Today's soundtrack: Neil Young - Decade
A shorter week in Staines this week, I had a meeting arranged in Liverpool for Friday so had the pleasure of a relatively easy trip up the motorways on Thursday afternoon. That said, still a few quiet nights to fill in the comfort of my Stainesian pied a terre. I'm now a regular, of course, and the longer I've stayed in this hotel, the better the rooms have been. This week, I was given a ground floor room, which I had some doubts about - until I saw the four poster bed!
A far cry from the first room they gave me, with the bathroom door that wouldn't shut properly and the noisy water pump that kept me awake half the night...
Still spurning the horrors of being the sad lonely bastard in the corner of the restaurant, my evening routine continues - nibbly bits to eat with cutlery purloined from the office, a smuggled drinkie or two and a DVD on the lappy. I decided a bit of humour was in order this week so took the Eddie Izzard box down south with me.
Oh, I love that man. Surreal, tangential, observational but above all funny. And funny in an uncontrollably giggling, tearful kind of way. Not nasty or shocking - just funny. He also stands repeat viewing as well - the routines about cats and dogs, and the Death Star Canteen - I can watch them time and time again and laugh as much as the first time I saw them.
Eddie Izzard - definitely my favourite comedian. And Son No 1 is off to see him in a week or so - lucky so-and-so!
Here's the Cats and Dogs routine - drilling just for the love of drilling!
Back home, after the obligatory dodgy Friday night film, I put BBC4 on, where it was 'Johnny Cash Night'. I was only going to watch for a while but ended up there for hours. It wasn't just the footage of Cash, excellent though that was (Jools Holland appearances around the time of the early American Recordings, the 'Hurt' video) but the extracts from his US TV show, when the cream of '60s and '70s rock guested on his show. Successions of great performances, duets with Dylan and with Joni, Derek and the Dominos, Stevie Wonder and a brilliant performance of 'Ring of Fire' by Ray Charles, converting the original's rockabilly twang into something deep and slinky, straight out of Soulsville.
Hit it, Ray!
Another guest on the show was today's cover star, Neil Young, performing 'The Needle and the Damage Done' - his lament for the loss of Danny Whitten to the heroin addiction that eventually killed him. A hugely powerful song that doesn't preach, but says more in just over two minutes than any 'Just Say No' campaign ever could. Just as powerful on a cold, blustery Glastonbury evening earlier this year as it was back in the day.