Randomly Accessed Memories

This post has been hastily scrabbled together quickly during my lunch hour and will inevitably be besieged by grammatical, spelling or executional failings. Please feel free to amuse yourself by finding them, should that be your folly…

At the weekend I went to London to catch up with an old Liverpool colleague and friend. We reminsiced at length about our time spent at a music venue we both worked at.

Ooh, the rock n roll stories we could tell you!

Or at least she could.

Who could forget the time I booked Franz Ferdinand to open a new clubnight I’d started, to discover they’d been hoodwinked on their arrival by the rival club next door, only managing to be coaxed back with the promise of nefarious perks that rock stars enjoy?

Who could forget the time we hadn’t sold enough tickets to employ crew for Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, leaving my friend (1st choice) and myself (last choice) the unenviable task of having to lug heavy boxes and instruments up the stairs? And how one particularly cumbersome flight-case was too heavy for me, resulting in it being clumsily dropped, permanently chipping the venue stairs and revealing the contents of the box to be a 6 foot dildo? (is it really worth breaking your back over a 6ft dildo? I dunno. You tell me, ladies! eh? eh? …oh forget it!)

Who could forget the time the doors for one show got opened prematurely and her and I had to hold hands to form a human barrier across a doorway, blocking egress for a herd of overly-eager stampeding kids whilst the band finished their soundcheck?

…well, I apparently, I could! I barely had any recollection of these incidents at all. It is not that question whether they happened. Each anecdote bought with it a little glimmer of recognition. But rather than a glowing memory, it was more like the faint spark of a lighter with a broken flint. Perhaps I have just buried them away, like repressed abuse memories.

One particular, more embarrassing anecdote involved the time that one of the security, called Karl Barry, called me “girl pants” and I went off into the office to cry. I certainly have recollections of Karl calling me “girl-pants” (but even as hyper-sensitive as I am, I wouldn’t have thought this would be particularly upsetting – I’ve been called a lot worse over the years). And this is not to say that I didn’t ever weep in the office. To be honest, days WITHOUT my shedding of tears are much more memorable, if only on account of their scarcity. Most mornings, my cheeks are sodden shortly after the waking consciousness of remembering who I am and what I’m like (oh yes – funny how THAT memory never leaves, innit?). But I certainly have no recall of this particular marriage of cause and effect. Which seemed to somewhat offend my friend, as she remembered her comforting as our great “bonding” moment, from which our kinship was forged.

So an interesting evening all told, even though it was perhaps less a nostalgic amble down memory lane and more a revelatory counselling session. That night, I almost anticipated retiring to bed and being treated to slow drip-feed of freeze-frame flashbacks of some of the stories we (or at least she) had shared. Probably culminating with Karl Barry, chasing me down the road dressed as an intimidating dinosaur. With a 6 foot dildo clenched between his bloodied teeth. I was fully expecting to be wide-awake hugging myself and rocking back and forth by 4am.

In an earlier post, I jokingly talked about composing a Stuart-Maconie-esque collection of my stories from a life inside the entertainments industry. Obviously, this is now looking an increasingly unlikely prospect given my apparent lack of ability to retain any sort of memories. Perhaps the only way this will be achieved is to bring together a variety of former friends and colleagues to compile a patchwork biography with their own recollections of my life. In many respects this would make it a bit like The New Testament. Which is fine. I’ve always suspected I’m a bit like Jesus.