(How glue and motorbikes paved the way…
Fly-posting and websites for the music industry)
Good old bad old days (As way of an introduction)
Mustafa was fly posting in Westminster and got caught red handed by this posh bloke in a suit… “What the hell do you think you are doing?” said the posh bloke. “Fuck off, whats’ it got to do with you?” replied Mustafa. “I am the Head of Westminster Council” said the posh bloke. “Ah”. Mustafa paused. “You better talk to my lawyer then. Here’s his number” Mustafa said with a devilish grin. The posh bloke is blubbering. “Now get lost I’m busy” ended Mustafa.
There I was, minding my own business, Diabolical – Mornington Crescent. About 3, just after lunch. Mustafa arrives [all in leather]. In those days, the guys who did the fly posters were Gods and paid all our wages so we did whatever they said. “You will do“ Mustafa said “come with me”. “What, I am at work and its only 3 o’clock” I said. “Just shut the fuck up and come with me” Mustafa replied.
I follow him downstairs to a white van and reluctantly get in. “Put this on” he said (handing me a blue boiler suit).
We then drive to a prime 96 sheet, all silver frame and everything, top of Goodge St, Warren St, somewhere really major. Park on double yellow lines. Nonchalant. “Just stay here and takes pictures. And keep your stupid mouth shut” Mustafa warned me. Mustafa then crosses the road and puts his ladder against this fucking massive 96 sheet and spray cans over at least a 20 minute period (cops going by, Nuns, everything) “AMERICAN AIRLINES DROP BOMBS” Mustafa then gets off his ladder, crosses the road back to me. We both look at his work. “Hang on a minute” said Mustafa. Crosses the road again. Gets on his ladder and spray cans “FUCKERS”. We then nonchalantly drive back to Mornington Crescent where I am left dazed and confused saying to myself…“I didn’t sign up for this shit”
No smoking Marijuana in the office till after six
So. Still somewhat dazed after my little jolly with Mustafa in town. I get back in the office to this rather stern email from Marie to all diabolical office workers… “No smoking Marijuana in the office till after six”. Its now 4.35. Ross takes a big drag and passes it to me. “I didn’t get that email did you?” Ross mentioned through a cloud of smoke. “What email?” I replied. “Exactly” Said Ross….”Lets go to the pub its only next door” “Ok” I said (My God I am so easily led!) A few hours Later…………. “Oh shit” said Ross, “We have to update Video-C – Europe’s biggest music website”
Its now 6.30pm. “oh my God” replied Garry. We quickly rush back to the office, fight our way through Josie and her stupid mops. “What is it” Garry asked in panic. “Its a computer I think” Ross said somewhat unsurely. “How do you turn it on” Garry screamed. “I dunno, I dunno, calm the fuck down” Ross howled. 9pm we get an email from Apple in San Francisco. Its from Jill Harwell, Head of iTunes, Independent labels Europe: “Thanks again for the great content. You boys ROCK” Because we “ROCKED” Apple said “Come to Los Angeles”. “We are having a five day Jolly at the Beverly Hills Hilton. We will give you a free ticket, you can meet all the doods and we can do a deal around the pool in our sun glasses?” Apple said.
Ross was senior to Garry and declared… “Unless I get a limmo filled with hookers and coke at the airport, I’m not going” “Your not going” said Tim. “I’ll go” churped up Garry. A week later, Emma C intercepts a fax from Beverly Hills confirming the new boys’ hotel booking. “What the fuck is going on here?” Emma C enquired. I obviously sent a really, really conciliatory email around the office explaining why is was a great idea.
THE KID *
So I turn up there, LA, Beverly Hills Hilton. Bare in mind this is an Apple conference, and why am I the only one with a fucking Toshiba PC. Had to have a name badge as well with company details: Garry Rigby, Diabolical Liberties. Here we go! Then I meet the Kid. Can’t have been more than 10… He is the head of Virgin’s new media. And he has a suite at the Hilton which means you get a limousine; everywhere. “Lets stick with him” Garry said to his new friends; I think there were about six of us at this time. “Hi guys. Where you wanna go?” said the friendly limmo driver. “Uh, um, phew, blimey, ah…” “The most expensive restaurant in LA” said the kid. “Ok” said the friendly limmo driver.
10 minutes later… “Where’s the wine list?” Garry asked the sixteen hovering waiters. “Its in front of you Sir” they all responded in unison. The kid looks up over his enormous menu and asks me to choose the wine. Chateau Talbot 72. A mere $800. “Really” Said the kid…“Get two” (We love this kid even though he’s fucking nuts) I also get 3 chateauneuf du pape, blanc just in case. “What would you like?” enquired the French maître d’ “Everything” said the kid. “When would Sir like that” asked the maître d’ “Yesterday” we all shouted. “Certainly” he said (Fucking great service; no kidding). 5000 dollars later the kid says “I’ll get this” .
Of course you fucking will we thought to ourselves. “I’ll put it on Dickie Pickles’ credit card” smiled the kid. (Dickie Pickles = Richard Branson; remember the kid is head of Virgin new media). Stumble out of the restaurant. “Oh fucking hell he’s still here” said the kid (the limmo driver that is) “Get in, get in and mind your language” replied Garry. “We want some dope” someone said. “I haven’t any myself, but I can take you somewhere” the limmo driver suggested helpfully. “Cool, lets go, go, go. Where’s the ice?” “There” said the limmo driver. “Great” we all said. The limousine pulls up Venice beach about 5ish. “Right, what happens now; and where’s my drink? Garry asked with some concern. “Don’t worry guys” said the limmo driver reassuringly. “They will find us”. “Got any dope?” garry asked this dood. “Yes. Loads.” said the dood. “Do you take visa?” asked the kid. The limmo driver interceeds… “I do” he said. “Heres 200 bucks… I will add it to Dickies’ tab” You couldn’t make this shit up; Just the most incredible service.
The following day Richard Branson gets a truly huge fuck off bill. Meanwhile. Garry is sat around the pool, The Beverly Hills Hilton, LA, in shades with a seriously chilled beer about to cut the deal with our friendly Apple rep. Garry pauses and calls over the waiter. “What the hell is he doing here”? (pointing at Barry Manalow) “I thought this was a class joint”?
“Don’t worry Sir, he has promised not to sing!” the waiter says. A huge sigh goes around the whole pool. (Manalow is actually orange – weird) Garry shakes on the deal with Apple, walks out the front door (desperately trying to avoid that crazy kid and the limmo) and gets a light from David Lynch for his cigarette. Garry, trying to be clever and feeling pretty tall after the Apple shake enquires of David his thoughts regarding online film distribution. Starched white collar. Top button securely fastened… “Beat it kiddo” said David Lynch *