and here’s me drinking something poisonous with a little pink umbrella in a holding cell of the marlborough magistrates court opposite carnaby street, which they’ve gleefully reinvented as a restaurant and bar. the toilet bowl has now been re-appropriated as an ice bucket for champagne bottles…
i drank three of those potent oil rigs there,but found the whole experience rather sobering. dear reader, these are the very cells where oscar wilde was held before they dragged him out into the dock to be humiliated…mick jagger..john and yoko…johnny rotten….. all these dear bright talented people must have sat right there where i am like bags of nerves wondering what would become of them. now anyone can lounge around on those very unchanged tiles and get ripped to the tits on alcohol….these dolls i mention were in the dock on account of someone elses hypocritical idea of morality..they hadn’t stolen anything…or caused bodily harm to anyone…they all worked extremely hard, and they must’ve sat right there with heads in hand shaking for what would happen over the next hours…especially oscar wilde. this was all i could think and talk about while i drank my spiked lemonade …in the next holding cell i could hear a gang of folk laughing and clinking cocktail glasses .. perhaps it’s best they weren’t brooding over history in the way i was… after all, life is for living.
here’s pictures of the courtroom where the trials took place…they haven’t changed the interior at all. it just looks so strange to see tablecloths and wine glasses scattered around a room where folk were fried… vampires on a dinner date surely love this place.
when i was an eighteen year old,paying the rent as a disc jockey six nights a week in birmingham,i used to walk past a public toilet on the way to my club…it was a smelly underground affair with ornate tiles,and the local fruits nick named it the silver slipper. sometimes i’d risk going down there… silly really…i’d be on my way to work, so i couldn’t get up to much anyway. it was just this strange need…a need to brush shoulders with others of my own kind, yet to meet them in these squalid circumstances did nothing for my young sense of self worth..there was the fear of getting caught and humiliated… in those days i used to wonder how nice it must be for straight folk having easier access to love and social life… but now i realise the lives of straight people have their own set of nightmares as well. it’s deep shit for us all baby…. anywayyy..here’s the thing, and how i laughed… recently i came across a picture of the human league before they were famous, posing for a photo right there above the silver slipper on birmingham’s hill street…they look totally oblivious to the locations cruisey resonance… if only they knew. maybe it’s a hipster coffee shop now smelling of freshly ground beans instead of wee wee.
i will leave you now with two videos,both shot at the same soho public toilet..the first is john lennon with peter cook in the 1960’s, and the following is me from a few of years ago. i hope that was good for whoever came by…lots of love ..mary cigarettes