January 27, 2010

I bought a first class ticket on Malaysian Air
And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear
I'm thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals
I'll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals

Michael Phelan, The Best Way Out Is Through (No. 6), 2006

-- by Michael Dennis Browne

Today I explained telepathy to you,
and telephone, and television,
on the way to day care,

and I said, sometimes when I'm at work
I'll think of you,
and if I could send you that thought with my mind,

you'd get it right then,
and maybe you'd smile, stopping a moment at whatever
you were doing, or maybe not

but just going on with it, making a mask out of paper plates
and orange and green cards
with markers and scissors and paste,

or screaming circles in the gym
either being a monster
or being chased by a gang of them, but still you'd get

the picture I was beaming
and you'd brighten inside and flash me something back,
which I'd get, where I was, and smile at.

That's telepathy, I said
pulling into the parking lot,
looking at you in the mirror.

The Gravity of Demise
-- by George Young

can be swift
as a phone book sliding off
the table and crashing to the floor

or slow
as a brown, curled leaf
drifting down
to land in a still pond—

(that leaf shaped like a man,

don’t call that number anymore).

The Dinner
-- by Chuck Augello

We are both vegetarians
but that never stops us
from eating each other's heart.

Hers is served in a light vodka creme sauce,
mine arrives without garnish.
We have dined on each other so many times,
it is a quick and joyless meal.

Where once we tenderized and basted
we now eat it raw,
with little conversation,
not even a "pass the salt."

We reach across the table in silence
grabbing whatever we need
as if the other has already gone.

I am tired of this bloody meal,
but I keep eating as long as she does.

The day we said, "I do,"
we never dreamt we'd be such carnivores.

January 26, 2010

I slept sweetly unpretending
that the night was always ending

Myla Bertinot, Girl on Slide, 2000

* Recent Onion A.V. interview of Robyn Hitchcock. excerpt:

AVC: If someone were to run across your collected works in a vault 2,000 years from now, what do you think they'd think of it?

RH: That depends on what they were used to hearing. If this was the sole representative of late-20th-century rock music, then it would be quite a good ambassador, because I was so saturated in the greats, Bob Dylan and The Beatles particularly. You can see my career, if you like, as kind of a postscript to them: sweeping up after the big guys. In terms of the emotion in it, it rather depends on whether they'll need that emotion. People in the future look back on primitive machinery or technology or painting, and in some ways, it always seems amazingly intricate and finely wrought. People from the past always seem to have much more time to create beautiful, intricate, delicate things that often reach the future in a kind of curled-up, capsized state. Old crumbling scrolls and moldering books and beautiful paintings with bits flaking off them, or old glassware, or intricately threaded beads. Maybe my stuff will just seem like that. They'll think, "God, why did that guy spend so long doing all those things? Didn't he have a machine that could just make it go whoosh, like that?" I'd be happy if it seemed like that.

AVC: A lot of your music strikes a balance between light-hearted whimsy and darker, angry undercurrents. How consciously do you think about that as you're writing a song?

RH: I don't think about it while I'm doing it—I'm more aware of it afterward. You go over the dateline of rage and despair into humor. If you want to see it as a kind of spectrum, you might go from anxiety to fear to rage to humor to regret to acceptance… and then possibly even to some kind of happiness, and then 'round again. I'm good at maybe one or two of those particular hues on the spectrum. People often complain that I was covering up my emotions by making a joke of things, but humor is also what makes stuff bearable, and I think one of the things I hated about early-'70s singer-songwriters was how humorless they were. It was my kind of punk [attitude], you know, "Jesus, I hate this self-pitying shit." I really didn't like that kind of mellow from-the-canyon self-involved crap.

Obviously, I grew up to be just as self-involved as the rest of them, but I felt that a joke would at least justify that. Just because there are jokes in my stuff doesn't mean that I don't fundamentally take it seriously. But feelings travel, thank God. You don't stay in one mood forever, and you find yourself drifting across those datelines. I think some of the really great songs have many moods overlaid on them. I don't know how much I've achieved that, but I always think back to things like "Visions Of Johanna" by Minnesota's own Bob Dylan, and how it's a sort of fundamental sadness with a lot of humor applied as a glaze over that, and then over that, there's a lot of anger and questions being asked: "What do you mean? What's all that for? You've got a lot of nerve"—that usual Dylan stuff. The whole thing comes out as a kind of meditation, as a sort of acceptance. Those are my favorite songs, where different emotions are layered on top of each other. I suppose the trick is to get the feelings to flow correctly from each other when you make a record or write a song. But Jesus, if I thought about that, I'd never write anything!

* From 11 things you didn't know about pinball:

In 1976, the New York City pinball ban was overturned. The coin-operated amusement lobby (which represented the pinball industry) eventually succeeded in earning a City Council hearing to re-examine the long-standing ban. Their strategy: Prove that pinball was a game of skill, not chance, and thus should be legal. To do this, they decided to call in the best player they could find in order to demonstrate his pinball wizardry—a 26-year-old magazine editor named Roger Sharpe. Fearful that this hearing might be their only shot at overturning the ban, the industry brought in two machines, one to serve as a backup in case any problems arose with the primary machine. Suspicious that the pinballers had rigged the primary machine, one particularly antagonistic councilman told them that he wanted them to use the backup. This presented a problem: While Sharpe was intimately familiar with the first-choice game, he had never played the backup. As he played the game, surrounded by a huddle of journalists, cameras, and councilmen, he did little to impress City Council's anti-pinball coalition. So he made a final Hail Mary move that, to this day, he compares to Babe Ruth's famous called shot in center field. He pulled back the plunger to launch a new ball, pointed at the middle lane at the top of the playing field, and boldly stated that, based only on his skill, he would get the ball to land through that middle lane. He let go of the plunger and it did what he said. Almost on the spot, the City Council voted to overturn the ban.

I recently asked Sharpe what he thought would have happened if he had missed the shot. After thinking about it for a few hours, he got back to me: "I'm not sure pinball would be legal today."

* "Barnum was wrong - it's more like every 30 seconds." --Unknown

January 25, 2010

and I have no idea what drives you mister
but I've killed you in my mind so many times before

Alice Neel, Woman in Pink Hat, 1944

* William Eggleston , king of the record cover. excerpt:

Here in Memphis, however, he's most often received as just Bill. Bill, who, in his own words, was "great friends" with Alex Chilton's parents long before the musician joined forces with Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel in Big Star. Stephens remembers attending a drag party with his band mates and Eggleston in the early 1970s. "Alex thought Bill could take some, for lack of a better word, 'candid' photographs, so he was just snapping us during the course of events, walking through the crowd." Stephens says.

The image that would ultimately appear on the back cover of Radio City shows Chilton captured mid-gesture. His arm is up and he's pointing teasingly at the camera lens, a cocktail and a lit cigarette in his other hand.

Musician/poet David Berman, mastermind behind the Silver Jews, sums up the spirit of that impromptu image in one word: convivial. Selecting an Eggleston work for the cover of Silver Jews' 2005 album Tanglewood Numbers was, Berman says, "a deliberate, self-conscious identification with rock tradition. I was saying, 'Look, the Silver Jews are shedding outsiderhood, coming inside where it's warm.' It's warm inside these photos," declares Berman, who discovered Eggleston and Big Star concurrently, when he was a college student in the late 1980s.

Singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet's interaction with Eggleston has been much more personal. In the late 1980s, when his band Green on Red recorded at Ardent studios in Memphis, he made several visits to Eggleston's home.

"We did a lot of hanging out, listening to Doris Day records at earsplitting volume in the middle of the night," Prophet says. "Eggleston would bring up wine from his cellar and play the harpsichord. Photos were spread ­haphazardly on the tabletop, he'd push 'em around, and eventually, he pulled one out and said, 'This is the one.'"

* Quick recap on Tuli Kupferberg.

* "When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others." -- Anais Nin

January 20, 2010

We're gonna die until it doesn't hurt

Mia Henry, Tree, 2009

Talking to Ourselves
-- by Philip Schultz

A woman in my doctor's office last week
couldn't stop talking about Niagara Falls,
the difference between dog and deer ticks,
how her oldest boy, killed in Iraq, would lie
with her at night in the summer grass, singing
Puccini. Her eyes looked at me but saw only
the saffron swirls of the quivering heavens.

Yesterday, Mr. Miller, our tidy neighbor,
stopped under our lopsided maple to explain
how his wife of sixty years died last month
of Alzheimer's. I stood there, listening to
his longing reach across the darkness with
each bruised breath of his eloquent singing.

This morning my five-year-old asked himself
why he'd come into the kitchen. I understood
he was thinking out loud, personifying himself,
but the intimacy of his small voice was surprising.

When my father's vending business was failing,
he'd talk to himself while driving, his lips
silently moving, his black eyes deliquescent.
He didn't care that I was there, listening,
what he was saying was too important.

"Too important," I hear myself saying
in the kitchen, putting the dishes away,
and my wife looks up from her reading
and asks, "What's that you said?"

Push Kick Dreaming
-- by Liam Ferney

From Old St. to doorway
in a fug of hip hop and
hacked morning smoke
the two goons fumbled
with a pane of glass
the shape of the top
of a billiard table. Their
half furnished office
as empty as the recent
divorcee’s social schedule
and for an instant I am
Daewon Song meets
Jackie Chan chase cliché
360º flipping to manual
a miraculous obstacle
dodge before the tepid
consolation of burnt milk
in a tube station latte.

January 19, 2010

I don't want to surmise
until the fools get wise

Henry Horenstein, Waylon Jennings Cambridge MA 1976

* From Harper's February 2010:

-- Percentage tax rate that Goldman Sachs paid on its profits for year 2008: 0.6

-- Ratio of the minimum number of medical-marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles to the number of Starbucks: 4:1

-- Percentage of Americans under 35 who say they text, tweet, or check their Facebook pages right after sex: 36

-- Percentage of women using the "withdrawal" method of contraception who will get pregnant within a year: 4

-- Percentage of women who will if their partners use condoms: 2

-- Chance that a female U.S. street prostitute during any given week will be arrested by a police officer: 1 in 67

-- Chance that she will have sex with a police officer: 1 in 33

* Three songs by Bill Fox's early band The Mice (from 1986-1987):

-- Just Like Brick, Doug Gillard on lead guitar

-- Second Best

-- Bye Bye Kitty Cat

* "The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated." -- H. L. Mencken

January 15, 2010

Today's poem goes out to all who are missing or otherwise in Haiti, especially Laurence, Evan and Baptiste...

Living the Good Life
-- by Frank Stanford

There is only one locale for the heart
And that's somewhere between the dick and the brain.
I don't believe love is for chickenshits.
It's low, dark, and cold-blooded, like a cottonmouth.
Children are often involved. They stink
When they sprout in the garden of light,
And they stink mulching their way back down.
Cold-hearted women, work, madness, and death
Are the things separating the nuts from the shells.
Everything else is strictly a pile of shit-
Except for childhood, which we moon over
Because it smells to high heaven. So, go it
Alone. Solitude is a constellation:
People can't connect light anymore,
The only code they can break is darkness.
You can get a file in the heart
But you can't jimmy love -a woman once said
It'd take a shotgun to open my heart.
All the time I was on my knees in the bathroom
Crying like a fool. No one knows
How to love anybody's trouble, nothing will
Deaden the chiggers of pain sucking
Blood in your sleep -oh beautiful tree frogs,
Sonic in the nasty oil of evening, I love you,
Sounds by yourselves a star's life away.
But it doesn't mean a goddamn thing.
Death isn't cold, dark, and quiet.
It is a love letter written on an X-ray.
Better still, it's a manta ray
Squealing in your wife's drawers.
Is this where your will is kept?
What sleek doing is she dreaming of tonight?
How much money do you have in the bank?
Are your early years filed away
In another bureau under another name?
Ask me no questions, I'll still tell you lies,
My father would sing like a bull frog.
I thought my father was a flat-out wonder,
A faraway and constant stranger in my midst.
He wasn't even my father, the cuckold.
So do Lord help the bucket mouth son
Doing a job on doom and eating banana flips.
I for one leave the transcendence of language
To the auctioneers on the widows' steps,
And to the truck drivers with ears
Looking for the smoke on the road.
As for the snow that drifts ever
So silently into the eyes of children,
It is all full of shit from the north
And radiation from the west.

January 14, 2010

I stopped the car
we grabbed a beer
and then eased down the road

Kate MacDonnell, Marvin (here), 2006

* From Diamond Geezer:

"There's probably a wall where you live stacked high with the media you consume. Bookshelves, CDs racks, rows of DVDs, all lined up ready for use when fancy strikes. They may not be there much longer. Music is vanishing as a physical format, with most new purchases downloaded rather than catalogued. E-books are coming, and they don't need shelves. And why buy DVDs when you can watch films on satellite, or last night's TV on iPlayer, or a cat falling off a skateboard on YouTube. You might keep your old stuff on show for now, but your new media acquisitions are increasingly available only invisibly. Photographs have already vanished inside the machine, and soon all your other entertainment clutter will follow suit. Let's measure storage capability in megabytes, not cubic metres, thereby enabling access to your entire collection anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Why wait until you're in the High Street to buy stuff, when it's far easier to download your heart's desire right now? But digital formats can be lost as easily as they're obtained. Upgrade your software, mislay your smartphone or pour coffee into your laptop and they can all vanish. You never physically owned these files, they were never meant to last. And whereas you probably still possess a book or CD you bought in 2000, by 2020 you'll probably have lost almost everything you download this year. The future may be in countless ones and zeroes, but it's only temporary."

* "A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world." -- Edmond de Goncourt

January 13, 2010

and you smile at my laugh
as it rocks you awake

Stephen Shore, Washington DC, 1973

-- by Carly Sachs

I am trying to teach myself loss.

I say gone. I fly on airplanes,

but the body says here, stay.

I am a bad dog, the bitch

gnashing her teeth.

The game is fetch:

I will put it in my mouth,

what I like,

is from behind—

I’m already saying good-bye.

One Night
-- by Jeremy Voigt

The car crossed two lanes of traffic
and a grass median before plowing
head-on into me, killing my wife,
unborn child, and myself. Before
I died I touched the shoulder
of a policeman, felt the sure strength
of his muscles, heard the only word
he spoke, "Jesus," and I smiled
because I stopped believing in him
long ago. He mistook my smile
for something positive and not listless
irony, and I tried to correct him,
but my throat stopped. Red lights.
Blue lights. Star's gases. I walked home.
My wife wandered off into a river
to give birth. I began calling my friends:
"We are all dead," I said into the phone.
I let them cry or exalt in turn, taking
note. I didn't know it would be this
simple. I slipped into a midnight robe,
poked holes in a black sheet, tore
into a loaf of bread. Wandered off
yeast-heavy neither rising nor falling.

-- by Frank O’Hara

You are someone
who’s crazy about a
violinist in the New York Philharmonic.

Week after week, how
much more meaningful
the music is with that
nostril flaring over the bow, that

slipper-black head

Don’t cry,
it isn’t me you love
when I pull out a handkerchief
and wipe the sweat away.

January 12, 2010

in the morning we'll wrestle
and ruin our stomachs with coffee

Angela Kleis, First Laundry Rome, 2010

* RIP Eric Rohmer. Rohmer on Filming Nature and his Philosophy of Cinema [full interview here]:

Filming Nature
In my previous literary adaptations – Perceval, The Marquise of O, The Lady and the Duke – nature has either been stylized or barely present at all. Here, it’s essential. And the freedom of nature was constantly beckoning my filmmaker’s eye. For example, I loved shooting the wind but I was often at the mercy of disagreeable weather. Sometimes we had to wait for the wind to rise, and I enjoyed that waiting. Nature allowed me to, simultaneously, be in the period and to slip out of it. On one hand, the wind made the costumes, especially the scarves, flutter in the breeze exactly as they do in the engravings of the period. On the other hand, the splendor of that unspoiled nature gave the narrative a timeless dimension. That’s all thanks to the progress made on live sound recording. In the old days, as soon as the wind started blowing, you had to stop shooting because the mikes picked up every sound. Today, you can just keep on shooting. That’s a blessing. And since I hate dubbing… I absolutely wanted the entire film to be shot with live production sound, so we had lots of noise problems. That’s why it was impossible to shoot in the Forez, the former French province that stretched from what is now the Loire to the Haute-Loire. That’s where the book takes place. But it’s far too heavily populated and too ravaged by industrialization to be used today. That said, it took us three years to scout all the exterior locations. Coming up with the river was truly mind-boggling until we found La Sioule, a French river in the Auvergne. All the location scouts on this film were particularly long and difficult. Precisely because the presence of nature was so crucial. And we had to play with that contrast between unspoiled, virgin nature and the cultivated nature of the château gardens.

Silent Films
My film education came from silent films, at the Cinémathèque Française. I think the cinema has every interest in drawing from its own archeology. In the same way that its important to draw from ancient literature. That’s exactly what modern painters did. And the most modern are, in the end, the ones who best utilized the ancients. In the realm of cinema, Griffith certainly remains the great master of evoking nature. He was the first one who managed to record the movement of nature and to recreate its beauty.

Philosophy of Cinema
Over the course of my career, I don’t think I’ve ever stopped taking risks. But measured, well thought-out risks. In any case, my philosophy is as follows: to be really successful, a film must discover one thing that’s vital to it along the way. You always have to leave room for chance and the accidental, and to believe that your path will be strewn with nothing but happy accidents. I’ve often said, “In my films, everything is fortuitous except for chance.” From that point of view, I like actors who are able to use chance. What I don’t like is what I call “fake-natural” – those actors who deliver literary dialogue at breakneck speed to make it seem “natural.” Nothing’s more artificial than that. I ask them to do the opposite, to articulate and to slow down. And once they’ve understood that, they can very well do without my “direction of actors.” The most important thing to me is making the text comprehensible. As far as the risks I take go, I know all too well that some viewers may laugh at certain points in the film. But that doesn’t bother me at all. I’m even on their side, against the people who tell them to keep quiet. That happened on The Marquise of O. The viewers who laughed were right to do so. Kleist is a very funny writer. If people laugh here, all the better! Because there’s also a lot of humor in “L’Astrée”.

* William Burroughs's Stuff.

* Check out High Water Everywhere, new blog "archiving, celebrating and navel-gazing over the pre-WWII 78rpm record in many of its most primal forms: mournful blues, mountain country, Hawaiian slack-key guitar & beyond."

* “I think if I never heard the word 'quirky' again, I would be almost as happy as if I never heard the word 'Rumsfeld' again.” -- Robyn Hitchcock

January 11, 2010

I know the sun's about to come up
I close my eyes anyway
my mouth is dry and the sheets are cold
and will be still come break of day

Marlene Dumas, Jule-die Vrou, 1985

* Terry Teachout on blockbuster museum shows:

(1) Once a year, every working art critic should be required to attend a blockbuster show on a weekend or holiday. He should buy a ticket with his own money, line up with the citizenry, fight his way through the crowds, listen to an audio tour—and pay close attention to what his fellow museumgoers are saying and doing. In short, he should be forced to remind himself on a regular basis of how ordinary people experience art, and marvel at the fact that they keep coming back in spite of everything.

That one’s easy. This one’s harder:

(2) Every 'civilian' who goes to a given museum at least six times a year should be allowed to attend a press or private view of a major exhibition. The experience of seeing a blockbuster show under such conditions is eye-opening in every sense of the word. If more ordinary museumgoers were to have such experiences, it might change their feelings about the ways in which museums present such exhibitions.

Lastly, I’ll take a flying leap into the cesspool of arrant idealism:

(3) No museum show should contain more than 75 pieces, and no museum should be allowed to present more than one 75-piece show per year. Tyler Green (whose Modern Art Notes is about to become an artsjournal.com blog, by the way) wrote the other day to tell me that Washington’s Phillips Collection, our favorite museum, is putting on a Milton Avery retrospective in February that will contain just 42 pieces. I can’t wait to see it, not only because I love Avery but because that is exactly the right size for an exhibit of that kind—big enough to cover all the bases, but not too big to swamp the viewer and dull his responses."

* 100 things we didn't know last year (linked fixed).

* "There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry." -- Martin Gardner

January 6, 2010

All secrets sleep in winter clothes

Alain Bizos, L'homme aux tomates, 1984

For the Fog Horn When There Is No Fog
-- by Sarah Hannah

Still sounding in full sun past the jetty,
While low tide waves lap trinkets at your feet,

And you skip across dried trident trails,
Fling weeds, and do not think of worry.

For the horn that blares although you call it stubborn,
In error, out of place. For the ridicule endured,

And the continuance.
You can count out your beloved—crustaceans—

Winking in spray, still breathing in the wake,
Beneath the hooking flights of gulls,

Through the horn's threnody.
Count them now among the moving. They are.

For weathervane and almanac, ephemeris and augur,
Blameless seer versed in bones, entrails, landed shells.

For everything that tries to counsel vigilance:
The surly sullen bell, before the going,

The warning that reiterates across
The water: there might someday be fog

(They will be lost), there might very well
Be fog someday, and you will have nothing

But remembrance, and you will have to learn
To be grateful.

Adding It Up
-- by Philip Booth

My mind's eye opens before
the light gets up. I
lie awake in the small dark,
figuring payments, or how
to scrape paint; I count
rich women I didn't marry.
I measure bicycle miles
I pedaled last Thursday
to take off weight; I give some
passing thought to the point
that if I hadn't turned poet
I might well be some other
sort of accountant. Before
the sun reports its own weather
my mind is openly at it:
I chart my annual rainfall,
or how I'll plant seed if
I live to be fifty. I look up
words like "bilateral symmetry"
in my mind's dictionary; I consider
the bivalve mollusk, re-pick
last summer's mussels on Condon Point,
preview the next red tide, and
hold my breath: I listen hard
to how my heart valves are doing.
I try not to get going
too early: bladder permitting,
I mean to stay in bed until six;
I think in spirals, building
horizon pyramids, yielding to
no man's flag but my own.
I think a lot of Saul Steinberg:
I play touch football on one leg,
I seesaw on the old cliff, trying
to balance things out: job,
wife, children, myself.
My mind's eye opens before
my body is ready for its
first duty: cleaning up after
an old-maid Basset in heat.
That, too, I inventory:
the Puritan strain will out,
even at six a.m.; sun or no sun,
I'm Puritan to the bone, down to
the marrow and then some:
if I'm not sorry I worry,
if I can't worry I count.

-- by Melissa Stein

As you slept
I was thinking about the quarry,
about light going deeper
into earth, into rock, the hurt
of light hitting layers
that should be hidden,
that should be buried,

and how it rained
for a long time that absence filled
with suffering, and we swam

January 5, 2010

I'm looking back and I can't see the past

Ryan Hill, Why?, 2009

* An interview of Mark E. Smith from early last decade, focusing on football. excerpt:

Who was the first player you met?

Funnily enough, I met George Best a few times – first was in some drinking club in London in the early 1980s. He heard I was from Manchester and went into this big rant about how he’d used to get all this stick from the crowd at United when they thought he wasn’t doing enough. It was true he did used to stand around doing nothing for 80 minutes but I thought that was all right, given that he’d still win them the game. But he’d still get stick when he was going off from Bobby Charlton and the other players. He was the type who’d just walk into his local boozer and there will always be people wanting to have a go, if you’re like that.

The Fall did a song about football, Kicker Conspiracy, back in the early 1980s. What sort of reaction did it get at the time?

You couldn’t mention football in the rock world then. We were on Rough Trade and I told them “This is about football violence” and it was all “You don’t go to football, do you?” I remember Melody Maker saying, “Mark Smith’s obviously got writer’s block having to write about football.” About five years later, the same guy reviewed something else saying it was a load of rubbish and “nowhere near the heights of Kicker Conspiracy”. And now, of course, all the old music hacks are sat in the directors’ box with Oasis.
Do you play yourself?

I’ve started playing again. I’m a central defender. I like tackling, but when I play I walk.

Like Franz Beckenbauer...

Similar. I trip people, tap them on the shin. But I don’t like the niggling little fouls they do now, all that shirt pulling. The annoying thing about that Beckham foul in the World Cup, when he got sent off, was he hardly even kicked him. If you’re going to kick them, kick them. The Fall used to have a team, we’d play university teams before gigs. We played the Icicle Works when we were both in this hotel in London. There were eight or nine in our team, the group and couple of roadies. This guy called Big Dave from Lincolnshire, who was like the fattest lad you’ve ever seen, went in goal. And they turned up in replica Liverpool kits with “The Icicle Works” on the front and they’ve got this mock European Cup with them. It was 20 minutes each way and we went 5-4 in front in injury time and their tour manager’s the referee, so it went on and on until they won 6-5. It’d gone dark by the time we finished and in the bar they’re telling all the music journos they’ve won and passing the European Cup around...

Have you had any encounters with football hooligans?

It seems to me that the fascination with rough lads we’ve got now is a very middle class thing. They’re from small places, but not impoverished places either – stockbrokers who can forget about being new dads for a day and have a fight. It’s a sado-masochism thing, wanting to be hit. It’s like the kid at school who was always hitting people, you just knew he was a closet case. I used to get it on trains coming down to London. They get on at Milton Keynes and they’re staring you out and all this.I remember Man City had this group called The Main Line Service Crew. We were on a train on a Saturday afternoon going down for a gig and they were asking us if we were City or United and all that. And I said, “Hold on, it’s three o’clock, City are at home today. What are you doing here?” And they were going to Spurs or somewhere to try and cause trouble at half time, then they’d be back up on the train to get to Maine Road when the away fans are coming out. That’s the sort of mentality they’ve got.

* Two For Tuesday (taken from D. E. Rasso's year-end compilation):

-- It Don't Worry Me, by Barbara Harris and Keith Carradine

-- Oh, It's a Grenade, by Tiger! Shit! Tiger! Tiger!

* "When we talk about lying, and especially about lying among acting men, let us remember that the lie did not creep into politics by some accident of human sinfulness. Moral outrage, for this reason alone, is not likely to make it disappear. The deliberate falsehood deals with contingent facts; that is, with matters that carry no inherent truth within themselves, no necessity to be as they are . . . . [This deception] never comes into a conflict with reason, because things could indeed have been as the liar maintains they were. Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear. He has prepared his story for public consumption with a careful eye to making it credible, whereas reality has the disconcerting habit of confronting us with the unexpected, for which we were not prepared." -- Hannah Arendt