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Part 3 (1979 to 2004  By Dave Goodman


Hi! My name is Dave Goodman and I've a story to tell, so amazing that you'll be asking yourself "is this real?" If I said it was, then I doubt if I could tell it so you will have to decide for yourself.

 I was born in London England in 1951 and after a fairly pleasant childhood, became a professional musician. I played bass guitar for the likes of The Drifters and Ben E King and toured with The Four Seasons and The Jackson Five (to name but two). In early 76, I landed myself a job live mixing and producing the Sex Pistols, but that's another story.


Our story starts after all this in 1979 in a hospital not far from London's Heathrow Airport..................

 Chapter 1 - Nothing Can Be Absolutely True

 "Wow! I'm still alive," I thought as the veil of unconsciousness lifted to reveal a troupe of 'white coats' at the end of my bed.

 "Can you hear us?" one of them asked. I nodded.
"Can you speak?" I croaked.

 I noticed a nurse pumping something into my arm.  It gave me a sudden rush and my surroundings became clearer. I felt as if I was floating in a sea of rainbow coloured energy.  I was so elated, I beamed a huge smile at the 'white coats' who themselves were all smiles and thumbs. They made notes, promised to come back later, then left me to sleep it off.

 You see, I'd just had an operation to remove a growth from my neck that had been there probably from birth.  The growth was larger than expected and the operation got messy. Nearly seven hours I was under the surgeon's knife but I'd survived and right now, I felt on top of the world.

 My recovery in hospital seemed miraculous.  I felt as if a divine light had touched me.  I not sure how else I can describe it. I needed little sleep and at night angels who played to me the most beautiful music and told me profound truths visited me. They're first pearls of wisdom being "NOTHING CAN BE ABSOLUTELY TRUE," "ALL LIFE IS A MIRACLE" and "WHEN ONE FLOWS WITH THE FORCES OF GOOD, ONE IS REWARDED IN WAYS UNIMAGINABLE."

 That week in hospital was one of the happiest in my life and during it, I remember reading two amazing life changing books 'The Miracle of Life' and 'The Selfish Gene'.  I'd also revived some dead plants and made a start on a still unfinished musical called 'A Tribute to the Miracle of Life'. On top of that, I conceived a new religion called 'Goodism'. The central philosophy to Goodism is "speak good words, think good thoughts and do good deeds". Your altar was a mirror and if you felt like making a sacrifice, then you could burn money, which I did.

 I may have appeared a little crazy but I felt perfectly sane and was excited by the journey that lay ahead.  The surgeon was impressed with the speed at which my scar had healed.  We put it down to the witch hazel I'd been rubbing on it.  He had no real explanation for my intense euphoria though.  "You lost a lot of blood you know, maybe all that new blood is affecting you.  We got the bugger out just in time; huge it was, growing down to your lungs and up to your brain. Another three months and it could have turned into meningitis.  We had to get it all out, other wise it would grow again. Your lucky to be alive you know.  Bye the way, do you believe in God?"  Why was he asking me this, I was confused. "I believe in good," I said and he left it at that.

 One thing I noticed during this intense phase of what you could call 'my rebirth' was how much time there was in a day.  Up till now my life had become pretty chaotic with lots of loose ends all over the place.  People owed me money, they'd not returned things I'd lent them and in general some so-called friends were taking me for granted.  "Good old Dave Goodman, he's a good man, he never complains".  I guess I had been taking the path of least resistance, going with the flow and keeping it cool man, no wot I mean?  Well not any more.

I discharged myself from hospital - the growth was pickled and the surgeon emigrated to Oz.  I remember my last day in hospital very well.  I had just enough money to make one phone call and booked a cab to drive me the twenty miles or so into central London.  I was going to the offices of a certain record company to sort out some unfinished business.

 The ride into London was a surreal trip down memory lane.  As we passed through Bedfont, I noticed the clock on top of the old church that we used to try and stop by throwing darts at it. Maybe subconsciously we were trying to stop time itself and remain forever in our youth.

 We passed by the village green, and painful memories of lust and betrayal swept over me.  Why couldn't she wait for me instead of loosing her virginity to that biker?

 "Nasty scar you got there," said the cabby "what happened, did you get in a fight?"
"No, operation" I said, " they saved my life.
"Ain't it marvellous what they can do these days" he said "take my Uncle Jim for instance, he was involved in a mid air collision during the war. It was over the Alps you know, any way Jim hit the eject button but his legs were trapped and came clean of at the knees, never thought he'd walk again.  He got so upset, he tore all the medals off his tunic ………….. Blah…. Blah……."

 I could see this was gonna be a long story and made myself more comfortable.

 We passed the old hut where I rehearsed with the school brass band.

 "There they were, frozen in ice……….blah ……blah….." carried on the taxi driver.

 We passed Minimax Corner where we used to hang out as Mods in 1965, pass Hounslow Heath where my dad grew up and we'd go exploring together looking for Dick Turnips treasure.

 "So they flew them back and sewed them on." ………I suddenly realised he'd reached the end of his story and was waiting for a response.
"They sewed them on," I said, repeating the last thing he said. "Yeah, isn't that the most incredible thing you've ever heard?"  I was confused so I repeated; "they sewed his medals back on?" "Medals," laughed the cabby, "no he's bloody legs of course, can you believe that? Parted from your legs for twenty years then they return in the post. He was bloody lucky his mum put name tags in his socks."
"Wow! Amazing" I said then fell back into silence.  I wasn't sure what to believe anymore.  "NOTHING CAN BE ABSOLUTELY TRUE" seemed to be an important lesson to me.  I knew I existed, I could hear my voice and experience my surroundings. The taxi driver existed too, we shared one another's reality but I had my doubts about his Uncle Jim and his ‘legs reunited’.

 As we drove down Hounslow high street, memory after memory came flooding back.  There was the little club where I'd witnessed early live performances from Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Nice & Geno Washington etc.  We passed Iselworth Polytech where I furthered my education twice a week and where in the summer of 67 we staged a trippy happening.

 We swung up onto The Great West Road and pass the empty factory that used to be Pyrene Ltd, a company that my dad worked for during the war and where I served two years of a five year apprenticeship before it closed down.  I had some great and crazy times there but that’s another story.

 "Are you in a hurry?" asked Mr Taxi.
"Why's that then,"
"Well I know this great pub on the way, I thought we could pop in for a pie and a pint if you've got a spare half-hour or so."
"Sounds great to me, make it so Scotty," I joked.

 Chapter 2 - Getting Mashed at the Snashville

 In no time we were sitting in the Nashville pup.  I'd been playing gigs here for years with my own band Orange Rainbow.  I also hired out my PA here to bands like AC DC,  Kilburn & The High Roads, George Melly (I could go on).  It is also where I first worked with the Sex Pistols in the days when the term 'Punk Rock' had not yet been coined. 

 At that Pistols first gig, they supported the 101ers who had the late great Joe Strummer as front man.  I remember that after he saw the Sex Pistols perform, he went so crazy on stage that he kicked a hole in our monitor speakers.  The next day, a few friends and me tracked him down to his squat where we kidnapped his roadie until they coughed up the damages. 

 I was so excited by the Sex Pistols, that I became their full time sound engineer and eventually their record producer.

 "What you drinking then" asked my driver who had just introduced himself as Snowy.  Now the Nashville is a Fullers pub and they serve a rather good glass of ale known as E.S.B. (extra special bitter).  It's won awards all over the world and I cannot recommend it enough.  But be careful, I've seen initiates pass out after just one pint and seasoned drinkers rarely managed to down more than three.  They some times manage to order a forth but end up spilling it before it gets past their lips. 

 We were in for a treat today, the barman had to warn us that they were getting to the bottom of the barrel and hence the beer was even stronger.

"Are you sure you wouldn't prefer a pint of London Pride instead?" quizzed the barman.   I looked at Snowy and he smiled back. 
 "Nah! Give us the sherbets, you only die once. 
"Look Snowy" I said slightly embarrassed, I don't exactly have any money on me right now" he looked worried, "well not until I get where we're going" he relaxed a bit. "Look, put these beers on the fare and I'll sort you out latter". 
"No it's OK John," he said (I hadn't yet told him my name) "the Milky Bars are on me" and with that, he started eyeing up the two broads sat in the corner. 

 Their tattoos and nine o'clock shadows made me somewhat dubious and I knew that since some journalistic twat announced that "PUNK WAS DEAD", the Nashville had been staging Drag Shows but I couldn't bring myself to disillusion Snowy just yet, he seemed to be having such a good time.

 So what's you name then?" asked Snowy.
"Dave" I replied.
"And what does Dave do for a living?"
"I'm in the music business"
"Music business eh! So does that mean that you take lots of drugs and shag loads of groupies?

He wasn't far of the mark although female companionship had been a bit sparse lately.

"Well, I used to be a professional musician and now I produce bands," I said in an attempt to make myself a bit more respectable.
"Well go on then, who have you produced,"
"Oh yeah that school boy band with the midget drummer, what's his name? Deelinquent or som'in."


"Yeah! That’s the geezer, who else?

"Em, Front" he gave me a blank look,

"The Vibrators" I added. 

"I've erd of dem, I bought my girlfriend one for Christmas, just after I dumped her."  The beer was now flowing along with the laughter.

"Who else then, anybody really famous?"

Now was the time to deliver the golden nugget but I thought I'd drag it out for maximum effect.

"Well there was that band, what were they called now, The Spunk Rifles no that’s not it, em oh yeah! The Fuck Muskets" Snowy screwed up his face in sympathy to my contemplation, then I could see he got where I was going and in unison we cried out 'The Sex Pistols'.  The broads in the corner turned round and stared in our direction, probably at the mention of sex.

 "Wow, the bleeding Sex Pistols, you're joking ain't yeah?"

"No I'm Fred King his brother actually, please to meet you".  Big laughs all round.  At that point I went over to the jukebox and there they were, The Sex Pistols, 'I Wanna Be Me' and 'No Fun' complete with my credit as producer. I dropped a coin in the slot, dialled the magic number and Steve's thrashing powerchords came blasting out the speakers.  Boy it was loud; the levels must still have been set from the night before.  The barman was just about to turn it down when he noticed half the pub gyrating to the music. Rottens larger than life voice kicked in "Turn the page it's the scoop of the century etc" God, they sounded great, no wonder they changed the course of musical history.

 "You lucky bastard," shouted Snowy above the music "you must be a very rich man."
"Yeah! I should be when the next royalty check comes through." "It was an incredible experience being there from the beginning you know, watching it grow until it exploded.  I could tell you some amazing stories".
"You should write a book about it"
"Funny you should mention that, but it's one of the things I've been doing in hospital, I've actually got it here in the bag".
"Well, good luck to yer, I hope you get yer money, this music sounds amazing, same again?"
"Oh! Alright then, you only die once" 

We stopped talking and listened to the music. I gazed around at the familiar sites.  Across the bar I could see the stage in the backroom where it all began. I could visualise the Sex Pistols walking out to much jeers and laughter, pissed on McLarens brandy and Johnny announcing that "if they didn't like it they could fuck of home," they really had some balls that band.

 Just then in walked an extremely short Asian looking punk clad in leather; padlock round the neck and a Sid Vicious T-shirt.  The outfit was topped of with red spiky hair.  He was followed by a group of Japanese punks in similar attire who were busily snapping away at the classic Wurlitzer Juke box that was still playing the closing bars to 'No Fun'.

"I'm waiting to have some fun, I'm waiting I got no one, I'm all alone. This is no fun etc."

The record cut off suddenly in mid sentence bringing us all back to earth with a dull thump.

  The Japanese troupe were sightseers and the Asian punk was their guide. He started to explain that the stain on the carpet was where Sid had thrown up. Utter bullshit, but out came the camera's once more.

 The E.S.B. was certainly working it's magic.  We'd forgotten to eat and in my heightened state of awareness, I felt like I was floating.

 "What yer reckon, hit the road?" asks Snowy.
"Yeah, I guess we should, you alright to drive?"
"Nah, I should probably have another pint but I'll risk it if you will, better have a leek though."
"Yeah, me too."

In the bogs, I could still see the remains of the graffiti that had probably been put there by Rotten three years earlier. 'Live fast - Die young' -  'Accept no substitutes' - 'Death to Disco' and other such words of wisdom now fading due to years of piss and vomit spray.

 In came the Asian guide followed by the Japanese expedition.

"This is where Johnny Rotten and Sidney Vicious used to fix up," said Punky Patel as he pointed to the end cubicle.  More clicking of cameras - more bullshit.

 We left them to it and headed for the door.  On the way out, Snowy went over to the two broads in the corner who were putting on yet another layer of makeup. 

"If you ever need picking up, here's my card, just ask for Snowy"
"Ooh! Get you ducky" one of them said in a rather camp voice "you can pick me up anytime" said the other.

Snowy walked away with a big grin on his face.  When we got outside he turned to me and said,

"I reckon those birds fancied me"
"Never mind the Bollocks! Snowy" was my reply but I think my less than subtle humour got missed.