Thursday, 22 March 2012

Who put the bermp?

An old article of mine, entitled Who Put The Bomp?, has just been published in French. Hence the silly approximation of a Clouseau accent in the heading above.

It’s in a Parisian magazine, Feuilleton — a quarterly, I think, and something like McSweeney’s. This issue, Spring 2012, also includes, among many other things, a piece by Murakami Huraki, with illustrations by Robert Crumb.

It’s one of the best-looking wordy magazines I’ve ever seen. The design for my article/essay, which stretches over eighteen pages, is just gorgeous. The piece appeared twice before in English (The Observer and Mojo magazine) but it’s never looked this good.

Nor has it previously been graced by footnotes — eg explaining that a Geordie is ‘Surnom donné aux habitants de Newcastle’. Nor, dipping into false modesty, have I ever been flattered by a biographical note describing me as a ‘figure parmi les grands noms du journalisme rock anglais’.

So what is the piece about? It’s an attempt to answer the question in the title — which was posed in a minor 1960s pop hit written and sung by Barry Mann. He was the husband half of the Mann-Greenwich partnership — writers of You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling etc etc etc etc etc (plus a few more et ceteras).

My answer runs to about seven thousand words and takes in not just Geordies but Manchester City fans, Baltimore, the building at the junction of Gloucester Avenue and Regent’s Park Rd, Elvis Presley and the early 16th version of spaghetti al burro e formaggio.

How did I make these links? You’ll have to read the piece. You’ll find the magazine here. It’s 15 euros.

Don’t read French and want to read it? Well, you could find an old copy of Mojo/The Observer. Or you could wait till I finish the book I’m working on (hard) and read a new version of it there.

How did I come to think of such a mad topic and write such a mad-sounding piece? Ah, you’ll have to wait for the book to find that out, too

Next My Springtime for Hitler moment.

1 comment:

Lo Jardinier said...

Félicitations sur la parution de ton article! Je viens de le lire encore une fois, et il me semble que ta pièce est un genre de libre association qui nous mène – pas de surprise – très vite à la ‘rumpy pumpy’. C’est d’ailleurs pleine d’aperçus bien intéressants.