Reading And Writing

by Simon

I’m heading to the Reading Festival next month. I haven’t been for about three years; prior to that I didn’t miss one for over ten years.

But I’ve never paid. Not because I creep in unseen by security. But because my dad is a regular performer at Reading. He’s just been confirmed for this year. Which will make him the performer with the most Reading appearances ever apparently. 12 in all. Which is pretty damn cool. Almost as cool as his film appearances. How about The Spy Who Loved Me? Or Star Wars?

Back in the 70s my dad worked as a film and TV extra. Z-Cars, I Claudius, Stand Up Virgin Soldiers, The Spy Who Loved Me and Star Wars. As a nine year old the last one funnily enough wasn’t the most impressive at the time. It’s easy to forget that Star Wars wasn’t part of history back in 1977. It was some weird space adventure. I loved that kind of thing as a kid, but my dad just thought it was something a bit silly. James Bond, on the other hand….

But a year or two later and Star Wars was everything, the beginning and the end. My wife is a different generation. She really didn’t get how big Star Wars was. Until she saw me and some of our friends making lightsabre noises, and quoting dialogue like some strange cult.

My dad never stayed in film and TV; it was purely a job. His ‘career’ if you like, has been on stage. First as a magician, then later and for the last twenty or so years as a hypnotist. If you’ve ever read Danny Wallace’s book ‘Yes Man’ then you’ll know who my dad is!

The tune for today is by Black Grape who were probably the best act at Reading I’ve ever seen. They were just superb. Given Shaun Ryder and Bez’s history the last thing you’d expect was one of the tightest funkiest bands I’ve had the pleasure to dance to.

And, if you’re going to Reading this year head for the comedy tent on the Saturday and look out for the mysterious man with the magic black dog. That’s my dad that is….

Black Grape – In The Name Of The Father