What were you doing exactly 20 years ago today? Yeah, I'm not really sure what I was doing either but I definitely know what I was doing 20 years ago yesterday. I was listening to Green by R.E.M. while washing every item of clothing I owned. My dad had put a bottle of aftershave in my suitcase and it had opened while I was travelling. I opened the suitcase and the smell screamed FUUUUUUUCK at my retinas. I didn't want or need aftershave but my dad obviously thought I was going off to be a man and men need aftershave so he gave me a bottle of his. A bottle of his aftershave that he didn't want. You know, the bottle with the broken cap?
I had all my clothes and broken Old Spice with me because 20 years ago yesterday I moved to London. I stayed in my cousin's flat in Ruislip, went to the cinema EVERY DAY and kept myself to myself. I had to. Nobody wanted me. I hated London at the beginning but only because I was pretty much always on my own. The reason that I moved is so that me and my cousin Patti (who was living in Belsize Park, the fucking jammy cunt) could swan around pretending to be bohemians. The thing is bohemians tend not to have mulletts, wear horrible brown leather jackets and stone wash jeans and have a Marillion obsession. I suffered from all of those things. Patti, on the other hand, took black and white photos of shadows so she was SOOOO cool. Patti was going to live in London for the rest of her life and marry Adam Ant. I was going back home to Northern Ireland in three months maximum. I'm still here and Patti has returned to America without Adam Ant. HA! The Marillion Mullett Man wins!
I can't really remember when I decided that I loved London but it must have happened pretty quickly-ish. I definitely remember getting jaded very quickly, a sure sign that you're a real Londoner. A man came up to me one Sunday afternoon as I sat queuing up outside The Comedy Store about 7 hours before the Comedy Store Players had turned up when a man approached me. "Marajuana?", he said.
I turned up Clutching At Straws on my walkman and sighed. This sort of thing happens every day and will do for (at least) the next 20 years.
I went to see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on my first night in London then walked round the corner to the Marquee club to watch Then Jericho. London was tough at the beginning. Crap films, terrible music and it took me a year to get laid. No, it wasn't the blowjob man.