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It bloomed on Bloomsday and the bedroom smells divine. Did anyone out there listen to Ulysses on Radio 4 yesterday? I’m afraid I didn’t hear much, far too busy with Entanglement, but I have the podcast and will give it a proper go later in the week, after Entanglement is published, when I may have more time.

Yesterday evening we watched The Joe Meek Story, an excellent film and surprisingly, very funny – ‘Gene Vincent, terrorising the inhabitants of Shrewsbury in an uninsured van’ is a line that will live with me for a long time.

Poor Joe Meek was a tragic genius if ever there was one. His first hit was my own favourite, Johnny Remember Me, which

my mum had on 45 with the red white and black Top Rank Label and which I used as the theme for Entanglement. That era, that character, has had a consistent attraction for me since I was a teenager; something in the fascination of the liminal, the place between places, between rock and roll and the flowery sixties, after Buddy Holly and before The Beatles. It’s Alan Henderson aka Heathcliffe Strong’s era too, with his mohair suit, leather coat and fondness for frothy coffee at Luigi’s, which is based on a real café which used to stand on the A1 near Retford, somewhere in the depths of  Sherwood Forest.

Jess Conrad was a wonderfully ironic choice for Larry Parnes. Jess Conrad briefly played in goal for the Entertainer’s XI, a celebrity football team my uncle also played for. JC’s fans invaded the pitch and the match had to be called off. I don’t remember this incident (I hasten to add) but my Mum never forgot it. Mum was terribly annoyed. Mum was terribly annoyed about a fair few things in the sixties, the froth on coffee for example, always asking for her coffee without froth; whenever I watch The Rebel, I think of her.

The scene in ‘Telstar’, when young Jess Conrad – played by Nigel Harmon – knocks seven bells out of Heinz, was especially priceless, as was the film which I highly recommend.

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