There's a real buzz about the place today. A while back, up and coming West Coast teen angels The Dum Dum Girls wrote in to Jim'll Fix It to tell Jim what huge fans they were of your humble scribe and asking if it could be arranged for them to pay me a visit. After a hurried exchange of emails, Jim did indeed fix it for them to come over to the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Home for a cup of tea and a chat, and so we spent much of the morning getting ourselves tarted up to greet them and the film crew this afternoon. Unfortunately, there'd been a bit of a hoo-ha in the garden just before the girls were due to arrive. Cat Stevens had been doing a spot of gardening - or, as he's wont to call it, Jihad against the Scurrilous Infidel Overgrowth, which certainly sounds a better way of describing what, in effect, amounts to little more than pootling about a bit and, in between whistling 'Mujahedin has broken' and sticking pins in an alarmingly lifelike small doll bearing an uncanny resemblance to former 10,000 Maniacs chanteuse Natalie Merchant, deadheading a few rose bushes.
Anyway, call them what you like, Cat's endeavours were disturbed by an sinister rustling sound allied to what appeared to be the sounds consistent with a sustained physical struggle between two consenting adults. Curiosity aroused, Cat unsheathed the purely symbolic replica medieval scimitar he often carries around with him as a sign of the depth and devotion of his faith and began to wade into the verdant undergrowth - there are conflicting reports as to whether or not he was yelling 'Infidel, Infidel' or not, but I'd be highly surprised if he was. He went *right* off Dylan around the time of Slow Train Coming, for some reason. So, with lurid inevitability, a startled pair emerge blinking into the sunlight. Joan Collins and Oliver Tobias just can't seem to keep their hands off one another, can they? Poor Cat is visibly shaken at the sight of Joan wearing nothing but a silver fox fur and some lustily disarranged stockings and suspenders and almost loses a toe due to his having dropped the scimitar. Fortunately Oliver's had the good sense to cover what remains of his dignity with Joan's peaked leather cap or else there really would have been hell to pay in the nadger department.
Amid all this hoo-ha in the back garden, the planned visiting party lining the circular driveway leading up to the front of the Home has completely gone for a Burton. It's only after I finally manage to get Cat back into his tent that I notice out of the window four impeccably leggy, black-clad young ladies and a rather shifty looking cove in a chauffeur's outfit pacing around impatiently alongside a gleaming powder blue Rolls Royce. I finally arrive out front, breathless and generally discombobulated, to greet them. "Hello Girls, lovely to meet you. L.U.V. the stuff - which one's the writer? And who's the silver haired, cigar smoking midget with the bling?" "Now then, now then, Professor, Howzabout, oh yes indeedy, goodness gracious me..." (The silver haired, cigar smoking midget with the bling goes on like this for some time - I think he must have sprinkled some U-Hu into his Havana or something - he's barely coherent and what's more, there's a distinct whiff of urine emanating from his whereabouts) "Hi Bob," says the tall one, "we're the Dum Dum Girls - and this is Mr. Jimmy Saville, OBE..."
"Ah, of course! Jimster, it's indeed an honour and a privilege. I didn't recognise you without the flannelette flares and pimp's puffball cap. The scales have fallen. And that would explain the whiff of wee - it's all that marathon running; you just get used to going whenver you feel like it, I suppose. "Now, girls, Jim, follow me into our delightful Grade 1 listed assisted accomodation unit and I'll get the Battenburg on and fix us a brew. There's one thing I wanted to ask you ladies, it's about your name...I take it you're big fans of The Idiot? In particular, the song Dum Dum Boys"?" (Seasoned Swipe followers will recall that I spent much of the late 70s ensconced in a soundproof bunker in Berlin producing some of the most innovative popular music ever to have been coaxed out of a Fischer-Price turntable and a cheap Casio keyboard. With me were Fripp, Eno and a young roister-doister from the outskirts of Detroit named James Ousterberg - otherwise known to the world as Iggy Pop. Sure, he may be little more than a disgustingly withering, superannuated, miniturised car insurance salesman made of latex now, but back then Jimmy was indeed the canine's bollocks. We recorded his LP 'The Idiot' as a dry run for my own experimental trilogy of albums - My Teutonic Espadrilles, 1000-year Krankhaus Loewenbrau Pogrom and the in my view criminally under-rated Strassenbahnhaltestelle of the Gods - and one of my favourite tracks from that seminal work was called, you guessed it, "The Dum Dum Boys".)
"Sorry, never heard of it," pipes up the blonde at the back who looks as if she might have taken my line about 'Jap girls in synthesis' a little too much to heart.
After this somewhat awkward opening, we spend the rest of the afternoon pleasantly enough, sipping our tea and comparing influences. They're big on Spector and the jangly 80s guitar sound whereas, obviously, I'm more of a Neu!!/Can/Guru with Candi Staton on b/vs Scot Walker playing a treated Japanese nose-flute kind of guy. But I do like what I've heard of their stuff, and tell 'em so too. But, as I also tell the girls, they're only at the start of what could prove to be a very exciting but strenuous journey towards the top of a very greasy pole. Whether they can develop their free-spirited, open-throated harmonies and sunny psychedelia and begin to write the sort of material that addresses the really important issues of the day - incontinence, pension protection and the future of long term care for the elderly adhesive abuser under the Lib-Con coalition - remains to be seen...
L.U.V. on ya,