I've been so FLIPPING busy that my blog has been left unfed since October. (Also, I will admit, the crack cocaine of tweeting has weaned me off the long opium dream of blog posting.)
But my old friend Suzie Shorten just sent me this photo, so feck it, I'll slap it up for your amusement.
Major flashback... Galway, 1997... Town Hall Theatre bar. Left to right: Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, Suzie (who's at MCD now), future president of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, and me (with blond hair).
By golly, a night out in Galway was a NIGHT OUT in those days. Malcolm had finished his talk, and was about to be taken away by the Arts Festival organisers, to the respectable and venerable festival club in the Warwick, in Salthill. They'd almost got him safely into the taxi when he escaped from his minders, trotted up to me and my beloved (we were sheltering for a last few minutes in the theatre doorway from the inevitable Galway rain) and, under the entirely mistaken impression that we knew where the cool clubs were, asked us where he should go. (I was a milk-drinking, hot-water-bottle-using homeboy who went out about once every three years, and my beloved was worse, but he wasn't to know that. It was the hair, man. Blondes DO have more fun.)
I had heard of an illegal wine bar, in a cellar under a solicitors on Abbeygate Street - passwords! secret knocks! - but I'd never tried to get in. It turned out that "er, yeah, that's Malcolm McLaren" was a secret password. And so Malcolm held court, enthroned in a very comfortable old leather armchair, in the Galway underworld, till pretty close to dawn. Stories, theories, stern lectures, good advice (which I never took), even better anecdotes, and his complicated, multiple, silly, brilliant future plans. (He was most excited by his Chinese, satirical/situationist, pop group, The Rice Girls... I don't think he ever did get a record company to fund that one...) A highly entertaining man. (Oh, if any tabloid journalists are reading this; the future president retired early - long before the illegal wine bar - don't worry.)
For a more detailed account of the night... er, email me.