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BEEN THERE DONE THAT


"My credit cards are still warm in my hands. Debt is a WONDERFUL thing."

by Bertie Marshall

COPYRIGHT © 2003, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

JET LAG,CODIENE AND CREDIT CARDS

Jet lag hysteria leading around around Cambridge Circus (London) spinning from 9 days in NYC over the New Year. At a cash machine, a young bloke asked me if I had a spare 50 quid. He looked familar, it turned out he had a younger brother. The machine spat out 20 quid which I gave to 'Mikhail'. He lit up and told me his story. From Grozny, Chechnya via Berlin smuggled into the U.K. with his younger brother 'Jason'. "Everyone has not only a story, but also a scream" (Rachel Roberts, actress). Mikhail showed me a bullet wound on his calf, another skim on his bicep, rolled up his sleeves to show me he had no "track marks". It's not my business what he does with the money, I thought. Mikhail's telling me more of his story, my mobile phone goes off -- it's Sioux calling from France to tell me, that while taking a break recording the new http://www.thecreatures.com/ Creatures CD she was watching a film on TV and saw me in a party scene!

Yep, I recall standing with a blonde girl called Pete in a party scene filmed in Cricklewood back in 1979, the film Nighthawks: Sylvester Stallone's first directorial debut about terrorists. I vaguely recollect the studios, Sylvester wandering about muttering, him being about 5ft tall and 5ft wide. We had to mime party chit chat?

"Budgie didn't believe it was you!" Sioux squeaked. I'm standing chatting to Sioux, smiling at Mikhail, wondering if he's a Siouxsie fan. My head exploded...

New York was all snow, bookshops, taking three days to score 40 Percocet (painkillers) going out to Brooklyn to see Mike Diana, put him in a blond wig, and black satin party dress, hide him in closet and interrogate him "Have you now or have you ever been a FAG?" Poor Mike, sqashed in his gloomy closet amid suitcases and jockstraps, fucked up on the 2 Percocets and three Xanax and whiff of pot. I was'nt sure this was working at the time. Viewing the tape back several weeks later, it makes me giggle!

A one-day delay in getting back to the U.K.: O, the horror! Put next to a pretty young English public school boy named Will, my travelling companion, back to snow-jammed Blighty.

Will and I said goodbye at the baggage terminal. "Perhaps we'll meet again?" he said, a young James Fox, Michael York, Jon Voight, John Philip Law (Angel in Barbarella).

And I'm going back to NYC in a few days for a few days. My credit cards are still warm in my hands.

Debt is a WONDERFUL thing.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bertie Marshall 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.











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