Sad news reaches us here today of the failure of jazz guitarist and former Ian Dury sidekick Chaz Jankel in his bid to become the first British musician to fly solo across the channel in a self-designed craft. The talented writer and musician had been planning to attempt the crossing in a self-designed micro-light similar to that featured in the 1960s James Bond films, but fell foul of British Airports Authorities regulations. The chassis of the ingenious flying machine weighs a staggering 3 ounces and is powered by a rotary engine designed by Jankel himself.
Jankel: "Chaz coming out of his ears. The jazz guitarist gets in the flying mood with his customary Biggles jacket and a little substance abuse"
Under the current UK guidelines, micro-gliders can only be allowed to take to the air by jazz-funk musicians/songwriters under the strict supervision of female 60s spy characters and, due to visa problems, Jankel's designated supervisor, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. was unable to make the designated take off at Dover.
Powers: "to all our friends"
Despite a late attempt to draft in Barbara Bain as a replacement onlooker, the Jankel team lost their coveted early morning runway slot that would have allowed them to take maximum opportunity of the glorious duty-free shopping facilities on offer on the French side of ‘La Manche’.
Bain: "of my life"
But rigorously applied airport bureaucracy has led the flight to be rescheduled, allowing Jankel’s rivals, saxophonist Davey Payne and keyboardist Mickey Gallagher, a chance to make up valuable time in the race to become the first Blockhead to fly solo from Dover to Calais.
Watt-Roy: "no Norman?"
The failure of Jankel’s cross-channel flight follows hot on the heels of the abandonment of his fellow Blockhead Norman Watt-Roy’s projected moon landing. The boosters on The Rocket, especially designed by Watt-Roy himself and adapted by engineer George Stevenson for the flight, spectacularly failed to thrust the bassist’s craft upwards and away from its launch pad at Cape Canaveral, although it did set a new land speed record for the journey between Stockton and Darlington.
Wilco: "Roger and Out"
In an unrelated development, former Byrds guitarist Roger McGuinn has launched a joint action with Jankel’s replacement as Blockheads’ guitarist, Wilco Johnson, against the British Airports Authority. The unlikely pair are suing for lost earnings caused by the repeated use of the pilots’ code words Roger and Wilco, still used on some flights to represent the phrase, “Yes, I’ve got you and I will certainly be complying with your request”. “It’s a right royal pain in the bumhole”, said Johnson whilst removing shards of human skull from the body of his Fender Telecaster caused by an unfortunate altercation with an over-enthusiastic fan’s cranium. “Just when you’re about to scowl at someone in the audience in a demonic fashion or pretend to machine gun the audience down with your guitar, you pick up the blighters’ radio signals and all I can hear is bladdy Wilco that and bladdy Roger that. It’s like bally well being possessed and I’m sure it’s no picnic for Roger either.”
Roger that, Wilco!
Love on y’all,