Early morning is my bright idea time; very early. It always has been. Often I would walk the streets through the night and compose songs which by morning, as I got to a Victoria station early cafe, or Edinburgh Waverley, or even Gare St-Lazare, I would have realised that they were not heading for the Hit Parade. And that all the money I was going to spend once I had sold a million of If You Ever Want Fame & Fortune, or whatever other ditty I was making up, was not happening.
This habit had started the year that Buddy Holly’s plane had crashed and killed him and other artists. I was 13 and desperate to get my hands on some money so that we did not have to starve a few days of the week and my mum and dad could have a seaside holiday. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright though also did not see the light of day, and did not make the money necessary to lift the Bird family out of penury.
A vast collection of genuine silver cutlery taken from a bomb-damaged house turned out to be silver-plated and the 10 shillings me and my mates got meant two shillings each. I could not even seem to steal successfully.
People with low scores, and less wealth, are excluded and effectively treated as second-class citizens
Instant wealth never left my mind. But I couldn’t be arsed to actually put the effort in to get it. I was incapable of doing a Michael Caine or Sean Connery, or a John, Paul, George and Ringo and lift myself out of straitened circumstances by hard application. By burning the candle at both ends. The above strivers did strive, and I was not in their bracket. Because I had not discovered what I wanted to do in the world. And I obviously did not want money so much that I would sweat blood for it.
What is so interesting is that the above mentioned, and people like Alan Sugar, put enormous efforts into ‘getting on’. Into honing their abilities to make something that would lead to money. And I seemed unable to do such a thing.
But I still got up pre-dawn, and still do, to come up with ideas. But now instead of composing songs that will make me rich, or invent things that will do likewise, I get up and think, “How can I save the world from itself?” “How can I dismantle poverty?” “How can I drive a coach and horse through governmental ineptitude in dealing with people in need?”.