A Potted Autobiography



I love Ingrid Bergman. I like Feargal Sharkey.

I think Paula Rego sings from a soul as yet undiscovered.

I have not read The Bible.

I know Salvador Dali is shit.

I have piles.

The more somebody is hated the more I hate their enemies.

I am happy to cry at Field of Dreams, The Dead, Aubade, Ride With The Devil and Lassie Come Home but I resent the manipulation of Cormac McCarthy –

fascism lies within the attempt to control human emotions.

I shrink from confrontation.

Belief in God is a sure sign of a profound lack of imagination.

Don Paterson rocks.

Tom Waits is a charlatan. Nick Cave’s relevance is still an open debate.

I have a place on my back, when somebody kisses it: I breathe fire.

The Fall constantly call me through the fog.

I am yet to read Ulysses.

It is impossible to second guess Bob Dylan.

I am pretty sure, although I hate it, if I re-read Darkmans I will suddenly understand it.

I am still astonished by Beethoven’s last quartets, Michaelangelo’s La Pieta, every syllable that Hamlet utters and the true seditionary power of The Sex Pistols.

When I moved back to Glasgow from the English countryside in 1975 I was convinced that every landing midnight jet was the opening salvo in the third world war.

The last Kate Bush record, “Ariel”, justifies the continued existence of women.

I once saw Liam Gallagher in a corridor and had to look away because that kind of physical beauty in a male is a tough call for a straight man.

There IS no thin line between comedy and tragedy.

Sports are Darwin’s TV show, wars his nightmare.

I don’t get very excited about shopping unless I can capture some music or clothes.

I believe my heart is in my brain, muddling it up, and the brain in my heart has no sense of rhythm.

When they drag out the bins they also take you away.

The easiest way to understand black music is to imagine white people had to make it on pain of death.

Limmy’s Show keeps the idiocy that is Scotland on the map.

I have of late, wherefore I know not lost all my mirth.

The honours system, the concept of charity, white men playing reggae – these are the works of the devil.

I don’t work out. I don’t work. I don’t even work! It’ll work out.

We seem to be enormous parasites of the flea. But somehow, selflessly, they carry us on their backs.

The best thing I have ever heard was the pregnant silence of astonishment when Ian Curtis stopped singing.

For every drug mule you waste with your voracious snorting, you put on a little more hoof.

I have the morals of an alley-cat. But within my alley I do alright.

When they put a wristband on you at a show it is only to brand you as a fool.

I have never gone backstage.

I can’t manipulate musical instruments into making the sound that I hear in my mind: they seem to have minds of their own.

I have no hankering to live in the past, nor the future. And the present’s not looking too rosy.

I don’t wish to be wilfully controversial but I think I can prove that everybody else is scum while I am God. It won’t even need sleight of hand.

I have read nearly everything written by Evelyn Waugh. He is the slowest plane crash you will ever see.

Acting is the most underrated of the arts.

I think holidays are ways of re-establishing your madness.

If you really analyse chess – everybody loves the king and kills themselves to meet him.

I am locked in life’s hideous embrace and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am fairly sure, as sure as I’ve ever been that I am in love. But I’ve been right before.

I couldn’t live without the Beatles. What on Earth would be the point?

If only they had called me Percival. Then again – I don’t think I could live with Percy.

How do you flummox a lummox? Say he’s the bollocks.

Be wary of visiting the dentist. He will only put more teeth in.

My bunker is my brain: your bombs will never bust me.

I don’t believe in anything, not really. But the idea of justice is highly alluring.

Just because they equip you with limbs and genitals is no reason to assume you’re divine.

Call me, I dare you. Risk hearing how much I detest you.

I only speak one language.

I don’t ski.

I collect dust and possibly have the best example from 2004.

I cured myself of a general terror of spiders by reading a book.

I gave up smoking and one day will give up speaking.

Death is the unspeakable.

My parents filled our cottage loft with rotting apples. The inheritors of their house could have made sweet cider. They are probably still there now, undrunk.