Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I didn't know an awful lot about Keith Allen before Nic bought this book for me at Christmas. I knew him for his work on the Comic Strip and especially as the lead in 'The Yob' which I think has been largely forgotten as a great piece of comedy work.
Anyway I would heartily recommend a read, if you're looking for honesty from someone who has pretty much stayed completely true to his principles throughout his working career, preferring to walk away from projects rather than let their integrity be compromised by TV execs that were keen to keep the piece clean for TV.
It struck me that he could easily be one of the biggest stars on TV by now if he'd gone with some of the oppportunities that were presented to him, but no he stuck to his guns and as a result seems to be fairly happy with his lot. He admits to failings and some things that he feels guilty about, but considering how he chooses to do things without considering the consequences most of the time he displays few regrets. Some could consider it selfish and in many ways it is, but if his telling of the syory is to be believed you get the impression he's probably very much loved by most of those he's been involved with.
Here is a man that was asked to give the eulogy at Joe Strummer's funeral, has helped Damien Hirst learn how to be a better father, is rung personally by Harold Pinter to star in his new productions, was instrumental in Nellee Hooper's early career, was the Groucho clubs first lifetime member, was arrested during the Notting Hill riots in 1976 the list goes on and on and on.
It's a facinating break neck paced read (once you're past the first 100 pages or so which need to be rad to understand where he was coming from) and it's amazing he's managed to condense his unbelievably rich existence in to a mere 380 pages, he could have dragged it into 1000s and that's without the stuff he's obviously missed out.