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"Elation amongst the particles"

A few years ago I worked for a firm of music lawyers. They had the odd big-name client and a fair few middling and up-and-coming, and of course the place was constantly swamped with demos. Some of the worst emanated from one man, whose name I have changed for his sake as much as mine. Nine-minute turgid ballads with just him and his acoustic guitar; no-one could have made it through one of his 70-minute extravaganzas with their wrists intact. The boss of the firm had initially encouraged him when he first got in touch, as she always did with prospective clients, but after brief exposure to his first CD her instructions were “If Blue calls, I’m not here”.

One day I fielded a call from him. The following is the note of the call I sent afterwards to the boss.
Blue is mad.

I spoke to him at 16.45. He talked for a while about all the CDs he has sent you and wondered if you had an opinion on them. Then he said that he has mastered one of the album tracks “for release on national radio tonight at 9pm”. I asked him which radio station. He replied: “All of them!”

He wanted to know how to handle “the consequences” of releasing this track. He wants to give away the royalties for the first five tracks on his album to charity. He said that he was “Walt Disney Music”. I asked him if that was his company name, sensing potential trouble if it was, and he replied “No! That's just WHO I AM. That's my CROWN. And NO-ONE can take that away.”

He went on to claim that he is “making something audible that no-one else on the planet can make”, and asked that we make sure this claim was printed in Melody Maker, NME and the rest of the music press.

He said that he had “a necessity to tide” (I had to ask him to repeat it) and that this would lead to “a wave of success”. He said that he had spoken to John at the Performing Rights Society, “and he agrees with me”, although he didn’t specify what it is John agrees with him about.

He asked that you be prepared to talk to him through the week, as he needs to discuss all aspects of production, royalties, licensing and distribution. He then demanded to know when you would ring him. When I said that I didn’t know exactly when you might ring, he hissed “My business depends on her call. If she doesn't call I’ve got no time for her”, and hung up.

She didn’t call him back. The following Friday afternoon he rang again, by which time he had made the jump to lightspeed. I wrote this note for myself at the time:
Blue is officially no longer a client.

“I’m recording 25 masterpieces a day,” he kicked off. “We’ve got three hundred and seventy fucking five tracks, and they’re all fucking amazing.” I asked him how the national radio release had gone. It seemed there had been a change of plan. “We’re not going to release anything unless we know it’s a fucking masterpiece,” he said.

He revealed that there was “elation amongst the particles, but all of them are now pure”.

He claimed supremacy over “Elvis, Radiohead, Coldplay, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Ozric Tentacles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Geldof and Bob Marley”.

He said he would need a very special contract whereby he would handle all the royalties and “all the internet”. He said that with all the money he was going to make he was going to buy a self-assembly house which he could put up wherever he saw a view he liked.

He said he had written a 72-part rock opera cycle. He said his music was “an exclamation of tranquillity”.

He explained that: “You need to be Jesus Christ. Bang the nails through my fucking fingers, man”.

He claimed that the public need to be “elated”: “Shock the masses to their senses now. WAKE UP!” The rot on TV has to be stopped, as “we’re higher than we are, but we can make it higher than it is. I will take in the person, the whole thing and explain it”.

Then he paused for a long time, and said: “I’m not a bad man. I believe in the soft side of life.”

After another pause, he said: “I’m hiding beers. Reality beckons. It’s the driving force.”

Pause. “I haven’t drunk this last beer. I’ve fucking hidden it. It’s pathetic.”

Then, conversationally, he added: “Ring me back in one minute, or I’ll burn the whole lot in a fucking bonfire. And myself with it”, and hung up.

* * * * *

He rang back fifteen minutes later and my colleague gleefully put him straight through to me. Immediately he was back up and running with “I was driving on a motorway once. I saw a man set himself on fire. I was driving another time, and I saw a caravan explode.”

He told me about magnetic healing, which involves lying on the ground and letting the earth's resonance run through you. This “can heal most ailments within days”.

He said that “we should all stop speaking the bad words, start speaking the good words, and we'd develop a transformative vocabulary”. I didn't mention that I thought a demand for everyone to stop speaking “the bad words” was a bit rich coming from someone so reliant on the word “fuck”.

In the middle of telling me that “man is confused by only two things, by being subdued and being elated”, he suddenly announced that “the Fabian Society is shite because it perpetrates the same crime in forgiveness. I resent the Fabian Society”.

He paused again. “I'm sitting in the bad armchair,” he said. “I’m getting bad vibes off this armchair.”

He went off on a long spiel about perspective, which began “Come with me on a journey”. This involved rising up from Earth, “past Venus, Mars and the outer astrals” then zooming in again. He went on: “All of us are ourselves and we must reach out from others in that journey. Then we reach eternal man. He lives for ever. I am 2500 years old. My spirit is that age. My body is 44. I am trying to get man to catch up with his spiritual journey. How many lifetimes will we live and history forgive us?”

There was a reflective lull. “These ideals, yeah?” he said. He pondered for a good thirty seconds. “I don’t know. These ideals.”

He began to sing: “I am gonna tell you what I am gonna be...” He tailed off. “Nah.”

Then he perked up a bit. “Do you know what Jesus said?” he asked. “‘To know all is to forgive all.’ There’s going to be t-shirts made of that. That's the first album.”

He went quiet again. “I usually sit in the garden, you know. Holy ground. Can we zoom a helicopter here? Scala. Scala, Latin for ‘ladder’. It’s all about the meme and the factor. I mean, you can’t analyse that, can you? Well, you could, but that would mean analysing the genome.”

There was a silence, which he finally broke by saying: “Well, I’m not a pisshead, you know, I don’t care what anybody says. I shall continue making music.”

He said we were to tell Liam Gallagher that he was a cunt, and that he should shut up. “I’m not anti-feminist,” he said suddenly.

He had just embarked on a story which began, promisingly, with him entering a synagogue, when Lawyer M rushed in to object to the fact that I had been talking to Blue for over half an hour in total and we still had a load of letters to send out. He scribbled furiously on a post-it: “Tell him you’ve got other calls to answer and we’ll ring him back!” It was difficult to break into Blue’s stream-of-unconsciousness blather but I managed it, with soothing promises that I’d call him back. He thought he had upset me when he called Liam Gallagher a cunt, and retracted it. I explained that I had to go anyway, and reluctantly hung up on him.

Lawyer M called him half an hour later to explain that sadly the firm doesn’t have the capacity to deal with his project, but to wish him all success in his future endeavours.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
Of course, none of that is any madder than the statement "We're playing the Dublin Castle - it'll be great, you should come."
Jul. 5th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
It's funny depressing because it's true.
May. 30th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
I was brought up by Blue. And all his friends.

You actually CAN get self-assembly houses.
May. 30th, 2006 12:56 pm (UTC)
But can they then be re-assembled elsewhere? And can they analyse the genome?
May. 30th, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, they're sold so you can build your own house wherever you've bought land. IKEA sell them.

Re: genome - He mispronounced "gnome". Self assembly HOME. With a GNOME.

May. 30th, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
A perfect mad_fuckers entry.
May. 30th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, but only in the absence of a dedicated drunk_fuckers community.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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