Paul Cohen – Season 02 / Ep 05

Sagacious father,
Walking through the world awake,
Come on you Irons

I’m really not a fan of parties or large social occasions. If I’m lucky I’ll find a quiet corner and an interesting conversation. If I’m really lucky I’ll find a kindred spirit in that quiet corner to while away the hours until I can make my excuses and go home. Yep, I’m ‘boring’ and proud.

Paul and I met at a biggish work do in 2008. Introduced as fellow Lon-doners and fellow West Ham fans there was no way we would not hit it off. And so a much-valued friendship began, flowing like the Thames.

Paul has had many lives and has travelled, as have I, many miles from the town of our birth. I should note here with some little envy that he is ‘proper’ London – born within the sound of Bow Bells and therefore a bona fide cockney. I’m a sort of Essex boy pretender, whatever the ac-cent you may hear.

About half way between Whitechapel and Romford used to be the home ground of West Ham United. Paul and I share the affliction of calling them ‘our team’. I particularly enjoyed the bit of his interview where we discussed just what that meant in this age of mercenary football mil-lionaires.

Paul also shares my love of words; of writing and of creativity. There-fore it was no surprise when he agreed to be cast into deep space and explore his musical and personal history.

Listening back in the days after the interview I felt a degree of satis-faction that my attempts to learn from series one and consciously allow more space for the thing to breathe and the subject to express are work-ing. Well, that’s my very subjective opinion anyway. What I mean to say is that this conversation seemed to settle quickly into a relaxed and natural rhythm. I’m very happy with how it went and how Paul told his story.

One more thing: how on Earth can you explain the strange coincidence of me waking with ‘Going Underground’ by The Jam in my head to immediately discover that, in his overnight email, Paul had made it one of his seven choices? Insert Twilight Zone music here…


02 05


1) Closing Time, Leonard Cohen (00:33:24)

Live in London version. Incredible poem and Dublin story.

2) Bad liver and a broken heart, Tom Waits (00:54:11)

Martha Tom Waits Closing Time – Beautiful album

3) Boomer’s story, Ry Cooder (01:30:54)

4) Going underground, The Jam (02:08:56)

Punk gigs.

5) Up on cripple creek, The Band (02:35:24)

6) Common People, Pulp (03:07:00)

Greatest Hits (please let me have this album!). Fabulous jumping up and down music and first song I taught Mo and Libby.

7) Friday on my mind, David Bowie (03:44:23)

Pinups. My funeral song. Story of my life…

Now finally, along with all Douglas Adams’ written works (Google if you’re not familiar with him), please tell me:

Your choice of film

Game of Thrones complete box set including unreleased.

Your choice of book

Road to Freedom Trilogy – Satre.

Your luxury item (that may be neither alive nor an aid to escape)

Machine that turns water into Grange.

The one piece of music or album you would choose of your seven if you could have only one

Friday on my Mind.

Finally, to stave off madness, should that be your choice, which vista, which single place in all the world would you choose to have surround you in the Virtual Reality Pod (VRP). Open the pod bay doors…

Astilpalea- tiny Greek island.