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Wednesday 22 November 2017

The O-Zone: An anti-social Diary

- Monday There's a Hole (singer) in the OZone. Afternoon flight to Scotland for an interview with Courtney Love. The most infamous widow in rock is playing a gig at the Glasgow O2 to promote Hole's excellent new album, Nobody's Daughter.

We've spoken at length over the phone on a couple of occasions, but I don't really know the woman. A couple of years ago, I interviewed Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in LA. We hit it off, and Flynt asked if there was anything he could do for me. Hoping to secure an interview, I asked him to give me Courtney's private number (she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of his wife in Milos Forman's 1996 biopic The People vs Larry Flynt).

When I rang her, initially she wasn't very happy: "What the f**k is Larry doing giving journalists my number?" Then she talked non-stop until my phone battery died. BP Fallon put it best when he told me, "Courtney does more rabbit than an Easter bunny."

Tonight's interview almost doesn't happen. Backstage at the venue she's tired, cranky and has already met three journalists today. "I don't wanna do this," she moans. "I've got a show to play."

I remind her that we've spoken before, but it barely seems to register. It's not until I offer her a cigarette that she lightens up. And then talks non-stop until it's almost time to go onstage.

There's not much happening in Glasgow on a Monday night so, after the show, it's straight back to the Radisson Blu. It seems to be a very progressive kind of hotel. They even have a couple of porters wearing kilts -- their skirts are quite tasteful.

Kudos to them. It's a brave thing to do in such a homophobic city.

- Tuesday More volcanic ash! The potential seriousness of the Iceland volcano is becoming apparent. This could well be the end of an era. Human beings have been flying for little more than a planetary blink. Mother Nature has been belching out plumes of lava, ash and poisonous gases since time began. If OZone had a few million to spare, I'd be investing in a high-speed ferry.

Needless to say, my flight home is cancelled. The unfriendly girl at the Aer Lingus desk says that the flights have been cancelled, the rescheduled ones are already fully booked, and it'll be tomorrow morning before there's another one.

Eventually, the uber-efficient Laura Coffey from Universal Music manages to get us seats on an EasyJet flight to Belfast. Following the coach trip down to Dublin, I'm too wrecked to continue on to Galway. Universal very kindly put me up in the Radisson Blu Royal on Golden Lane. It's a nice hotel. No kilt-clad porters, though.

- Wednesday Buffoon alert! FF's Frank Fahey and Timmy Dooley "pushed the button the wrong way" in an important electronic vote on holding a by-election in Donegal South West this morning, accidentally siding themselves with the opposition, and drawing the vote at 76-76. Ceann Comhairle Captain Kirk had to beam down with a casting vote, but failed to save the Government from looking like a shower of incompetents.

Dooley admitted that he and Fahey had screwed up: "I pressed the wrong button in error. I assume it'll be taken as error. The two of us were located side by side. We were talking. We'd arrived late and we pressed the wrong button."

Which makes you wonder: who was cogging from whom?

In the evening to the Roisin Dubh in search of another laugh. Self-confessed "fat b**tard" Bob Mills is headlining. A longstanding-up veteran of the comedy circuit, Mills is well known as the host of TV shows such as Win Lose Or Draw, Goals On Sunday and Dial Midnight.

He opens his set by urging the audience to give a round of applause to the preceding comedians -- Sharon Mannion, Gary Lynch and Gar Murran. "What an amazingly talented bunch," Mills enthuses. "I'm telling you, seriously, in a year or two you won't even be able to buy a ticket for their shows . . . because you'll all have lost your jobs and won't have any money."

- Thursday Carnal congratulations to Cheryl Cole who has just topped a list of celebrities that women would let their partner sleep with. The study was carried out by the website MaritalAffair.co.uk, and asked 1,000 women. The majority said they would allow it, because it was "a once in a lifetime opportunity". And also probably because, going on the law of averages, some of them may have already shagged Ashley. Fair's fair!

- Friday OZone loves the smell of electoral defeat in the morning.

I'd imagine that an icy chill slid down the spine of many a TD watching the look of utter disbelief on Peter Robinson's face as East Belfast voters totally torpedoed his 30-year political career.

It's hard not to feel sorry for the cuckolded politician. Still, somehow I manage it.

At least now he can spend more time with Mrs Robinson.

- Saturday Marian Finucane's compelling radio interview with Steve Collins about the cowardly murder of his son last year causes me to miss a midday meeting. He says that, from start to scarper, the fatal gun attack on Roy Collins took just 11 seconds.

By taking such a brave stand against murderous Limerick scumbags, and refusing to be intimidated, Collins and his family -- who live under the strain of constant police protection -- have proven themselves to be true Irish patriots.

Listening to Steve talk, that old Edmund Burke quote comes to mind: "All that it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

- Sunday Former Herald scribe and Cuirt award-winning writer Andrew Meehan reads an excerpt from his short story, Her Way of Saying No, on RTE's Sunday Miscellany this morning.

I send him a congratulatory text afterwards: "Is something wrong with your throat? You sounded really weird."

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