Bunch of Five is our archetypal series where we are almost too lethargic to ask anything except, well what are the five things that make your world go around? This time, Tim London who has form as an iconoclastic musician and writer responds. Tim sometimes contributes to OUTSIDELEFT, but that just makes us like him more. His new novel is the neo-political pulp thriller, Smith. More precisely, Smith 1... So you might well think you know what's coming next... There are bombs and there are beat downs and sick psychos at the controls - 'The natural government of the world is gangsterism...' it says right there on the cover. Bunch of Five, some of Tim's reasons to be alive.
1. THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
It’s taken me a very long time to understand this rule although I have an excuse. I think I always understood it, but couldn’t afford the tools. Whether it was hiring the best/most appropriate PR person or buying/lending a powerful power tool… I have tried and messed up so many things because I lacked the right tools. But… knowing I couldn’t afford the correct tools has meant I learnt to improvise very young. It’s also meant I’ve fucked up parts of my body (like my knees when I was a cycle courier in the 1980s) and left holes, scratches, shattered glass and bemused door users all over the UK. But… (another plus) knowing I didn’t have the correct tools means I have a ready made excuse for a lot of failure and probably meant I would always be a socialist. Everyone deserves the correct tools for the job.
Treble is right, bass is left. Treble is teeth, bass is heart. Treble is sunshine, bass is the earth. Bass was my eldest sister’s stereo in the seventies: Paul McCartney, John Wetton, Roxy Music. Bass was standing right next to the speakers at the OK Chicago Discotheque while they played The Four Seasons’ Who Loves You or The Night. Bass was a reggae sound at Scamps in Hemel Hempstead, set up on the dance floor as four monoliths while me and Leeson danced in our winklepickers in the middle to the bemusement of the attending Rastafarians. Bass was Robbie Shakespeare playing with Black Uhuru. Bass is a sexual vibration. A thrill. Better than a pill. Better with a pill. Bass can make you feel ill or it can make you feel better. I don’t trust people who don’t like bass.
If you want to create unique lettering every time use letteraset, if you can find some. I inherited two big folders of the stuff in 1987 and I’ve been using it up ever since. It’s mine, you can’t have it.
4. PLAYING THE BASS
When I can manage it, forgiving is the best emotional present you can give yourself. I can give myself. Although I’ve never managed to forgive myself. Try it, it’s like emptying your pockets of rocks and stones, scratching an itch and diving into a warm sea all at the same time.
Timothy London's 'Smith - 1' is available now, here