Stringing along with Johnny ’n’ Bernard

                  TAKING WATER WITH IT: Roger Tavener, left, and Johnny Marr


Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water...

Sunset Marquis hotel, Los Angeles. Very late 80s?

Just before noon.

 The parrot woman (Eagles' guitarist Jersey Joe Walsh’s ex) has just flown my nest after many bourbons. My mouth feels like the bottom of her bird cage.

I’ve got to ‘do' Mel Gibson later. He's Hamlet or Macbeth or something in a new movie being made by Franco Zefferelli.

Mad Max has a thing about English people AND journalists, so I’m anticipating a rough ride and need to get my head straight.

I crawl into the giant spa pool. I leave my JD and coke on a nearby table.

There are little bunny rabbits running around (no, honestly) and Rod's chick Rachel Hunter is doing a swimsuit photo shoot. Sports Illustrated bikinis everywhere on this hot morning. Very good viewing.

After a few minutes two pasty white guys slowly lower themselves into the bubbles. One’s a bit ginger.

They haven’t see the sun for a long time. If ever. Bottles of Bud in either hand. Manfuckingcunians. No wonder.

Crikey. It’s one if the world’s greatest guitarists, Johnny Marr, from the Smiths, and New Order's Bernard Sumner.


All right mate? Yeah fine. You?

Good place? Yeah, quiet.

Here we go again. What are you doing here?

These are the last people in the world to work out, so I use my old ruse of being a gym equipment company boss. Safe and boring.

Pleasantries exchanged, I flop about in the turbulence.

What I glean is that they are about to form dance/rock supergroup Electronic. Dumping their old bands. And they are sorting it out here to steer clear of journalists.

Unlucky, lads!

It’s kind of big news in rock music terms and world exclusive, especially as there’s a pic of me with them. Proof!

About a year later, their first album, imaginatively titled Electronic becomes a global smash and sells over a million copies in days.

Their single Getting Away With It (to be played at my funeral) is also a huge hit; as they are for a decade.

I do Mel Gibson that night at the Disney studios. Fuck a Donald duck, Shakespeare meets Mickey Mouse.

Strangely, I forget there’s an embargo on the interview release and bang it back to the Express.

How can it be exclusive if it was a gangbang? Mike Parry asks.

We exclusive it.

I get some heat from control-freak publicists. I’m off the invite list. It doesn’t matter. I was never on it.

The rival Brit tabloids give me a blast too. It's a game. We meet later for a beer.

And you don’t do this job for life.


                                IN THE TUB: Marr, Sumner and Tavener

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