Friday, February 20, 2009

Selective Amnesia

Lower the flag to half-mast, play sonorous music on BBC Radio Merseyside, allow Phil Redmond to organise the commemorations & make sure those bloody cormorants atop the Liver Building are well & truly tied down as a city mourns its loss.
Joe Riley is stepping down as the Oldham Echo's Arts Editor ( ).
But before he doffs his cap for a final time, let's accompany Joe as he takes a trip down Memory Lane. Pull up a seat alongside Joe's rocking-chair as we listen in on his recollections:
"The pianist Arthur Rubenstein, then 92, greeting me and saying: 'You are shaking the hand that shook the hand of Brahms."....
"Interviewing Rudolph Nureyev as he gnawed on a chicken leg in the foyer of the Empire."....
"Interviewing Bob Dylan."....
"Going out on the town with George Melly."....
And there we leave Joe to witter on amiably to himself. Don't fret too much, however, Joe will continue to pen his Thursday colum in the Echo ( ).
Hang on, Joe, isn't there one particular moment you've forgotten to mention? Come on, you must recall it, surely? I'll jog your memory, it was the time you fell asleep during a Jimmy McGovern play at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. You were suspended by the Echo for a few days afterwards.
Tony Parrish, on his sublime Liverpool SubCulture blog, explained at the time, October, 2007, just to be pedantic ( ): "Joe Riley fell asleep during the premiere of Jimmy McGovern's extremely disappointing play, King Cotton, at the Liverpool Empire.
"While other bored members of the audience were walking out of the Empire half-way through to do something infinitely more interesting like catch a bus, or count the pigeons, Joe had forty winks. He had been on duty, apparently, since 7 am that morning when he had also been at the launch of some obscure Culture Company event.
"However, Mr McGovern (who we had previously admired, eds) was sitting a few seats away from the Echo scribe and took umbrage at him dozing off.
"Precise accounts vary but there then followed an unseemly and noisy confrontation at half-time at the bar at the Empire with McGovern tearing into Riley with a four-letter tirade."
Remember it now, Joe? Ah, good. Too late for your valedictory piece, of course, but don't worry, you can include it in your column next Thursday. Can't you?


Guillaume said...

I am a big fan of Jimmy McGovern, but, shame on me, I only know him from the Cracker series.

Professor Y. Chucklebutty said...

Shame on you for mentioning that incident. I have said it before and I'll say it again.

Old King Cotton
Is best forgotten
The music's awful
and the script is rotten

But old Joe Riley, he just keeps dozing along.