Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 22 December 2012
Dorian Gray in John's attic
I see that Ronnie Wood has married a young woman - again. Keith Richards said that the only reason any of them are still alive is because they could afford top-quality drugs. My god though, they don't look as though they are still alive.
I can talk. I went for drinks round at a friend's last night, and when his wife walked into the room, she looked at me and said, "You look as though you have been drinking all afternoon." I explained that the reason I was slumped over the table with my head in my hands was because I was suffering from extreme back-pain, exacerbated by neck-pain (yes, it has returned in time for Christmas). I couldn't explain away my face though, which has taken on even more of the 'John Hurt' appearance so aptly illustrated by John in a recent post. The years of alcohol and onanism have now been embellished by two weeks of constant and unrelenting pain. 'Tom Hurts'.
The only difference between my face and the face of an ageing rock-star these days is the pain. I can't even afford top-quality drugs to take the edge of it either, so it is a bit of a vicious circle. Oh, and the fact that I have allowed my hair to go as white as Marley's ghost. And - because I haven't had a holiday (or a summer) for four years - my natural tan has faded. Also like Marley's ghost.
The friend that I visited last night is a successful cinematographer (cameraman to you) and is quite a few years younger than me. In front of his shocked wife, he casually said that - when working - he drinks at least a bottle of wine a night, and that he had told a doctor this on a recent medical check-up. He had tried to convince the young doctor that this was normal practice in his profession, and that he had not under-quoted his consumption, but - doctors being doctors - the medic obviously mentally tripled his intake and had him marked down as a hopeless alcoholic. Judging from his wife's reaction, she obviously thought the same.
He actually looks pretty healthy, but he does go to the gym every night after filming - something that I have always thought unnecessary in my line of work, but since I have done in my back, I am changing my mind. I have always associated back-pain with emotion, as when life's burdens become temporarily insupportable, but it almost always afflicts men who are a bit too fat around the waist from - say - drinking too much beer. More vicious circles.
Mick Jagger goes to the gym all the time as well - he has to, jumping around on stage for two hours a night aged 86 or whatever he is. At least none of the Stones seem to have resorted to Botox - or if they have, I shudder to think what Keith Richards would look like now, without it.
That portrait of me in the attic is getting younger every day.