The World According To Garry Bushell is
an outspoken (but extremely funny and thought-provoking!)
rant against things that people get angry about
but dare not put into words for fear of being
outed as politically incorrect. Political correctness
has never bothered you though, has it! You are
the spokesman for the common man. The People's
Protester. Or even The People's Patriot, cos like
a patriot missile you home straight in on all
the evil forces that are trying to asphyxiate
the Great out of Great Britain, such as the EU
- 'the greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry'
- and Benny Hill being banished from our TV screens.
So... tell us all about the book... how easy was
it to rein yourself in and keep it to just 340
pages? What's been the response from readers so
far? Have you sent a copy to Gordon Brown yet?
Any feedback from libraries as to whether it's
likely to go on their 'banned' list? Is there
a Volume 2 in the pipeline? I
could have kept going. These days I’m as
angry as a ferret on fire. Every time I watch
the news or open a paper something else drives
me nuts. Gordon Brown is such an incompetent charlatan.
Cameron is so wet, if you blew on him he’d
ripple; and the Lib Dims are as meaningless as
Fearne Cotton’s existence... I’ve
tackled a whole range of irritations in the book
– there are more big issues than you’d
find a broker flogging under the arches at Charing
Cross... everything from immigration and modern
art to the laughable limitations of political
rock. I’ve tried to keep it hard-hitting
and funny like my newspaper column, but the decay
and disintegration of our culture, our country
and our freedoms seriously infuriates the hell
out of me. Which can’t be good for my health.
Mercifully I have a platoon of Bushell Babes to
fan me and feed me grapes until the rage diminishes.
there any MPs you do relate to? Not
really. Most MPs are detestable, although Dan
Hannon’s demolition of Brown this week was
wonderful to behold on YouTube.
What a change to see a politician speak plainly
and intelligently instead of following the party
line like some lobotomised sheep... between fiddling
their expenses in their second homes which they
generally don’t live in. You’ve probably
got the MP for some distant shire claiming your
loft as his second house right now. Have you checked?
watching TV calm you down? Are
you insane? Of course not! ITV2 gave Paris Hilton
a reality show. Why? Who gives a rat’s arse
about some rich Yank socialite with no brains
and no underwear? I turned on ITV the other morning
and Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford were banging
on and on about getting engaged. They’ve
been together 12 years! They’ve got a seven-year-old
son! Where's the story? Fat man gets engaged –
who gives a crap? (Calms
down, takes slug of wife-beater, continues) As
to whether I’ll write a second volume that
depends on the sales of the first; and due to
a cock-up at the publishers the book came out
in January rather than November, thus missing
the lucrative Christmas market... ho hum. The
reactions to it have been predictable. The Guardian
hated it and ran a libellous attack on it. But
I’ve had a lot of positive feedback too,
including from Mick Geggus of the Cockney Rejects
who loved it. Cheers Mick!
your views ever got you in trouble? I
had 48-hour police protection once after death
threats from Muslim extremists... and I got beaten
up by the neo-Nazi British Movement at an Upstarts
gigs in the 100 Club. But on the plus side, I
didn’t have to listen to Mensi that night.
Hey ho. Some people deserve to be offended.
your column in the Daily Star Sunday
you regularly make the point about TV bosses not
being in tune with what people want in the way
of comedy/variety/entertainment. If you ran your
own TV channel what would be on it? And which
up'n'coming actors, comedians etc would you feature
more of? Certainly
more music. I do an occasional pod-cast on total
rock radio, and I’m constantly surprised
by the quality of the tracks I get sent by unsigned
bands. I’m very keen on Tommy Schitt and
the Punishment Fuckers at the moment, although
their name may possibly be a barrier to prime
time TV exposure. But why can’t we have
a weekly show devoted to new bands and another
one for good old bands? I’ve had enough
of karaoke arseholes. Let’s hear from people
who write their own songs and don’t fit
in with Simon Cowell’s tyrannical vision
of what constitutes mainstream music. Read Cowell’s
book – he hated most rock, all punk, The
Stranglers, even Dylan. Imagine what he’d
make of Airborne or the King Blues. Rancid would
fry his brains. We’ve got some terrific
song-writers in Britain like Nick Welsh and Chris
Pope who are denied air-play... although not on
my podcast. I’ll play anyone. Even Waysted...
It’s the same story with variety turns.
It irritates the hell out of me that someone as
talented as Joe Longthorne never gets any telly.
This bloke is the spirit of showbusiness decanted
into a suit. He is the greatest singing impressionist
England has ever produced; he is seriously world
class and funny too. Why do we never see him on
TV? Or great comics like Mick Miller, Mickey Pugh,
Adrian Walsh and Johnnie Casson? Simply because
TV execs are governed by this spurious obsession
with demographics and these performers are judged
to be too old... as if people from 16 - 35 (the
key targets for admen) only laugh at performers
the same age as themselves.
It wasn’t true when I was a kid –
I loved Steptoe, Milligan and Python - and it
isn’t true now. The whole demographic argument
is flawed. When 24 started or Harry Hill’s
TV Burp or The Office they appealed across three
generations in my family because they were quality.
If Morecambe and Wise were starting out now, they’d
be told: “You’re funny, fellas, but
can you cook?” Imagine trying to pitch Fools
& Horses to the BBC today... three blokes,
one a pensioner, living on a council estate...
the door wouldn’t hit your arse on the way
out. But audiences came to that show because it
was funny, and that audience included ABC1s under
Wouldn’t you rather see an old comic who
could deliver proper belly-laughs than see Horne
& Corden (Corn & Boredom) land a series
because they’re the flavour of the month
and die on their arse?
Terry Alderton is a good comic we don’t
see enough of. Dave Lee lights up a stage with
TV used to be run by impresarios – now it’s
run by accountants and tossers with degrees in
media studies. The results speak for themselves.
else would you change? I’d
introduce a nightly late night topical comedy
show along the Tonight Show lines. And a later
one fronted by Jerry Sadowitz. I’d
revive Comedy Playhouse for sitcom writers outside
of the TV mafia. And when was the last great home-grown
action drama? I’ll tell you – Life
On Mars which was The Sweeney re-imagined and
then they buggered it up with Ashes To Ashes...
This decade has been the new golden age of television
drama with terrific shows such as The Sopranos,
The Wire, The Shield, Entourage, Boston Legal,
Dexter... all of them American. Why don’t
we do shows this good any more? We used to. British
TV produced The Sweeney, Minder, The Avengers,
The Prisoner, Law and Order – most of them
ITV shows by the way. But now ITV churn out dross
like The Palace and wonder why their viewing figures
are plummeting like a suicidal banker. We’ve
got the talent in droves; we’re just not
using it. Tom Hardy is a terrific actor, so is
Danny Midwinter. And we’ve got great writers
such as Ronnie Thompson, Colin Butts and John
King who should be encouraged to write for TV
you have free access to every single TV programme
ever made, and you can choose a whole 24 hours
of viewing... what's it to be? Ha!
I’ve just reeled off most of my favourite
shows... but I would definitely include classic
episodes of Seinfield, Steptoe, the Simpsons,
Star Trek TNG, Porridge, Fawlty Towers, the Mighty
Boosh, Spike Milligan’s Q series, Fools
& Horses, Bilko, Python, Auf Wiedersehen Pet,
Benny Hill, Hancock’s Half Hour, Les Dawson,
Arthur Haynes, Lost In Space – danger Will
Robinson – and a special edition of Top
Of The Pops compiled by me and featuring Lizzy,
Slade, Sabbath, Desmond Dekker, The Jam, The Ruts,
The Damned, Motorhead, Pluto Shervington (cont
well as being an author, journalist and radio
& TV personality (cough) you're also very
active (cough) as the singer (oops, sorry about
this coughing fit) with The Gonads.
For GRTRoll readers who've never had the pleasure,
give us a taste of The Gonads, and tell us what's
shaking in their world right now. How
very dare you! Yes I sing like a ruptured donkey
with The Gonads, the second greatest punk band
ever to come out of Indus Road in Charlton. We’ve
been going off and on (mostly off) since the mid-70s.
We’re in to making a racket and having a
laugh, so we have flag girls on stage and an 18-stone
fat bloke who comes on as Franken-Skin (Eddie
eat yer heart out). We aren’t easy on the
ear. We sound like a fire in a monkey house. I
understand our music is played at Dover to repel
Gonads combine elements of punk, Ska and Cockney
culture, we are constantly seeking new groupies,
and we play anywhere. We did the Punk & Disorderly
festival in Berlin last month which was a hoot.
There must have been 3,000 in when we played and
they seemed to love it... We’ve got Sweden
coming up in May and possibly the States in July.
It’s not always great, though. We were on
a reggae bill a couple of weeks ago; it was the
first time we’d played to an audience that
was 98% Rastafarian and we went down like the
Belgrano. But hey ho, it’s horses for courses.
No point trying to sell someone hats if they wanna
got a new album out called Live Free,
Die Free which is 18-tracks on vinyl,
sixteen on CD... blah, blah, plug plug... brilliant...
artistically valid... blah... and we’re
recording a credit crunch single next month called
Fat Cat Splat.
GRTRoll readers will remember you fondly from
your days with Sounds - where you produced some
of the finest and funniest rock journalism of
its time. I know people who can quote your reviews
word for word even now, almost thirty years after
they were written! As
part of the Sounds gig you were (un)lucky enough
to tour with Ozzy and UFO - and it was you who
discovered Twisted Sister and got them a UK record
deal! That must have been quite a wild old time...
how did you manage to keep to the disciplines
required by a weekly magazine, such as deadlines
and wordcounts etc, and still come up with brilliant
wordage week after week? Sulphate.
Which of course I don’t touch any more.
I’m joking. Have you got any? Seriously,
it was invigorating. It was so much fun all the
time. The highlights had to be every UFO trip,
the Specials in New York, Maiden on the road,
ZZ Top in Vegas, Hanoi Rocks in India, Motorhead
in Berlin... Lemmy saying “this is something
you haven’t heard for 35 years – Bomber!”
Why did I ever quit Sounds?
page on your website gives us an insight into
your countless accomplishments, including being
dubbed both "the Godfather of Oi" and
"the Bernard Manning of Pop" (the latter
by Boy George who probably had a bit of a thing
for Bernard Manning - or even Bernard Matthews).
What are the most memorable achievements from
your career so far? Surviving
life on the road with Ozzy I reckon. It really
was as wild as you’d imagine. Waking up
in a Fort Lauderdale hotel to find your hotel
room is apparently under attack from mortar bombs
- which turned out to be Oz “letting his
hair down” with the stage pyrotechnics...
but I reckon I’ll save all those stories
for another book some time.
I was quite proud of documenting 2-Tone, writing
Maiden’s book Running Free
and compiling the Oi albums. I’m proud of
my family of course, and of my novel The
Face – even though it got me the
some of your biggest bloopers? My
biggest error was employing Piers Morgan. Yes
folks, I’m to blame. My second biggest error
was not sleeping with (name of Page Three girl
deleted for legal reasons) when she wanted me
to. Third? Stopping managing the Cockney Rejects.
Fourth? Not forming a Streetpunk label back in
1981 when I could and should have done - but then
I’ve never been a businessman.
had a knack for spotting new bands back on Sounds,
are there any unsigned acts that have caught your
eye recently? God, loads. The great thing
about MySpace is that you find great new bands
all the time. I just heard the debut album from
Dub City Rockers which is terrific. I like Buster
Shuffle, Spinerette, Krakatoa, Maninblack, Exile
Parade, Wonk Unit... loads of terrific foreign
bands like Stomper 98... I can’t believe
Skaville UK are unsigned. I also rate a lot of
Yank bands who haven’t made much impact
over here yet, such as the Bouncing Souls, Tiger
Army and the Gaslight Anthem.
else is happening on Planet Bushell at the moment?
just written a new short story for a US publisher
called Comet Press. They took
my first horror story last year and published
it in an anthology called Deadlines.
I’m working on my first graphic novel, too.
I’m also about to start recording Bushell
On The Box as a web-cast, along with
interviews with prime rock and punk bands. Plenty
going on all the time. Have a look at garry-bushell.co.uk
for details if you’re interested. I’m
also on MySpace,
Facebook and Twitter,
although it has to be said Twitter isn’t
half as much fun as naked Twister.
are your top five heroes, living or dead? Only
five? That seems a bit tight. Definitely Max Miller.
George Orwell. Kipling. Peter Aloysius Way of
UFO. And Nelson. But bubbling under would be Milligan,
Ian Dury, Gus Elen, Paddy Mayne, and Alfred The
would you like to be and what would you like to
be doing in five years time? Alive,
breathing... and writing books, in between Gonads
gigs and servicing Alesha Dixon’s carnal