Kate Adie, NewsRevue Lyric, 31 August 1992

The rule of three suggests that any good story or slogan contains three characters or messages.

This Kate Adie Ogblog piece obeys the rule of three in several (indeed, three) ways.

It is one of three 31 August anniversary posts I have written today (31 August 2017), the other two being:

This lyric is also one of three pieces I wrote in a burst of creativity over the Bank Holiday weekend of 1992 after my first date with Janie – “had Janie become my muse so swiftly?”, I muse – the other two being:

It is also one of three pieces I wrote in August 1992 that Ben Murphy at least partially recorded, the other two being:

So to the matter at hand; the lyric, Kate Adie. Kate Adie was one of my more successful NewsRevue lyrics. Kim insists that it is her favourite of all of them.

Yet, in truth, I don’t think it is a very good lyric.

It is a bit like a deceptive cup of coffee – it smells superb at the very first instant, then the rest cannot possibly meet the expectations set by the wicked first sniff.

Proof of this, should you need it, is that Ben Murphy in effect only recorded the opening line:

Still, the piece ran and ran in the show; there was room for some good business, I suppose. Enough of my thoughts on it, dear readers, you judge for yourselves:

KATE ADIE

(For Timid BBC Producer and Kate Adie to the Tune of “Dream Lover”)

(You’ll have to supply most backing oooh-ooohs and yeh-yehs yourselves)

 

VERSE 1 – BBC PRODUCER

 

Every night I hope and pray,

That Kate Adie gets blown away;

Though at the Beeb I’m her boss,

I run and hide when she gets cross.

 

I’d like to watch {yeh-yeh yeh} her {yeh-yeh yeh} sweat {yeh-yeh yeh} with fear,

I’m sending Kate Adie to cover every war this year.

 

VERSE 2 – STILL THE BBC PRODUCER

 

Kate Adie where are you,

In Sarajevo or Mogadishu?

Although the air’s diffuse with lead,

The shrapnel bounces off your head.

 

Where Martin Bell {yeh-yeh yeh} fell {yeh-yeh yeh} she’s {yeh-yeh yeh} swell,

I think that Kate Adie could happily report from hell.

 

MIDDLE BIT – KATE ADIE

 

Some day I don’t know how,

I shall give up stringing,

I’ll be a Movie star,

Both dancing and singing.

 

(Kate demonstrates her hidden talents throughout he rest of the song)

 

VERSE 3 – KATE ADIE

 

Kate Adie until then,

I’ll scare the shit out of my men;

Although I’m soft underneath,

I’ll catch hand grenades with my teeth.

 

And I shall put {yeh-yeh yeh} on {yeh-yeh yeh} a brave {yeh-yeh yeh} show,

Yes this is Kate Adie BBC News Sarajevo.

Here is Dream Lover by Bobby Darin with lyrics on the screen:

For the completists amongst you/us, here is version two of the song tweaked for Christmas 1992:

KATE ADIE – VERSION 2

(For Timid BBC Producer and Kate Adie to the Tune of “Dream Lover”)

(You’ll have to supply most backing oooh-ooohs and yeh-yehs yourselves)

 

VERSE 1

 

Every night I hope and pray,

That Kate Adie gets blown away;

‘though at the Beeb I’m her boss,

I run and hide when she gets cross.

 

I’d like to watch {yeh-yeh yeh} her {yeh-yeh yeh} sweat {yeh-yeh yeh} with fear {yeh-yeh yeh},

I’m sending Kate Adie to cover every war this year.

 

VERSE 2

 

Kate Adie where are you,

In Sarajevo or Mogadishu?

Although the air’s diffuse with lead,

The shrapnel bounces off your head.

 

Where Martin Bell {yeh-yeh yeh} fell {yeh-yeh yeh} she’s {yeh-yeh yeh} swell {yeh-yeh yeh},

I think that Kate Adie could happily report from hell.

 

MIDDLE BIT

 

Some day the time will come,

That she gives up writing;

She’ll buy a Tommy Gun,

And take up street fighting.

 

VERSE 3

 

Kate Adie, mercenary,

Will not be more incendiary;

But when she gets blown up,

She’ll be rebuilt like Robocop.

 

(enter Kate Adie to sing the last two lines)

 

And I shall be {yeh-yeh yeh} a {yeh-yeh yeh} grave {yeh-yeh yeh} foe {yeh-yeh yeh},

Yes this is Kate Adie BBC News Sarajevo.

…and there was even a Version 3 in 1994 – I told you the piece ran and ran despite my reservations about it:

KATE ADIE – VERSION 3

(You’ll have to supply most backing oooh-ooohs and yeh-yehs yourselves)

 

VERSE 1

 

Every night I hope and pray,

That Kate Adie gets blown away;

Although she seems awful cross,

I don’t suppose she gives a toss.

 

I have to watch {yeh-yeh yeh} her {yeh-yeh yeh} snarl {yeh-yeh yeh} and sneer {yeh-yeh yeh},

Because old Kate Adie’s reporting every war this year.

 

VERSE 2

 

Kate Adie where are you,

In Sarajevo or Mogadishu?

Although the air’s diffuse with lead,

The shrapnel bounces off your head.

 

Where Martin Bell {yeh-yeh yeh} fell {yeh-yeh yeh} she’s {yeh-yeh yeh} swell {yeh-yeh yeh},

I think that Kate Adie could happily report from hell.

 

MIDDLE BIT

 

Some day the time will come,

That she gives up writing;

She’ll buy a Tommy Gun,

And take up street fighting.

 

VERSE 3

 

Kate Adie, mercenary,

Would not be more incendiary;

But if she got blown up,

She’d be rebuilt like Robocop.

 

(enter Kate Adie to sing the last two lines)

 

And I shall be {yeh-yeh yeh} a {yeh-yeh yeh} grave {yeh-yeh yeh} foe {yeh-yeh yeh},

Yes this is Kate Adie BBC News Sarajevo.

Here is a vid of Bobby Darin performing Dream Lover live on TV – so 1950s:

 

Ministerial Brief Encounter, NewsRevue Sketch and Medley Lyrics, 30 August 1992

The extraordinary thing about this sketch and medley is the date I first wrote it – two-and-a-half weeks before Black Wednesday.

My log records that I first wrote it on the August bank holiday weekend, ironically. I tinkered with it on the Tuesday (1 September) and called it Version 2 – only that tinkered version survives of the pre Black Wednesday versions.

The NewsRevue cast didn’t use it at that time – it probably didn’t seem topical to them ahead of the crisis.

I subsequently changed and improved the piece a lot, post crisis, renaming it “As Time Goes By or They Flew From Tuscany”, so most of the material did get used eventually. The “Don’t Fuck Up the Economy” lyric in particular ran and ran.

Anyway, for those who like this sort of quirky thing, here is the sketch and medley in its original form, including the final lyric of the medley which (in its way) explains why Black Wednesday happened:

MINISTERIAL BRIEF ENCOUNTER – VERSION 2

(A Sketch and Medley from the good old 1940’s)

 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

 

John Major (Johnny)

Virginia Bottomley (Gini)

Gillian Shepherd (Jilly)

Norman Lamont (Fartface)

 

THE SKETCH

 

(The pianist tinkles away, preferably the Second Movement of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto – a la Brief Encounter – or failing that some other slushy stuff.  The music is adagio sostenuto, the voices are staccato.  We start with just Johnny and Gini on stage.)

 

GINI:Johnny.

 

JOHNNY:Gini.

 

GINI:Oh Johnny.  What’s happened to the economy?

 

JOHNNY:Gerry’s giving us a bally barney, Gini.  The pound keeps going down.

 

GINI:What about Yankee Doodle Dandy?

 

JOHNNY:Gerry’s giving Yankee Doodle Dandy a bally barney too, Gini.

 

GINI:Oh Johnny,  this darned economy’s ruining all our lives.  I’m sorry.  I’m acting like a bally fool.

 

(Enter Jilly)

 

JILLY:Hello Gini.

 

GINI:Hello Jilly.  Do you know my friend Johnny?

 

JILLY:Hello Johnny.

 

JOHNNY:Hello Jilly.  What do you do for the old effort?

 

JILLY:I’m in employment.

 

JOHNNY:Gosh, that is unusual these days.

 

JILLY:In the ministry.  Gosh, Johnny, it’s all going horribly.  Where’s Normy?

 

JOHNNY:Out there in the treasury battling it out with Gerry.

 

GINI:Oh God, I hope he isn’t going to do something silly.

 

(Enter Normy)

 

JOHNNY:Here he comes now, and I rather think he is going to do something silly.

 

JILLY:You don’t mean……

 

NORMY:Yes, I’m going to sing a medley.  And you’re going to help me.

 

 

THE MEDLEY

 

 DON’T FUCK UP THE ECONOMY

 (To the tune of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”)

 

Don’t fuck up the economy with anyone else but me,

Anyone else but me, anyone else but me (no, no no);

Don’t fuck up the economy with anyone else but me,

‘Til I return from Tuscany.

 

Don’t devalue the currency with countries like Germany,

We’ll solve it internally, from now till eternity (no no no);

Don’t devalue the currency we’ve purchasing parity,

With Greece and Italy.

 

 FALLING IN ERM

 (To the tune of “Falling in Love again”)

 

I often stop and wonder, why stripy shirted men,

Financial markets plunder, sell pounds and buy yen.

We offer them low taxes, but still those city sharks,

With mobile phones and faxes, dump pounds for Deutchmarks.

 

Falling in ERM,

Sterling’s down the drain,

Valueless again,

So don’t hold it.

 

Falling in ERM,

Sterling is the pits,

Norman’s got the shits,

And can’t help us.

 

 THE ERM AND ECU ERK FROM NUMBER ELEVEN

 (To the tune of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy From Company B”)

 

He is a chubby little chap from out West London way,

He rented out his flat to girls you have to pay;

He is in charge of treasury,

But he could never get through an economics degree,

He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer here,

He’s the ERM and ECU erk from Number Eleven.

 

He likes to blow his trumpet and he thinks he’s great,

But he cannot maintain the Public’s interest rate;

The people think he is a jerk,

Because the pounds up the creek and half the folks can’t find work;

We ought to chuck him out with a flea in his ear,

Cos our ERM and ECU erk can’t count to Eleven.

 

“We won’t, we won’t, we won’t we won’t we won’t”…..,

I think his needle is stuck,

…..”Devalue Sterling”;

He won’t say a word unless a Treasury crisis is unfurling;

Why don’t we terminate, this ministers career?

Change the ERM and ECU erk at Number Eleven.

Here are the Andrews Sisters singing “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree”:

…and Marlene Dietrich singing “Falling In Love Again”…

…and the Andrews Sisters again, this time singing “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”:

Parallel Lives, A NewsRevue Medley, 30 August 1992

I was clearly listening to Parallel Ines by Blondie in August 1992…

…and why not?

I wrote my “Picture Tits” lyric (about Sarah Ferguson) on 22 August and then my “Snooping On The Mobile Phone” (about Princess Diana) just over a week later.

It seemed that the princesses were leading parallel lives, so I tried combining the two into a medley…

…I’m not sure it was used. If it was used, it was only used for a week or two. Whereas “Snooping” was used on and off in various rewritten versions for years.

Anyway, for the completists amongst us (that’s probably just me) here is the medley lyric as published.

PARALLEL LIVES

(A medley based on Songs from “Parallel Lines”)

 

SNOOPING ON THE MOBILE PHONE (To the tune of “Hanging on the Telephone”)

 

VERSE 1 – DIANA

 

He’s on the car phone I am calling from the Palace,

I call James squidgy but my other words sound callous,

I hate the Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Alice;

 

Hope no-one’s snooping on his mobile phone,

Snooping on his mobile phone.

 

VERSE 2 – THE SNOOPER

 

I like to listen in on other’s conversation,

I am a banker so I know about inflation,

I intercept the lines and cause a press sensation;

 

That’s why I snoop on mobile telephones,

Snoop on mobile telephones.

 

PICTURE TITS (To the Tune of “Picture This”)

 

VERSE

 

NEWSHOUND:All I want is a picture of boobs;

A shot of Fergie, a nipple or two,

All I want is a picture of boobs;

Wo-oh-oh, wo-wo-wo.

 

FERGIE:All I want is financial advice,

John raises finance, I raise his vice,

What I get is a sensible price,

Oh-oh-oh, if I can…..

 

CHORUS

 

NEWSHOUND:Picture tits – with lenses and zoom tubes,

Picture tits – Fergie’s final boobs,

She’s got nothing to lose,

Since she jacked in Andrew’s,

Quiet life with his feet up reading Beano with a mug of hot cocoa;

FERGIE:Picture tits – and our peccadillos,

Picture tits – sucking ones big toes,

Johnny Bryan says he’s goanna sue,

He will instruct Carter-Ruck,

If the papers claim that we fuck – yeh.

Snooping On The Mobile Phone, NewsRevue Lyric, 30 August 1992

This lyric was my first attempt at Princess Diana and certainly wasn’t the last. In fact, I adapted this one a good few times over the years to address various Princess Diana news stories; not least a string of 1994 stories – click here.

Needless to say, the Princess Diana mirth industry stopped abruptly five years and one day later. But the mobile phone snooping did not stop in the late 1990s, no siree.

SNOOPING ON THE MOBILE PHONE

(To the tune of “Hanging on the Telephone”)

 

VERSE 1 – DIANA

 

He’s on the car phone I am calling from the Palace,

I call James Squidgy but my other words sound callous,

I hate the Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Alice;

 

Hope no-one’s snooping on his mobile phone,

Hope no-one’s snooping on his mobile phone.

 

VERSE 2 – THE SNOOPER

 

I like to listen in on other’s conversation,

I am a banker so I know about inflation,

I sold the tapes and that has caused a press sensation;

 

Oh I hope they talk again,

Lots of dirty talk again,

That would raise my pork again.

 

That’s why I snoop on mobile telephones,

That’s why I snoop on mobile telephones.

 

VERSE 3 – FERGIE

 

I hate the fact Diana gets all the attention,

Since Squidgy hit the news I’ve hardly had a mention,

I’ll call some old boy friends to get back in contention;

 

As long as they have mobile telephones,

(They all have mobile telephones).

 

VERSE 4 – DIANA AGAIN

 

I gave Charles chances but that big eared fat head blew it,

Why don’t you ride me, Squidgy, we both want to do it,

Sorry, wrong number, James, I thought you were James Hewitt;

 

Just got my lines crossed on the mobile phones,

But either James will do,

{Oh-oh} and Gilbey’s car is new,

{Oh-oh} I’m sure I’ll cope with two,

{Oh-oh} or I could try a few,

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh for a screw.

I also tried combining the above lyric in a medley with the Sarah Ferguson lyric I wrote a week or so earlier – click here.

If you would like to see Blondie singing Hanging On The Telephone, you can do that by clicking the embedded vid below:

A version of the above Blondie song with lyrics is embedded in the later versions of my “Calling On The Mobile Phone” lyrics – here.

Janie and I Go On Our First Proper Date, The Street Of Crocodiles, Cottesloe Theatre, 29 August 1992

This is the third and final part of my 25th anniversary Ogblog trilogy on “how Janie and I got it together”. In case you missed the first two parts and are interested in reading them, here are links to the first two episodes:

So, the ossobuco supper gave me the perfect opportunity to phone Janie to thank her for her hospitality and ask her out.

As luck would have it, I was sitting on a pair of hot tickets, The Street Of Crocodiles at the Cottesloe Theatre. It was my habit back then to book up quite a few such productions a long way in advance, with Bobbie Scully in mind for first dips, but with an unwritten agreement with Bobbie that she couldn’t commit that far in advance and that I might need to find someone else to join me…

…anyway, I had these tickets for 29 August and they seemed an ideal way to reciprocate.

Janie seemed keen on the idea, so the date was set.

I also offered to cook Janie a pre-theatre meal, after first checking that she liked Chinese food.

I can’t remember exactly which dishes I went for, but I’ll guess I plugged for bankable favourites that were reasonably easy to prepare and which needed relatively little clearing up afterwards:

  • cha chieng lettuce wrap – probably using veal mince or a mix of veal and pork mince;
  • chicken and cashew nuts with yellow bean sauce;
  • I thought the second main dish was steak slices with onions, mushrooms and black bean sauce, but Janie reckons the second dish was prawns with ginger and spring onions and now I think she is right;
  • pak choi with oyster sauce;
  • steamed basmati rice.

No TripAdvisor review for the meal, but on reminding Janie about it just now, she has described it as “amazing”, so there you go.

But far more amazing than my meal was The Street Of Crocodiles. It really was a stunningly good show.

The play is based on the stories of Bruno Schulz, which (from what we can gather) were weird enough when written, but when given the Complicite treatment, they become a sensory overload of words, music and movement.

Here is a link to Complicite’s page on their production.

I can’t find online reviews from 1992, but here is Ian Shuttleworth’s review from the 1999 London revival, in which he cross-references the 1992 production.

An Almost Unbelievably Good Show – This Is The 1992 Programme Cover

This 2005 Guardian profile on Simon McBurney also references Michael Billington’s thoughts on the 1992 production, which were not entirely complimentary, as it happens…Billi-o, we thought you were our friend?

This Curtain Up review from the production’s run at the Lincoln Centre in 1998 is very explanatory and also suitably gushing.

Anyway, back to me and Janie.

Janie had driven to my place and insisted on also driving to the National Theatre – the latter habit being one she rarely deviates from 25 years later.

The evening seemed to have gone splendidly well. Janie was very complimentary about my cooking and seemed very taken with the show.

When we got back to my place, I asked Janie if she wanted to come back upstairs to my flat.

She said no.

I asked her if she was absolutely sure.

Janie said that she was absolutely sure and drove off.

So that was that – although on this occasion I sensed that “no” meant “not this time” and that there would be plenty of other times.

A Rendezvous With Jacqui Somerville, Canal Cafe Theatre, 25 August 1992

A rare, indeed mysterious visit to the Canal Cafe on a Tuesday.

I recall this only vaguely. The diary helps just a little.

When I dropped off my Woody Allen & Mia Farrow lyric the week before, I think I ran into Jacqui Somerville herself at the Canal. Either that, or I ran into Harriet Quirk who had a message that Jacqui wanted to meet me. In any case, Jacqui and I arranged to meet on a non-NewsRevue evening.

Jacqui had been directing the early spring run of NewsRevue – that was the first show I saw. I shall write up the story of my early correspondence and visits in the fullness of time. Jacqui had her own ideas about the show, including her own pet writers, some of whom were cast, which went down very badly with the regular writers.

Indeed, at the first NewsRevue writers meeting I attended, some told me not to bother submitting for a few weeks, others simply suggested that I don’t lose heart and resubmit material that had longevity for the subsequent run; which was in fact the John Random run that first used my stuff.

So I do remember Jacqui’s rendezvous request sort-of feeling like an assignation. What would the other writers think if they found out about it? Was she going to try and recruit me into the comedy writing dark side? Or to spy for the Russians or something?

In fact, I recall finding Jacqui quite delightful company, very encouraging and full of good advice/ideas for my writing. I had a little burst of creativity over the subsequent bank holiday weekend, which I’m sure was somewhat inspired by that Tuesday evening chat.

I don’t know whether Jacqui met up with any of the other regular NewsRevue writers over that summer to build bridges, but she certainly won me over and used plenty of the regular writers’ material (not least mine) in future runs she directed, not least the 1992 Christmas run.

I also recall running into Jacqui and her more serious theatre work in subsequent years.

I wonder whether Harriet remembers much about this tiny incident or indeed whether this short piece might be a magnet with which to re-establish contact with Jacqui, as part of our “class of ’92” reunion project?

Picture Tits, NewsRevue Lyric, 22 August 1992

Heck, I was having a quiet weekend – it was the weekend between ossobuco with Janie and our first proper date.

There was a titillating royal story in the news: Sarah Ferguson and John “Johnny” Bryan (subsequently “explained” in this link).

Ironically, for me, just embarking on a relationship with a chiropodist, this was the toe sucking story.

I remember asking Janie soon afterwards whether the toe sucking saga was good for her business.

Janie said it was. Very good for business.

I don’t think this lyric was good for my lyric writing business; I don’t recall it being used, although it does have its moments.

I also tried combining the lyric in a medley with the Princess Diana lyric I wrote a week or so later – click here.

                                                              PICTURE TITS

(To the Tune of “Picture This”)

 

VERSE 1 – NEWSHOUNDS

 

NEWSHOUNDS:All I want is a picture of boobs,

A shot of Fergie, a nipple or two,

All I want is a picture of boobs;

Wo-oh-oh, wo-wo-wo.

 

NEWSHOUNDS:All I want is some photos in the Mirror,

Of Fergie and her financier with ‘er,

All I want is to fill the Mirror,

 

CHORUS 1 – FERGIE AND JOHN BRYAN

 

FERGIE & BRYAN:Picture tits – all over the papers,

Picture tits – and all of our capers;

FERGIE:Done in front of the kids,

I’d end up on the skids,

If it weren’t for my suites at Windsor, Buck House and Balmoral wo-oh-ho;

FERGIE & BRYAN:Picture tits – and our peccadillos,

Picture tits – sucking ones big toes,

Now the Sun is really selling news – oh yeh.

 

VERSE 2 – FERGIE & JOHN BRYAN

 

FERGIE:All I want is financial advice,

JOHN:You raise the finance, I’ll raise the vice,

FERGIE:All I want is some sugar and spice,

Oh-oh -oh,

If you can…..

 

CHORUS 2 – NEWSHOUNDS, FERGIE & JOHN BRYAN

 

NEWSHOUNDS:Picture tits – with lenses and zoom tubes,

Picture tits – Fergie’s final boobs,

She’s got nothing to lose,

Since she jacked in Andrew’s,

Quiet life with his feet up reading Beano with a mug of hot cocoa;

FERGIE:Picture tits – oh my God it’s vital,

Picture tits – I may lose my title,

Johnny Bryan says he’s goanna sue,

He will instruct Carter-Ruck,

If the papers claim that we fuck – yeh.

If you want to see Blondie singing Picture This, click below:

…and/or click this link for the Picture This lyrics.

Mama Mia Farrow, NewsRevue Lyric, 18 August 1992

This lyric ran and ran in NewsRevue in the second half of 1992 and was also recorded by Ben Murphy the following year (recording below).

It was still early in my NewsRevue “career” so I have a few very clear memories about the writing and initial performing of it.

The first memory is that the Woody and Mia rift story broke early in the week and the song popped into my head very quickly. I recall jumping in the car and dropping a lyric sheet and cassette at the Canal Cafe Theatre, probably on that very (Tuesday) morning.

I also recall Jonny Hurst confronting me on the Thursday evening, when the song was first performed, because he had also used the rhyme “Manhattan…shat on” (in a lyric that resembled Maria from West Side Story); Jonny found it hard to believe that I might independently have had the same thought. Fortunately I had a good evidence trail that my lyric had been submitted independently and indeed earlier than his; Jonny not only went on to become the chant laureate but he is also a lawyer!

Here is my lyric:

MAMA MIA FARROW

(A Song for Mia Farrow, Woody Allen and Sprogs To the Tune of “Mama Mia”)

 

VERSE 1

 

MIA:Woody’s cheated on me since I don’t know when,

WOODY:I like Mia’s daughters once they’re nine or ten;

MIA:Look at him pry at them lustily,

WOODY:I’m goanna try to get custody,

I have thought,

I might fancy a ward of court;

MIA:God you look a bit like Bernard Levin,

WOODY:Sling your hook go back to Andre Previn.

 

CHORUS 1

 

SPROGS:Wo oh oh oh, Mama Mia, here they go again,

My my, listen how they bicker;

Mama Mia, hear them blow again,

My my, like one of his flickers.

WOODY:Central Park came between us,

MIA:He has a massive – genius,

SPROGS:Why why, do they have to argue so?

Mama Mia, now we really know,

Why you’re name is still Mia Farrow.

 

VERSE 2

 

WOODY:I’ve been dating Soon-Yi and we’re both having fun,

MIA:You’re an aging loony and she’s just twenty-one;

WOODY:I’m sorry I’ve broken etiquette,

MIA:You’ll go to gaol in Connecticut,

Yankee States,

Won’t allow you to have young mates;

WOODY:Our love tryst should have been in Tennessee,

MIA:Analyst is who you should go and see.

 

CHORUS 2

 

SPROGS:Wo oh oh oh, Mama Mia, here they go again,

My my, like the film Manhattan,

Mama Mia, hear them blow again,

Mia, thinks she has been shat on;

WOODY:We both shunned matrimony,

MIA:But still found acrimony,

SPROGS:Why why does this have to carry on?

Mama Mia now he has done wrong,

Shove him up his own Orgasmatron.

Here is Ben Murphy’s recording of the lyric:

And just in case you want to see Abba singing Mamma Mia, here is a vid:

Or if you’d sooner see the Abba lyrics:

Postscript: I have subsequently noticed that my creative process is captured on my diary page for 18 August 1992:

Ossobuco At Janie’s Place, 16 August 1992

Since I published my “25th anniversary of meeting Janie” piece last week, I have had, literally, several people ask me how Janie and I ever got it together after she refused to give me her telephone number the first time we met.

The answer, of course, is “ossobuco”.

Ossobuco – picture by Stu Spivack via Wikipedia Commons

It happened like this.

After Janie’s refusal to give me her telephone number, I simply assumed that she wasn’t interested at all and I got on with my next week. My next week looked like this.

My guess is that I was actually out every evening that week apart from the Monday – I probably had impromptu drinks/food with work colleagues Thursday and Friday evening.

Saturday evening I can see was a dinner with Caroline at the Pavilion in Poland Street. This will have been her birthday bash on the eve of that landmark day. (Happy birthday, Caroline, if by chance you read this piece on the day I post it).

I noticed that The Pavilion is still there and still run by Vasco & Piero – click here for their website (which for sure wasn’t there in 1992).

I have had an exchange of messages with Caroline to establish what happened – I’m sure there were quite a few of us there at The Pavilion that evening. She replies:

I have to say that with the help of your diary your memory is much better than mine. The restaurant is in fact exactly the same now as then. It was a local from when I was working at the Burton group. Vasco and Piero ran it all those years ago. The food was always excellent. The decor was very pink! It’s amazing how quickly 25 years go.

I’m not sure what I ate at the Pavilion but I am sure that it was an Italian dish but not ossobuco.

The other thing I remember clearly, although the diary is silent on this matter, is that I went out for an impromptu lunch on the Sunday with Annalisa. We went to Lee Fook on Westbourne Grove, a Chinese restaurant near my flat which was very much one of my favourites at the time. The excellent chef there was named Ringo, I remember that wonderful fact too.

The restaurant is, sadly, long gone now, but there is an Evening Standard review of that place from the late 1990s on-line – click here.

In short, by mid-afternoon I had eaten my fill that weekend and ambled home after lunch.

The telephone was ringing off the hook as I walked through the door.

I should point out, at this juncture, that, in those days, I had no answering machine for my phone. No cellphone either. Just the one, old-fashioned telephone.

“At bloody last”, said a female voice.

“Hello”, I said, “who’s calling?”

“It’s Janie, we met at Kim’s party last week.”

“Oh, hello”, I said, intrigued.

“You are impossible to get hold of”, said Janie, “I have tried to call you loads of times. Your answering machine isn’t switched on.”

“I don’t have an answering machine”, I said, while thinking to myself that if she had given me her telephone number in the first place she might have spared herself these difficulties.

“I have been out rather a lot this week”, I continued, “in fact, if I sound a little out of breath, it’s because I have just been out to lunch and heard the phone ringing as I came up the stairs.”

“Oh, that’s a bummer,” said Janie, “I was going to invite you over for ossobuco with Kim and Micky this evening, but if you have already eaten you obviously don’t want…”

“…no, hold on a moment”, I persevered, “I love ossobuco and I’d very much like to join you, Kim and Micky for dinner. But if I don’t eat a vast quantity of food, you’ll know the reason why. Is that a deal?”

“OK”, said Janie.

“You’ll have to give me your address and telephone number now”, I said, trying hard not to sound triumphal about it.

“I realise that”, said Janie.

It seems that Janie and Kim had done some scheming since the telephone number request rejection incident the week before. I subsequently discovered that Kim had given Janie a “are you determined to be single for the rest of your life?” lecture, once Kim had found out what had happened.

Given that the only way to resolve the matter was now for Janie to phone me, they came up with this “chaperoned Sunday evening meal at Janie’s place” idea. The only problem with that grand scheme was that Janie had tried and failed many times to phone me; basically because I wasn’t at home much and only took telephone messages through work in those days.

But all’s well that ends well.

The evening was a great success. I didn’t have room for seconds but I did discover that Janie can cook a mean ossobuco. Even to this day, we think of slow cooked shin of veal (not always done ossobuco style but all variants qualify in our book) as “our dish”.

Just feast your eyes on it again. Yum.

Osso Bucco – picture by Stu Spivack via Wikipedia Commons

I Feel Petty, NewsRevue Lyric, 9 August 1992

The day after I met Janie for the first time, I wrote this little critter. Coincidentally about someone named Jani.

Jani Allan was a journalist who had allegedly been consorting with the white supremacist Eugene Terre’Blanche (he immortalised in an earlier lyric of mine, which was currently in the show). I thought this additional little piece might complement his song.

It’s a bit all over the place (much like its non-evil twin song), but I think it was used a couple of times over the summer, if for no other reason to reprise (reuse) the springbok masks from the Terre’Blanche song. If you want to know more about Jani Allan, some of the newspaper headline links – here – are at least as funny if not funnier than my lyric.

I FEEL PETTY

(To the Tune of “I Feel Pretty”)

 

VERSE 1 – JANI ALLAN

 

I am Jani, yes I’m Jani, I am canny, my man ‘e is white,

And my fanny, is with Eugene Terre’Blanche tonight;

I feel Nazis, private parties, though my heart is not party to crimes,

Even tarts see that the Nazis are bunch of slimes.

 

See the article in the Mirror there,

Why does everyone libel me?

I shall sue the Sun, and sue Channel 4, and the Guardian and I shall sue me.

 

I am petty, oh so petty, but I bet ‘e can get me a pile,

Cos I’m now the most soughter reporter for miles.

 

MIDDLE BIT – CHORUS

 

Have you seen my friend Michael Jackson,

The crazyist guy on the screen,

The strange parts that his surgeon tacks on,

Have made him look so weird and some say obscene.

 

He thinks he looks good, he thinks he’s a brain,

He doesn’t look good, he’s really insane.

 

Write a word or two about Michael, and he’s bound to sue you for libel;

 

VERSE 2 – MICHAEL JACKSON (LOOKING IN A MIRROR)

 

Woooo,

I look pretty, woooo so pretty, though this city is shitty I’m white;

It’s a pity that the papers libel me through spite.

 

See that pretty boy in that mirror there {CHORUS WITH PAPERS: this mirror here};

Doesn’t he look slightly like me {CHORUS: who what where who}

Such a pretty nose such a pretty face such a pretty hair pity its not me.

 

Woooo,

I am petty, oh so petty, like Paul Getty I’ve earned mega bucks,

I don’t care if I look like the back of a truck.

If you want to hear Natalie Wood sing I Feel Pretty and see the lyrics to that song, see below: