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Saturday, November 10, 2007

birthdays

Just did the Second Life press conference. Just before it started the nice lady from Warners excused herself to give my privacy to be interviewed. "Before you go," I said, very aware that whatever can go wrong on these things will always go very wrong, "give the dial-in info, in case I get cut off."

Because whatever can go wrong will on these things, Roger Avary, half-way across London, was the one who got cut off, without the call in number, and I was the one who wound up talk-talk-talking to make up for it.

Other than that, a nice birthday so far. Lots of interviews, and then, as I had a couple of hours down time, I had tea with my friend Derren Brown for the first time since this post, which was astonishingly pleasant (and we were surprised to discover that we both went to the same school).


norman mailer has died.

thoughts?

or no thoughts?

Just a bit saddened. I had a lovely dinner with Norman and Norris back in about 1990, at the house of Martha and John Thomases. Norman was ferociously smart, and surprised me at one point when he went off on a rant about the English and quinine and tonic water by interrupting himself when he realised I was English and being desperately keen to make sure I hadn't taken offense -- the opposite of the pugnacious image he'd acquired. I liked Harlot's Ghost and Ancient Evenings, wasn't a huge fan of a the early books that got him his reputation, and owed an enormous amount of why-Sandman-was-taken-seriously-in-the-early-years to Norman's quote on the cover of Season of Mists, for which I shall be forever grateful.

(Edit to add -- Martha talks about it at http://www.comicmix.com/news/2007/11/10/norman-mailer-neil-gaiman-fanboy/)

Ok, I have to ask - why did you decline to interview Nico? I'm a sorta fan of VU, and I think I'd be as interested in talking to her as I would be in talking to Lou Reed (who I think is one of the most interesting figures in modern music.) And I'd think that at that point you'd not really be in a position to decline an interview without a pretty good reason... So SPILL good sir!

Because at that point -- 1984ish -- she was a drug burnout who couldn't manage more than a sentence, and wasn't actually interviewable. And after she had wandered off into the crowd her manager looked at me and said "You aren't going to interview her then, are you?" and I said, "I'm afraid not". There's a great book called THE END aka SONGS THEY NEVER PLAY ON THE RADIO (I think) by (if memory serves) James Young about Nico at that time.

(See http://www.james-young.com/nico.html)

....

Later. Mr Gaiman has drunk too much champagne to continue this blog entry.

& so to bed.

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