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Friday, 22 January 2010

Letter to Hermione...

Bob & Hermione: that's Bob on the left. No, hang on....Bob's on the right....erm...

Around the time I first had my mind blown by the Velvets, I became besotted by a lovely red haired young lass called Hermione Featherstonehaugh Uckridge. Lovely lass; cracking dancer she was - and supple too. When not perfecting her contortionist act (blimey, I wouldn't have wanted to be that puff adder, I can tell you!) we'd spend hours canoodling in my little West End pad, Hermione occasionally feeding me from a tub of Luv ice cream. She spent hours trying to teach me how to hold the spoon between my toes in the same way she did, but I could never get the hang of it. I suppose, with hindsight, I probably should have taken my boots and tights off first. Anyway, we'd soon fallen head over heels in love and, it being the sixties, the obvious next step was for us to tie-dye our underwear, form a multi-media performance theatre company and take turns sating ourselves with one another's numerous sexual conquests.

Well, as you can probably imagine, all of this was a recipe for disaster. I became increasingly jealous of Hermione's prodigious sexual philandering whilst, to be fair, she probably had good cause to be as upset as I seemed to make her with my ongoing inability to be able to pronounce her name. Her-me-own? Her-my-owe-knee? I still have no idea. And I wouldn't even know where to *start* with her surname. It usually came out as an indistinct mumble - a bit like listening to side two of Never Let me Down, now I come to think of it - only a bit more coherent, obviously. By the bypass, around this time, I began my first brief flirtation with heavy industrial solvents. All the time, Hermione's infidelities were becoming almost metronomic and things eventually came to a head when we went to see a lunchtime King Crimson benefit for Muscular Dystrophy only to find out that we'd both got stuck on the same man - in my case, *quite* *literally*. So, with grinding inevitability, it was only a matter of time before we followed the late sixties relationship pattern: she packed up her tights (taking half of mine with her in the process - including a simply *divine* pair with little hearts running up the back of the leg where the seams would ordinarily be), taking me bass player with her to form a firm of specialist sign language global management consultants for the hard of hearing.

Her-my-oh-knee as she is today...

For a while, I was absolutely bereft - well, he was a *cracking* little bass player; put Herbie Flowers to shame. All the while, my solvent abuse was became more frequent. Pretty soon I'd reached rock bottom, spending much of 1969 glued to the bacofoil Major Tom cosmonaut costume Kenneth Pitt insisted I wear in the 'When I'm Five' promo. It was the beginning of the end for Pitt. The bacofoil wasn't doing too well either, as you can probably imagine.

Pitt: What's the frequency, Kenneth?

Kenneth and I had been drifting apart for some time anyway; he was becoming increasingly alarmed by my absorption in the hippy counter-culture, whilst, for my part, I was beginning to wish he'd start spending a bit less time in the Weatherfield public library trying to halt the planning application made by his alcoholic son ahead of an ill-advised gastro-brewery business venture and start spending a *little* more time getting *me* bookings on obscure German television music programmes. So, salutory lessons all round: never mix Class 'A' adhesives with finely wrought aluminium. And birds? Well, steer clear of 'em - they'll only break your heart. And steal your pantyhose.

L.U.V. on ya,


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