Excerpt from A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to That
William Burrough's House... the autobiography of Porridge:
It was the beginning of the end when Throbbing Gristle did a pop concert in San Francisco and we were singing An Old Man Smiled which is one of the ones what I wrote although Peter come up with some of it too, mainly that sort of twangy bit that sounds like how you used to make a farting noise with a ruler on the edge of the desk at school. We was doing An Old Man Smiled and I could hear Cosey Fanny picking out the notes of Popeye the Sailor Man on her guitar and I looked at her and she pretended not to know why I was looking at her because she is sneaky like that, the cow.
'Very funny,' I said but I was being sarcastic because I didn't think it was funny at all and it was not fair of Cosey to make fun of my sticky out eyes like that because it's my glands and I can't help it and anyway once I saw her put her hand in her drawers and scratch a bit when we was around at Cabaret Voltaire's house because they was borrowing our lawnmower and she took her hand out and sniffed it and then looked around because she thought no-one was looking but I saw it. Anyway she didn't hear me say nothing because we was doing our songs so loud so whatever. I wasn't bothered anyway.
When we had done the concert I was talking to some bloke from Research which is a magazine about murderers and lots of scary things and doing drawings of men's cocks on government buildings and stuff like that. It is a very good magazine but not a lot of people read it because they are scared of the truth about stuff and things. Anyway I was telling this bloke about how I was going to invent acid house but I was going to wait a bit because no-one was ready for it and I had only just invented punk rock a few years before and I wanted to pace myself a bit. That was when I spoke to that Malcolm MacLaren who is the ginger bloke out of the Sex Pistols. He came up to me when we was backstage with the famous Lou Reed.
'What am I going to do, Porridge?' he asked me. 'No one is interested in my band! They are not even as famous as the Rubettes!'
I couldn't think of nothing so I showed him my tattoo of Aleister Crowley sticking up the Vs to the Pope because I had just had it done and that's how he had the idea for Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols because there was a bit of space between Aleister Crowley's fingers and the Pope and I said, 'Oh Mr. Sebastian left that bit vacant,' and it was because I said it that he got the idea for it and that's why they got banned off the telly and became famous and all because I done it!
Anyway I was talking to this bloke from Research and he had said to me where do you get your ideas? so I was telling him and I was also telling him about the new song we were going to do which was about poo and it was a really playful and subversive song.
I see you,
I see you on the loo,
I see you doing a poo,
You are very nice and I am too.
Anyway there was a knock on the door. It was none other than that Ian Curtis from Joy Division. He had been following me around ever since we played in Liverpool where they are from and he came to see us and he came up to me after the gig and said he liked all of the songs what I wrote but the ones that Cosey Fanny did and that other bloke with the train set did weren't much good. His band were called Sad Sector but I had said to him that name is rubbish, Ian - you should change it is what you should do, and I told him Joy Division would be a good name because it was like the opposite of Sad Sector and I had playfully turned it upside down and inside out and stuff so it was subversive because it meant like those prozzies what the Nazis used to go and see behind the back of the van when they was feeling a bit randy and wanted to have it off and that. Ian said it was a dead clever name and he couldn't wait to see the faces of the fans when they heard it, and then they became famous, and that was sort of because of me when you really think about it.
'Come in, Ian Curtis my famous friend,' I told him, and he did and I could see Chris Carter looking over all envious and that because all he had was his blumming train set and I was the one who had all the fans asking me what's this song about, Porridge? and all the lady fans always wanted to have it off and that and no-one even knew about smelly knickers at the back fiddling with his knobs and switches. What a sad case! Ha ha ha! Once he kept pestering me because I had some toffos and I wouldn't give him none and he wanted a toffo and he kept saying pleeeaaase give us a toffo, Porridge and I said UFO to him which is the letters for you you-know-what off but I didn't want to say the middle word out loud because his mum was in the kitchen making us some chips, but I reckon that was how he got the idea for the X-Files and he never said thanks or nothing. Typical.
'What can I do you for?' I asked Ian Curtis.
'I'm fed up of Joy Division,' he said. 'I want to form a band with you, Porridge. I've even done a drawing of what it would look like,' and he showed me a drawing he had done of a gig and all the crowd were cheering and holding me up because I had jumped into the crowd like Iggy Pop or something. It was a really good drawing.
'This could be our album cover, Ian Curtis!' I said, excited.
Just then the one with the glasses out of the Shadows came by and he was looking for his friend Burt Weedon because he wanted to learn a really complicated guitar bit, and he said, 'does anyone know where Burt is?'
I didn't but I'd had another great idea.
What can I do you for, Ian Curtis?
Does anyone know where Burt is?
Tim Westwood was there because him and Chris Farter knew each other from being in the scouts and Chris had forgotten his sandwiches because he was too busy thinking about switches and knobs and the difference between OO gauge model railways and N gauge model railways and so his mum had got Tim to bring them. That's what I called him sometimes by the way - Chris Farter - hur hur hur. Once I even called him Piss Farter, which was dead funny. Everyone said so. Even Peter was laughing and he never laughs at anything because he is always serious. Anyway, Tim said 'Man, you're on fire tonight, Porridge! Lay that science on me one more time,' and he said some of the words in a funny voice like he was having a seizure or something, but anyway I said it all again once I had worked out what he was asking for and I thought up some more and sort of carried it on.
Chris is sitting on the chair.
He is sitting over there.
I just made it up like that, just saying it as soon as I thought of it. I didn't have it written down or nothing. I just made it up and said it. While I was saying it Tim was making funny shapes with his fingers and kept saying things like yeah boy, Porridge is keeping it hot to death for the UK, and he said UK like yooooo kaaay which was a bit weird, but I wasn't really paying him too much attention because of course I had just invented rapper's music.
'That was right good that was,' said the man who had bought Cosey Fanny a basket of complementary muffins from the man who had organised our pop concert.
'Yes,' I said. 'What be your name, my good man?'
'Afrika Bambaataa,' he smiled.
And that was how I done it. Even though Throbbing Gristle was splitting up but I knew I would always be able to think of something new to keep myself busy.