Paul Weller's gone and recorded a cover of the Beatles' 'Birthday' for Paul McCartney's 70th. Which is nice. Amazon's selling it online as a fundraiser for 'War Child' (a charity that provides aid to children affected by war).
First, some background.
You may recall the existence of the Smokin' Mojo Filters - a 'supergroup' that included Paul Weller, Paul McCartney and Noel Gallagher. They recorded 'Come Together' (from whose lyric the group took its name) for the album Help, an all-star compilation album released in 1995 to raise money for War Child.
I remember selling a lot of copies of The Beatles' 'The White Album'back in the day, because people wanted "you know, that rocky version of birthday - the one that goesâ¦" - and they'd sing the riff - "nah nah nah nah nah nah - you say it's your birthday". And as I was the resident Beatle nut, I'd be the one who'd know it was the Beatles and point them to the album it was on. (Note: it was also on the compilation double album Rock'n'Roll Music - which, by that stage, was two single, budget albums in Australia. So you could find it on Rock'n'Roll Music Vol 2.)
Nick O'Sullivan, a buddy I've known for about a million years, is a fine artist who creates awesome caricatures. I'll take every opportunity to bring his work to your attention, and today's the day for Paul McCartney.
But before we get to that, here's a classic clip from early on in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night (1964):
People who recognise Paul's granddad, Wilfred Bramble - who also played 'Albert Steptoe' in the sitcom Steptoe & Son - will get the references to his 'cleanliness' (he was forever the 'dirty old man!' as far as his 'son' was concerned in Steptoe & Son).
However, the 'who's that little old man?' motif will have developed a new meaning for Paul McCartney fans and avid Grammy Awards watchers. For, as Paul McCartney and a supporting cast of superstars presented the big side-two-of-Abbey-Road finale of the 2012 Grammy Awards, it had an interesting, hitherto unseen effect: it was confusing ignorant Gen Y brats.
Because suddenly, around the world, the blogosphere was filled with people wondering out loud just "who TF" this old dude called Paul McCartney was:
Well, finally, today, on his 70th birthday, we can now answer both questions effectively:
Who the hell is Sir Paul McCartney? He is that little old man. And who is that little old man? He's Paul McCartney.
Happy birthday Sir Macca. Here's Nick O'Sullivan's brilliant caricature.
Point is, a good wedding is judged by the quality of these things along with that of the grog, food, wedding party outfits and speeches.
You'll see this in action particularly at a 'wog-wedding', where older relatives (ie people like me) will recall the 'good old days' when the menu was still stuck in the 1950s: the billions of courses always included a massive platter of prawns at around 11pm; the coffee always came with stuff profiteroles and cannoli, and the pasta course was mostly traditional (ie NOT vegetarian) lasagna, with a massive bowl of more regular 'big spaghetti' carted from table to table for i nonni who don't go in for the fancy shmancy stuff. There also had to be fresh and powdered chili on hand for that generation of Italian patriarch. This attitude pervades, despite the fact you'll be fed your body-weight, irrespective of how nouveau the Italian cuisine is.
But beyond menus, frocks and knick-knacks, there are other ways to make your wedding stand out from all the others.
Clearly, comedian Danny McGinlay and his missus Lesya Bryndzia have raised the bar rather impressively with The Story, directed by Hayden Bevis and Jarrod Factor. (Perhaps give 'em a job doing such parodies for telly after the honeymoonâ¦)
I profiled Blake Mitchell - along with Ash Jattan and the comedy rooms they're involved with - not too long ago.
Blake's exploits continue to be interesting and entertaining, and I know I'll have more to say about this later. For now, rest assured, he is a true visionary. Enjoy this clip fellow comic Joel White put together. Joel - who podcasts with Luke Walding as Waldo & Whitey - has had the genius idea to have his mum read a selection of Blake's recent tweets.
I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of the doppelganger. It comes from the German word 'doppelganger'. Which means 'doppelganger'.
It's just that I have one. A significant one. An actor.
Actually, when I say an actor, he's really more of a pâ¦
Well, let me start at the beginning.
The first time anyone made the connection was on a Saturday afternoon quite a few summers ago, when I'd started growing my hair. (That's such a stupid phrase, 'growing my hair'; I didn't actively 'grow' it. It grows on its own. I stopped getting it cut regularly.)
I used to present a music segment on an afternoon 'magazine'-type radio show. I was on air after the book lady, and before the gardener and the vet. One time, during the introduction, the host suggested on air that, what with my long hair, I'd started to look a bit likeâ¦ (he paused for dramatic effect)â¦ a porn star.
"Dude!" I admonished him in mock outrage. "My mum listens to thisâ¦".
But I had no idea what he meant, to be honest.. How did having long hair make me look like a porn star?
Then, a couple of weeks later, a kid on a scooter called out to me from a across the street, insisting I was Ron Jeremy.
Turns out Ron Jeremy is a porn star. With quite an endowment. And I look amazingly like him. From the waist up.
Around this time somebody at work dubbed me 'Dom Jeremy', and it stuck.
And then I started doing stand-up. Despite writing about it and interacting with the industry just about forever, judging Raw Comedy heats and finals and all of that stuff, I didn't actually start standing up for myself until 2010. And I realised I needed to write some specific material to deal with hecklers. Because often, on stage, the heckle I'd receive consisted of just two words: "Ron Jeremy!"
One time the audience consisted solely of federal police. They were on a night out. Of course they gave me the 'Ron Jeremy' heckle. Only, this time it was before I even started talking. I'd barely taken the stage, and in the split second between my getting to the microphone and opening my mouth,
My friend Hayden Brotchie had suggested I point out that I "get mistaken for Ron Jeremy 9.75 times out of ten" (because that's how big his dick is, in inches).
One time I had the good sense to announce, "Mate, if I had an inch for every time someone called me Ron Jeremy, I'd actually be Ron Jeremy."
And so it went.
Cut to March this year. The NSW Sexpo - a "sexuality lifestyle expo" - is on at Darling Harbour. Ron Jeremy is going to be there.
"No, but you've got to go there and meet him. Have your photo taken with him," my friend insists.
So I go. But my Catholic sensibilities really need pornography to be less out-in-the-open. Self-conscious as ever, just less self-assured. I don't last long. I don't encounter Ron Jeremy. Funny thing is, nobody mistakes me for him, either. I guess Sexpo is the one place where people are going to be so familiar with him that they can't be fooled by someone who happens to look a bit like him.
But I spend the whole time walking around without my glasses, assuming someone somewhere will come up to me thinking I'm Ron Jeremy.
No such luck.
It's the day-trippers who mistake me for Ron Jeremy. The people who deal with him and his product on a regular basis will know full well that I'm not him.
Then I get the phone call.
My buddy Chris North, currently working on the Merrick Watts Highway Patrol drivetime show on Triple M, says they're doing some kind of promo with Ron Jeremy's rum company, and I should rock up to one of the events and be my doppelganger's doppelganger.
So I rock up at Triple M, where Ron's been in attendance, figuring someone's gonna mistake me for him. But nobody looks at me twice. (Clearly everyone there watches so much porn that, like the patrons of Sexpo, that will not be fooled by me. Or they watch absolutely none. I reckon it's the former.)
I end up going to the first bar with Chris. Some heads turn. A staff member approaches, but realises, up close, I'm not Ron.
The rum corps appear: the Aussies importing a new brand called 'Ron de Jeremy' ("the adult rum"!) Dutch people arrive. They are the originators of this particular spirit. Turns out, 'ron' is Dutch for 'rum'. Realising the famous man with the impressive encumbrance is in fact called 'Rum Jeremy', they came up with the idea to make a 'Rum of Jeremy' - or Ron de Jeremy - figuring Ron Jeremy may well be happy to front it. And he is.
When Ron appears, he's amused that I exist, mostly because it seems to drive his minder mad. We chat. I tell him I have a 'Ron Jeremy' routine in my stand-up set. He gives me pointers. He especially gives me comebacks - that would work a treat if I was Ron Jeremy. ("Tell them, 'Ron Jeremy's dick is so big, it has it's own dick. That's bigger than yours.")
Strangers want to get into photos with me because I look like him - they figure I'm his twin brother or something.
The sort of thugs who would normally be trying to beat me to a pulp for 'looking at' their girlfriends are offering them to me. Which is weird.