the reader through the journey of a terminal cancer patient, the wish being to provide encouragement, inspiration, hope and self-belief in others in similar situations, plus to provide something of a 'window' to the general experience.” 

According to the author, the book deals with the finality of life, the corrupt injustice of the modern age and the true value of life. 

Adrian Francis Fox was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017

Adrian Francis Fox was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017 - Credit: Adrian Francis Fox

It includes memories from Adrian’s experience of punk rock in 1976-77, charting the early movement, the high-tide of The Roxy nightclub and Adrian’s ultimate disillusionment.

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The author was 16 years old at the time and a drummer in the band The Nipple Erectors, fronted by Shane McGowan, who later became famous as the lead-singer of The Pogues. 

Part poetry and part photography book, the volume includes polaroid pictures from Adrian’s own collection showing The Adverts, Siouxsie, Eater, The Cortinas, X-Ray Spex and The Jam on-stage. 

Adrian Francis Fox was part of The Nipple Erectors during the early punk rock movement 1977-8

Adrian Francis Fox was part of The Nipple Erectors during the early punk rock movement 1977-8 - Credit: Adrian Francis Fox

The poetry features venues across Islington like The Hope & Anchor and The Rochester Castle. 

“Through what I have now thankfully achieved, I seek to show what a terminal cancer patient can do,” Adrian said. 

“The various messages coming through my book are designed to bring forth positive reactions on the part of the reader, in a wholly universal and inclusive fashion.” 

The Islington local has written a poetry book Through Onyx Voids

The Islington local has written a poetry book Through Onyx Voids - Credit: Adrian Francis Fox

Ten per cent of the profits will be donated to St Joseph’s Hospice, where Adrian is an outpatient. He said he wrote the book “principally to give something back.” 

The book can be pre-ordered here tonybeesleymodworld.co.uk/apps/webstore/products/show/8254340