Friday morning, I can hear the sound of the shower in the next room. Bob Dylan’s on the radio and someone’s just asked me to write about an Australian vacuum cleaner for cash and I’m thinking about it. It’s been a strange week (not to get too Garrison Keillor about it), Danny Baker’s Show on BBC London on Monday and Tuesday where the great man let me plug my book with aplomb while still paying me to act as his sidekick, like Danny needs a sidekick. And since we last spoke The Sunday Telegraph put me in their ten new novelists to watch this year and Pulse magazine (the thunderer or thereabouts for all NHS staff or so I’m reliable informed) said some very nice things about the book, I was touched, I still am. The Independent on Sunday have promised to review as have the Guardian site and the Times Online have asked me to write something on their site and plug the book off the back of it, I’ve said yes. All of this and then Willie from Jackdaw 4 (certified genius, but he won’t hear a word about it) mailed to say that CCMS and Citizen Kane (what company I suddenly keep!) had inspired him to write a new song, he then sent me a demo of said song and worried over it the way a cow does a new calf. He need not have fretted, even in demo form it’s magnificent and dark and reminds me why Willie puts me in mind of a brooding Brian Wilson and not just because they have the same shaped face. I’m currently on the Jackdaw 4 website acting like a nerk, but they let me plug my book in a video clip ostensibly put up there to promote their band, they are very good people.
I also fell out with my publicist and the man booking my live readings this week too. Not for long and without any real damage, but it did remind me to keep an eye on my quickly escalating temper and not to send emails when I’m in a rage. Or drunk. Or drunk and in a rage. It was a mix up at the venue and neither Richard or Clara’s fault, but I was pointed at the venue’s website by a friend to find that they were advertising the book launch (which I wanted to be kept private anyway, unlike Tennessee Williams I do not rely on the kindness of strangers) as a comedy night with myself and Phill J! I went up the wall, over it and landed on the other side making sounds in the back of my throat akin to those a dog makes when you get too near its food. I was stressed to start with, some of my so called friends (actual and real friends who were quite normal until a buzz started building around the novel) have begun to act very strangely around me. Saying and doing things that have both angered and saddened me, I’m in a real panic about publication as it is so you can imagine my delight to find out that their egos somehow had to have an impact on a book that it spent me over a year in solitude (not like in the TV show Oz, that would just be wrong, beside they wouldn’t let me have a pen in there in case I made a makeshift shank out of it) to write. Anyway, the venue argument’s over and myself, Richard and Clara are going up there next week to look the place over, we might take sandwiches. I’ve suggested staying in the bar all day to talk things over, but they both gave me a look like I’d just set fire to their clothes.
Next week, Monday in fact, I film the Classic Albums show, I’m talking about Rush’s 2112 and Moving Pictures, Nicky Wire’s doing it too. I’ve no idea of the TX date, but then I’m not sure they do either. I’ve also just contributed liner notes to another Rush best of called Time Stand Still. There’s talk of me going to Toronto in April too, but that’s just talk for the moment. I’ve recently very much enjoyed a film called Dogtooth, though I’m not sure I ever want to see it again no matter how brilliant it was. I endured Shank, which was odious and pallid and the new White Stripes doco about their very unique Canadian tour of 2007, it’s beautifully shot and quite revealing all in all, it made me want to see them play live again too, which surprised me as their audience is wall to wall victims, you know the type, one haircut, braying at the bar about vinyl, usually young and no idea what Motown is or was. The twats. Though, that’s not the fault of the White Stripes.
I digress, it’s twenty days to publication and counting and i have The Fear. If you see me, buy me a drink, I’ll probably need it. I’ll see you when I’m around this way again.