Slow life

Dizzying spectacle

As it is something we all crave, even demand as a right, a lot of research has been conducted into what makes people happy. I’m surprised everybody isn’t aware, and apologies if you already are, that there are three different classes of experience that are all guaranteed to fill our wells of content. First, some

The name of the game | 23 February 2008

I’ve realised I don’t have a game, a sport. A man needs a game. It’s important. Says a lot about him; more than his car or his clothes. I asked the builders if they wanted to start a football team. ‘We’d have enough for six-a-side,’ I said. ‘Come on, it’ll be great! …Wednesday?’ But I

Changing values

Fifteen years ago a state-of-the-art recording studio would have cost well north of a million pounds. Mix consoles were vast and needed continuous maintenance by ex-NASA scientists. Even a pair of the requisite two-inch tape machines with Dolby could cost more than a house. Mind you, houses were quite cheap back then. Studios featured endless

Staying cool | 26 January 2008

I was outside the Wolseley smoking after dinner, just lighting up my second and peacefully contemplating the relative merits of banana splits and chocolats liègeois. It was raining in fine speckles, not enough to spoil things, just enough to add a glamorising shiny glow to the brightly lit business end of Piccadilly. I was in

The price is right

The Christmas tree is big enough for the children to climb. The small ones could get lost inside somewhere. Every year that guy gets it exactly right. His expertise is one of the most pleasing things about the run-up to Christmas. The top is an inch from the ceiling. He has an eye for these

Making records is ridiculous

People ask me sometimes if I still do any music and I always tell them that music is a garden and, once you’ve been there, you never stop going back. It’s true. Then I go and talk to someone else. I know people ask my old band mate Damon the same thing sometimes, possibly just

Space invader

Soon we will live on Mars. There is no doubt about that. Space is the great adventure of this millennium. It’s growing more rapidly as a place of business than China or India. It just needs its Damien Hirst. One peerless and fearless luminary who can make us all realise how much we need a

Russian luxury

The Astoria Hotel in St Petersburg is acknowledged by one and all to be the best hotel in town. This doesn’t seem to be a matter of opinion, taste or committee, so much as an unassailable truth. My wife mentioned that we were going to St Pete’s to our impossibly rich neighbours and they named

Black Hawk down

My friend Spud had an Agusta 109. That’s the best type of helicopter. They’re like super-fancy flying Ferraris, shiny, and all Louis Vuitton and shagpile inside, the closest thing to a magic carpet that you can get. For Spud, the 109 was a skeleton key to everything, as well as a magic carpet to everywhere.

Art is the drug

The invitation to the Frieze Art Fair was a bigger parcel than anything that arrived on my birthday. It looked like a kind of ambassadorial visa package to a higher realm, and spa. Art invitations now outweigh fashion invitations. I mean they weigh more. The events grow ever more lavish as the art bubble perpetuates