Manual Pussy in Boots Part II: The Memiors of a Very Kinky Woman

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But they were very kind to me and the nicest thing was that virtually everything I wrote was made. Even then, Clemens was prolific.

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After about three months, he was the only writer because he could be depended on to turn out something worthwhile every week. It was just a doctor Hendry and a special agent Macnee and was quite terrible — a million miles away from what the series became. I wrote the first episode and then, I think, two or three more for Ian Hendry. He was really a stereotyped Scotland Yard man. He came in and said Yes guv and No guv and things.

I like them. Then it kind of escalated and the writers really caught up with it after Pat and Honor had set it going on a trend. We overtook the trend and made it even more consciously trendy after that. Clemens is not sure if he agrees:. A lot depends on the economic climate. Spoofiness has become acceptable. I remember I used to watch At Last! The Show! The Show was ahead of its time. The Avengers was always a cult show, not a mass-appeal one; it got ratings, but it was never in the Coronation Street or Sweeney class. Leave a comment. She suggested Brian Clemens. As a result, he started writing for the legendary Danziger Brothers , churning out scripts for cheap second features.

But they were very kind to me and the nicest thing was that virtually everything I wrote was made. Even then, Clemens was prolific. After about three months, he was the only writer because he could be depended on to turn out something worthwhile every week. It was just a doctor Hendry and a special agent Macnee and was quite terrible — a million miles away from what the series became.

I wrote the first episode and then, I think, two or three more for Ian Hendry. He was really a stereotyped Scotland Yard man. He came in and said Yes guv and No guv and things. I like them. Then it kind of escalated and the writers really caught up with it after Pat and Honor had set it going on a trend. We overtook the trend and made it even more consciously trendy after that. Clemens is not sure if he agrees:.

A lot depends on the economic climate. Spoofiness has become acceptable. I remember I used to watch At Last! The Show! The Show was ahead of its time. Sacha Distel, of course, has everything except a strong voice, whilst Matt Monro has a propelling voice, but not the physical poetry. Shirley Bassey fires a certain bolstered timbre that lifts her out of the Rose and Crown, and the Maria Callas history-of-human-torture facial expressions certainly appear to be additional value for money even if, during brief interviews on television, she is unable to relax, as if desperate to conceal an extensive lack of personality.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and no singing artist seems to be in possession of the complete bundle. Even the royal Elvis Presley does not write the songs that he sings — not that this matters much, yet it is noted how someone with such masterly vocal direction must await the patchwork and paste of songwriters in order to alight the gift. Loudly and wildly the music played, always pointing to the light, to the way out, or the way in, to individualism, and to the remarkable if unsettling notion that life could possibly be lived as you might wish it to be lived.

Top of the Pops makes the inevitable journey to London, where it stays forever. I rage with jealousy at the disembodied audience of zombies who show unearthly indifference in the presence of Shocking Blue. No illness of any ferocity could sway my interest during Top of the Pops , a rare flash of glamor in our oh so very pale lives, a heart-stopping rundown of the Top 30, followed by jaw-dropping paralysis as our personal favorites step into view. What was that? Eat it up and dream about it later, or wake up and dream as the years shuffle like cards.

Facts blur with hallucination as T. Rex edge in from somewhere interplanetary, giving an elbow thrust to Pickettywitch and the galvanizing Tom Jones. Rex are a question I had been saving up for a long time, and the singer is of pleasantly soft speaking voice, and my little radio crackles with interference regardless of where the station happens to be.

The year is loutish stoops in studlike gear, shuddering catchphrases and racist television comedies of half-wit mispronunciations; Ruffle Bars and T-Bars, and my parents are neither friends nor lovers to one another, and nothing in our lives is tidy or designed. With a detachable head, I paddle my own way through it all. As my parents clash on every subject, Jackie takes sides and cries in between. I make several bolts for freedom clutching only The Otterbury Incident. First, I run to Lostock, where Jeane and Johnny now have their own flat, but I am in the way here, too, and Johnny promptly hitches me onto the crossbar of his bicycle and takes me back home — all along Barton Road, a journey of days, and how I sat there throughout can only indicate the hardiness of the times.

I also make a midnight dash to Nannie, who whacks me across the head and then asks questions. No multinational menus were yet on the Manchester horizon, and anything with a hint of flavor was considered exotic. In the mids my parents would quietly divorce, Dad having disappeared two days before Christmas amidst loud assumptions that he has other lives elsewhere.

Throughout these years I am a largely bedridden child unwilling to keep death at bay. Hope remains only via television, which shows me what might happen to me should I manage to live to be fully grown. Lost in Space offers the full flavor of studio-bound American allure as a handsome and well-balanced family hurtles through an extensive range of hostile planets in search of Alpha Centauri. The Robinsons are never short of food or hair products, and, whereas the family is gratingly sane, they are offset by Dr Zachary Smith, who is waspish and wicked and full of childish snips and snaps — each rapier rejoinder accompanied by arched brow and Ah!

Wilderness eyes slung to the gallery. It is to the fourth wall audience or camera that actor Jonathan Harris plays, each startled reaction given directly to the unseen viewer. I would much rather be Major Don West Mark Goddard , who is of track and field physical, but who is a juvenile groundling compared to the Elizabethan riches of Dr Smith, who, in his maggoty bitterness, provides all of the fun, and whose command illuminates the very smallest of actions.

The masculine man hates the feminine man because soft is the enemy of hard. Major West, on the other hand, will kick to kill. My notepad resting on my lap takes the scribbles of unspoken truth: effeminate men are very witty, whereas macho men are duller than death. At 30, the prematurely grey Richard Bradford is the star of Man In a Suitcase , a discredited CIA agent now loitering about London waiting for the phone to ring usually from a youngish blonde female whose father, The Major, is under shocking duress.

As McGill, Richard Bradford mumbles his lines, is never witty, and gets by purely on the red-blooded toughness of his Tyler, Texas door-ramming physique, which provides all answers and never once fails him. Bradford is a figure of glamor, although his girlfriends are infrequent or short-term. He rests his cigarette down by placing it upright like a pencil, never slanted into an ashtray, and his charging physicality renders sparkling wordplay unnecessary. He lives alone, unexcited, disinterested, world-weary and ungiving, yet it is this dry-as-dust approach that makes him fascinating.

Men, you see, are either one thing or another, but never both, and the world loves a man who can fight. Suddenly, Department S comes close to the unthinkable; a witty Sebastian Melmoth who is also swift to deploy expert judo at the drop of a Ming vase. King is Beerbohm Tree smoking Sobranie, because Wyngarde is legitimate theater whom television is lucky to have, and whose techniques and intentions are infallibly precise although the exact style of his delivery is by no means conventional.

Pussy in Boots - The Autobiography of a Very Kinky Woman (Electronic book text)

Wyngarde might occasionally rush into a following line without punctuated pause enjambement? Completing the TV team is Annabelle Hurst played by Rosemary Nichols , a most correct and well-educated computer-whiz British bird of polite wit; a tea-room and commando-trained lacrosse champ whose sexuality is only a detail. Of course, such women did not exist then, or now. By the grace of God I am a part of the local gang whose spearhead and protectionist is Lillian, who is all funfair worldliness at Touch her and you might not get your hand back.

Yet Lillian is all heart and love, but fearless in the face of foe. Gangs are fashions passion in ragamuffin , and some out-of-towners invade our untouchable Longford Park patch. Lillian warns a buckish bully that she can finish him off without actually touching him. Laughing at her, he opens his wastrel mouth wide, and with expert aim Lillian unleashes a wad of phlegm that scores an impressive bullseye in the back of his throat. Shaken and repulsed, he and his teen firebrands turn tail into the Chorlton mist. Thin and lively, she will take a stand against any boy bigger or older, and never once would she hesitate.

For what will be the second time, I floor Leslie, he all bluff and little-man threats, yet soft to the touch in the heel of the hammerlock. I do not know where my uppercuts come from, but there they are, an orbit of finishing blows rising from somewhere deep within, overtaking the final push that panics the body into do-or-die strength.

It is a vigorous high, but it is not my sphere, and nor do I want it. Alas, it is not. No rampantly challenging mind could overlook the lost cultures as mapped out in British film, wherein the restricted horizons of the expendable working-class thrillingly show us how British life got to where it is now — in your private modern cuckoo-land. A gas-lit hallway in a tired lodging house and I am pulled in, with Mum forever fussing about the table setting tea. Distorted by nostalgia, we see in the family and in the local community everything an honest soul might need in order to live out their time on the human gridline, and we see the obvious punishments for anyone who would insist upon more than their lot.

In my favorite films of the s, s and s, the working class are usually portrayed as children enacting pointless working-class crimes. We always see the police as adults, representing a conscience for the daft scrubbers in pubs and dance halls — who are not rich, and therefore cannot behave themselves. Decent folk always allow themselves to be controlled by the police, because the police are never known to be either devious or wrong. The laboring-class boys of grey flannel are instinctive in their behavior because they are, in fact, in possession of nothing at all other than instinct; science and diplomacy are tools unused.

In The Painted Smile , the statuesque womanhood of comely Liz Fraser attempts to frame an uncomplicated Tony Wickert for the murder of her boyfriend in the recurring British theme of happiness not to be found. They will not accept conservative limits, and their selfish motivations or their crude nerve are both justified by the fact that they give nothing but look everything. By contrast, a Shakespearian saint with a disjointed face is never thought interesting enough for film. Calling on friends, their back doors swing open with a swoosh of smells.

The tangs of the unfamiliar are the malodorous hallmarks of the humans within — no scented candles yet, although the rarity of air fresheners can be found somewhere in the newly landed supermarkets of Maypole, Seymour Meade or the Co-op. Putrid smells reduce me to a pitiful pile, and none are more vomitarian than school dinners. All foods of miasmic fragrance disturb me, and the mere hint of garlic induces the shakes, as fish cooked or uncooked causes gut-wrenching panic. This boy of has an abnormally limited palate — a working-class host of relentless toast, and the inability to expand beyond the spartan.

Somewhere, Tin Tin sing Toast and marmalade for tea — which certainly suits me. I remain bedevilled by a dangerously sparse intake of food until my late thirties, when pasta and pizza throw the line. In place of food, my senses existentially turn to old high walls of red brick, and I lie awake at night weighing the fascination. There will never be an end or a conclusion to this dazed attraction, and even now, decades on, I cannot find any written acknowledgement of the trance such things pull me into.

Whatever detains the eye is understood by no one, least of all me. My eleventh year brings my becloaked stage debut at the local community center. In the play On Dartmoor I am Ulrick, a sulky child with a stupid voice. Unseen, I persistently shout down from an imaginary bedroom.

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The audience laugh, but my father does not. Two years on, at Stretford Stadium I represent the school in the meters dash of sorts , legs muddied, face wet with rain, I clamber in at fourth place. My father is standing by the finishing-line. Barry Ryan sings Eloise and rises to number 3 with a song that is five-and-a-half-minutes long — an eternity in radio space.

It is an overly dramatic epic of clash and plea, a piece orchestra wrapped in cliff-bound sirens, racing to an out-of-my-mind screaming vocal. None of the family had passed the Plus exam, and henceforth cannot be saved, our futures doomed by an undotted i. If, like Oliver Twist, I had known, I would have screamed all the more louder, and not even Something here in my heart by the Paper Dolls could save me now. Vincent Morgan is the Headmaster whose voice is a sigh, whose carriage is militantly empirical, and although a spectacle of suffering, he is mysteriously tuned in to God.

Well past middle-age, he is rigorous in grey suit and gleaming black shoes, the sag of cruelty in his face a clue to the torrential capacity for violence. Sealed up like an envelope, he is unable to act with kindness or humanity, for he has neither, and there is evidently nothing to humanize him. For five years I witness the monumental loneliness of Vincent Morgan as he busies himself day after day with the beatings of small boys.

And it goes on, and on, and on, and on — leading nowhere, achieving nothing. As Vincent Morgan concludes his morning prayer in assembly — in which he gives thanks — he will then point to up to twelve boys seemingly at random, who must step aside and prepare to be lashed, such being the heart of a man of Christian forgiveness.

In its motive and conclusion, it is pathetic. Yet it never subsides. Undersized and freshly plucked from junior school, these boys are still children and are no match for the satanic attack launched by this heaving and burning artilleryman. What could it possibly all be for? My only possession is a brave front, since I have never known how to fight, and even as Vincent Morgan whacks and whacks and swings that leather belt with the full and mighty force of his entire body, something in his face tells me that he alone pays for all of this misery.

Marooned, Vincent Morgan walks to and from school every single day by himself, an umbrella neatly propped on an arm that crosses the front of his body with marksman preparation. He has no friendship with the other teachers, and is only ever visible as the one of perpetual flogging. The fruitlessness of such overactive repulsion, in modern times, would of course suggest the starkest sexual overtures What job did he think he was doing?

At last, an individual! Handsomely G. He works on the bread vans each Saturday morning, and entices me to give it a go, rising as I must at 6 AM to be poetically active by — an experience so frightening as to not be tackled twice. In my short conversations with Vincent Morgan I am struck by his game of persuasion, trying to convince me that whatever I say to him by way of reply has no value.

The words are a trick to make the victim passive. Once the dinner vans arrive, the school corridors are polluted by floating venomous toxins, unbearable to inhale so surely deadly to consume, and by late afternoon the leftovers will splodge and stink and spill and surge from huge bins awaiting collection. Yet it is uncivilized to complain, and a Mr Bumble always hovers somewhere, and although you pay for your dinner you are not invited to shape the menu. The condition of England at the time was such that supported the predicament of taking whatever is dished out, whether this be food or violence.

In order for there to be winners there needed to be losers, and the winners were already seated at fully heated Stretford Grammar. Somebody, it had been ordained, must be available to bang nails into wood for a living, and here we were. By their unlucky presence, the teachers surely felt a similar way about themselves. Injuries of time marked the school as tired and tatty, yet trying to be technical.

Exactly why I am here, and what it is I am meant to do, is beyond me. Each day is an array of invectives, thrown at the boys who are united in their understanding that they have been dumped, and are being dumped upon. Each day is Kafka-esque in its nightmare, and the school offers nothing at all except a lifelong awareness of hate as a general truth.

Encouragement is not on any curriculum, its place filled by the shit-without-wit repartee of such as Mr Kijowski, physical education instructor ostensibly, yet whose constant stream of hate suggests that if he is not frightening someone then he is nothing. Young and unmarried, he is obsessed with homosexuality — that it should be traced and uncovered, named and shamed.

This tirade goes on and on for more years than could be thought possible, and I am not surprised that I am regularly the butt of his bombast, and yet the most obvious homosexual behavior reveals itself in Mr Kijowski himself, as each PE lesson closes and the obligatory communal showering is enforced. Mr Sweeney is also a physical education teacher, and unmarried, but is less obsessively homosexualist, although it is commonly noted how he stands and stares and stands and stares at showering boys when neither standing nor staring is necessary.

One day during five-a-side, I flip forwards and crash down on my right hand. This stirs a blip of compassion from Mr Sweeney, who then takes me into his private office, whereupon he proceeds to massage my wrist with anti-inflammatory cream. At 14, I understand the meaning of the unnecessarily slow and sensual strokes, with eyes fixed to mine, and I look away, and the moment passes.

Air from hangs in the school stockrooms where outmoded textbooks stockpile against unwanted plaques anointing proud achievements of boys long-since gone, like a roll-call of the war dead. The slowness of days drills the brain, especially around in the afternoon, when time never seems to move, and the bell hangs lifelessly until the last drop of nausea has been wrung from the brow. Chalk and stale sweat catch whatever air escapes into these barren vaults, and a yellowing world map is all that the eye can rest upon, with not one continent available to you or meant for you.

It is impossible to imagine a time when we shall feel free of all of this dissonance, and it is impossible to meet the situation halfway. Sadly, it is also impossible to simply just get on with it. My eyes lock permanently on the view from the windows, as I long to the point of tears to be released from this prison maze, or this maze prison, where I am ridiculed simply for just turning up. Mr Pink is reading aloud a story entitled Boris the Wig-maker. He stops suddenly and burns in my direction as my eyes watch the black rain banging against feeble windows. Stand up!! I am then ordered to sit down, and, his turbulent rush fed, he continues to read to the class.


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I return my gaze to the rain. It is all so utterly stupid. I am at this point struck by the understanding that this freakish use of the leather strap is the answer for all teachers who find themselves in a situation that they simply cannot deal with, or answer. It is their weakness, not ours. Simply because I quite honestly admitted to having no interest in Boris the Wig-maker , how does a violent charge with a leather strap provide an answer?

Occasionally we suffer the disdainful presence of a local priest, young and patronizing, with a name never to be recalled. Oddly, he seems to fix his curiosity upon me, possibly because I sit aloof, possibly because I do not contribute to polite laughter, possibly because of the newly tended weave in my hair. The Catholic priest looks to the rest of the class having given them their cue for courteous laughter. But no laughter comes, and the priest looks back at me with his face of hate — as if to warn me that there will come another time when he shall score.

The topsy-turvydom of had brought an explosion of music and art and newness into my life and I was now in full self-development mode and desperate to be free of censure. I had bought the Starman single by David Bowie, which had climbed to number 42 in the chart, and I catch this epoch of self-realization for the first time on television as the exotic and shapely Ayshea Brough celebrates newly distributed color television with her show Lift Off with Ayshea. As David Bowie appears, the child dies.

The vision is profound — a sanity heralding the coming of consciousness from someone who — at last! David Bowie is detached from everything, yet open to everything; stripped of the notion that both art and life are impossible. He is quite real, impossibly glamorous, fearless, and quite British.

How could this possibly be? Again, it is pathetic to witness, and pathetic to endure. An excitingly arch London magazine called Film and Filming has versed me in the Warholian, with all of its guiding principles of self-determination and autonomy. I cried for poetic language and I cried out to find those who were unafraid, those free agents, unbigoted and unshackled. I knew then that life could only ever be changed for the better because somebody somewhere had taken a risk — often with their own life.

Look for one boy who left the place feeling spiritual and complete. You will never find him. My face had by now taken on the demeanor of continual deep regret, which only music could soothe. The new poets were not by the Lakes, but suspending disbelief in recording studios where words and sound mix the literal with the perceptual and the conceptual. In I had watched helplessly as Buffy Sainte-Marie made her debut on Top of the Pops singing her own composition Soldier blue ; a mannish white working shirt, and what were surely blue jeans, dogged determination in her brownish face, and the truth of it all in her eyes.

Or so I assumed. Serious artists rarely make the stages of Top of the Pops because the show is essentially light entertainment, yet this song of great depth has risen to number 7, and, light or not, the BBC are duty-bound as a public service to air any song elected by the public. In the market-driven mush of British pop, there is no continual place for Buffy Sainte-Marie with her carrion calls of loss and injustice. But there she is, and here am I, and the secret of song unravels. Trojan Records had also presented the Pioneers with Let your yeah be yeah , attempting to match the impassable scatology of Double barrel by Dave and Ansell Collins, or the freeing stringed swoop of Young, gifted and black by Bob and Marcia.

It seemed to me that it was only within British pop music that almost anything could happen. Every other mode of expression seemed fixed and predictable and slow. Sportsmen used the same seven words in every interview, and were largely incapable of surprise Cassius Clay and George Best the eternal exceptions. From nowhere comes the California cobra chords of Run run run by Jo Jo Gunne and Heaven must have sent you by the Elgins — wide variables on an open pitch, all adapting to different listeners — the well and the ill.

All of this starts me, and I cannot stop. If I can barely speak which is true , then I shall surely sing. Rex had raged into perfection with their trio of Jeepster number 2 for six weeks! On earlier records, Bolan sounds as if singing in Olde English — incomprehensible to the modern ear. Certainly, politicians cannot.

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Rex are my first concert and my dad and sister drop me off at daunting Belle Vue on June 16th , watching me waddle away alone in my purple satin jacket — a sight ripe for psychiatric scrutiny. The face is damned-soul-as-savior-of-society, preacher and reformer, now free of his own unhappy childhood and willing to help you through yours should Black Sabbath and Deep Purple prove insufficient.

I crawl from the cultureless world to Stretford Hardrock in September , where David Bowie is showcasing the venue. At mid-day he emerges from a black Mercedes, every inch the eighth dimension, teetering on high heels, with all the wisdom of our ancestors. Smiling keenly, he accepts the note of a dull schoolboy whose overblown soul is more ablaze than the school blazer he wears, and thus I touch the hand of this inexplicably liberating reformer; he, a Wildean visionary about to re-mold England, and I, a spectacle of suffering in a blue school uniform.

I creep into the soundcheck quite easily, since the obscurity of the band does not necessitate any form of security , and I speak to saxophonist Andrew Mackay as he plays a pinball machine in the Hardrock lobby. It is a netherworld encounter for Mackay, but a great joy for the pesky boy. There is new meaning to everything as Roxy Music inexplicably jump to number 4 with their first single, Virginia plain , a pursed-mouth whirl of low noise and words used for sound value only.


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There is no chorus and nothing is repeated. The song is madcap in construction, and singer Bryan Ferry is an honored northern guest — escapist but shy, a slither of glamor rippling like the sea. Roxy Music are resolutely odd, and Agatha Christie queer; the smile of Ferry is Hiroshima mean, as he shuffles crab-style from stage right to stage left I eagerly catch his first Radio One interview wherein he falls asleep at the drone of his own replies. Eno, on the other hand, uses words that no one else can spell and is wrapped in so much sexual allure that Top of the Pops cameras avoid him for fear of frightening the frighteningly drab majority.

The technical detachment of Roxy Music is, briefly and possibly accidentally, a radical experience, one that they swiftly dispense with once they establish a large audience. But before they lose their strangeness they are magnificent, and the drabness of true artifice comes alive. Also billed for this night at the Hardrock are the New York Dolls, who have yet to make a record, but about whom the press had already written so much.

Bumped up against the front of the stage, I, and others, sigh heavily as it is announced that the New York Dolls will not appear due to the sudden death of their drummer three days earlier in London. In these limping, impeded days of there is no way that such news could reach our social quarter, since our houses and our lives are shut down from instant communications. Lou Reed is unimpressed by applause, and lives a life detached from custom. His stare is cold and his romanticism is brutal. His songs are half-sung melodies of menace.

He might drop dead any second, and is therefore the real thing. Examined ravenously like a museum exhibit, Lou Reed is evidently spiked to excess, and strangely loveable. This feared raggle-clatter of pop species is changing everything. An even darker force controlled the personalities of the New York Dolls, who are younger than Bowie and who are more-or-less transgender in appearance. On face value, the Dolls are menacing rent boys who are forcing the world to deal with them.

Their arms drape lovingly around one another in photographs at a time when young men are assumed to want to look like Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves or Terry Venables. The suggestion that your sons rather than your daughters might need to be protected from a male rock band had never previously been considered. The Dolls meet with all of the obvious condemnations, for this is still an era of darkness and drowned dreams.

What seems like promotion is actually a Mayday bleep. With relief, I catch the Dolls on their now-famous Old Grey Whistle Test television appearance, and whereas both of my parents watch unimpressed, pride and joy electrify my body as the revenge motif dates every other modern pop artist in an instant. Snarl matches visual art and the Dolls were mine. I heard and saw a high-wire act of tough noise and fantastic pop lyrics, and I heard an invitation to anyone man enough to challenge them.

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In comparison, everyone else suddenly seemed like a travelling salesman. The Dolls were a social unit, great fun, grave fun, salty and completely off the deep end. How could people like the New York Dolls even exist? And as a musical unit! And where exactly did this leave Dr Hook and the Medicine Show? At last I am someone! The 45 purchased has the middle section of the song cut out and fades quickly, in an arrangement I have never since discovered on any pressing of this record.

The confusion with the Dolls is that their scumsucker rough-trade drag contrasted with the truth of their wise-guy personalities. The Dolls were actually the toughest band on earth, and their appearance proved it. Pomp-rock had degraded everything and left audiences immobilized and horizontal in trench coats and woolly sweaters. The Dolls were the slum of all failures, had nothing to lose, and could scarcely differentiate between night and day.

For the Dolls, it could never be dark enough. Their raw existence vibrated with expectations of disaster, yet their organs are not tormented. On an infinitesimal scale, Dolls songs are about life happening against us — never with or for us — and as agents of their own troubles they relate everything to themselves. Their eyes are indifferent. They have left the order of this world. Jerry Nolan might even kill you. Because they feel excluded they have no reason to account for their own actions.

Trash scorches the skin. Flayed alive, the Dolls may look beautiful, but they are withering fast, and around them we see Johnny Carson, Paul Newman, Cassius Clay, Robert Redford, David Cassidy, as males within the paragraphs of law. The Dolls endure the consequences of how they look, afflicted by existence yet not responsible.

David Johansen laughs, but is irritated by everything and anything, since life clearly signifies nothing, yet he can always save the day with an eloquent phrase. The Dolls are the last frontier of task and adventure for the discontented mind. The objective is only in being. Their excess of drugs and alcohol increased the fire and sword of their swagger — now is the golden hour, and tomorrow could be too late. Appearance is a new debate in rock music, and the counter-culture of the New York Dolls is an infinite landscape. But who can cope with such a landscape having been kenneled for so long?

This did not happen with the Eagles. Their chosen name, the New York Dolls, was as provocative and inflamed as being called the New York Fags; and really, this is precisely how the Dolls were initially deciphered, anyway. Knowing what we now know — that the Dolls chased the bearded clam at every opportunity — simply triples their social effect. And this is how history is made. When had drummers ever looked this way and played so hard? You have witnessed a lunar-landing even before you start to listen, and within the courtesan cover you discover a fit of throttling lunacy from a band that fear no foe or woe.

The Dolls were laughing all the way to a speedy grave. That they were even alive at all, and had managed to endure on a planet that even I had felt certain was as flat-tire as fuck, was a shock to anyone having been raised, as I was, on smiling nice-boy singers. How had the Dolls found each other? Pugs who played musical instruments in were either older than dirt, or moth-eaten techies. In the swell-elegant world of success it was always the case that most bands of dapper style nonetheless also contained members whose natural ugliness let the team down.

High-toned, I carry the Dolls LP sleeve into school, where I attempt to reproduce its front cover in blotchy Manchester Education Committee goo-paint as an art presentation. Art teacher Miss Power for teachers, Miss told us that she was not legally bound to a man, Mrs told us that she was legally bound to a man, whilst Mr slyly protected the secret was so highly strung that she frequently raced from the classroom in tears of rage at someone not present. And on she went, terribly upset. She appealed to the class for support, but none came, and although I expected a fierce larruping for abstaining from dullness, none came, and Miss Power had merely outed me as a prostitute; a midnight cowboy in flannel-grey.

Unfathomably, I had several cupcake grapples in this year of , with no experience worth repeating, yet somehow having dropped myself further into each bungee jump than I thought allowable. Plunge or no plunge, girls remained mysteriously attracted to me, and I had no idea why, since although each fumbling foray hit the target, nothing electrifying took place, and I turned a thousand corners without caring. Plainly I was not interested, being chosen but not chooser. Far more exciting were the array of stylish racing bikes that my father would bring home from the Stylish Racing Bike Sanctuary, no doubt; we were wise not to ask.

The bikes were often too large for me, but all the better to risk the sharp corners and mud-splattered daredevil routes of Turn Moss. Something within me loved the manic race through the darkened warrens of Longford Park, battered by rain, drenched but alive, taking iceberg corners too quickly, rising aloft from the seat down wing-and-prayer slopes.

Night after night like an unowned dog I would tear through the park, a creature in human form, all perilous bolt inviting danger, the bike dancing controlled flips as I gulped jets of rain — more danger, more fun. In comparison, what had girls to offer? Nothing but a mangled jungle of tangled hair presented as the jackpot payoff.

Honeypots sprawled like open graves, their owners doing nothing at all other than letting you. The call of duty is all yours — to turn on and get off; to hit the spot and know the ropes; to please and be pleased; as the owners of such Bermuda Triangles do The lonely season was best, and I much preferred time wasted with my closest friend Edward Messenger in these childish days that lacked any profound distinction between the sexes.

The house is northern cheerfulness and cooking smells and Sandy the dog being lovingly bullish. Maddening church bells stop play each Sunday as I, but not Edward, am called to attend church. At Kings Road my appointed boyhood lot is injured birds and broken typewriters; a bulging box-bedroom of American paperbacks bought carefully at the Grass Roots shop on Newton Street, where a fascinating flood of feminist literature signposts the way, as we wait for a genius to state the obvious. The shelves of Grass Roots raise consciousness through the roof, and the staff is fittingly unfriendly in an aura of root vegetables and patchouli oil