29 Mar 2008

Post number 32: A bit of a blur’,the autobiography of Blur’s bass guitarist Alex James

I have been thinking a lot about the subject matter of this next post and I’m a little worried about it. I’ve just finished listening to the excellent ‘A bit of a blur’,the autobiography of Blur’s bass guitarist Alex James, what a headcase? He claims at one point to ‘have spent a million quid on Champagne and Cocaine and being ‘Cash Rich and morally bankrupt’. This, he claims not to regret at all, Obviously I’m a little envious that it’s me rotting in this hellhole in a wheelchair but I do believe that the world would be a much poorer place without the benefit of his unique combination of talent, attitude and above all intellect (which repeatedly shines through particularly in his speech to the Oxford Union about music being the highest form of art) but what really bit me was the bit about how the hardest tasks, seem easier with the magic ingredient of pretty girls. Call me a misogynist but I’d have to say that that is precisely true. I only have to remember my physio sessions with Sam at the Frank Cooksey. Does this make me ‘morally Bankrupt’? I don’t think so, because other male patients (Some of whom are happilly married) always seem to request help from the prettier rehab assistants/Therapists and for some reason I find this bloody frustrating. I feel rubbish for feeling like this because it feels so shallow of me but this is what I feel my life has become.
The other thing that struck a clear melodic chord was the sort of friends that Alex spent his time with, the double act that was Damien Hirst (of Turner Prize fame and Keith Allen (of Football song ‘Vindaloo’ fame. I can directly superimpose a couple of my friends onto their personas and the reasons why we got on so well. I see Damien Hirsts character as being similar to my friend Ian Betts, Ian is a comic genius and a damn fine DJ. Ian has this Djing gift of always playing to the crowd whilst also playing exactly what he wants to play. Bad DJs either play exactly what they want to play or worse fill their sets with anthems that everybody knows. I used to listen to Bettsy to hear what he’d play next. Tash and I were seldom happier than when listening to him play regardless of the insalubrious nature of our surroundings. Anyway Ian doesn’t need anyone, let alone me blowing sunshine up his arse! So moving on to Keith Allen, who Alex describes as ‘someone who knew everyone and they either loved him or hated him’… well I’m not sure if anyone hates him(if they did he probably wouldn’t care) but my friend Shaun fits a lot of the anecdotes that Alex tells about Keith. The thing that is special about Shaun is that he has an opinion about everything and he is not afraid to voice it, usually in a hysterical and (usually) offensive way. I think I’ve probably got him and his lovely wife Renae or maybe another friend of mine, Dee… ooops sorry I’ve forgotten ,for giving me this wonderful audiobook in the first place for my 31st birthday. It has certainly inspired a reaction.

I just want to tag on something that has bee bothering me since the fascinating Shackelton lecture on Thursday. The guy giving the lecture claimed to have been on the expedition in 1914. I think I’d challenge the veracity of this claim. Conservatively estimating he was 18 in 1914.That would make him 112 (I think) and he was far too sprightly for that. Apologies for randomness but like I said it’s been bothering me!

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