Friday, January 28, 2005

On the Road Again

The 2005 Comeback Tour looks as though it's on and so begins the painful process of - REHEARSAL.

Now, to the uninitiated, this may seem like a simple process. It is not. The collision of massive egos combined with short term memory failure makes for a major pain in the Grope posterior. First off, we have have to have a planning session. Custom dictates that this occurs in the Banjo and G-String in the VIP corner. This is how it goes. The drummer's late (natch), the bass player NEVER buys a drink and the meeting deteriorates into a drunken, group reminisce about how good the old days were and travelling really in an ancient Transit was really good. Bollocks!

Next, we turn up for the first rehearsal. This is always a shambles of epic proportions. The guitar player usually turns up without either: a) his guitar; b) his amp; or c) his brain and often all three. Nobody, but nobody, can remember either the words or the music to any of the songs we have spent the last umpteen years playing. So, we do what any self-respecting bunch of rock professionals would do, we launch into a 20 minute 12-bar blues.

Once this is over, we look pleased with ourselves and repair to the boozer for a well-deserved libation.

As Dick Emery once said, "It's only Rock and Roll but I like it!".

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Vote for Grope

All the great diarists - Pepys, Jonson, Adrian Mole, Mrs Dale - must have had a bit of difficulty at some time or other keeping the old creative juices flowing. Now I know you might find this hard to credit, but yours truly's hit a bit of a wall, blogwise. Le bloc de l'auteur est arrivé.

Anyway, I was passing my latest oeuvre over to the spotty herbert that looks after the technical wotnots when he muttered something about awards. As I haven't had much luck in this department recently, my ears pricked up. Apparently, there's some sort of poll going on for the 1st European Weblog Awards so I shoot over there for a butchers. Imagine my déception that Vernon Grope: Diary of Rock Star is not galloping away in all categories except maybe Best Weblog from Germany.

So after a bit of research, this is the Grope recipe for Getting an Award:

1) Crack on you're living in parts foreign and make suggestive lingerie-related comments to rack up the votes

2) Bang on about living in the middle of nowhere and how good it is to have herds of fluffy animals knocking about in your back garden

3) Have loads of links to other people's sites

I suppose that's that me out of the running then?

Bitter? Mine's a pint.

C'est lui pour maintenant

Auf Wiedersehen

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Win an Escort

Now, the Grope coffers are looking a bit empty at the moment so a bit of entrepreneurial spirit is called for. So, after a copious amount of vino collapso I came up with ...

The Win an Escort competition

Before you start getting the wrong idea, we're not talking motor cars but genuine personal escorts of the rock 'n roll variety.
It came to me in a flash - I know all these celebs, why not spread 'em around a bit? Who wouldn't want to spend a day in the company of a fabulously talented rock god (or goddess, if I can get Irma von Eisberg out of retirement)?

So, I get on the blower and start doing the rounds. For some reason I can't fathom, Mick Jagger, Bono, Macca AND Sir Cliff all appear to have full diaries right out to 2009. I finally managed to snag El Magnifico once his two-stretch is over and Snakey Pete provided his eczema clears up.

I haven't ironed all the wrinkles out of the offer yet but I thought the Day of a Lifetime would go something like this:

12:00pm: Collection by limo (or Mum's Datsun Sunny whichever is available) to be whisked to a watering hole personally selected by your's truly, namely the Cockroach and Groupie.

12:15pm: Lunch with refreshments - mingle with celebs

5:00pm: Lunch ends.

5:05pm: Carried by top roadie to premier cocktail bar for pre-dinner drinks - mingle with celebs

08:00pm: Gurney arrives to whisk you to dinner

08:01pm Aperitifs in the Starlight Cafe, Ballspond Road - mingle with celebs

09:55pm Dinner followed by after-dinner mints and brandy

10:00pm Transportation by Turkish mini-cab driver to glittering 'nite spot' for drinks in VIP bar - mingle etc.

04:00am: Bow Street Police station - mingle with ... who knows?

05:00am Night bus to the destination of your choosing

The Competition

Vernon Grope is:

a) Global mega-star of eyewatering proportions
b) A washed up no-hoper with delusions of grandeur
c) None of the above

Terms and Conditions

Answers on a £50 note to Grope Promotions Ltd PO Box 69 N23 2ED. Judges decision (i.e. mine) is absolutely final. No correspondence, threatening phone calls or paternity suits will be acknowledged. Your home may be at risk if you fail to abide by the rules of the competition.

Dry cleaning is NOT provided as part of the prize.

Friday, January 21, 2005


Ahoy there!

Due to the wonders of modern technology, for the past 10 days this diary has not been emanating from chez Grope but from the depths of that luxury liner
Aurora because yours truly's been on his winter travels. Well, I don't mind telling you that this was the ultimate experience. As you can imagine, every one of the 12 bars was given the full-on Grope treatment. Nothing was too much trouble staff-wise, they even had a post-libation wheelchair on standby to get me back to the cabin for a few hours of well-earned. Needless to say, I didn't show my face on deck for the whole trip. I did notice while I was on various bar stools that some of my fellow shipmates weren't in the best of spirits. Can't think why.

So I'm back refreshed and raring to go. Mind you, there was a bit of fracas on the quay when we docked this morning. Some people are never satisfied.

Avast behind!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

BRIT Awards shock

As you might imagine, yours truly is not best pleased to be overlooked yet again for a gong at the Brits. Matters were not improved by the news that soap-dodger Sir Bob is getting something for an outstanding contribution to music. What's all that about? When he last made a record, most people were listening to them on a Dansette. Even then it was with load of ragged-arsed Oirishmen who made the Muppets look positively comotose.

Strikes me that there needs to be some perspective applied here. What about my outstanding contributions to music? Granted I've been going through a fallow period but the new album's nearly about to go into pre-pre-production if I can find the microphone that my mum used at the last Gay Pride end of march karaoke evening. Right palaver that was. After two alcopops and three choruses of I Will Survive she stage dives into the audience and emerges sans sound equipment. I blame the parents...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Grope removes Deadwood from All Star XI

From the desk of Vernon Grope

For Immediate Release

As manager of the Grope All Stars Soccer XI, I have decided to remove that antique-dealer turned cowboy, McShane, from the team for the unacceptable use of the mullet in a sporting context. That'll teach him to get above his station.

---- ends ----

Browser beaten

There's a foul rumour circulating that this diary is not all my own work but is produced by a top ghost writer. Well, I'm here to assure you that these are mine own thoughts as written by me, in crayon on the back of a tax demand.

However, all is not well in the publishing house of Grope. Apparently, there have been gremlins in the technical gubbins and a large portion of my adoring public have not been able to read my pearls of widsom due some argie-bargie with something called Mozilla. Now I always thought this was a dinasaur that trod on Tokyo but apparently it's a popular means of reading web pages favoured mainly by our transatlantic cousins who as always do the opposite to everyone else in the world - use Macs, eat big Macs, remove letters from perfectly good words, invade countries etc, etc. Needless to say, yours truly was not best pleased to learn this and there a couple of extra computer anoraks on the job market as we speak. I'm told that normal service has resumed and that the whole world is now able to benefit from being just that little bit closer to a mega star.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Pressing matters

It seems my little party visit in the Osama Bin Laden outfit didn't go unnoticed (Desperately Seeking Publicity) and I am now under some pressure to issue a public apology. Apparently, I am not deemed suitable to represent the world of rock and that I should behave more responsibly.

Well, up yours! If I want to go to a private fancy dress party dressed as the scourge of the western world, then I think that's my business. At least I wasn't wearing see-through pants like Iggy Pop or frocks like Dame Reg. It strikes me that these tabloid scribblers ought to be focusing on real issues like Geri Haliwell's escort business rather than harrassing hard-working mega stars like your truly.

So, I've decided I'm going to form a new protest group Stars4Justice which will highlight the plight of global personalities constantly badgered by the world's press. What I need now is a high-profile stunt to bring our cause to the attention of the general public. I'm thinking we'll gate-crash the next do at Buck House. Come to think of it, I may have the right costume...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Desperately seeking publicity

I'm in the A&R Man and Plugger in Soho having a quiet libation with 2/5ths of Girls Aloud when the old mobile starts warbling. It turns out to be my accountant calling from Barbados who proceeds to give me a right ear-bashing. I listen to him whinging on about liquidising this and leveraging that for a few minutes and then I ask him what his point is. Apparently yours truly's down to his last few mil and has got to 'raise his profile' otherwise it's goodbye to the good life.

So I seems I've got to be seen out and about so that my adoring public doesn't think I'm sitting in chair in front of Trisha dribbling. Now I'm nothing if not resourceful so I blag an invite to this party in the back-end of nowhere where apparently there might be a few celebs. I pitch up at this gaff to find a right ruckus in progress. There's a ton of snappers from the red tops flashing away like mad. I'm thinking that I've hit paydirt as I head for the front door. Anyway, it turns out that some toff's got everyone fired up because he's wearing some sort of WWII uniform and the doors were well and truly barred. Well you can imagine that I was not best pleased since I'd spent a fortune on my Osama Bin Laden costume. Needless to say, the whole weekend was a washout AND I got charged for returning the costume in an 'unacceptable condition'.

Being a world-wide mega star is not all it's cracked up to be, I can tell you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I'm a Celebrity Big Brother Deathmatch victim

Now I'm not a great fan of the haunted fishtank but I came home yesterday afternoon after a meeting with my creative team at the Roadie and Strumpet to find my old mum glued to the box. She'd turned it on to get her daily fix of Pimp My Ride and Countdown - two programmes that are easy to mix up if you're on medication. One is a kind of automotive Changing Rooms with a geezer called Xzibit playing the floppy Lawrence role and the other is a series that looks as though it was made in 1957 with a bloke wearing a jacket that even LL-B wouldn't give house room.

Anyway, she was tuned into this Big Brother show which seems to feature two old-age pensioners. One was banging on and behaving like something from the Dark Ages and the other one was that bloke from the horse racing. So I am watching this unfold and I suddenly realise that one of these old ducks is Germaine Greer! Now me and Gerry go back a long way - she was a right goer and no mistake. Having retrieved my jaw from the Axminster, I ask my mum how long this has been going on and why didn't I know about it. Apparently there's been loads of them - in the jungle, up a gum tree and all sorts. Even little Johnny Rotten and that DJ with the syrup** who used to be on Radio 1 have been on one!

So I'm straight on the blower to my agent and I give him a massive rollicking for not expoiting this potential publicity opportunity to the max. It turns out that he's been trying for ages to get me on but they're not interested. Something about corrupting the viewing public or some such nonsense. It's beyond belief, isn't it?

** For the benefit of our Transatlantic cousins: syrup = wig (syrup of fig) Explanations of what a Hampton is will be forwarded under a plain brown cover (only the Brits will get this gag!)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Viggo Mortensen reveals secret inspiration...

I suppose it had to come out eventually. Ever since Johnny Depp confessed that he used Keith Richards as the model for his part as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, the meejah has been curious to know where heart-throb Viggo gets his ideas. Well, I can be silent no longer and reveal that it is yours truly. If you think about it (and squint your eyes really hard) the resemblance between Aragorn and Vernon Grope on the 1974 Broom Cupboard Comes Out tour is uncanny.

As you can imagine me and Viggy are like that, although he pretends not to know me but that's just to throw the tabloids off the scent. I've already sent him a treatment for a new LOTR film - Lord of the Rings IV - Rockin' all over Middle-Earth with me in the role of his handsome older brother Oregano. It doesn't have all that Gandalf and the 7 Dwarfs stuff in it, just a lusty tale of two rock-meisters travelling through Middle-Earth high on weed with loads of chicks playing monster riffs wherever they go. I'll be booking my table at the Oscars, I can tell you.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Swanning about

So somewhat caught off guard in the slow bit after the New Year shindig, yours truly gets dragged off to Swan Lake. Now this is not normally my cup of Camellia sinensis but there was an offer of a few glasses of bubbly in the sundried tomato belt of N1. I don't mind telling you that I needed it after finding out that bloody Daltry's got a gong in the NYOL. Why he can't stick to fishing and leave the rest of us to get on with it, beats me.

Whilst we're on the subject, I seemed to have missed my invitation to Holland's annual TV rockfest. I get in from the boozer to find my mum glued to the bloody thing because she wants to see Basement Jaxx. I'm just about to stick a size 9 Patrick Cox through the screen when Clapton appears. The man's never off the telly! Bring back Moira Anderson, I say.

Anyway, feeling fairly sociable after a bucket of Moet, I'm getting balleted-up . Needless to say, I'm a bit disconcerted when the show kicks off and the swans are all blokes dressed in hairy jimjams! Now call me old-fashioned but I thought ballet was all about posh birds in fluffy frocks having a bit of a prance. The next thing you know, Keira Knightly'll want to be a brickie. Having got over the shock, I managed remain awake for the remainder. I don't think I'm spoiling it for anyone if I tell you that the swan dies. That's culture done for another year...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

From a devoted fan...

I well remember hearing Vernon Grope's seminal Magic ***** ** my ***

it changed my life. It made me who I am today. And if I ever get hold of the bastard Grope I'll kill him. I could have been famous, I could have been rich, I could have been happy.

But because of that bloody song I am emailing this to you from HMGs long term residential home known in the catering trade as The Scrubs. But I'll be out soon and I am coming to get you Grope.

[This is what makes it all worthwhile - VG]

Grope - The Musical

You heard it first here. Grope the Musical will be hitting the West End in 2005. Makes sense, doesn't it? We've had We Will Rock You and Tonight's the Night so what better way to celebrate yours truly's illustrious career than a spanking new musical. So I get on the blower to Andrew Lloyd Webber who pretended he'd never heard of me for the first 5 minutes - he's a card isn't he? Anyway, he asks me who's writing the book. I gently pointed out that there's no book just the musical and he tells me that's what they call the story in musical-land. Strikes me that they need to get themselves sorted out terminology-wise. So I say it writes itself, doesn't it? I mean tales of Vernon Grope are legendary - all he needs to do is string a few tunes together and we're laughing all the way to the bank. Upshot is he says he wants to 'consider his options'. I say if he wants to get some more art on his walls, he needs to buck his ideas up.

Next stop is casting someone to play me which is another mess of potage. By this time, Ron Edmunds has got wind of the project and seeing that he's about to be booted out of his current job playing the back end of a lion or some such, is much enamoured of treading the boards under the old Grope persona. Now, I'm not so keen given that he's not as young as he used to be and has got a voice like coal under the out-house door. Need to work on a plan to let the old boy down gently - maybe I'll cast him as Roadie #1 . That's should do it - just as long as his back holds out. I bet Carmen Mackintosh never had it this hard - god rest her soul. That's an idea - David Soul. I bet he's cheap available...