My dear readers, you perhaps deserve a word or two of explanation. Where have I been for the last two months? Not it would seem that any of you missed me – perhaps you assumed I was dallying once again in Gin Lane and thought no more of it. A forgiveable assumption but the truth is far stranger. I have in fact spent four of the last eight weeks in a coma. It was a close-run thing I can tell you, not helped by gross misdiagnosis on the part of my doctor, who thought I had suffered a stroke when in fact I had lapsed into a near-vegetative state upon hearing The Strokes.

(Note to readers, never get treated where there are staff called Dr Beat, Dr John and Dr Hook. That is not a hospital, it is the bargain bin of HMV and you are unlikely to get cured.)

Normal coma-patient-waking tactics as seen weekly on the heartwarming bit at the end of the local news were useless to me. Usually it is the touch of a relative’s hand or the sound of a favourite record that hauls the apparently brain-dead back down that long white tunnel. However I disowned my entire family at age nine when my mother signed me up for piano lessons, and as you might imagine the favourite record tactic was unlikely to work on me.

My editor tried his best. He called in Emma Bunton to give me a special performance, but I relapsed the instant my hands were pried from her throat and her heaving gingham breast was out the door. He read Ben Watt’s remainder-bookshop classic Patient, before realising that it in fact was about the qualities needed to sit through one of Everything But The Girl’s jazz-house albums without chewing off your own lips. He even played a Strokes record – “Quite Easy To Explain Actually When You Find Out Who My Dad Is” – backwards to try and break the spell. (Amazingly it did not sound like a Wire record. It sounded like a Wire solo record.)

Curiously enough no coma patient has ever been woken by “Girlfriend In A Coma”, perhaps because lying cold and unresponsive is the usual female reaction to a Smiths’ fan’s sexual technique and so many a Mozophile has failed to notice his partner’s plight in the first place. Similarly “Karmacoma” by Massive Attack has caused more comas than it has cured with its abstract vibes that sound like somebody filling a didgeridoo with treacle. The idea that karma could send you into a coma is a foolish one anyhow as surely Tricky has long since exhausted his and yet continues to make rubbish albums. However his grasp of medicine is poor at the best of times: “I am paranoid and horrible when I smoke dope! It must be a rare allergy!“.

Truth is dear reader that the source of my coma was impossible for the doctors to fathom. They had me hooked up to all sorts of machines which were bleeping and bipping rythmnically along to the steady four four time of my heartbeat. Frankly the whole scenario was a bit like a Mouse On Mars gig – except it actually went on for weeks instead of merely feeling like that. In the end the doctors wrung their hands, disconnected the machines and left me there to die.

In blissful silence.

I came to – as you would imagine – almost immediately. In my NHS room in St Thomas’s I could see over all of London, and yet could hear none of it. My body had rebelled, it had gone into a protective coma to stop any more of that damned music getting to me. Well I was grateful for the rest, but my bod had overstepped the mark. It is mere selfishness to save myself from the horrors of syncopation. I came to save the world from music – and am back to do so.

Whilst in my perfectly silent room I looked over this body of work and felt that it is a fair start on my mission. But now I really shall not give quarter to any itinerent busker, let alone Bono. Music has driven me over The Edge, so it would seem churlish not to reverse back over him too – just to make sure.