The purpose of this particular blog is to document this crazy time we’re living in. Help pass the time. I’m telling the missus I’m working, don’t let on. There will be typos, shoddy grammar and mis-placed apostrophes. Sorry.
April 27th – Window Dressing
Suddenly, and only today, I’ve felt heavily dependent on correspondence of any kind. Checking and refreshing social streams, often with ungrounded cynicism. Eyeing Bond artwork lasciviously, yet it all feels like window dressing.
The project has very big holes that can now only be filled by first hand accounts, the gatekeepers to lost or apocryphal stories.
I’m not entitled but..
I could certainly do with George Lazenby and John Glen demystifying a few things for me. But the proverbial phone hasn’t rung all day. I’m not entitled, I don’t expect you to talk. But how can one maintain positive momentum when everything else has ground to an abrupt stultifying halt?
The good news I’ve lined up an interview with Academy Costumes for tomorrow, N.Peal for Wednesday and Spaiser is confident we can get Alan Flusser on the blower.
In the News: Gregg’s is to begin opening up its shops amid lockdown. Adidas will have a 40% dip in shares and my Marnie DVD arrives in the post.
Word of the Day: Cryopreserved
April 25th – The Best postman story I’ve EVER Heard
I’ve been given unfiltered access to the Bloomsbury Visual Library. I punch in James Bond in the search bar and up crops a photo of Sean Connery dressed as Zardoz. I copy and paste the text from the caption:
April 24th – Top Dick
There has to be a way to get to Geoffrey Moore. The only thing that distinguishes our book with every other vlog, blog and glib editorial on James Bond clothes, will be the first hand quotes. The gold.
It will take some sleuthing. When we manage to snare any reputable interview Spaiser and I always compliment each other on our ‘fine dick work’. Alluding to our audacious private detective work of course. ‘That’s the best dick work you’ve done so far’. Spaiser remarked after we managed to get Licence to Kill costume designer Jodie Tillen on the record.
I have thought of a plan. It’s a long shot but if it comes off it will certainly put me firmly on the map as one of the most formidable dicks to have ever dicked.
I take Roger out for a walk and wear a surgical mask for the first time. I ask Anastasia if she wants to wear one too. She tells me to go fuck myself.
In the news: I buy a James Island Jigsaw on eBay for 17 GBP, the US coronavirus death toll exceeds 50,000 and a cleaner reorganises library books in size order.
April 23rd – The Grudge
The nothing days are stitching seamlessly together. The book I’m currently writing with Spaiser (I’ll no longer call it a project) is just going through a tedious sculpting phase.
David Evans from Grey Fox Blog asks if I’d read the new The Rake Edition with Christoph Waltz on the cover. I explain to David that I’ve abstained from buying The Rake for the past 3 years. The reason? – a simple but indefatigable grudge.
I’m owed an apology by a pair of incorrigible elitists Aleksandar Cvetkovic and Tom Chamberlin who invited me down to their office in Mayfair for a meeting regarding a certain project for The Rake. They subsequently ghosted every correspondence.
I find ghosting the most louche and cowardly characteristic in any human being. I’ve been to several press events since with Aleks and Tom in company and practiced adequate social distancing before social distancing was a thing. Still, in true inconsistent and hypocritical fashion I share the online article of Christoph Waltz across my social channels.
You can read the article by Nick Scott (I have no beef with Nick) on Christoph Waltz here.
In other news: Venom 2 pushes back it’s release and America threatens to forgo it’s 1 trillion bar tab with China as recompense for de-stabling the world economy.
I eat a punnet of red grapes in one sitting and email James Sherwood, tell him I want him on the podcast. He agrees.
April 11th – The Explosive Wardrobe
I talk for an hour on the phone with Spaiser about the towels of James Bond. I had little to contribute. With the exception of an anecdote about a former band member who developed a Linus-like relationship with a bath towel that he purposely black-holed into a trusty wank-rag. Old faithful as the towel was christened (in my mind) was not only the locus for his nefarious deposits, but was also utilised for post-sex clean up with his then girlfriend.
It was a good story. Look out for it in the next episode of the podcast.
I posted a photo on Instagram and jokingly asked anyone to photoshop some explosions in a hope it will mask my vanity. Many good folk played along, but Reuben Wakeman from the Toys of Bond went all out. (See photo above). I watch Ozark, do an abs class and listen to Bill Nighy read Moonraker on audiobook whilst doing a jigsaw and drinking alcohol free beer. It’s been a perfect day.
In the News: America hits 2000 deaths in 24 hours. I tell Anastasia to stop reading the news before bed. Save the bad news until the morning.
April 8th – The Free Tuxedo
On site, overlooking the Tate Modern on Southwark street. The skewered brick pyramid extension looks entirely offset from its brutalist sibling, once a power station, decommissioned in 1981. I remember meeting Ricky Gervais in the toilet of Tate Modern when it hosted the GQ Awards back in 2015. He was just leaving and we exchanged cursory ‘alright mates’ at the door.
Just think, had I got to the toilet 1 minute earlier I may have been exchanging small talk and pleasantries with him at the urinal. I remember writing an entire article on that premise and Hugo Boss (sponsor of the award show) asked for it to be removed.
In exchange they gave me a free tuxedo, shirt and cufflinks. It’s the way brands and press did things before the whole #gifted bullshit.
At just after 2pm I answered a call from an unidentified number. It was a gentleman called Mark and I didn’t catch the name of his company.
He apologised for not calling earlier and talked quite eloquently about how he had been derailed by the recent passing of his Aunt. We spoke at length and both agreed that dying of natural causes at the age of 93, without pain nor ignominy is in some way, aspirational.
Mark confessed his head was knotted in a fuzz and had completely forgotten the nature of the call, what it was we had agreed to discuss and quite frankly, who the hell I was. We gave each other our nutshell resumes, it wasn’t nearly as interesting.
On the train home from Blackfriars to Gunnersbury I transcribe the Les Haines interview. I had spoken to Les a week back and finally got him on tape after a year and a half of constant nagging. Les worked for Doug Hayward, who made suits for Roger Moore in his last three appearances as Bond.
Les, now of Anderson & Sheppard, is one of many Savile Row tailors that’s been furloughed. He spoke with great optimism as if all things will all be back to normal soon enough.
April 6th – Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart
I break a tooth on a chilli seed. Fuck! When all the dentists are on lockdown, the last thing I wanted. I phone up my mate Saul the Dentist. A handy guy to have in your rolodex in a crisis such as this you’d think.
He tells me to rinse not spit and don’t eat peanuts. I hang up. In fairness to Saul, all dentists are on lockdown.
I’m irascible, and in no mood for jokes yet I record an episode for the podcast with Spaiser and RJ Magoon and kill it. That will be out Wednesday.
In the news – Honor Blackman dies of natural causes aged 94. It should never be underestimated how hot Pussy Galore was in Goldfinger.
Blackman’s demure and inexhaustible androgyny really captured the imagination of every young Bond fan on their journey into adolescence.
She oozed a sassiness that purred on screen and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve fetishised about banging a country girl in a hay barrel because of that scene of her and Connery jousting judo-throws back and forth on Goldfinger’s ranch.
April 5th – Never meet your heroes
I’m up, 4am. I finish a chapter on ‘the project’ and feel smug about crowbarring a phrase entitled ‘subterranean Disneyland for Bond sartorialists’ into the text.
Today I was up ladders cleaning bird shit off the skylights. Whenever up ladders I often think about the spectacular fall, then the subsequent obituaries. I flatter myself, I’d never get an obituary in these times. 5 London Bus drivers die on the same day, that only made page 7 of The Metro.
The unfortunate Fawcett-effect of living in times of a pandemic. Which isn’t an actual effect, but put simply, if you die on the same day as Michael Jackson, your relatives won’t get pestered by Variety reporters.
Mark Mawston jumps on a call and talks about the time Sean Connery accosted him on the red carpet at the premiere for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. “You fucking what,” Sean says. (Mark also does a good impersonation). ‘Sean singled me out and got in my face,’ Mark said – “if you’re going to be scchmart, be scchmarter”.
Mark was philosophical, he was hurt that his only encounter with his boyhood hero was an altercation, but the worser the experience, the better the story. And it’s a brilliant story. I’ll put it on the podcast.
April 3rd – Fight on Glengall Bridge
In Canary Wharf today, I spot a draw bridge in Millwell Inner Dock that looks frightfully like the one Pierce took a plunge under in Q’s fishing boat in the pre-titles in The World is Not Enough.
I pause, pull out my blower, double check on Google. Behind me, a waifish man carrying a bag of Tesco shopping in each arm brimming with Jaffa Cakes, tells me to ‘move it cunt’. He has an Indie boy-lost look about him. A mod-haircut with strips of grey.
The kind of haircut that telegraphs ones’ musical proclivities. He could certainly be a lead singer, with his height and bravado. But a shit one no doubt. Perhaps he’s still chasing that elusive record deal he was promised 20 years ago.
I eyeball him as he goes over Glengall Bridge. I was in the right spot alright, this is where Pierce went under, readjusted his tie and emerged back in the pursuit. For my money it’s the best pre-title sequence of the franchise.
Shall I motor after Indie boy? I envisage myself giving him a Solden stomach-punch. The wind leaves his body and he makes a wimpish-cry as he crumples to a heap. He thinks about getting up but I tell him to ‘stay’ as I launch his Jaffa Cakes into the Thames. The moment passed, but my blood was up for the rest of the morning.
In the News: Neil Young does a surprise gig from his home. The Queen announces she’ll do a TV broadcast on Sunday. I message WhatsDanielWearing on Insta and ask him on the podcast for the umpteenth time. He’s his usual deflective self.