I cannot say how it felt to be asked to join the team at Mag North and believe me when I say, I have given it some thought. I see the logic of it, and what a boon it is for a fledgling publication to attract names from the world of art and culture. They are taking a chance, this is quite a ride we have ahead of us. What we do together is based on love and understanding, of a recognition that often we need a guide to show the way, and what a guide I will be!
Often enough we come to these things uncooked, but not me, I am cooked through, like a steamed pudding and a cabbage surprise. Nothing raw is left, the whole package done like an Isle of Man kipper. This, my friends, is the voice of a seasoned professional, a marionette for the masses, a figurine from the folk, a fantoccini for the future. There is much my kind can teach and much we have learned. Every thread of our beings has been woven into life for the edification of you fleshed ones. There is little we do not know about life, art, culture and the very universe itself. Let me teach you, let me inside. Do not be afraid. As Bungle was fond of saying on our last tour together: 'Be kind Gonzo, the rest will follow'. It was big of him to say, especially as he was in a vicious bullying and harassment case with one of his noisier colleagues at the time. ‘He’s all mouth’ I reminded him. It worked, he came through.
Yes, I can regale with tales of the great ones, modesty prevents name dropping but let me tell you, these stories are nothing without the names. So you’ll be getting them, dropped like stones. As Mahatma said to me all those years ago: ‘You do you, and I’ll do me’. He certainly did, and I have been emulating him ever since. Oh, it can cause issues, this solid spiritual core. I have not spoken to Basil Brush since the early 80s following a spat over top billing at Prestatyn Sands, for example. But with deep awareness must come a core of steel. Before I go further I must invite you, with an open velveteen hand, into the philosophy of my kind.
You see, we are the product of the planet. Every stitch and stuffing ball from the sun and the soil, from industry and endeavour. We do not simply land here, we are grown here, imagined here, made here. My innards are phenomenal. My left forearm alone has the remnants of Betty Boothroyd’s lycra hot pants from her last Tiller Girl outing in 1948. A gift following a sojourn I compered near Dewsbury Town Hall several years later. In my foot is a crumpled remnant of Nietzsche’s nightgown, maybe his last, you never knew with Fred. But what a gift to ail a flaccid hoof. Maybe each of these many, many additions to my frame have had an influence on who I am, what I have become.
Certainly over the years, it has fallen upon me to add the necessary philosophical heft to the purposes of the woven. I have wandered far and wide, spent damp nights draped over many a radiator dwelling on these things. I bring them to you now as a mere traveller with an above average mind and much mottled frame.
For these odds and ends are no different from your own.
Yes, I am a composite of cottons and nylons, wools, chiffons, silks and linen, of Georgette and taffeta. My innards contain as much corduroy as a Geography Teachers field trip to the Yorkshire Dales. Every thread finds a place amongst our brethren.
But what of you?
Do not get all lah-de-dah elitist based on our assemblage identities. We are all of us, fleshed and loomed, products of the planet.
Every bouncy bubble of you has been here before, something else too. Like I said to Mahatma, great work on the pacifism, but the iron in your blood may well have been a flying musket ball at Culloden for all you know. Descartes may well have thought and therefore he was, but was that thinking neuron only decades before an eyelash on a flea? A monkeys toe-nail gripped to a shuddering papaya tree? We cannot know, maybe we should not know.
But we know, that separates us out. Many of us can trace the fragments of our global existence to the finest detail. In all honesty, much of me remains unknown, and after a particularly wild night on the sauce there can be a whiff that means I want to know little more about some of the shreds within me. I am all there to be loved, you can know that much about me.
So what is this philosophy you cry? Well, it will emerge as we journey together in this pock marked desert we call culture, you can be sure of that. Let me just tell you that the basics remain for all of us fabrics.
We are the made to measure movers of great thoughts, we come together under our philosophical banner of that which binds us. Fabric.
Our philosophy is thousands of years old, predating those mummified remnants amongst the Pharaohs’ spirit guides, or the shadowy Wayang kulit dudes that did so much to help our cause. I am but one humble servant of this philosophy of the fabricated that we know as Fabrication.
I can promise you this, most of what you will hear from me in these pages, on video and on tour will be rooted in this greatest of all philosophies: Pure fabrication, every word. On that, you can rely.
Let’s journey together. As Hunter S Thompson said to me at Owl Farm one rainy Sunday evening back before the tide of revolution had broken: ‘Gonzo, you have the heart of a lion in the body of a laundry basket, and I respect you as my guide’.
I invite you to be guided too, let me take you by the paw and lead you through this crazy mysterious mix up of cloth and collagen we call art (and culture. We have to go there too).