Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A Short Play About Brian Eno and Gerry Marsden

Scene: It is the mid-70s, probably about 1974. Waspish, arch and balding Brian Eno has left Roxy Music and finds himself adrift in London. Gerry Marsden, plump, dispeptic and rubicund ekes out a living touring working men's clubs with a disparate group of musicians that he has to bill as Gerry Marsden and His Pacemaker Band for copyright reasons. This unlikely duo meet up on a chilly night in november at a party in the west London pad of Arista Records UK business manager Bernie Madeupenstein.

Eno: By the fates! Tis Gerry Marsden!

Marsden: Alright, Bri, wotcha.

Eno: Wotcha indeed, like a televisual eye! Ha ha!

Marsden: Aye, yes yes. Er howzabout dat other Bryan what was in yer band then? He alright is he?

Eno: Alright? No, never all right, how many of us can boast of that, hm? Partially right, I suppose, as that is the best any of us could hope for, do you not think?

Marsden: Er, yeah, yeah... 'Ow's 'e geetin by then, going it alone, an' all?

Eno (is levitating slightly now): Am I my Bryan's keeper, Gerry? He has Phil Manzera to watch over him still while I float free.

Marsden: Oh. Yes. (Looking around, finding no opportunity for escape, says) An 'ows about you, then? Keeping busy?

Eno (clutching forehead): Wait! Wait! Falling! Mists on water!

Marsden: I beg yer pardon?

Eno: I have a story of Bryan's doings that may interest you.

Marsden (wary): Oh aye?

Eno: Aye! And eye! Yes!


Marsden: Er....

Eno: Bryan has been in New York, dabbling with the Warhol scene, you know?

Marsden (doesn't know, but nods): Aye.

Eno: He was working on a ballet, with famed avant garde choreographer Merce Cunningham. You know Merce?

Marsden (frowns): Did 'e use to do lights down the Cavern?

Eno: Nay, tis another of which you think! The Cunningham of which I thought-speak to you is leader of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He was working with Bryan on some kind of film.

Marsden: Well, sounds grand! How'd it work out?

Eno: Alas, it buckled under the weight of acrimony.

Marsden: A divorce and that?

Eno: Something of the sort.

Marsden: Oh, that's bad luck, that is.

Eno: Indeed so. (Waggles eyebrows mischeviously) No good can come when Ferry crossed Merce C.

Marsden (thinks): Are you taking the piss?

Eno levitates off stage like a shooting star and...


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