Man Shines Shoes

“Man Shines Shoes” is the 16th book published by Penkiln Burn. It was first released as paper back edition of 40 copies, specifically published for those having their shoes polished by Bill Drummond in Sherwood Forest on 3 October 2011.

A second hardcover edition of 1,000 copies got published in 2014,including an Italian translation by Verena Nala. The back cover states it was published in 2013 which would actually predate the 15th book, “Man Makes Bed“.

Back Cover Blurb


Polishing shoes, The Venice Biennale, Grand Central Station, brogues, Bill Drummond, not giving a fuck, caring too much, Chinese youth hostels in Italy, Poly Styrene, bondage, the smell of Chinese cooking, graffiti, German Sausage Dogs, all coppers being bastards and becoming a shoe-shine boy for the first time at the age of 58.


In the Drummond household we all had our chores to be done before breakfast. My chore of choice, above making the beds, filling the log basket or coal scuttle, was always polishing the shoes, and they were polished every day. To me that was not a chore. I always loved polishing shoes, the whole ritual, the smell of the polish, and of course the final satisfying shine…

At the age of 58, I was to become a shoe-shine boy…

You see this is what is missing from the career of Lady Gaga. She has never gone through her shoe-shining girl period. And in turn this is exactly where I am going right by entering it as now. She will be so jealous…

After polishing the sixth pair of shoes there was a lull in business. I counted my takings – nine Euros. This felt like the first honest money I had earned since I was in my early 20s doing a proper job…

All 1,000 copies were presented as the sculpture ONE THOUSAND BOOKS #4 at Eastside Projects, Birmingham, England between 15 March & 14 June 2014 as part of Bill Drummond’s exhibition The 25 Paintings. They will also be presented as this sculpture at future exhibition of The 25 Paintings throught out their world tour (2014 – 2025) until all stocks have been sold out at that point the sculpture will exist in the hands and minds of the people owning the individual copies of the book.

This book will not be available through the usual channels. But will be available directly from Bill Drummond when he is pyling his trade as a shoe shine boy.Bill Drummond

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