THERE IS AN AFTER LIFE

September 29, 2020

There Is An After Life is a Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown.

There Is An After Life has been written in response to BBC Scotland wanting to interview Bill Drummond about the eponymous Strawberry Switchblade LP, for the second series of Classic Scottish Albums.

The Strawberry Switchblade LP was originally released in April 1985.

There Is An After Life has two characters and a narrator. The two characters are an actor playing Tam Dean Burn playing Bill Drummond and an actor playing Kirsty Wark playing The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop. The narrator is an actor playing Laura Kuenssberg, who will be reading this. But this is not the Forty Second Play. The Forty Second Play does not begin until the dialogue between the actor playing Tam Dean Burn playing Bill Drummond and the actor playing Kirsty Wark playing The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop, begins.

The narration proper begins now:

There is an after life, or there was in the head of the “real” Bill Drummond when he woke from his dream at 1:27am this morning – as in a Tuesday morning in early September 2020. He was awake but he was still dreaming  he had left this life, but had not yet reached the After Life proper.

The gates were not pearly.

He was sitting at a table of a street café in Naples.

He was being questioned by Laura Kuenssberg.

You know who Laura Kuenssberg is?

Laura Kuenssberg was wanting to know the history of his sex life in the life he had lived before he had died.

Laua Kuenssberg was wanting to know if the sex life he had, had always been consensual. She needed to know the details before she could allow him to get to the next level towards the After Life.

He told her that there were times he had sex out of duty, even though he did not want to have sex. 

Laura Kuenssberg told him that was consensual.

He told her there were times he had sex, even though he knew his sexual partner was having sex because she hoped to get pregnant, but he would make sure he would withdraw before he came.

Laura Kuenssberg told him this was still consensual, but it was getting grey.

He told her that his favourite colour was grey.

He then told her that there had been times that he knew his sexual partner was hoping the sex might lead to a proper relationship, when he knew that he hoped that after sex, he could disappear into the night. Not because the sex was not good, but because disappearing into the night was better.

Laura Kuenssberg then asked him if he had seen I May Destroy You.

He said “Yes”.

He then asked Laura Kuenssberg if he should go to his wall under Spaghetti Junction and write the words “I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER RAPED ANYONE BUT…”

Laura Kuenssberg said “No”

Laura Kuenssberg then told him, he had now passed through this level, the Sex Life level.

Only one more level to go.

The most important one.

The Pop Life one.

Laura Kuenssberg then got up from the chair at the table of a street café in Naples and disappeared.

He felt relieved that he did not have to go to his wall underneath Spaghetti Junction and write the words “I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER RAPED ANYONE BUT…”

Then the actor playing Kirsty Wark playing The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop arrived.

You know who Kirsty Wark is?

And this is where The Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown begins proper.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop is dressed in a black and white polka-dot dress and her hair is tied up with red ribbons. In her arms she is carrying another black and white polka-dot dress and red ribbons.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop sits down at the table on the chair Laura Kuenssberg had been sitting on.

And she looks at Bill Drummond – or the actor playing Tam Dean Burn playing Bill Drummond. And this is where The Forty Second Play begins proper proper.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop:

Bill Drummond, have you ever had a non consensual relationship with Pop Music?

Bill Drummond:

Yes.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop:

Explain.

Bill Drummond:

I failed Strawberry Switchblade.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop:

Explain.

Bill Drummond:

I should have never been party to Strawberry Switchblade signing to a major record label when they did.  Thus, the pressure to create a hit single and a cash in album that then failed both creatively and commercially, and follow up singles that were shit and even shittier. And then watched as Strawberry Switchblade were thrown on the dust heap of failed pop careers when it should never have been a career in the first place – but an adventure.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop:

Was there an alternative?

Bill Drummond:

Yes.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop:

Explain.

Bill Drummond:

After the release of the single Trees & Flowers on Will Sergeant’s 92 Happy Customers record label, Strawberry Switchblade should have been encouraged to evolve at their own pace. In that way they may have evolved into something wonderful and glorious and beautiful. Instead they dissolved into a forgotten one hit wonder.

The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop:

Bill Drummond you may enter into the After Life proper. But because of your crimes against the highest of all art forms – Pop Music, you will be obliged to wear this black and white polka dot dress and red ribbons, that I will leave for you on this table, for as long as this After Life exists.

The End

Or the end of the dialogue of this Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown.

What happens next is the actor playing Kirsty Wark playing The Fairy Bad Mother of Pop gets up from the chair she has been sitting on at the table in the street café in Naples and disappears.

Then…

While Trees & Flowers by Strawberry Switchblade is playing over the Spotify playlist for the After Life, the actor playing Tam Dean Burn playing Bill Drummond, stands up and takes off his pale blue Stanley workshirt and walking boots and his Levi Strauss, 501, red tab, button fly, shrink-to-fit, blue denim jeans. And puts on the black and white polka dot dress and ties the red ribbons around his head. He is now ready to enter the final door into whatever the After Life might be.

THE END

At this point the “real” Bill Drummond falls back to sleep.

Some hours later, the “real” Bill Drummond is sitting at his table at the corner of The New River Café in N16. The empty page of his Black n’ Red notebook in front of him, his green Pentel pen in hand. He writes.

Now go and listen to Trees & Flowers by Strawberry Switchblade and weep.

There is no End