27 May 2005

A Polite Notice To Burglars

Well that's almost it. My working week is slipping to an and and my grand vacances are about to commence. Before we hit God's own Devon, there is the small matter of a wedding to attend - not my own I hasten to add...although I have attended several of those as well.
My best pal from grazed knee days is finally tying the knot and throwing quite an extravagant bash. Hangovers notwithstanding, we'll be heading west the next day to stay with our dear friends. Swimming, crabbing, and brisk walks along the beach beckon...I can't wait. The weather forecast isn't too clever though.
It occurs to me, that blogging the way I do, I could be giving information to the wrong sort of person - the criminal to be precise. Well, bad news hooded top trainer scum....the staff don't have the week off, and Mr Squibs the butler likes nothing more than torturing reprobates. He's something of a sadist...as is the second footman, whose name escapes me.
Forgive me if I don't communicate my inner most trivia for several days- I'll be too busy staring across the rainswept horizon, trying to entertain miserable infant and wife with my repertoire of impersonations of famous music hall artists of the nineteen twenties. Bon Vacances...or something.

26 May 2005

Too Old to Live, Too Poor to Die

I was convinced when I woke up this morning, that I had Parkinson's disease. Uncontrollably shaking hands that could barely guide my cigarette to my lips. A meeting with my financial advisor, has put paid to this. I cannot afford to have any illnesses at all. I must work every day until I am a little old man. She also berated me for not having made a will. She says 'in her game, clients drop dead all the time'. I entered her office, feeling somewhat apprehensive about financial matters, but filled with the joys only a sunny day can bring. I left, feeling like I was entering the valley of the shadow of death. Still, she has worked wonders with the sorry figures I produced, and ...thrown me a lifeline...well at least the homestead looks secure.
I played Saw and Guitar the other night at A prestigious book awards at the ICA. Hired help. It was a great evening. My sawing sending strange yet ethereal tones through the splendid Nash Rooms. A lot of champagne was consumed and by the end of the evening, I was playing twelve bar blues - which seemed to go down very well. Nick Hornby presented the prize, and I am sure he'll make me the subject of his next novel. He made a very telling speech, about thinking that writing and publishing his first novel, would sort out his life, and how it didn't. Then he thought the second one would...and so on. Bugger.
The highlight of the evening, was being introduced to Wilco Johnson, the blues legend. He didn't need much persuasion to pick up my guitar...I accompanied him on the saw. Although we have no immediate plans to record and tour together, I feel it is only a matter of time.
I did slightly put my foot in it for complimenting him on a record he hadn't actually played on...I think the fact that he didn't contribute to it, shows remarkable musical subtlety. Or something.

24 May 2005

Don't Go Home With Your Hardback

Well, even though I say it myself, the weekend's trip to Vienna was a resounding success. It was my task to take some gentlemen of the press to see Arcade Fire, then return them safely to the United Kingdom. I succeeded in this, and had a splendid time as well. Arcade Fire are great by the way. If you haven't already listened to them, I urge you to think about it urgently.
Having facilitated, engineered, greased and slithered, I repaired to the banks of the Danube for a crepuscular pint of Guinness. Well I thought it was the Danube but apparently it wasn't. I did perceive something was wrong. For a start, it wasn't blue. It turned out to be some kind of run off drain. Still, my romantic soul was not dulled.
The evening was rounded off with a pleasant round of binge drinking with the Wind Section of the Scottish National Orchestra. I don't know if all orchestras drink so heavily, or if it's just the Scottish one, but they were absolutely hammered. As the night wore on, more and more turned up. The French Horns, timpani..all staggering and reeling. I did consider hanging around for the String section - usually pretty young things, but decided professionalism and...what's that other thing you need reminding of at 3am when you're in a foreign hotel, half cut and surrounded by equally innebriated sorts - ah yes, fidelity. I must be growing up at last.It's been a struggle.

Anyway, in the continuing saga of my musical exploits, I am playing tonight at the Second Book Awards at the ICA. Sadly not open to the likes of you - unless your name is Nick Hornby, Doris Lessing or JK Rowling.
I will be playing the saw - the organizers actually requested this.
I will give wobbly versions of Paperback Writer, It's Only Words, and Leonard Cohen's classic 'Don't Go Home With Your Hardback'.

Expect further postings on this interesting, champagne - and potentially real pain event.
By the way, the car is great. MOT'd, serviced and serving. Wish us luck.

20 May 2005

Luke Haines Levitates!

Feeling slightly clammy and below par today. This as you must have guessed, is due to a hangover. Yes, my allergy to wine is torturing me once again. It's not a full scale death cloud, but nothing is quite gelling and I feel like a tramp.
A fine soiree with my young protege Neil and his lovely wife...and mine. Nothing outrageous occurred. No nudity, daisy chaining or anything of that nature - just good old fashioned chomping and boozing. Not recommended on a school night.
I was distressed to learn that my dear pal Haines has not been well. Obviously I feared the worst, but it seems he is not about to die.
Of course I was delighted that he'd had to cancel his concert in Istanbul...like all true friends are when misfortune strikes those they love. The bad Johnny even speculated that the 'illness' might be caused by lack of ticket sales...or a mischieviously satirical response to Kylie Wotsit. On his website, it said 'A thousand apologies'. I wanted to reply that seven or eight might have sufficed. Anyway, this was mere malignant speculation. He was genuinely infirm, and I am sure the concert would have been a marvellous event for any young Turk to attend.
Should Germ Operatives wish to send him messages of sympathy and support a la Kylie, his website is www.lukehainesdossier.co.uk - I think. Anyway, you can always google...oh actually, I think there's a link from this site.There may very well be.
I am off to Vienna tomorrow - it is my intention to remain vertical at all the appropriate times, and horizontal only when absolutely necessary. In other words, Johnny intends to behave.
Picking up the motor later today, so expect all kinds of nonsense. She's booked in to the garage first thing monday morning. Although mechanical progress is perhaps not the most interesting thing I've kept you abreast of I will however, keep you informed of her progress - or lack of it.
Ta Ta for now.

19 May 2005

The Third Man

I've just crawled out of my pit, rested, relaxed and rearing to go -except, it's raining. Well, no worries ( to employ the antipodean vernacular), I won't melt. I shall do useful things.
I am definitely off to Vienna this weekend. My initial reluctance has been replaced by cautious enthusiasm. I'd forgotten that Vienna remains one of the world's most opulent cities of culture, schnitzel, and leather hats with a feather in them. I don't think I'll have time to attend a night at the Vienna Opera House, the Spanish Riding School or the Adolf Hitler Theme Park. I will however eat cakes, drink heartily, and wear shorts with braces. I shall walk in 4/3 time - to those unfamiliar with this, it's the Waltz. I will prowl the bomb sites after midnight, casting Orson Welles like shadows, cross the city zones via sewer, and ride the ferris wheel, speculating on the 'dots down there, and how if they stopped moving, I wouldn't mind all that much'.

It seems that I am to be the benificiary of an act of enormous kindness. I have a fairy godmother...a fairy god mother who intends to purchase a new motor, and has given me her old one. It's hardly used...30k on the clock, and best of all, it's black.
What's the catch?
Now, it has had a few problems - catching fire, grinding to a halt at inopportune times, and has generally been about as reliable as a virgin's promise. Still, a bit of deflowering here and there with a spanner, should keep her on the straight and narrow. I feel blessed. Fairy Godmother's only proviso in all this, is that she never wishes to hear about this old banger again. No late night phonecalls from the hard shoulder of the M4, no complaints from the four wheel inferno as I frazzle to a crisp.
I belong to the AA - the automobile association in case you ask. I go to meetings every night, with other people who have motored too much, and we go through the twelve step plan to automotive bliss. That joke is forty years old by the way.

Truly, fortune has smiled on me of late - what's it planning?
A boneshaker Fokker 10 jet to Austereich, a night of euro-hell, hangovers, constipation and a return trip from Heathrow in an exploding car. Luxury.

18 May 2005

The Viennese Waltz

Good Afternoon, citizens of Planet Earth. As the blogging epidemic continues to grow, I continue to channel my mental overflow down the electronic drainpipe into the sewers of public domain.

Luck still seems to be holding up, and no rashes developed as yet.
Very interested in this 'Piano Man' story. As an avid reader of Sherlock Holmes, I'd developed a theory or two about him. Having cross referenced his date of discovery with the dates of the horrendous attack on Abigial Witchalls, I have been able to eliminate him from my enquiries...for the time being.
My next theory, is that this is a Music Company PR stunt, to launch a new artist, who will have a number one album by Christmas - unless of course, theory number one is actually true.
Perhaps, I'll try something similar to theory number two. If you find me wondering incoherently on a beach, in my best Paul Smith, hand me a piece of paper and I'll draw you a guitar.
It has been mooted, that a trip to Vienna might be on the cards this weekend. It's work, and not something I relish. What the hell is wrong with me? - no don't answer. I've been to Vienna before...if you don't fancy Apple Strudel and goosestepping, it's not a great place. I wonder if there's an Adolf Hitler Fun Tour...guides with moustaches and lederhosen...I'm talking myself into it now.
Particularly excruciating documentary about young Peter Doherty last night.
He came out of it looking great, but the poor sod who made it, needs a rest on the Funny Farm. Anyway, I'm not a tv critic...ooh Emmerdale Farm, Junior Mastermind...
At some stage today, I intend to walk the big walk, and stroll John Wayne like across the road to the newsagents to cash in my winning Lottery Ticket. God I love being rich. Cheerio

17 May 2005

Happy Clappy

Good morning Germ Operatives. It seems that the government are now stealing ideas directly out of my head. Not sure how they're achieving it, but achieving it they are. The new govenrment clamp down on hooded sweat shirt/baseball cap wearing youth, is a direct copy of my recent " Smarten Yourself Up Johnny" campaign - part of Aesthetic Jihad. I am now awaiting the call from Whitehall to come and be the new government Tsar on bad behaviour. Not only would young offenders be required to wear uniforms whilst performing community service; these uniforms would be designed by Jean Paul Gaultier and the torture garden. Good rubber bondage gear, complete with chains, whips, and devices to restrict the breathing.
Not that I am a middle age pervert/reactionary or anything....be quite funny though.
Well, my good luck has not quite ground to a halt yet. In fact, my weekend of financial advancement, was capped by winning the Lottery. Sadly, a mere tenner, but better than being burnt alive. If things continue, I'll be struck down with that ridiculous illness, that ridiculous man Dave Stewart claimed to have - good fortune syndrome, or whatever it was called. Bring it on baby, that's what I say. Let lady luck pass on her itchy infection...what's a bit of a scratch compared to a lifetime of penury.
Riddle me with the gonhorrea of glee, the sypillis of sunshine. Happy Clappy.

13 May 2005

Get Out of the Way Peasants - Rolls Royce coming Through

What a day of changing fortunes. I'm rich again...as AC/DC almost said, 'Back in the Black'. Royalties baby - dontcha love em? Not quite enough to put me in the super-league, but enough to purchase a splendid birthday present for Ma. Yes, like all Rock'n'Roll bad boys, I love my Mama.

My bank statement will tell a splendid story this month. A heartwarming modern fable. One man's descent into hell, and his resurrection, due to cold hard cash. There is no God -only money.
I might even afford myself a can of ale to sip on the veranda as the sun sinks once again.
The question is now, 'Do I twist or stick'? Get some more records pressed, or be happy that I didn't lose my shirt?
Bollocks, I'll get more.
If you haven't already purchased 'Half Awake', you've got a bloody nerve coming round here and reading my inner-most thoughts.
Did I mention that it makes you thinner ( or puts on a few pounds if you're too skinny), younger, healthier, develops your chest - boys and girls, and increases you sexual virility and stamina tenfold. Come on you lazy Fxxxxrs
What are you waiting for?

London Living and The London Poor

I have today, tasted poverty. Not the kind that leads to Bob Geldof launching Moore Aid, but a bitter taste of something none the less.
Accustomed as I am to being overdrawn, and spending above my means, I am not accustomed to having my cash card spat back at me like some unpleasant object inserted into the mouth of a nun. I thought the economy ran on idiots like me, constantly in the red and playing keep up.
I decided to visit the good folks down at the bank to set matters straight. Remembering that I had increased my overdaft to meet the onslaught of parasites gnawing into my fortune, I felt somewhat agrieved at having my line of credit withdrawn.
Well the good news is, that the bank fucked up. "Yes sir, we can see it on the system. Unfortunately it's on the back computer, not the front one".
No remedy until Monday...that's that. To compound the misery, my credit card is malfunctioning - this is not even a euphemism. The pins locked or something. Its...well that would be telling, but anyway...most inconvenient if it's not sorted out today. Short rations for the weekend.
I made a good fuss, demanded satisfaction, apologies and obedience. Then I felt like a bully, so apologised for being grumpy. The poor girl had badly bleached hair, rigid with lacquer, and a worn out nylon blazer..., I think she was Polish, which made me think of concentration camps...and naked bodies obviously. It was rather early in the day to be a camp commandant, so I attempted a bit of levity.
I left the bank like an old friend...feeling her stare of hatred scorching holes in my back.
In the meantime, sales of Half Awake go from strength to strength ( this is of course a subtle ruse to convince banks to lend me more money by the way). Royalties are due at some stage soon....not soon enough of course.
I am seriosly considering vanishing from society and becoming an underground urban commando - righting societies wrongs. A latter day Robin Hood. I might have a problem with redistributing wealth to the poor however. I am the poor.

11 May 2005

Sticky Fingers

I've just been accused of stealing - by my daughter. Phoned up at work, abused and threatened, and insulted for good measure.
Short of travel fares this morning, and late for work as usual, I dipped into her piggy bank. Well, piggy bank is too strict a term. It's a two litre plastic milk bottle made to look like a pig...I am from the Blue Peter generation, so am quite handy at adapting house hold waste.

Five minutes ago, I got a phone call. "Someone wishes to speak to you" my wife said. I thought that my dear child might actually be wanting to say something lovely and endearing...it has happened in the dim and distant past.
"I'm very cross with you"....the 'you' being stressed with such violence that I almost dropped the reciever.
" You stole my money...you stole my money".
I tried to explain my predicament, but was met with more abuse. "I'm going to smack you when you come home" she bellowed....oh bloody hell. Who do you think put the money in there in the first place? (By the way, this is not something she's ever heard at home. I prefer psychological punishment...or indefinitely deferred retribution. Smacking is something fag smoking chav parents do to their kids in supermarkets, not enlightened artistic fag smoking types like me).
Anyway, somewhere along the line, Ava has worked out that threatening violence is a useful tool. At this point, the phone was taken from her .I heard wife reasoning with her, that smacking me was not a nice thing to do.
The phone was passed back to small child...possibly for an apology?? Not a chance

" I'm going to smack you....and you've got yellow teeth".

To think I was worried about which primary school she should go to. Sod that, she's going straight into debt collection and demanding money with menaces.
On a professional note, I went to the filming of Later With Jools Holland. It was alright I suppose. If you like that sort of thing...which I don't much. Could be jealousy - well ok, it is jealousy. Who cares? jealousy is good. Better than being accused of having yellow choppers by a three year old.
I am considering writing a poem - an epic, Wasteland -kind of thing. Might even set it to music. Don't hold your breath though - I'm not exactly bursting with creativity at present.
Anyway, must dash - candy to be stolen from babies, toys to be seized. Piggy bank to the slaughter. Daddy is going to the boozer, and paying in pennies, twopences and fivepences - along with all the other thieving bastard fathers. Sod being a 'new' dad. I'm an 'Old Man' and I like it.

06 May 2005

The Revolution is Cancelled

Well here we are. The sun shines across the nation, and happy people with a new sense of hope in their hearts skip along the boulevards. A new government, a new era, a new beginning. Oh bollocks, that was 1997.
So here we are, same old shite. The nation is a lttle bit more liberal here and there. A lot more right wing all over the place, and not a socialist in site.
I stayed up all night to watch democracy unfold, but then it didn't and I slept on the settee, and now my back hurts.

I played a gig last night as well. I was in a bad mood, and gave the audience a good telling off. In fact, it was less gig, more telling off, with a few musical interludes. Still, they seemed to accept my irascability in good stead. I was not beaten to the ground or threatened with legal action - a triumph then.
This weekend, I am getting into the countryside to visit a bluebell wood, look at some horses and trains, and experience that sense of detachment and well being that is impossible to obtain in the city. I will walk through churchyards, trying to find a suitable burial spot for my soon to be reposing remains. A nice spot beneath a yew tree, where I can lie a-moulderin' in the grave.
I sound rather morbid don't I? Well it's just me age. As I have no doubt said before, I have no intention of snuffing it ever. I'm sure I won't. That just happens to other people.
My finances are in a horrible state - as is so often the case. It's time that some of you purchased my record once again I feel. Aren't any of you in advertising? Can't you use one of my songs in a baked beans advert or something?
Perhaps I should make another record. I could you know. I've plenty of songs floating round in my fetid old bonce. One day, one of them might actually stick and earn me a tidy sum. The next record will be a paired down all together simpler affair. Something that requires no effort to reproduce live. I am good at making no effort, so this is the approach that I shall be taking. My rotten old voice, crooning my rotten old lyrics over some of my particularly rotten old guitar playing. It'll be a smash, it can't fail.

04 May 2005

Abortional Representation

Unless something drastic happens in the next twenty four hours, I will be voting for the man with the orange hair. I realise that I was less than flattering about him in an earlier posting - referring to him as a ginger abortion. What I have since realised is that he is actually a wonderful man.
Quite a leap I know, but I've never had any trouble leaping from one extreme to the other. He's the ginger abortion that grew into a prince. Well not quite, but he's getting my tick in his litle old box - for what it's worth...yours too I hope.
Although I respect the political views of everybody reading this, if you vote Tory of War-y you can bugger off and never come back...unless it's to purchase my record.
Been in a state of advanced misery these past few days, occasioned by flu, tiredness and a realisation that everything is futile. I hoped my problems were at an end this morning, when a hugely padded,middle aged islamic woman sat next to me on the bus, squashing me against the side. She then started chanting the Koran. I felt sure that if she were a suicide bomber, I would be the first to get it. Sadly, she got off at Sainsbury's.
Looking out of the window, I saw a hearse with a coffin in the back, heading up to Kensal Green. It made me jealous. I really wanted to swap places.

I am Tired of London, Tired of Life. I want to go and live in a hut in a forest on a hillside overlooking the sea. If any of you know of such a place, please let me know.
Don't forget to vote.

Enter your e-mail address to receive occasional updates