A few blogs ago I may have mentioned reading Keith Allen‘s autobiography. Well, now 3/4 of the way through it, I am approaching the point of stalking him out of sheer admiration. The chances that you, dear reader, have even heard of him, is very low, but I’ve been a fan for many, many years; purely because of the little I knew. But reading this book made me realise that everything you could imagine about Keith Allen’s wild life was wrong…he was waaay more wild and righteous in real life. Not to say that he wasn’t a total arsehole from time-to-time, in fact he was! But he admits as much! OK, that doesn’t excuse him, but he’s not asking for excuses! He’s giving the reader an unedited peek into his head – faults and all.
In order to avoid turning this into a KA love-in, I’ll get to the point: one anecdote in the book is about how he made a record with the deliberate purpose of making Afro-Carribbean homophobes feel uncomfortable. As dodgy as this sounds, it was born out of the frustration of witnessing one set of unjustly oppressed people being disgusted by another. People whom he’d marched alongside in previous years attacking others for being gay clearly bewildered and irritated him – it’s quite apparent that he is as happy and confident about his own sexuality as it is possible to be.
Anyway – here is the record he made. Listen to the lyrics, and then imagine the shock and discomfort the listeners went through while he interviewed them for his pirate radio show, and asked for their opinions on it. In Notting Hill. In the 70’s.