To Tom Rabbit: This letter is a protest against the article Without Walls: Serge Gainsbourg published in The List 170.
We didn’t have the chance to watch the TV programme but the article was so offensive that we felt compelled to write.
First of all, we are wondering how wide the sphere of your French musical knowledge is. Is it limited to Vanessa — Joe le taxi - Paradis and Sacha Distel?! Have you ever heard of La Mano Negra, Les Négresses Vertes, Noir Désir, the Little Rabbits (you should have!) or Dominic Sonic for the young ones or Claude Nougaro, Francoise Hardy, Jacques Durronc, you might know Edith Piaf for the ‘older’ generation. And Serge Gainsbourg. . .
Your French must be limited to ’Allo ’Allo and Rapido if you dare talk of poor lyrics: Serge Gainsbourg was a poet before being an agitator. But that must be beyond your understanding of art and poetry.
About the song ‘Lemon Incest’, you obviously don’t have a clue about the meaning of the lyrics: ‘the love that we will never make together is the most beautiful, the most moving, the purest . . .’
So before blocking up the Channel Tunnel, make sure you are not underestimating a culture that has so much to teach you.
(Two Froggies who nevertheless love Scotland)
PS LAPPIN takes just one p.
Well, thanks to your culture for the croissant, good wine and nice cheese Nadine and Christéle. Its contribution to the worlds of art, literature and medicine are ﬁne, but we don ’t really think that popular music has been a forte. Still, a bottle of the golden, delicious, Jose C uervo Tequila awaits you in our Glasgow Ofﬁce
l l 9
If you’ve got cultural indigestion from an overload of Mayfestor
.t. ‘ A l
‘If The Listsays it’s bad then it it might be good, but if The List says it’s good then it’s probably
excellent.’ So they say. And if The
List tells you it’s the best thing the Royal Lyceum’s ever done. that it ‘reminds you what your imagination’s for‘. what then? Well. then you go and see it.
Merlin by Tankred Dorst. Did I really go to the same show as Mark Fisher? Ifso. does he have an interest to declare? Was he playing a joke? Did he in all honesty intend to praise so highly such a tedious arrangement of idea-free set-pieces. that dreary procession of passionless, ineptly told tales. the whole thing bordering on onanism? Didn’t he even think it years out-of—date in conception and execution. rather 1973? No? Oh well, to be very fair. the acting had to be admired in the circumstances. especially Kern Falconer as Merlin. but weren’t the cast‘s vigorous efforts continually undermined by the plodding, adapted script, hopelessly eager not to miss a trick?
‘Vulgar, coarse, spitting and naked.’ Is this what got your critic going? Nakedness takes one form in Merlin: twice in the course of the show (at the Royal Lyceum. mind) a penis is visible on stage. It is quite a rare sight in any theatre and maybe that is what made Mark Fisher's judgement cock-eyed. As for those crowding round the box office at the end. To Fisher they were buying tickets for a second sitting; I thought they were demanding their money back. And now. if The List says it’s good . . . What now?
J.H. McEwen Tollcross Edinburgh.
feel the urge to call the fashion police for Nick Cave’s shirts, don’t take a trip to Naked Lunch ’5 Interzone, just write a letter to The List. The best one next issue will win a bottle of very wonderful Jose Cuervo Tequila.
To the barricades!
‘Elections come and elections go, but only the people remain.’
Yes. well. this election has certainly come and gone. and the last time I checked. the people seemed to be remaining. Once again. Scotland is to be governed by people unsympathetic to our needs and aspirations. people unwanted by 75 per cent ofour electorate.
I spent the Friday and Saturday after the election under a cloud of gloom. searching television and newspapers for a sign of hope. I found one feature in The Herald which offered this: a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society at Durham University warned about
the large numbers of asteroids which
‘ are moving closer to the Earth. with
a remote possibility that one could strike (though not for centuries). Evidence suggests that an asteroid about 10 kilometres wide hit the Earth 65 million years ago. causing an environmental catastrophe which may have wiped out the dinosaurs. From meteors to metaphors, I started to consider how we could free Scotland from the political dinosaurs in London. Perhaps it is going to take something as drastic as the aforesaid asteroid.
Indeed, that is what political
I figures were hinting at on Friday. 3 Stopping short ofviolence for
obvious reasons. there was a growing support for ‘passive civil disobedience‘. Charles Gray, the Labour leader of Strathclyde Regional Council stated that ‘civil disobedience could very well be considered‘. urging Scots to ‘Iivea little dangerously’. In answer to Ian ' Lang‘s statement that ‘the Scottish Conservative Party has earned the right to speak with a clear voice on
behalf of the Scottish people’. Labour MP George Galloway claimed that ‘we must mobilise and examine passive civil disbbedience‘. ‘Mobilise’ could be a key word here, with Tommy Sheridan indicating that the Anti-Poll Tax veterans will play the role of shock troops in any battle against Central Government. There are many hints towards a conclusion: make no mistakes about it. there’s a ‘riot a‘ coming‘!
You’re not alone Eddie, as a peek at this issue '5 Agenda page will show.
While reading the preview ofSean Hughes new W show in last week’s copy of The List I noted with interest that he had been described as ‘like a mixture of Woody Allen. Spalding Gray and Steven Patrick Marcey‘. Who is this Steven Patrick Marcey I wondered. Is he some obscure Irish Comic? Surely he couldn’t be the Marcey who with his friend Jimmy More gave us such fine LPs as Meet His Mother, Stranraer Here We Come and Lewder Than Bums? Dear me, it’s enough to make an old Smiths fan choke on her marguerita. E. Crawford Broughton Street Edinburgh. ‘Guilty as Charged’ admits our man Parr with a syringe excavating his ear. He has promised that from this moment forth he will not wear any suede on his head while conducting interviews.
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NEXT ISSUE OUT ON THURSDAY 7 MAY
Shanga-lang: kd eats Salmonberries in the new Adlon flick Kayo-boy: Anthony Hopkins in Howard's End
J i ii n ' Jason:
Rehello with a cause
NOT ONLY TIIIS, BUTA [.80. . . Two more weeks of Mayfest, Brith (iof. Sheila Hancock. Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. Michelle Shocked. the new David Lynch/Mark Frost documentary American Chronicles. and loads more. . .
72'I'hc List 24 April - 7 May l‘)‘)2
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