Tuesday 8 March 2011

Easy going man

I am known amongst my friends as a kind generous, easy going magnanimous man. And indeed they are perceptive, clever people who understand the real me. The me that can sometimes be hidden, shrouded in a dark thick cloak of irritation, vindictiveness and venom.

That is why, ladies and gentlemen, I must remind you all that today is Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Day. So we all deserve pancakes. Once upon a time, The Boy and I always had pancakes on pancake day. Sprinkled with lemon and sugar, having been carefully made on our electric Pancake Maker. I'd had the Pancake Maker a long time, bought from a catalogue of kitchen gadgets. Unlike other kitchen gadgets like the sandwich maker, the blender, the fizzy drink maker, it didn't linger forgotten and unloved in the back of a cupboard. Well, actually it did, but came out once a year. Shrove Tuesday. That is until September 2009. I remember that sunny month well. It was the month when The Cat's Mother decreed we had so much shit in the Brighton flat that a skip should be summoned and said shit should be deposited in it. Whilst I defended my corner well, eventually I was ground down, and The Pancake Maker was discarded. Of all the things that were abandoned to the ravages of the rubbish tip, it was The Pancake Maker that has continued to irk. Nearly two years later. I loved that pancake maker. You just dipped it's smooth dome-shaped heated surface in a bowl of pancake mix to get perfect pancakes. Unbeatable. And The Cat's Mother made me throw it away. I loved that Pancake Maker. Irreplaceable. (I know because I've looked on e-bay and have scoured the world with the great God Google).

In a 'Where's Wally?' kind of a way, here is a picture and somewhere in there is The Pancake Maker. Everything in our kitchen had been put in the games room whilst the kitchen itself was modernised; not everything returned:

This is the games room now - as you can see there's a telephone and a kettle but no Pancake Maker. The Cat's Mother made me throw it away.

We'd better get pancakes tonight. Or else. Pancake maker or not.

Many people are quite vindictive about Phil Collins. I don't know why; I quite like him. I know he ruined Genesis and wrote some pretty awful rubbish as well as the good stuff. But overall I like him. Even if he dumped his wife by fax. Well we've all made mistakes haven't we? I bought a Phil Collins album at Christmas. And very good it is too. Although I have only listened to it once. But I like the man and I like his music. So it's sad that he's announced he's not going to make any more music, saying in FHM magazine "I don’t think anyone’s going to miss me. I’m much happier just to write myself out of the script entirely.”

He thinks everyone hates him, “I know that when I did interviews it came across like I could do everything, but I’ve never actually felt like that. I went through all my own VHS stuff recently and found mountains of old interviews with me and it was very, very hard to watch. I barely recognised the person I saw from that time. I’m a very different person now. I saw some of this show of mine from 1985 and I was on-stage and I never stopped running, never stopped talking.”

It is of course everyone else's fault: “The fact that people got so sick of me wasn’t really my fault. Yes there was a lot of me to dish out – there was me, me and Earth, Wind & Fire’s Phil Bailey, me and Genesis, me and that movie I was in, Buster – there was a lot of stuff. But I only made those records once.”

It was success that brought him down: “Around the time that the music was being played so incessantly people wanted to strangle me. It’s hardly surprising that people grew to hate me. I’m sorry that it was all so successful. I honestly didn’t mean it to happen like that!”

It's a shame because one of the very first gigs I went to was to see Phil Collins. Well not him per se. Brand X. Brand X made fantastic music. I still listen to the albums regularly and would whole-heartedly recommend you find an album and listen to it. Especially topical seems Moroccan Roll.

C'mon Phil don't go. Let's have some more Brand X. But no more Buster.