Working Man

Somehow I let the summer go by without writing anything down. Actually, that’s not true, I spent a few months working absurdly long hours ghosting a memoir. It’s a strange if lucrative gig. You spend hours with your subject, pore over the very bones of their being, make their voice come to life on the page and then nothing. It’s like the longest one night stand ever. The book comes out, you hardly recognise huge swathes of it – but then you did think the editor was a tosser all along – and you’ve already made one enemy for life and realised how lucky you are to have a human being for an agent. The money was good though, I spent it on making my debts look less ugly and teaching the dog to love ice cream. Shortly afterwards the vet told me Ralph was overweight, I held up my hands in a display of horrified shock, but you could tell she wasn’t buying it especially as I was feeding the mutt a tub of Ben & Jerry’s at the time.

Otherwise, I’ve been to New York, The Green Man festival (which was terribly wet even by soggy Welsh standards), I got stuck in Philadelphia and Columbus (sadly, they aren’t the names of two strippers I met) and went to LA on the hottest day on record. It was the kind of weather that killed Tarantino’s editor, it caused me to lay on the floor of my hotel room with the AC on full doing my best not to move too much. I’ve been to court too for all the good that did. I saw men beating up another man, then I went to court and told the judge that and they let them off because of lack of evidence. It made me feel rather ineffectual, like so much smoke being shooed out of an open window. Much more happily, I did a live Q&A with Rush’s Geddy Lee last night at a cinema in London. He was good value, he’s always good value, as were the incredibly keen audience. Though they did swarm all over Geddy like a scene from The Walking Dead once we were done. I could hardly push past them to get to the bar. One short man with a red face asked my name and then told me I was annoying, I was tempted to push him down the stairs and stand on his neck until he turned puce, but I let him have his moment and let his little legs carry him home to his undoubtedly ugly and frumpy wife and his two kids who hate him, I imagine. I hope he’s been hit by a car today. More good news; I interviewed Gail Zappa on Friday and we got along famously, so much so that she invited me up to the family house to see where Frank worked the ‘next time I was in LA’. I’m currently checking my air miles… Oh, and I fell out with Nicky Wire and then made it up again. Sorry, I’m dropping names and condensing timelines with a flagrant disregard for convention, but fuck it, no, fuck you. Which is what I said to Wire. I didn’t.

We have a live Perfect 10 in Manchester on Saturday, as usual Phill and I have done next to nothing in terms of preparation yet, there’ll be a flurry of activity and panic on Thursday when we’ll actually pick up the phone to each other and debate what we’re going to do. The last one in London went over pretty well so I suspect that one of us will fall off the stage at the very least this time. If it’s Phill and you’re in the front row then I apologise in advance, but it’s your own fault for being so keen. At least you’ll make the papers, even if it is just the Manchester Evening News.

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4 comments on “Working Man

  1. Jackie says:

    You can hardly blame the fans for “swarming”, as you put it. Many of them have been fans since the beginning and any chance to actually say hi and get an autograph is like gold dust, given the band’s seeming reluctance to bring their tours over here for every album – unlike the US. I didn’t get the opportunity to go – too far away – but it was great that it happened!

    Thought your comment about the guy with the red face was harsh though. OK maybe he could have been more polite but the comments about his wife and kids … nah mate

  2. philipwilding says:

    I wasn’t blaming anyone, but there’s common courtesy and there’s pinning someone into a corner. Ged’s a gent, he should be treated like one, he was full of good grace about it, but he’s not public property and he did that Q&A because he wanted to give something back to the British fans who hadn’t seen them live in a long time. And as he said on the night, there’ll be UK tour news soon.
    It was a joke about the man with the red face, I doubt he has a family.

  3. Jack Blackie says:

    Just to say good to see and hear you on form on Monday – slightly surreal combo of favourite band and favourite podcast – almost overwhelming urge to make a shouted reference to what Grant Moon should do, but I resisted. A lovely warm feeling to be with all my slightly geeky, slightly bald Rush buddies. Actually had your excellent CCMS book on me hoping for a signature but had to leg it during Q & A – maybe another time. Good work fella

    • philipwilding says:

      I’m glad you had fun, so did I, Ged and the filmmakers, less so some of the purists that I wouldn’t let ask Geddy about his amps. Something he was delighted about. See you at the shows next year. Off to Manchester now for the Ten, they’ll go up online in a few days.

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