I was asked to answer these questions for an event in Barcelona and having done so figured I might as well post them here too. You couldn’t make it it!
1. When were you happiest? I’ll be at my happiest in about 10 minutes when I’ve answered these questions – coz then I can make another huge pot of espresso and watch yet another Godfrey Ho movie.
2. What is your greatest fear? That the list I have of Godfrey Ho movies is complete and that before long I’ll have watched everything he ever made. Fortunately not even Godfrey Ho can remember all the films he made and there’s a good chance of many more being added to the 150 we know about.
3. What is your earliest memory? Going to the Isle of Wight by ferry when I was 2 years old. It was raining.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My modesty. I feel I need to be more egotistical.
5. In what historical time would you have liked to live? I like the times I’ve lived in best – and would only want to live in London (or possibly New York) at any time. I wouldn’t mind going back to the 1960s for the music, the 1970s for the feeling the whole political system was going to collapse (but then it feels like that again now), and the 1980s for seeing Godfrey Ho movies as they appeared at the point this director was most prolific.
6. Ever been in a fight? Of course! No idea how many.
7. Where do you stand politically? Ultra-left.
8. What do you owe your parents? I can thank my mother Julia Callan-Thompson for my intelligence and good looks, and great stories to tell people about her life as an original mod and then in the 1960s counterculture. Also my great taste in music, since my mother was listening to cool modern jazz all the time she was pregnant with me. I don’t know who my father is so I probably don’t owe him anything – but I reckon he owes me a big bundle of used notes!
9. Who would you invite to your dream party? Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Lopez and Godfrey Ho, among others.
10. If you could edit your past, what would you change? I wouldn’t have gone to see Joy Davison who are a lousy band and unfortunately I knew what I was doing when I went into the gig. I definitely wouldn’t have seen The Police either, but they were a last minute substitution among the support acts when I went to see The Brian James All Stars in 1978 (and I did go to the bar and turned my back on them when they played). I can’t be blamed for seeing The Police because I didn’t know I was going to see them when I went into The Electric Ballroom – but I wish I hadn’t seen them.
11. When did you last cry, and why? In 1971 when I lost a ten pence piece down a drain. We’d only just had the change in the UK to decimal currency and I thought it was a fifty pence piece, which is why I cried.
12. What is the closest you’ve come to death? Sitting in the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood in east London one winter day. I was leaving my body behind and entering this golden tunnel of light and thinking how great it was to be dead, when one of the museum attendants shook me awake and asked me if I was alright. I was very disappointed to still be alive coz death seemed like it was a groove sensation!
13. What do you consider your greatest achievement or quality? My ability to talk endless and without any prompting – even when I’m standing on my head!
14. What song or songs would you like played at your funeral? “Burn, Baby, Burn” by Mel Williams.
15. Why and when did you decide to start talking about yourself? As soon as I could speak – so when I was about a year old. I didn’t have a reason then, it was just intuitive. Now it’s a case of I started doing this in 1963 so why the hell should I stop?
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!