Wednesday, June 28, 2006
PIGS CAN FLY - BARRY CRYER
Writer, performer, quiz show panellist, a man with two hundred and forty seven years in show business under his belt, Barry Cryer has gathered together a number of anecdotes (some are his own, some are of apocryphal origin but you kind of hope they are genuine).
The husband read this last year in the Algarve and recalled one story about a City gent on a train which made me laugh loudly while I was sat outside a pub (I was slightly drunk). Reading it again while sober made me laugh even more a year later. I am pathetic.
Disappointingly, there are only a couple of stories about boarding house landladies (the old standby for veteran showbiz types) but generally it's a top read. A lot of old comedians seem to die, suddenly, in the middle of having a sitdown with a cup of tea, and after about half an hour someone will say "he's gone a bit quiet" before anyone realises what has happened.
Recommended because you can read it in a couple of hours straight and have a larff in the process. Probably better in that respect than reading Underworld by Don Delillo, say.
HAMMER OF THE GODS - STEPHEN DAVIS
I've intended to read this one on holiday for the past three years, but never got around to it until now. The unauthorised biography of Led Zeppelin is now regarded as a classic of the genre. I love pop music but rarely bother to read books about pop music because, face it, most people in bands are dull bastards and all of the remotely spicy stuff will have been edited out so you are left having to read their bletherings about the "magical chemistry" of the band and how they used a mandolin when recording the second album etc., etc.
Fortunately, Mr Davis (the pasty faced snooker player) serves up the horrible side of the Zep, e.g., Jimmy Page (nearly thirty at the time) kidnapping a fourteen year old girl, dumping her for a slightly older model a year later then accusing her of being too young to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Eugh. Or John Bonham's epic booze sessions when the otherwise nice bloke would turn into "the Beast".
Quite funny to read about Robert Plant enthusing about peace, love and the '60's while Led Zeppelin employed hard-as-fuck borderline gangsters for management and security. A lot of people seemed to get beaten up.
Mr Davis uses excitable, slightly corny prose to tell the, erm, greatest story every told. He seems to sort of buy into the myth of the band selling their soul to the Devil, but it's pretty entertaining nonetheless.
Think about it: would any writer be able to convince you that Keane or The Feeling have sold their souls to the Devil? They would deserve a several million pound advance if they did ...
Incidentally, the first time that you heard Dazed And Confused - was your heart in your mouth? If it wasn't you are
(i) smug, an anal retentive, only like "tasteful" music
(ii) dead, probably.
The Zep rock, and you have to come to terms with that fact eventually.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Last night I was ironing until nine thirty in the evening. Besides, I had to deal with the aftermath of the exploding can of tuna incident by bleaching and washing stuff. All very tiresome.
The week in Ibiza was also a bit of a letdown, but I'll spare any sensitive souls out there the full graphic details. Instead, use your imagination to work out what happened using the following collections of words:
menstrual cycle goes haywire
two months' worth rolled into one
grinding stomach cramps for a whole day
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
stuck in the hotel for two days
Jimmy Page may have suggested that the soul of a woman was created below, but the below bits of a woman were created by a right f*cking c*nt.
I will be writing about other aspects of the holiday and one or two other things if and when I get the chance, but there is more housework to do now.
At least I won't be posting any slightly blurred pictures of windswept beaches. Be grateful for small mercies.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Every inch of me has been waxed, buffed, polished, sprayed, spayed and neutered. All of the unsightly cellulite has been pumped away and donated to Happy Shopper to be tinned up in their tapioca puddings (undiluted). I will be the fittest octogenarian on the beach.
I'll be thinking of you all and missing you every moment of the day, except when I'm throwing my money away on the fruit machines or finding myself locked out of the bed and breakfast for getting back there too late (ten thirty in the evening).
Will try to send you all a postcard if I can remember. See yer.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
This being the sixth of the sixth of the sixth of the sixth, we must rest assured that the world has ended, and we are currently living in post-apocalypse times.
Typically, it doesn't seem that much different from the pre-apocalypse world. Apart from the dream I had before waking about my dad driving around in a red 1980's Range Rover with a voiceover commentary from Terry Wogan, nothing remotely satanic has happened to me today. Although I was having breathing difficulties when I awoke and my heart was beating nineteen to the dozen, so that might have been a sign.
Bee-al-zee-bub has a devil put a syphon me, on me, on meeeeee.
Friday, June 02, 2006
"I find that Umberto Gianni's Curl Friends Scrunching Jelly adds bounce, shine and body to my curls, on and off the pitch. Smells great too!"
I'm already fed up of the endless promotions and adverts for the World Cup. Every television ad break is full of CGI images of Beckham, Ronaldinho (a.k.a. Horsehead) and a number of other players I can't recognise having a kickabout in an underground silo, and all those World Cup-related items on sale in supermarkets! World Cup mugs, t-shirts, flags, towels, bubblebath, even sanitary towels with the Cross of St George on them. Enough!
Still, it's my duty to add to the World Cup build up, so I must put in a word here for one of the great enigmas of the England squad: Owen Hargreaves.
I'm not much of a football fan, but I find Owen intriguing.
For starters, he's actually Canadian, and has played for Bayern Munich for several years. For all I know, the only time he actually touches down on English soil is if he's playing a match in England. Otherwise he's "oot" of the country for the rest of the time (apologies to any Canadians for this South Park pun).
With his Romany curls, dreamy doe eyes and long, possibly false, eyelashes, he looks as if he should be a bad romantic poet rather than a footballer.
He always ends up coming into the game as a substitute in the seventieth minute, then as far as I can tell, he has no effect on the game whatsoever.
It was suggested by Ian Wright after the England/Hungary match the other night that the only reason Owen always has a place in the squad is that he has some terrible insider information on coach Sven Goran Ericksson's private life. Ian should wash his mouth out with soap!
At the end of any international tournament or England friendly match, Owen goes back to Germany and is never heard of again, to disappear, forgotten and gathering dust like the Christmas decorations that are put away in the loft for another year.
Basically, this is a plug for my special World Cup World Of Owen Hargreaves blog, which will feature news, updates, stats, tactical talk, a forum and facts about the man (e.g., interests: ice hockey, seal clubbing. Heroes - Donald Sutherland, Pierre Trudeau, Neil Young, Alexander Graham Bell, Alanis Morrissette, David "Kid" Jensen).
I'll also be updating you on Owen's use of curl-enhancing hair products, and telling you how effective they are.
Have a great World Cup, Owen!