I was Douglas Adams’s Flat Mate was given to me by its author as a gift, a gift which turned out to be a complete revelation. In these superficial days of celebrity and dishing the dirt this book gives a refreshing account of the people who worked with and knew well the iconic figures in the literary and entertainment world.
The author of this pleasant surprise is comedy writer, performer, director and producer Andrew McGibbon. Andrew was also ‘Morrissey’s Drummer’ which is one of the twelve very intimate portraits written by his talented self including, I was Johnny Cash’s Tailor, Les Dawson’s Gag Writer, Ernest Hemmingway’s Secretary and Tina Turner’s White Dancer?
What is interesting about these relationships is that these employers treated their employees as human beings, dare I say friends. There was no Diva like behaviour in fact they seemed to be in awe of the skills that they possessed. For me, the most heart-warming aspect of this book is that no one was either beneath or above the other.
Andrew’s subjects worked for people who faced many challenges in their lives; alcoholism, drug use, injury and the perpetual duel that circulates a creative mind mistaken for selfishness even lunacy. These lives may have seemed glamorous to millions of fans worldwide but what is not understood is how this privilege was clouded by demons.
The connections made here where very honest, open and needed. Trust I imagine is very difficult to build and having people around you who bring a sense of normality brings you firmly back to your roots, a reminder that both came from humble beginnings and therefore not so different from one another.
Loyalty plays a huge part in these interviews and the accounts given are not to damage, slander or sensationalize. If you are looking for a kiss and tell read, you will be disappointed; if you are looking to be inspired you will gain complete satisfaction from these intellectually written memoirs.
The idea for this book is inspired, Andrew McGibbon’s efforts to bring to the surface the emotions, pleasure, pain and the journey of these iconic figures is to be commended.