BEEN THERE DONE THAT
"Yoko didn't sleep that night confessing to Murray that she'd has such a good time getting sweaty with the fags. She asked Murray who we were, Me, Six, and James from The Horse Hospital gallery. There's nothing more thrilling, than to be thought of by Yoko Ono… Imagine."
by Bertie Marshall
COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
"Have you sunk into so deep a stupor, that you're only happy in your unhappiness? If that's the case, let us fly to countries that are counterfeits of death'' - Baudelaire.
One day leads to another, out of bed at 12.34pm, window open, blinds up, door opened, wedged that way -- make a cup of P.G Tips tea with organic milk and one sweetener. Put on a cd (today I Love Life by Pulp), I can't bare the silence of a room, I need a constant soundtrack. I think about how much money I don't have and how I'm going to get some.
Send a txt message to someone, communication first thing's important, drink the tea.
Take a shower: whilst in there think about what I'm going to wear… kahki pants, bottle-green T-shirt, a good copy of the Westwood one (Prick Up Your Ears, a mass queer punk orgy), navy blue windcheater jacket that I bought for $19.99 in NYC recently, and a smart grey cashmere top coat from Saville Row. A bag containing, a moleskine notebook, pen, address book, codeine pills ("It is necessary to go through life a little blunted, a little cloaked, how else to bear even a single day," Jeanette Winterson), a tin of vaseline (for chapped lips -- on my face!)...current book I'm reading, The Conclave by Michael Bracewell.
"In constant pursuit of what is not there, but elsewhere'' -- Me.
2nd April 2003:
Met Yoko Ono, very briefly. In terms of minutes, maybe 4.
In a gay bunker type night club after she'd done a p.a. to promote a Pet Shop remix of her classic track "Walking on Thin Ice". The meeting was arranged by my friend, her P.R. in Europe, the wonderful Murray Chalmers.
You couldn't hear or see Yoko on stage, but it didn't seem to matter, her presence emanated about the room.
After her appearance. Crammed into a room with 3 burly security guards taking up all the room and air. Yoko, sat with her assistant Robin, a tall charming young American in a light tête-à-tête, various celebs and club people buzzing about the cell, ignoring what was going on. The clog of mascara, smear of lippy and no mirrors.
I was introduced to Yoko, her friendly beedy eyes hidden behind huge dark glasses or 'BINS' (glasses the size of dustbin lids). I was rehearsing in my head what to say. Suddenly we stood together and she was completely there -- present!
I told her that in 1973, when I was thirteen, I bought her record Approximately Infinte Universe, the first LP I ever bought. She seemed amused/pleased. I told her I was too young to understand the feminist manifesto printed on the back cover: Yoko shrugged her shoulders. The song "Catman" I told her I loved: Yoko squealed in delight and recognition. "Oh yes 'Catman', I like that one too'' then I proffered "Pete The Dealer" telling her I loved the name Pete. She giggled.
"Thanks for being out there, Yoko'," I said.
"Well it's all about communication, you know, about communication," said the 70-year-old sage of the avant garde, my heroine.
I felt totally inspired by the meeting, like I had momentarily leaked into another reality, closer to dream, circle of legend, circle of glamour. A photo taken by friend SIX to seal the moment.
Yoko didn't sleep that night confessing to Murray that she'd has such a good time getting sweaty with the fags. She asked Murray who we were, Me, Six, and James from The Horse Hospital gallery. There's nothing more thrilling, than to be thought of by Yoko Ono… Imagine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
was born in 1960, grew up in Catford, South London, dropped out of school to follow the Sex Pistols in 1976, and became part of the legendary Bromley Contingent. His first novel, Psychoboys
was published in 1997. For more info read our interview with Bertie
and visit his website