For a good ten years we have had a favourite film which we must have watched dozens of times.
It’s called Hear My Song and it features the marvellous Irish tenor Joseph Locke and his come-back concert in a rundown night club pursued by police for historic income tax offences.
My old mate, the late and much-missed Bill Goad, had a wonderful story about a friend of his who was a fan of Joe’s who very much wanted to see and hear him in person.
This meant a trip to Dublin because the singer’s tax problems meant he had to stay out of the UK to avoid arrest.
Anyway, Goady’s mate, an Irishman – who I will unoriginally call Patrick, although the gent was no saint – booked a passage to the Auld Sod (that’s Irish for Ireland) bought a ticket for the recital and blissfully drunk on Guinness with whiskey chasers turned up to hear his hero.
At one point enthusiasm got the better of him. He was so emotionally moved, and so drunk, he stood up on his seat and helped Joe out with a duet from “Goodbye, goodbye, I wish you all a last goodbye.”
Well, it was goodbye to Patrick, who got the bum’s rush and was neck-and-cropped out of the theatre by professionals at neck-and-cropping.
The scene shifts now to Liverpool where Patrick, who had some claim to fame locally as a reliable alehouse tenor, gave a spirited rendition of King Billy’s The Boy in a pub with a largely Republican clientele.
He was, naturally, thrown out. As he was being frogmarched out a lady shrieked: “Go easy with that man, He has sung with Joseph Locke.”
This bailiff, who was very well-known on a roughish council estate, parked his new Audi and wondered if it would still there, or at least in one piece, before he doled out a couple of writs threatening eviction here and there.
He had two bull terriers in the back which gave him some reassurance from some yobs nearby. One said: “Gissa a fiver and we’ll look after your car.”
“It doesn’t need looking after with two pit bulls in the back,” the bailiff said smugly.
“Right,” said the chief yob. “Are they any good at putting out fires...?