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Sunday, May 22, 2005

UK In the Buff

May 23- Sorry about the long delay in updates, we were sans-internet and drunk in London, and then I was jetlagged in Los Angeles, and then I was back-to-work in Los Angeles. It’s not that you’re not important to me—you are, you are!—and it’s not that I forgot about you—never, never!—it’s just that it takes a bit of time to restructure one’s life into something suitable for the working world after a four-week bender. Now here I am, wearing my suit and tie, dying to service your every desire.

Funny story involving a bodily malfunction: I was nodding off on the airplane home, only to be rudely awakened by a loud farting noise, then a wretched smell. Behind me, I overheard an old British woman speaking. "It's horrible," she said. "It's awful! It's disgusting! Why, this is the most detestable smell I've ever been confronted with." After about five minutes of this, she rang the steward to do something about it. "Please," she said, "do something about this horrible smell!" Finally, after harassing and haranguing three separate attendants, someone located a bottle air freshener, which placated her for a bit. After all that, I couldn't help but recall the age-old adage—She who smelt it, dealt it. I would have leaned back and said this to her if it hadn’t been me who farted.

Here is a quick rundown of everything I can remember from the last few days of the tour, each with a rating on the Brilliant!/Not So Brilliant! scale. (“Brilliant!” means “very, very good,” while “Not So Brilliant” can be translated as “OK, I guess.”)

May 16: Cardiff Barfly show – Brilliant!
Running into girl I drunkenly made an ass of myself in front of at Graham Coxon show on our last UK tour – Not So Brilliant!
Learning to speak Welsh from my new friend Jen – Brylnt! (Imagine how cool it would be if that meant “Brilliant!” in Welsh!)

May 17: Arrival of my wife in London – Brilliant!
Brixton Windmill show – Brilliant!

May 18: Tate Modern exhibit on Nudes throughout the ages – Brilliant! (I am a strong proponent of all things naked.)
Nathaniel’s theft of a box of fancy cigars from fancy Cuban restaurant – Brilliant! (Thievery of things one has always wanted to try, but always lacked the necessary funds to do so legally – Brilliant!)
The ladyboys at NagNagNag in the Ghetto Club – Brilliant! And Fabulous!

May 19: British Museum – Brilliant! I miss my Mummy! (Last joke – Not So Brilliant!)
Drunken horde of teenagers at Pure Groove Records Instore, dancing like it was their last day on earth – Beyond Brilliant!
Nathaniel running into the street and stopping traffic during Pure Groove Records Instore – Brilliant!
Drunken Los Angeles friends and new UK friend Aaron teaching cynical Industry-types how to dance at Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club show – Fucking Brilliant!

May 20: National Portrait Gallery – Brilliant! (More on this at end of rundown!)
Popping UK couple Karen and Nick’s double-date cherry – Brilliant!
Camden Barfly show, TBA’s first headlining sellout ever – Brilliant!
The fact that no fewer than fifteen people were on-stage at any given moment – Brilliant!

May 21: Waking up drunk for airplane ride home – Not So Brilliant!
Dyan's duffel going missing at baggage claim - Not So Brilliant x 1,000,000!

The National Portrait Gallery sums up everything I love about the UK. The Gallery features portraits of great Britons, the only requirement for the hanging of one’s portrait being that person whose likeness is hung is… Great. There are Great nurses hung next to Great kings. Elton John’s mug is sidled up next to that of Winston Churchill. It’s so beautifully socialist and inspiring. It made me proud to be from the UK, even though I’m from Los Angeles. (Worry not, friends from home. I’m proud to be from Los Angeles, too. Bi-country-confusion. What will my parents think?)

Here's what I'm trying to get at: Who's going to paint our portraits? (And we'll only pose in the buff.)

I’m going to miss the UK, but I’m glad to be home, too. UK, see you in August. Home, see you tomorrow. (I’m at the wife’s place right now.) I will continue update this diary regularly, so keep checking-in. It’s lonely here without you.


-Ben Lee


Anonymous wildchild said...

you guys should do a comming back show or something.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous FP said...

Yes, I need my Blood Arm fix.... give me, give me.... please don't be mean to this poor Blood Arm junkie...Give me a show. :-(

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Aaron said...

Yay thanks for mentioning me Ben, I love you!

Come back to England soon!!!

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Glad you had such a fabby time in the UK. I can't wait to see you guys again. You better be back soon

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Ha, if only.... instead it's gwych (pronounced gwee-chhhhh with the welsh noise at the end, hope you know what I mean)

Had a great time - cant wait til August, will see you there. Look out for me - i'll be the one in the TBA tshirt!!!!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous cuckoogirl said...

oh i hope it's not when i'm in california!!! will you be playing reading?

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Tyson said...

Come to Chicago.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've missed you soooo much here in L.A! When will you be playing a show for those of us who can't go any longer without dancing and jumping around to your music??? And will there be merchandise? Please say yes to both. Glad you had fun entertaining the Brits, but so happy you guys came back to us.

5:56 PM  

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