My Chapter One project, considered quite stupid by some, has gone awry today. Most of the day was spent talking about Thomas the Tank Engines and some non-fictional trains, as well as the plates on a Stegosaurus’s back, but then I had to pop into London. Firstly I had to remind my agent that it really isn’t worth coming up with any grand television plans as I think decisions of who’ll be on in 2011 have been made and if I do ever get on it then I think I was rubbish and go into a sweat every time I hear a panel show that I was disappointing on reappears on Dave (oh it only seems such a short time ago that Rufus Hound and I were the conquerors of the digital panel show with series 2 of Streetcred Sudoku ). Then I met up with Sam West to discuss Jeff Wayne, cloning, “pay no more than £3.99” and Max Von Sydow. Unfortunately, my return journey took me towards the doorway of Fopp. All looked like it was going fine. I persuaded myself out of buying any new DVDs or Magazine album I was pretty certain I had. The only temptation was Fermat’s Room – a horror thriller about maths, you can imagine the drool. Even that I managed to talk myself out of. Maybe I should just take a look in the book section – oops.
Firstly a broken spine copy of Ever, Dirk: The Bogarde Letters. I have genuinely been intending to buy that for some time and it was £3. Once there is intent to buy one book, then the seal of resistance is smashed. Below Bogarde was Nick Cohen’s Waiting for the Etonians. I had also meant to buy that when it came out, so at £2 I felt that must be mine. Ah there’s a Modern day Interpretation of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, the original is one of my favourites, so into my hand it want, oh there are two companion books on The Wealth of Nations and Das Kapital. Finally, Neil Boorman’s Bonfire of the Brands, a book that examines the power of the brand in marketing and its effects on society, and yet I had been guilty of falling for my favourite brand; books, lovely books. So far this week I have rejected the DVDs of The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things and She Creature, and the books From Russia With Love, The Book and Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective (which was also bought this week and has never actually been in a bookshelf of mine).
I will have to become even more ruthless than I imagined. At the end of the week I will way the books and DVDs that have come in and those that will be going out. If the weight is greater of the incomers , then I must make a rash decision and reject enough extra books until the weight of the outgoing ones is greatest.
Today I read the first chapter of a Richard Allen book, actually I read three first chapters as the book was a compilation of three of his works – Skinhead Girls, Sorts and Knuckle Girls. I am the sort of man to be wooed into buying Richard Allen novels. Firstly, Morrissey named his debut single, Suedehead, after a Richard Allen skinhead novel. Secondly, people like me buy pulpy novels that we don’t always read to put next to our Hunter S Thompson and Charles Bukowksi books. I bought this one, The Complete Richard Allen – Volume 2, in an Edinburgh secondhand bookshop just off the meadows (about 5 minutes walk from the Gilded Balloon fringe-goers). It was £4.
“Weekends, he always said, were for relaxation and getting back to nature. Essentially, that meant screwing me and going to the football”
Chapter One of Skinhead Girls deals with an unpleasant greasy spoon breakfast and suspense over the prison breakout of Joe Hawkins (who first appeared in Allen’s Skinhead).
“she stood before the full length mirror and examined her body. The skin had a glow, droplets of water still clinging like sensual little beings between her firm breasts and to her abdomen”
That’s the start of Sorts. I have wondered how many women spend their life looking at themselves naked and thinking, “look at my smashing breasts”. It seems quite a regular occurrence in novels and films. Terry Hurdy is running off with £30 and a thumb to hitchhike with.
“she smiled and then teased him by letting her dufflecoat fall open”
On the other hand, dufflecoats have generally been underused in scenes involving sexual allure in film and printed fiction.
“’Maliciously wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm upon one Jean Turner!’”
Knuckle Girls starts with a kindly desk sergeant and the aftermath of some knuckle girls being knuckle girls.
This is all revered pulp fiction, briskly written and occasionally barbaric, but it is time for me to lose the NME self who may have spent too long being the nice middle class boy spending time in a nostalgic gutter he would never have had to live in.
DVD and some quick exit of heavy books to follow.
Book weigh in this Friday
UPCOMING GIGS –23/9 MAC, Birmingham 25/9 Rondo, Bath 27/9 Stand, Glasgow 28/9 Stand/Edinburgh