The suggestion has been made that I provide a short authorial profile, perhaps in the form of revealing answers to the the sort of stupid Twitter-type questions that weekend newspapers invite Zzzzzzzz-list ‘celebs’ (and far below) to answer about their favourite things etc. A bit age-disclosing, of course, but not even Cher herself can turn back time. Nor stand too close to a heat source these days. Allegedly. Anyway, here goes:
BOOK Quantum Quarks and Valency Theory for Dummies (Wiley, 2009)
PLAY The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (Paul Zindel, 1964 [film version 1972])
FILM Big Red (Disney 1962) “An Irish Setter would rather run free in the wilds of Canada than be a trained and groomed show-dog. An orphan boy helps look after the dog and rebels against the owner’s strictness…” Life-defining. Full-on 5* weepy. Excuse me while I… blink hard… big breaths… all better now…
ALBUM Fat Mattress Live (I.o.W Bootleg Series 1969 – Hundkotzt HK3172)
MUSIC TRACK Faust – Track 22 “Untitled” – 1:13 (The Faust Tapes 1973 – Virgin)
BLUESMEN Otis Lift, Etta ‘Big’ MacDonald, Deaf ‘Orange’ Jaffason, Booker T. Prize, Nut Cutlet Walker
CLASSICAL MUSIC John Cage – 4’33 (the original EMI mono recording naturally, not the very poor 1999 stereo remaster)
OPERA / MUSICAL ‘Die Zweigroschenoper’ (Brecht / Weill 1928) [could only afford cheap seats - restricted view of 2/3 of stage only]
LITERARY CHARACTER Eeyore, by a country mile. Role model for melancholics, miserablists and anhedonics everywhere, for all time
TV PROGRAM[ME] None. Sit there fuming, complaining & spoiling it for Mrs RH until she eventually chucks cushions at me, enabling me to storm out quite unfairly claiming hurt feelings and the high moral ground. Well, it works for us…
SPORT ANYTHING – even synchronised underwater dominos played in total silence in utter darkness – EXCEPT F**tb@ll (Association football, I mean).
DRUGS OF CHOICE Speed-salt, Midnight Dexys, Green Rockets, Q-Balls, Red Zed, Smash Smarties
AGE-RELATED CRISIS VEHICLE Triumph Vitesse Convertible, restored to concours – the bi-carb version with plenty of extra fizz… (dream on).
COOKERY BIBLE “Unconsidered Trifles” by Madge E. Micks (Olive Press 2010) – a comprehensive 280-page ‘Salon des Refusés’ of deserts rejected in TV culinary competitions, yet still yummy. Snap up a copy
LIFE MOTTO Never do today those things that you should have done yesterday, if you can put them off again until tomorrow.
PHILOSOPHY Ο ήλιος, επίσης, λάμπει σε βόθρους και δεν είναι μολυσμένο (Diogenes the Cynic) *
PROPOSED EPITAPH Semper Tentens **
COLOUR Beige (but not too insipid, obviously)
DRINK Omnibibulous, except for viscous hi-lighter-coloured fluids smelling of turps brought back by people from Corfu in odd-shaped bottles and delusion
SIGNATURE DISH Pain Brûlé aux Tranches de Fromage ‘Kraft’ garni de persil, façon ‘Port de Roulement’
GREAT AUNT VIOLET Tried to assassinate Mussolini in Rome in 1926 with a small pistol. He turned his head as she fired, and she only grazed his nose… She was mad as a box of frogs, and not to be trusted near cutlery. Or dictators. The Pope was also on her hit list, but she got to Musso first. [This could be the only true Profile entry, yet it is the most far-fetched...]
STEAM CART A steam cart built by RH’s great-grandfather in 1896 still runs annually in the London to Brighton vintage car race. The 3rd oldest vehicle, it invariably completes the race… in the course of a day.
ROCK GOD MANQUÉ For a short time way back, before life got serious and a profession snuffed out the fun, RH played lead guitar in very probably the worst band ever. Bar none. In the Universe. Some gigs in low dives. A brief and risible tenure in a ludicrous Rock Opera. One decent outing, but timed specially early so as to benefit the people preparing the venue. And so on. We lost any money we made when we had to replace a borrowed amp that blew up… Our one claim to fame was that we were casually ‘managed’ by the founder of Sanctuary Records. His next move: signing Iron Maiden. Ours: well-deserved oblivion. I still have the guitar, though – a fine Hofner President Florentine, Serial No 196 (of 280) from 1968.
PERIODICAL OF CHOICE The magazine Jimi would have dug…
* The sun also shines into privies, yet is not polluted
** “Always Trying”