Dean Martin made it look too easy. The effortless grace of his recorded output and the guileless charm of his screen work meant that his career as an artist was seriously undervalued. His career as a piss artist was another matter. Receiving the Omnibus treatment is a definite step in the right direction, paving the way for a full critical reappraisal when cameras roll on Martin Scorsese’s long gestating biopic. Rat pack confidante (and co-star in Rio Bravo and Ocean’s 77 )Angie Dickinson is among the interviewees giving the inside story on the life of one of the century’s most gifted entertainers. (Rob Fraser)
Omnibus: Dino, BBC 7, Mon 24 May
Better Living Through Chemistry isn’t just the name of a Fatboy Slim album, it's also the title of David Byrne’s new photography exhibition which has just opened in Glasgow. The Dumbarton-born star combines calendar art, pop psychology and drugs paraphernalia to strange and humourous effect. The former Talking Head lets The List into his lab.
The Lloyd Jerome Gallery is part of a dental practice. That must be an unusual venue for you? Usually, the kind of art they show in a dentist’s office is pastoral landscapes or horses or something. But I knew that I had these two pictures of a pair of pliers and a molar. I thought "I’ve been dying to show them like this”.’
Were you scared about public reaction to your photography?
I thought people were going to say that it's a rock star doing Sunday paintings. But you just have to expect that and try to get past it.
What's it like being back in Scotland?
I feel a closeness here. Of course, the place has changed a lot. It was black. I don’t miss the black, but I miss the coal smell. I guess you associate the coal smell with your granny and grandpa. (Moira Jeffrey)
David Byrne: Better Living Through Chemistry, Lloyd Jerome Gallery, Glasgow until
Thu 7 Jul. See review, page 73.
SW (11! will it t.-
6 me usr 13—27 May i999
Wisdom, and its accompanying teeth, comes to us all eventually. Wise men say knowledge is gained through loss — yeah, like knOWing the gut-tWisting agony that accompanies the removal of molars last requned when mankind fed on still-breathing prey. Like Vanessa Feltz and thrush, the horror of Wisdom tooth extraction Will surely visit its hellish pain upon us and, despite technological leaps that allow us to eat giant Smarties
tells the whole tooth
glossies say, style like that you just can’t buy. Three days later, I was discharged with more drugs than a bouncer’s pocket and the world’s tiniest toothbrush. Enforced house arrest period had commenced. Now, staying in is the new cous cous, apparently. But, as you may have surmised over the months, this comes to me about as naturally as growing an extra limb, so the time was approached with much caution. Milk had been bought and Now magazine stockpiled. But after a few days subjected to the vagaries of the TV scheduler, pre-masticated food and the tangled sex lives of C— list celebrities, I became feral and took to barking down the phone at friends and gnawing on chair legs. Visitors were banned, partly out of vanity,
Visitors were treated to the apparent spectacle of a vampire Rugrat baby on
in front of a tiny TV, we still remain a potential target for this evolutionary practical joke.
As my date With Dr Death approached, I became a flower in bloom to the honey bees of unwanted adVice that seem to crop up around illnesses and Windfalls. With diabolical glee, hitherto placid friends became alarmingly animated as they recounted their own particular version of ’My Wisdom Teeth Hell’. For every set of teeth extracted, the victim is issued With an OffiCial Horror Story and sent out into the world to spread angursh and torment to the uninitiated.
Weeks later, the operation over, I came round in a hospital bed and congratulated myself on getting through a potential ordeal relatively unscathed. Then, during a swift recce for knee marks on my chest, I happened to see The Extracted in a jar by the bed. The sight of these gargantuan tusks With attractive gum garnish brought on some kind of post-traumatic bleeding fit, and my later Visitors were treated to the apparent spectacle of a vampire Rugrat baby on base jellies. l was nothing if not touched at the orderlies' lovely suggestion that I get them gold-plated and wear them as earrings. No matter What the
mainly due to the fear that I would attempt to eat them due to my almost rabid hunger. Then — a breakthrough. With a resourcefulness displayed only by people in POW films and true life magazrnes, I discovered that I could prise my battered jaw open just Wide enough to allow a hallowed Malteser access. Firing on all sugar-boosted cylinders, no pastime was safe as l veered from finally finishing that work- in-progress skirt to reading all of the classics in a day. I discovered crannies of my flat that even a quantity surveyor on a finder's fee couldn't unearth and took to shouting my answers at William G. Stewart Whilst simultaneously re-stitching the Bayeux Tapestry and pureeing a baked potato. When the TV documentary crews arrived to Witness this raving woman from another time, I had declared the flat an independent state and demanded to be addressed by my proper title, Queen Gill, conqueror of solitude and bad TV scheduling, vanquisher of pain and holder of the teeth of Wisdom. If staying in really is the new going out, at least I'm on the guest list. Gill Mills is on Radio Scotland, Suns, and co-hosts The Loafers on BBC Choice, hie-Fri, 10pm.