A real ghost story?

I’ve never really held too much interest or belief in things that go bump in the night. Yes I’m a fan of horror and fantasy but that’s in the world of fiction. I don’t really go in for “based on real events” type stuff. If that’s on the promotion for a film or a book then it’s usually best avoided. But then a thing happened…

About three months ago I was alone in the house I share with my wife. She had gone to visit friends for the weekend. Good, if you’re going to have a ghostly encounter then it’s always best to be on your own. That way you can prove it to no one and the realm of the ghost remains firmly in the not yet explained bracket.

I think it’s important to explain that a couple of nights prior to this event I’d watched the horror film the Babadook. It had spooked me slightly, but in a fun way. I certainly had no problem sleeping after watching. I feel it’s worth mentioning though as maybe that did play a part on my general mood and imagination.

I live in a house built around the 1920-30s. It’s had many prior inhabitants. I know nothing of any dubious events having taken place under our roof. I’ve shared this place with my wife for around 7 years. Nothing unusual has ever happened prior to the events of a few months back.

My wife and I have separate bedrooms. Please understand this is nothing to do with a strained relationship. I’m a restless sleeper and I work late hours while she works early. We love each other very much. It’s fair to say though that my wife’s bed is much comfier than mine. So with her being away I’d decided to sleep for the night in her room. I was just settling into bed when the noise started.

As I’ve already mentioned I’ve lived in this house for a while. I know the noises it makes. I can place where they come from and what’s causing them around 99% of the time. This was a new noise but it was also I initially thought familiar and completely explainable. I live on the second floor of two flats with my neighbour below me. Her front door is right next to mine. So when I heard what I thought was the noise of somebody struggling with a key in the lock of either mine or her front door my first thought was, that’s the girl downstairs coming home. But the noise didn’t stop. My next thought was well she must be drunk, it’s Saturday night, she’s obviously put the wrong key in the lock. But the noise didn’t stop.

After maybe one or two minutes of this I then began to become concerned that someone was trying to get in my door. So up out of bed I got and went to the window. I strained at an angle to see if anyone was on the door step. I could see no one. I’m hearing things I thought. Bloody Babadook.

I climbed back into bed. Now, I’m not entirely sure of the duration of the wrong key in the lock noise I could hear but it did stop. ah well that’s that I thought and began to drift into sleep. Then it started again. By this point I was getting irritable and a little spooked. It was distinctly coming from downstairs front door area. Was I wrong? Is it the sound of a key? It had rhythm to it chk…chk…chkchkchk…chk.chk.chk over and over again.

Once again I went to the window. Still nothing. Fuck this there’s definitely something going on down there. I decided to get dressed and go down and investigate. I actually felt a bit tentative opening the front door but of course once I did there was nothing there. Back up to bed.

Over the next hour the noise seemed to intensify and it began to be joined by others. I obviously understand these new noises would most likely be attributed to my hearing now being on heightened alert. As well as intermittent and fairly lengthy periods of the key noise there were loud creaks and yes bumps that sounded like they were coming from inside the room I was in. Some of them were  loud and distinct and always in the background the now fairly constant key noise.

By now I was spooked yet in not panicked…just disconcerted. I decided the only plan of action would be to go sleep on the couch. I’d come to regret that.

Lying on the couch I could still hear the key noise but now it was more distant, as it should have been I was now further from the front door but the bumps and the creaks I could now hear were coming clearly from the room I had just vacated. I must have been exhausted (we were by now into the middle of the night around 3 a.m.) because despite all this I started to drift into sleep. That’s when the next thing happened.

The door leading into the living room where I’d decided to bed down can have a fantastically loud creak if it is allowed to close very slowly. I was now positioned with my head on the couch closest to said door. Just as I was drifting off a loud creaking almost cracking noise started. I sat bolt upright and turned to see the door to my living room opening slowly. It had been ajar by about and inch initially but now was swinging toward me and towards being open fully.

Rather than be dumbstruck I actually said aloud, “You have to be fucking joking.” Once the door was fully open it connected with the side of the couch I was on. I grabbed it and swung it shut with such force the door jammed in the frame. I was now convinced there was someone in the house with me.

I didn’t even run for a weapon which on reflection would have been the smarter move. Instead I took a breath and pulled the door back open. Nothing there. I then searched both my room and that of my wife. Nothing…but the noises had stopped.

As I pointed out I must have been exhausted because despite all this I did manage to fall asleep on my couch. I dismissed the door to the fact this is an old house. I also reminded myself that, yes that door does swing on it’s own it does it all the time.

It was while being out in town the next day that a thought about the swinging door occurred to me. I was so stuck by my realisation that I was eager to get home and test this theory that had just struck me.

I climbed up the stairs and there was the door as it usually always is, slightly ajar about an inch. I gave it a gentle push and it did what I was expecting it to do. It swung back shut on me. I was right in thinking that the door moves on its own…but it swings shut not open. No matter how many times I tried to get it to swing slowly open and stay there it always swung shut on me.

Was that the end of things? No. On arrival home I told my wife of the events she put it down too many films like the Babadook or a rat in the floorboards. I think it’s fair to say she came up with these explanations more for reassurance of herself than anything else.

The following night I was back in my own room and drifting off to sleep. That’s when the key in the door came back. Chk…chk…chkchkchk…chk.chk.chk. It wasn’t just the noise that made me immediately sit up. it was the fact the rhythm of it was identical to the night before. It was as if I was listening to some kind of recording.

I didn’t hang about and headed straight for the couch. while back in my refuge all the other noises started coming from the room my wife was now in. I could hear them actually disrupting her sleep as she was muttering and stirring in her bed. she is however a really deep sleeper and they didn’t wake her fully…but they still went on for a bit.

After that I heard the key noise only once more. A single play of it’s usual rhythm then nothing. And that’s the way it’s stayed.

Just the other week I was telling my mother about this and she reminded me of the footsteps on the stairs that can be heard in the house I grew up in. this reminded me this isn’t the only spooky story I know. But I’ll tell that one another time.

I once heard a theory that perhaps the  stone and mortar and general fabric of  the buildings that surround us could perhaps record sounds or memories. Like a tape can. I’m starting to think that’s maybe not such a bad theory…and still sounds a bit more reasonable than ghosts.

Some distinct personality traits of Cat and dog people…

I lifted the below piece of informed journalism and in no way obvious piece of click bait from the Huffington PostSo below that I’ve added some of my own thoughts…

“Cats are unpredictable, but that’s not entirely true of cat owners. So-called “cat people” tend to share a lot of the same personality traits, as studies have proven having a cat at home can say a lot about a person’s character, health and dating life.

For example, News reports research shows cat owners often exhibit introverted qualities, especially compared to dog owners, who tend to be more outgoing and energetic. Cat owners have also been found to be smarter, more sensitive and more non-conformist than their canine-loving counterparts.

But that doesn’t mean those with fancy felines win the age-old cat people vs. dog people debate: While there are great health benefits to owning a pet of any kind, cat owners also earn fewer health benefits than dog owners. And as for relationships, there may be some truth to that single cat lady stereotype.”

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Really don’t like cats or worse still cat people.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. Completely indifferent to dogs and dog people. But my god why have your life constantly dictated to by some idiot animal that requires constant exercise and an on hand toilet attendant.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Are more extrovert and socially will point out, “I’m a people person.”

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. 57% of cat people are Nazis/super villains on the run. They see people as collateral.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Crave unconditional love.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. Can see the benefits of enforced population control.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Stand a better chance of being rescued in a natural disaster by their pet.

CAT PEOPLE.

     4. Caused the so called “natural disaster” from inside their secret volcano base.

DOG PEOPLE.

     5. Only 2% of people don’t like dogs. This could explain the term mans best friend.

CAT PEOPLE.

     5. 27% of people don’t like cats. The cats seem indifferent to this.   

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Clips of dogs doing cool things they’ve been trained to do are popular on the internet.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. Clips of cats just being cats are more popular. Cats are trained in improvisation by the Russian masters.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Now that the 5 pence plastic bag charge has been introduced economically Dog owners are on a shakier footing.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. If your lonely aunt is a cat person have a look in her spare plastic bag drawer. Your inheritance has now gone up by around 60 quid.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Dog people can control their pet through scolding. The dog will show fear and submission by putting their tail between its legs.

CAT PEOPLE.

    8.  When a cat is scolded they tend to call in their secretary to take an accurate dictation of your complaint. All points will      then be considered and held against you as evidence at a future time.

DOG PEOPLE.

    9. Dog people feel more protection from burglars.

CAT PEOPLE

    9. Accept that “Cat” is a type of burglar.

DOG PEOPLE.

    10. Dog peoples pets enjoy sitting on their lap because they love them.

CAT PEOPLE.

     10.  A cat persons pet will sit on their lap because they are warm…even for the short period after death. Once the body cools they’ll move in with a neighbour.

DOG PEOPLE.

  11. A dog person can turn 1000 dogs into their own personal army.

CAT PEOPLE.

     11. Even God could exercise no control over 1000 cats.

DOG PEOPLE.

     12.  Can identify with their pet on an almost human level. If dogs could talk they’d be in endless conversation.

CAT PEOPLE.

    12. If cats could talk they’d probably still ignore you.

Comedy Outlaws no. 5. Billy Connolly…and the Crucifixion.

As a Scots comedian of a certain age there obviously must be one influence on me that stands head and shoulders above any other. When I was a very young kid I always wanted to be a Sex Pistol. Then my brother came back from University with Billy Connelly’s first albums and I discovered there was another thing you could be that’s just as exciting.

In my journey as a comic I’ve known a couple of comics who became famous that never rated Billy. I’ll not mention names the clue’s in where I live. After that I never really rated them. I can forgive younger comics not knowing him or finding the humour a bit distant. However I really do feel if you’re a comic and you don’t have some place in your work/heart for him then you really shouldn’t be doing the job.

The routine I’d like to discuss here I hadn’t listened to in some time. I was worried it might be dated. I’ve just listened to it now and I’m over the moon with how good it is. In fact after hearing this again I’ve decided I’m going to spend the coming months collecting his work and falling in love with him all over again. The routine of the Crucifixion is now 51 years old and it’s as hilarious and vibrant and at times risky now as it was when it was being touted around halls and working men clubs in the 70s.

Recorded at a small venue, The Tudor Hotel in Airdrie, it’s from the double album (vinyl) titled Solo Concert. I would urge anyone to seek out the whole thing. Releasing a live double-album by a comedian who at the time was virtually unknown (except to a cult audience in Glasgow) was an unusual gambit by the people behind it but their faith in Connolly’s talent was duly rewarded and they successfully promoted the album to chart success on its release in 1974.

What put’s Billy among the comedy Outlaws is a thing that people often don’t credit him with. He has constantly throughout his prestigious career tackled some of the darkest or potentially most offensive of subject matters. From many meditations on religion, to disability to causing outrage with a routine on hostage Kenneth Bigley (About which he says he was quoted out of context) But through force of personality and more likeable charm than a million Macintyre’s could ever hope to muster has so far only ever managed to offend exactly the sort of person you really hoped he would. Upon his debut on the TV chat show Parkinson in 1975 he told a bawdy joke about a man who had murdered his wife and buried her bottom-up so he’d have somewhere to park his bike. His own management had begged him not to do so.  He made the right choice and ignored their advice and his bawdy humour was a sensation. Stardom came rapidly and he became good friends with Parkinson himself. He still holds the record for most appearances on the show at 15.

In saying that he offended the sort of person you hoped he would among the more famous of the morally outrraged were Pastor Jack Glass and self-anointed morality police officer in Chief Mary Whitehouse.

Jack Glass was Described by the Rev Ian Paisley as “a bit of an extremist” Jack vehemently denied being a bigot but actively attacked and campaigned against, amongst other issues, the decriminalisation of homosexuality and rights for gay people, Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, the Papal visit to Scotland, the Catholic Church, in fact, against anything or anyone who didn’t fit into his extreme Calvinist view of the world as being dominated by the Power of Darkness. And naturally, anyone who disagreed with Jack was a servant of Satan.

Perhaps it’s a bit cynical to say it but Jack was never one to pass up the opportunity for a bit of self-promotion, and one of his most notorious escapades was when he began picketing Billy Connolly’s concerts on the grounds that he regarded Connolly as a blasphemer. The cartoonist Malkie McCormick lampooned him in his weekly “Big Yin” strip in the Sunday Mail, by having a piece of graffiti on a wall saying, “Jack Glass is a wee pastor”. He died of cancer with which upon being diagnosed was quick to blame Satan for his malady. Looks like the Devil won in the end. Connolly himself credits him with being a fantastic help in selling out his early tours. Bringing him the type of publicity you just can’t buy. He dismissed the campaigns by Mary Whitehouse against him with the fantastic line, “Who wants to be told what to do by someone who’s name rhymes with toilet?”

So I’ll end this wee tribute to my hero by encouraging you to go find and listen. I’ve posted the full Crucifixion routine here plus another favourite. The former routine is just rammed with great one-liners and hilarious characterisation. “Jesus doesn’t need to come to the boozer. He can make a bucket load at home.” “I cured a deaf and dumb guy. His first words…Is it alright if I’m a protestant” “I got arrested by the Romans. I thought should be alright it’s my first offence.”

Scottish humour has always had a layer of darkness in it. That probably comes from it being a wee bit tough to live there. It exists in my humour and many of my fellow Scots comedy comrades. I’m actually proud of it. Comedy should be a rollercoaster ride. It should be exhilarating and a wee bit scary. I don’t think anybody will do it better than Billy when he’s on to a good one. He generates a thing that few comics can. Rolling laughter. Sure we can all get a big laugh or applause break but very few can induce hysteria. He has consistently throughout his life. He is the king of comedy as far as my not so humble opinion is concerned. Although I don’t think he’d appreciate being called King Billy for reasons to obvious to explain to those not from Glasgow. He still makes me fall on my side on the couch when I’m watching him and he should be credited with giving most of us a job. No Billy no modern comedy scene. It’s as simple as that. Enjoy.

Stand up comedy. Set 3.

And here we are still working up the routines for those whom it may be of interest to. Here’s some stuff we put out over the weekend….

BEE-GEE.

I’m always saying I look a bit like a homeless Bee-Gee. But when you think about it the Scots are quite like the Bee-Gees. We’re hairy, we like to sing…and two thirds of us die prematurely.

In fact sorry if I sound a bit chesty tonight, but I drive a Volkswagen. You combine that with fact I’m a Scot and I like sausages and I’ll be lucky to make it to the end of this set.

HEALTH.

I see the government want to raise retirement age in this country to 70. Which means most men in Scotland will enjoy their retirement 20 years after they’ve passed away.

We’re just not healthy. Life expectancy for a man in certain areas of Scotland is 57! Mind you if you live in Dundee…that’s probably enough.

Good old Dundee where the heroin comes in batter.

DIET

I’m still a bit tubby me but I was really over weight not so long back. My young smug doctor recommended I go on a diet. He said, “You’re now 16 stone. You’re clinically obese.” And then he asked, “How do you think this has happened?

How did I think  it had happened? I felt like getting a hold of his stethoscope and shouting into it, “Err…Cheese burger and chips please.”

So I went on a diet. And it was horrible. This diet was so austere as a treat I was brushing my teeth for a pudding. So what I do now to improve my diet is I watch Master Chef. Because before I watched Master Chef lunch for me would be a pie and a blob of brown sauce. But not since watching Master Chef. No, what I do now is I put the pie in the middle of the plate…and I drizzle the brown sauce around the edge of the plate.

DEAD BRIAN.

I’ve never been the most healthy of people. At school I was never very good at sports. I used to get called names…things like…goalkeeper.

I’m becoming aware of my mortality now, because there’s a thing that happens in your 40s that you don’t expect…a couple of your friends get ill and die. You get this really ominous phone call that starts with, “Hullo…Have you heard about Brian?”

Now when you get a phone call that starts with Hullo have you heard about Brian…there’s only two things that Brian could have done. He’s either touched a kid or he’s dead. Thankfully ladies and gentlemen he was dead. It was such a relief. Well I was getting suspicious…he’d been watching a lot of Rasta Mouse.

TREE.

I have to watch now. I used to live excessively. I used to do a lot of drugs. Hell, we used to drug drive. Well my mate Jimmy would drive and I would roll the joints. It really does affect your judgement. One day I glanced up from my rolling and said, “Hey Jimmy man look out we’re going to hit that tree. No really…Jimmy! Look out there’s a tree right in the middle of the road…Oh no, hang on a minute…It’s the air freshener.

PERMA STONE.

I was perma stoned man. I was always doing that thing where you wander into a room and then ask…why did I come in here? What’s that?…..Oh I see…This is where I work.

SOBER OCTOBER.

I’ve been trying though…I’ve just done the whole Sober October thing. And I’ll try to keep going on into Just say no November. I’ll probably relapse during the festive period. That will be can’t remember December. Jacked up January. Fucked for February…in a morgue by March.

Thing is I don’t really trust people that don’t drink. Hitler didn’t drink. Apparently one pint and he turned into a right bastard.

SCARY STORY.

You’re always learning about yourself. I recently discovered I’m still afraid of the dark. I did a gig in December and got of as train in the countryside in the evening and it was already dark. My Google maps said I can either pay 10 pounds in a taxi to get me to the gig…or…there’s a 15 minute shortcut across the moors. That’s the actual words it used…across the moors. Everybody knows you shouldn’t cross the moor. That’s where the werewolf lives!

But I thought to hell with it. I’m saving a tenner. 10 minutes in I was shitting myself. It was pitch dark and I hear a coughing noise coming from a field. That’s a sheep I told myself…they’re notorious for their tickly throats…it’s all that wool.

A few minutes later things got worse. I went into a valley and came to a tunnel. It was too late to turn back now. So I was edging my way through pitch darkness in this tunnel. By now I’ve got a small pair of scissors that I use to trim my beard held out in front of me. Had anybody just stepped out of the darkness and said good evening…fuck it…they were getting stabbed in the throat.

And then I realised…This is how friendly fire happens. I’m in the country and I’m terrified of a sneezy sheep.  Imagine if you were at war. If you were spread out. What’s that noise. Who goes there? No answer. fuck it I’d fire. And that’s when it happens. Shit that was one of us.

Well, it happens all the time this is a war after all. Never mind I’ll make the phone call…hello…have you heard about Brian?

Just what is so remarkable about Mr David Bowie?

I wrote this a couple of months before our beloved hero passed away. Thought is was worth another visit and have updated a wee bit….

 

I’m what’s known as a Bowiephile. It’s a term used to describe a fanatical David Bowie fan. I once read that the only fans that match the dedication of Bowie fans are the followers of Elvis. I think I agree with that. The first blog I was going to write about the Great Dame David, The Grand Poobah of alternative rock, soul, electronic, folk, dance, disco…etc…etc…etc was going to be about my journey as a fan. But then a more fun idea came to me. There is no way everyone will agree with the points raised here. Not all of it is meant to be taken seriously. Listen to me, don’t listen to me. Talk to me, don’t talk to me. Dance with me, don’t dance with me. No. …err…Beep Beep!

  1. He invented the Mullet.

OK maybe not the greatest of claims. It is possibly the most derided haircut in history. But here’s the point, not only was he the visionary of this two haircuts for the price of one style…he’s the only person in history that it actually suited. Not only that, but after a series of failed attempts at stardom, once he did change the hair fame came like a juggernaut. Which makes that particular haircut probably the most successful in Rock and Roll history.  Others have tried and failed miserably. See Bono, most of the planet in the 1980s.

Bowie.

Awesome Mullet.

Bono

Bad/smug mullet

MULLET2

sports mullet.

mullet 3

Only Ziggy can save him now…

  1. He wrote, co-wrote and produced co-produced 4 of the most influential albums of all time IN ONE YEAR!

1977 is a big year in modern music history. While punk was shaking the rock establishment tree and finishing off the hippies Bowie managed to sidestep the whole commotion by retreating to Berlin and putting in a fairly decent effort to get off the fame juggernaut that had now ploughed into a snow drift sized pile of cocaine.

I’m cheating slightly with this. I think the creative period that these four albums were put together took place over 14 months. But why get pedantic when you realise what albums they were. Low, Heroes for himself and Iggy Pops The Idiot and Lust for Life.

Let’s just list some of the songs from those sessions…Sound and Vision, Be My Wife, Heroes, Sons of the Silent Age, China Girl, Lust For Life,  The Passenger, Night Clubbing…Several of these have went on to iconic status.

Heroes is remarkable in that not only being one of his greatest anthems but when he does it live at times he’s improved on the original recording. I’ve posted such an example below.

Interesting fact. The brilliant riff on Lust for Life is often credited to being lifted from The Supremes You Can’t Hurry Love. And drummer Hunt Sales does seem to get some inspiration from this. However the real inspiration came from the Armed Forces Network, station ident (They both watched this lot in Germany. In particular Starsky and Hutch) which was a radio conning tower (like the old RKO logo) giving off a staccato signal: BEE.P-beep-beep, BEEP-BEEP-be-BEEP. One night, watching TV with Pop in his apartment, Bowie took his son Duncan’s ukulele and played the AFN riff on it. The two started building up a song. “Call this one ‘Lust for Life’,” Bowie said.

  1. He has continuously left potential big hits on his albums unreleased as singles.

As we well know when Bowie is on form he not only creates phenomenal albums he’s also an extremely adept hit writer. In fact so good is he at writing such hits that often throughout his career including right up to the present day he doesn’t even bother releasing them. It’s been said he does so for the simple savvy marketing device of getting folk to invest in the LP. It’s also been said to drive record company bosses to distraction. I’ve put a list of songs I believe could have been hits. No way anyone will agree. But I’ve also posted a couple to help prove my point.

Wild Eyed Boy From Free Cloud, The Man Who Sold The World, Oh You Pretty Things, Queen Bitch, 5 Years,  Lady Stardust, Cracked Actor, Rock and Roll With Me, Word on a Wing, Always Crashing In The Same Car, Sons of The Silent Age, The Secret Life of Arabia, Fantastic Voyage, Bus Stop (Tin Machine) , No Control, Survive, Everyone Says Hi, A Better Future, Fall Dog Bombs The Moon, The Next Day (Ok the last one had a video made but was only released as a limited edition white vinyl. And it’s from his latest albums and is one of his best efforts ever!)

OR THIS FROM BLACK STAR…

  1. He’s quite the collaborator.

Not just a great solo artist but he’s knocked out some formidable collaborations. From producing Iggy to Lou Reeds Iconic Transformer LP. Sits down with John Lennon for 5 minutes and knocks out his first American number 1 in the shape of the song Fame. Does a Christmas song with BING CROSBY. No way should it work…but it does (Incidentally a lot of people believe the Peace On Earth part of the song to be based on a traditional arrangement. It’s not, it was written especially for the track.) Get’s together with Queen and knocks out one of the best songs either of them ever made, which is not bad considering their respective back catalogues. Actually gave us all a not bad laugh with Mick Jagger by sending themselves up. All the Eno stuff. Has also appeared alongside Arcade Fire, Marc Bollan, Goldie, Mott The Hoople, Lulu, Adrien Belew, Tina Turner, Placebo and err…Scarlett Johansson.

  1. He’s from outer space AND the future.

Space Oddity is now over 45 years old and it still sounds like it could have been recorded next week. From its twin vocal approach to the human condition capturing words of “Planet earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.” Which is as relevant today as it was in yesteryear. And your heart still soars at the “Tell my wife I love her very much…SHE KNOWS” bit every time.

Not only were we introduced to him as a man from outer space, his first band proper were from Mars and he was a man who fell to earth.

All that aside he is a major fan of science fiction which has gone on to influence his son Duncan Jones being one of the hottest new sci-fi/fantasy film directors currently in Hollywood.

Even in his later less innovative years he was the first artist ever to release a song only available on digital download. At the time they said it would never catch on. If I was him I’d be after a percentage from I-Tunes.

But the surprise biggie was his last album The Next Day (still got one eye on tomorrow.) It was as fresh and as relevant as anything from his golden era. It also got him his mystique back which is pretty impressive after 50 odd years at the game.

He has a new single Blackstar out on November the 20th and an album of the same name will be released on his birthday in January. For the first time in a quite a while that’s a really exciting prospect.

Despite pressure from the LGBT Chilcot Inquiry refuses to come out.

DISSENT.

Despite many attempts by both the media, pressure groups and the LGBT the Chilcot Inquiry still refuses to be “out” in the public domain.
In a statement it was remarked, “I will never be publicly “out”. “The relevance of whether I come out or not isn’t really in the public interest.” “If I do choose to come out you can guarantee blame will spread wider than Tony Blairs inner circle.”
The final remark is thought to be innuendos.
When Tony Blair himself was approached in regard to Chilcot coming out he remarked, “I don’t think people are really that interested. Chilcot is an open secret anyway. Can’t we just leave it at that and let sleeping piles of bodies lie. And when I say lie I’m obviously telling the truth. I can only go one way. I’ve not got a reverse gear…matron.”
Again the final sentence is thought to be…

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Comedy Outlaws No. 4. Jerry Sadowitz…Comedian, magician and psychopath.

Jerry Sadowitz…Comedian, magician and psychopath.

It may have come to your attention that all the comedians afore mentioned in this article have sadly now passed on to the great comedy gig in the sky. Is this a reflection on our current wave of safer more TV friendly jokesters? I’ll let you decide. Thankfully the final master of the macabre monologue in this article is still very much with us and continuing to thrill comedy connoisseurs throughout the lands of the scandalous and scatological.

Jerry Sadowitz is a man who is to be saluted by any aspiring bedroom comedy agitators. His comedy, like some of the finest malt whiskies, can be an acquired taste. This Scots Jewish comedian makes Frankie Boyle look like Mary Poppins. Some more sensitive souls may require a sack load of sugar to help Sadowitz’s medicine go down. However, Jerry Sadowitz is probably the greatest practitioner of exposing society’s hypocrisies working today. If you’re willing to leave moral boundaries aside and view the broader picture of what he does then the rewards of his shtick can at times be life affirming.

Jerry was born in New Jersey in 1961. Following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage, his mother returned to her native Scotland. He was brought up in Glasgow and attended Calderwood Lodge Primary then. The fact that he was the only Jew in a catholic area has often been touched on in his routines.

Jerry first came to prominence in the 1980’s alternative comedy boom. However unlike many of his comedy peers of the time he didn’t toe the line of the right on neo lefty politics that were so popular at the time. One of his earlier comedy techniques would be to take a standard, admittedly nasty racist joke and twist it to reveal a “more considered” punch line. His act also features magic. Done both as send up and seriously. He is a master craftsman of the art and considered to be among the best close up card magicians in the world.

Near the start of his comedy career he became famous for once antagonizing a typical audience of socially conscientious trendies by marching on stage and declaring, “Nelson Mandela! What a c**t.” This declaration on the legend of South Africa’s greatest leader came about after fellow comic Nick Revel bet him that he wouldn’t dare say anything derogatory about the great man. But Jerry was more concerned that the statement didn’t have a punch-line. So the next night he walked out and added, “Nelson Mandela! What a cunt. You lend somebody a fiver then you never see them for years.” (At the time Mandela was still in captivity)

In 1992 Jerry came as close to mainstream fame/notoriety with his own BBC show The Pall Bearers Review. Surprisingly a very different BBC as to what we find today pretty much let him off the leash as far as content went. And the show was a pretty strong reflection of what he did on stage. The first episode opened with the gag, “Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Pall Bearers Review. I would like to point out this is a non-racist and non-sexist show…Which is a shame because I know a fucking beauty about Tina Turner.”

Sadly such bon mots were not to the taste of all and the show became one of the most complained about in broadcast history, resulting in it never being repeated.

It should be stressed though that to say Sadowitz’s comedy is out and out nihilism would be incorrect. Yes at times he can be right of Hitler, but his routines can also move left of Karl Marx. He covers a wide spectrum of targets in his comedy and the establishment is always very near the top of his hit list. An aspect of Sadowitz rarely covered reviews of the great man is that most of his shows feature large waves of (at times) unexpected compassion. This particular columnist was lucky enough to catch a bit of that in one of his shows in Dundee on the week 9/11 happened. During a routine where he backhandedly “praised” the people of Dundee for being so moronic they built a statue of Desperate Dan in their town center, which in Jerry’s opinion was still better than the more accepted tradition of building statues to war. He then went on to talk about 9/11 and implored the audience not to advocate carpet bombing and the massacre of civilians as a solution to the situation, as it would achieve nothing and only aggravate the problem …He did however then go on to suggest we should drop human shit on them, “and give them time to think about it.” Maybe we wouldn’t be in our current troubles if we did.

Jerry’s controversial style of humor has also influenced a generation of comedians, or “imitators” as he refers to them. Comedians who now use his style of humor include, Frankie Boyle, Jim Jeffries, Jimmy Carr, Roy Chubby brown and Ricky Gervais. Speaking on his “imitators”, he said that “I’m sorry I’ve given some very nasty people a good living.”

Sadowitz’s on-stage misanthropy certainly doesn’t seem faked. In a recent interview with the Guardian he remarked “My stuff comes from the fact that my life has been miserable. I now don’t believe I have the capacity to be happy. I would settle for peace of mind. I’d give anything for that. But it’s been a completely wasted life. Completely and utterly wasted. Everything just seems to get worse and worse. I can’t see that much great stuff going on in the world, you know? I would rather be happy and have no act. Some would say I’m unhappy and still have no act,” At the end of which he managed a smile.

This writer just recently had a chance to meet with Jerry and he turned out (that day) to be an affable, accommodating, generous and charming man. I hope he does achieve a level of happiness. The world would be a much blander and less hilariously thrilling place without him.

I have no monologues or clips I can advise you watch here to find out more about Jerry’s work. He fiercely monitors and unsolicited examples appearing on the net. So Instead I’ve provided a link to his website, where you can find out his current tour dates. I couldn’t recommend enough to any comedy aficionados getting out there and experiencing his unique and masterly talents first hand.

http://www.jerrysadowitz.com/pages/main.htm