Friday, 26 August 2016

Conversations Overheard In Pubs #629 – Politics And Sport: Plort. Sporlitics.

Simon:  This is gaunnae be nervy, this wan, Pat.
Pat:        Aye, squeaky bum time right enough!
S:            Whiddae ye make ay aw this Palestine stuff – wavin the flags in the first game, n aw that?
P:            Whit’s aw the fuss?  This is Celtic.  This isnae like other clubs –
S:            Still need tae follow the rules, but.
P:            Aye, awright, just sayin if thur gaunnae fine us fur waving a few flags, fuck them.  Palestine’s a member ay FIFA fur fuck sakes – ur they gaunnae fine anybdy fur huvin an Irish flag, or a Scottish wan, or a bloody Peru flag or whatever? Naw.  So it’s just bloody racist, simple as that.
S:            Ye canny break the rules ay the competition an expect tae git away wi it – that’s whit the Huns done n the SFA let them pretend it’s never happened!  N we’re aw giein them pelters fur it –
P:            Quite right n aw –
S:            Aw, aye, too bloody right.  But we aw know UEFA’s gaunnae do us fur it, so why bother?  Is it       gaunnae help Palestinians fur a fitba team tae get fined?
P:            Aye, well, it might – solidarity, man!  N haud on the noo – talkin aboot wipin countries affay the map, where the fuck is Palestine?  It’s no a nation state, so ye cannae wave thur flag – meanwhile, ye could huv a Saudi flag an ye’d be awright.  ‘S no fuckin fair, no by any standards.  [Looking to the TV] Moan, Sellick!  This is shite!  Get yer arse in gear!
S:            Aye, wur struggling here, makin hard work ay it – we should be beatin this shower easy.                 Bloody Israeli champions, shite!
P:            Aye, n that’s another thing – how are Israel in Europe?
S:            Naw, naw, hang on, that’s cos aw the Arab teams wouldnae play Israel, they don’t recognise Israel, so whit kin they dae?  Fairs fair, like – they’ve a right to play fitba, whitever else is gaun oan…
P:            Aye, well, mibbe.
S:            Nae mibbe aboot it!  Who’s been bloody racist now?  If they cannae play cos they’re Israeli?
P:            What aboot South Africa?  They were barred ootay everythin cos ay Apartheid!  N it aw helped get rid ay they basturts.
S:            This isnae like that, Pat.
P:            How no?  Mandela says it wis.
S:            [suddenly turning back to TV] OOH, YA BASTURT!  That wis nearly in there!  We could get beat here, n nae mistake.  We’re playin mince.
P:            Cannae separate sport n politics, everythin’s politics!  Mind ay the Wurld Cup in Argentina?  They were a military dictatorship, tryin tae look aw legitimate n that – n they waant tae ban Russia fae the Olympics?  Tell us that’s no political, fuck sakes.
S:            Aye, well, ah mean…
P:            N who gits fudin fur their sport, n who disnae?  N who gits put oan telly?  Tell Muhammad  Ali no tae mix sport n politics! Git yersel away tae fuck, he’d tell ye!
S:            Well…
P:            ‘Hing is n aw, if ye try tae keep football oot ay politics, guess who will waant tae get in there?  Aw they right-wing cunts that used tae run aboot English games batterin people and attacking black people an aw that shite – they’ll be pleased tae huv a political vacuum tae run intae!
S:            We’ve nane ay thaim at Celtic, man!
P:            Naw, ah know that fine well, ah’m sayin other places, but.
S:            Aye, yer mibbe right there.  Cannae go back tae the bad old days wi the England fans abusing  thur ain black players, eh?
P:            [at the TV] ‘Moan, Sellick, let’s git stuck intae these!
S:            Cannae dae things easy, eh?  Goat tae gie us aw a heart attack furst…never ever dae things easy, dae we?  Nivir ivir.


P:            YES, YA DANCER!  Cannae believe we goat away wi that!
S:            Right, well, that’s us scraped through – now whit, dae we git the Palestinian flags oot fur the group games or whit?  Get fined every month?
P:            They’ll be sellin them ootside the groond – “’Moan now, git yer Palestinian flags, just £80,000 each!”
S:            Haha, nice one.
P:            Ah’m proud ay the fans fur raisin aw that money fur the charities, but, that wis a perfect                response to aw they UEFA fines.  Best fitba fans in the whail world, man. 
S:            Aye, awright, ah’ll drink tae that
P:            Aye, very good – your round but.
S:            Uh-huh.  Same again?

Friday, 19 August 2016

JC Rally

Meandering through the growing crowd, I catch snippets of all kinds of conversations…

I don’t care about Jeremy!  I don’t care about his scruffy suits, his shambling image, I’m not bothered about his campaign, his friends, his wife, his staff, his press officer, the MPs that want him to disappear into the mist, or his supporters who want him to lead his people out of bondage in Egypt – I just don’t give a fuck – I care about democracy, OK?
(I had been concerned I might have to write this thing myself, but it appears that the assembled throng would rather do it for me.)

From the hastily-erected stage, an MP demands:  “What kind of Socialist party charges people £25 to vote?”
The kind that isn’t a socialist party and hasn’t been for decades, presumably…

The Big Ticket Speaker, the reason we are all here, is speaking.  I hear a cheer, which I had assume to be in response to the last speaker finishing speaking and departing the stage….the BTS claims that this election not about personality because he is not a personality.  Not a novel approach, and very rarely a successful one, but only the true messiah denies his divinity, I suppose.

The bearded man on the hastily-erected lectern (is it the back of a truck?  I’m too far gone to see…) intones a mild sermon for the gathered believers.  The whole affair is designed (would “calculated” be too calculated a word?) to convince the world that this congregation, this constituency does indeed exist, is real and tangible and has a possibility of continued existence.  To convince itself, no less.

The speaker is heckled from the back of the stage by one of his acolytes – in a comradely fashion! – which prompts some boos for the heckler.  The grey hand stills the immature badwill, claiming it to be not in his name.  Some student type behind me scolds my honest reaction, describing the booing as ironic.

From somewhere behind me, I hear an air horn.  I spin around to see a small cluster of grinning, moronic faces.  They be the babbers, I’d say….having always enjoyed heckling a heckler, I stand intimidatingly close, looking askance at the offenders:  Explain yourself!  Is that an ironic air horn?  Are you trying to turn this august gathering into a fucking circus?!
They regard me as an interloper and splutter that it’s just a bit of fun.  I move on, wary of unsettling them further – I’m not here to get arrested.

What’s the worst thing to monger, I wonder out loud – fish?  War?Kye Dudd's speeches too, which were absolutely on point and getting strong support from a crowd larger than I have seen at any other political event in Bristol ever before. College green was packed with thousands of supporters, giving round after round of applause.Even the bus driver on my down town was asking people as they got on the bus "You going to the Corbyn rally"? Sure enough, JC referenced the bristol bus boycott, and local legend Paul Stephenson OBE in a rousing speech to the crowd. I have to say, I was impressed. It ranked up there with the late Tony Benn's speech a few months prior to his death at St George's Hall, Concert Hall, Bristol in my humble opinion. .  Scare? – before realising I am alone in a crowd.  Unabashed, I ask again, louder.  Anxious-looking white people shield their children from me and scuttle away, mumbling curses to their families.  This.  This is the problem, I say out loud, to their quivering backs.  If these delicate flowers can’t handle me, in a relatively good humour, how can they possibly hope to face down fascists?  Or re-order the Organised Left?  Or ever leave their houses again?

As I mooch around the edge of the Green, a gaggle of protest-protestors, or counter-demonstrators, hurl insults at passers-by:  You scumbag entryist!  Trostkyite! Agent Provocateur!  Infiltrator!  Some of the people they shout at appear to be merely bewildered teatime shoppers, oblivious to the gathering political storm.

I try to reason with the centre-right brutes, but the bright, clashing colours of their chinos catches my attention and I giggle uncontrollably for seven or eight minutes before leaving them to their fun.  Let the baby have his bottle, I say.

Cripes, this crowd is turning ugly.  I mean, uglier.  Don’t these people understand?  I’m a journalist… 

As every uncontroversial and entirely sensible assertion from the podium is delivered as a rallying cry and lauded like the word of god by the baying crowd, I stumble away from the resulting affray, and hear strains of the dulcet tones of Bob Marley.  Oh, for fuck sakes…there is some enthusiasm here, and less bullshit than might have been expected, but surely only the most naively optimistic could possibly believe that everything’s gonna be alright…no community left behind…fight them on the beaches…Fools!  I scream, addressing a mostly imagined audience, they want you to hope!  They love your hope, they feed on it!  Make the cages bigger and the chains longer – but never set them free!  These Trots will ruin us all!  Today the Student Union – tomorrow the PLP!  Run, you fools!  Run for your lives!  My crazed laughter attracts the attention of some plain-clothes cops (you can always spot them by their casual attire), so a tactical retreat seems appropriate.  He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day…



Looking back at my notes, the day after the rally, I wonder if this was what was going on in my head, or if it really happened in the manner described above.  It really could be either.  Perhaps it was not the crowd turning uglier….it really could be either.

Anyway, Jeremy Corbyn’s speech was pretty good, if I remember right.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Review: Dag Nasty at The Fleece, 9/8/16

I rock up to meet a few of the old crew, just for a pint, before they go and see one of their favourite punk bands from back in the day.  I quite like the one album of theirs I knew but I rarely listen to that kind of thing now.  G-Rhymes, Rakka B, Big E & Mrs E and AFray are in full effect, though, so it’s all good.
When AFray turns up (he’s got the train from London to meet up with the crew for this), he’s got two tickets and he’s not sure why.  I had just nipped out for a pint and a catch-up with friends I haven’t seen for ages….Big E nods in my direction: “Well, here’s a man that needs a ticket.”
Fuck it, I’m in.  It’s the kind of thing I should’ve done more when I was a kid and more interested in punk – doing things impulsively, staying out with the whole crew instead of going home early, going to more gigs….so, in we go.  Punk as fuck.
You might well have heard of the support band.  I had, but have never seen them live before.  There’s no point in me slagging off a band, especially as I’m not naming names, but….
They’re every band in Bristol in the 90s; there’s a trombone, a keyboard (for what reason, I know not – you only hear it right at the end of each song) and “hilarious” I’m-just-a-knobhead-havin-a-laugh, me! frontman schtick.
They’re fucking awful.  Not just to slag them off for the sake of it, but I really just found them genuinely annoying….but it doesn’t matter, stop goin on about it.
At one point I say to G-Rhymes: It’s like watching the band I was in when I was eighteen.  He smiles and shrugs.  I recoil in horror.  “Were we this bad?”  He smiles and shrugs again.

Jesus, it’s worse than I thought.  We were worse than I thought, and so are this lot.  (And I didn’t think either were any good…) 
“But we were eighteen though…”
“Yeah, and this lot are mid-40s…”
“Right, so they’ve got no fuckin excuse at all.”
Leave them alone, theyre havin a go…..
British punk is mostly utter bollocks.  Not all US punk bands are good, but almost all good punk bands are from the US.  The film Punk: Attitude by Don Letts explains all this better than I can/am.  “Punks”, or “punk-rockers” in the cities of the USA were arty people with no money and no access to mainstream ways of producing and distributing art, so they wore knackered clothes and made their own art and got it out any way they could.  In Britain, the attitude was similar, but seemed to become more of a posture and a style very quickly, with kids deliberately ripping their clothes to look a bit different and shock older people on the high street.
With both, those who could get their shit together enough to tour, or put out a record on their own terms, were the ones who managed to do anything really interesting and lasting.  Taint whatcha do, it’s the way thatcha do wit…
I remember a documentary about The Smiths with Morrissey talking about how exciting punk was in the 70s, about The Ramones, New York Dolls, Sex Pistol, Buzzcocks and all them – which then cut straight to Johnny Marr saying: “To be honest, I thought all those groups were crap”, that they couldn’t really play, that he understood in retrospect how important it was as a way of empowering people, demystifying the making of art and music, and generally shaking things up….but they couldn’t really play.
Anyway, this support band….they are a lot more together than we were, but that’s worse, in a way.  They must have put time in to get the band tight, and it’s apparently occurred to no one along the way to stop and look at what they’re actually working on.  There’s retro, there’s doing styles of music you love whether or not anyone else gives a shit, and then there’s just being painfully, embarrassingly passe.  (Apologies for this language, but it really is appropriate in this context.) 
“It’s like the last twenty years didn’t happen…” says G-Rhymes.
“Riiiiight… did though, didn’t it?”
“I think so.”
Alright mate, drop it, they’re just a band, it’s their thing, you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch them, ok?
The singer especially, looks like he’s going through the motions, putting on an affected sort of slackness, like he’s done it so many times before but is still trying to look like there’s some novelty or lack of grinding professionalism involved.
Look, we get the point, lay off, yeah?
By the 80s, punk bands could play.  The guitarist in Dag Nasty (I don’t know his name, as I say, it’s not really my kind of thing) was also in Minor Threat and Bad Religion, so his career in music is a useful guide to who’s any good in punk.  Other members of Minor Threat went on to form Fugazi, so that’s all bases covered, pretty much.  Tidy CV.
Musically, Dag Nasty do the same thing on stage tonight: they cover every style of punk music worth knowing anything about, and you can hear how much they influenced the skate punk/Fat Wreck 90s style, as well as the simpler, slower stuff.  Drummer’s a demon as well, mind (not that I know his name or anything, I’m not much of a fanboy).  At times, some of it sounds a little bit indie rock, but I don’t say this to anyone, I’m not looking for an argument.  (That’s why I haven’t said anything about the support band, I don’t wanna just be swanning about the place slagging people off…they were shit, mind.
But we were only eighteen and people were always slagging us for being shit - which we were, to be fair, but we were just havin a laugh, y'know, just bein knobhead kids, havin a go...)
The singer banters with the crowd and makes the mistake of holding the mic out for someone to shout into.  The band are from Washington, DC, so naturally there’s a language barrier, although I’m not sure what the punter guy’s saying either, until the singer responds:  “If you’d like to buy me a pint after the show, that’s cool, but I’m not sucking your cock.”  Classic gig banter… #britishpride
I even recognise a few of the songs from the one album of theirs I know, Wig Out At Denko’s.  I recognise several faces, as well.  Big G is here, of course.  Down the front, of course.  It’s an older crowd, as you wold probably expect for a band active up until 1991.  There’s a little mosh pit where some fellas are re-living their youth.  Looks like a laugh.  One couple have brought their young kids along.  Which is, um…unusual…? 
G-Rhymes has pointed out the nippers – as we know, Fugazi and a lot of others on that scene only play “all ages” shows, in the conviction that this is a community, very capable of taking care of each other, and if children cannot come here and be safe and enjoy themselves and if others can only enjoy themselves if there are no children around then the community is diminished.  As I say to G-Rhymes, I’ve got a lot of time for the ethos, but I’m not sure if it works quite the same here….but this family obviously think so.  I wonder if the kids are enjoying it.  They, like others, have ear plugs in, which is probably for the best.  Punk as fuck.
The singer (whatever his name is, how would I know – I think someone said he’s not the original one, but I wouldn’t know, not being much of a fan) is up on one of the pillars near the front of the stage, just like I was when my first band played our first gig here, in this very venue, 17 years ago.  Punk as fuck.  Like me when I was eighteen….or not.  I often think about when I’ve played here when I see gigs at the place, but this is the starkest; my Dad reminds me of it sometimes.  Punk as fuck, my old man.
Big Ups to everyone who was there. Old Friends and Loud Music. 
Punk as fuck, yeah?

Friday, 5 August 2016

Cambridge Gratitude 2016

Thanks to T-Money for transporting some instruments and stuff for me, it made the train journey that much more pleasant.  (It’s fucking rubbish getting on/off the tube with shitloads of stuff, isn’t it?)

Massive Thanks to F-Dog for taking part in an experimental duo set on Friday afternoon.  It was ballsy, and something I’ve wanted to try out for a long time.  I can’t describe it exactly, but one person got annoyed and walked out with a dismissive hand gesture (I don’t know if he didn’t get it, or if he got it but didn’t like it).  Others looked equally upset by it, whereas some seemed to really enjoy the whole thing.  (Incidentally, the project is called Johnny Hashtag & The Just Sayins.  F-Dog might disagree, but he’s wrong)

I actually hurt my sides laughing about it afterwards.  Like, literally.  My actual sides were literally hurting. #truestory
Thanks to FGR for telling me someone had described me as having a “massive cult following”.  The fact that she couldn’t remember who told her this adds credence to the idea, somehow.  How strangely entertaining.
Thanks to KT for telling me her friends are “obsessed” with me.  I asked if they were ones who’d been hanging around outside my house.  I don’t think she knew what I was talking about.  Anyway, she took a snapchat to prove she’d met me.  How entertainingly strange.
Thanks to the young girl who bought a CD, which I signed for her.  I later heard that it was all her Dad’s suggestion, and she wasn’t that bothered about me signing it.
Thanks to that girl’s brother, who bought a different CD and got it signed as well.  I couldn’t help thinking that may have been a sibling rivalry thing, but I asked the boy if they would share the CDs and he said they would, so that’s good, isn’t it?
Thanks to my Friday night jam band: PH Level on bass, F-Dog on keys, J-time on drum, JC on violin.  It was all rocked off the top (apart from most of the words), and it was cool and mellow.
Thanks to the Friday night crowd for getting right involved with the call and response: “When I say Black Lives, you say Matter – BLACK LIVES!”  There was a lot of enthusiasm for that one, which I was pleased about.  (It was part of an improvisation based on Umi Says by Mos Def.  I thought it went well.  I revealed my sources, I’m not a biter…but I totally could’ve got away with it, as the Cambridge Folk Festival audience is surprisingly unaware of Mos Def’s ouvre)
Thanks to F-Dog for letting me get on the mic for his jam band version of Rapper’s Delight.  It was a delight, Sir.  For me, at least.  (I think that was Thursday.)  Thanks also to CT for inviting me up at the end of the jam, closing out by rapping over Toxic by Britney Spears.  (I think that was Friday.)  Good times.
Thanks to PH Level for keeping the sound crisp all festival.  The hardest working man in sound tech.
Thanks to The Night Jar for providing my annual “lone wander around to watch a band I’ve never heard of” Cambridge moment.  They were very good.  They played that old Hangman song, which I hadn’t heard for many years.  Their version was better than any of the ones I could find online when I looked just now.  Although, apparently the Led Zeppelin version of Gallows Pole is based on it. 
Thanks to the festival staff for the polite/passive-aggressive/totalitarian note asking/ordering me to get a tent tag. 
I’d never heard of a tent tag before going to this festival for the first time, a few years ago.  I assumed it meant writing a name on a tent in spray paint.  Now, having been to this festival several times, I shudder to think of all the other tents that go un-tagged.  At every other festival ever.  How does everyone cope with that? 
Thanks to everyone who listened to my spoken word set, and thanks to all the PFR crew who encouraged me with it.  It was the first time I’d done it, and I enjoyed it.  Seemed like it was a modest success.  The story entitled When I Was Arrested For The Second Time was particularly well received.
Thanks to everyone who listened to my other spoken word set, and thanks to all the PFR crew who encouraged me with it.  It was the second time I’d done it, and I enjoyed it.  Seemed like it was a modest success.  The story entitled When My Bike Got Tooken was particularly well received.  I may well do this thing again.
Thanks to Johnny C and FGR for all their hard work on the brand new PFR Zine, Issue 1.  It’s jolly good, and features one of the above stories – Thanks to CJ for the illustration. 
Thanks to Cookie for the surprise set.  I wasn’t surprised, I’ve seen him before, I know he’s great.  I appeared cool and knowledgeable by knowing him.  #reflectedglory
(I also appreciated his suggestions on fixing the problem with the mandolin strings.  It took a while, but I worked it out and it sounded great.  Until 30 seconds into a fucking song when the strings slipped again and went out of tune.  #folkproblems)
Thanks to GG for playing for us – and for saying that she reads the blog.  Hello!  (So that’s one reader, at least.)
Thanks to A-dog for everything: the seagull poem (“shut up you shitehawk!”), his acoustic set on Saturday night (beautiful – featuring a great duet with LN, props to her as well), and, of course, the clip of him singing on TV from many years ago.  He’s just a love machine, you know….
Thanks to everyone for letting me “headline” on the Saturday night.  Thanks to the Saturday night jam band: EC on drum/keys, J-time on bass, JC on violin, LV on cello and B on drum (thanks to him for a beauty of a solo as well…).  It was a bit more structured than the Friday night set, and it felt like a really good one.  The players were superb, and PH Level kept the levels tight.  It was the last time I well get to play the PFR for a while, and it seemed the perfect way to go out.  There was a lot of love in the place.  It was moving.  I was moved.
Thanks to the Saturday night crowd for getting right involved with the call and response: “When I say Cambridge, you say naked: CAMBRIDGE!”  (No one got naked, it’s not that kind of festival.  But we can try, can’t we….?)  Hey, Cambridge, thanks for listening.  Thanks for listening, Cambridge.
Thanks to the PFR crew for the after-hours singalong, and especially T-Money for his song about FGR.  It was called Angel Eyes.  It was good.
Thanks to all the PFR crew and everyone who came to hang out with us.  It was a pleasure and a privilege, as always.

Friday, 29 July 2016

A Furtive Late-Night Phone Call

When the phone rings after ten at night, you look at each other, don’t you, and you say: “Who’s that?  Who can that be at this time?”  Well, according to Peter Kay, anyway.  (Peter Kay is funny, isn’t he?  I like Peter Kay, because he’s roughly the same age as me, and comes from a (sort of) similar background – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – I remember the 80s as well.  Hahaha.  Ha-ha.  Ha.  Aaaah…..)

This time, however, no one asked, because now there are mobile phones which kindly tell you exactly who is calling you, whatever the time.  Also, I was on my own in a room, so there was no one there to ask.  Also, I was young at the time, so the idea of somebody phoning me at 10.30 on a weeknight was fairly normal.

This particular phone call, however, was slightly unsettling.  It went something like this:

Me         Yyyeeeeaaaah, Booyyeeeeeee!
Caller     Umm….hello?

I’m only joking, I didn’t answer like that.  It wasn’t a weekend, so I was more reserved.  The conversation actually went like this:

Me         Hello maaaaate.
Caller     Alright man, how’s it goin?
Me         Yeah, good you?  What you sayin?
Caller     Sound man, sound.  Um, I’m up at the studio, we’re just working on something, and your name came up…
Me         (Trying not to sound too excited) Oh yeah, what’s the story?
Caller     Um, well, we’re pitching for an advert…
Me         (Trying not to sound too disappointed) Riiiiight…?
Caller     (Laughing) It’s for, um [insert name of well-known brand of sawdust-flavoured breakfast cereal – name removed on legal advice].  They want to appeal to young people, apparently, hahaha.
Me         Oohhh Kaaayy…..
Caller     So, basically, we’re putting together some music for it, and the brief is for, like a – ah, sorry mate, but….they want an Ed Sheeran type.
Me (Laughing) I sseeeeeeee….
Caller     So, (laughing), mate, not sayin that you’re like Ed Sheeran at all, just, you’re the only person I could think of that plays acoustic guitar and sings and raps in your act, all together.  Or at least you’re the only one I know that does all that.
Me         There’s a few others, but….
Caller     Yeah, so, we need to put something together pretty quick.  We just need a jingle, really, and like I say, I thought of you, I’m sure you could do something pretty funny.
Me         Ummm….
Caller     So, what do you think?
Me         Well, I appreciate the offer, but mate, I really can’t be involved with this kind of thing, y’know, advertising, it’s really not something I want to get into…
Caller     Alright, man, that’s fair enough.
Me         But listen, I might know one or two others that could do something like that – dunno if they’d be up for it, but I can ask…?
Caller     Thanks man, that might be good – need to move pretty fast on it though, so…
Me         Alright.  Always happy to help out with anything else, mind, so feel free to ask if you need any help in the future.
Caller     Yeah, thanks mate
Me         How are things goin down there anyway?
Caller     Yeah, we’re good thanks fella, pretty busy at the moment, getting all these ad pitches in, and some film trailers, we could really do with getting one of them.
Me         Yeah, fair enough
Caller     Alright, well, I better dash, we gotta get this finished.
Me         Alright, bud, take it steady.
Caller     Cheers mate, bye.
Me         ‘Bye*

(*Obviously, I didn’t really just say ‘Bye once, like some sort of freak, I said it three or four times with an increasingly hushed tone and in descending cadence, like a normal person.)

I put the phone down, my heart racing.  I’d had a brush with the advertising industry.  I mean, I like to help my friends, but even suggesting someone else that might do it felt a bit…dirty. 

I never even thought to ask how much money it might pay, which was the first question asked by everyone I’ve ever told about it.  It could’ve been a lot of money, but I doubt it.  It was a pitch, so it would probably be no money unless the pitch was successful.  But I really hope it was a lot of money.  That thought – and the subsequent realisation that I hadn’t even asked – made me feel quite euphoric.  Like having a confrontation that’s been building for a while, and feeling like it was convincingly won.

The whole thing, unappealing enough to begin with, could’ve been a slippery slope.  If I’d been involved and then the ad was made, I’d’ve needed a theatrical agent (not in itself a bad thing either) and it might’ve become difficult to say No to the next such offer…

Respect to people who make their living that way (it is good money for actors), but it’s not for me.  I did wonder if my friend had heard the songs in which I mention advertising.  Judging by the tone of the phonecall, he wasn’t expecting me to be enthusiastic about the project, but maybe didn’t realise that it would make me a giant hypocrite.  Which I didn’t fancy. 

Anyway, as I say, I’m really not into advertising, and certainly wouldn’t get involved myself…