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GET ME A DATE WITH B MOVIE DIVA STEPHANIE BEATON: Stewart Home spends another night down the pub with Michael K

After a year of hectic promotional activity for his various projects, Stewart Home takes time out from movie-offers and his role as cultural ambassador to the UN to look back with Michael K on 2007 and chat about his hopes for the year ahead.

Not many people suspect that Stewart Home and myself are not the same person but among these people are Stewart Home and myself although from time to time we've had our doubts. Last year during a particularly acute identity crisis, Home published his twelfth novel '(A Smell of) Memphis Underground' to mixed reviews (one of them was good and the other even better) but since then I hadn't heard much from him other than round the clock communication on his notorious myspace blogs. Having caught wind of a few projects he might be up to and keen to impress him with the title of my new meta-novel, I proposed that we meet up in Dundee, a city for whose cemetery we're both enthusiasts. Sadly due to the prolonged upgrade fiasco on the railways (which didn't affect the London-Aberdeen line in the slightest) we were forced to compromise by meeting up in The Dundee Arms. 339 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2. Since Home lives in the same flat as me, it was hardly a compromise I could complain about since all I had to do was look in the mirror and then take a walk down Bethnal Green Road and round the corner. Arriving at the same time as Home (11am on the dot), we were soon seated by the window sipping on gin and juice and fending off the attention of the 17 year old prostitutes who frequent this notorious crack haven and who were keen to get our autographs on a couple of cheque books that had been stolen from our flat earlier in the week. With Ice T's 'Cop Killer' providing an exhilarating background to our chat, Home and I obliged just to get rid of them and then got down to business with the water pipes and tin foil. In no time at all, we were 'stuck' and barely able to begin with our interview.

MK: So, Stewart, 'Memphis Underground' was a runaway success and has allowed you to buy homes in Delhi and Barrow-on-Furness. What's it like being one of the big rollers?

SH: Well I wouldn't say no to a date with Stephanie Beaton, and I know she isn't as Amazonian as Lana Clarkson star of “Barbarian Queen” but the thing is Clarkson is dead and I blame that Phil Spector. But the great thing about Stephanie is that she's a redhead, and you know what they say about redheads? You don't? Well let me assure you it is true! Red hair means hot in bed. Not that I don't date brunettes or blondes or raven haired beauties, it’s just that I do particularly like redheads. Anyway Stephanie Beaton has red hair, she's thirty-five years old and according to her biography has grey eyes, is 5'8" tall and weighs 120 pounds… and I'd really like to find out how many pounds of that is silicon! Yeah she can even act and I ain't seen all her movies yet, I'm looking forward to catching "Blood Gnome" sometime soon... Okay at five feet eight inches Steff is very slightly smaller than me, and I do prefer a taller woman, but you can't have everything, I mean not everybody can be Lana Clarkson, which is a good thing when you think about it because we wouldn't want everyone to be dead, and in fact I wish Lana was still alive. Fucking Phil Spector, okay he made some great records in the sixties, love what he did with Tina Turner, but that Ramones album he produced, well it was the beginning of the band going badly down hill, pure pop fails for them so they go HM after that experience! Bad bad bad!

MK: By the way, have I showed you the title of my new meta-novel, 'International Times'? It took me a year or so to come up with it but I'm very pleased.

SH: Slide with me now down that purple shaft into the deep inner depths of the diamond mine where we will witness the precious peanut butter flood change of a plug as she spreads her wings and flies high through the thundering silence of your vacuum kept secret hiding out in the pulsating fringe of your bubbly fudge mind....

MK: You recently mentioned that you were so washed up and out of ideas that you were considering writing your own autobiography, something you'd said you'd never do (except under the auspices of your last novel). How's that coming along?

SH: Hey my weekend was great. I managed to sneak one of the unidentified bodies out of the hospital morgue. I've named this stiff Marie and I took her for a date. Thus did midnight find the two of us - I and my Marie - enjoying an intimate candle-lit tete-a-tete at Shoop's, a local roadhouse on the far edge of town. Romance was in the air, and Marie, whose only fault as a dinner companion was a tendency to keep slipping sideways out of the booth, had never looked lovelier. I had about decided to order the fish cakes and had climbed on top of the table, the better to urge Marie to try the svengali-and-meatballs, or "12 inches of happiness" as it is sometimes called, when the road house owner came over: "Phew man!" he said to me, pointing at Marie. "You gotta get that thing out of here. It's starting to stink the place up and people are complaining. Are you nuts or something." "Well Marie wasn't feeling that hungry and I felt something other than food was on the menu, so we left and I drove her to a remote beauty spot where we made passionate love. I even got her back in the hospital cooler without anybody noticing Marie had been missing for half the night. So I had a great weekend. I trust yours was a groove...

MK: One of the things you've been griping about on your blogs is the lack of quality hardcore at your local Poundland. Do you think the proliferation of amateur material on the web and the current fad for 'beaver' fitness DVD's from z-list celebrities has affected the demand for this product line? And what about Lana Clarkson?

SH: Wow I'm really stoned... really tripping... out of... I've gone and... I shouldn't have gotten this high... I didn't take enough acid to get this high... even my playthings walked to Saturn... bend pencil erasers... delicious... apples explode into butterflies... I gotta get outta here... one two three four... I can hardly see... tombs interlocking... too much acid... too many colours blown up in my face... You know I went to see this guru once and he said at the end of the night the thing I most desire would appear for me in his forehead, and I kinda waited and waited, and then finally right around midnight this beaver just materialised in his forehead, like a real cunt in 3D, now I always thought those guru types were complete fuckheads but this guy was the real deal, I mean how could he know that the thing I most desired in life was pussy?

MK: Recently, I've been contacted by Russian sources (as part of my regular spying contracts) who have been telling me about the riots that have been caused by the publication of your novels in Russia. What do you think are the prospects for a communist coup now that Tough Press are about to publish some of your non-fiction in Moscow?

SH: The media is so fixated with youth that it ignores other sections of society that are in advance of teeny-boppers in terms of destroying entire cultural industries. Music file sharing is killing the music industry, so keep doing it kids, but in terms of your collective activities having an impact you could probably learn a thing or three from your grannies. Did you know that the online posting of knitting patterns had killed the multi-million dollar knitting pattern industry? Yeah, its true kids, in terms of knitting patterns your grannies have achieved what so far you have only dreamed of doing to the music industry. The sale of knitting patterns is now a thing of the past, your grannies have killed the industry through the online sharing of patterns. So while the mass media doesn't want to flag up the fact that silver surfers are hipper anti-capitalists than the youth, let's salute our grannies for this major achievement!

MK: I think it's your round. But before you order from the attractive pensioner behind the bar, can you take a look at the title for my forthcoming meta-novel, 'International Times'? I've tried it out in a variety of fonts and sizes and am thinking it would look good in the same font used for your 'Confusion Incorporated'. Can you tell me about that book and the process you used to come up with that particular choice of font? And while you're at it, I'd like a packet of Balti Nuts.

SH: Maria Ford is the largely unsung star of stripper b-movies like "Naked Obsession" and "Angel of Destruction", but "Showgirl Murders" is considered her opus. Like most flicks built around strip routines, "Showgirl Murders" is unashamedly low brow. Jessica Cross (Maria Ford) is one bad chick. The flick opens with Maria drugging her coke-head boyfriend, then stealing his money and heading to L.A., where she goes to work as a cocktail waitress at a seedy bar run by a loser and his booze-hound wife (who has nightmares about '50s kids with hula hoops). Promising to "bring in two grand a night," Maria convinces the loser to let her handle the "entertainment," and before you can say "Late Night Swingin' Titty Theatre," the seedy bar becomes a seedy strip joint. Things meander along until Maria's (real-life) Corey Feldman-lookin' cheeseball boyfriend shows up, and soon she's got the bar's owner talked into murdering his wife. It's all pretty standard stuff, served up with heaping gobs of nudity, and I tell ya, Maria Ford's strip-club "choreography" is amazingly true-to-life--if I'd been drinking a seven-dollar glass of grape juice, I woulda thought I was in Bob's Classy Lady in Hollywood. Not a particularly outstanding effort from Dave Payne (hence the nom de flick) - but if you want to see Maria Ford get naked over and over and over you've come to the right place. Ford not only "choreographed" all of the "dance numbers" in "Showgirl Murders", she also danced 90% of them. Unfortunately, Ford's physique in this film is simply not what it was in previous movies, although her 'acting' has improved. Hazy memories from "Naked Obsession" are of a much prettier woman, whose ribs didn't show quite so much. Despite her line towards the beginning of the film that there's "enough of me to go around," we can't help but wonder if that's true. If Maria Ford had to go and make a flick in which she spent more time without clothes than with, I wish she had done it earlier in her career - or had at least eaten a load of junk food before the filming began.

MK: So is softcore pornography bollocks?

SH: Well if "Showgirl Murders" is the measure of softcore it certainly is; all you get is a sweaty skin sack without any meat! However, if Stephanie Beaton doesn’t have a window for a wild night with me, or even if she does, I wouldn’t say no to a hot date with Maria Ford! What about you calling her up for me and proposing it?

MK: The Semina series from Book Works which you're editing has selected it's first 'winner' Bridget Penney whose work 'Index' will be published in late Spring 2008. Can you tell me about how it's been editing and selecting on this project? What has the quality and quantity of submissions been like? Have you had any kinky sex with wannabes hoping to win a lucrative publishing contract worth £500?

SH: When porn first made it onto video one dirty movie might cost sixty or seventy bucks, or as much as forty or fifty quid in the UK, and these tended to be rented rather than bought by the final 'viewer'. Since those heady days 25 years or so ago. prices have been driven steadily downwards. Last week there was much excitement in one branch of Poundland I frequent due to the arrival of large quantities of various Penthouse sofcore DVD titles. These were, of course, placed on a top shelf. "I don't believe it!" I heard one woman exclaim to her boyfriend: "Porno for a pound! Shall we get some?" Someone else observed: "They're all exactly the same so don't bother buying more than one." This was obviously the weary voice of experience. The Penthouse titles disappeared fast, there were dozens and dozens of them available for £1, and that top shelf was stripped in a few days. I hadn't seen such a quantity of DVDs disappear so fast from a branch of Poundland since various "Frank Sinatra Show" DVDs were briefly available back in the summer. "Penthouse" isn't really my thing - too 'tasteful' for me and boring with it, I prefer something a lot sleazier - but fear not if this softcore schlock is of interest to you because I noticed that top shelf being restocked with dozens and dozens more Penthouse DVDs today. And the question that burns in my mind is whether the "Penthouse Sexathon" is some post-modern rip of sixties TV anti-classic "The Year of the Sex Olympics"? If it is it might well be worth a quid of my money...

MK: Finally, Stewart, 2007 saw what seems to have the final end of the Kwik Save stores whose 'No Frills' range I know had an emotional impact upon both of our lives that Tesco value's new colour-labels just can't compete with (although their earlier red and blue labels were and iconic achievement mixing the no frills aesthetic with a nuance of Warhol's soup can screenprints. Any memories of the 'No Frills' range you'd like to share? What about amusing incidents that occurred with a Kwik Save carrier bag?

SH: Hey I was unemployed and homeless after losing my job and my relationship broke up because I had erectile dysfunction, but I kept checking my emails at the local library and I scraped together the money to get some shares after I was sent some anonymous hot stock business advice, and I started making a bit of money and got a flat to rent, then I bought Viagra on the net and that solved my relationship problems and as I got into doing more business on the net I found I was making a lot of money and I bought a house in London and then a holiday home in Spain and some really nice cars. Now I've got maids and a successful marriage too (although most nights these days I stay our late snorting cocaine and having sex with high class hookers - in fact I'm getting a blow job right now from a pre-op transsexual and I'm using my Palm mini computer to write you this message). So I can really recommend these business techniques you're offering people. But what your friends need even more than these techniques are the unsecured loans I can arrange for them because they can't start a successful internet business without proper financial back up. People are conned into thinking they can build up one of these operations without the financial wherewithal but that just isn't true, because all the most successful businesses on the net are properly capitalised...

About the interviewer: Michael K is an enigma who was born in Belfast in the mid-sixties and has lived all over the UK. His hobbies include making KLF fans cry by releasing fake prank material by that group.

Memphis Underground

A slightly more serious Michael K interview with Stewart Home

Stewart Home interviewed on literature & politics


Stewart HomeStewart HomeStewart Home

Stewart Home aged 18
Stewart Home down the pub age 18!

Groovin’ in Italy....
Oh this anniversary culture is so outta hand I figured I might as well go for it and write about some stuff I did ten years ago. At the beginning of 1997 I was working flat out on several books, then I got a little promotional trip to Italy. That was fun as I love Italian food, and it was nice trying the stuff from the different regions. I did a reading in Udine in a smart theatre (my notorious Apeman performance blogged some time ago) and got a real good hotel for two nights. Nice. This is the Friuli region in the north east of Italy, so they have all these great grilled cheeses, amazing shit. Had some pizzas as well, goes without saying, and plenty of pasta everywhere. Met a really nice girl called Sabrina in Udine a couple of nights running. She'd read my punk book in translation but couldn't speak English - had to get a friend to translate. Anyway, I thought she was dead cool until I went to a party the next night and found her sitting on a fucking bongo drumming it. This was pretty strange as she had smart straight clothes and a nice expensive haircut - it's more conservative out there in the regions than in the big cities, so I guess the hippies are pretty much part time.

In Bologna I got to hang out with Nabat, the legendary Italian Oi! band with cool politics! They were into drinking, and drinking, and drinking (and I guess Italian comedy, but then I didn't get most of the references beyond Steno and Toto) - it was so cheap there you wouldn't believe it. I'd have loved to have seen Nabat gig, they were maybe going to play this at this event commemorating the twentieth anniversary of a student getting shot during the 77 movement (so now we had the 30th anniversary) - unfortunately, they pulled out coz Stormy Six, a Stalinist prog rock band of the time, who'd reformed, were headlining. Didn't bother going to the gig but there was a load of rioting in the street where I was staying before it.... Marco the singer from another Italian Oi! band called Klasse Krimanale travelled about 400km to come to my reading, amazing! Also managed to hook up with Templebeat, an Italian industrial band who were into what I do - you know you're getting old when you go to a gig and the band ask you if they can have their picture taken with you! I also had fun one afternoon in the hills out of town. Florence was full of tourists, a real shit hole although the left-wing bookshop where I read was cool and I met loads of great people. I also got taken to a completely fucking up market restaurant, poshest one during my whole stay, so that was okay - camp as fuck too but full of heterosexual couples intimidated by the floor to ceiling explicit paintings! Very good food and the owner was pouring champagne down my neck. Hotel was okay but not in the class of the restaurant... I also got out to the seaside in Tuscany and stuff too. So all in all a real cool time, maybe in ten years I'll write about the places I've been this year....
Stewart Home blog, September 2007.

"66 Mindfuck 99" by Jason Crest
Well here's a strange little object that arrived in the mail with no return address and no publishing details on it. Part homage and part pastiche of the Olympia Press, this is an anti-narrative in the tradition of de Sade and Stewart Home (that's me btw), in which the beginning isn't really a beginning and the end definitely isn't an end. The narrator is airlifted from a ship and taken to a secret sex laboratory in Australia where the brain waves of nymphomaniac cyborg sex slaves are recorded to no apparent purpose; after a slew of over the top shagging this novella ends before it ever really begins (well at least the reader isn't bored) with the funerary rites of one of the narrator's co-workers (who is also the author of a notorious but unavailable experimental sex novel "Rape vs. Murder"). "66 Mindfuck 99" is short, sweet, filthy and contains a whole slew of amusing footnotes, and its author(s) very self-consciously break every literary rule they can think of. If like me, you like to read about men having perverse sex with androids (the author takes particular delight in describing female sex kitten cyborgs pissing in the open mouths of willing young men) then this is the novella for you. 'A whole New Dimension of Sex' trumpets the back cover blurb, and for once the product lives up to the promotion. I laughed my metaphorical cock off reading this, and I'm sure you will too... One chapter is even a word for word plagiarism of Simon Strong's story contribution to my ten year old fiction anthology "Suspect Device"; I'm sure the Pink Stainless frontman will be well flattered. I haven't got a clue how you get hold of "66 Mindfuck 99" but make sure you do... It is a corker.... in fact the best piece of fiction I've read since erm, Snowbooks published my novel "Memphis Underground" earlier this year...
Stewart Home blog October 2007.

Have a great night with your girlfriend!
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I'd be scared too if my dick was that small
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Sorry, your clit was so swollen I thought it was a dick!
Have a great night with your girlfriend!
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From Stewart Home blog November 2007.