Saturday, 15 June 2013

A Kick In The Balls... Now That's Entertainment.

Good things come to the TV News cameraman who waits. The times when all the standing in the rain on court steps makes it worth it... Swings and roundabouts. just lots of roundabouts and not enough swing if you will.

You all must know me by now. Grumpy, yet oh so loveable and approachable. I know how to say my pleases and thank you's in all the right places. Sometimes I may even crack a smile to disarm even the most shy of camera shy persons.

Sharp suited Muso's... Disappointing.

So you can imagine my excitement when out of the corner of my eye yesterday, whilst filming at the Isle Of Wight music festival, I spotted one of the few musicians that I would actually listen to willingly, and have even bought a number of their albums over the years.

I've been listening to the music of Paul Weller since I was a spotty youth in my mod phase in the early Eighties. He was lead singer of The Jam back then, with drainpipe trousers, sharp jackets, sharper haircuts and thin ties. I aspired to owning a pair of two tone 'Jam' shoes such was my idolatry of this fine band. I mod bopped to Going Underground, The Eton Rifles and desperately wanted to visit A Town Called Malice. He was the man who made me buy a fishtail parka with a target on the back. Boy, did I look like a dick. The Modfather I was not, but the local working man's club disco night dance floors had seen nothing like it...

Armed with my pleases and thank you's and my best disarming smile, we approached the man. He was three feet away. My teenage years flashed before my eyes in a Top of the Pops montage, (without Jimmy Savile) the music a swirl in my head. At last, I get to speak and interact with one of my few idols. Maybe even get a picture with him putting his hand on my shoulder and smiling together... One for the cameraman album.

"Mr Weller... BBC News, any chance of a quick chat on camera about the festival..?"

"Sorry guys, I gotta go..."

And with that, he was gone. He may have split a hair or something. Maybe the bar was calling, or his guitar needed a polish, in any case we got the bums rush and short shrift. My crest had fallen. My bubble was burst and my stiff upper lip de-stiffened. He never even said thanks to me for buying that single all those years ago... How could he do this to me? 95p I spent on that bloody single, you would think he would be more grateful.

They say never meet your idols. They can disappoint, let you down and make you change your view of them. Paul Weller once sang the lyrics...

'Lights going out and a kick in the balls, i say that's entertainment, that's entertainment.' (That's Entertainment, The Jam, 1980.)

It sure is Paul, it sure is. However, he did say sorry before he kicked me in the balls and left my deflated cameraman frame alone in the gutter, sans interview. He's a busy man, I forgive him.

I walk away and consoled myself with a memory of another festival years ago, when my one time teenage crush, Debbie Harry, let me put my hand up her jumper. (I was placing a mic) A warm glow enveloped me, at least she didn't leave me hanging on the telephone... That's a memory I will have forever.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.