Sunday 28 Mar 10
I am having many blasts from the past today. It is cold and windy upstate and so I have been hunkered over my computer with an old hard drive trying to upload various bits of my past that were captured on celluloid or tape onto the interweb. It's a very therapeutic thing to do in many ways: Firstly it is quite fun to look back at things, and to see myself in situations that I have little or no recollection of. Obviously it is really me cos there I am on the telly, but just as seeing an old photograph can trick you into remembering something just because you have had a visual leg-up in your recall, so does these hours and hours of mostly daft, early TV appearances and interviews. And it's good to have your memory bank augmented, especially with happy memories, whether you've had a leg-up or not.
Secondly, when I have done all the sorting out and uploading, and my study does not resemble that of a bolshie 14 year old who will not clean up after himself, I will be free of all those disks and tapes and hard drives and will throw them away. Alancumming.com is an archive of information and images, and getting it to its present state has enabled me to dispose of millions of bits of paper that have followed me around the world for decades. It makes me feel very free, but at the same time I have a very ordered way or accessing that information. Actually my website is really useful for me, and I am sure as the years go by increasingly so, in remembering where I was and what I was doing at a particular point in time. I used to think it was a rather disappointing trait in my character that I measured time by which job I was doing when. For example 1989 for me is: Australian Victor and Barry tour, Heavenly in Edinburgh, Knickers in Bristol and then the RSC. I used to wish it had been more about world events or my personal life, and sometimes it is, but jobs and where I was in the world because of them are much quicker and accurate in terms of activating memory, and of course are a portal to all the other stuff, as when you know where you were and what you were doing every day all the memories and the people come flooding back in and fill up the picture.
Talking of which, here is a series of clips of Victor and Barry's best bits from their appearances on The Terry Neason Show on Scottish Television in 1987. It has been years since I saw these, and I have to say I am amazed that we got away with just being so daft. So many memories came flooding back going through them, like one evening before a recording in Edinburgh being drunk and jumping on a London-bound train as a dare with Paula, one of Terry's backing singers, then running up to the Royal Mile and jumping a fence into Princes Street Gardens and not realising that over it there was a sheer drop down a hillside. We rolled and bumped our way down to the path and were brusied and bloodied and our clothes ripped to shreds. The next day make-up had a hard job covering up the scrapes on Paula's shoulders, and I was stiff for weeks. It was stupid and dangerous, but such fun..
Honey has bounced back big time after her visit to the vet this week. She still has to wear her lampshade so she won't touch the stitches below her eye, but she has been so sprightly and puppy-like up here in the mountains that I began to wonder if the pills she has to take might be making her slightly high. Right now she is fast asleep on her favourite chair by the fire so the pills aren't total uppers, thank goodness. A visit to rehab would not be good for Honey's career.