Saturday Night: 1993: is that all there is to a year?

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
1 January: Sunrise in the Goan jungle. I wander in post-pharmaceutical daze in search of a Scottish girl whom, in my present state, I believe to be the goddess of love. But she leaves the party to catch a bus to Bombay, so my lecherous intentions go unrealised. My new friend Ariel Hershkowitz quotes an Israeli proverb: 'Life is not a prick - it's always hard.'

2 January: At the age of six I told my teacher that when I grew up I wanted to be Paul McCartney. Today I interview McCartney for the first time. I am astonished to find that he is sane, witty and remarkably youthful. And stinking rich. I realise I still want to be Paul McCartney when I grow up.

9 February: Return from work at MTV to find that K has read my notebook. She knows about my half-arsed attempt to seduce the girl in Goa. It is over, she says.

17 February: After days of my pleading, begging and sobbing, K agrees to give it another go.

21 February: She decides it is off again and walks out at 1am.

25 February: Suffocating beneath a heap of red roses, she relents once more.

4 March: When I was 16 I wanted to be Bryan Ferry, then the ultimate pop stylist. Today I interview him for the first time, and get the feeling he is not as contented nor as wealthy as he might be, after 21 years in the business. Still, his wife is rich and beautiful, they have homes here and abroad, and both sons are down for Eton.

1 April: Easter holidays with Phoebe in Almeria, our first time abroad without her mother, Jane. Phoebe is spooked by the Semana Santa processions and the penitentes in their hoods and cloaks, but soon recovers. I decide that, if there is a God, she is a five-year-old in Minnie Mouse shorts, hanging upside down from monkey bars and poking her tongue out at me.

12 April: Nicole Farhi sale. Retail therapy.

19 April: I start seeing a real therapist in an effort to control my fearsome rage.

14 May: I give MTV a month's notice. I cannot take pop stars seriously.

15 May: George Michael laments the lack of talented new pop stars. This is like hearing Jeffrey Archer bemoan the paucity of talented new novelists.

26 May: Against all odds, Uefa grants me a press ticket to watch Marseille beat Milan 1-0 in the European Cup Final in Munich. The Milan coach, Fabio Capello, selects the injured Marco van Basten, pumps him full of painkillers and Milan lose. He should have played Jean-Pierre Papin from the start against his old club. But will he listen to me?

30 May: To the San Siro stadium to see Milan win the Italian championship with a 1-1 draw. Half the city erupts in delight. Fireworks everywhere. Cars cruise the crowded main streets with flag-waving fans tottering on their roofs. One vehicle has an armchair tied to its roof-rack, in which sits a man in a red-and-black shirt - Milan's colours. Two people die in the celebrations. Around midnight, I see four dressy people emerge from a yacht-sized grey Mercedes. It is Capello, his wife, and another couple. But I speak no Italian, so he escapes my outrage over van Basten.

10 June: K and I have a terrible fight.

25 June: K graduates with a 2:1. Her show is easily one of the two best in her year. I play the little man, pouring champagne for friends and family.

29 June: To Milan again, this time to model in the Katharine Hamnett menswear show. Next day, the Independent runs a report with a photograph. Lurking behind Ms Hamnett, applauding, is yours truly. I look like her houseboy.

5 July: K leaves with a smile. Later she calls to say she wants a trial separation.

8 July: Terence McKenna, who says human consciousness has its origins in hallucinogenic states, lectures at Megatripolis, proposing an 'Archaic Revival' to replace our culture's psychotic, planet-killing materialism.

10 July: I take five grams of dried psylocibin mushrooms, the dose McKenna suggests for a hyperdimensional psychedelic experience. It works.

19 August: Black Thursday. As Phoebe and I reach the front door, I find a letter from K. Immediately, I know that it is finally over. Though I deserve nothing more, I am devastated. Spot an advertising billboard with the slogan: 'Loss is the measure of love.'

30 August: Driving through Sausalito in Bunny's convertible to the beach, I experience an unexpected, overwhelming feeling of sheer bliss. I start describing this remarkable sensation to Bunny, and notice that we are passing a Buddhist meditation centre. We start laughing.

4 September: Two weeks in California and you understand why Elvis is sighted so regularly. I saw him myself today, pulling out of a gas station on Route 101 near Sacramento. Boy, he looked rough. Driving a battered green Chevy saloon, and he'd even put on more weight. To put it bluntly, he looked defeated. But he was still clearly the King.

10 October: I have started seeing someone else, but I still weep at the pain of losing K. Two years ago my best friend died, but this is worse: Haoui's death was not my fault; this is.

12 October: Phoebe has worked so hard on her reading that a treat is called for: a dress from Next, maroon with white polka dots. She poses shamelessly in the mirror.

16 October: I notice an Evening Standard poster with the headline: ' pounds 3 Billion Missile Faces Axe'. I wonder how big the axe is. Perhaps this is what McKenna meant by the Archaic Revival.

3 November: Launch party for Christopher Silvester's Private Eye book. Gosh, it is difficult not to feel smug and superior when confronted with so many prats in pinstripe. Ian Hislop's dreary irreverence is drowned out by gabbling drunks and their media dollies, in a feeding frenzy at the trough. Who would believe that such affluent types could be so grasping and boorish over free booze? Must be the recession.

10 November: 'The Only Walls Left, As You Know, Are The Ones In Your Head.' Thus the slogan for the European's new poster campaign. Is this Zen copywriting?

12 November: To the Groucho Club to meet film director Tony Kaye. Lloyd Cole stands at the bar, doing a feeble impersonation of an artist with a thirsty muse. I like Tony, but this place gives me the creeps, and I leave as soon as is politic. What is wrong with the rubber-necked media puppets who hang around this joint? You can feel them marking your scoresheet as you enter. There should be a sign over the door: 'Get A Life'.

27 November: My mum's 60th birthday. After taking Phoebe to see Sleeping Beauty at the Polka Theatre, we go to the Harvester Inn in Golders Green for the celebratory dinner. I let Phoebe give her the present. 'They're ear-rings,' she says, before my mother can unwrap them. 'They cost pounds 32.' Everybody laughs, except for me. I am rebuked for scolding the child. After, I drop Phoebe off with a friend and go to Phillip Salon's 'Arty Farty Party' in King's Cross, where I get talking to a guy who teaches English to Bengali kids. He tells me about his father-in-law, a traveller with a fortune from scrap metal, who keeps a freezer full of jellied eels. Whenever he is peckish, he simply pulls out a frosty carton and pops it in the microwave. It thaws in 30 seconds. I spot a gap in the fast-food market, but decide not to fill it.

17 December: After the Independent features department Christmas party, I walk across the road to another - for Plink Plonk, the techno label run by Mr O of The Shamen. The music is superb, the people look good. Everyone is in a festive mood. 'Who are you?' I ask a woman wearing a black bobbed wig, stiletto boots and a skintight PVC catsuit, thinking I recognise her. 'You don't want to know,' she tells me. I realise that she's right.

Comments