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John Moore's Diary

Secret Diary Of A Rock & Roll Star, Aged 45 ½: Part One. By John Moore
The Quietus , March 26th, 2010 11:48

Former thirsty absinthe importer, Mary Chain drummer, Black Box Recorder guitarist and debonair man of letters Mr John Moore starts a new diary for the Quietus. In Part One, an altercation with a shredder leaves him rueing the fact that, all too often, the first cut is the deepest

Dear Diary, this is a bit of a disappointing start.

I had hoped to begin with something wild and spectacular - getting a song played on 6Music or something. However, this is not to be. At present, I am ensconced in the Accident and Emergency dept of The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead nursing a serious hand injury, awaiting stitches – or suturing if you want to use the pleasant term - and a nerve check to see if I’ve cut through any major cables. If I have, then it’ll be time to don the single leather glove like Sweet Gene and Lord Upminster, and let some other idiot handle guitar duties.

If I were a member of certain wild-rockin' combos, I would invent a ridiculous story about how this gash came about; say, being stabbed in a drug fight in alphabet city, when he had in fact sat on a glass table in his hotel lobby and lacerated his elephant and castle. As a 45 ½ year old rock and roller, my fighting days are well behind me - I hope. My injury - exotic though it is, was acquired a little closer to home.

Trying to clear a blockage from a paper shredder with kitchen scissors while the fucker is switched on is - as I now fully realize - Idiotic. Mind you, I survived cleaning the bird shit off my car with petrol this week, so I think I must have been due an accident.

Strangely, this is almost the exact version of a recurring childhood nightmare in which I was attacked by flying scissors – shaped like an ostrich, which flew out of the cabinet and repeatedly stabbed me. The sound of the blade searing through my hand today was identical.

Today’s main event happened in glorious slow motion – I could see it happening but could not prevent it. I was going to get cut, the only question was how much? The scissors were caught in the wheels of the shredder with my hand beneath one blade.

Amazingly for something bought at Woolworth’s, the motor chose this day to be brutally efficient. It was in fact, the last thing I purchased from the defunct chain – although not the first time I’d acquired a hand injury from one of their murderous products. As a child, I had a clockwork town inside a globe – a lovely thing it was. You wound it up, then a train would race through a hillside with an aeroplane circling ahead. To get a closer look, I prised off its plastic dome then set about pulling the plane off its stem – a wire spring that went straight through my finger… Woolworth’s - Good riddance to you, I hope you never come back.

Anyway, back to today’s little hand job – speaking of which, it’s my right and I’m left handed, so should the worse come to the worse that’s one less thing to worry about. The wound is to the fleshy part of my hand between the thumb and finger. Luckily there doesn’t seem to have been any vital pipe work in there – just some bone and sinew and daylight on the other side. When you can see daylight through a wound it’s good in one way because it means it can’t get any worse.

Surprisingly there wasn’t that much blood; perhaps as it was so ghastly, it didn’t feel the need for cheap effects. It did spurt once, all over the triage nurse when he asked me to grip his hand – to see if I still could. I said 'How Do You Do? I did think that the former Mrs Moore might drive me to the hospital, but she was otherwise engaged, so I splashed out - quite literally, on a cab.

The jolly African driver spent the entire journey regaling me with details of his recent trip to A&E after his wife had poisoned him. He filled me in with great enthusiasm all about his four hours of writhing and shitting everywhere, and how by the time they came to him, he felt much better. He also told me that he knew of a funnier injury than mine. Two days ago, he took a man to A&E who had, during a mobile phone row with his girlfriend, decided to place the phone beneath the wheel of his car and symbolically drive over it - with her nagging voice still berating him. Unluckily, it hadn’t occurred to him to remove his hand as well, so both items were crushed to buggery.

I won’t bore you with any more details. I am home now, well bandaged, stitched - eight of them to be exact – but as I said to the Doctor ‘A stitch in time saves nine,’ in love with the NHS – and I think, the lady who stitched me, ashamed of my utter bonkersness for doing this to myself and for wasting everyone’s time – but quite pleased in a way as well. Assuming I don’t die of septicemia, MRSA or fall awkwardly off the couch and break my neck, I must have had quotient of injuries for the time being. There is no nerve damage, my guitar playing will be just as wondrous as it was this morning, I have something to terrify my daughter with, and perhaps best of all, it has cured my writer’s block.

For more Moore, please visit his website. John Moore currently plays in the John Moore Rock 'n' Roll Trio; read the Quietus review of their long-player here