There’s a young kitchen porter here with the voice and mannerisms of an emotionally damaged Melvyn Hayes. A rasping voice, manic jerking body gestures, clearly a maverick, tolerated by his compatriots. Plenty of people don’t fit in. He’s quite small, thin, happy, probably regularly ridiculed with affection, which encourages his manic behaviour.
Melvyn Hayes never seemed entirely well or balanced, apart from his very first film role, in “No Trees In The Street”, 1959. He played a down and out east end kid falling into bad ways, until he murdered someone. Stanley Holloway plays a chirpy cockney nuisance. The final scene was set in a flimsy attic lean-to style flat on top of a tall house, with a butler’s sink and cold tap in a corner, a large picture window with a view of rooftops and chimneys, not dissimilar to the view from Tony Hancock’s Paris studio in The Rebel. I may make a montage of rooftop scenes from films, similar to Christian Marclay’s Telephones and The Clock. Add a fictional narrative, but don’t get too derivative of Peter Greenaway’s Windows. Several films use opening and closing credit shots of West London rooftops too. Breaking Glass, Please Sir!, Man About The House, and I’m sure several others. There’s also the opening shots of the episode of Hancock where he’s moved to a bedsitter in Earls Court.
I should get rid of lots of clothes, I have many items I won’t fit into comfortably ever again. It would be a process of letting go, accepting what I am now, and adopting a George Melly look. Plain linen, flamboyant jackets, trilby hats. A small flat in a Victorian villa, with a functioning fireplace. Painted floorboards, rugs, vegetables.
I read some articles about that strange unsettled dandy creature Sebastian Horsley this morning, an obituary, and one of those “at home with” pieces that Sunday supplements used to print. (As an aside I haven’t bought a newspaper in years, I used to like the weekend ones though). Sebastian had the stereotypical ascetic small metropolitan flat with minimal comforts, used as a base, eating out most of the time. He seemed annoying and smug about it though, with carefully rehearsed answers about whores, and wittering about how worthless his life was to him. I’ve had a copy of his autobiography “Dandy In The Underworld” for a few years. I’m not so enthusiastic about reading it now.
I have a weird kind of agoraphobia these days. Well, maybe it’s normal agoraphobia, nothing spectacular or exciting. I like exploring places but quickly get nervous if I am in unfamiliar territory, and want to go home, even though I don’t like where I live. It all needs to change.