I ended up at the big party this week – Pete Doherty was there, celebrating his release from jail. How I got there was very complicated, but worth the telling. I'm with Ben in The Electric and we're just laughing hard at a friend of ours who's a top estate agent and has just gone bankrupt.
This is a guy who used to schmooze around in two-grand suits from Richard James and drove the new Bentley. Honestly, the guy behaved like he was some kind of pop royalty, not a shmuck who sold houses. Anyway, for him the war is over. He was sitting with us all depressed and getting totally loaded (on us obviously) as he's already pleading total poverty. I told him that if he wanted me to finance his evening then he had to give me the suit he was wearing right now. It was a nice grey pinstripe and he's almost exactly my size.
The guy has zero pride and takes his pants and jacket off and hands them over. He's sitting in The Electric in just his boxers, socks and a shirt. If there was ever a better symbol of what's happening to "London, financial cap-ital of the world", then I've never seen it. I took a photo on my iPhone and sent it to Boris saying: "This is the London you've inherited." He didn't reply.
I hate Ken Livingstone but it looks like he's got out at the right time as London starts to crumble round Boris's shaggy mane – like his beloved Rome. They should have let Ken win so he could be in charge when everything goes rockbottom and he would have been another example of how crap Brown and his Labour assholes are. But I digress.
So I'm sitting with this near-naked estate agent and Ben is telling me that it's my duty to get him totally loaded now that he's given me the suit. I order a bottle of Grey Goose and we start hitting the shots, up with a twist. An hour on and we are all absolutely wasted. We're shouting and having a great time – Ben is singing some school song with somebody he's just met who knows his brother. Suddenly, the naked, bankrupt estate agent perks up and asks whether we want to go to a party.
We're up for anything at this stage and are in total agreement. We pile out of the Electric, but not before Ben gets into a fight with a minicab guy at the door who apparently "stiffed' Ben the last time he was here.
"He fucking charged me 20 quid to get to Ken High Street...." Ben and the guy roll around on the floor for a while, kicking and punching – the naked estate agent starts egging them on. It's like a show on that "Dave" TV channel.
Once they are pulled apart, we go round the corner and hail a black cab while the naked estate agent hides so that the cab actually picks us up. We get in and head off to a house in St John's Wood. When we get there, we see paparazzi all over the place and start to get excited. They go mental over the naked estate agent, who loves it, and starts taking his underwear off in front of them. We manage to drag him inside, where he is hugged by the girl whose party it is. Apparently he sold her the house and supplies her with Pablo, so he was well in there.
We look around and quickly realise why the paps are outside. Sprawled on a couch, surrounded by sycophants, is the prince of pop poetry, Pete Doherty, fresh out of jail and seemingly on quite a mission. I knew Doherty about a year ago as several mutual friends criss-crossed. I sauntered up to say "Hi", but he was a blank canvas. Dead eyes stared back at me and he mumbled something about "all the pieces... cracked and smashed... Albion relies on this...."
I couldn't make out the rest, but I nodded like it was really deep and then headed off upstairs to find some Pablo. Sure enough, Pablo was very much in the house and being ingested in huge quantities by the naked estate agent in the main bathroom. I joined him for a couple of executive moments before exploring the rest of the house. It was a totally cool pad and got even cooler when I discovered a babe doing yet more Pablo in small bedroom on the top floor.
One thing led to another and we were soon getting to know each other very well. Just as things were reaching a head, the door flies open and in stumbles Doherty and some other chick on his arm. There's a bit of a stand-off as I freeze and he looks around the room as though he's the naked estate agent doing a valuation. Then he says: "Cool... it's all... cool..." and disappears from the room, but the moment is kind of gone...
Ben and I leave the place at about six in the morning and he goes straight into work – I don't know how he does it. I never saw the estate agent again. I guess he made it home. If he's still got one.
I walk down Westbourne Grove and the birds are singing and I feel a bit bad but also strangely young. I sneak into the Cooperdome and have a quick shower before crashing. About 20 minutes later, Victoria wakes me up and demands to know what time I got in.
"About 12.30, I think...." I hide my face in the pillow – I've got to be in the edit suite in three hours.... Cooper Out.