May 19th 1973

“Work all day, got 1.92 wages. Had to clear out storeroom. Went up Nigs Evng. Drew funny picture + posed as Tramp for Mal’s ‘o’-level”

Now here’s a funny coincidence.

I cannot, for the life of me, remember dressing up as a tramp so that Mal could (presumably) paint some kind of picture of me.

However, MANY years later – and still friends with Mal (now know by me as Malc) – the pair of us turned something similar into a competition winner.

In 1994 This Way Up Records ran a trade competition for all its dealers – of which I was one. The competition was based on ex-Icicle Works’ frontman Ian McNabb’s solo album “Head Like a Rock”. (An album which contains the mercurial “You Must Be Prepared to Dream“)

The premise was that dealers had to send in a photo of someone who looked like the dude on the album cover, a ventriloquist dummy.

Rising to the challenge, I duly adorned myself with lipstick and a red bow tie whilst Malc took photos. As it happened the session ‘outtakes’ ended up looking funnier than that ones we were trying to do seriously. Especially those where I looked drunk (I’d had a little) and had a cigarette hanging out of my mouth.

I took these photos and – in the days loooooooooooong before photoshop – cut and pasted them together with some text, turning the finished article into a fake newspaper cover, telling the story of how the character had ‘gone off the rails’ and was going into rehab etc.

I guess we were not the only ones who found it funny, as a few weeks later it was chosen as the winning entry. We won a pair of Virgin Atlantic tickets to San Francisco. Not too shabby really.

I wonder if Malc got his art o-level?

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