I'm still recovering from an adrenaline-fuelled day directing a pop video for Wig-Wam, the fabulously funky bubble-gum band formed by Betty Boo and Blur's Alex James. One of my "100 things to do before I die" I hadn't yet ticked off was to organise a concert on a rooftop in the style of the Beatles on the old Apple building in Savile Row or, if I was being a little more ambitious, U2 closing down half of Los Angeles filming "Where the Streets Have No Name".
We opted for a spare rooftop on Dean Street in London's Soho and blasted out the performance for a good couple of hours at top whack without even a hint of police intrusion. In the end we had to resort to phoning them ourselves to make several strong complaints about the noise coming from our own roof. We did manage to get three parking tickets but, at the end of the day, "rock'n'roll stops the traffic" it wasn't. Top day out though.
I do love dipping my toe into the music business although, the more I see of it, the happier I am that my brief period in the late 1980s as the lead singer in a hard-hitting, politically active goth band didn't reach any higher than a brief mention in the NME's singles review column.
The music world encourages liggers and hangers-on more than any other industry. Any post-event drink will inevitably involve marauding groups of young pneumatic blondes taking it in turns to suck the guitarist's face, while gaggles of more mature, surgically enhanced pneumatics keep beady eyes on the music men that they've managed to pluck from rehab. Then there are the fiftysomething music execs puffing on fat cigars and telling deadly long stories about long-dead musicians to bored-looking, razor-cut bass players who are looking longingly at the guitarist's young pneumatics.
Music is the truly beautiful medium but should only ever be seen from the consumer end, all polished and pretty. The underbelly is an ugly wasteland of broken dreams and shattered lives best left alone.
Mind you, I do love the idea of having an entourage. I met a Japanese woman a few weeks back who had an assistant following her around shining a red filter light on her face to make sure she looked her best in all situations. Sadly, I didn't ask if "everywhere" meant literally everywhere, but I rather got the feeling that it did, which brings to mind some very uncomfortable imagery.
I think I'd need quite a large entourage. Something approaching the 60 people that I saw accompanying Mike Tyson to an enormous table at The Tides Hotel in Miami one morning as I sat digesting my breakfast alone would do the trick. I'd want all the usual stuff - stylist, hairdresser, make-up, security, drivers, dealers, pneumatics - and when in the countryside I'd also need a tweed bearer, a man to fetch Huxley's stick out of the river when he's in a bad mood and somebody who jumps up and shouts "why, if it's not Mr Joly, one of our proud nation's finest comedians, a generous benefactor to hundreds of local charities and a welcome addition to our local community, what are you drinking, sir?" every time I entered a local alehouse after the door has creaked open noisily to total silence from the rest of the occupants. I happen to know that Hugh Grant has a gentleman who does this for him, and it works a treat.
I also really fancy having a go at poaching, so I might get somebody like Ray Mears to teach me basic survival skills, the art of camouflage etc. I'd love to pit my wits against the local gamekeeper by creeping into the woods every evening to try to find supper. I'd obviously have to insist that Ray wore proper manly shorts and not the crotch cropper ones he so loves on television. The Cotswolds are just not that sort of place. Mind you, Alex James has invited me round to his manor to go paintballing. There's always a gaggle of weird and wonderful people staying there and one of them is bound to appreciate Ray's shorts. I'll give him a ring.
Actually, I'll get one of my people ring his...Reuse content