Saturday, October 31, 2015

I remember the Old Rope String Band, and of course the New Rope String Band, formed after the death of Joe Scurfield in a hit-and-run accident in June 2005. The New Ropes are playing their last ever gig tonight in Gateshead, which is why I can't be there. I would have loved to have seen them one last time. Guess I'll have to make do with the DVD.

I remember flash bulbs that could only be used once, then had to be replaced.

I remember getting a book signed by Alan Ginsberg's lover, Peter Orlovsky. I didn't know that's what he was at the time. I presume I saw them both at a poetry reading but it was Orlovsky's book I bought and him I chatted with afterwards.

I remember E H Gombrich's The Story Of Art.

I remember Jacob Bronowski's The Ascent Of Man.

I remember Roget's Thesaurus.

I remember making a model boat out of balsa wood (with dad's help, of course). It had an electric engine. You had to shape the wood like a real boat. Perhaps I just watched him make it. I'm fairly sure I painted it.

I remember my grey suede trousers - bought I believe from my first wage packet, as a dustman with Walton & Weybridge UDC.

I remember my velvet suit - electric blue. I also had a velvet jacket in black with maroon shoulders.

I remember my Liberty print shirt.

I remember wanting boots with Cuban heels. It never happened. Though I did have some stack-heeled boots. If that's what they were called. They went with my patch jeans.

I remember JP telling me about his cat Billy, who was a well-known and much-loved regular at the Anchor. Billy - in his 20s - was curled up on a beer towel on the bar, his usual practice. A man whose name I have fortunately forgotten was trying to impress the Amazing Mr Smith's daughter, who was working behind the bar at the time. He did a magic trick, the one where you whip out a cloth from beneath the glasses and leave them still standing. Only Billy was pulled off the bar. I think he disappeared for a day or two, then JP found him and took him to the vet. He was just bruised. He died six months later. I'm not sure at what point JP found out about the 'accident'. But the culprit's dead now as well so he got his in the end.


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