Okay, my name is Tony S. and most days and nights you can catch me down the Italia, checking the shoes, checking the news. One guy who frequents the joint is this writer guy Paolo and over the evenings watching the girls and the world go by we got to know each other. So the other night we are gassing when suddenly he comes with a proposition.
Turns out he has been re reading Joe Orton's Diaries and been greatly inspired by them. So you should be, I tell him. He was a great writer and a great man, he should inspire you. In fact, he should inspire everyone, end of story - even tho ones who call him a fanook. Anyway Paolo tells me he is so inspired he wants to start a diary of his own and put it on his website, his My Space, etc.
Only he has a favour to ask; given that he has a lot of cakes on his tray at the moment, could I take some time out to maybe write the blog for him. He will tell me what had been going on, I then put it down in my own inimitable style. What do I think? I think, get to fuck that’s what I think. I ask him - You think I am only here to write your stuff, that I haven't got a life on my own? Hey, no offence he says but he figures that with me wanting to get into the writing game this might be a good chance for me to get some target practice, so to speak. I am just about to tell him what part of the Thames he can drop his idea in when something makes me stop and think, Hey he might have a point. I tell him, okay, maybe I'll give it a shot see what happens.
Okay he says. Okay, I say. There is silence. So I ask him - what the f*** you been doing? Turns out he has been to Scotland only he won't tell me what for. He just said he went for two days, he met the people he had to see, had a great time with them and then came home with the goodies. That's all you need to know for now, he tells me. All will be revealed later. Guy is being real cagey about this project so I leave him to it.
Then he explains – a lot of the time he has ideas which he then tells people about and does so in an excited manner. Next thing you know someone else has copped the idea and used it for a book or a TV doc and left Paolo high and dry. Happened quiet a bit recently so now he is going to bite his tongue on a lot of things. Back to the story.
He gets back to London Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday he works with his friend Antonio Easton on a script called Notting Dale. Been writing this script for two years the boys and now they got to finish it. Producer's orders. Paolo don't want to say much except the film is set in 1958, time of the Notting Hill riots. It’s about change and love and jazz and clothes and sex. Sounds good to me, I tell him. Saturday he has off and he and his girl go to the Raindance Film Festival, which he has been sneaking in and out of all week. He says he saw some terrible stuff but also some good cinema. The ones that caught his eye were mainly documentaries. There was a great short on Jesse Hector, an original modernist who formed The Hammersmith Gorrillas in 1974 and also had all his ideas nicked.
Paolo also saw a great doc on the producer Joe Meek which Paolo said turned him around on this man. After all Paolo always has time for those who swim against the world. So this guy Meek is obssessed with sound. So he joins the majors as technician but soon his wayward ways get in the way. So he sets up his own studio. In a flat. On the Holloway Road. Number 304. Next thing you know he has sold millions of records, taken too many drugs, dabbled in the occult, bene caught importuning by the local police, and finally shot his landlady and himself in 1967. On the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death, the musician who most fascinated Meek. That took place on February 3rd. In August of the very same year another Joe was killed, just up the road. His name was Orton. Whar are the odds? Anyhows, previous to this doc, Paolo couldn’t see the fuss about this guy. Everything he heard just sounded annoying. Yet it turns out this guy cut his own concept album about going to the moon round about the time Paolo arrived on this earth. Which was befor eman got to the moon let em tell you. You got tocheck a man who pulls of shit like that.
Paolo also liked this film The End, shot by the daughter of an East End chap. In it her dad and his associates spill the beans on their - shall we say - turbulent lives. Meanwhile the best film was One Day Removals a dark Scottish comedy that was both funny and very well acted. Sunday he popped down the Italia. What tunes you been playing? I asked him. Very little of late he told me although he has been reading a big biog of the great Sam Cooke and intends to be blasting out his tunes very soon. We take a coffee and a cannolli and then Paolo says ciao ciao, let’s cross cups next week.
So until then amici, best to you and yours and salut!