My Greatest Mistake: Andrew Collins, Presenter, BBC6 Music
Tuesday 06 January 2004
It was 24 October 1988 and I was working as a design assistant at the NME, my first job in the media, laying out pages the old-fashioned way: cut-and-paste using scalpel, Letraset and carcinogenic spray-mount glue. Though I had trained to be a designer I harboured none-too-secret dreams of becoming a music journalist and had been bothering all the section editors ever since I got inside the building. They were beginning to crack and I had had one or two reviews printed.
Then, my big break. The features editor James Brown (yes, he who would one day launch Loaded) heard that I was a fan of the little-known West Midlands Goth rock band Balaam and the Angel.
James told me I was to go off to Leicester to write my first NME feature, as Balaam were playing at the university. A whole new world of rock'n'roll glamour had opened up for me; this was my first step to becoming the new Paul Morley.
I successfully interviewed the band in their dressing room (I did, at least, have all their records) and politely and inexpertly smoked some of their dope. But it all went to pot when they said, "Help yourself to the rider."
I drank all of their vodka while they were off having their photo taken, and then pints of beer on top. When the gig began, I wobbled up to the balcony to watch through a drunken haze. I remember the first number and then nothing until the band gave my girlfriend a leg-up over the toilet door to retrieve my inert form two hours later. They'd been looking all over the university for me, while I'd been happily sleeping, curled around the toilet bowl.
I'm sure Balaam thought it very funny. The landlady at our B&B didn't when I vomited on the landing carpet at one o'clock in the morning. The train back to London the next day was so full we had to stand all the way - my penance for making such a premature dash for rock'n'roll Valhalla. And I left my wallet at the B&B. Can it really have been like this for Paul Morley? Probably, yes.
Andrew Collins presents his Teatime show on BBC6 Music 4-7pm weekdays
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
- 1 If I were Prime Minister: I'd give tax cuts to the rich, keep Trident, and get my football team wrong
- 2 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 3 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 4 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...
£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Analyst / Digital Bus...
£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...