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« BACK | HOME » ABOUT » THE SPIRIT SPEAKS » THINGS THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

THINGS THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

posted  September 9th 2007  ___

I'm called into a meeting with Jonathan, Publican of Jamm and Alabama 3's new manager. After the terminal stagnation of relations with our previous manager, Bob Johnson, he's keen to get a new website going, which he sees as key to generating a, um...... buzz around the band. I'm fighting hard to resist my initial, premature impression of him as an ignorant thug who doesn't know the first thing about music, or the industry. Or anything much apart from shifting bottled lager, or whatever, and shouting. And to be fair, he's hungry and he's got some fresh ideas. I could write a weekly blog, he says, and D.Wayne Love could do a regular sermon to the congregation. 'Yeah, that's not bad, maybe on every Full Moon...'

'Oh Roight, so how many times a fuckin month would dat be?'

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Taking a stroll around Galway, looking for an electric toothbrush to get rid of the green fur on my teeth. The place is full of tourists. I'm still wearing the Bowler I bought for the last gig with my Gothic Prog band, Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses, and the shabby rainmac I got from Cancer Research. I pass a party of German schoolgirls on a cultural trip to the Galway Arts Festival. A blonde girl with braids in her hair claps her hands and cries "Oooh! Ein Leprechaun!"

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Half way through an ill-fated tour of America, more years ago than I care to remember, we were actually booked to play a venue in Alabama. We all got very excited. Unfortunately, it was around the time of the 'Brit-Pop Explosion' which rendered us terminally unfashionable. The support band were four rather fey, long-haired locals with guitars attempting to sound like Oasis, which for the lead singer seemed to involve pretending to be a Victorian chimney sweep (no-one told them that Manchester is not a region of North London). So there's them - four gayboys from the Deep South singing in Mockney accents and there’s us - caners from Brixton desperately trying to sound American. What could this possibly mean? It was a bit postmodern.

After the show, the lead singer generously offered to sleep with me. I might have taken him up on it, but only if he promised to say 'Oi love you Mary Poppins!' on the point of orgasm, While I snarled,'Squeal like a pig, boy!!!'
                                                           
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Possibly the highlight of my entire career with the Alabama 3 was the day I met Lionel Richie.

We're doing the Jools Holland show, along with the aforementioned Motown legend, Blur and the Go – Betweens. All the bands are arranged in a big circle around the studio and you all take it in turns to do our turn. Mr Ritchie's right next to us. Just before his take he strides in all Majestic, beautifully attired in a slightly pervy combination of white muslin long- sleeved top and very expensive – looking leather trousers, and sits down at a white Bussendorf Grand, bathed in pale yellow light. He glows like an angel and at the same time, he has something of the night about him, as you'd expect from a man responsible for so many easy- listening atrocities. Egged on by my bandmates, I sidle up to Lionel. 'I'm terribly sorry to bother you before your take Mr. Richie, but I’ve always been a huge fan, would you mind signing something for me?' The man responsible for the sale of billions of pounds worth of mortgages for the TSB, and over half the total output of magic F.M, looks warmly down at me, a smile playing round the corners of his large, soulful eyes. 'Sure son, what do they call you?' his voice is deeper and smoother than a coalmine full of vanilla ice cream, and ever so slightly camp. 'Um..O...Orlando', I stutter like a nervous schoolgirl, proffering a chewed up green biro from the Bookies and a tatty scrap of paper.  He takes the pen in his great, soft hands, and starts to write my name... embarrassingly, the pen refuses to work. “I'm terribly sorry Mr. Ritchie, would you mind waiting just a moment while I get another pen?” As He looks down at me, his enormous orange chin seems to radiate Love, and Kindness. 'That's okay son. I'll still be here.' The Man is Smoooth.

I find another pen, and he writes 'To Orlando, stay “Easy”'...

Walking away from the great man, I feel like I've taken intravenous shot of Valium.
To my discredit, I fear I have failed since then to take the chief Commodore's advice...

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© Orlando Harrison 2007