Friday, April 30, 2010

215 - Guest John Osborne, author of "Radio Head" and "The Newsagent's Window"

The Paul And Spike Show: Friday April 30th, 2010.





This week, The Boys are joined by author and poet John Osborne to talk about his books "Radio Head: Up And Down The Dial Of British Radio" (reviewed on show #210) and the brand spanking new "The Newsagent's Window: Adventures In A World Of Second-Hand Cars And Lost Cats". Spike says, "you must forgive the points in the show where there are great gobs of silence or where we're all talking over each other. It sounds rude, but we were dealing with a two second delay between the three of us. That's the nature of distance, Skype and cellphones."

0:00:00 - Oh dear, it looks as if Spike won't be around for much longer, thanks to his life expectancy being reduced by a late appointment. And there's not even any booze in the house. We do get a song from Paul's daughter, though.

0:04:34 - A catchup email from last week's show splits hairs between "silic'n" and "silly-cone", to be filed under "C" for 'Correction' rather than for 'Complaint'. Or maybe "L". Also, is the Googy Wave dying? Say it ain't so!

0:15:02 - The banner year of 1984 produced the festive classic "A Christmas Story", and, finally, after all these years, a particularly confusing line about pitchers gets some well-deserved clarification.

0:24:06 - Poet, author and fellow broadcasting geek John Osborne joins The Boys to talk radio. Quoth Amazon about his book 'Radio Head: Up And Down The Dial Of British Radio': "When his dull temporary job became drearier than ever, John decided to remain attached to his headphones all day to listen to some of Britain's more unknown stations as well as revisiting the mainstream to fully experience the breadth of our radio output. The result is a funny, disarming ride through aspects of Britain that are uplifting, informative and sometimes plain bizarre. Throughout his month of intensive radio listening, John flits through talk radio, sports shows, dips into the mainstream and the minority, exalts in specialist music shows, comedy and local radio before expanding his mind with an experimental arts channel. It seems there is something for everyone at the turn of a dial, whether that is the ranting of the permanently enraged, the gentle tinkle of a string quartet, West Indian stomp or the sound of frozen peas being thrown around Elephant and Castle underground station." John's Future Radio show, comprised entirely of music from British radio legend John Peel's shed starts on Sunday May 2nd, and runs for five weeks. Find out more at

0:42:12 - This Week In Stuff, the section of the show where The Boys share their media intake in order to recommend you toward, or warn you from, what they've been watching/reading/snorting. Apart from snooker, John's been getting his fill of not-much-happening thanks to the DVD sets of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and reading some David Sedaris; regular guest on NPR's "This American Life".

0:48:08 - Paul's PSP gets some love with episodes of "The Six Million Dollar Man", Dennis Potter-fest continues with the second episode of "The Singing Detective" and the BBC radio series "Benny Goodman: King Of Swing". And he's been reading... why, whadaya know? It's John's book "Radio Head: Up And Down The Dial Of British Radio".

0:49:56 - Is there any more depressing experience than paying good money to watch miserable elephants do tricks? Morrissey on a loop, maybe. But that's been Spike's entire WIS.

0:53:53 - The Boys talk about John's new book "The Newsagent's Window: Adventures In A World Of Second-Hand Cars And Lost Cats". Here's what Amazon has to say: "I had met a lot of special people through newsagents' windows, and spent many enjoyable days with them. I found out about a community I never knew existed, the heart of rural Britain. I learned that everyone had a story to tell, and that people who live very ordinary lives are much more fascinating than explorers or pop stars.' John Osborne's second book is a comic voyage through small-town Britain via the ads in newsagents' windows: lost kittens, personal ads, a second-hand bike for sale, yoga classes ...Moving into an unfurnished house, John at first uses the ads in newsagents' windows to buy practical things like a bed and a settee. But on impulse one day he replies to an advert for a psychic masseur named Lucy, who tells him some startling home-truths as he sits on her settee in his pants. So begins a year of self-discovery and a wild obsession with newsagents' windows, which take John to a shoe-exhibition, to an Alan Ayckbourn play, to a wrestling match. He finds himself the owner of a man's entire video collection, a second-hand bike, a clapped-out Ford Escort - and discovers a community of a bygone age. Looking to improve his German, he meets a pretty German girl named Leni ...Hilarious and thought-provoking, The Newsagent's Window restores our faith - in our fellow human beings, in a world without ebay - and reveals the odd things that can happen if you let newsagents' windows dictate your day."


Don't forget, you can buy all three John's books at American listeners can find "Radio Head" for less than $10 from the Amazon Marketplace:


Dude, you should *totally* keep in touch. Want to submit your Week In Stuff? Got a suggestion for a question or an Over/Under? Want to respond to a previous question? Grab us all at The Usual Address, on Twitter at @spikester and @higginbothamp and the mighty


Are you a Netflixer? Here are links to the movies mentioned in this week's show:

A Christmas Story :: Seinfeld :: Curb Your Enthusiasm :: Mitchell And Webb :: The Six Million Dollar Man :: The Singing Detective

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