Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Mash It Up Harry (Live)

Yesterday’s post’s title was - Happy Birthday Harry - but it had nothing to do with Harry.

Harry, a friend, lives in London and was 18 yesterday.

He likes potatoes.

Ian Dury was also from London.

Ian Dury penned and sang a song titled – Mash It Up Harry.

Mash, as you know can mean potato.

As in mashed potato.

I saw Ian Dury on stage a Looooooooong time ago as part of the “If it ain’t Stiff it ain’t worth a Fuck” tour, a promotional tour for new artists signed to Stiff Records.

And I found myself sitting in a caravan drinking tea at the side of the road near the North London Circular with him a decade later.

We had both, separately, been hired to be in a film that was shot in a disused cinema somewhere near the Brentcross shopping centre.

He had been hired to add name and status to the end product, I had been hired because a friend's(Mark)sister was the continuity girl working on the project and they needed four people for a small scene supposedly taking place on Dartmoor.

Since the action took place at night, the inside of a dusty disused North London cinema in Brentcross looked very similar to the wild beauty of Devon.

The main actor in the film was John Hurt and as he passed in the foreground of the shot, the four of us – representing The Sherlock Holmes Appreciation Society – passed in the opposite direction in the background.

Making a film means hanging around a lot so we spent the day devising comic ways to pass in the background, I was working with Mark, my partner Alex – because the continuity girl asked her brother who asked me who asked Alex – and Peter Weir, who isn’t the famous Australian film director, although I’m sure HE would have jumped at the chance to work with Alex, Mark and I.

If he had only known the continuity girl.

Thinking about all this now, and trying to back it up with a bit of Google and Wikipedia it may well be that Ian Dury was in the caravan not because he was IN the film but because he wanted a cup-of-tea or knew someone on the set.

Maybe the continuity girl?

Our scene was eventually shot and even more eventually edited and discarded – if you sit through the whole film (whose name slips my brain) AND the entirety of the credits, we get a special thanks at the end.

The continuity girl however was spotted by an Independent Portuguese film maker, who just happened to be passing, and asked her to be in his next film - Bearskin - as the female lead.

Her name is Julia.

And all this leads to a connection with the enigma surrounding whatshisname, and thus provides a confusing clue to the forgetful problem posed on Sunday.

p.s. The answer is not Ian.


Mary said...

Got it -- finally!


popps said...

See Mary, it was easy!

This is what you wrote before that made me think you had already worked it out - " Or maybe it is a song. Wait -- could it be -- no, I don't think so"

Dave said...

Great to hear these little stories and thanks for sharing the video Chris. I never knew you actually met one of my heroes. I saw him many, many moons ago at college when I was going to art school in Crouch End. He was a demon on stage and, I gather, pretty much a demon off stage as well.

By the way if the package arrives today or soon, I should explain that it is for Halloween which is taken quite seriously here and I gather not at all in France. Maybe you will be ablle to make amends. The guy on the pakaging is pretty scary anyhow.

See ya xd

popps said...

Hi Dave, i'm intrigued about the packet, and yes Halloween is pretty much frowned on here.
November first though is big big big.

Mary said...

I hate to admit that I was totally on the wrong track -- couldn't figure out the name of the movie that Benni was in. I knew it wasn't Tony Bennett but thought that it might have something to do with 'leaving your heart in SF'.

Yesterday's clue did the trick.

Is there a test at some point?


popps said...

YES Mary!

I KEEP telling you (check the comments)

And there were SO many clues... a slip of the tom?

Vicki said...

I am still working my way back to Sunday's quiz (slow reader), but did you see this movie about Ian Drury, Chris?
I ask because (my claim to a connection) my ex-editor's son was the director. Obviously I'm biased but I thought it was terrific.

Mary said...

Quiz? Big prizes? Was I supposed to be keeping track?

I have not experienced a year end yet on BnB's. Looking forward to it.


popps said...

Vicki - you will have a long journey as "last Sunday's quiz" is in fact part 8 (or 7) of a quiz which will is unfolding every Sunday (there are two more)(or three).

They,it, all of it - will eventually morph into the Amazing End of the Year Quiz, with big prize, for which i think you have already been awarded a bonus point.
But you will have to remember when and where to claim it.

I don't know this movie and i will hasten now to watch it because if it comes with your recommendation it must be good.

By the way - my -ex-editor's son is a very tenuous link no?

popps said...

Mary, i thought you had read EVERYTHING!
Here - warm up -

Vicki said...

Ooooo, I am going to have to knuckle down and study to be in with a chance of the big prize. But I'm in with a chance. Bring it on, as they say where I now come from.

Well no, that movie is not a tenuous link for me personally because I'm talking about editor of 20 years + and dear friend so it's more like family. She came over to NYC when it was selected for the Tribeca film festival and we went up there to see it (and her). Obviously I'm biased, but if you like Ian Drury, I think you'll love it and I'm kinda surprised it never made it to la France.

popps said...

Vicki - maybe it did make it to France, don't judge cinematic success by what i know - i still haven't seen The Godfather!
then again i'm not sure how well known Ian Dury is in France, i'll ask around.