Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Life on Planet Hollywood

Maybe it's an age thing, but I've found myself obsessed with the TV series LIfe on Mars, which is of course set in 1973, the year I went to university. I've been watching the DVDs with the family, shouting out things like "that's a Ford Cortina 2000E! One of my first girlfriends' dad had one of those!".

Having been in Glasgow for the last week, staying in the west end, I've been revisiting some of the scenes of my (highly reputable, apart from the curries)university years. One thing I missed yesterday during a perambulation through Kelvingrove Park was the overwhelming aroma of curry that used to waft from Gibson Street. But the notion that you could have a capuccino by the Kelvin (from the excellent Big Blue) was unthinkable in 1973, when the Kelvin was (even more) nasty and noxious and that walkway didn't exist.

Anyway, yanking me back to another era was my boss Jeff Zycinski in his blog yesterday. To be precise, 1996, and the Tom Morton Show (Version II; we're on Version III these days...or is it IV?). Jeff had unearthed a video taken during our trip to Hollywood to broadcast live for a week (from a studio deep in the heart of East LA's gangland, at 3.00 am)and a publicity shot which makes me look like Gene Hunt (from Life on Mars) only with serious haemorrhoid problems. But, it has to be said, with a great deal more hair. Than I do now, that is. Gene seems plentifully hirsute. Though who knows what he'll look like in the Life on Mars sequel, apparently set in 80s.

Ah, that trip to Hollywood! Backstage at the Jay Leno Show, getting chased off the Universal Studios (not the theme park) backlot by security, the phenomenal burgers, taking tea with Gregory Peck at his house, the delightful Ed Asner, the strange Michael York (wearing makeup because he thought we were a TV show) and the gang member with the gun...

Enough nostalgia! It just ain't what it used to be. Or perhaps it is. Where can I find some Cremola Foam, a camel hair coat and a Ford Capri?

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