NEW YEAR BANGIN’ ON SPECIAL

He's back! It's been a dramatic year for the ex-NME gunslinger - Here he reminisces about dribbling on Macca, gay trainers and (shock!) quite good US rock...

Another year over, a new one just begun… and you will know us by the trail of dead wankers who thought they were the first to point out that ‘it wathn’t actually the millennium latht year, anyway, thith new year was actually the weal thtart of the new centuwy, tho there’. I hate you all.

But I digress. I began 2000 turning my back on music. Eight years, man and boy, hardest job in the world, but finally I couldn’t face another interview with Blander or Spampilot, another review of Dishcloth’s new one or another consignment of free drain fluid and horse tranq to piss up the wall in the name of showbusiness.

The signs were manifold. Finding myself naked as the day I was born in the pages of the New Musical Express, shaming my family, friends and profession, drunkenly dribbling over Paul McCartney and assaulting the most promising newcomer at the Brat Awards, before keeling over mid-interview with Muse as a last hurrah, I realised I was becoming an embarrassment. The Shane MacGowan of music journalism, the rent-a-twat they wheel out at parties and special occasions (like this one).

So I got out. I gave up rock’n’roll like I once did masturbation (only to reacquaint myself with the art after a brief estrangement – once an addict, always an addict). I was a boring old bastard who should be put out to grass, patronised by those who once looked up to me, made to wear a bib, fitted with a colostomy bag and only let out with a qualified carer in tow, So imagine my surprise to be newly inspired by the new wave of American rock that swept our shores this summer.

Amazingly, this was American rock which didn’t sound like Van Morrison with a haemorrhoids attack fellating Eddie

Vedder. This was seething, raging, scorching punk rock like Amen, Queens Of The Stone Age, At The Drive-In and Slipknot.

I was stunned to find at a Slipknot gig earlier this year that it wasn’t full of 30-year-olds in gay trainers appreciating the supremely crafted songwriting, muttering knowledgeably about Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley, before having a panic attack over whether they’d video’d ‘Nigella’s Bites’. Instead, everyone in the gig was under 20, going mental, obviously loved this music more than their own hands, and could quite easily have been persuaded to go out after the gig and

burn down Marks & Spencer. It made me feel fantastically old, irrelevant and in the way. I felt like someone’s parents nervously pacing the floor waiting for their errant teenage daughter to come home. This is how it should be. I am now 31 years old, so I want rock’n’roll to disown me, spit in my face, steal my

purse and send me on my way with nothing more than a free bus pass for my troubles.

Oh shit, sorry. Alright, I’ll come clean. I am in fact a hypocrite and a terrible cunt, because in reality I sit at home sipping Beaujolais in my chaise longue listening to Coldplay, Doves and Savage Garden, and secretly fancying Charlie Dimmock. I can no more listen to a whole Slipknot record than I can swim through London’s sewers for 50 minutes. But do as I say, not as I do. After a long and distinguished career in gobshitery, I know what’s good for you.

So as nursie gives me my medication and turns off ‘Lamacq Live’ for my own good, I’ll sign off 2000 by saying thank you, children of the millennium. You’ve made an old man very happy.

Johnny Cigarettes