Dire Straits Wild West End

 

gogoshtsshts

bus I’d been hitting it of with Mark Knopfler like the vibe you get when the drink takes you over and everyone suddenly gets the same buzz, except the driver whose sober and not enjoying being left out, and that was John Illsley who wasn’t on the same cloud and having threatened me once was now acting like a nasty sick Romeo who would have been jealous if it had been a doctor taking Mark’s pulse. When you have a six foot four male hovering over you and giving out the warning signs, that say ‘I’ve got my eye on you pal,’ for reasons only he and Mark seems to know about, I thought to myself if the guy feels left out and suspicious of me, then I’ll invite him to join in, it seemed to work in the many schools and playgrounds I’d studied and played in, so lets give it a shot, so with Mark sitting on the arm of the chair and myself on the floor using the seats cushion as a desk, I asked Illsley where he’d been before we met.

Looking down from his lofty perch his eyes narrowing wondering what I was up to, answered like a criminal being quizzed by the old Bill, ‘ I was getting Coffee Beans,” he stated and as a forethought said, ‘From Angellucci’s,” like someone who had afternoon tea in the Café Royal every Saturday and wanted to add, ‘Don’t you,’ and with that forced out of him gave me a sneer and went back to sitting with his book on the settee, ‘And a pick up for the guitar,’ Mark added but got no answer, so I wrote on the note paper.

Stepping out to Angellucci’s for my coffee beans, checking out the movies and the magazines.

Earlier that morning I’d seen Illsley sitting at a window seat in a coffee bar, and I’d gone in and the girl behind the counter was a darling, and when she asked me what I wanted, I replied, ” I want to marry you,’ that brought a great big smile from a very lovely and very bored counter assistant. Hence the next line.

Waitress she watches me crossing from the Barocco Bar, I’m getting a pick up for my steel guitar, I saw you walking out Shaftsbury Avenue, excuse me talking, ‘ I want to marry you,’ this is seventh heaven street to me, don’t be so proud, your just another angel in the crowd, and I’m walking in the wild west end, walking with your wild best friend.

The last two lines I hoped would help Illsley and I bond together, of course that didn’t happen, then or now, and like his interest in joining Mark and I with the lyrics, I drifted back to things that had happened in my own life. I’d met Carl Douglas who sang Kung Fu Fighting when I was working in a bar, I’d told him about my lyric writing and he seemed interested offering to have me join him on tour, but a woman came into my life and I took a job with London Transport as a conductor, then driver on the number eleven bus from Liverpool Street to Hammersmith Broadway, and that’s where I saw the Lions and the Starlings, and my conductress, it was Mark who suggested the number nineteen bus route as it probably ran through Deptford.

And my conductress on the number nineteen she was a honey, pink toe nails and hands all dirty with money, greasy hair easy smile, made me feel nineteen for a while.

And I did go down to China Town, a agency had given me a job card and I was lost and surrounded by cooked ducks, and I was starving, but the scene of those fried birds took away my appetite, and I climbed the stairs hoping to get my directions, knocking on the door and getting no answer, I opened the door to see four Chinese guys counting the money from a table covered with the stuff, they all lifted their heads and looked at me then resumed what they’d been doing, I closed the door almost knocking over a tray of dead ducks, and here is the story.

And I went down China town, in the backroom it’s a man’s world, all the money go down, duck inside a doorway got a duck to eat, right now feels alright now, you and me we can’t beat.

I’ll dedicate the next part of the lyric to Gary Holton who died of Heroin Poisoning, whose journey through the drugs scene ended in tragedy, from speed to downers, I met him in a club in London in the 70s. God rest his soul.

And a gogo dancing girl yes I saw her, the D.J. he says here’s Mandy for ye, I feel alright to see her, but she’s paid to do that stuff, she’s dancing high I move on by, the close ups can get rough, when your walking in the wild west end.

This lyric took about fifteen minutes to write, and I still got no response from Illsley, but I did impress Mark Knopfler.

Stepping out to Angellucci’s for my coffee beans, Checking out the movies and the magazines, Waitress she watches me crossing from the Barocco bar, I’m getting a pick up for my steel guitar, I saw you walking out Shaftsbury Avenue, Excuse me talking I wanna marry you, This is seventh heaven street to me, Don’t be so proud, your just another angel in the crowd, And I’m walking in the wild west end, Walking with your wild best friend.

And my conductress on the number nineteen, She was a honey, Pink toe nails hands dirty with money, Greasy hair easy smile, Made me feel nineteen for a while. And I went down to Chinatown, In the backroom it’s a man’s world, All the money go down, Duck inside the doorway, gotta duck to eat, Right now feels alright now, You and me we can’t beat.

And a gogo dancing girl yes I saw her, The D.J. he say here’s Mandy for ye, I feel alright to see her, But she’s paid to do that stuff, She’s dancing high I move on by, The close ups can get rough, When your walking in the wild west end…..Robert Marshal

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