Dr. Bucks' Letter

Lyrics

 
I lost my temper with a friend   (2)
Mocked him and treated him with rudeness
And though I tried to make amends
Feel I miss him and walk a dark corridor

Woke up one morning
Doctor Bucks' letter
Of my own making, I walk a dark corridor of my heart  (3)
Hoping one day a door will be ajar
At least so we can recompense
Our betrayal of our hard won friendship
In vulgar and arrogant abeyance
To what was untrue underneath our parlance

I open the envelope, Doctor Bucks' letter
Re: Welfare Benefits reports     (4)

J. McCarthy, approximately 10-15 days (5)
I got down, I was depressed
It was Doctor Bucks' letter

Turn the radio on

Doctor Bucks' letter

Cheer myself up
Put the radio on, get the magazine out
And read about "The Essence of Tong"  (6)

Checklist:

I never leave home without:          (7)
1. Sunglasses - I wear them all year around, and seem to need them more often, it’s a habit
Music - cassettes, CDs
3. Palm Pilot - it’s my lifeline. I think it’s my P.A.’s computer, (8)
She runs my diary and I download it
4. Mobile phone
5. Amex card - they made such a fuss about giving it to me but I spend more time getting it turned down!

 

I was in the realm of the essence of Tong.

 

Notes

1. At the Fall online forum, SnoweyUK has given a reasonable basic interpretation of the lyrics: 

"Here is my interpretation for what it is worth:

Someone (not necessarily MES - he may have read this somewhere), is stressed because they have acted badly to a friend of theirs in the heat of the moment. The Friend hasn't forgiven him.

I think that the friend is Doctor Buck and the letter is the trigger that set off the ruckus between them.

Emotionally distraught he picks up the letter again and this causes him to feel more anguish about the argument. It reminds him of it.

To distract himself he tries anything 

The Radio

A Magazine

In the magazine he reads about The Essence of Tong....... its a distraction" (SnoweyUK) 

According to Conway, in the same thread, "Snowey has the guts of the story. The first part of the song is about a real friend of MES and a letter that was written by Dr Bucks (doctor books) - note position of the apostrophe in the song title - to him. Grant Showbiz told the good doctor that MES had the letter in front of him in the studio when he recorded the vocals. Any further details of the background to the letter and the doctor's identity are really unnecessary to the understanding of the song and I'm sure he would prefer they remain private."

Pete Tong is a DJ for BBC Radio 1; MES, then, was reading a magazine profle of the latter. 

If this is correct, the title is spelled "Dr. Bucks' Letter" because the titular character is named "Dr. Bucks," a near-homophone of "Dr. Books." Whether the latter is someone's name, or a nickname for an actual person, is not clear.  Dannyno weighs in:

Just to add to the confusion, the second Fall Lyrics book contains what appears to be a circular letter addressed to Smith from Nutrihealth International, all about prostate problems. It includes a quote from a "Doctor Buck M.D. Sleaford, Lincs." The company does exist.

John Bush, in a review from Allmusic, suggests the song is a tribute to Charles Bukowski, a theory which has been repeated elsewhere. However, I was unable to corroborate this and it does not seem very likely based on internal evidence alone.

I've seen this song compared to Joni Mitchell's "The Jungle Line," from The Hissing of Summer Lawns, and I can sort of see it, there is a similar thing with the drums and some of the bassy parping sounds.

According to Julia Nagle:

"One of my personal favs. Adam Helal is responsible for this one composed on pro tools - it's a musical masterpiece with slow, low bass loops. Lyrically it's about a friend, a doctors letter and a magazine interview with a DJ. Curious."

According to a Fall feature in the Quietus "there is a Dr. LJ Buck registered as a GP in Salford)." However, this is certainly not our Dr. Buck(s), as Dan has discovered, since she wasn't registered there until 2006 at the earliest (this is generous, 2012 looks more likely).

Ben Pritchard comments on the song:


BP: Yeah, it’s a good tune. It was called Adam Goes To Canada originally cos it was Adam’s song, Adam Halal or whatever his name is, it was his song. He put it together on ProTools and I came in and did that riff over it.

See "More Information" below.

^

 

2. The opening line perhaps echoes the poem "A Poison Tree" by William Blake, which begins: 

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

Dan points out that this poem was used as the opening stanza of "Magpie" by Blur (1994). MES is known to have been a fan of Blake, whereas I'm uncertain whether he was familiar with the Blur song. He later appeared on a song by Damon Albarn's subsequent band Gorillaz, on the other hand ("Glitter Freeze," 2010). 

^

 

3. Julia Adamson (Nagle) says it's "art" (Twitter). However, the consensus seems to be that it sounds like "heart," and Conway Paton has posted a transcript in MES's hand with this formulation (below). Note the comment section, where Dan has unearthed several examples of the phrase "corridor(s) of the heart," which seems to be a cliché.

 

Drbuck

Drbuck2

 

 

^

4. On the "Testa Rossa Monitor Mix," this comes  next:

We also consume
Which means aid board will not be able to recover the legal fees 
Paid by them
Behalf

^

5. Steph.opal weighs in:

John McCarthy is a British journalist who was held hostage in Lebanon for 5 years (as was Terry Waite). The line seems to be "J. McCarthied, approximately 10-15 days" suggesting that due to the depression produced by Dr. Bucks' letter he chose to remain isolated indoors.

Zack reminds us of "American actress Jenny McCarthy, whose career peaked in mid to late '90s. It's feasible that she could have been mentioned in the same magazine as that banal Pete Tong interview."

And of course, the mother of all J. McCarthys, Joseph McCarthy, the infamous American demagogue who made it his luridly insincere mission to root out communist sympathizers in all departments of American government, where they were said to be hiding out, in various numbers depending on when he was speaking. In fact, the number seems to have ranged between "57" and "205," although only 65 of the 205 were still working in goverment by the time he made the claim. The movie The Manchurian Candidate has a McCarthy-like figure glancing at a bottle of Heinz ketchup before asserting "57"...

My sense is that this note descends in order of likelihood. 

 

^

6. See note 1: Pete Tong is a DJ for BBC Radio 1; MES, then, was reading a magazine profle of the latter. According to nairng, "Pete Tong's famous, long-running shows on Radio 1 were The Essential Mix and The Essential Selection, where he drew listeners' attention to certain 'essential' tunes. So 'essential' was a word associated at the time with Tong, and 'Essence of Tong' is a typical title for a magazine interview with him."

And, in fact, Dan found the very interview in question, from which many of the above lyrics are taken (or adapted). This is (believe it or not) from Hot Line, the "complimentary magazine for Virgin Trains passengers," issue #8 (Autumn 1999):

Tong

 

Dan will doubtless be hard at work trying to determine exactly when MES was on a Virgin train...stay tuned in the comment section for any developments on that front.

"It has all gone Pete Tong," in England, is rhyming slang in some circles for "it has all gone wrong," and is even the name of a 2004 film about a fictional DJ who is going deaf. "Tongs" are also Chinese secret societies in North America.   

^

7.Additional lyrics that frequently appear in live versions: "I was suffering from rhinocerosis," and another item he never leaves home without: "J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye" (Zack).

^

 

8. "Personal Assistant."

^

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

More Information

Dr. Bucks' Letter: Fall Tracks A-Z

The Hot Line article which is the source for the "Essence of Tong" section:

Tong

 

Harleyr's transcription of the debut performance at London Astoria 2 on 24th May 2000 (as mentioned in comment 15 above). Harleyr: "My assumption is that this was closer to the original text from the magazine feature, before Smith edited it down to the funniest bits for the album."

? Canada
THe Essence of Tong
Checklist
I never leave home without
Sunglasses - I wear them all year round
And seem to need them more often
It is a habit
They're good to hide behind
The ones I ? the moment
Are those Philip Starck bendy ones

2. Music, cassettes, cds
There's always something I'm listening to
For work or pleasure
Or to use on my show
Right now I've got about twenty of them with me

Dr Buck's Letter

3. Palm Pilot - it's my lifeline
I ? to my PA's computer
She turns my diary 
and I download it

4. Mobile Phone

5. Black Amex Card - they made such a fuss about giving it to me
But I spend more time getting it turned down
Because people think they're so fake

Reading list
My top 5 books or magazines

1. The Beach by Alex Garland, Penguin
I was a bit late on him to be honest but I'm reading The Beach now because I'm working on the soundtrack for the film
I'm also reading The Tesseract.

2. Addicted by Tony Adams

3. The Picture of Dorian Grey

The Essence of Tong
This ? Tong

Magazines 5. All of them
I'm a magazine junky
Whether it's GQ, The Face, computer mags
Nothing too nerdy
I'm a sucker for a great cover
If it's got a nice picture of Kate Moss on it
I'll buy it

Playlist
? album
?
Ride across America in a convertible
East to West
A classic drive that takes in the plains of Nevada

This is the Essence of Tong
The Essence of Tong

? Canada
? Canada
? Canada

The Essence of Tong
?

Shows I set the video for

1. News and sport

2. Friday night's alright
Crackers' ?
? did a great job and loved working on it

3. Ali G
The All Black Show was a real breakthrough

Reading list

? Canada
? Canada


This is the Essence of Tong
? Canada

Comments (45)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 24/03/2013
Just to add to the confusion, the second Fall Lyrics book contains what appears to be a circular letter addressed to Smith from Nutrihealth International, all about prostate problems. It includes a quote from a "Doctor Buck M.D. Sleaford, Lincs." The company does exist.
Michael Park
  • 2. Michael Park | 18/08/2013
Dr. Buck Ruxton lived in Dalton Square in Lancaster and murdered his wife (insatiable jealousy) and maid (witness to murder ) and dismembered them both leaving body parts in Annan in Scotland
He left a letter admitting guilt after original denial before his hanging - Dr Buck's letter (he was known locally as Dr. Buck) - there seems to be some liink perhaps
My kids' favourite song after Mexico Wax Solvent
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 26/09/2013
It's a pleasing connection, but there doesn't appear to be any link to the actual song.

Dan
John
  • 4. John | 17/10/2013
The only J. McCarthy that springs to mind is Senator Joe McCarthy from the 1950's Red Scare days.
Colin
  • 5. Colin | 05/11/2013
I agree on Bukowski. There's no proof that the song has anything to do with him.
Fuiru
  • 6. Fuiru (link) | 29/11/2013
Funny, I always heard the lyric as "The essence of Tonga". I thought he was reading a travel article.
Chris
  • 7. Chris (link) | 02/07/2014
re:4. John McCarthy is a British journalist who was held hostage in the Lebanon for 5 years (as was Terry Waite). The line seems to be "J. McCarthied, approximately 10-15 days" suggesting that due to the depression produced by Dr. Bucks' letter he chose to remain isolated indoors.
Mark
  • 8. Mark | 03/07/2014
Is it "Bucks'" or "Buck's"? Just checking...
bzfgt
  • 9. bzfgt | 15/07/2014
Bucks'--see note one. I don't have my cd here to make sure that's right, though...
Martin
  • 10. Martin | 03/09/2014
Both on the inlay sheet and on the jewel case of the original CD release it's written as "Bucks´". In the expanded edition it's rendered as "Buck's".
Martin
  • 11. Martin | 03/09/2014
By the way, has anyone tried contacting Pete Tong himself to see if he can shed any light on the interview mentioned in the song?
dannyno
  • 12. dannyno | 16/02/2015
Martin: it's something I've thought about but haven't actually done. Perhaps worth a tweet.
Zack
  • 13. Zack | 03/12/2016
Another J. McCarthy: American actress Jenny McCarthy, whose career peaked in mid to late '90s. It's feasible that she could have been mentioned in the same magazine as that banal Pete Tong interview.
Zack
  • 14. Zack | 19/02/2017
Additional lyrics that frequently appear in live versions: "I was suffering from rhinocerosis" and another item he never leaves home without: "J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye."
dannyno
  • 15. dannyno | 25/02/2017
Witnesses to the first performance of the song at London Astoria 2, 24 May 2000, reported as follows (from http://thefall.org/news/000530.html):

"Tom:

eponymous hero 'desires to drive across America in a convertible' and some other lines some hilarious.


"Michael":

Other lines include "I am reading Alex Garland's The Beach, I was a bit late with that one to be honest, but I'm working on the soundtrack for the film", "I read magazines, I am a magazine junkie, GQ, The Face".


And Reformation! quotes Julia Nagle from the press release for The Unutterable:


"One of my personal favs. Adam Helal is responsible for this one composed on pro tools - it's a musical masterpiece with slow, low bass loops. Lyrically it's about a friend, a doctors letter and a magazine interview with a DJ. Curious."
bzfgt
  • 16. bzfgt (link) | 03/03/2017
I adde Joe McCarthy to the lineup although it seems unlikely to be about him. I can't tell whether it is or is not meet that I do this.
bzfgt
  • 17. bzfgt (link) | 03/03/2017
I wonder if we can take it that those are all "Pete Tong" speaking.
dannyno
  • 18. dannyno | 03/03/2017
I think so, yes.
bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 03/03/2017
Note that we've got a Salfordian physician in tow now (note 1).
dannyno
  • 20. dannyno | 10/11/2017
According to Ben Pritchard, the song was originally called Adam Goes to Canada:

http://thefall.org/news/pritchardint2006.html


BP: Yeah, it’s a good tune. It was called Adam Goes To Canada originally cos it was Adam’s song, Adam Halal or whatever his name is, it was his song. He put it together on ProTools and I came in and did that riff over it.
dannyno
  • 21. dannyno | 02/12/2017
Note 1:


According to a Fall feature in the Quietus "there is a Dr. LJ Buck registered as a GP in Salford)."


There is.

But it cannot be our Dr Buck.

This song dates to 2000.

The Salford Dr Buck is Dr. Laura Jayne Buck.

Laura Jayne Buck didn't qualify until 2006 (from the University of Manchester). That was the year she provisionally registered, full registration following in 2008. She didn't enter the GP register until 2012, which was the year she joined Silverdale Medical Practice, Pendlebury, Salford. However, she is no longer listed on the Practice site and although her linkedin profile still suggests she is there, it is out of date, and have found other evidence that she left in 2014 to specialise in Care Homes, and she anyway now listed at the Poplars Medical Centre, Swinton (http://www.thepoplarsmedicalcentre.co.uk/staff1.aspx)

Anyway, the point is that in 2000 Laura Buck was a year away from beginning her medical training.

Source: General Medical Council List of Registered Medical Practitioners, https://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/register/LRMP.asp.
bzfgt
  • 22. bzfgt (link) | 23/12/2017
OK, sorted.
HC
  • 23. HC (link) | 22/03/2019
I don't care whether or not it's really about old buk or not, I still love the fact that it's often paired to be as such, loving both buk, and mes. And the such a fuss they made about giving the Amex card and them spending more time in turning it down, is hilarious. I'm sure buk could relate!
Ian F
  • 24. Ian F | 07/04/2019
On the Deluxe Edition version of The Unutterable there is an additional excerpt from the letter after 'Re Welfare Benefits Reports'.

'We also con? (consume?)
Which means ? (a?) board will not be able to recover the legal fees
Paid by them
Behalf / their half'

I can see why it was dropped because it sounds like someone actually reading from a letter, and the tedious legalistic element at that. It lacks poetry, ambiguity and nuance.

However, when I was listening to it first time I wondered if it was part of the ongoing legal washup from the unpaid VAT bill saga. A couple of years down the track from that event, it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't still front and centre of MES's mind. Either this original lyric was transposed from his own legal correspondence (and then deleted back out again). Or he could have been prompted to write a song whose subject was the legal case he'd just been through and the consequent fracturing of his relationship with two very old friends (Karl and Steve).

Being MES though the final song is several stepped removed from its initial catalyst.
nairng
  • 25. nairng | 27/04/2019
Three minor points:
1. Pete Tong's famous, long-running shows on Radio 1 were The Essential Mix and The Essential Selection - iirc he drew listeners' attention to certain 'essential' tunes - overall 'essential' was a word associated at the time with Tong, so 'Essence of Tong' is a typical title for a magazine interview with him.
2. I think it is 'she runs my diary', not 'rules'. It doesn't sound like 'rules' to me at all.
3. I was watching a BBC4 doc on John Lee Hooker last night; like MES, he would repeat lyrics across different songs all the time, and one lyric which I noticed on one of the all-too-short clips of the actual songs was 'I got down'. MES likes blues (eg they covered Bourgeois Blues) - pretty vague, but perhaps a source?
jensotto
  • 26. jensotto | 28/04/2019
BBC Genome (Dr Buck) is Dr Buck Ruxton - exectuted 1935 - R4 early 1991 "Surgeon's knife"

Other option: Consider Church of SubGenius and their J.R.Dobbs ("Bob" - is Slack). Then consider Dr Dobb's Journal (of Calisthenics & Orthodontia) - "Running light with overbite". Genome(running light) is Disney's "Run light buck run". Just a maze of associations - but I have several friends hung up on elements from Dobb(')s.

In the times of McCarthy and HUAC, many authors and screenwriters could not publish and tried other options. Norwegian journalist / author Sigurd Evensmo toured the US sponsored by the State Department in 1950/1 (meeting Thomas Mann, and unnamed writers in cafes outside Hollywood). Two years later, he wrote scripts for two plays - The Radar Man and Closing Time. The latter as a novel in 1957 (The Mystery from Year Null). Certainly not his style, taking place in fictional Shihayo City (mix of Chicago and DC). Perverted by language .... Evensmo was Labour/left, anti-Stalinist, disappointed with Franco in place and Non-Alignment (many visits to Croatia and met Tito).
Also note Harry Martinsson's Aniara in Sweden. Colby of CIA resided in Stockholm.
dannyno
  • 27. dannyno | 13/05/2019
Comnment #25, Nairng.

The "essence/essential" point is a good one. I've tended to assume that it was one of those "interviews" which run as a series where they send the subject a list of appropriately thematic questions and print whatever they get back - you know, like "Where I go on my holidays" or "Celebrity person X's favourite animals". Pretty common and journalism-light format. In which case "Essence of" could have been the title of the series. But of course the implication of your point is that's not necessarily so.
dannyno
  • 28. dannyno | 27/05/2019
The essence/essential link was also made on the FOF in 2014, by bzfgt himself, no less:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thefall/dr-bucks-letter-t18682-s144.html
bzfgt
  • 29. bzfgt (link) | 09/06/2019
Still sounds more like "rules" to me but it could be "runs," which probably makes more sense
harleyr
  • 30. harleyr | 20/08/2019
I thought I'd posted this before, but here's my transcription of the longer version of the Tong section from LA2 performance on 24th May 2000 (as mentioned in comment 15 above). My assumption is that this was closer to the original text from the magazine feature, before Smith edited it down to the funniest bits for the album. Mebbe it will help Dan in his enquiries.

? Canada
THe Essence of Tong
Checklist
I never leave home without
Sunglasses - I wear them all year round
And seem to need them more often
It is a habit
They're good to hide behind
The ones I ? the moment
Are those Philip Starck bendy ones

2. Music, cassettes, cds
There's always something I'm listening to
For work or pleasure
Or to use on my show
Right now I've got about twenty of them with me

Dr Buck's Letter

3. Palm Pilot - it's my lifeline
I ? to my PA's computer
She turns my diary
and I download it

4. Mobile Phone

5. Black Amex Card - they made such a fuss about giving it to me
But I spend more time getting it turned down
Because people think they're so fake

Reading list
My top 5 books or magazines

1. The Beach by Alex Garland, Penguin
I was a bit late on him to be honest but I'm reading The Beach now because I'm working on the soundtrack for the film
I'm also reading The Tesseract.

2. Addicted by Tony Adams

3. The Picture of Dorian Grey

The Essence of Tong
This ? Tong

Magazines 5. All of them
I'm a magazine junky
Whether it's GQ, The Face, computer mags
Nothing too nerdy
I'm a sucker for a great cover
If it's got a nice picture of Kate Moss on it
I'll buy it

Playlist
? album
?
Ride across America in a convertible
East to West
A classic drive that takes in the plains of Nevada

This is the Essence of Tong
The Essence of Tong

? Canada
? Canada
? Canada

The Essence of Tong
?

Shows I set the video for

1. News and sport

2. Friday night's alright
Crackers' ?
? did a great job and loved working on it

3. Ali G
The All Black Show was a real breakthrough

Reading list

? Canada
? Canada
?

This is the Essence of Tong
? Canada
Ken Kantor
  • 31. Ken Kantor | 23/08/2019
IMO:

"Essence of Tong" = Opium, or derivative.
bzfgt
  • 32. bzfgt (link) | 23/08/2019
Thank you harleyr, I'll have to listen to that and see if I can get any of the ?s
dannyno
  • 33. dannyno | 27/08/2019
Over on the FOF, I have just revealed the source of the Pete Tong interview which MES reads into the lyric.

It is from Hot Line, the "complimentary magazine for Virgin Trains passengers". The interview appears in issue #8, dated Autumn 1999, p.82.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thefall/dr-bucks-letter-t18682-s239.html
Steve
  • 34. Steve (link) | 28/08/2019
It's *runs* my diary, not *rules*.
dannyno
  • 35. dannyno | 31/08/2019
On Twitter, Julia said it's "dark corridor of my art" , not heart.

https://twitter.com/Invisiblegal/status/1167588431456866304?s=19

But as always, it's necessary to test statements like that against what is actually on record, and having done so it still sounds like "heart" to me.
bzfgt
  • 36. bzfgt (link) | 31/08/2019
OK, I added in the interview, with my newly discovered method of putting it right in the notes. This is great, thank you Dan.

There's one more thing, though. I could swear--but I can't find it in the DBL thread, it must be elsewhere--that in your search, you were looking at a magazine that indeed ran features about people called "The Essence of Joe Schmoe." I feel this is possibly relevant. Do you remember where, or else what, this information is?
bzfgt
  • 37. bzfgt (link) | 31/08/2019
Did I dream it? I can't find it on the forum searching "essence of"
bzfgt
  • 38. bzfgt (link) | 31/08/2019
Dan is a hero
bzfgt
  • 39. bzfgt (link) | 31/08/2019
Maybe Julia poisoned my mind but I hear "art." I'm going with that for now, unless there's a hue and cry
dannyno
  • 40. dannyno | 31/08/2019
A 'ue and cry?

I can't 'ear anything but "heart", so. But I ain't going to the wall for it.
dannyno
  • 41. dannyno | 31/08/2019
Comment #36. I don't recall that. I may have been talking generally of that type of thematic proforma interview.

I think somewhere I did mention finding a series of them on the theme of travel and holidays published in the Glasgow Herald in the late 1990s. They looked like a promising avenue of inquiry for a while, and you can see why from this example, on the TV journalist John Suchet (16 October 1999).:


Where in the world have you been?

Where haven't I been? I once sat down with an ITN colleague and worked it out and it came to about 65 countries, and that was 10 years ago. So, basically, I've been all over the world for ITN.

What was your first holiday abroad?

My first holiday abroad was to La Baule in France with my parents when I was 14, and I fell in love with France. So much so that I own a home in Gascony in south-west France and we go there as often as we can - it's our kind of getaway.
Where have you never been but would really like to go?

I've never been to Australia, so I'd like to go there.

Never leave home without . . .

A palm-top organiser. I've become a grade-A anorak since my wife persuaded me to buy a Psion. My life is now in it - I can't live without it. I've even become emotionally attached to it. It's an absolutely vital tool. If you'd asked me this question a few years ago, I'd have said a camera because you never know what you're going to see. But now I'd have to say a palm-top organiser.

What was the best place you ever visited?

Well, my favourite place has to be Vienna. It's the first place abroad I ever went without my parents. The Beethoven books gave me the chance to go back and my wife and I have been on three research trips there. I now know the city like the back of my hand and I'm still in love with it.

What was the worst place you ever visited?

The hills of Afghanistan after the Soviets had invaded. We were captured by the Soviets and put up against a wall - which we thought was a firing squad. So Afghanistan is not a place I would particularly like to go back to.

Who would you most like to be sitting beside on a long-haul flight?

It would have to be Ludwig van Beethoven, but I'd have to speak up an awful lot.

Who would you least like to be sitting beside on a long-haul flight?

Any American - it's a bit of a cheeky answer but they just cannot resist the temptation to say "Hi". I live in my own little world if I'm on an aeroplane - whether it's writing, listening to music, or reading - and I really don't want to find out about somebody else's life, I really don't.

What would you read on the beach? And would you take any music to listen to on your Walkman?

Right now I would take Captain Corelli's Mandolin because I think I must be the only person in the country who hasn't yet read it.

I love big epic novels like Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, and I don't know Charles Dickens as well as I should and I've got some of his books. So I would take some Charles Dickens because I really feel I ought to. I always take a CD Discman and at least half a dozen Beethoven discs, and a Verdi opera or two.

What was the most memorable meal you've had abroad?

At Maxim's in Paris when I covered an American solo flight by hot air balloon across the Atlantic - the first person to do it. He celebrated in Maxim's and, after we'd filmed him celebrating, Maxim's chef served up a special meal just for us.

And the worst?

Well, as a reporter I have eaten in tents, on the street, and I've gone without food. The life of the reporter - which I loved - means that you eat in some of the best places in the world, but you've got to be prepared to go without food, which is the other side of the same coin. When you're on a story, nothing else matters except getting that story.

What is your favourite item that you've bought on holiday?

I have a piece of the Berlin Wall - I watched it being chipped off by a German celebrating his freedom. When I was a student I watched it going up and couldn't believe that such a monstrosity would happen.

Going anywhere this year?

I'm going on the QE2 from Southampton to New York because I've been invited to give one of my talks on Beethoven.
dannyno
  • 42. dannyno | 31/08/2019
Re: "heart" vs "art". The blue lyrics book has "heart", but as always we have to treat that source skeptically as its provenance is unclear and its reliability shown to be often dubious (in relation, at least, to what can be heard on record).

But I still think it's "heart".
dannyno
  • 43. dannyno | 31/08/2019
Can I point out, in "corridor of my heart"'s favour, that "corridors of the heart" are something of a (usually religious) minor cliche rather than something MES necessarily made up himself (if that's indeed what he says, but if he doesn't then it's possibly a knowing pun).

For example (I'm not saying MES is likely to have read or even heard of any of these in particular):

The Corridor of My Heart, by Jeanette Tyson Gregory (2000)

Pastors of Promise by Jack Hayford (1997): "Only by daily welcoming the Lord to walk the corridors of my heart can I know the blessing of HIS PROTECTION against the subtlety of my rationalizing of my sin..." (a quote from something or other) [extract also appears in Leaders on Leadership, by George Barna (1998)]

There were coronary photographs published in Life magazine in 1968, under the title "Corridors of the heart".

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/OAgAAOxymHRRxFwp/s-l1600.jpg

Reflections of the Heart, by Terrance B. Neal (1994):


You learn kisses fade in the wind,
Marriage sketches hung in the corridors
Of your heart uncompleted.


etc etc.

I kind of feel like a version of this phrase might have some classical or Biblical origin, but if so I haven't found it. So I might be completely wrong.
dannyno
  • 44. dannyno | 02/09/2019
Note #2, re: the William Blake poem. The same poem is borrowed by Blur for the lyrics to their song Magpie, which appears on their album Parklife (1994).
dannyno
  • 45. dannyno | 14/11/2019
Just to clarify the publication dates of Hot Line.

Issue 8, Autumn 1999 - published 1 September 1999 (this is the Pete Tong issue)
Issue 9: Winter 1999/2000 - published 1 December 1999
Issue 10: Spring 2000 - published 1st March 2000

So the current issue at the time of the debut of this song in late May 2000 was issue 10.

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