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The good Doctor John Cooper Clarke is supposedly in a cab from his hometown of Colchester to the Union Club in London’s Soho. The king of the poets, whose spider-legs and shades have railed the storms of popular eons, through his ability to tell a tale. I wait alone, the creative director of this issue, Jason McGlade generously suggested I take the photos, so tracking down the cab driver once he’s an hour late, only to discover he’s turned around already - I go look down Greek Street, and who falls through the door but the sylph-like serpent of the stage, the punk with more fans than a fandango convention… (A friend later tells me I’ve hung out with John before, but that was the 90s, this is now.)
‘What time is it?’ he asks, as I ask him whether he’d like to approach the bronze bar. ’5 o’clock…’ We sneak in a pair of dirty martinis, and slip onto the balcony to smoke, and knowing there’s a dance of butterflies in place, we press record. This is a man who went out with Nico, one of the coolest women of the 20th century. He does a good impression of her. But the junky years are rarely the easiest of anyone’s life, but if you survive them, and the scars, you’re doing pretty good against the gods of statistics.