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« BACK | HOME » ABOUT » THE SPIRIT SPEAKS » HOW I GOT CHUCKED OUT OF ALEX JAMES' HOTEL ROOM FOR BEING RACIST (PART 1)

HOW I GOT CHUCKED OUT OF ALEX JAMES' HOTEL ROOM FOR BEING RACIST (PART 1)

I've been thrown out of a lot of parties during my career in the entertainment industry.

I've been ejected from Beck's after show party for asking him to break-dance in an impudent way.
I've been frozen out by pagan-industrialist’s Coil for not being gay enough.
And I was thrown out of post-punk diva Danielle Dax's house twice - once for raiding her bedroom closet and dancing around in one of her designer dresses, and again two years later for attempting sex with her hoover.

But my most historically significant exclusion occurred at Reading Festival in 1998.

This was the occasion on which I was ejected from Alex James hotel room for being racist.

It was during the bewildering couple of weeks in which the Alabama 3 were intensely fashionable. A review in the Face at the time signed off with the words 'They are Gods'. A month later, NME described us as 'A Monumental Waste of Time’.

'Vindaloo' by Fat Les had just muscled its way into the charts, a hysterically moronic football anthem masterminded by the unholy trinity of Mr James, Keith Allen and Damien Hirst, on the occasion of the world cup. Fat Les were booked to play after us, but the schedule ran over and the noise pollution nazis pulled the plug, cutting off the lights and the P.A. To abuse from the crowd, Keith Allen defiantly strutted up and down in darkness for the next half hour, screaming obscenities like Max Wall at an EDF rally.

The Alabama 3 bonded with Fat Les during this debacle, partly because we were the new bad boys on the block, but mostly because we were, collectively, in possession of a massive amount of Cocaine.

I was on a bit of a downer that night because I had failed to get off with a future radio1breakfasttime DJ.  A brassy northern blonde had skipped up to me and asked me if I was going to a party in a hotel nearby. She was so brassy and blonde and lovely and northern that I got shy and found myself muttering like an autistic schoolgirl. She looked at me like I was a spaz and skipped off. It was only as I saw her heart-shaped arse fade into the darkness that I realised it was Sarah Cox, potty-mouthed bombshell from the Girly Show, about 24 at the time and hot as hell.

Keith Allen put a brotherly arm round my shoulder. 'You didn’t wanna knob that anyway mate, I've heard its like throwing a chipolata down a mineshaft. Come on, let's go to Alex's hotel room and give him a hard time."

'Who's Alex?'

'Alex James. That cunt who pretends to play the bass in Blur.'

As if by magic, a black cab appeared, in the middle of the field. What the fuck?

'Come on Pockets, you arse bandit, get in the back of the van!'

A spectacled man of about forty in a white jumpsuit staggered over and we piled into the back of the cab. Pockets is court Jester to the Strummerville crowd, an annual convention of B list rock'n'roll miscreants who gather round a huge bonfire at Glastonbury and get fucked up on sofa's.  Members at the time included Bez from Happy Mondays, designer Pam Hogg, about 15 Mancunian drug dealers and the Glorious Leader himself, the late Joe Strummer. Pockets has the wit of Joe Orton and the look of Harry Potter's dubious uncle.

Asleep in the front of the black cab was a large, feral bloke in a cowboy hat.

’Wake up you smelly cunt and take us to the fucking hotel!’

The Man jolted into action and as the black cab slalomed along the dark country roads, Keith explained that our driver was a tramp he'd hired as his personal chauffeur for the weekend, having won the vehicle in a game of poker. I struggled to hold on to the sense of his explanation; Keith Allen's body seems to house several people simultaneously. At any one second you might be talking to a smacked-up East End gangster, a jaded nonce in the twilight of a glittering west-end career, or, most disturbingly, a serious-minded intellectual.

Arriving at the hotel, I soon found myself shooting up to the penthouse suite of a chichi hotel with Pockets and Keith, who by now had flecks of white foam coagulating at the corners of his mouth, holding forth on what a cunt Alex James was, and how we were  going to 'Fuck Him Up'.

TO BE CONTINUED...

© Orlando Harrison 2013