Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Wasn't Making It Up. He really did come.

Bill Drummond phoned me up yesterday afternoon at about 4.30pm

'hello, is that Simon'
'It's Bill. Bill Drummond. I'm doing a talk at your shop tonight'
'I know you are...'
'can you give me your address, i'm just about to set off'

so after some clear directions and car parking advice, I put the phone down, realising i'd just chatted to Bill Drummond. He sounded like a nice chap, but it seemed he was arriving at the shop an hour and a half earlier than I'd thought.
It looked a right mess and (as it was Tim's day off) I was all by myself for another 45 minutes. After sweeping lots of books under the preverbial carpet, a tatty green landrover parks outside the shop. Out lollops a very tall, tatty man. It was clearly Bill, and we shook hands. After tea was turned down, he offered to sign some extras for the shop, and asked some questions about the shop. He's apparently looked at the blog and seems to appreciate what we're trying to do here in N22.
He IS a nice chap, I thought to myself, and intense, and slightly shy, and obviously very intelligent. He hung around for a while, but knowing he was 90 minutes early, he decided to head off into Wood Green for some food and stuff, and also to meet some chums.

'see you later, mate' I said as he lolloped off, and then cringed at myself. He's not my mate is he...I really ought to stop saying that. That and the word basically, which I tend to use far to much at the moment.

Anyway, at about 6 the first of the audience arrived (by now Tim had arrived and we'd changed the shop into it's evening attire) and I revelled in my role as doorman.

'Name?'...'lovely, in you go'

'you haven't bought a ticket? Well, you're going to have to wait outside, and we'll see if we can fit you in' (I wasn't very good at this bit.

everyone who turned up got in, and by the time Mr D came back, the shop was filling up with some very excited people. By 7pm, the place was packed and it was standing room only at the back.

Bill preferred to just come out of the back room without any fanfare, and this is what he did. No introduction.

'Hello, I'm Bill Drummond, and i'm here to talk about my new book....'

He was fascinating, and it was clear to me that there was nothing fake about him. He was passionate about latest project/book 17, (signed copies available at the shop at just £12.99), and spoke for 45 minutes about how he'd reached his conclusions about the state of music today. There's a very good write up of what Bill was saying at the Marmite Lover blog, which is, I have to say, a rather good blog.

He answered a few questions and was happy to sign everyone's books. I suspect that everyone had a rather lovely time all in all. I did.

Here's some more pictures of the evening. All the good photographs are courtesy of Mark Farley

Lovely queue

Bill in Action

Happy Bill

He headed off , but not before he asked how the shop was going, and what events we had lined up. He seemed to like the idea of the Burlesque/erotica evening we're having next Thursday (which I strongly suggest you come along to), and wished us lots of luck in the future.
Bless you Bill.

Right Haruki, when the bloody hell are you coming to see us....I'm waiting.


martin said...

I was walking past WH Smith on Tuesday evening, and a confused looking man asked 'is there a Waterstones around here?'
'No, it closed a while ago. There is another bookshop down the road though. they might still be open, but the've got an event on this evening..'
'Ah, that's the one I'm looking for!'

I hope he found you ok :) said...

Great event thank you.
And thanks for the link!

I'll be back...

I did have a funny conversation that night. I recognized this guy and asked him: "I think I know you from somewhere?"
"Prince of Wales pub quiz" he stated firmly.
"Oh yes. Do you recognize me?" I said.
"No" he replied.
"Then how did you know it was the Prince of Wales pub quiz? Is that the only place you ever go out to? Apart from tonight?" I queried.

Flaming Nora said...

I'm glad to hear BD is as nice as he seems. I bought his book "45" from your shop which I've just read on my jollies and it was a fantastic read, can't recommend it highly enough. Guess I'll have to come back now for "17". Maybe you could have a Bill Drummond bingo night?