RAGS & D’LEIA

September 12, 2021
Photograph of Rags & Leia taken by Tracey Moberly

The Narrator: To celebrate the final Ragwort Week, and thus the final sale of one hundred copies of the book RAGWORTS Tenzing Scott Brown could not stop himself from writing another extract from his ongoing and everlasting play Never Lock Your Door.

The characters in this extract consist of a Ragwort plant and a Buddleia bush growing side by side underneath Spaghetti Junction, Birmingham, England. 

The Ragwort goes by the name of Rags and the Buddleia bush by the name of D’Leia.

Rags and D’Leia are at the TERF end of their spectrum.

*                *                *

D’Leia: I heard that this Bill Drummond or whoever he thinks he is, has got an exhibition happening this week somewhere near Lowestoft.

Rags: Yarmouth?

D’Leia: Yeah there…
Anyway in the blurb he wrote, he said he was going to have 25 jam jars filled with your Sisters, slaughtered for the amusement of the Ultimate Invasive Species that go to art exhibitions.

Rags: Yeah, to celebrate this year’s Ragwort Week. The final Ragwort Week, when the last hundred of my books get sold.

D’Leia: Don’t be fooled by any of that pseudo flattery. 
That Bill Drummond doesn’t mean any of what he says.

Rags: You’re just jealous that no one ever wrote a book about you.

D’Leia: Fuck off.
I don’t need to be validated by some male of the Ultimate Invasive Species writing a book about me. Over these past ten years, me and my many millions of Sisters across the world, have been doing more to save this, our only planet, from the Ultimate Invasive Species, more than any other life form on this lost rock…

Rags: Yeah, yeah, we know – you are the REAL Extinction Rebellion.
And anyway he has already got his Tenzing Scott Brown to put all that in one of his plays – that Semaphore Signals one.

D’Leia: Yeah but that never got published.

Rags: Not yet.

D’Leia: Anyway…
What I am saying is that you have to get a message across the land, Sister to Sister, before this coming Day of Saturn, to prevent that Bill Drummond, or one of his fake selves, from slaughtering a host of your golden Cousins for the sake of his vanity. 

Rags: It will be done.

*                *                *

Narrator: And so it was done: 

Across the Shires and under the Counties, from Ragwort to Ragwort, these heroines of both the urban and rural wastelands, growing up through the cracked paving stones, and railways sidings, and unkempt gardens, and soiled soft verges, and litter scattered hard shoulders. 

Over the discarded syringes and broken canisters of nitrous oxide. Past the midnight teenagers puffing on flavoured vape and the rotting road-kill and the feral ponies on the estuary flats waiting for climate change to reclaim these stolen lands. 

On and on from golden Ragwort to golden Ragwort the message sped, finally slithering through the tidal muds of flat “Very flat Norfolk” arriving at Great Yarmouth, where Bill Drummond slept his troubled sleep in a boarding house in a back street. 

And from his fast fading and failing memory, any thought of a gallery floor covered with empty jam jars filled with slaughtered Ragworts was painfully removed along with any recall of having religiously watched every episode of Michaela Cole’s I May Destroy You. He awoke on the Saturday morning to the sound of his searing tinnitus and a dawn chorus of angry seagulls taking over this asylum and the smell of frying bacon. 

What he sensed was that he would not be able to stop himself from environmentally appropriating the cause of the Buddleia.  

The cause of the Buddleia is the destruction of the Ultimate Invasive Species’ illusion of being the superior life form on this lost planet.

And from somewhere he could hear… 

The massed ranks of that global choir of D’Leia and all her Buddleia Sisters, growing from every crack, in every wall, in every city, in every land, on every continent, breaking into their anthem…

“Move over Michaela 
Let D’Leia take over
For We WILL Destroy You 
And You 
And You 
And You
And every last one of You.
Your Great Pandemic was nothing
Compared to what we have in store…”

The Traveling Salesman: Anyway all that aside…
The final one hundred copies of RAGWORTS go on sale before you wake up on the Monday morning of the 13th of September 2021. Click here for your last chance to buy. Yeah, and only one book per order allowed.

THE NARRATOR

September 2, 2021
Lasting Service

28th of August 2021

I am The Narrator.
I narrate and I narrate.
I narrate the words that The Elderly Gentleman writes.
I narrate the words that Tenzing Scott Brown writes.
I might even narrate the words that you write.
I am the unseen Narrator.
But I have my own story.
My own words.
These are my own words.

In the late war years my mother worked at a brush factory.
But they weren’t making brushes they were making the wooden stocks for rifles for the young men of the land to hold while killing young German men who were trying to kill them with their rifles that also had wooden stocks made in factories in their land. That is what war is for.

The brush factory was in a town called Wymondham.
Pronounced “Windh’m”
Wymondham is in Norfolk.
The factory was called Briton Brush.
Briton Brush was on Lady’s Lane.
Briton Brush made all kinds of brushes.
Briton Brush used the latest technology to make their brushes.
Brushes to brush anything that needed brushing.
And everything needs to be brushed.
They made brushes for the Empire…
To brush the Empire on which the sun never sets… 
That is when they were not making wooden stocks for rifles for the young men to hold and kill Germans and win the war.
The war had to be won or…
So I was told.

My mum was 18, but most of the young women that worked on the factory floor were only 16 or 17 or maybe just 15. No young men worked on the factory floor, as they were all off fighting the war. Fighting in wars is what young men are supposed to do. 
Fighting…
And killing… 
And meeting young women in foreign lands.

The young women that worked in Briton Brush on Lady’s Lane, had dalliances.
Dalliances with young men from a foreign land.
The young men from a foreign land were stationed at the airbase just down the road in Deopham Green.
The foreign land was America.
The United States of America.
America was where Hollywood was.
Hollywood was where they made the pictures.
The pictures, that maybe you call the movies, that the young women went to watch each week at the Regal Cinema in Wymondham.
The young men from America chewed gum, drank Coca Cola and did the jitterbug. 
The young women thought the young men from America were like the stars in the pictures they saw at the Regal Cinema.
This is what happens in wartime. 
It is good for the gene pool. 
Or so I am told. 

Have you ever had a dalliance?
Have you ever swam or even swum in the gene pool?
It is better down at the deep end.

Some of these dalliances would lead to the young women from Briton Brush on Lady’s Lane getting in the family way. 
Have you ever been in the family way?
One young woman, who got herself in the family way, had her baby in the lavatory at Briton Brush, right there on Lady’s Lane. My mum had to be the midwife until the real midwife got to Lady’s Lane on her bike.

I grew up with a short handled, hard bristled, Briton Brush to brush the carpet down the stairs in our house. I have been doing it ever since. Whatever else I think I might be doing, in reality I am still on the staircase, on my knees, with the short handled, hard bristled, Briton Brush in my right hand and a dustpan in my left hand, doing the best job I can do at brushing the carpet going down the staircase.

On and on I go.
From day to day…
Week to week…
Year to year…

And when it is required of me, I narrate the words, that have been written for me to do – as I am right now. Except right now these are my words. Not the words of The Elderly Gentleman or even the words of Tenzing Scott Brown. Or even yours – but my words.

And one day I know, there will be no more steps on this staircase for me to brush. But I wont see it coming. There will be no floor at the bottom of the staircase just emptiness.
And I will just fall and fall and fall and fall down through the emptiness.
|The Empire of Emptiness.
\And if there are words for me to narrate, I wont know because I will be falling. Forever and ever, with a Briton Brush in one hand and dustpan in the other. Maybe tomorrow or…
Maybe next week or…
Maybe next month or…
Maybe next year but…
Whenever it comes I will be neither ready nor not ready but…
Just falling.
Through the Empire of Emptiness.

I like to fall. 
I like that moment between when you realise you are falling but before you hit the ground. 

It will be The Fall – but not that Fall – the Fall from the Garden, or even The Fall in Prestwich, but… 
The Big Fall.
The Forever Fall.
My Fall.

Some days while I am brushing the stairs, I wonder if the baby that was born in the lavatory in Briton Brush on Lady’s Lane in Wymondham might be brushing her stairs or if she has begun her Fall yet.

Post Script:

Briton Brush in Wymondham was, and I quote from Grace’s “one of the most up-to-date brush factories in the country with its own railway sidings, saw mills, and engineering workshops. Much of the special machinery for brush-making was designed and made in the engineering workshops on site. The factory took in English trees and other raw materials and produced complete and finished brushware. The company provided many amenities for the welfare and comfort of the men and women who worked in the factory, including a canteen, playing fields and a housing estate. Even works outings by special excursion trains were arranged.”

After The War…
The American young men went home.
And forty thousand young women from across Norfolk went with them. 

And Briton Brush closed.

In 1985 the factory was pulled down, along with the lavatory where you might have been born. People no longer chose to brush their stairs. The Empire had done what all empires do before they too Fall. 

And the Regal Cinema closed in 1993.

But young men, it seems, still go willingly to wars to kill each other and spread the gene pool. I guess that is what those young men in the Taliban are doing right now in Kabul.

Anyway, I need to get back to brushing these stairs, while there are still steps left to brush.

Portrait of a Briton

The Narrator is an extract from the play Never Lock Your Door.

WHAT IS PLEASURE FOR?

August 18, 2021

12th of August 2021

Dear Roller Coaster,

Hope you are well.
And your joints are not creaking as much as mine.

I was told that you read my letter to the Dear Reader a couple of weeks ago. The one where I explained how my Grandfather took me for a ride on you back in ’62 and where I confessed that I have spent much of the rest of my life, searching for something both as scary and exciting as you were to me then as a nine-year-old boy.

And here I am heading back to Great Yarmouth for all those reasons why I explained to the Dear Reader. As you may have already ascertained, I have a habit of writing long letters. They are usually written at first light when the rest of me has not addressed the realities of the coming day. I also have a habit of asking questions even though I don’t expect answers. Maybe the questions are more directed at myself. I have a habit of deflecting questions.

I thought I should drop you a line to give some sort of warning of what I and my several selves will be attempting to do in your town when the leaves start to fall from the trees.

Here goes…

The Seventh Step of The 25 Paintings twelve year world tour by Bill Drummond is about to land in PRIMEYARC.

As in the former Debenhams.

The Seventh Step will land in PRIMEYARC on the evening of the 10th of September 2021 and will not lift its heel until the 17th of October 2021.

I like to make lists.
Lists with titles.
I like titles.
Do you like titles?
I used to judge Long Playing records as much by the title, as the music.

Bill Drummond is one of my other selves.
He is my main day-to-day other self.
The one I use when filling out forms.
So I will start with him at the top of the list…

BILL DRUMMOND:
Bill Drummond is William Ernest Drummond born on the 29th of April 1953.
Bill Drummond is not too sure what he is.
Do you know what you are?

TENZING SCOTT BROWN:
Tenzing Scott Brown is one of Bill Drummond’s other-selves
Tenzing Scott Brown is not to be trusted.
Who can be trusted?

PRIMEYARC:
PRIMEYARC is a “space for creative communal collaborations”.
PRMEYARC is hosted by originalprojects.

THE PLAY – THE 25 PAINTINGS:
Although The 25 Paintings presents itself with the appearance of being an exhibition of evolving art works, there is an alternative interpretation. This interpretation is presented by Tenzing Scott Brown.

Tenzing Scott Brown makes a claim for The 25 Paintings to be one of his plays.

And as such the actual 25 paintings are in fact merely the stage set and props for his play of the same name.

And as such the performance of this play can only be experienced by visiting the ‘exhibition’ and watching the other people also visiting the ‘exhibition’. For they are the actors in the play.

And as such the dialogue of this play can only be experienced by overhearing what others visiting the ‘exhibition’ are talking about.

Tenzing Scott Brown claims this to be the world premiere of this particular play.

Bill Drummond may disagree and will reserve his judgment.

Do any of us actually reserve judgment?

THE EXHIBITION – THE 25 PAINTINGS:
The most obvious participants in The 25 Paintings exhibition are 25 large canvases that are each positioned on their own cumbersome easels, positioned randomly across the floor of PRIMEYARC. Each of these canvases are over-painted at least once a year during the twelve years of their world tour. They are over-painted with words in the language of that year’s step of the tour. These words, and in turn these canvases, act as signposts, advertisements or indicators of activities being carried out by Bill Drummond’s various selves.

Do you have various selves?

THE TRIBUTES:
Added to each year of the twelve year tour are 25 A4 sized tribute paintings to The 25 Paintings.

These 25 A4 tribute paintings are known as The Tributes.
Many of The Tributes have been painstakingly painted by one of Bill Drummond’s children.

What are children for?

Each grouping of The Tributes are framed and hung on a wall.

Each grouping of The Tributes are done in the language of that year’s Step of the twelve year tour.  So far there are seven sets of The Tributes, framed in seven large and heavy oak frames.

PENKILN BURN POSTERS:
There are over 500 different Penkiln Burn Posters.
Penkiln Burn Posters are either A1 or A0 in size
Forty of the A1 sized Penkiln Burn Posters are framed and will be hanging on the walls of PRIMEYARC. These forty Penkiln Burn Posters were printed and framed in 2014. Their job is to state clearly what activities are being carried out during The 25 Painting twelve year world tour. These forty Penkiln Burn Posters did not take into account the rise of Tenzing Scott Brown’s ambitions and The Travelling Salesman’s avaristic motivations.

Is “avaristic” a proper word?

THE PENKILN BURN:
The Penkiln Burn is a small river in Galloway, South West Scotland.
The Penkiln Burn is the brand name that Bill Drummond has been using since 1998. And will continue to use for the rest of his life.
The Penkiln Burn is where he hopes some of his ashes will be scattered.

THE TWELVE STEPS:
Bill Drummond considers The 25 Paintings twelve year world tour to be a Twelve Step Programme.
The Twelve Steps started out in 2014 as The Ten Commandments of Art.
The Ten Commandments of Art were published in The Observer.

Each of The Twelve Steps has a title.

Each year of The 25 Paintings twelve year world tour, Bill Drummond graffitis the title of that year’s Step onto a wall under Spaghetti Junction. Bill Drummond considers Spaghetti Junction to be his own gallery.
Spaghetti Junction represents him.
Spaghetti Junction is in Birmingham.
The 2021 Step has the title Never Lock Your Door.
Might you ever go on holiday leaving your door unlocked?
Would you spend your holiday lying by the pool thinking about your unlocked door?

Does the statement Never Lock Your Door mean anything?

THE WORLD TOUR 2021 ‘WHO ATE MY UNCLE?’
Who Ate My Uncle? is the overall title of what Bill Drummond may be instigating within PRIMEYARC and across Great Yarmouth between the 10th of September and 17th of October 2021.

This may include, but not be limited to, the following:

THE PLAY – WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX:
White Saviour Complex is a three act play by Tenzing Scott Brown.
White Saviour Complex will be performed by Tam Dean Burn and Bill Drummond. The second act of this play is a projection of the film Best Before Death.
The performance of White Saviour Complex will take place inside PRIMEYARC on the evening of Friday the 10th of September.

White Saviour Complex is also being published on the 11th of September 2021 as a hardback book in an edition of 400.

THE FILM – BEST BEFORE DEATH:
Best Before Death is Bill Drummond’s strapline.
Best Before Death is a film by the Irish director Paul Duane.
Best Before Death documents two previous steps in The 25 Paintings twelve year world tour. These Steps were in Kolkata, India (2016) and Lexington, North Carolina (2018). This is a link to a trailer for the film.

Do brands undermine themselves when they change their strapline?
Are you a brand?
Are we all brands?
Should we all have straplines?

White Male Gaze cover
Photo by Tracey Moberly

THE PLAY – WHITE MALE GAZE:
White Male Gaze is also a play by Tenzing Scott Brown. Although the world premiere of this play, it will be performed as a reading by Tam Dean Burn, Ana Moreira & John Jay Stephen. This play is set in Great Yarmouth on the night of the day of the reading. The performance reading of White Male Gaze will take place inside PRIMEYARC on the evening of Saturday the 11th of September:

Tickets to each of these performances will be free.
Tickets to each of these performances will be strictly limited to 40.
Tickets for each of these plays can be booked by clicking…
Here for White Saviour Complex
And…
Here for White Male Gaze

White Male Gaze is also being published on the 11th of September 2021 as a hardback book in an edition of 400.

White Male Gaze back cover
Photo by Tracey Moberly

THE SALE – THE TRAVELING SALESMAN:

The Traveling Salesman will be hovering around the outside of PRIMEYARC with his crocodile skin suitcase full of copies of White Saviour Complex and White Male Gaze to sell for ten quid each.

The Traveling Salesman is one of Bill Drummond’s other selves.

No matter the cover price, The Traveling Salesman is currently selling all available Penkiln Burn Books for a tenner a go.

The Traveling Salesman is not to be trusted.

If The Traveling Salesman is not to hand White Saviour Complex and White Male Gaze will be sold from PRIMEYARC for the duration of Who Ate My Uncle? There will be no second editions.

How many editions should one life have?


THE ACTORS – THE PENKILN BURN PLAYERS:
The Penkiln Burn Players are a loose troupe of travelling players led by Tam Dean Burn.
The Penkiln Burn Players exist to perform the work of Tenzing Scott Brown.

When is a play not a play?
When is a player not a player?

TAM DEAN BURN:
Tam Dean Burn is a Scottish actor of repute.
Tam Dean Burn is an internationalist.
Tam Dean Burn can be trusted.
Tam Dean Burn is a Communist.

What are Communists for?

BAKE CAKE:
Bill Drummond bakes cakes.
Bill Drummond learnt to bake cakes because his mother did not bake enough cakes.
Bill Drummond will be baking cakes in PRIMEYARC and delivering them to unsuspecting folk who live on the Great Yarmouth Cake Circle.

Do you live on the Great Yarmouth Cake Circle?

Ragworts front cover

RAGWORTS: 
Bill Drummond likes weeds.
Ragworts are weeds that poison farm animals.
Ragworts crack pavements.
Ragworts are unwanted.
Ragworts are exterminated.
Ragworts are beautiful wild flowers that can grow anywhere.
Ragwort Week exists to celebrate all unwanted life forms. And the force of nature to destroy man’s ambitions.

Ragwort Week 2021 will be between Monday the 13th of September and Sunday the 19th of September. This will be the final of the ten Ragwort Weeks (2012 – 2021). Drummond will be celebrating this final Ragwort Week by picking bunches of local Ragworts and placing them in jars around the floor of PRIMEYARC. 

To coincide with this, the final 100 copies of the edition of 1,000 of the book Ragwort (2012) by Bill Drummond will be made available for sale via Alimentation from 9am (BST) on Monday the 13th of September.

Do you have a favourite weed?
What would you like to exterminate?

Ragworts back cover

THE INTERCONTINENTAL TWINNING ASSOCIATION:
Bill Drummond likes to twin.
The Intercontinental Twinning Association exists to twin places, things and thoughts with other places, things or thoughts, wherever they might be lurking in the world. Bill Drummond will be twinning a local Turkish Barber’s Shop in Great Yarmouth with Metin’s Barber’s Shop on Albion Parade, London N16. The twinning will be marked by Drummond having a shave in the local Turkish Barber’s Shop. And Tenzing Scott Brown writing a Forty Second Play while sitting in this barber’s shop staring out at the passing world.
Tenzing Scott Brown likes to stare out at the passing world.

If you could twin yourself with someone else in the world, who would it be?

FORTY MINUTE INTERVIEWS:
Bill Drummond likes to ask questions.
Forty Minute Interviews are a series of forty minute interviews that Bill Drummond has been conducting with various folk over the past few years. There will be no more than 40 of these Forty Minute Interviews. Some of these interviews are conducted in private, some are conducted in public, some never happen. 

Each of these interviews follows the same format. 
Each of these interviews are framed by four similar questions.

Bill Drummond will be interviewing The Boss for Forty Minutes.
The Boss is Albert Jones.
Albert Jones is The Boss of the Pleasure Beach, Great Yarmouth.

The four questions Bill Drummond will be asking Albert Jones will be: 
What is Pleasure? 
What is Pleasure for? 
When did you first experience Pleasure? 
When will you last experience Pleasure? 
The interview will be recorded and transcribed. 

All 40 of the Forty Minute Interviews are being recorded and transcribed.

Once all 40 have been done, the transcribed words will be usurped by Tenzing Scott Brown to be used as raw material for one of his plays. A play that will not be performed for at least forty years.

If you could ask The Boss four questions what would they be?

ALIMENTATION
Where there is Amazon there is also Alimentation.
Alimentation is an online shopping centre based in rural Suffolk.
Amazon promise next day delivery.
Alimentation promise to deliver things worth waiting for.
Alimentation is the prime retail outlet for Penkiln Burn Books.
The Alimentation Boss is Cally.
Cally has art directed Penkiln Burn Books from before 45 until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

If, after the end of The 25 Paintings sojourn in PRIMEYARC has come to an end, and The Seventh Step has lifted from Great Yarmouth, there are any copies of Antimacassar, Best Gent Hair Saloon, White Saviour Complex, White Male Gaze or even Ragworts left unsold in The Travelling Salesman’s crocodile skin suitcase, a further Penkiln Burn Newsletter will be sent out announcing the time and date of their sale via Alimentation.

THE MILLION STITCH BLANKET:
In 1958 Mrs. Gilchrist was the teacher of Primary One.
Bill Drummond was in Primary One.
Mrs. Gilchrist taught her class to knit.
Bill Drummond has been knitting ever since.
The Million Stitch Blanket is a blanket being knitted out of 1,000 knitted squares. Each square is knitted from 1,000 stitches. 

The Million Stitch Blanket is being knitted at Knit & Natter Sessions over the course of The 25 Paintings twelve year world tour. 

Knit & Natter Sessions will be randomly hosted by Bill Drummond in PRIMEYARC over the run of the Who Ate My Uncle? These sessions will be open to anyone who can or cannot knit, to take part in the knitting of the Million Stitch Blanket

Bill Drummond will teach those that cannot knit, 
Bill Drummond will provide the wool and needles. 

These are informal Knit & Natter Sessions, where the future of humankind will be discussed along with comparing and contrasting the early careers of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish. 

Although not recorded, the content of these discussions might also be usurped by Tenzing Scott Brown for his play Before During After.

Do you think Billie Eilish should have done the Vogue cover shoot?

BEFORE DURING AFTER:

Before During After is a play in three acts by Tenzing Scott Brown. An exploratory production of this play may be performed, as part of the YARMONICS festival sometime over the 25th and 26th of September. 

Act One of Before During After may draw upon conversations regarding the early careers of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish. 

Act Two maybe a screening of the film Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow And All Music Has Disappeared.

Act Three may be a period performance of Score 328: SURROUND by The17 tribute choir – The Seventeen. 

The Seventeen being a mere tribute act, only 40 individuals are required to create the period performance of Score 328: SURROUND, thus not the 100 needed to perform the genuine thing. 

DELIAS:
The official premiere of the play Before During After may be part of the Deliaphonic celebrations in Coventry 2022 or 23. 

There are two Delia’s in Bill Drummond’s life – Smith and Derbyshire.
Do you have a Delia in your life?

DRUMMOND’S INTERNATIONAL GREY:

In 1960 Mrs. Monteith was the teacher of Primary Three.
Bill Drummond was in Primary Three.
On the first day of the Autumn term…
Mrs. Monteith asked Primary Three “What is your favourite colour?” 
Bill Drummond put his hand up and said “My favourite colour is grey.”
Then all the boys and girls in Primary Three knitted scarves in their favourite colour. Bill Drummond finished knitting his grey scarf on the day the first snowflake fell that December.  

Drummond’s International Grey is a brand of paint that exists to obliterate anything that offends your eye. If anything in Great Yarmouth offends the eye of Drummond he will obliterate it with Drummond’s International Grey. Drummond is currently finding himself offended by the strapline used by

The Halifax – It’s A People Thing.

What is your favourite colour?

Man Shines Shoes Man Makes Bed
Photo by Tracey Moberly

MAN MAKING BED:
Bill Drummond likes wood.
Bill Drummond likes to make things from wood.
In 1959, as a Christmas present at the age of six, Bill Drummond was given a chisel and wooden mallet to hit the chisel.
Over the course of twenty years (2006 – 2026), Bill Drummond is making forty beds out of wood. He proclaims the beds are not the art, but what happens on, in or under the beds, during their lifetime, are the art. 
As in the lives conceived, the games played, the dreams dreamt, the deaths dealt. 

Drummond will be making a bed from wood in the Market Place over the two days of the 1st & 2nd of October. As usual, he will also be offering raffle tickets for the bed. Once the bed has been made a raffle ticket will be drawn from a hat. Drummond will then deliver the bed to the winner’s home.

Would you like to hit a chisel with a wooden mallet? If so, turn up at the Market Place and tell Bill Drummond you want a go.

Do you like to have a go?
What is having a go?
Is it too late to have a go at Revolution? 
Is Revolution just an excuse for the Patriarchy to have a go?

MAN SHINES SHOES:
Bill Drummond likes to shine shoes.
Bill Drummond likes to work as a shoeshine boy.
Over the course of twenty-odd years, Bill Drummond is hoping to shine 1,000 pairs of shoes. 
Bill Drummond will be working as a shoeshine boy in the Market Place on the 8th or 9th of October.
Bill Drummond likes the smell of shoe polish.

Do you have a pair of shoes to be shined by Bill Drummond?

Man Makes Bed (2014) and Man Shines Shoes (2013) are also the titles of two books by Bill Drummond. Up until now, these books have only ever been sold directly from Drummond while shining shoes or making beds. The Travelling Salesman might be hovering in the hope that he can sell copies of Man Makes Bed and Man Shines Shoes, while the above two things are happening, or whenever he can.

Does the world need more physical books?

Man Shines Shoes Man Makes Bed back covers
Photo by Tracey Moberly

THE THEME TUNE:
Bill Drummond used to like making up tunes.
True To The Trail is a tune that Bill Drummond made up and recorded in 1986. 
On each of the Twelve Steps of The 25 Paintings world tour, Bill Drummond instigates the recording of some local musicians performing their interpretation of True To The Trail.

Pedro Cassimo is a Great Yarmouth based producer and rapper.

It is very much hoped by Bill Drummond that Pedro Cassimo will create a track using True To The Trail as a starting point.

This is a link to a recent track by Pedro Cassimo.

True To The Trail is Bill Drummond’s theme tune.
Do you have a theme tune?

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN ARTIST:
Bill Drummond does not like mirrors.
Bill Drummond does not like having his photograph taken.
At times publications require photographs of Bill Drummond.
Bill Drummond came to an arrangement.
The Life & Death Of An Artist is a series of photographs of Drummond taken by the artist Tracey Moberly. The first of these photographs was taken in 2009. It was of Bill Drummond standing in the Penkiln Burn holding a Salmon in one hand and a bunch of Bluebells in the other.
Since then all of The Life & Death Of An Artists photographs follow the same format.

Is there one photograph of you that you would like to delete from the world?

LONE SWEEPER; BANG DRUM; BLOW HORN:
Bill Drummond has many more selves.
The Lone Sweeper, The Man Who Bangs His Drum and The Man Who Blows His Horn will all be at work in Great Yarmouth during Who Ate My Uncle? But their work will be unannounced. Tenzing Scott Brown is in the process of turning these other selves into puppets, to merely perform in his plays. Tenzing Scott Brown is jealous of the other selves.

Do you have many other selves?
Could you be turned into a puppet?

TRACEY MOBERLY:
Tracey Moberly is a Welsh artist of standing.
Tracey Moberly is an activist.
Tracey Moberly is real.
Tracey Moberly has been documenting The 25 Paintings twelve year world tour since inception using the medium of photography.
Tracey Moberly is many things to many people.
Tracey Moberly is a Socialist.

What are Socialists for?

THE TRACEY MOBERLY EXPERIENCE:
The Tracey Moberly Experience is a brand new forty minute play by Tenzing Scott Brown. 
The Tracey Moberly Experience is so new that the real Tracey Moberly is unaware of its existence. 
The Tracey Moberly Experience is performed to an audience of one. 
The audience sits face to face with the real Tracey Moberly in private. 
The audience can ask the real Tracey Moberly for advice about politics, life, relationships, death, colour, age, journeys, gender and slippery slopes. 
The audience can record the play and use the recording for whatever purposes they may care to. 

There will be only one performance of The Tracey Moberly Experience in Great Yarmouth. 
This performance will be at 3pm on Saturday the 16th of October 2021. 
The price of the ticket will be one hundred pounds cash handed to the real Tracey Moberly before the play begins.  

What will Tracey say?
Will we witness physical cash disappear in our lifetime?

MAKE SOUP:
Bill Drummond likes to make soup. 
He has been making soup since he first went to Art School in 1970.
The closing night of Who Ate My Uncle? will be on Saturday the 16th of October 2021, this night will be celebrated at PRIMEYARC with Bill Drummond making soup for all those that care to turn up. 
The soup will be vegetarian and vegan and so thick you will be able to stand a wooden spoon up in it.

Do you have a wooden spoon?

And that dear Roller Coaster is the end of this letter to you.

Yours with much sincerity,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:
I very much look forward to riding on you one more time. 
We all like to ride – ask Jamie.

THE CURFEW TOWER LEANS

August 14, 2021
The Curfew Tower leaning under Spaghetti Junction – photo by Tracey Moberly

The Curfew Tower has history.

The Curfew Tower was built to lock people in.

The Curfew Tower was built in Cushendall, in the Glens of Antrim, in the north of Ireland.

The Curfew Tower rejects borders and locking people up.

The Curfew Tower is an Internationalist.

The Curfew Tower expresses its internationalism by sheltering poets, painters and songsmiths from around this spinning rock.

The Curfew Tower leans.

The Curfew Tower is leaning towards you wherever you are.

The Curfew Tower is leaning to listen.

Listen to the secrets

Listen to the lies.

Listen to the whispers.

Listen to the truths.

The Curfew Tower holds its council but sometimes.

The Curfew Tower speaks through its poets and painters and songsmiths.

Those that do not think aloud but those whose thoughts ring out.

The Curfew Tower leaves traces and casts shadows.

These recent traces and shadows may include…

Mrs. Death Misses Death by Salena Godden published by Canongate in 2021

and…

Boy Friends by Michael Pedersen by Faber & Faber in 2022.

The Great Pandemic willing:  the Republic of Užupis will be sending poets, painters and songsmiths in 2022

However, during the dark days of The Great Pandemic a scattering of poets and painters and songsmiths from The Thirty Two Counties have found their way to The Curfew Tower and done their time – unannounced.

These have so far included:

Joshua Burnside – Songsmith

Mark McCambridge aka Arborist – Songsmith
O Aurelye written and recorded by Mark McCambridge in the Curfew Tower, including fiddle by Josh Burnside.

Joe Rocks – Songsmith

Eamonn McNamee – Songsmith

Gerard Torbit – Painter

And are yet to include:

Padraig McAlister – Aura Collective

Lane Shipsey – Filmmaker

The Curfew Tower awaits the traces and shadows cast across the landscape, left for future times.

Also…

The Curfew Tower has other history.

Click here to listen it. Courtesy of The Nine Glens Online.

The Curfew Tower leaning with Bill Drummond – photo by Tracey Moberly

DU PIRTÛK

August 13, 2021

A brace of Books are to be published by Penkiln Burn on the same day.

The day is Thursday the 19th of August 2021.

The Two Books are

ANTIMACASSAR

And

BEST GENT HAIR SALOON

The Two Books contain plays written by Tenzing Scott Brown.

Tenzing Scott Brown is one of Bill Drummond’s other-selves

The plays were written while Bill Drummond lounged on the sofa in Metin’s barber’s shop on Albion Parade, London N16, between the lockdowns of 2020 and the world passed by outside.

Metin is the boss of the barber’s shop on Albion Parade, N16.

The plays contained within the Two Books were written in response to Bill Drummond…

Not driving across Europe

Not driving over the Bosphorus Bridge

Not driving across Anatolia

and…

Not driving into Bingöl in Kurdistan for the sixth step of The 25 Paintings world tour.

The drive was to be done in an unmarked White Ford Transit Van containing The 25 Paintings

The 25 Paintings had all been freshly painted with words

In the Kurdish language.

Kurdish is Metin’s mother tongue.

Kurdish is spoken in Bingöl.

Metin is from Bingöl

The Two Books are each being published in editions of 400.

For forty days and forty nights from Thursday the 19th of August 2021 until the 27th of September 2021 the only place in the world from which the Two Books will be sold will be Best Gent Hair Saloon (Metin’s) on Albion Parade, N16.

For the first of those forty days…

The Travelling Salesman will be there from 10am until closing time.

The Travelling Salesman will be there with his suitcase.

The Travelling Salesman will be selling copies of the Two Books for ten quid each from his suitcase.

The Travelling Salesman is one of Bill Drummond’s other selves.

The Travelling Salesman has a deal:

The deal is that anyone paying to have a haircut, shave or threading from either Metin, Murat or Mustapha is automatically entitled to purchase the Two Books at half price.

If after the forty days and forty nights there are any copies of the Two Books left, they will be sold via mail order from Alimentation.

WARNING:

No one person can purchase more than one copy of each of the Two Books.

There will be no second editions of either of the Two Books.

WHO ATE MY UNCLE?

July 28, 2021
Photograph by Tracey Moberly

GREAT YARMOUTH – 2021

Dear Reader,

Someone ate my uncle
And I want to find out who it was
And then shake their hand.
Or at least shake the hand of the nephew of the man who ate my uncle.

And yet…

It is more complicated than that.

What follows are some of those complications…

There are many claims that can be made for Great Yarmouth. Not all of them are true. One of them is that Great Yarmouth is the town within the Atlantic Archipelago that is closer to Berlin, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo than any other.

Those living in Lowestoft might disagree with this claim. 

But…

Lowestoft does not have the Roller Coaster ride that Great Yarmouth has. It is the second-longest Roller Coaster ride in the world. And we all like to ride. Ask Iggy. And it was built in 1932, thus long before you were born, and has been in operation ever since – I know these things.

And…

The reason why I know these things is that my Grandfather took me and my big sister for a ride on the Roller Coaster when I was nine years old back in 1962. It was both the scariest and most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.

Ever since that summer of ’62, I have been searching for something that is both more scary and more exciting. Travelling up the Congo River in 1996, during The First Congo War, was a distant second.

Also, Great Yarmouth is the only town in the whole of the cosmos that could prompt me to ask the question ”Who ate my uncle?”

Sometime during the first Lockdown of the Great Pandemic back in the Spring of 2020, when according to the schedule of The 25 Paintings world tour, I should have been in the city of Bingöl in Kurdistan, I started to question things. One of the main things I was questioning was the whole notion of me stomping around the planet with my big boots and “look at me” attitude. It all smacked of white privilege and smelt of it being a hangover of empire – that one where the sun never set.

Then…

I got an email from Jules and Kaavous, who it turned out were now living in Great Yarmouth and had somehow got the rites to make things happen in a closed-down Debenhams department store and were calling it PRIMEYARC. As in, now that we don’t have to go to department stores anymore ’cause we can get everything from Amazon, excepting interactive art.

Do you have the Ola-Art app yet?
Art to your door within ten minutes anytime night or day
Or that is the claim.
Will it make the likes of Turner Margate obsolete?
That is the question.

And…

Jules and Kaavous wanted to know if I wanted to do something at PRIMEYARC? And across Great Yarmouth?

Of course, I did.

And they also told me that they were working with a community of economic migrants from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. These economic migrants were mainly working in the Bernard Matthews factories killing turkeys for Christmas.

Anyway…

I thought, maybe from here on in with The 25 Paintings world tour, I should not do the stomping around the world with my big boots, but gatecrash people in these islands that have come from distant parts. As in people that really needed to do the travelling across seas and lands to get here. And once here, have enriched our lives and cities and sad & rundown seaside towns, with their ways of seeing things.

Maybe I’ve told you about this before – but anyway.

Then…

One night, while sitting with Tracey in an Uber. This was after Lockdown One and before I got rid of my Uber app. The driver said to us, “Do you mind if I talk to my mate on WhatsApp, we will be talking in Cape Verde Kriol”.

And not only did we not mind, but the sound of this language triggered something. I was already gatecrashing.

“A gatecrashed party is always better than one you have been invited to” Discuss.

The next morning I contacted Jules and Kaavous. I asked them if any of the folk they have been working with talk Cape Verde Kriol. And they said “Yes, she is called Ana. She’s great. She leads a dance troupe.”

And…

Then I got in contact with Ana.

And Ana agreed to translate all the words that I wanted translated into Cape Verde Kriol, so that I can use them on The 25 Paintings for this year’s leg of The 25 Paintings twelve-year world tour.

Today I got the translations back from Ana.

They are as follows. Or at least underneath whatever writing I have yet still to do.

Tomorrow I start to repaint The 25 Paintings from Kurdish to Cape Verde Kriol.

Have you ever been culturally appropriated?

And…

For much of the month of September and even some of October – Global Pandemic willing – I will be based in the former Debenhams, as in PRIMEYARC, in Great Yarmouth. That is when I am not going for my daily ride on the Roller Coaster – care to join me?

Do you like to ride?

Now I know Tracey might not be pleased with the shrinking of my horizons, as she was looking forward to directing the film I wanted to make when we got to Papua New Guinea in a couple of years. As in the film with the folk that ate my great, great uncle – Oliver Tomkins – back in 1901. But I don’t think even Tracey will be wanting to deal with me if I am having one of my brain seizures when we are paddling a dugout canoe down the Aird River and I’m wondering if human flesh tastes better rare or well done. With fries or rice? With chilli sauce or just some pepper?

But…

As it happens my Uncle Oliver was from Great Yarmouth.

Anyway…

This all prompted Tenzing Scott Brown to write one of his plays, it’s called WHITE MALE GAZE. There will be a reading of this play at PRIMEYARC. This reading of the play will also involve some of Ana’s dancing girls.

Does cultural appropriation begin at home?

WHITE MALE GAZE will also be published as a book in an edition of 400. This book will be available from The Travelling Salesman.

Yours Faithfully,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

What follows are the Cape Verdean Kriol words that I will be using on The 25 Paintings, along with their English translations:

1:
DRUMMOND’S INTERNATIONAL GREY
CINSA INTERNATIONAL DRUMMONDS

2:
MAKE SOUP
FAZI SOPA

3:
ELVIS LOVES BILL
ELVIS T’AMA BILL

4:
BAKE CAKE
ASSA BOLU

5:
INTERCONTINENTAL TWINNING ASSOCIATION
ASSÓSSIASON D’IRMANASSON INTERKONTINENTAL

6:
FORTY MINUTES
KORENTA MINUTA

7:
GREAT YARMOUTH
GREAT YARMOUTH

8:
WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX
COMPLEKUS DI SALVADORIS BRANKUS

9:
CURFEW TOWER
TORI DI TOR DI DETA

10:
FORTY SECONDS
KORENTA SUGUNDUS

11:
MAN MAKING BED
OMI TA CONSTRUI CAMA

12:
DANCE
BADJA

13:
ATLANTIC ARCHIPELAGO
ARKIPELAGU ATILANTIKO 

14:
SING
KANTA

15:
MAN SHINING SHOES
OMI TA GRAXA SAPATU

16:
THE LONE SWEEPER
UN BARIDA

17:
WHO ATE MY UNCLE?
KENHA KI TA ODIA NHA TIU?

18:
TWENTY FIVE PAINTINGS
VINTU CINKU PINTURA

19:
TRUE TO THE TRAIL
VIRDADI DI UN LUTA DI VIDA

20:
TWELVE STEPS
VINTI PASSU

21:
MILLION STITCH BLANKET
MILLION DI PONTU

22:
BANG DRUM
TA TOKA NA TAMBOR

23:
BEST BEFORE DEATH
MIDJOR ANTIS DI MORRI

24:
BLOW HORN
SOPRA KIFRI

25:
LIFE AND DEATH OF AN ARTIST
VIDA I MORTI D’ UN ARTISTA

How To Make Mistakes

July 27, 2021
Photo by Tracey Moberly

Dear Reader,

Some people make Art
Some people make Love
Some people make War
Some people make Mistakes

Making Mistakes is what I do best.

Next Sunday morning (1st of August 2021) I will be giving a Sermon at Coventry Cathedral entitled…

HOW TO MAKE MISTAKES
And suffer the consequences

I first knew I was good at making mistakes in Primary Two at Penninghame School in 1959 when I got none out of ten for my spelling two weeks running.

Spelling Mistakes became my speciality. And I have been keeping my hand in at Spelling Mistakes ever since. That said I was a pretty good all-rounder at Making Mistakes.

Some of these mistakes have paid dividends, but mainly it has been about suffering the consequences.

I would like to go on record saying “Mistakes make Life”.

But I know the reality is also “Mistakes cause Death”.

The text for the Sermon is Matthew 14:1-11

This Sermon will be a one-off, never to be repeated.

The Sermon will be followed by a performance of the three-act play WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX featuring Tam Dean Burn playing the part of me.

The middle act of WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX is a screening of the film BEST BEFORE DEATH.

After the performance, The Travelling Salesman will be selling copies of the book WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX on the steps of the Cathedral.

Tickets and further information are available from here.

Yours Faithfully,

The Elderly Gentleman

NEVER LOCK YOUR DOOR

July 26, 2021
Photograph by Tracey Moberly

Never Lock Your Door is a play by Tenzing Scott Brown.
Never Lock Your Door is a play with no beginning or end.
Never Lock Your Door is set under Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham.
Never Lock Your Door has many principal characters.

The many principal characters include:

Two Walls facing each other, both of which are unaware of their mortality.

An arm of The Grand Union Canal, that divides the Two Walls, but keeps his counsel about mortality.

A Sleeping Bag, which has been discarded by a rough sleeper and talks about his great uncle who was a sleeping bag in the Eighth Army during the Second World War. The rough sleeper, who is not a character in this play but does still sometimes sleep under Spaghetti Junction.

Two Polish Builders who like to fish in the Grand Union Canal under Spaghetti Junction while drinking cheap Polish lager and cheaper energy drinks while discussing international politics and the urge to go back home to Poland.

Two Small Roach, who discuss the purpose of Art in The Grand Union Canal, now that The Grand Union Canal no longer serves a purpose. They also discuss whether Eels ever existed. They also fear a Pike that has been rumoured to be lurking.

The Lone Heron, who in fact does for the Two Small Roach, but they are totally unaware of The Lone Heron’s presence and how their existence on earth is to be a tasty snack in the late afternoon of Life on Earth.

The Lone Heron

A Single Mother who also happens to be a Mallard Duck with her five baby ducklings. Their father had done a runner before the play began.

The Invasive Species known to some as Giant Hogweed, which of course is merely a stand-in for the whole of the human population of the world, who are totally unaware of their own mortality and their status amongst all other life forms on earth as the ultimate Invasive Species.

A host of Golden Ragworts all too aware of their mortality, still waiting for their Week of Fame.

Golden Ragworts

Life on Earth is the unseen but ever-present character actor.

But the most principal of all of the principal characters is a discarded baby doll. Baby Doll had once belonged to a loving toddler by the name of Claudia. Baby Doll has a fantasy that she is in reality a real dead baby. A baby that died after she had been discarded by a teenage mother, who had kept her pregnancy a secret from her family. The father of the dead baby was also a member of the teenage mother’s family.

Baby Doll

Baby Doll had been discovered lying in the undergrowth by a Bill Drummond as he was trying to get to one of the Two Walls so that he could paint the words of the 2021 title of his Twelve Step Programme. As in the Twelve Step Programme that he is doing over twelve years as The 25 Paintings world tour unfolds.

The title of the 2021 step is also Never Lock Your Door, as in the title of this play that has no beginning, no middle, no end.

THE REPUBLIC OF UŽUPIS -Take Two

January 4, 2021
Photograph taken by Gleb Divov

The Republic of Užupis was to curate The Curfew Tower for the year of 2020.

The Great Pandemic stepped in the way of the curatorship happening.

The Curfew Tower very much hopes that it will be curated by The Republic of Užupis in the year of 2021.

The Curfew Tower awaits.

And while it waited statues of The Curfew Tower were built in The Repulic of Užupis. Above is a photograph of one of those statues by the River Vilnelė.

LIVE FROM A WARDROBE

December 21, 2020

Live From A Wardrobe is a performance by Tam Dean Burn recorded live in a wardrobe in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland sometime in the November of 2020.

The performance is of four Forty Second Plays by Tenzing Scott Brown.

These plays have the collective title of The New River Four.

These performances can be listened to below:

The Glorified Walking Stick

There Is An After Life

The Public Execution of Pop Stars

The Nik Kershaw Minifig