Monday, March 13, 2006

Who I Am And How I Came To Be...

Ah, what a sweet little chap.

Recently the Beeb asked Keith Telly Topping to put together a pen picture of his very self to use on their RaW website to advertise The Book Club.

He did a short version but he also did a long version too which, because it'll never see the light of day elsewhere, he thought he'd share with y'all here. See, bloody ego the size of Rwanda:

HE’S AN URBAN GUERILLA HE MAKES BOMBS IN HIS CELLAR

A full-time survivor, dandy highwayman, bon vivant, raconteur and all round decent chap Rockin’ Keith Telly Topping is an extremely freelance author, journalist and broadcaster who first stumbled across Buffy The Vampire Slayer, quite by accident, in 1997 whilst he was still working as a mild-mannered Civil Servant by day and attempting to kick-start a pathetically underachieving writing career by night. To say that the series changed his life is, frankly, the under-statement of both the Twentieth and the Twnety First Centuries.

Keith Telly Topping's bibliography includes over forty books. He was the co-editor of two editions of The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (1993 and 1996) and has written or co-written books on television series as diverse as The X-Files, The Sweeney, Star Trek, The West Wing, The Avengers, 24 and Stargate SG-1 as well as volumes of music and film critique. He has authored four Doctor Who novels (including the multi award-winning The Hollow Men, co-written with Martin Day) and a novella (Ghost Ship). His books include two editions of the acclaimed West Wing guide Inside Bartlet’s White House, A Vault Of Horror: A Book Of Eighty Great (and not-so-great) British Horror Movies 1956-1974, Do You Want To Know A Secret?: A Fab Anthology Of Beatles Facts, A Day In The Life, High Times, Triquetra, The Complete Clash, Beyond The Gate, Shut It!: A Fan’s Guide To Seventies Cops-On-The-Box (with Martin Day: ‘Book of the Month’ in Loaded magazine) and X-Treme Possibilities and Doctor Who: The Discontinuity Guide (both with Paul Cornell and Martin Day).

He is also a regular contributor to numerous TV and genre magazines, including TV Zone, Xposé and Shivers and was a former Contributing Editor of DreamWatch. Keith Telly Topping is widely considered to be one of Britain’s foremost experts on the bewildering complexities of US network television. No, he has the faintest idea why either.

Notoriously articulate, erudite and a right wow with the ladies (allegedly), Keith Telly Topping was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in October 1963 on the very day that his beloved United lost 3-2 at home to Northampton Town. Things haven't improved much since.

Keith Telly Topping is the presenter of the monthly Book Club and a bi-weekly television review slot  - Keith Telly Topping & His Tip TV Tips - on BBC Radio Newcastle. He has contributed to the BBC television series I ♥The 70s (albeit wearing a particularly nasty green shirt for which he wholeheartedly apologises to viewer). He has also written for Sounds, the Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times Culture Supplement and many other magazines and periodicals.

Keith Telly Topping writes, and occasionally performs stand-up, and has written radio comedy, an (unproduced) stage play and a TV pilot that is, currently, stuck in 'Development Hell.' A failed pop star at the age of fourteen as bass guitarist in (the never-legendary) Slime, he lives, works and occasionally sleeps on Tyneside. His favourite six movies are The Godfather Part 2, Almost Famous (Untitled extended cut), The Usual Suspects, Apocalypse Now, A Matter Of Life & Death and Dr Terror's House Of Horror. Though not necessarily in that order.

He much prefers 'Can You Dig It?' by The Mock Turtles to 'Can U Dig It?' by Pop Will Eat Itself, and Joy Division's 'Atmosphere' to Russ Abbot's 'Atmosphere'. Perversely, he considers The Talking Heads' version of 'Take Me To The River' to be the definitive one, and not the Reverend Al Green's. But then, Keith Telly Topping was always weird like that.

And, he still dines out on the story of how he and three friends once stalked George Harrison down the entire length of Oxford Street.

The ultimate tragedy of Keith Telly Topping's life is that he would love to write the definitive Elvis Costello biography but knows he never will.

Keith Telly Topping's hobbies include socialising with friends, exotic foreign travel to wild and outrageous locations, loud guitar-based popular music, trashy SF television and even trashier British horror movies of the 1960s and 70s, football and cricket, tasty chicken and king-prawn curries from his favourite takeaway - the Kam Ming on Monkchester Road, military, social and local history, archaeology, wondering whatever the hell happened to both Nutz and Arthur Two-Stroke & The Chart Commandos and, most importantly, irking the purists and winding up the pseudo-intellectuals, the boneheads, the school bullies - especially those in their thirties - and the clowns and watching them squirm.

His autobiography, I've Had Her, will be published posthumously.

Self-indulgence, eh? It's what makes the world go round.

20 comments:

DebW said...

Awww, what a cutie!

Ian Abrahams said...

Yeah, what went wrong?

Keith Topping said...

That's what my mother *always* says...

x

dougggie said...

Didn't realise you were born pre WW1, you've aged well :)

Keith Topping said...

Rainbows in black and white round our way, chuck...

x

Mike Ponting said...

Arthur Two-Stroke and The Chart Commandos are possibly still living in the juke box at the Cooperage

Keith Topping said...

Arthur lives! Magnificent. My world is complete.

WM7 said...

Arthur 2 Stroke played a gig in the Discovery Museum Newcastle last week to launch the 30 year anniversary of PUNK exhibition. Now officially a museum piece, Arthur astounded all the ageing punks in their late seventies chic by wearing very baggy jeans, huge trainers, a chain from B and Q and a home made designer T shirt with the letters CNUT. Arthur lives!

Anonymous said...

Rick Whitman, the saxophonist on Hawai 5 0 now lives in Melbourne Australia running his own photography business.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Just read my posting. It should read Rick Whitfield, not Whitman. Clearly going mad.

david said...

I`m the OTHER saxophonist on HAWAII-5-0... David Baird, a.k.a "The Geordie Rapper". First white man (on the planet!) to make a rap record... 1978`s "Friday Neet (Gannin` te the Toon). Glad to see Arthur`s still a "superstar"... Love to Steve (WM7) and all who sailed in the Anti-Pop mothership.
Keith... i think I owe you a pint?

GS said...

David Baird where can I get a copy of one of the finest tunes ever written????

david said...

GS... if you post again with an email address I'll contact you about this. It won't cost you anything, but there are no surviving copies on vinyl that anyone wants to sell with any regularity.. an odd one turns up on eBay.
Apart from my own copy of the original, the only other copy I've heard tell of is on Chris Donald's (VIZ) juke box in his living room.. good ol' Chris!
I'll burn you a (free) CD from the original master, which is still in my tape archive in good fettle. Glad you liked it! Post again.

Rita said...

Good lord! David, I see you just posted last week so pleeeeease can I ask you to burn a CD for me too? I am an expat Geordie now in Aus and was just listening to my Arthur 2-Stroke cassette (which my sister sent me way back in the 80s, since I left the UK soon after attending the gig in South Shields when it was recorded). I was just googling Arthur when I found this.

david said...

Hi Rita... yep, no problems in principle... but you're a long way away to post a CD. If you give me a email address I'll send you an mp3 as an attachment and you can burn a copy from that in Nero or Roxio etc. If you don't know how, you'll know someone who does. Just post again with an email address. Cheers 'n' beers, David.

Rita said...

Hi David

Thanks! I do see what you mean about distance. When I lived in Newcastle, Australia seemed a very long way away - I still wake up sometimes and wonder how the hell I ended up here (but that's another story). Melbourne isn't too far from me, sometime I must go and look up the OTHER Hawaii 5-0 saxophonist.
Anyway, an MP3 will be fine, I have just joined the digital age and bought a whizzy new laptop that can do (almost) anything. My email address is rita.m@hotkey.net.au I look forward to hearing from you again.

Cheers, Rita

Malcolm said...

Hehe David, I was googling around trying to find the origin of this tune and found this blog. I'd love a copy too!

Can you send it to fridayneet (at) rustic-place.demon.co.uk?

Thanks very much if you could! Smashing! :)

david said...

Hi Malcolm

For some reason I can't get mail out to the address you left for me in your last message. Please email me directly on david@gripped.co.uk and I'll sort some alternative out with you.

Allan said...

Hi David,

I would also appreciate a digital copy of Friday Neet but if possible, other stuff also from your fantastic band The Eyelids. In any case, I wanted to say Hi and reminisce about your frontmanship of the aforementioned, who unbelievably remain one one the great unsigned bands of all time and certainly the best band ever to grace the North East (to readers of this post think Split Enz meets X Ray Spex but even then I do them a disservice). Believe you me people, this group were fantastic and I regret I was never, ever able to persuade David to perform the majestic "Arabesque" more than
the one time I heard it at Spectro Arts Studio Newcastle in '79. We (Joe Soap) spent some wonderful times providing support to The Eyelids but never once did we tire at their musicianship, songwriting and the sheer sense of fun they lived and breathed. I remember a gig at the rather dodgy Robin Adair just off Scotswood Bridge. David aske a cheering fan where his tattoos were. He gladly showed the display on his biceps, "No" said David, "I mean the tattoos on the whites of your eyes!" - David my amail address is AllanB@blueyonder.co.uk if you are able to oblige... regards Allan

Allan said...

Sorry, sober account of email address is AllanB58@blueyonder.co.uk