Monday, 19 May 2008

(The angels wanna wear my) red shoes

Boxes full of Death and the Arrows arrived this morning, saved from the pulper by their soft-hearted author. These are the first editions with my illustration on the cover and I will gift them to a couple of schools I know. I would rather see them in a school library than destroyed (sob).

I got a lovely surprise a couple of days ago when I got an email from my agent saying that an old friend - Andrew Ellis - had been in touch, trying to track me down. I first met Andrew when he was on the Foundation Course at Manchester Polytechnic and I was in my first year - this would have been 1977 I suppose. Good grief! I am an old man.

Andrew went on to do Graphic Design at LCP in London while I stayed in Manchester for another couple of years before moving to London myself, where we shared studio space in a dingy basement opposite the British Museum.

The weird thing is, I seemed to have conjured him up. I sold all my records before we moved (though it causes me actual physical pain to recall it now) and I keep thinking about playing something and realising I no longer have it. So for some reason I was singing (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes - with the great lines: I said I'm so happy I could die; she said drop dead then left with another guy - and I thought about going to see Elvis with Andrew at Rafters club in Manchester all those years ago.

I can see him now - a weird, twitchy and sweaty, gap-toothed geek. That's Elvis Costello by the way - not Andrew.

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