A WINCHESTER academic is set to publish the biography of an iconic American musician.

August 21 will see the release of What Makes the Monkey Dance: The Life and Music of Chuck Prophet and Green on Red.

Californian Chuck Prophet has visited Winchester many times, and author Stevie Simkin has been a lecturer in drama and film at the city uni since 1995.

With this new publication (Steve’s eighth book) his profession and his hobby as a musician, co-hosting the Railway Inn’s long-running Roots Night, have now come together.

He said: “Chuck has been a working musician over four decades and he has seen seismic changes over that time”

"The rise and fall of the CD, downloads, streaming, the resurgence of vinyl, and massive shifts in the relationship between recording and touring."

Prophet has been a familiar visitor at Winchester's Railway Inn since 2007, but Simkin first got to know him ten years before.

“I’d been following his music since the late 1980s, and I wrote a review of a gig in London for Chuck's website.

"Over the following years, we struck up a friendship. One year when he was performing at the Railway with his wife Stephanie Finch, they got snowed in and had to stay on in Winchester.

"Chuck came over for the day and we hung out."

The idea of writing a biography came up a couple of years later, and at first, Prophet was reluctant.

Stevie continued: "Surely if someone wanted to write his biography, his career was over? Gradually he came around. I did a first trip to San Francisco.

"We would sit in his office, and the recorder would listen in as we talked. And the hours just rolled by."

The biography is due on the same day as Chuck’s new album, The Land That Time Forgot (Yep Roc) on August 21.