Archive for July, 2008

Sound And Fury – The Life Of A Reluctant Genius

July 26, 2008

Esteemed Music Journalist Anthony De Laney takes time away from writing for the quality newspapers to give us a weekly extract from his up-and-coming autobiography … ‘My LIfe As a Genius.’

I think it was whilst listening to a Yes album that I first realised the extraordinary depth of my genius.

Despite being just 14-years-old, tone-deaf and knowing virtually nothing of the band – I was still, remarkably, able to come up with a terribly clever review of their masterwork ‘Close the the Edge’. I even managed to throw in a knowing reference to Nietzsche, and I was thoroughly pleased with myself.

I remember I was reading a lot of Nietzsche at the time. He has since come to be a source of enormous comfort to me in recent years, particularly during the Van Morrison interviews. But more of those later.

I remember too the keen sense of destiny it engendered in me when I read the piece back to myself and said, ‘My Sweet Lord, I’m a blooming genius!’

Unfortunately, those first halting words which were to be the literary Phoenix to ignite an entire firebrand generation have since been lost to posterity. I wrote it on the back of my trigonometry homework and then handed it in, failing with a C – (It’s graphs, I’m no bloody good at graphs. I kept telling Mrs Fairbrass, but she took no notice.)

But trigonometry’s loss was literature’s gain.
If onIy I had preserved the piece, what delightful nuggets it may have summoned forth. Alas, It was not until considerably later that I started framing my reviews and housing them in their own purpose-built temperature-controlled walk-in eco-pod – a decision which really has been an enormous success.

Of course, occassionally one of my children will josh me a little over it.

‘Daddy, do I really need to wear a paper mask and cotton gloves to enter the room?’

‘Dad, can’t we pleez turn it into another bedroom? I’m sick of sharing with James – I’m 19.’

‘Dad, do we really have to commemorate the date you wrote your first review with a torchlit family procession through the streets? All the neighbours are staring at us.’

And other such nonsense.

But I’m sure, as they get older, their understanding of the importance of such an archive will grow.

After all, isn’t it reassuring to know that such pieces as my interview with Kevin Ayres about his musical based on the life of Roy Hattersley can be preserved for the reading pleasure of future generations?

(And so long as they take their shoes off when entering the room and don the white cotton ‘praise’ robes provided – it’s a thoroughly straightforward process.)

Of course, some people may find this approach perhaps a tad self-congratulatory. But there are always these sad, bitter, deluded types in any industry and the best we can do is ignore them and humbly move on.

Next week Anthony reveals how interviewing Van Morrison brought him to the brink of a nervous breakdown.


Doberman Unleashed

July 26, 2008

With the Ingmar Bergman Season starting on Film 4 next week, we asked modern intellectual and Harry Enfield sidekick Frank Doberman to give us his views on one of the great auteurs …

Well, of course I admire Bergman, who doesn’t.

I applaud the way he can conjure an entirely unique cinematic universe from delicate light & magic. And that even the quality of his silences are, like Kurosawa, both distinct and numinously evocative.

However, if I was in B&Q, of a saturday afternoon, picking out some new decking with the wife and he arrived and started stripping down to his nuddies, causing a ruccuss, over-turning pot plants and jumping on tables in that Swedish way they do, I would have to say, ‘Oi! Bergman! NOOOOO!

‘I admire the way you have inspired a generation of filmakers to paint the moving leitmotif of alienation and loss onto the fragile canvas of reality.

‘But if you think you can come over here, stroll into my local superstore and shit in my plant pots, you’ve got another think coming, YOU BOSS-EYED HERRING-BREATHED VIKING PONCE!!!

And I should most definitely have to give him an almighty slap!

Doberman Unleashed

July 26, 2008

We’re very grateful here at TALES to have the renowned modern philosopher Frank Doberman, who has agreed be a regular contributor to the site, giving us the benefit of his vast knowledge on people and current events. Mr Enfield, if you read this, please don’t sue me.

First off, Modernist Composer Philip Glass …

Don’t get me wrong – I admire Glass! His particular brand of Minimalist music is both moving and sublime.

But, if he was to come round my ‘ouse, in the middle of the night, and record over all my Phil Collins cassettes with his poncey bleeps and farts and what have you – I would have to say, ‘Oi Glass! No!

‘I admire the way you can weave both hypnotic and elegaic musical structures from the most basic atonal forms whilst at the same time nodding contrapunctually towards both Bach and Schubert.

‘But you’re having a laugh if you think you can break into my ‘ouse in the middle of the night, fumble through my wife’s undies and shit on the dining room carpet, YOU BIG-NOSED, TONE-DEAF, MOP-TOPPED YANKEE FUCKWIT!!!’

And I would most definitely have to give him an almighty slap!