Monday, February 27, 2006

Greetings to the New Brunette

This is Billy Bragg. I am indebted to him for many things, one of them being the line below the title here. It came from his song "Must I Paint You a Picture". Apparently he's 48, says Rolling Stone, which recently told me he's got a box set out now, and writing a book called England Made Me, Too, but this picture looks oldish. Here's a gratuitous Brush With Celebrity Charm story. A few years ago I interviewed him. I'd just bought a microcassette recorder that morning and apologized for having to fuss with it a bit to prevent technical difficulties before we began. At some point I asked him, I don't know why, now I'm a bit ashamed that I did, if he ever wrote songs to woo women. "Absolutely! That's the whole point," he said. Then he went on to talk about how he'd been guilty of sending thinly veiled messages to ladies in lyrics. "For instance. Say I go home tonight, write a song, and put a lyric like 'She had a brand new tape recorder that she didn't know how to work,' in it." Say you did indeed. He didn't have to be that nice to tiny faux-journalistes earnestly questioning him in hotel conference rooms, but he was. Did I mention he's British?