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John Moore's Diary

John Moore Prepares His CV & Meets A Famous Record Company
The Quietus , September 17th, 2010 09:17

Our man John Moore is worried he's turning into a couch, but finds time to tell us why he isn't rich and doesn't have a very good CV

In Flan O’Brien’s novel The Third Policeman, the scientist de Selby posits the theory that men riding bicycles become part bicycle themselves, and their bicycles become part human. As a result of this, when a man is drunk in a bar, his bicycle will fall over. At the time of writing, I believe I am actually 60% couch, and that on the rare occasions I leave it, it picks up my guitar and starts to play it.

Perhaps one of the reasons I am not vastly rich and famous – there are several others, believe me - is my lack of work ethic. This has always been a problem, but lately it seems to have got far worse. I have been lucky in the past, managing to make very little effort go a long way; to convince somebody or other that I might be worth giving money to, as though I had something to offer that might, with the correct handling, yield a good return. As anybody who’s ever had a record deal knows, there is nothing better than receiving a large sum of money and knowing that there are plenty more happy days of lying on the couch in the pipe line. Late nights, late mornings, pleasant dreams, and enough time for hangovers to drift gently away. These days are long past, with little chance of coming back, but I am afraid they have all but ruined me.

A recent prolonged sore throat almost convinced me that I was dying of cancer, yet far from being terrified, I was strangely relieved – as though the gentle hands of death were reaching out to enfold me, and save me from further boredom. Of course it might still be the big C but the symptoms appear to have receded, and news that several friends are stricken with the same ailment suggests not. Jimmy, Jim, Janice, Sid, Kurt and co were all spared my pain. To expire at the height of one’s powers, sad though it is, could in many ways be preferable to a long descent into boredom, Facebook, comfortable trousers, tax demands and sexual depravity… imagined. Peter Cooke spent his last years mooching round Hampstead, watching Neighbours twice a day and taking ecstasy, and occasionally phoning LBC pretending he was a love-sick Norwegian fisherman. And he was a genius. What chance is there for me?

If it were possible for me to find a job, I might well take it. Unfortunately my CV – if I ever wrote one - would look so ridiculous that I wouldn’t even get a paper round. I think I am what George Osborne would regard as an enemy of the state. It has occurred to me to write and offer my services to the government. Perhaps I could receive funding as a Think Tank. I would tell him that there are people like me who would like to do something, but need a bit of impetus – the threat of torture or something. Physically I am quite strong, and once I get going there’s no stopping me; I filled in my mother’s garden pond last year and put a new lawn down (it was what she wanted). I could be employed to shoot foxes or something, although I’d need a gun license of course, which might prove difficult given my state of mind. Also, my pest control record is not good. I recently befriended an enormous rat living under my flat and cleared all the rat poison the neighbours had put down. I called him Muroid. Apart from writing, which I do from time to time, it seems that I am condemned until the end of my days to be a musician. I can’t give it up, and it doesn’t seem to be able to give me up. We’re stuck with each other.

On the upside, a very famous record company contacted me a few weeks ago and I was called in for a meeting – my first time beneath the gold discs for many a year. It is almost certainly too good to be true… in fact, I might have dreamed it. It seems their new remit is to record maturer artists, or people with a bit of mileage: old bastards like myself. Apparently youthful pop music is dead. If it wasn’t just the delusional reveries of a confused man and anything comes of it – which it almost certainly won’t - you will be among the first to know, but I imagine the major news networks will get the story first, breaking into scheduled programming with a newsflash, a black-tied news reader announcing that much of North West London has been destroyed by a drunken settee.