What the hell was I doing drinking in LA. At twenty past six. In the morning. Staving off the hangover I suppose. Crispian had been away for a long period of time, and I wondered if he was getting some sort of vendetta against the film studios out of his system. He was never happy when I Hate Films bombed, and in particular blamed the monopoly of Hollywood studios. I blamed his rubbish writing.

Still when he turned up with two plane tickets I almost forgave him leaving me alone. Until he told me that he could not get tickets from LAX. Now admittedly post Rachel Stevens I was not looking forward to going to LAX. Sweet Dreams My LA-EX? When I had finished with here it would be more like Sweet Dreams Due To Ex-Lax. Nevertheless I was not particularly happy when Crispian said the tickets went from San Francisco.

I hate hilly places. I wanted out of America, and I particularly did not want to end up in a hippy city like San Fran. What’s more during the night I had sold our car for some more drinks so we had no form of transport. Even on this one Crispian had an answer. He took me to a bakers van which had agreed to let us stow away in the back for the journey up the coast. I shrugged my shoulders and got in, what else could I do.

But if I got any flour in my hair, Crispian would die.

Let’s Go To San Francisco – THE FLOWERPOT MEN

Sorry, let me restate that. The flowerPOTmen. And before you get all smarmy and clever on me, no, these are not slightly camp glass collectors. Instead the FlowerPOTmen were yet another iteration of John Carter and Ken Lewis who in a shameless attempt to have hits in the 60’s rode every half hearted crazy. This craze was the Summer OF Love and Drugs. A bit racy eh?

1969 is often thought of as the Summer Of Love, mainly because people were feeling so good that the Beatles were about to split up. Couple that with the ongoing Vietnam war and you can see the time was ripe for love. And because actually the time was not ripe for love at all, everyone had to take drugs to simulate the sensation. And then they had to go to San Francisco to:
a) wear flowers in their hair
b) have interesting sexual experiences
c) have car chases like Steve McQueen in Bullitt
d) dodge the draft, despite San Francisco being in the US, it was well known that spending ten minutes in the company of a San Franciscan made you ineligible for being gay, drugged up and having flowers in your hair over which they could not fit a helmet.

It is very clear to anyone who has the misfortune of listening to Let’s Go To San Francisco, that Ken and John had no idea WHY anyone should go to San Francisco. They were pretty sure there was some sort of counter culture element, but they did not know enough to explain in the song. Indeed Ken & John were such old fogeys that they considered this counter-culture to be full of funny people, and the whole song is rather condescending – as well as faux hippy tosh.

Of course if John & Ken swopped surnames things would have been much more apposite. Any band with a member called John Lewis can expect to be never knowingly undersold. Underselling is exactly what this record needed.