Paul Heaton Q&A
‘Famous Last Words’ with the Beautiful South musician…
Last thing you did that made you feel good?
Writing lyrics makes me feel good. I love the feeling of having a pen and a piece of paper in my hand and it’s the only thing that I feel I’m any good at. And cycling. That makes me feel incredibly good. I set off from Manchester and in 25 mins I get to leafy Wilmslow, then shortly after I’m in Alderley Edge. After a while I’m heading up into the edge of the Peak District and to the top of the Cat and Fiddle. Some two hours later I’m sat at the top of the Cat and Fiddle looking down on where I’ve been and can see the weather blowing over Manchester. I look at my pint and look at the clouds and estimate when I have to leave to go back.
Last thing you’d want to be doing right now?
I object to the use of the Americanism ‘right now’. ‘Right now’ MY ARSE! In answer to your question – at the moment I would probably not like to be flying, listening to Radio f**king 4, watching someone chew gum, listening to someone say how ‘amazing’ everything is, watching a cookery programme and finally, even ever, entering a conversation about food!
“Two slices of toast and a glass of milk please”
Last night on Earth… What’s your poison?
I think if I may I’ll order a couple as it’s a proper Last Orders. I’ll have a White Russian followed by a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord. The White Russian will go first and last just eight minutes. The Landlord will be both sipped and savoured for 20 minutes. Then I shall return my glasses to the bar, fetch my hat from the stand and be off out into the cold. And you’ll not see the likes of me grace your pub again.
Last person you’d want to share a drink with?
I’ve never been for a drink with my two girls as they’re only 6 and 10. I would like to go with them if that’s ok? We’d go during the day. Somewhere quiet. I’d tell them daft stories of my youth and all the heartbreaks and times I’d fallen over or ended up at the wrong house or whatever. It would be a four pint ‘lunch’ with peanuts and crisps. We’d leave the pub laughing at how silly I’d been and with one daughter on each arm they’d walk me home, the happiest man on earth.
“Just make sure you don’t marry everyone you love”
Last time you shed a tear and why?
This month when I had to leave my poorly, pregnant girlfriend in hospital to spend Christmas Eve alone.
Last refuge… where would you go?
We live on a terraced cul-de-sac and have pretty good neighbours so of course it would depend on from what I was hiding or avoiding. When I was younger I probably would have said somewhere like Belchite, the Spanish ghost town. Nowadays I’d probably just cycle out into Lancashire, Cheshire or Yorkshire and when I got to the top of some hill, get off and look up to the sky and beyond, whilst laying on me back and eating Halal Wine Gums.
Last the course… tips on loot, love & life?
Loot – As soon as you start protecting your money interests, you become a different human being. Early days my bands had the people from the bank advising you to move money here and there. I always refused to play that game and it’s brought me nothing but happiness. I call it ‘The Footballers’ Gates Syndrome’. As soon as you build that wall, someone wants to jump over it. The first day you start behaving with money in mind is the same day you start protecting it and protecting money should be something to be very ashamed of.
Love – Just make sure you don’t marry everyone you love. I’d be on my eighth marriage by now. Life – Don’t try and live your life by the time you’re 30. There are things you can save up. I never touched any drugs until I was 28 and I didn’t sit in the driver’s seat of a car until I was 35. Live ‘life’ too early and ‘life’ will wear YOU like a tatty scarf.
“I collect Rich Tea wrappers”
Last but one… random question: Tell us about something that interests you that nobody else knows about. Like Gaelic football … or porcelain.
I have an interest in what people say and always have. I’ve scores of quotes from people at school and whilst I worked in an office for three years I kept a journal of over a thousand stupid things people said [including myself]. I collect at least ten times more things than I have ever admitted to publicly. For example, when at school I kept around 500 Rich Tea wrappers in my desk. I collect or have collected Rich Tea wrappers, Chocolate Buttons wrappers, crisp wrappers, beer mats, autographs, postcards, the old 3D coins, miners’ badges, football programmes, badges, shirts, scarves, hats etc, beer cans, bubblegum cards, backstage laminates, Do Not Disturb signs, sick bags from aeroplanes and every single boarding pass from every flight I’ve made.
Famous Last Words?
Bring back Tudor Spring Onion flavour crisps you b******s!