Blimey, what a strange way to spend a Sunday evening. There was me looking forward to watching Songs of Praise and maybe reading a few of the scriptures before retiring to bed with a cup of cocoa and Sir Harry Secombe on my Ipod, when I got invited to spill my guts on Celtic Music Radio by old friend Ralph ‘Fluff’ Kelly.
‘But why me?’ I protested feebly. ‘No-one is remotely interested in anything I have to say.’
‘On the contrary, Al,’ Ralph countered. ‘All those colourful anecdotes relating to your highly respected musical career, not to mention your huge contribution to the literary world. How can people fail to be enthralled? And don't you worry, I'll say nothing to embarrass you.’
So I accepted. And what was the first thing Ralph brought up live on air? My getting sacked as lead guitarist of the reformed Bay City Rollers after only two days. Then came the Polish chart-rigging scandal of ’85, followed by insults about my bald patch. A lesser man would have crumbled as the skeletons tumbled out the closet. But I steadied the ship, got the interview back on course and made sure Lol Robinson & Hazey Jane II got a decent airing (5 songs), as well as the title track from the Candy Séance Cd ‘Through a Whisky Glass Darkly’ (and before you ask, Candy Séance is not my dead porn star name, no siree).
I followed these successes with a brief summary of my much admired novels, played up my comedy sketch career to make it sound like I was a modern day Woody Allen - and then proceeded to fulfil a lifetime ambition (I always wanted to present Jackanory) by reading out a piece flash fiction called ‘The Ladies Trepanning Society’. I was just about to give a quick demonstration of 'Cooking on Radio' (Beef Bourguignon with Pommes Frites and Honey Glazed Artichokes) when the producer called time and I got bundled out the building by a menacing security guard with a big dog and told never to return.
Many thanks to Ralph 'Fluff' Kelly for a most pleasant evening and I'd like to say sorry about the small fire I caused in the mixing desk (how was I to know you're not meant to place a flare gun on top of electrical equipment?).