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Liverpool. As home.

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George Melly.

I have, at long last, finished his book;Rum Bum and Concertina.

I had bought the paperback second hand some years ago, I had one attempt at reading it, but had given up. It is not a story I have much in common with. Young public-school boy with homosexual proclivities joins the Navy near the end of WWII.
Perhaps it is his connection with Liverpool and my own, less actual, experiences of the city and it's people that has allowed me to get the reading of the book over and done with.
Anyway, it is his attachment to Liverpool as his home-town that has me writing this as a Blog.

There is little of Liverpool in the book. GM is first at boarding school then off to the Navy. He visits from time to time, speaks of his family ties and the work he had done writing for the local papers. He was there for part of the Blitz, he saw the news reels of the liberation of Belsen and the war does come up from time to time, but for the most part the whole thing all but passes him by.
Yet I get the feeling that Liverpool had it's hold upon him and appears to be an equal alternative site for his future as London, should things not go so well for him there. [This is something my own home town has never offered me. ]

It may be that he has since written more extensively about Liverpool, his time there as a child and right up to the end of his life, through the swinging sixties and beyond, I do not know if he has though. Another thing struck me about this book was that I was able to hear him speak the words. Something which made the whole thing more cosy. I don't know what others that have no knowledge of his mannerism and affectations would make of it all, but that is their problem.

Well. That about wraps it up.
Is there a Lancastrian trait of inbuilt nostalgia? Is it ever possible to leave Merseyside behind?
I am probably asking the wrong people in the wrong place. :)

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  1. chasevans's Avatar
    I haven't read the book, but from your description it sounds an easy read, Oudeius. I first heard George on a78 r.p.m. record that a friend borrowed from his dad's collection, "Take me for a Buggy Ride". This would be about 1966 and I was a fan right away. On seeing his stage act years later I was totally hooked. Entertainment with a capital E.
    A BBC4 documentary on GM and trad jazz gives a glimpse into Georges life, I've copied it on DVD if you need it.
    Speaking for myself, I never get homesick when away from Merseyside, but my maximum time away has been 4 months.
    Regards, Oudeius,
  2. Oudeis's Avatar
    I did only see him once live. With Acker and K Ball. He had shown himself to be knowledgeable on modern art and was a good talker too. His telling of life in the early years of the war, with his and others record collecting and hiding away in the bowels of a ship to listen to the blues brought back memories of the early seventies and my own habits. The treks from bedroom to bedroom with the trusty Dancette.
    I will certainly look out for more of his scribblings.
    A whole four months eh? Time off for good behaviour?
  3. Ronijayne's Avatar
    Keep us posted