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James D. Irwin Archive

James D. Irwin

In The Cold Movember Rain

November 2nd, 2009
by James D. Irwin

WINCHESTER, ENGLAND-

I feel I should write something about the city I now call home.

I’ve tried, but there isn’t really anything page-worthy.

I will say however, that this time I’ve been dealt a better hand.

A Royal Flush.

Instead I’m going to post on something closer to my heart.

Or, to be more accurate, closer to my face.

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James D. Irwin

The Death of a Clown: My Shortlived Stand Up Career

September 1st, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

At some point in 2007 the number of people telling me to do stand up comedy began to outweigh the number of people who didn’t care to admit that I was a walking laugh factory.

I was pretty on during 2007, to the point I managed to impress people with my wit; not girls of course, no, still too ugly for that, but people who weren’t obligated as relatives to laugh.

A lot of it came from beating the bastards to whatever aspect of my crater-faced physicality was being made fun of that day.

One day it was the big red spot on my nose.

”Your nose looks like a traffic light” somebody wise cracked.

”Where’s the green light?!” another laughed.

And for reasons I can only explain as superb comic timing, I put my right index finger in my nose and pulled out a juicy green globule.

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James D. Irwin

The Time I Accidentally Created Seinfeld and Other Strange Pages from the Notebook

August 18th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH EAST, ENGLAND-

This is a pretty spontaneous post.

I’ve been out of bed for about forty-five minutes, I’ve had a coffee and I’m currently sat in my pajamas listening to The Ramones.

I’ve become obsessed with The Ramones recently and haven’t really listened to anything else in over a week; I’ve even stopped listening to my favourite classic rock station.

To put this obsession in the form of a cheap pun: I don’t remember rock and roll radio.

The reason I suddenly decided to post was because of something I found in an old notebook…

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James D. Irwin

A Thousand Words: When I Think of California, I Think About Her

August 12th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

Goddamnit woman!’ I remember thinking. ‘SQUEEZE! YES! But for the love of God please shut the hell up!”

I hadn’t travelled all the way out to California to hear a rubenesque Midwestern woman squat out a deuce. We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert, and this, apparently, was log country. I was not sat in a glamorous and expensive convertible — clearly. I was on a coach, heading to Las Vegas. I had the good fortune to be seated in front of the chemical toilet at the back, able to hear the whole dirty performance.

Whilst chewing on cold curly french fries, an ill-advised purchase from a stop at Arby’s, I had an horrific and horrendous thought: What if she’s pleasuring herself?! She’s been in there a damn long time! How can I know for sure? How can any of us know? And will the mental scars ever heal?

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James D. Irwin

I Won’t Hang Myself in Thirty Years’ Time: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Writing Saved My Life

July 29th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

A kid walks into a bookstore, he buys a book, it changes his life in a way he would never have imagined.

But what if that book is never purchased? What if, on that grey summer morning when the clouds are bursting with fine rain falling so gently it’s like the spittle of an overweight and drunken relative trying to hold a semblance of civilized conversation after Christmas dinner, that book never reaches the destination that fate had intended?

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James D. Irwin

The Most Evil Square Foot, or: How to Humiliate Hitler With Spandex

July 13th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

The Frankenstadion in Germany was a venue for the 2006 World Cup.

It is where England managed a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago, where Mexico thrashed Iran 3-1 and the USA were defeated by Ghana.

The stadium is much older than it looks. In its current state it looks like a very modern soccer stadium, but this is the result of several rounds of renovation.

Its original purpose gives a clue as to the evil that lies directly behind it.

The Frankenstadion was built in 1928 as a marching ground for the Hitler Youth.

The soccer team that now plays there is 1FC Nuremberg.

And behind the Frankenstadion lie the Nazi Rally Grounds.

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James D. Irwin

Hitler’s Favourite Cafe

July 8th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

MUNICH, GERMANY-

Adolf Hitler moved to Munich in the early ’20s to improve his chances of making it as an artist. Before the Nazis came to power, their HQ was in Munich.

During this time, Hitler always ate at the same cafe.

Well, until 1927. In 1927 the owner kicked him out as he hadn’t paid his bar tab in months. Hitler moved on up the road to a cafe at the other end of the street.

The old woman who owns the cafe was a little girl in the ’20s. She remembers Hitler eating there. Remembers him having screaming matches in the toilets.

That’s another weird thing. I’d never really thought about Hitler going to the toilet. I guess he must have done.

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James D. Irwin

The Juvenile Couplets of a Bitter Young Man or How Music Changed My Life in a Way I’d Never Realised

June 23rd, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a rock star.

No, that’s not true. Since I was a kid I wanted to play up front for Tottenham Hotspur.

But since I discovered rock and roll I have wanted to be a rock and roll star.

I can’t sing or play an instrument. This is pretty limiting to my aspirations of rock stardom.

However, it never stopped me writing songs.

One song (when I say ’song’ I really just mean lyrics) my friend David Rostron recorded. Unlike me he can play guitar and is a brilliant songwriter.

The particular song of mine he recorded was about a prostitute with an unspecified disease. It went a little like this:

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James D. Irwin

A Bitter Riposte to the Banality of Life: Remembering America

June 19th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

I normally always wish I were somewhere else.

Wanderlust.

I mentioned in one of my first posts a vision I have, the sort of thing that would be a recurring motif in an artsy movie.

I never said where it was; it was San Francisco. Along with an abundance of other clichés, that’s where I left my heart. I love that city; I loved every moment I spent in California. I want to roll out towards LA— perhaps soon they’ll be another TNB live event there and enough money in my back pocket to be able to fly out.

As it is, I just have to sit here and be content with a dwindling bottle of Havana Club rum and my rose tinted memories; a bitter riposte to the world of broken beer bottles, unsupervised kids who are probably drunk and willing to kill me for a cheap thrill.

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James D. Irwin

Is That A Prostitute Outside My Window?

June 16th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

I’ve fallen off the bull.

And gone deaf from listening to my stereo through earphones.

When I listen through earphones too loudly my ears flood with wax.

This happens frequently, being as rock and roll as I am.

I think there is a prostitute outside my window.

My bedroom faces the main road through Hampden Park, which is the suburb of Eastbourne in which I have the misfortune to live.

Hampden Park has the busiest level crossing in Europe, which I guess puts it in at least the world’s top ten.

That’s pretty much all we have; a busy level crossing, two small grocery stores, three hairdressers, a DIY place, two kebab shops, a bookmakers, a fish and chip shop and someone who may or may not be a prostitute.

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James D. Irwin

Riding The Bull: Tired Musings At the Dead of Night

June 14th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

It’s around midnight.

It’s a warm night; I’m sitting in my dimly lit bedroom, hearing about how some guy in Mountain got shot by his girlfriend.

And I can’t help but think that’s what happened to Troy McClure.

Deuces are Wild is playing; classic Aerosmith.

I don’t mean Troy McClure, obviously.

I mean Phil Hartman, the voice of Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz on The Simpsons.

His wife shot him in a cocaine fuelled rage.

Say Hello To My Little Friend.

.38 Caliber gun, twice in the head.

Whilst he was sleeping.

Phil Hartman was the guy who designed the Crosby, Stills and Nash logo.

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James D. Irwin

For Want of a Better Title: An Interview With Scott Tournet

June 12th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

About a year ago I tried to start up my own classic rock blog, more akin to an online magazine. It was going to feature the best new rock bands, obscure and essential albums and interviews with anyone who I could get hold of.

Judas Priest turned me down, Golden Earring wanted to see a full edition first and I’m still waiting for Rick Wakeman to reply (no, seriously).

I came close with My Morning Jacket, I actually got in touch with their management and got a telephone interview, unfortunately time difference and conflicting schedules (more theirs if I’m honest) shot it down.

I did however get to interview Scott Tournet, the guitarist with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, a fantastic band I discovered whilst watching Good Morning America in a New York hotel room.

Originally it was going to be part of a feature of new bands looking back at the music that inspired them, but due to poor journalism skills, kind of turned into a mass of slightly unstructured questions.

And here’s the interview, from exactly twelve months ago…

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James D. Irwin

Austria’s Greatest Gift: An Appreciation of Europe’s Finest Thespian

June 9th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

Austria hasn’t given the world much.

There’s Mozart, but Amadeus was shit.

There are Viennese Whirls, but they’re no scones.

You’ve got Alex Manninger, Arsenal’s reserve goalkeeper between the 1997-2002 seasons who once appeared on Noel’s House Party.

How can I even explain Noel’s House Party?

Back in the mid-90s Britain had the greatest Saturday night schedule in the history of television. Gladiators, Baywatch and then Noel’s House Party.

It was a live show set in the fictional village of Crinkely Bottom; specifically, in the house ‘owned’ by Noel Edmonds, who presents our version of Deal or No Deal.

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James D. Irwin

Taking a Bow to the New Revolution: A Blogette

June 8th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

I did it.

I finally did it.

I signed up to Twitter.

And now I’m writing about it here largely to to write about writing about it on Twitter.

But you know what?

What?

By breaking through to the other side the doors of my perception have been opened.

I thought I hated technology, innovation, what not and so on. But I don’t.

I changed my mind about Twitter about five minutes after signing up.

Brad made me sign up— not actually forced me, but nudged my curiosity and, lets be honest, vanity, by telling me I was on the TNB Twitter ‘Hall of Fame.’

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James D. Irwin

“Are You Chinese?”

May 27th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

The most annoying thing that happened to me at school was the rumours.

Childish rumours spread by my wonderfully childish friends.

Most didn’t stick.

After I mentioned my Irish heritage my buddy, the previously mentioned Yash, set about telling anyone who would listen that my father was Protestant and my mother was Catholic and that they had argued about abortion after I’d been conceived.

No one believed that.

Some people did believe however, that I was the first Test Tube Baby.

It was a moderate success in the Irwin myth, but nowhere near as successfully as the rumour that I was a China-man.

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James D. Irwin

Culture Shock in a Supermarket or I Want to Live With Foreign People*

May 25th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

Britain isn’t really as friendly as most people think.

Well, we here in Britain know that it isn’t, but generally Brits are stereotyped as overly polite and courteous, generally pleasant and otherwise rather spiffing individuals.

It did used to be the case, back in the days when there were local shops (shops are what we call ‘stores‘) and market communities and such like, but as Britain has become awash with large chains, shopping centres (shopping centres are what we call ‘malls‘) and identical high streets. Without wanting to push the ‘oh, isn’t the subtle difference in our shared language hilarious’ too far, the high street is what you would call ‘Main Street.’

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James D. Irwin

Brian Posehn Was Too Late To Help

May 22nd, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

This is my tenth post on TNB, which I’m treating as some sort of milestone. And as with all milestones, I’m going to take this moment to look back and reflect on what a crazy journey it’s been… (Imagine some sort of bubble effect or that wibbly-wobbly screen wipe with harp music at this point.)

As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a gangster writer. Or kind of. I’ve always wanted to be a writer when I haven’t had crazy schemes of what I was going to be.

A memory that haunts and embarrasses me to this day is standing up in class at the age of about five, wearing glasses and no doubt a zany waistcoat. I was a nerd as a kid, I dressed like a fucking magician. I was standing in front of a class with a list of books I was going to write (most of them about dinosaurs) and how much they would retail for.

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James D. Irwin

A Novel Experience, Power Drills and Brain Surgery

May 21st, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

Yesterday afternoon I was strolling through the park muttering the phrase ‘apocalyptic cult’ repeatedly.

This made me look more than a little insane; although the small town in which I live is home to the craziest fucking person I’ve ever met, and my aunt has been sectioned twice. There is a woman who just appears to drift about having extremely animated discussions with her self, or other selves. There are a lot of raised voices and wild gesticulations. I’m fascinated by her; by most ‘broken machines’ (that’s a Midnight Express reference, not bigotry.)

Anyway, there I was, in the absence of crazy lady, looking like a satanic nutjob. But I had my reasons, reasons which I shall explain.

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James D. Irwin

The Nexus of the Universe

May 13th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

The first time I was in America my brother and I watched an episode of Seinfeld.

We’d never seen it before, living in England, it being about ten years since the show finale and not having cable. We’d heard about it and numerous references to it of course, but never actually seen the show.

It was a classic episode too, the one where George thinks he’s seen Saddam Hussein and Jerry uses that weird cookie to make light of racism. I forget the name of the episode— it must be something like ‘The Black and White Cookie’ or something.

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James D. Irwin

Death Stars and Hand Guns

May 7th, 2009
by James D. Irwin

SOUTH COAST, ENGLAND-

I usually have awesome dreams; I don’t dream often, but when I do they’re usually quite spectacular and incredibly vivid.

In the past I have dreamt that I was saving Miami from rabid zombie babies in a red Chevrolet Corvette. I have dreamt that Al Pacino was chasing me across the New York subway system in a lime green Lamborghini and I have dreamt that I was at a beach party with Keith Richards, Jack Sparrow and Batman.

A few nights ago I dreamt I was in the Death Star. I can’t tell you if it was the one from A New Hope or the one from Return of the Jedi. I think it was the first one, just a hunch.

And I can remember walking about, not being bothered by anyone. There were Storm Troopers and androids and all sorts, the sort of figures you’d expect to see on an evil intergalactic space station. I was free to wander about and mind my own business.

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