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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

15th & 16th January 2010

Got some bad news on Friday, have not been near computer. Friday was a wash out, Saturday came across a real treat on Sky Arts One. First, the Robert Mugge doc on Al Green, a performer I have adored ever since I heard How Can You Mend (A Broken Heart) written by those great songwriters, the Gibb Brothers. The doc works on two levels. It not only tells his story but also spends a lot of time in Al's church. After Al delivers his Sermon, he goes into a song called The Lord Will Find A Way Somehow which ends with his jacket absolutely drenched in sweat. Apparently he once played a gig in San Fransisco and then flew to Disneyland to do a midnight show. With him was his girlfriend. After the show they went back to his hotel. Al says he was too tired for any activity and went to a separate bed to sleep. He said he woke up at four thirty in the morning praising the Lord, talking as they say in voices. He said he has never felt so great in all his life. And that was it. He gave his life to the Lord and set up his own church. What struck me was the humour Al deployed when recounting his conversion. He wasn't trying to convince the world, he was telling of his experience. 'I had a million dollar career on one hand and the Lord on the other. I am going on stage and I'm playing to people at two in the morning in a club and they are sipping whiskey and they are looking for women and they are drawing joints and I am going to tell them about The Lord?' Talking of religion went to Spurs in the afternoon to see us draw nil nil with Hull. Even for people who do not like football, that sounds bad. Anyway after the great Al doc,came a French doc called The Soul Of Stax. There was some amazing footage in there, Sam and Dave performing You Don't Know (Which Issac Hayes revealed from a gospel song) with Booker T backing them, Rufus Thomas performing the Funky Chicken at a massive Stax gig and the young audience breaking through the barriers to dance in front of the stage (one guy pulling off striking northern Soul moves) William bell performing You Don't Miss Your water with just piano, and then stories about the great Otis, a man with such a huge heart, no wonder the Lord wanted him in Heaven quickly, as he did Teddy Pendergrass and Mick Green this week. Al made me want to pray, the Stax doc made me want to put on mohair. God and Mod, a great morning. That night was going go into the End for a drink with Dirty Den and Mal but by the time they called was plotted up ploughing through the Capello biog. So God bless Al and Otis and Stax, and God bless you. Paolo

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Not a lot to report. George got back to me having read my new children's home book But We All Shine On. His comment was typical of his shall we say succinct manner - 'your book is very good, very very good.' That was it. Glad to hear it though. Whenever I finish a project such as this I always find I can't really get a perspective. With But We All Shone On, I kept thinking I like this but am I fooling myself? Apparently not. Two other close links are reading it as well. See what they have to say. if you want to read an extract there is one on my website - - It details the story of a guy called David who i was in the Home with nicking a car in Woking to go to court in Liverpool....Few people wrote in after my mentioning of the great Norman Jay yesterday. Got me thinking about 'celeb' fans and whether you can tell a club by the people it attracts. I think there is a lot in that. for example, Arsenal have got Piers Morgan and we have got Paul Whitehouse. Says it all really. Up British Library today researching. Would love to tell you what on but I have had too many ideas stolen in the past to go public so have to keep everything under wraps. Got a meeting tomorrow I'd love to tell you about but again my lips are sealed, loose talk costs commissions. Read an interview with John Hellier my co author on the Marriott book conducted by someone who I would say doesn't particularly like me, probably because of my Changing Man book. Which is absolutely fine. I take no offence at all. I understand completely why people love that book and why they hate it. I truly think God bless all and God bless you. Paolo

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Was out all day yesterday. Swim, steam, then up to the Mecca, back to the End, over to the British Library, back home, into town to appear on Spurs podcast with Norman Jay MBE (Member of the Bill Nicholson Empire). had not seen Norman in ages. He is truly one of the best DJ's around (check out the Good Times comp he compiles with his bruv Joey) and I have spent enough hours in clubs such as High On Hope grooving to his tunes. He is off to Australia in a couple of days time to carry the word - soul and Spurs! Then onto Antony's to watch Small Island. Antony is Pearl's brother. I was married to Pearl in the 80s. Shockingly, she died about four years ago and that sad event brought Anthony and I together. From there, we got together to write a script entitled Notting Dale which is currently doing the rounds.The script is a love story set in and around the 1958 Notting Hill riots and we have had some - if I say so myself - great feedback. Now we need some money. Small Island is based on Andrea Levy's best selling book and focuses on the Windrush generation. Much to like about it, some great acting and sharp lines, but much also to annoy such as the portentious voiceover and the cloying music. It also looked too nice for a London suffering the Second World War. Got home and put on Comedy channel. Am a big fan of King Of Queens, American show based in a working class family. Ben Stiller's dad Jerry plays a wonderful cranky lunatic who lives in their basement and drives them mad. In between the show, the channel often runs ads for stand up comic shows they are to air. All they do is make me pine for the great Sam Kinison who I discovered in the mid 80s. He made two albums and was that rare thing in a comic - very funny. His obssessions were religion and women. Example - Sam talking about the Last Supper, 'So Jesus goes out on a Friday night with twelve of his best mates, gets back Monday morning.....' Sam was derided in his time for being non PC which tended to happen a lot in the 80s. Today he would have been massive. Without Sam no Bill Hicks nd that line of humour, that is for sure. He was unique at the time, a true one off. Sam got into a lot of stuff but got himself together settled down and was then - big joke this - killed in a car crash. You can see him on You Tube. Watch him and then consider that today the biggest comic in the UK is Michael McIntyre. God Bless Sam Kinison, God bless Pearl, God bless you. Paolo

Monday, January 11, 2010

Diary - 11th Jan 2010

Very bitty day. Wanted to go to British Library but need my lap top which S is bringing over tonight. Start tomorrow. Am exploring a book idea, nothing more, but want to get on with it. have had my break, time to start fighting the forces of darkness once more. Also, I feel that in a month's time I will hopefully be overwhelmed with projects. There are several book and TV and film ideas bubbling away at the moment and some will come to the boil quicker than others. Need to be ready. Meanwhile, here is a weird one. Mr Baxter e mails and says a mutual of ours - the esteemed Signor Anthony Polledri of bar Italia fame - has just rung him to say he saw our short film The Mumper on BBC television last night at about eleven fifteen. This can not be so as no one from that fine organisation has been in touch with us. Yet Anthony who has never seen the film describes it perfectly. Guy walks into a pub with a horse and tries to sell it to six guys. Very strange If anyone out there can throw light on this, please do. Mike rings to ask me to do spurs podcast tomorrow night which of course I agree to. One pint I will make is that the current weather conditions have in fact given us a taste of what a winter break would be like. I like it myself. Plus we were due to play Liverpool away this Sunday but without one of our key players, Aaron Lennon. the enforced break now means he can now hopefully recover from his groin strain. Meanwhile, the team will be refreshed and ready. Cold still so i can't help throwing envious glances over towards Martin Chivers. he has just been asked to join a cruise ship on Barbados which will make its way lazily up to South America in the next two weeks. His job? To deliver a forty minute speech about his life going there, and a forty minute speech coming back. The rest of the time all his and all expenses paid. What can you say? Except God bless Chivers and God bless you. Paolo

Diary - 10th Jan 2010

Not a lot to report. Swim, papers, Italian football, 1988 Madness album, phone calls, bit of writing, Capello biography, a listen to BBC 6 Music station which made me want to investigate music by Phoenix, Black Ivory and a marching band called Mucapazza, then this diary. Sunday, sleepy Sunday. God Bless it, God bless you. Paolo

Diary - 9th Jan 2010

On Saturday went to Hampstead Heath for a walk to celebrate the birthday of squadron leader 'Nipper' Harris of the Fourth Battalion of the Yid Army. He had invited friends and foe alike to walk on the Heath, despite it being a million below zero and freezing conditions. Everyone gathered, we started off and within half an hour everyone was in the pub. One of his friends who I got parlaring with had run two successful clubs in London. He worked in the City by day, ran the clubs at night. Then he did a Chic and quit his nine to five to concentrate on the clubs. Big mistake. Within a year he was using all sorts just to get him through the day to get him into the night. Finally, he dragged himself to India, de toxed, and then came back to work as a..............landscape gardener. Made me think how London can be so vicious if you let it be. London can chew you up, spit you out, send you scurrying into the shadows for the rest of your life. It can also realise your wildest dreams. I have lived here now for thirty years and I still do not consoder it 'my' city. I am still a stranger here, still an outsider. London is too vast to become personalised. It still contains sights and sounds I have yet to experience, still retains the capacity to astonish me. Anyway back to Nipper. In Danny Baker and Kelly's new book there is a top ten list of decent football books. In at seven is mine and Guigsy's Robin Friday book. At number six is Nipper's book Dear Alan Dear Harry which details Nipper's hilarious correspondence with Tottenham during the Alan Sugar years. That his book is honoured above mine has made his year even though he relied heavily on the talents of another writer to get it completed. And that other writer was of So if you ever bump into Nipper and he starts giving you this line stop him in his tracks and tell him that you know the truth. Still, got to give it to Danny Kelly for having such great taste. God bless Danny, Nipper, London and of course, your good self. Paolo

Friday, January 8, 2010

Diary - 8th Jan 2010

Seem to be writing this diary at about the same time every day. Here is a question. How does your mind work? This morning was in Crouch End pulling out money from the machine, time about 7.45. (Early I know but when the Mighty Cockerel crows first thing in the morning I can't help but rise with it.) When I turn around from the machine I am facing a bookshop which has now been open for about six months and which I like a lot. Interesting books at sane prices. How long before the Kindle takes over an the shop is empty? I then recall that the last time I was in there I got talking to the owner. He told me that the music writer Simon Goddard lives above him. Goddard has just published a book about Morrissey. Personally, I can't swing for the man's music primarily because of one very small factor - Morrissey can't sing. He can write a great song title and some biting lyrics but he certainly can not sing. Which for a man who loves his soul msuic is a bit of a problemo. This gets me thinking about how many Mancs can't actually sing - Mark E Smith, Ian Curtis, Shaun Ryder (I once interviewed Ryder, asked him how long he had been singing. He spluttered, 'Singing? F-- singing. I didn't know I was a singer until some c- in the pub the other night told me...') In fact Liam G. is about the only one of that generation who can hold a tune. (Tim Burgess also but I am not sure if he a Manc) I clear my mind, buy a paper from the news stand outside the KFC. I open up the sports pages and the first headline I read says Man City Earning Power Lags Behind Spurs. Spurs have the fifth biggest turnover in the Prem, in fact it will take Man City years to catch up with us. So now I am thinking about Mancs again and how cheeky they were in trying to say they had invented Acid House when it had been going for at least a year before they got hold of it, so I clear my mind, quick as I can, time about 7.51, and decide to write about all this when I get home. Which emans God bless Manchester and God bless you. Paolo

Diary - 7th Jan 2010

Friend and fellow scribe e mails, tells me he saw Sherlock Holmes film, not the moron fest' the trailer suggested he says. But still unsatisfactory. I spend time thinking about Guy Ritchie. Have only seen one of his films, Lock Stock and it wasn't for me. What puts me off is this silly macho element that seems to accompany all his work. Sherlock being turned into a cagefighter being a case in point. In fact, as I was saying to a friend today, someone should produce a game in which you have to imagine Guy Ritchie's take on various historical figures. Therefore, Jesus. 'He smashed up the money lenders and then took two ham sandwiches and five pints of lager and turned them into Wetherspoons!'' Einstein 'You think your smart with numbers, son - you aint met Albert 'ave you?'. I jest. In his defence, I met a girl once who had worked with him and said he was the most positive man she had ever come across. Plus, I have to say he had some ballsl marrying Madonna. I mean, from day one you know full well that is not going to be a stroll in the park on lazy Sunday afternoon, is it? So let's just say let a Guy be a Guy, for as my man Ray once sang, we are all God's children. God's children? You thought you were hard.........Stop it! Had the meet with the book company
today, all went well. Got taken to Nando's after by the company head, fascinating guy who amongst many other things, played Paddington Bear, acted in Joe Orton's play The Erphingham Camp at University and supports Bolton Wanderers. Snow everywhere but both Mr Baxter and I discovered that the most stylish and yet most practical shoe for the modern snowfall is none other than my San Paolo range of corduroy shoes. They protect and yet still manage to catch the eye of the passer by. Invest now, children. Have been rung up by 606 and invited to play in a six a side charity game, set provisionally for late Feb. I was on their show the day we beat Wigan 9-1 and co-incidentally have just started on their presenter Gabriele Marcotti's Capello biography. Three pages in and I am hooked. God bless Italia, Capello, and God bless you. Paolo

Diary - 6th Jan 2010

Had meet with Baxter yesterday in Bar Italia, in course of it he tells me that electronic books - Kindles - are taking off in America,, on course to replace the book. My stomach sinks at this news. I am not against technology. Love computers, internet etc. However, don't buy the if-it-is-new-it-is-better line. CD's, for example. Biggest con of the 20th century. Not better than a vinyl album, in any way whatsoever. Feel the same way about Kindle. No jacket cover, no intimacy, the book reduced to page after page of impersonal type. Bax tells me, forget books get into documentaries. Today get e mail from TV company we gave our Fashion of Football book to for possible documentary. E mail a tale of woe about the TV industry, no money, no this, no that. The fight continues. Watched Somers Town, last night, Shane Meadows film. Liked it a lot. Two kids very good - even though story slightly implausible. Today writing sleeve notes for 1988 Madness album called The Madness. Four of the band - no Woody or Bedders - made the album after Madness split. They sound like everyone -except Madness. Quite intriguing.Also finished off wring a film treatment for my Marriott biography which I sent to an actor / writer called Malcolm Ridley. I met Malcolm four years ago on a Soho street. He stopped me and then dragged me into a pub and said he had to make a film of my Marriott book. I smiled a lot and got out of there quick as I could. A year ago, through a mutual friend, we re-connected. He still wanted to make a film of my Marriott book. Over Xmas we have been bouncing back versions of treatments. (film proposals that go to film companies and tell them to give you loads and loads of money) The one I sent him today I think is the strongest. I read it this morning and thought, I would pay a lot of money to see that film. Which is a testament to Steve Marriott not my writing. During all this time the pop biog film - Control, Telstar, Nowhere Boy, Sex and Drugs - seems to have taken off. Not just saying it, but I can not think of a better life to film than Marriott's. Just to add the spookiness, last night Baxter sent over an MP3 of the man doing a version of Think which has just surfaced. I listened to it and thought, Steve you should have just stuck to r'n'b mate, it is where you shone like no other. Also - Des e mailed me. Attached loads of photos from our time in the Children's Home. Really brought a smile to my face looking at them. Loads of us smiling and playing around. And quiet a few which could make a striking book cover.Bless all those children I grew up with, they were great. And bless you as well. x

Diary - 4th Jan 2010

Came down, made espresso, turned on TV, Celebrity Brother on the airwaves. I watch it for two minutes and realise I don't recognise one person on there, apart from Ronnnie Wood's girlfriend. Ah dear Ronnie, one of my first hero's, back in my schooldays when I fell in Love with the Faces. I loved that guitar sound he got, I loved his clothes. In fact when i met him about a million years ago I told him how much I loved the red suit he wore on the inside sleeve of Rod's solo album, Smiler. He said to me, 'did you get yourself one?' I replied, 'your joking aren't you? I lived in Woking at the time. Wear a red suit into town on a Friday night there and they would rip you to pieces.' I wasn't joking, either. tried to get a book about The Faces off the ground last year. Despite my Marriott and SF books selling ten thousand copies each, couldn't get a deal. Then I discovered Andy Neil got one for Ominbus, should be out this year and I am sure will be great. Dr Robert e mailed back from Spain. he and his family have finally moved into their dream house which they have been building forever and the Blow Monkeys are recording a new album in February. I am so pleased for him. If anyone deserves great success it is that man. Since moving to Spain, he has been building up a catalogue of really good solo albums for years now, quietly knocking on that door. Now it is opening up for him and I couldn't be happier. Back to Big brother. It does amuse me how Ronnie Wood - and others - get so much stick over the age of their girlfriends. Generally speaking, (and not at all speaking about Ronnie) I agree with my man Pete B in Australia. If it is not hurting anyone what's the problem? Once you reach a certain age are you not allowed to have fun? You get too many people in newspapers and magazines lecturing you about what you should be doing, what you shouldn't be doing. I remember in the mid 90s all the people who I used to see in clubs, suddenly writing page after page about how middle age people should behave and should not not be seen in clubs etc. I always felt it was because they were now married etc and if they couldn't have a good time no one else could. Today, I have two meetings, one with Mark Baxter to discuss a fashion book idea for a company we are seeing on Thursday and one with a TV guy to discuss an idea of mine. Hope you have a great day as well. And bless you. Paolo

Monday, January 4, 2010

DIARY - January 3rd 2010

JAN 3RD 20.27. PM

Get up, text my close amico, Nipper. Last night, he was going off to see the John Lennon film, Nowhere Boy wanted to know what he thought. He didn't go. Saw the Guy Ritchie film Sherlock Holmes instead. I tell him I would rather watch Grimsby youth team in the pouring rain on a Tuesday night. He said after
watching the film he agreed that would be a better experience. Spent morning reading papers, then down the pool. I try and go every day now. Either it kicks me up in the morning or after a hard day at this computer it brings me back to life. Plus you get to talk with some of the chaps and admire some womdeful human forms....Back home watched Leeds beat Man U. What a game, heart in mouth stuff. I really wanted Leeds to win as my agent supports them and a happy agent for any writer is a very good thing....Afterwards, I texted my man Bax and said bet spurs get Leeds in the next round which means by end of Jan I won't have an agent any more. And sure enough that is precisely who we were drawn against. Spoke to Mr Munn later on, the esteemed author of Mr Cool's Dream, that fine TSC biog. Mr Munn handles my web site for me, shows me how to place notes like this etc. When I called he was at the Dundee - Airdrie game which his team Dundee lost. I called him back just now and he said he would show me how to publish this diary in exchange for a plug for his book. Which I have just done. So bless him and bless you.

DIARY - January 2nd 2010


22.01 pm

Up by eight, in swimming pool and steam room by nine thirty. Again, bella day. Sky richly blue, air colder now but still clean and powerful. Home by ten thirty, played Richard Hawley album – again. Am mesmerised by this album. Last track now my favourite. Nine fantastic minutes long. On some of his other songs he sounds like an engineer in 1957 hallucinating in the studio, adding layers of sounds to his rich songs. Read Independent, watched Football Focus but got bored with it. Phoned my family in Italy, wished them Happy New Year, also Robert in Spain but the good Doctor not in his surgery. One message stood out. An old friend from Woking writes in. She is in the Honours list of 2010 for her work for the pensions department. The Queen will honour her. Amazing. Norman Jay was the only one I knew who the Queen has honoured. I write back and tell her I will kneel before her when next we meet. She writes back, says do you know about my son? She sends me a link. Click. It is an article from the local paper. Her son collects…….Hoovers. He has 100 in his house. All started when he was a kid. He was scared of Hoovers then one day his gran showed him how they worked and fear turned to obsession. Now he owns 100 Hoovers. I want to write back with a joke about cleaning up but can’t think of one. Go to Spurs in the afternoon. Peterborough the opponents. The Mighty Cockerels stroll around the park and eventually start banging in the goals. Defoe actually missed from one yard out. Peterborough never really look like scoring until right at the end. Four nil the Spurs. Next week Liverpool. I go home, and here I am. Bless me and bless you


January 2010

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AN 1ST 2010


Big admirer of Joe Orton’s diaries so decided wouldn’t mind creating one myself. Feel good about coming year. I have several projects in varying degrees of progress. One is a book called But We All Shine On - The Remarkable Orphans Of Burbank Children’s Home. Burbank, the children’s home I used to live in. For the book I found four of the guys I once shared the house with, see how they got on with their lives. All good. Very positive. Book company, Aurum, have manuscript. Waiting to hear on their reaction to it. Sent them first manuscript in November but it was too unwieldy, the structure sprawling. When the editor called me in, told me, it was a good shot across my bows. See, went to it straight after Chivers book was finished, did not step back. Did not contemplate. Much better now. Cut out loads of waste. Built a new structure. Have also sent it to two close links – JC and GG. Respect their views. Waiting to hear on their reaction. Apart from walk played Richard Hawley’s new album Truelove’s Gutter many times. Love it to death. My favourite at the moment is Remorse Code but then I just watched the vid for For Your Lover, Give Some Time on You Tube and now that is edged in my mind. Sometimes it as if is Elvis (who I don’t dig) was produced by Phil Spector. On mogadon. Hawley like all the greats makes everything sound so simple. Yet his music is grand, unique. This one will run and run. Spurs – Peterborough tomorrow. Should be fine. Harry Redknapp the manager has put our faith back into the team. He really is an exceptional manager, a man who has been successful at every club he has managed – apart from that silly year at Southampton. Like many, he never gets the credit his skill deserves. Got to go with Big Sam on this. If Harry’s surname was Redknappio he would be lauded to the skies. As it is he has respect but not in the volume his work deserves. He is a Special One, no doubt about it. Bless him. And bless you.