Escape to “Billy Smarts” 

Well Marsh had been in rehab now for three days and he was crawling up the walls, no ALCOHOL at all and none of the the staff were paying any attention to his pleas and begging. Even the promise of untold riches didn’t alter the staffs attitude. Marsh realised his only chance was escape but how ?. As Marsh was a fee paying patient (Melody was paying) he could come and go within the grounds of the centre as he liked until lock down at 7pm.

Marsh had scouted out all the perimeter of the centre and all the walls were far too high and well lit past dusk, so another plan needed to be hatched. Marsh had recently watched “some like it hot” and realised a disguise was the way forward. So using his best clouseau detective mind he set about the task, unfortunately for Marsh the only store cupboard he could find open was the nurses uniform cupboard(female), fortunately Marsh had never been described as stocky or well built and soon he found a uniform that would fit. This he bundled inside his cardigan and scurried back to his room. If you had the chance to see him you would have only described him as a pregnant George Clooney (his likeness claim not mine) with arthritic hips dashing along a well lit corridor. Next make up he thought , well there was an old soak 3 rooms down that never locked her door and was always made up to the nines, Marsh was sure someone came in every day to do her makeup as it was always perfect and her hands shook uncontrollably.

Marshs next sauté was to the soaks room and soon he was scurrying back to his rook laden with estee lauder and Chanel makeup. Now according to Marsh he had never worn makeup but everyone had seen his Adam & the Ants/new romantic pictures where he was made up like a pantomime dame. There was no time to worry so Marsh sat himself in front of the mirror and started 1st poking himself in the eye with the pencil liner, 2nd foundation too much and spending the next 2 hours sneezing, 3rd lipstick which had him more looking like the joker than a woman, and last blusher which was applied in the same thickness as the double yellow lines on the road.

 

This was it now or never Marsh hitched up his skirt and made for the door, people were leaving and the door was open as he approached when just 10mtrs away Marsh made a mad sprint knocking people sideways as he sped towards the door , made it and off down the path he sprinted. (What he didn’t know was he was being released this same day anyway) the staff just watched as this deranged he/she nurse careered down the drive and straight into the nearest pub. 10 minutes later and 3 pints Marsh now had to make good his escape. Noticing there was a large event down the road Marsh scuttled down and took a look. A circus what luck he exclaimed, Marsh thought he could hide out there for a few hours until the search party had given up (there never was or would be a search party).

Marsh entered the big top through the back door and the instant he entered the head clown Mrs Spare Part cornered him “your late you know tonight routine” get ready. Marsh taken aback stuttered and mumbled but head clown Spare Parrt barked the orders at his and Marsh sloped off to join the other clowns. fortunately for Marsh he was to play the DRUNK so as he had consumed 3 pints he performance should be convincing. 10 Minutes later with a foot squarely in his back Marsh was launched into the ring followed by 5 other clowns all armed with custard pies all destined for Marsh.

The performance was soon over and Spare Part came over and congratulated Marsh on his realistic performance ” you will be staying for the tour ?” Marsh still convinced that there would be search parties out for him agreed without hesitation. “Great ” said Spare Part you caravan is over there. Marsh slumped back on the sofa in his van via a call at the bar,arms laden with booze and self congratulated himself, “who would have believed it me a clown” Now everyone who know Marsh thought of him as a clown but maybe this was his true vocation in life. 

A life on the stage and being told what to do by a woman Marsh was in heaven. He put his feet up and cracked open another can, Marsh began singing “Hi Diddly Dee A Circus Life For ME” and a tour wait till Rocksey & Penguino find out this will blow them away, Clown this week Circus Master within a month Marsh assured himself …… we will see we will see ! ! ! ! ! 

Reliving our youth

With Rocksey now reliving his wasted youth in Malaga with his 14 year old ( in spirit mostly) side kicks SP and Marsh  acting like they had been let loose on their first school trip, Melody, Suki and myself had been left to our own devices!! However, this hadn’t meant acting like a provisional Hen party running round town knocking back as many  fluorescent   pink shots as we could before closing time nor had we decided to be a bit up market and spend the day at Spa sipping Champagne, eyeing up the lifeguard no the three of us weren’t even together in person ( although there had been plenty of text messages backwards and forwards during the course of the afternoon). The reason for this , as guardians of 3 hyperactive flawed geniuses, some down time in the guise of complete solitude was needed before Suki and I jetted off to join the party next week . Melody was in Florida  to discuss her new book deal and close the deal on an apartment that had  been owned by Veronica Lake.

I had spent most of the weekend in the company of The Baron and Missy  which had been lovely but as all mums know waving a way their adult off-spring although tinged with sadness also allows you to enjoy the peace and quiet even more – compounded with the absence of Rocksey I was happy to make myself a cup of Bluebird Melon tea ( a gift from Missy which was most welcome) and find a book and a quiet spot in the garden to while away a few hours.

The thing about peace and quiet is that when you crave it you don’t get it and when you finally get it, well the silence is deafening ( you know Rocksey can be quite loud!). Having had 2 phone calls from him and a video and then further requests for vegan ice cream suppliers I decided that if I was going to get some peace and quiet I would have to turn the radio on.

So with an army of cushions, sun screen, sunglasses and a large G&T I slung everything in the hammock in the dappled shade of the middle patio and tuned in for my very favourite radio show –  The Sound of the ’70’s. This is a 2 hour show on a Sunday afternoon which plays….well you’ve guessed it ….music from the1970s. Of course, the large G&T the sway of the hammock and some of my favourite tunes and I dozed off.  Now sleeping in the sun is not a good thing, we’ve all done this, I see that Marsh did it this afternoon on the beach, Suki’s done it, Rocksey says he hasn’t but he fell asleep in the toilets at a Damned concert in 1979 ( and Boy THAT was loud) so I will safely assume he has also fallen asleep in the sun. SP also says he wouldn’t do anything that stupid but he let Rocksey video him twerking in a pair of speedos last summer and so I think that was probably more stupid than falling asleep in the sun…..Anyway I digress, slumbering in the sweltering heat of a June afternoon listening to Boz Skaggs, I was transported back to the summer of 1976 when I was 13. The Summer where the UK sweltered for 6 weeks ( yes I know)  and a plague of ladybirds ate everything in sight. As an awkward  tall skinny teenager I read the likes of teen magazines where Farah Fawcett Majors shone down from every newsstand with her lions mane of hair and sparkling white teeth and the girls from Abba sashayed across the TV every Saturday night. My friends older sisters were going to the Disco with their Afro hair and FFM flicks, platforms and maxi dresses smoking those pink cocktail cigarettes and meeting boys called Steve and Darren who drive ford cortinas and could dance like Les Gray. Oh me and my friends so wanted this glamorous lifestyle and , according to my friend Alison, the way to do this was to ‘GET A TAN’. Now getting a tan was easier said than done in the land locked town where we lived, 200 miles from the nearest beach with its cooling sea breezes. GETTING A TAN meant, that you had to do some pretty hardcore sunbathing in the back garden.Alison’s sister had a tanning mat which looked like a massive sheet of Bacofoil. The idea was we covered ourselves in olive oil ( bought in A teeny bottle from the pharmacy ) and then laid on the Bacofoil mat for 4 hours between the hours of 11-3 without moving . The Beauty page in Jackie said we should squeeze fresh lemons into our hair for natural highlights. –  well as no shop in the 70’s sold lemons we made do with a bottle of PLJ. The Bacofoil mat only  ever succeeded in Alison who was ginger, getting 3rd degree burns and her mother throwing the mat on her dads bonfire where the olive oil residue made it shoot out of the brazier like a flaming rocket setting fire to next doors washing; and for me? Well I would love to say my naturally dark brown hair turned as blonde as the blonde singer in Abba and attracted Steve or Darren’s younger brother but the PLJ made it a sticky mess which only attracted wasps, the Bacofoil just reflected off my blue tinged Persil white skin and did nothing except make me hot, sweaty and bad tempered.Alison and I fell out that summer and I spent the remaining school holidays lying in a sheet attached to the two apple trees in my granddads garden listening to Bos Scaggs and counting ladybirds. 

I woke with a start almost falling out of the hammock, Melody was on the phone from Florida telling me she had secured Veronica Lakes old apartment and the book deal had made her several millions dollars in sales. Now she was celebrating at her gay ex porn star friends villa in the hills where there were several hot body guards and a tray of fluorescent pink shots had just been handed to her. 

A ladybird landed on my knee,  Blondies Denis Denis came on the Radio and I was transported back to 1979 and that fateful meeting with Rocksey……..you know the power of music is surely a great thing ! 

USA Tour next Europe PARTY FIRST ! ! !

Rocksey had decided he needed to let his hair down before the Europe leg of the tour and we had been invited to a lavish party in the city of Berlin where coincidently was the first night of the European tour.Rocksey I said letting your hair down is one thing  but dont you think you should at least wash it first, I was sure that during the 3 weeks in the States the nearest thing to water Rockseys hair had seen was Beer ! ! ! ! !..begrudgingly he gave in and washed his hair —  its my image he shouted from the shower whilst singing one of the Spice Girls back catalogue “two become one if i’m not mistaken” –  not very Grebo/grunge rock I thought but what the hell only I can hear him ! ! !

The part was in full swing by the time Rocksey & I arrived. Rocksey as normal was a carbon copy of a Kansas tornado leaving a trail of broken hearts and empty glasses behind him.He just bounced from model to bottle and back again. Me I just socialized whilst looking for Suki, and let him get on with it, knowing full well he was just playing the guests the same as his stage show, but all the time wishing he was back at home.

A little later out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of Rocksey hanging upside down from the banister legs held by Senor penguino and hes not the biggest of men, while some of the female guests tried to pour champagne in his mouth, nothing to unusual there but this time he was 25ft from the ground ! ! and Rocksey has a fear of heights. Well this new game didn’t last very long before Senor Penguino shouted his one and only Spanish phrase “mi penguino comé arozz” Rocksey realising that his next stop would be the floor below hasterly hauled himself back over the banister, where Rocksey tried to encourage senior penguino to have a go….  “NO WAY” blurted Penguino i know what your like, one waitress or the sniff of champagne and you’ll be off and “I’ll be doing a love smooch with the floor.

With this both hugged and waltzed off in the direction of the pool, Me and Sukie reclined on the sumptuously deep leather sofa while the whole world and their friends strutted by trying to get noticed and be seen talking to the right people, the only people me and Suki though were the right people were the hunky waiters clad in kilts and full highland regalia.Suki in her normal way fluttered her extraordinarily long eyelashes at one of the waiters,and he almost fell over himself trying to get to Suki before any of the others. Suki purred in his ear “a bottle of champagne – cold ICE cold” nipping his ear with the last word, this sent the poor boy into such a spin as, which can only be likened to a gazelle avoiding the talons of a lioness, as he made his way to the bar.

Suki whispered to me “do you think its true ?” What the fact that we wouldn’t be seeing either Rocksey or Senor penguino before the early hours ? No Suki said KILTS and what worn or not worn under them ?…….I’m going to find out when the waiter returns.  .. This I knew could only end one way ! ! ! !

Meanwhile Rocksey and Penguino had found the pool and were in the middle of their usual betting wager.which culminated in Rocksey trying to swim the length of the pool in all his clothes backstroke with a full champagne bottle on his head, cheered on by a throng of female guests. this I wouldn’t have minded but Rockesy was wearing the new Mexicana Python boots I had bought him ! !  ! !  Python I hear you all shouting inhumane I also hear – – –  but no Rocksey had found this skin in a dusty run down shop in Louisiana and was informed it was at least 70 years old – sent the skin to his friend and owner of Mexicana boots and had them made..  which I will add I paid for with Rocksey shouting “i’ll pay you when I get back in”   some chance of that …..Back to the swimming Rocksey was going for it and ploughing through the water like a dreadnought encouraged by the screams and shouts of the female guests, penguino realising this could end badly for him took it upon himself to try to stop this dreadnaught from finishing, grabbing one of the many ropeskilt suspended from the ceiling took an almighty run and launched himself on collision course with Rocksey. Gripping as tight as he could to the rope with one hand and skimming the water with another he hurtled towards the finish line and Rocksey where within inches of the finish removed the bottle from Rockseys forehead and shouting his trademark “mi Penguino Comé arroz” entered the pool like a world war two depth charge. Both now soaked and without a change of clothes, I’m glad to say Rocksey resisted the temptation and offers from many of the female guests to let them remove his soaked clothes and help dry him…. Upon finishing the Bottle of Champagne (1/2 full of pool water) I will add the two made off in search of dry clothes.

Suki was now getting impatient for her bottle of Champagne as she had affixed her makeup mirror to her shoe, she assures me Penguino told her about this so she could check up the waiters kilt. whilst idly chatting Suki felt a tap on her shoulder and spinning around came face to face with a bright red kilt and a bottle of champagne. never one to lose her cool or not follow her plan swiftly positioned her foot and let out a shriek, He’s got kids F*****g pants on not only that BUT KIDS PANTS with a picture of a CAR on them ! ! ! ! ! at which she glanced at the waiters face only to find SENOR PENGUINO smirking back at her, don’t you remember he said “i bought these in Spain last year whilst in Malaga” ! ! ! ! ! .

I could see Rocksey stood behind him laughing – “why are you dressed as waiters ?” Ah he said and retold me the story of the pool bets and the fact the only clothes they could borrow were some of the staff clothes. You could tell Rocksey  had a few to may champagnes by his state of dress his kilt was on backwards his shirt was tied round his waist his beret formed a lump similar to Quasimodo’s in his jacket and still wearing his boots which I will add were still full of water, I suggested we make our excuses and leave…

Agreed he said, as we made our way to the door Rocksey commandeered 3 bottles “well you never know “he said…  as we exited into the crisp night air I asked Rocksey “why did penguino have those pants with him” you know Penguino, he used to be a boy scout and he’s  always prepared…….. with this Rocksey ran off down the drive kilt flying  shouting “MI PENGUINO COMÉ ARROZ, MI PENGUINO COMÉ ARROZ” it would have been a really nice view the sun rising over the maple trees and the dew covered lawns glistening but for Rocksey running into the sunrise ! ! ! ! !   —  Life goes on I guess  . . . . . .

 

working title

Rocksey is making a video.  Or in Rockseys eyes he is following Rob Zombie down the rocky road of movie making. Well I have my suspicions that Mr Zombie actually had a film crew to make his movies for him, Rockseys film crew is me and him  and so far he has managed to edit 22 seconds of film for his video.

Winding back a few weeks, after our day out with Max Millionaire Rocksey announced the following day that he was going to take a break from song writing and concentrate on movie making. Inspired by Max Millionaire and his short film debut, Rocksey decided that he was going to make a video of one of the bands songs – for his own pleasure and experience of course, but it may even air on You Tube ( or dare I say it – as a trailer to Maxes film!!).

Rocksey set up the Perpetual Students drawing board in the office and squirrelled himself away with some felt tip pens to write a story board. Much scribbling was done along with much wandering around the garden with a note pad and a distant look in his eye, followed by the chickens in a weird Pied Piper sort of way. Then there was silence, writers block he said as he sat with his guitar playing chords, the drawing board abandoned for the time being.

When I arrived home one afternoon, Rocksey was spinning round the kitchen in a state of excitement. Warily I wondered whether Mr Lucky and SP had been round earlier in the day but there were no tell tale bottle of JD on the kitchen counter and Rocksey appeared to be sober. Guess who I spoke to today, he yelled picking me up and whirling me around in his arms. ‘George and Patty’. I extracted myself from his arms, I didn’t recognise the names of the people he was talking about. I gave him a quizzical look  – you know from ‘Frankenhooker’ he spun around again – they want to use my video for their promotion work at a Horror Convention they are hosting at Halloween. Halloween when…I say…this year? Do they know you haven’t even started this video?

Transpired they didn’t and yes Halloween this year. Hence Rocksey and I then spend the next few days scouting out scary places to start filming and then armed with my camera we set out to make a 2.45 minute film based on both Rockseys song  and the actual 1990’s film of the same name –Frankenhooker.

Now for those of you who may not know the story of this cult classic,  the story is loosely based on Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. After his attractive fiancée is cut into pieces in a freak accident involving a lawnmower, aspiring mad scientist Jeffrey Franken is determined to put her back together again. He sets about reassembling his girlfriend using parts from a variety of New York prostitutes. However, his bizarre plan goes awry when his reanimated girlfriend no longer wants just him, but for money will take on anybody, and afterwards try to kill them.

Max Millionaire had designed the front cover of the same titled album for the band and George and Patty had found this somewhere in new York and had contacted Rocksey several months ago. They had sold a few copies of the album and posters at other horror conventions they had been involved in and then in an idle chit chat on Messenger Rocksey ‘let slip ‘ that he was making a video of the song. He didn’t let on to George that the video was still in his head but Rocksey is good at convincing people that his ideas are actually reality –or near enough!

So we have around 5 weeks to make this video which includes everything on Rockseys storey board and whatever else is in his head. Finding spooky places in our town did not prove difficult, of particular interest to Rocksey was a ruined barn close to where we live and earmarked for demolition by housing developers, ever increasingly surrounding the village with new housing estates.  The ruined barn can now only be reached by squeezing through a fence laced with barb wire and then negotiating the field beyond made more precarious by the deep ruts made by diggers and other heavy machinery used by the builders. Last weekend we decided that we had to make our move for scenes in the barn before it was torn down. As there is no where close to park the car Rocksey had to walk down the main street of the village donned in stage wear which , if it had been the middle of the afternoon when the village fete was in full swing may have got us some odd glances. However, at 10pm on a rainy Thursday night there was no one around which made us less conspicuous but heightened the heebie jeebies I got when crossing the filed with the barn looming in front of use, a full moon peeking out from behind scurrying clouds in a break between rain showers.

Rocksey pushed the door open and shone his torch around, rousing pigeons nesting in the rafters that gave us both a shock as they whirled around above us. Thank god its not bats, I stage whispered to Rocksey even though we were in the middle of nowhere and unlikely to be disturbed. Rocksey set up the lights and lazer curtain which he wanted ( the lazer curtain reminds me of those things they use for trapping ghosts on dodgey channel 5 programmes) leaving me in another part of the barn with my camera and a torch  – its pitch black , I’m scared stiff wanting to get this part of the video done and out as quickly as possible. I’m imaging I can hear all sorts of things although common sense tells me there is nothing inside or outside of the barn apart form a few pigeons and nothing that is going to cause us any harm.

We film several scenarios, Rocksey coming in and out of the shadows, disappearing behind doors and wandering around in the gloom and rain miming the words to the song whilst I scurry around after him one eye on him and one eye actually expecting frankenhooker to appear lurching from behind the barn door! Luckily nothing sinister happens and we are soon on our way back home.

A few days later we are filming in a subway and on a motorway bridge  and the next day in our local museum ( which crazily has an indoor street scene from the Victorian times complete with pub and cells).  We watch, and re-watch the original film on You Tube and find ourselves enjoying the cheesiness of it. Rocksey emails updates to George and Patty every night and then hides himself away to edit bits and pieces.

Suky and SP pop round for a visit, wondering why we have not been seen out and about for some time now. The filming is pretty much in the bag, Rocksey says to them both and  – he proudly announces  –  he has created 22 seconds of his 2.45 minute film.

I roll my eyes, this has taken 8 days , if we go on like this we won’t be ready for Christmas let alone Halloween I say to him. Don’t expect to see you guys anytime soon then -SP shakes his head when they leave, Rocksey hopping up and down on one foot desperate to get back to the editing suite.

This morning I drive past the site of the ruined barn, a pile of bricks lay in the middle of the field where it used to stand. I hope Rockseys video doesn’t reach the same fate.

However I am sure Mr Zombie will be pleased that Rocksey won’t be in the market for making full screen horror films any time soon!

The video will be available sometime soon on You Tube – I will post a link when Rocksey finally comes out of the office!

 

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A Super Hero Fairy Tale…with a happy ending

It’s now late summer  –  I can’t believe how time has flown past. Word press has congratulated me on 2 years of writing this blog and I am still waiting for a book /movie deal based on the trials and tribulations of being the Rockstars 2nd Wife. I might not be as lucky as our friend Max whose story I would like to tell you today.

Last weekend Rocksey and I attended a Comic Book Convention where a great friend of ours  – Max Millionaire – was signing his latest graphic novel (entitled JackBoot and IronHeel– available from idwpublishing.com). Max lives in LA and was only in the UK for a short time on the comic book convention trail so we grabbed the opportunity to catch up – even though it meant waiting in line for him to sign our copy and then meet for drinks in his favourite local bar afterwards ( after his adoring ‘geeky’ fans had left him in peace for a few moments)!

Max has the greatest rags to riches story. Originally a friend of Rockseys back in the day, he did a stint as  drummer for the band back in the 1980’s but on growing his hair long and discovering a love for Spandex he was unceremoniously kicked out for looking too much like Jon Bon Jovi ( which was not really the bands style at the time). However, Max’s first love was not drumming but drawing and ultimately he became a graphic artist slaving way in a windowless office drawing other peoples dreams for next to nothing and in his spare time indulging in his love of comic book superheroes and keeping the band happy with some gruesome war scenarios featured on many of their past album covers.

Max disappeared from view for a time. We later found out he moved up north and continued ( in his theoretical garret) churning out illustrations for various books, articles and dodgey ‘90’s boy bands all the time working away on his comics and one off designs in the hope that one day someone would whisk him away to the life he felt he fully deserved ( yes I know I’ve made him sound a bit like a fairytale Princess but bear with me on this one…..).

One day finally Max decided enough was enough, he was fed up of selling his soul for a credit on a third rate teenage boy bands video who wanted their storey board revolving round a pseudo  playboy esque  mansion and blonde ‘wannabees’ and WAGs dominating their skateboard fantasy life whilst lip synching to crappy punk-pop songs written by other similarly frustrated song writers thwarted also by ‘the Man  and his money machine’ and the need to pay the mortgage and the car loan.  Max quit the day job and walked out vowing never to look back and  despite his misgivings moved back into his childhood bedroom with his folks to take one last stab at realising his dream of selling his own work for his own price.

The on-set of the internet made Max’s dream became a reality. Having set up a website which made him look like he had a mega studio and lots of high rolling contacts, Max’s talent could finally be unleashed onto Facebook and Instagram and the orders started coming in. Several commissions later by a millionaire Austrian recluse (and an open invitation to spend some time in the country mansion deep in the heart of the Tyrols), Max had paid off all his debts and the imaginary studio became a reality. Max made a down payment on a penthouse apartment in the middle of the City overlooking the football ground ( a love that both he and Rocksey share) and he started to relax a little – knowing at least that there was enough money from forthcoming commissions to pay the mortgage for the next year or so.

Well for many of us this would be enough, but not for Max –  he still wanted to realise  his dream of getting his own graphic novel published and despite the fact that he was already super busy with commissions for the Austrian recluse he still found time to make his dream a reality. One evening, taking a  break from drawing he posted a few of his ‘work in progress’ concept ideas of Instagram hashtagging the usual #comics,#superheroes etc when he got a ‘like’ back and then a message with what he only described as a very cryptic message asking him to respond to a mobile phone number. Now I’m a little sceptical about responding to other peoples messages even when they have ‘liked’ the work that I have done myself but there was something in this message that Max resonated with and  – he told us later – felt compelled to respond with an equally cryptic message himself – y’know like some secret boy scout decoding mission- he mused. Turns out the cryptic messenger was no other than a massive fan of Max’s super heroes illustrations and on viewing the original characters within the work in progress felt that she had to speak to Max and discuss with some urgency a project that she too had kept on the back burner for too long.

Here comes the fairytale bit, not only was the interested messenger a closet geeky comic book fan, she was also a (quite) famous film director who, again, wanted the world to see what she was capable of directing and producing outside of the CGI company she was already working for and wanting to set up on her own, needed to work in collaboration with someone with a similar vision to hers…..and here he was, Max Millionaire beaming out on his Instagram account and a geeky super hero marriage made in heaven was born.

Three years on, the film is to be screened for the first time at the SuperHero Short Film Festival in Los Angles later this year and has already had rave reviews from those on the inside. Max now lives in a condo in Silver Lake, one of LA’s most hipster neighbourhoods with his super hero wife director and producer of indie super hero nerdy films enjoying the geeky, beardy lifestyle he has always lived but in far more luxurious surroundings with no money worries stretching into the mid to long term future. His wish of writing a graphic novel also came to fruition earlier this year with IDW publishing hence the comic book convention tour which, a few short years ago, was the dream ( although this would have ben self-funded and self-published) Max now lives up to his Max Millionaire tag – given to him by Rocksey all those years ago when he was a jobbing drummer.

As for those 3rd rate boy bands…..well some had short lived fame, some went on to do greater things, some are having a crack at a come back (or a second or third go at a ‘come back’). Max is living proof that if you don’t like something in your life, well go ahead and change it…a fairy tale ending may be waiting for you.d1f97a8d921264673111efe58655af82

Guilty Pleasures

My latest guilty pleasure has been watching the series Vinyl on HBO and now it’s over I have no excuse to binge watch TV on a Saturday afternoon ……I started watching it just for the whole 70’s vibe and because I read in The Edit that Olivia Wilde wears the most amazing Halston Heritage clothes throughout. But then I got into the whole thing and caught up in the whole hedonism of mid 1970s New York with the show channelling my twin loves of punk rock and disco in a parallel universe. The highlight though ( apart from the lovely Devon ( played by Olivia Wilde) was Kip Stevens played by James Jagger who played an angry young (English) man in NY with all of the charisma and sex appeal that Mick would also have had a decade before. Kip Stevens character reminded me of Rocksey when he was a similarly angry young man and probably around the same era too. So after today’s final episode I rooted through Rockseys extensive record collection and  made my own  70’s CBGB’s Rock club for the afternoon, funny how ironing is better when singing along full pelt to the New York Dolls! I go to thinking then whether any one else would admit to similar guilty pleasures and if so….would I be surprised?

I caught up with The Baron over the weekend. He had caught wind over Facebook that my sister had decided to sell (maybe) her vintage camper van and, rather than ask her outright about it, thought I may know something and also be able to swing him a family discount. The camper van would then be used solely for festival hopping and a cool place for Dreads to showcase her photography work, therefore my son surely must be the coolest person I know after Rocksey (of course) and therefore if he had a guilty pleasure it would still be something cool…wouldn’t it????S o I was quite surprised when he told me that after a hard day at work he relaxes to……Smooth Radio!! Well for a 20 year old who gets his kicks from going to underground  garage raves til 6am to hear him extolling the virtues of The Fatback Band, Bily Paul and Eric Carman as his guilty pleasures made me start asking a round what everybody else’s were…….

Missy told me there’s nothing better than cycling home from work  rather than getting home and rolling a joint (now I would have thought her guilty pleasure would be rolling the joint not the other way round), although living in Amsterdam , rolling a joint is probably more mundane then it is here, Suky told me she only joined the gym so she could alternate between the sauna and the steam room and miss the exercise class out altogether which makes her feel both guilty and chilled in huge doses and Melody likes nothing more than spending  Sunday morning in bed listening to the Archers omnibus with their cat and a large pot of tea which would make her far more English than American and so possibly guilty from enjoying being more English than American. 

Rocksey would not be swung by my question. – I have no guilty pleasures he said, engrossed on his iPad. When I peeped over the top of it, he was updating his Pintrest boards – the most unrockstar of them ( and the one with the most pins) entitled ‘my chickens’………..hmmmmmmm,  as I download the Vinyl soundtrack onto Spotify  I think perhaps a little self-indulgence is a good thing, now roll on Series 2!!!

A night at the Opera

Last weekend Rocksey and I had a weekend of culture. Starting on Friday evening when we went to the Opera to see a version of Bizets Carmen. I have seen this particular opera many times and it is one of my favourites, i think perhaps as the heroine of the storey is a gutsy , independant woman and doesn’t die of consumption at the end ( like most ), instead runs into the knife of her former lover rather than let him kill her. 

Rocksey always now accompanies me to the Opera or the Ballet, he long ago figured that as I have very little demands in the way of the entertainment that I particularly like then there is nothing to gain by refusing to go . As the wife of a rock star , my life tends to be filled with the ego of Rocksey and the trials and tribulations of life on the road, off the road and generally pretty much all encompassed by being in a rock band . My treats happen maybe 2 or 3 times a year  – as Opera generally in the UK is not as popular as it would appear to be in mainland Europe.

An other aspect, sadly lacking, is the ‘dressing up’ of going to such a grand occasion. Many years ago, and even when I originally started to go to the Opera, both men and women used it as an excuse to dress up – and I mean really dress up- black tie, long dresses and the likes. I am sure in the grand Opera Houses of London, Paris and Sydney to name only a few these events are still glitzy and glamorous – maybe not so much in our provincial home town! However, it is still a treat night out and we may not be dressed up completely to the nines but an effort has been made and I must say, both Rocksey and I scrub up well on the occasion we needs to.

A friend of mine asked me on Friday, how I had ‘got in’ to going to the Opera. Well, my first time very nearly was my last. At the tender age of 23, whilst living in Brigthon, a male friend and I decided to try something different and  forgoing a gig or a night at the pub we went off to see Wagners epic  ‘the Flying Dutchman’. Not a beginners opera, sung in German without an intermission. We sat through the evening  in slience, both wondering what on earth we had let ourselves in for and not daring to leave our seats as the remainder of the large audience sat in respectful rapturous silence. Actually looking back, it may have been that everyone else was an uncomfortable as we were-also not wanting to appear a philistine by leaving early! I have never re-visited Wagner, however, not to be put off, I accepted invitaions to Gynebourne to watch contemprary Operas, one with naked cast members artfully draped over and around various stage props (to this day I have no idea what this particular Opera was about or indeed its name- or even why I was there –  dressed obviously- although some members of the audience also shed their clothes to get the ‘maximum experience’). 

Finally a gay friend introduced me to La Boheme and I was hooked. I have never since sat at an Opera waiting for the final curtain, although I do restrict myself to the classics and always read up on the story line prior to going so I have a general jist of whats going on. Operas are best sung in their native language, English does not translate well and you then have the feeling of watching musical theatre instead.

So back to Friday night and the concert hall was pretty much sold out. We had a cocktail in the bar and took our seats, exchanged pleasantries with the neighbouring occupiers and settled down to be transported to 19c Seville for a couple of hours. The Opera was split into 4 Acts and normally Rocksey is restless at the beginning and towards the end. Being tall he finds the seats in old theatres a little on the small side and after a while starts to feel cramped and hemmed in. However athough totally engrossed in the goings on on the stage it didnt escape my  notice that Rocksey wasn’t his ususal fidgety self and on sneaking a glance at him during Act 3 he also appears to be totally engrossed.

After the show we walk back to the car park hand in hand. Did you enjoy that I ask. Yes Rocksey nods enthusiastically ‘ especially Act 3 when the double bass player lost his music and the Harpist had to bend the  sheets over to stop them from falling off the stand’  . I look at him quizzically. It turns out and Rocksey confesses that he is always more interested in the orchestra than the actual players themselves and in the seats we were in he had a good view of the musicians. The double bass player had caught his eye when his music sheets started to fall from the stand and left Rocksey totally fascinated in how he continued to play unperturbed as the Harpist gathered them up and bent them over to stop them falling. True professionals Rocksey started up the car – carry on regardless and hope no one spots the mistakes!.

Well I certainly hadn’t noticed and  so I guess it takes a musician to know a musician.

Saturday night we went to see a friends band performing at a pub. The room was full of people we know, like being at a party  where the atmosphere and company are good. The band made a few mistakes, no one noticed. Everyone was having too good a time to care, the band continued to play even when a wrong rift was played or the same verse sang twice. 

True professionals – carry on and no-one notices – Rocksey says to me when they have finished. 

Rocksey has a gig next week himself – I can’t wait to see if I can spot any mistakes and if so -will anyone else?