apolla: (Lynott)

So, you might have (but probably haven't) noticed how quiet I've been on a certain tall dark handsome subject lately. It's not that I'm bored with Thin Lizzy (as if) or haven't been listening to them (please), it's just that I've been sick and unable or unwilling to dick about on the computer repeating myself as I usually do.

That ends here. So, last week when I was dying of an ear infection (so it turned out I was being dramatic), I bought Solo in Soho, the first Philip Lynott solo record. This wouldn't really be notable, except that I do already own it on CD and bought the vinyl. Given the means, I could become such a vinyl junkie- I was narrowly outbid for a Philip/Gary Moore picture disc, too. And no, I can't justify spending twenty-five quid on a record, so yes, I was outbid.

Anyway, that's not why I'm here. The final filmed live performance by Thin Lizzy was in Dublin in 1983, and has just been released on DVD. And yes, I bought it and I'm watching it.

This is the bit where I yammer on about how Philip looks overweight, tired and otherwise not his 'usual' self. This is the bit where I yammer on about how they're just loud heavy metal boys by 1983. This is the bit where I suggest that Scott Gorham lost some of his powers a la Samson when he cut most of his hair off and started taking drugs (again). This is the bit where I point out that John Sykes may in fact, be my least favourite Lizzy guitarist (brief guys like Midge Ure and Dave Flett don't count) even beneath Gary Moore, who winds me up for reasons passing understanding.

It hasn't escaped my attention that the picture of Philip plastered on the front of the DVD is decidedly not from 1983. I'd date it from about 1976 given the size of his afro, the slenderness of his face and the clothes he's wearing. All in all, it's not the same-looking feller as who turns up on the disc.

And yes, in my opinion, they start off pretty blah. I don't like Thunder & Lightning much and likely never will. It's not like Renegade, which needed to grow on me. It's much more like Shades of a Blue Orphanage, which has a couple of songs so great that it saves the rest of the otherwise mediocre output (Thin Lizzy were never bad, but they occasionally skirted mediocrity)... and I don't like the title song Thunder & Lightning. It's blah. It's almost interchangeable, in my opinion, with most heavy metal released at the time, and from any other band this would be OK... but not from a band like Thin Lizzy, who were so un-metal a lot of the time to actually defy their own genre. I know some people think Thunder & Lightning was a great renaissance, but most of these are the metalheads who didn't like Snowy White (great guitarist, stage presence of a junior accountant) and so dismissed the likes of Renegade. I'm generalising, but who gives a fuck?

Oh also, the DVD opens with a few bits of 'interview' with guitarists Brian Robertson and Eric Bell, Dave Ling (journalist apparently), George Best (presumably from before he died, but who can tell?), Nick Tauber (producer), artist Jim Fitzpatrick, and his pals Brush Shiels and Smiley Bolger.

The idiotic voiceover says the following concert was a 'triumphant homecoming', but how can it be when they're a shadow of their former selves, the band was over within six months and Philip died within a couple of years.

"He was just born a star, really," said Robbo in his moment here.... and yes, Philip was. It's the star quality that keeps this concert from being on a par with the Not-Doors. It's still Thin Lizzy after all, even if they're not quite running at full majestic power. It's still Philip, so to hear that t'ick Dub accent still warms my heart... until he says that Cold Sweat is "for anybody who has the flu". Right. Got To Give It Up is about an addiction to Sherbert Dip, I presume?

Anyway, I was talking about how blah it is. It is... and then Are You Ready? finally kicks them up a gear (always a great live song, that)... and shit... Darren Wharton is wearing the shiniest, brightest red satin shirt you've seen in your fuckin' life! It's practically glowing, for fuck's sake. Other sartorial nonsense: Mr Gorham's white sneakers with an entirely black outfit. Clever, mate. Don't even get me started on his fringe, man.

That's not important. What is important is the way your man Scott is jumping around the stage like a total loon. Now, this is par for the course for about 99% of guitarists, most of whom always feel they gotta compete with the strutting peacock singing, right? No. This is Scott Gorham we're talking about, a man who personifies the laidback California thing, right? Who will stand and look like he's shagging the guitar... but this jumping around stuff would be a shock if I hadn't already seen some of these clips in *cough* bootlegs. John Sykes, with his bleach blond heavy metal perm is no better and they look ludicrous and not cool. Thin Lizzy were always cool.

So I was starting to feel a bit dischuffed... then after Are You Ready? and Cold Sweat came The Sun Goes Down. You know I said there are a couple of songs on Thunder & Lightning that save the record? This is the one. This is a song that sends tears to my eyes, shivers down my spine and aches to my heart. This is a song that has, on more than one occasion, taken hold of my soul and shut everything down but the feeling that this is the most beautiful thing in the world. And the saddest.

The live version, lacking the spit and polish of the studio, remains as musically stupendous, but has a certain poignancy. I know this is the last time they played Dublin, Lizzy's true home. I know himself would be dead soon. It means everything, and with only a microphone, Philip's voice reaches into my chest and starts my suddenly-frozen heart beating again. With a voice like that, Philip's looking less than svelte matters not one fraction of an iota of a nano-thing. And then Scott plays his solo... and it doesn't matter what fuckin shoes he's got on, what his hair is like... this solo is, to me, about pain and harrowing, harrowing suffering. It is about heartbreak, despair and that thing that sends people like me crashing to the depths of depression before we know what's hit us.

The last time I saw this clip, incidentally, I was leaning against the barrier at Vicar Street, Dublin, waiting for the twentieth Vibe For Philo to either start, or for the next guest. Everyone went quiet, and for the first time that evening, I truly felt like crying. I also felt like I wanted to be sick, but that's another story for another time.

"Is there anybody with a little Irish in them? Is there anybody who'd like a little more Irish in them?"

The first time I heard that line, it was Philip on Live and Dangerous, just before Emerald. I've heard that Colin Farrell uses the same line... but to me it sums everything up about Philip- cocky and charming, lecherous and adorable in the way little boys are when they try to be cool. It gets repeated in 1983 (which to a crowd in Dublin seems likely to get a response) and although it lacks a little of the youthful vigour it once had, the song still remains the same, although the solos are too 80s metal twiddly-Halen bollocks as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, Still In Love With You retains its usual ability to break my heart, soul and everything I have, into tiny little fucking pieces. Because yes, to be slightly cheesy, I am still in love with Thin Lizzy and their foolish, grand, broken giant of a singer.

I'm taking too long to explain this, aren't I? If you want to see a band breaking up, watch Let It Be. If you want to see a band dying, this might be for you. It is sad, it is triumphant. It is beautiful and occasionally blah... but it is never boring. To understand Thin Lizzy, I now know, one must hear what they were live. To see it, even in the fragments a DVD can provide, is even better. I can't persuade you all to love my boys... but this stuff would convert you. OK, maybe not this one, but should you be passing through an HMV/Tower/Virgin Megastore/Wherever and you happen to see my boy staring up at you... give it a go, hmm?

apolla: (Lynott)

So, you might have (but probably haven't) noticed how quiet I've been on a certain tall dark handsome subject lately. It's not that I'm bored with Thin Lizzy (as if) or haven't been listening to them (please), it's just that I've been sick and unable or unwilling to dick about on the computer repeating myself as I usually do.

That ends here. So, last week when I was dying of an ear infection (so it turned out I was being dramatic), I bought Solo in Soho, the first Philip Lynott solo record. This wouldn't really be notable, except that I do already own it on CD and bought the vinyl. Given the means, I could become such a vinyl junkie- I was narrowly outbid for a Philip/Gary Moore picture disc, too. And no, I can't justify spending twenty-five quid on a record, so yes, I was outbid.

Anyway, that's not why I'm here. The final filmed live performance by Thin Lizzy was in Dublin in 1983, and has just been released on DVD. And yes, I bought it and I'm watching it.

This is the bit where I yammer on about how Philip looks overweight, tired and otherwise not his 'usual' self. This is the bit where I yammer on about how they're just loud heavy metal boys by 1983. This is the bit where I suggest that Scott Gorham lost some of his powers a la Samson when he cut most of his hair off and started taking drugs (again). This is the bit where I point out that John Sykes may in fact, be my least favourite Lizzy guitarist (brief guys like Midge Ure and Dave Flett don't count) even beneath Gary Moore, who winds me up for reasons passing understanding.

It hasn't escaped my attention that the picture of Philip plastered on the front of the DVD is decidedly not from 1983. I'd date it from about 1976 given the size of his afro, the slenderness of his face and the clothes he's wearing. All in all, it's not the same-looking feller as who turns up on the disc.

And yes, in my opinion, they start off pretty blah. I don't like Thunder & Lightning much and likely never will. It's not like Renegade, which needed to grow on me. It's much more like Shades of a Blue Orphanage, which has a couple of songs so great that it saves the rest of the otherwise mediocre output (Thin Lizzy were never bad, but they occasionally skirted mediocrity)... and I don't like the title song Thunder & Lightning. It's blah. It's almost interchangeable, in my opinion, with most heavy metal released at the time, and from any other band this would be OK... but not from a band like Thin Lizzy, who were so un-metal a lot of the time to actually defy their own genre. I know some people think Thunder & Lightning was a great renaissance, but most of these are the metalheads who didn't like Snowy White (great guitarist, stage presence of a junior accountant) and so dismissed the likes of Renegade. I'm generalising, but who gives a fuck?

Oh also, the DVD opens with a few bits of 'interview' with guitarists Brian Robertson and Eric Bell, Dave Ling (journalist apparently), George Best (presumably from before he died, but who can tell?), Nick Tauber (producer), artist Jim Fitzpatrick, and his pals Brush Shiels and Smiley Bolger.

The idiotic voiceover says the following concert was a 'triumphant homecoming', but how can it be when they're a shadow of their former selves, the band was over within six months and Philip died within a couple of years.

"He was just born a star, really," said Robbo in his moment here.... and yes, Philip was. It's the star quality that keeps this concert from being on a par with the Not-Doors. It's still Thin Lizzy after all, even if they're not quite running at full majestic power. It's still Philip, so to hear that t'ick Dub accent still warms my heart... until he says that Cold Sweat is "for anybody who has the flu". Right. Got To Give It Up is about an addiction to Sherbert Dip, I presume?

Anyway, I was talking about how blah it is. It is... and then Are You Ready? finally kicks them up a gear (always a great live song, that)... and shit... Darren Wharton is wearing the shiniest, brightest red satin shirt you've seen in your fuckin' life! It's practically glowing, for fuck's sake. Other sartorial nonsense: Mr Gorham's white sneakers with an entirely black outfit. Clever, mate. Don't even get me started on his fringe, man.

That's not important. What is important is the way your man Scott is jumping around the stage like a total loon. Now, this is par for the course for about 99% of guitarists, most of whom always feel they gotta compete with the strutting peacock singing, right? No. This is Scott Gorham we're talking about, a man who personifies the laidback California thing, right? Who will stand and look like he's shagging the guitar... but this jumping around stuff would be a shock if I hadn't already seen some of these clips in *cough* bootlegs. John Sykes, with his bleach blond heavy metal perm is no better and they look ludicrous and not cool. Thin Lizzy were always cool.

So I was starting to feel a bit dischuffed... then after Are You Ready? and Cold Sweat came The Sun Goes Down. You know I said there are a couple of songs on Thunder & Lightning that save the record? This is the one. This is a song that sends tears to my eyes, shivers down my spine and aches to my heart. This is a song that has, on more than one occasion, taken hold of my soul and shut everything down but the feeling that this is the most beautiful thing in the world. And the saddest.

The live version, lacking the spit and polish of the studio, remains as musically stupendous, but has a certain poignancy. I know this is the last time they played Dublin, Lizzy's true home. I know himself would be dead soon. It means everything, and with only a microphone, Philip's voice reaches into my chest and starts my suddenly-frozen heart beating again. With a voice like that, Philip's looking less than svelte matters not one fraction of an iota of a nano-thing. And then Scott plays his solo... and it doesn't matter what fuckin shoes he's got on, what his hair is like... this solo is, to me, about pain and harrowing, harrowing suffering. It is about heartbreak, despair and that thing that sends people like me crashing to the depths of depression before we know what's hit us.

The last time I saw this clip, incidentally, I was leaning against the barrier at Vicar Street, Dublin, waiting for the twentieth Vibe For Philo to either start, or for the next guest. Everyone went quiet, and for the first time that evening, I truly felt like crying. I also felt like I wanted to be sick, but that's another story for another time.

"Is there anybody with a little Irish in them? Is there anybody who'd like a little more Irish in them?"

The first time I heard that line, it was Philip on Live and Dangerous, just before Emerald. I've heard that Colin Farrell uses the same line... but to me it sums everything up about Philip- cocky and charming, lecherous and adorable in the way little boys are when they try to be cool. It gets repeated in 1983 (which to a crowd in Dublin seems likely to get a response) and although it lacks a little of the youthful vigour it once had, the song still remains the same, although the solos are too 80s metal twiddly-Halen bollocks as far as I'm concerned.

Then again, Still In Love With You retains its usual ability to break my heart, soul and everything I have, into tiny little fucking pieces. Because yes, to be slightly cheesy, I am still in love with Thin Lizzy and their foolish, grand, broken giant of a singer.

I'm taking too long to explain this, aren't I? If you want to see a band breaking up, watch Let It Be. If you want to see a band dying, this might be for you. It is sad, it is triumphant. It is beautiful and occasionally blah... but it is never boring. To understand Thin Lizzy, I now know, one must hear what they were live. To see it, even in the fragments a DVD can provide, is even better. I can't persuade you all to love my boys... but this stuff would convert you. OK, maybe not this one, but should you be passing through an HMV/Tower/Virgin Megastore/Wherever and you happen to see my boy staring up at you... give it a go, hmm?

apolla: (OTP)

I do not appreciate this country currently. And it's not even due to the horrendous news that Take That are reforming (sadly, not reforming into reconstituted meat substitute, but back into Take That)

Every media outlet, print or broadcast, opened today as if George Best had already died. The front page of the Metro was an obituary in every sense of the word, but he was not yet dead. He is now, but he wasn't then, and I feel that it was a distinction that should have been kept.

Moreover, if you were to tune into the news this morning, you could well be forgiven for thinking that only two things were going on in the entire country: George Best's slow, unheroic decline and the shocking decision to finally dispose of the licensing laws established during the First World War. Yes, we were still drinking alcohol under the assumption that we had to be off to the munitions factory the next morning.

The shock news is that Britain didn't go out and get thoroughly Brahms and Liszt last night. Of COURSE we didn't- it was fucking freezing and there was good stuff on the telly! We were told that this 24-hour drinking would make us a nation of binge drinkers.

NEWSFLASH! NEWSFLASH!

The people who are going to be binge drinking already were, you fucking fools! So they'll be doing it in pubs now instead of getting thoroughly rat-arsed beforehand. This country is run by a bunch of inept fools with all the intellectual capacity of a particularly stupid mollusc who's suffered serious head injuries. The only people worse are the people reporting on it.

Today nothing happened but George Best dying and everyone not going out and getting trashed. So they would have us believe. In the end, the former was just sad and the latter was entirely overblown.

As to George, I will say that I found myself curiously deflated and just sad when it finally happened. Mostly because of his dad, who is 87 and aside from spending the last 59 years watching George self-destruct also had to deal with the same in his wife. I find that almost intolerably sad.

Also, the media are being consistently shite as usual, choosing to run the same three or four quotes of George's as each other.

"I spent 90% of my money on women, booze and fast cars. The rest I squandered." This was amusing the first time I read it ages ago. it's in all the papers and newsmedia now, because if there was a single original thought down on Fleet Street, the place would probably disintegrate with the surprise.

Then there's the one about him listing all the things David Beckham can't do and then saying "but apart from that he's all right."

And of course, the story about the hotel bellboy who found him in bed with Miss World drinking champagne and surrounded by money and who then asked "Where did it all go wrong, George?"

And of course, the  media are all discussing where it went wrong and the terrible waste and blah blah blah. We've heard it all before, dears. We've heard it all before, we've been there before because it's the same shite you trotted out last time he clambered back onto the wagon, then the last time he fell off it again, and the time before and the time before.

And you know why I feel sad? Because he did deserve better than this. Because the man was total football and there's nothing this country seems to like more than a footballer.

If aliens were to come to earth right now and be unfortunate enough to arrive on This Septic Isle, they'd be under the impression we care about nothing but football and drinking. Which wouldn't be far off the mark.

I'll just leave you with something Philip Lynott wrote back in 1975. It's a great, catchy little song called 'For Those Who Love To Live' and was about his drinking buddy and fellow Irishman, George. It can be found on Fighting, which is a much better record than the stupid cover would have you believe - that's the American cover and the UK one is worse. Anyway, aesthetics aside, I shall leave you with this. Take it as you will. Take it for George or for anyone you want.

Oh the boy he could boogie
Oh the boy can kick a ball
But the boy he got hung up
Making love against the wall
You've got to give a little love
To those who love to live
You've got to take a little hate
From those who have to wait






apolla: (OTP)

I do not appreciate this country currently. And it's not even due to the horrendous news that Take That are reforming (sadly, not reforming into reconstituted meat substitute, but back into Take That)

Every media outlet, print or broadcast, opened today as if George Best had already died. The front page of the Metro was an obituary in every sense of the word, but he was not yet dead. He is now, but he wasn't then, and I feel that it was a distinction that should have been kept.

Moreover, if you were to tune into the news this morning, you could well be forgiven for thinking that only two things were going on in the entire country: George Best's slow, unheroic decline and the shocking decision to finally dispose of the licensing laws established during the First World War. Yes, we were still drinking alcohol under the assumption that we had to be off to the munitions factory the next morning.

The shock news is that Britain didn't go out and get thoroughly Brahms and Liszt last night. Of COURSE we didn't- it was fucking freezing and there was good stuff on the telly! We were told that this 24-hour drinking would make us a nation of binge drinkers.

NEWSFLASH! NEWSFLASH!

The people who are going to be binge drinking already were, you fucking fools! So they'll be doing it in pubs now instead of getting thoroughly rat-arsed beforehand. This country is run by a bunch of inept fools with all the intellectual capacity of a particularly stupid mollusc who's suffered serious head injuries. The only people worse are the people reporting on it.

Today nothing happened but George Best dying and everyone not going out and getting trashed. So they would have us believe. In the end, the former was just sad and the latter was entirely overblown.

As to George, I will say that I found myself curiously deflated and just sad when it finally happened. Mostly because of his dad, who is 87 and aside from spending the last 59 years watching George self-destruct also had to deal with the same in his wife. I find that almost intolerably sad.

Also, the media are being consistently shite as usual, choosing to run the same three or four quotes of George's as each other.

"I spent 90% of my money on women, booze and fast cars. The rest I squandered." This was amusing the first time I read it ages ago. it's in all the papers and newsmedia now, because if there was a single original thought down on Fleet Street, the place would probably disintegrate with the surprise.

Then there's the one about him listing all the things David Beckham can't do and then saying "but apart from that he's all right."

And of course, the story about the hotel bellboy who found him in bed with Miss World drinking champagne and surrounded by money and who then asked "Where did it all go wrong, George?"

And of course, the  media are all discussing where it went wrong and the terrible waste and blah blah blah. We've heard it all before, dears. We've heard it all before, we've been there before because it's the same shite you trotted out last time he clambered back onto the wagon, then the last time he fell off it again, and the time before and the time before.

And you know why I feel sad? Because he did deserve better than this. Because the man was total football and there's nothing this country seems to like more than a footballer.

If aliens were to come to earth right now and be unfortunate enough to arrive on This Septic Isle, they'd be under the impression we care about nothing but football and drinking. Which wouldn't be far off the mark.

I'll just leave you with something Philip Lynott wrote back in 1975. It's a great, catchy little song called 'For Those Who Love To Live' and was about his drinking buddy and fellow Irishman, George. It can be found on Fighting, which is a much better record than the stupid cover would have you believe - that's the American cover and the UK one is worse. Anyway, aesthetics aside, I shall leave you with this. Take it as you will. Take it for George or for anyone you want.

Oh the boy he could boogie
Oh the boy can kick a ball
But the boy he got hung up
Making love against the wall
You've got to give a little love
To those who love to live
You've got to take a little hate
From those who have to wait






apolla: (Freddie)

I have just lost a post about Freddie Mercury for the second time. Fuck it, let us do this quickly:

Love you Freddie. Miss you Freddie. Wouldn't be me without you. Hope the celestial champagne is flowing, dear boy.

*

Both times, I was writing about George Best, so I can only surmise that Somebody Up There doesn't want me to say what I want to say. Even if it is George's old drinking buddy Philip Lynott, I am going to say this if I have to retype it sixteen times.

Legend Best 'enters final hours' says the BBC. He doesn't have long, but only the blindly optimistic have expected him to recover.

The Belfast Boy is not going to get a hero's death. It will have been and will continue to be slow and painful, probably more for his family and the people that love him than for him. But you know what? George Best has not been a true hero for decades. Literally decades. That's alcoholism for you, I guess. Had he died in the 70s, he'd be amongst the pantheon of our great heroes, loved and admired far and wide. He'd probably be more sainted even than those tragic Busby Babes. But he lived, and so we have watched as alcoholism has ravaged this man and those who love him.

And I'm sorry, but the media has to take some of the blame. Not for his inability (or indeed unwillingness) to kick alcohol even after getting a new liver, for only he can (and should) shoulder that. The media really needed to leave him alone years ago. To just say "fine George, get on with your life", but instead they built him up and up and so he and second wife Alex became tabloid regulars when what he needed was peace and quiet. The last thing he ever needed was front pages and headlines.

This country deified George Best, and I suspect that this is a contributory factor to what is happening right now. We've even had a kind of grotesque deathwatch going on for the past days.

Terrible as it is to say, if he'd died in the 70s, he'd be a real legend. As it is, he is an empty shell of someone who used to be great a very long time ago. I wish I didn't have to say it. When he got the new liver, half the country said he was undeserving, and the other half said 'give him a chance'. I was in the latter group, and I'm a little heartbroken that he didn't manage to take his chance for long.

Perhaps the real reason I care at all is because I suspect that George's fate is the one all my boys risked had they lived. Would Philip Lynott be like George if he'd not died? Would Jim? I'm going to say not, because it's the only way I'll get to sleep tonight.

Lastly, George Best was a legend once. Please let us not forget that. Perhaps with death, George will regain the grace and beauty he once possessed. I've seen the old film of George playing in that famous 1968 European Championship and in a hundred other games. He was a great player. So brilliant that even casual football fans like me were left breathless watching. David Beckham may play for a hundred years and never be quite like George.

George Best was a rock and roll sportsman. He was dishevelled and scruffy and handsome. He was all those things Keith Moon was, all the things Philip was, right down to the charisma that got him not one but two Miss Worlds.

God love you George, and so do the British, for we love nobody so much as a fallen legend. God love you, and may you find the peace you deserve.

***

Have now seen Goblet of Fire. Might talk about it over the weekend here, but while I found the second third funny and the last third affecting, I was annoyed to see that the 'style over content' theory was still being adhered to. However, much love for Doctor Casanova and the endlessly brilliant Brendan Gleeson. So glad he got to keep his more usual accent.

apolla: (Freddie)

I have just lost a post about Freddie Mercury for the second time. Fuck it, let us do this quickly:

Love you Freddie. Miss you Freddie. Wouldn't be me without you. Hope the celestial champagne is flowing, dear boy.

*

Both times, I was writing about George Best, so I can only surmise that Somebody Up There doesn't want me to say what I want to say. Even if it is George's old drinking buddy Philip Lynott, I am going to say this if I have to retype it sixteen times.

Legend Best 'enters final hours' says the BBC. He doesn't have long, but only the blindly optimistic have expected him to recover.

The Belfast Boy is not going to get a hero's death. It will have been and will continue to be slow and painful, probably more for his family and the people that love him than for him. But you know what? George Best has not been a true hero for decades. Literally decades. That's alcoholism for you, I guess. Had he died in the 70s, he'd be amongst the pantheon of our great heroes, loved and admired far and wide. He'd probably be more sainted even than those tragic Busby Babes. But he lived, and so we have watched as alcoholism has ravaged this man and those who love him.

And I'm sorry, but the media has to take some of the blame. Not for his inability (or indeed unwillingness) to kick alcohol even after getting a new liver, for only he can (and should) shoulder that. The media really needed to leave him alone years ago. To just say "fine George, get on with your life", but instead they built him up and up and so he and second wife Alex became tabloid regulars when what he needed was peace and quiet. The last thing he ever needed was front pages and headlines.

This country deified George Best, and I suspect that this is a contributory factor to what is happening right now. We've even had a kind of grotesque deathwatch going on for the past days.

Terrible as it is to say, if he'd died in the 70s, he'd be a real legend. As it is, he is an empty shell of someone who used to be great a very long time ago. I wish I didn't have to say it. When he got the new liver, half the country said he was undeserving, and the other half said 'give him a chance'. I was in the latter group, and I'm a little heartbroken that he didn't manage to take his chance for long.

Perhaps the real reason I care at all is because I suspect that George's fate is the one all my boys risked had they lived. Would Philip Lynott be like George if he'd not died? Would Jim? I'm going to say not, because it's the only way I'll get to sleep tonight.

Lastly, George Best was a legend once. Please let us not forget that. Perhaps with death, George will regain the grace and beauty he once possessed. I've seen the old film of George playing in that famous 1968 European Championship and in a hundred other games. He was a great player. So brilliant that even casual football fans like me were left breathless watching. David Beckham may play for a hundred years and never be quite like George.

George Best was a rock and roll sportsman. He was dishevelled and scruffy and handsome. He was all those things Keith Moon was, all the things Philip was, right down to the charisma that got him not one but two Miss Worlds.

God love you George, and so do the British, for we love nobody so much as a fallen legend. God love you, and may you find the peace you deserve.

***

Have now seen Goblet of Fire. Might talk about it over the weekend here, but while I found the second third funny and the last third affecting, I was annoyed to see that the 'style over content' theory was still being adhered to. However, much love for Doctor Casanova and the endlessly brilliant Brendan Gleeson. So glad he got to keep his more usual accent.

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