The 5-minute Interview: Georgie Fame, Musician

'When you get to 50 you think you're old – then you realise it is cool'
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The Independent Online

Georgie Fame, 64, had his first No 1 hit in 1968 with 'The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde'. Since then, the British R&B veteran has made yearly visits to Ronnie Scott's club in London. He starts a six-night residency there on Monday

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Having breakfast before going to rehearse with the jazz orchestra in Sweden.

A phrase I use too often...

Nothing really. I don't swear.

I wish people would take more notice of...

What man has done to the environment. It's like a runaway train and I shudder to think what it will be like for my grandchildren. My generation had the best years. We missed the Second World War and caught the outburst of rock 'n' roll.

The most surprising thing that happened to me...

I went to Heathrow and it took 30 minutes to travel eight kilometres. Even though I allowed twice the usual time to get there, I still missed my plane.

A common misperception of me is...

Some people think I'm a rock 'n' roll musician and some think I'm a jazz musician but, for me, there is no difference.

I am not a politician but...

If I was I would commit suicide. There's nothing politicians can do, only make platitudes.

I'm good at...

I learnt to fly aeroplanes about eight years ago. I've a few hours on my log-book and I can fly alone safely. I can cook well too.

I'm very bad at...

Being surrounded by people. I'm not good at being in a crowd anymore.

The ideal night out is...

I would take my girlfriend to Pizza On The Park in London and listen to Mose Allison. He has had a profound influence on my career. He is 80 years old and he's still performing. It inspires me.

In weak moments I...

Stay up too long talking with old friends.

You know me as a musician but in truer life I'd be a...

Pilot or a naval aviator. In my youth I thought I was going to be a professional rugby player.

The best age to be is...

In my teens I thought it was the best, then in my twenties I thought that was it. When you get to 50 you think you're old, but then you realise it's cool.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is...

Be cool and try to do the best you can.

Claire Daly

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