Monday, July 30, 2007

The Long Game

Ingmar Bergman, the world's greatest living filmmaker, is dead.

Director of such classics as Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Fanny By Gaslight, Bergman took films about the human condition to unsurpassed levels. The BBC News have just shown those twats French & Saunders taking the piss out of him. Bergman had a sense of humour and would not have been amused.

Thank you for my DVD collection, Ingmar.

Skol, mate!

p.s. I won't be around much for the next couple of weeks but I'll be here in spirit.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Here we go again, its Monday at last,
He's heading for the Waterloo line,
To catch the 8 a.m. fast, its usually dead on time,
Hope it isn't late, got to be there by nine.

Well why don't you get an earlier train if you're worried about being late, you twat?

Pin stripe suit, clean shirt and tie,

I should fucking well hope your shirt's clean! We don't want no dirty smelly cunts in our office.

Stops off at the corner shop, to buy the Times
"Good morning Smithers-Jones
How's the wife and home?
Did you get the car you've been looking for?"

You seem to have a lot of time in the mornings to chat to your newsagent about your marriage, your home and your car. Christ, I wish I had all the time in the world in the mornings. Maybe if you were to cut the chat you'd get an earlier train and not have to worry about being late.

Let me get inside you, let me take control of you,
We could have some good times,
All this worry will get you down,
I'll give you a new meaning to life - I don't think so.

I don't think so, either. You're a sad, lost cause, aren't you Smithers-Jones? Part of the life-sapping system.

Sitting on the train, you're nearly there
You're part of the production line,
You're the same as him, you're like tin-sardines,
Get out of the pack, before they peel you back.

Yes, go on! Jump! Jump off the train while it's still moving! Come on, there's still time!

Arrive at the office, spot on time,
The clock on the wall hasn't yet struck nine,
"Good morning Smithers-Jones
The boss wants to see you alone
I hope it's the promotion you've been looking for."

I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you. I think I can guess where this story's heading.

Let me get inside you, let me take control of you,
We could have some good times,
All this worry will get you down,
I'll give you a new meaning to life - I don't think so.

All this worry. Promotions. Getting to work on time. It ain't worth it, mate.

"Come in Smithers old boy
Take a seat, take the weight off your feet
I've some news to tell you
There's no longer a position for you -
Sorry Smithers-Jones."

Christ, that was blunt and to the point. How could the bastard do this to you? "Old boy"? You're not that fucking old, are you?

Put on the kettle and make some tea
Its all a part of feeling groovy
Put on your slippers turn on the tv
Its all a part of feeling groovy

Yeah. You feeling groovy now, Smithers-Jones? A nice cup of tea and The Generation Game?

It's time to relax, now you've worked your arse off
But the only one smilin' is the suntanned boss

Capitalist pig!

Work and work and work and work till you die
There's plenty more fish in the sea to fry

Now you're stuck behind the chip-shop counter, Smithers-Jones. Wrapping the fish 'n' chips in yesterday's Times. Maybe you should drop the "Smithers". It's only an affectation, anyway. Now you've swapped your pinstripe suit for an apron. You should never have let the bastards drag you down. But you couldn't help yourself, could you? You're part of the grinding machine. What a sad little man you are.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Surely He Must Have Something Better To Do With His Time

First of all, apologies to Kaz for persuading her that it might be worth buying a Scott Walker album. He is not to many people's taste - he's a bit of a cult, and a moody cult at that. The amount of money I've wasted on cults in the past!

I'm most of the way through Scott 2 on my chronological Scott journey. And pretty early on in this album is a song called The Amorous Humphrey Plugg. "Aha!" I said, "yet another song with a fictional man's name in the title. There must be hundreds of those."

Then I started to list them...

Pink Floyd's (Syd's) Arnold Layne
Blur's Ernold Same (narrated by Ken Livingstone to demonstrate how boring Ernold's life was)
David Watts by The Kinks or The Jam (both bands definitely with definite articles)
ELO's The Diary of Horace Wimp
Toilet Duck Walking Chuck Berry's Johnny B Goode

Er, that's it. "Can you think of any more?" I ask Betty.

She got all Jonesy.

"The Supremes' Nathan Jones."
"Smithers-Jones" by The Jam.

And...that's it.

There must be more! Feel free to let me know who we're missing. It's driving me mad! (Mr Kite and other names with titles do not count, yes I'm making up the rules as I go along).

I've set myself the task to go through the lyrics of these songs and write a few lines about each of the individual characters. Unless, of course, you tell me I'm wasting my time as nobody gives a bollock about them.

Monday, July 23, 2007


So Saturday night, we're watching our recording of that night's Top Of The Pops 2 Disco Special, and I'm about to fall asleep for the third time. So I turn off the tv.

Betty is disappointed as she's more awake than me and Steve Wright's just started showing the video to ABBA's Summer Night City.

But not even the beautiful Benny & Bjorn can keep me awake and we go to bed.

So Sunday night, we watch the video. B&B's stunningness doesn't diminish over the years and this is one of the highlights of the show, yes even better than Disco Duck. Betty says to me "I bet you were one of those people who did everything the NME told you to do and bought the Junior Giscombe and Linx 12 inchers. Adrian Thrills was your God."

Yes, of course, I was young and easily influenced, after all it was only a matter of a few years before that I'd seen Genesis live! Besides, those Junior and Linx songs hold up pretty well.

Sunday night is a night of fitful sleep. One dream is memorable.

I am watching the video to Summer Night City. As the band sing the following...

When the night comes with the action
I just know it's time to go
Can't resist the strange attraction
From that giant dynamo

...I see Agnetha cycling onstage for all she's worth. She's sweating like Olivia Newton John in the Physical video. Yes, she wears a headband. She's cycling because she's powering the band's instruments by means of a giant dynamo.

Go, Agnetha! Go, girl!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Once upon a time, when we used to have train strikes that really affected our journeys into work, I drove my workmates all the way to London. It was a hellish four hours, alleviated only by my choice of in-car listening.

"This is the Walker Brothers," I announced to my non-plussed captive audience. You see we didn't have Heart 104.2 then so the majority did not rule and I got to hear what I wanted to hear.

I never really got into Scott's solo stuff. But Betty likes him and last year she bought most of his back catalogue.

A few weeks ago we saw Alan Yentob's ("Yentob Yentob Yentob Yentob Yentob Iddle I Po" as he's known in this house) Imagine programme on Scott. Marc Almond was pontificating.

Marc Almond is the main reason I never really got into Scott Walker. Too overdramatic, I thought. Cut from the same cloth.

Then Marc said how much he hated Tilt, Scott's 1995 comeback album. So I immediately played it and loved it. And now I'm going through the solo albums from the beginning, starting with 1967's Scott.

So I'm sitting on the toilet, headphones on, at 7.15 in the morning. The first track, Mathilde is playing. I stand up, it reaches its crescendo and I flush the toilet. The flush sounds like an enthusiastic round of applause. Well deserved in my opinion.

So here's the song, introduced by a beautifully ghostly Dusty Springfield. Look at how skinny Scott's legs are! And imagine a flushing lav instead of that studio applause.

And here, to compare and contrast, is the song as performed by the song's creator, sweaty horse faced Belgian chain smoker, Jacques Brel. My best friend at the age of 8 was a handsome child. He grew up to be the spit of Jacques, though a much healthier marathon running version. This, of course, is much more authentic and rootsy. I like it but I prefer Scott's galloping take on the song. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Broadstairs!

Isn't it quaint?
Oh no, it ain't,
It's Broadstairs.

A nice stick of rock?
Suck on yer cock,
It's Broadstairs.

Lovely ice cream!
A middle class dream,
It's Broadstairs.

Charles Dickens was here!
There's no fuckin' pier,
It's Broadstairs.

A return to the past!
It's gone overcast,
It's Broadstairs.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

St Ives Revisited

Subsequent to my slagging the other week, St Ives in Cornwall has now been named Britain's best seaside town by a Guardian panel of experts. Broadstairs, a depressing town of which I have many unhappy memories from childhood visits, came second.

The panel of experts included Bill Bryson, Rick Stein, Esther Freud, Blake Morrison and Alan Carr. Andrew Martin, Alastair Sawday, Martin Parr, Kathryn Ferry, Candida Lycett Green, Kate Ashbrook, Paul Gogarty, Kevin Gould, Ian Jack, Andrew Kotting, Adam Nicolson, Phyllis Starkey, Jonathan Glancey and Jonathan Jones also lent their expertise to the project.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Say Cheese!

One of Gordon Brown's first tasks as Prime Minister is to cheer up a depressed nation. What with the state of education, health, housing, and the awful summer weather, Gordon is looking for something to elevate our spirits. And he thinks he's found the ideal pick-me-up.

"There was a golden age of comedy," says Gordon. "And that was the silent era, the era when two of Great Britain's greatest ever comedians, Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin, were making the world laugh until it cried."

Gordon's brainwave is to make the first ever national silent movie.

"We are the leaders in CCTV technology," says the PM. "We are a mere 1% of the world's population, yet we have in operation 25% of the world's surveillance cameras. On 23rd October 2007, I propose that we as a nation dress as our favourite silent screen star and walk in a funny manner in our streets. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has kindly agreed to dress his men and women in the uniform of the Keystone Cops for the day. He has further promised me that any arrests made on that day will be made in an amusing and slapstick way."

There is a warning, however, for any would-be Harold Lloyds.

"I am afraid that all action must be confined to ground level. Anybody found scaling a building or hanging off a large clock 300 feet in the air will be most severely dealt with by the police, after they have followed the perpetrators on a rickety old ladder."

Footage of the day's events will be available on the Government's website. Participants will be able to search for film of themselves by entering a postcode and time of day.

Monday, July 09, 2007


I have one of those dreams which are so real you keep waking up thinking it's really happening then go back to sleep and continue where you left off.

I am on holiday with several schoolfriends: a not uncommon occurrence in my dreams. One of the friends, a boy who was in the same class as me between the ages of 5 and 18, who I've not seen since, and who, according to his Friends Reunited profile, is now a GP as he always wanted to be, commits a murder. This is unusual in my dreams as I am the only murderer I know and I committed that murder years ago. Although I can't remember doing it, I do know there's a body beneath my patio, which is basically why we can never move house.

So the GP is a murderer, there's blood on his hands and our holiday dormitory is awaken at 6 a.m. by the FBI who have all the evidence. I can tell by my schoolfriend's eyes he wants to be caught as his life has taken a turn he never expected or wanted, he feels trapped and this is his way out.

So we look at each other, two murderers, one wanting to be convicted, the other hiding his 20 year old crime deep within his memory. I know what he did. He doesn't know what I did.

It serves him right for persuading me to see Rick Wakeman with him in 1977.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Name Is...

You know you're getting on a bit when nobody knows how to spell your name. Nobody knows how to spell your name because your name hasn't been popular as a baby's name for 40 odd years. There just aren't any young Geoffs coming through.

So when someone asks my name, I say either...

1. "Geoffrey with a 'G'." In which case I get correspondence addressed to "Geoffery".


2. "Geoffrey." In which case I receive correspondence addressed to "Jefferey".

They don't realise my name has two syllables. They think it has three. They don't listen to how I pronounce my name.

I don't mind, but if somebody at school had called me Geoffery or Jefferey I would have thought they were taking the piss. No, no two ways about it, they would have been taking the piss, maybe addressing me as if I was "little baby Geoffery." They would have been a bully so I wouldn't have said anything back, just taken it on the chin.

But that never happened as all the kids at school called me "Geoff" or "Geoffrey Bubbles Bom Bom". Which is about as affectionate as I could have hoped for.

But now I'm old and Geoffery is my official name. I am of three syllables. So you can call me Geoffery Three Syllables.

Just don't stress the middle one.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Concert For Diana

Much misunderstood, Diana. Growing up, her world was not one of Elton John, Rod Stewart, Duran Duran et al. Her musical scene was the grimier, sticky-floored world of pub rock. Doctor Feelgood were her pre-Charles favourites.

Fag in one hand, pint of snakebite in the other, the smell of sweat, beer and piss, Wilko Johnson coming at her like a 4 year old on amphetamines, his wild movement constrained by a six foot length of elastic.

The Half Moon, Putney would have been a fitting venue for a fitting pub rock tribute to the young life-loving Spencer girl.

It was corporate, soulless Wembley Stadium and James Morrison for the anaethetised wife and mother, the blandly compassionate regal superwoman.

If only they'd gone with her heart. Her heart was in dirty, sweaty rock and roll played by hard working, hard drinking Essex bits of rough.

Where were the Kursaal Flyers yesterday?

Where, indeed.