New York City Indie Rock Duo Supersmall Release New LP, Silent Moon, and It’s Brilliant

Silent Moon by Supersmall

A week ago, on St. Patrick’s Day, I happened to randomly click on the link of a tweet by @colindempsey and listened to his storytelling/stand-up comedy performance on YouTube. The first thing I noticed was his Irish accent which always makes me perk up, and the second was that he was genuinely funny. So I tweeted to him to tell him how much I enjoyed the video and we started chatting and he told me that he’s a singer-songwriter and one-half of the New York City based indie rock duo, Supersmall. As I’m a big fan of Irish musicians, I immediately went to their Bandcamp profile and listened to a couple of tracks from their latest album, Silent Moon. I was not only immediately captivated, but I love their sound so much that I purchased the album. I haven’t been this delighted by a new music discovery since I met Melbourne based, Irish singer-songwriter Andy White five years ago. For those of you who know me, you know what that means. True love for an artist of whom I will forever be a fan, and the same goes for Colin Dempsey and Supersmall. So, please read further and better yet, listen to Supersmall on Bandcamp or their website (links below) and see if you don’t feel the same way.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(New York, NY) New York City-based, indie rock duo, Supersmall, announce their new LP, Silent Moon.  The LP was produced, recorded and mixed by Tom Beaujour at Nuthouse Recording, who’s worked with Roadrunner Records, Prosthetic Records and Barsuk Records.

A little older, a little bit more experimental, the album takes you through a daydream-like stretch of jazzy melodies, retro-rock and songs sung out to sea. A truly original sound inspired by artists such as Neil Finn and Pink Floyd, there is a sophisticated balance of poetic lyrics that span religion to untraditional love songs, honest vocals and intricate guitar—all amidst an ethereal atmosphere of keyboards, strings and trumpet.

Supersmall is composed of singer-songwriter, Colin Dempsey, and drummer, Daniela Schiller. Supersmall drummer Daniela Schiller and guitarist / lead vocalist Colin DempseyDempsey is an Irish writer and storyteller based in New York. He has performed his unique blend of indie-rock music in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and most recently, the US. Schiller is a musician, storyteller and Neuroscientist, who leads the Schiller Lab of Affective Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In 2013, the duo released their debut EP, This Other World. The Indie Blender says, “Dempsey’s and Schiller’s experience as musicians is evident in this pristinely produced collection of dreamy folk songs.”

Indie-Music.com says the two “make a compelling duo; a very organic and natural partnership of storytellers whose lyrical content shine among these seven well-crafted songs.” They also featured This Other World on their 13 Editor Picks of 2013 list. Silent Moon is the band’s sophomore project, released February 2016.

Colin and Daniela met on the New York storytelling scene – both are also writers and big fans of good whiskey. Most importantly, they are close friends and all of this shines through on the record.

The next time you’re in New York, look them up and try to catch a live show, they’ll have whiskey.

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Craig Ferguson, I Love You But This Needs To Be Said!

DVD REVIEW

Title: Craig Ferguson: Does This Need To Be Said?
Studio/Distributor: Comedy Central
Director: Keith Truesdell
Principle Cast: Craig Ferguson, Jeff Arnold, Chris Saladin
Length: 65 minutes
Released: 2010
Stars: 3.0

Well Craig, as a fan of over ten years, and someone who has watched The Late Late Show regularly for seven seasons since you’ve been the host, I’d say that most of what you deliver in Does This Need To Be Said?, (Comedy Central’s stand-up special featuring you) has already been said by you before.  I’ve seen your stand-up show twice and the material on this DVD is nothing new.  However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t funny and entertaining.  Fresh, it isn’t.  Charming, you definitely are!

Being able to play your dancing & lip-synching performance of Oops! I Did It Again by Britney Spears over and over again at the end of your routine is worth the price of the DVD alone.  In fact, I wish you’d release a DVD collection of all your dancing & lip-synching performances with the puppets and staff that you’ve showcased on The Late Late Show because they’re awesome!  They make us grin from ear to ear, laugh out loud, and want to sing along all at the same time.  And while I have this opportunity, it’s time to get rid of that freakin’ robot already!!

Okay, now where was I?

Does This Need To Be Said? opens with Craig receiving a standing ovation from a packed Nashville theatre, while he prances around the stage to the song I’ve Got The Strangest Feeling and Chris Saladin (a.k.a. “Gunther”), in a white pseudo-bondage ensemble, fingers a flute as the classy Jeff Arnold swings his saxophone.  Ferguson’s first words to the audience are his signature, “It’s a great day for America everybody!”  After which he makes up for not being able to say f**k on his show by cussing incessantly in his charismatic way.  Sadly, it’s true that Ferguson is losing the edges of his celebrated burr and now sounds more American than Scottish, but that doesn’t detract from his delivery.  It’s just that if he’s not the Scottish comedian we’ve all come to know and love, who is he (an actor, a writer, a minion of CBS)?

Craig tells the audience that he’s there to tell them a dirty joke and he does, but not before taking 60 minutes to review his wayward youth, in which he was a member of a heavy metal band called Stag.  He riffs about the Pope; talks about talking to his 9½ year old son about sex (who carries a swear jar around after his father, in which he’s raising his college tuition); comments on Charlie Sheen; and describes how two toads taught him everything he knows about sex education.  He also offers a series of comedic vignettes on famous celebrity sex scandals including Tiger Woods, Kevin Costner and his boss, David Letterman.  Craig revisits the best day he ever had at work: when he heard that Dick Cheney had shot his lawyer in the face; the reason why Kate Winslet will never be on his show; the tale of Fabio getting hit in the head by a goose; proof of the existence of God (Siegfried & Roy – say no more!), why he loves Larry King; the horror of realizing that his balls are leaving him; the complexities of the Internet; what it’s like to be married to a woman from a posh Yankee family; and recounting his life as an alcoholic.  Did I laugh?  Hell, yeah!

The extras on this DVD – a short film of Craig arriving in Nashville and an unknown fan’s rap session about him – are boring and didn’t need to be included, but that’s not why you’d buy Does It Need To Be Said? The Full Concert Experience anyway.

As other people have said before, Craig is a positive comedian who doesn’t hurt or offend people with his humour (at least most of the time, but then there was that incident with Kevin Costner!) and yet still manages to come off as a boisterous, swearing, somewhat perverted middle-aged man.  But he pokes fun at himself more than anyone else and we can definitely see the humour in that.

What I know to be true about Craig Ferguson is that he is a wonderful, highly intelligent, multi-talented man who has the ability to move people in many different ways but for some reason he’s choosing to lean on what’s worked for laughs in the past and hasn’t created anything new and exciting in a while.  And I think it’s time for him to do that.  This man has so much heart, soul and brain power that he should have won every performance award out there by now.  Even with the same old lame gags on The Late Late Show, he’s still one of the most interesting people on television.  If you saw him interview Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Dr. Cornell West, you’ll know what I mean.  So imagine what he could do if he sat down and wrote some new material!

I’d like to see Craig take a risk and push the envelope more with his comedy.  I know he’s as much of a fan of Billy Connolly as I am, and I’d like to see him be as daring with his presentation.  His swearing doesn’t bother me, because as he said, he’s a friendly cusser and swears in good humour, but it’s the resting on his laurels that does bother me.  Craig, don’t be afraid to attract a wider audience.  While I love a double entendre as much as anyone, you’re not just a foul-mouthed Scotsman and I don’t want you to dumb down your act for the masses.  Be true to yourself and let your intellect shine!

Maybe you just need to have some new experiences to share…

American On Purpose: The Improbable Adventures Of An Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson

Book Review 
Title: American on Purpose
Author:  Craig Ferguson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: September 22, 2009
Pages: 288
ISBN 10 – 0061719544
ISBN 13 – 978-0061719547
Stars:  4.0

I have been a fan of CBS’ The Late Late Show host, Craig Ferguson, since I first saw him in the 1999 film, The Big Tease, followed by 2000’s Saving Grace: a gem of a comedy written, co-produced, and starring Ferguson that has since become one of my all-time favourites. I never really watched him play Drew Carey’s drunken boss, Nigel Wick, on The Drew Carey Show (1996-2003), although I might have caught the odd episode, but I have been watching him faithfully on The Late Late Show since July 2005.

Craig Ferguson is a wonderful actor and one of Britain’s (and America’s) leading comedians, who has written and performed three albums of stand-up comedy, as well as this year’s DVD – “A Wee Bit O’ Revolution” – filmed at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. His self-deprecating humour is infectious and almost no subject in his own life is taboo. He’ll discuss everything from his personal vacations, to his failed marriages, lust for Beyoncé, enormous penis, and past alcohol and drug addiction. He’s often “irreverently outrageous, but never mean-spirited,” and he can just as easily make you cry with his emotional intelligence and integrity.

Craig is an exceptionally fine writer and in 2006, his first novel, entitled Between The Bridge and The River was published, receiving impressive sales and positive critical reviews. His latest effort, American On Purpose, is an autobiography, and although I knew about a lot of what was shared in the book because I watch his show regularly, I was still mesmerized by his elegant prose and didn’t want to put it down.

American On Purpose is a poignant and positively witty memoir that begins with an auspicious invitation to perform at the 2008 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in front of the least popular President in the history of the United States, and then revisits 46 of his tumultuous years on the planet in a very fast-paced, enthralling manner. Craig, who is candid about his 15 years as a blackout drunk, was exceptionally careful about what he revealed about his life and sometimes changed names to protect those who might now be uncomfortable or offended if he hadn’t. I was a bit disappointed that he simply wrote that he’d dated some well-known actresses before he met and married his third bride, Megan Wallace-Cunningham, but never revealed who any of them were. He did speak very respectfully and lovingly of all of the serious relationships he had with the women who came before Megan, and I was especially moved by the last chapter in the book in which he talks about the death of his mother in 2008. If anything, I found when I’d finished reading American on Purpose that I was selfishly wanting more details about this remarkable man.

This hardworking, insecure Scottish immigrant who loves the philosophical and emotional concept of America never spares himself: whom he refers to as an uncool, “middle-aged white man with graying hair, a thickening waist, and a creepy laugh.” No matter how much therapy he’s had, or how successful he’s become in many areas of his life, he can’t quite believe that it’s as a result of his own talent and strength of character (which it undoubtedly is!).

“…I’m still doing lame comedy now and the show is doing great. Maybe that’s because it’s my lame comedy. I am my lame self and make the lame comedy my own.”

Craig Ferguson is only two years older than me, and he came of age in the same, debaucherous decade that I did. I can relate to the feelings and experiences that led him from the dreary back streets of Cumbernauld and his intoxicated, punk rock youth, to the relief he felt at being able to pay off over $250,000 of debt after 7 years of sobriety, and his incredulity at now owning a home with a swimming pool in Hollywood, and being a protective, loving father to his 8-year-old son, Milo. For a self-professed control freak, this man is honest, diligent, intelligent, handsome, funny, kind, and sensitive, and there is nothing that I read in American On Purpose that will convince me otherwise.

If you’re not already aware of the incandescent beauty that is TV’s Craig Ferguson, you are really missing out, because every day that Craig Ferguson is on the air is a great day for America! I will wait with anticipation for more of his brilliant writing in the future.

My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

Book Review
Title: My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-up
Author: Russell Brand
Publisher: It Books
Released: 2009
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 0061730416
ISBN-13: 978-0061730412
Stars: 3.5

I only just discovered the English rock star of comedians, Russell Brand, a few weeks ago when a friend of mine told me about his Live From New York City stand-up special which aired on The Comedy Network on Saturday, March 14, 2009. I caught a portion of the show near its end and was immediately transfixed by this Byronesque rapscallion! I immediately started watching his stand-up routines on YouTube as well as every interview with him that I could find and couldn’t help but fall for the sexy and hilariously naughty man-child who has made me laugh out loud with his razor-sharp wit almost every day since. He is, however, such a controversial celebrity that when I posted a link to a YouTube video about him on my Facebook page, one of my “friends” who is a children’s author, left an insulting comment on my wall that went like this:

Him: You just discovered the guy that was spewing disrespect towards America and has no values? Kudos to you. Hope you don’t have children.

Me: No, I don’t have children, but I actually think the guy is funny.

Him: ah…small blessings.

He proceeded to delete me as a friend! When I wrote him a private email to tell him that I didn’t think it was very nice of him to insult me publicly and to apologize if I offended him, he replied with: “It’s always a risk one runs when they hold one up to praise and that someone is one that unabashedly demeans and insults others. I will not shrink in my loathing of such a man or anyone that would praise him in my face. Yea…might as well talk up Hitler’s finer qualities next.”

I’m here to tell you that the Essex born Russell Edward Brand – an extremely talented, remarkably intelligent, well-read, narcissistic, bipolar, vegetarian, yoga-practising, single, 33-year-old who has been sober for six years – only wants to make people laugh and exudes an earnest desire to love the world. He is certainly NO Hitler!

This obviously very conservative right-winger was referring to the incident last year when Russell hosted the MTV VMA Awards and referred to President George W. Bush as an “idiot cowboy fella.” The self-admitted drugs and sex addict also made fun of The Jonas Brothers for wearing chastity rings, all in the name of COMEDY, which is his JOB. I, personally, am not offended by his comments as I understand the context in which they were made having just done so much research about him, including reading his autobiography, My Booky Wook, released in North America this March.

Russell Brand is an amusing, charming and brutally honest young man who obviously loves language and can’t help but show off his vast vocabulary (I learned what “impecunious” and “autodidact” meant by reading his book) and penchant for colourful adjectives. He came from a broken home and while his mother battled cancer three times and was often unable to look out for him during his childhood, he spent a great deal of time staying with his Nan or his playboy photographer father. Ron Brand irresponsibly left his pornography collection lying around the house for a very young and impressionable Russell to find when he should have been watching re-runs of H.R. Pufnstuf.

Brand grew up watching Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses, which he correctly credits with comedic brilliance, and he talks about how Vic Reeves Big Night Out, a comedy show on BBC4 in the early ’90s was, “…funny and charming and specific in its language and its references. It taught me that you should never pick the first word people would think of, you have to train your mind to sift through the obvious stuff until you come to something that’s really funny.” Russell has learned this technique inside and out and has turned it into a fine art.

My Booky Wook takes Russell’s readers through his early childhood (born June 4, 1975), school years (he was kicked out of every one he went to including The Drama Centre), influential friendships and intense relationship with drugs, alcohol and sex addiction. He freely admits to some abominable behaviour – some of which is revisited in the book – believes in instant karma, and while he could definitely benefit from years of psychotherapy, he feels remorse for his actions and is still seeking redemption. Russell is a study in ambivalence: equal parts vain egomaniac and introspective, deeply compassionate seeker of Spirit. There is a sweetness and light about this man that is as incredibly intoxicating as a breath of fresh air outside an abattoir.

What it [heroin] mainly does is take you right out of reality, and plant you somewhere more manageable. In short, it contextualizes everything else as meaningless…All of us, I think, have a vague idea that we’re missing something. Some say that thing is God; that all the longing we feel – be it for a lover, or a football team, or a drug – is merely an inappropriate substitute for the longing we’re supposed to feel for God, for oneness, for truth. And what heroin does really successfully is objectify that need.

My Booky Wook is a fascinating read about a beguiling person but it ends in 2005 and since then, Russell Brand has become even more famous as he’s toured in Great Britain, the US and Australia with his stand-up act and started acting in Hollywood movies. Russell, who has described himself as resembling an S&M Willy Wonka, has appeared in the movies St. Trinian’s, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Bedtime Stories and will appear in Julie Taymor’s version of The Tempest and Get Him To The Greek in which he reprises his Forgetting Sarah Marshall role as rock star Aldous Snow. It is very safe to say that we haven’t heard the last of this man and that subsequent volumes of his autobiography will likely be written in future.

However, just so you know for now, Russell writes a weekly sport column for The Guardian newspaper in London and he became famous in the UK for presenting a Big Brother spin-off called Big Brother’s Big Mouth (after years of mad cable television antics while he was whacked out of his mind on heroin), as well as hosting his own radio program on the BBC. He resigned from that job late last year after a certain inappropriate prank call with Jonathan Ross to Andrew Sachs was aired. Depictions of his controversial behaviour can be found all over the Internet.

Russell often seems to forget about editing himself before he speaks (which is what lands him in so much hot water with the media) but, whether you love him or hate him, My Booky Wook confirms that he’s never, ever boring. Whether it be on Russell Brand TV, Twitter, in the tabloids or his next book, I can’t wait to read what he has to say next!

Watch Russell Brand in Live From New York City, click here:

Craig Ferguson’s A Wee Bit O’ Revolution

DVD REVIEW

Title: A Wee Bit O’ Revolution
Studio/Distributor: Image Entertainment
Director: Shannon Hartman
Principle Cast: Craig Ferguson
Length: 80 minutes
Released: 2009
Stars: 4.0

Actor, stand-up comedian, writer, director, producer, host of The Late Late Show on CBS since January 2005, new American citizen, and the Glaswegian with the self-professed huge c**k; Craig Ferguson, has finally released an 80 minute DVD of his stand-up comedy and it has left me wanting much, much more. Filmed in July, 2008 at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre, A Wee Bit O’ Revolution stands up very well to frequent viewings. TV’s Craig Ferguson, uncensored, is undeniably sexy and uproarious! There is a reason why he is the best thing that ever happened to late night television. His off-the-cuff monologues are totally unique and refreshing as is his self-deprecating sense of humor, double entendres, honesty, sensitivity, and willingness to share intimate parts of his life. Given the creative license to say whatever he wants in A Wee Bit O’ Revolution, Craig sets his audience on fire with his clever, witty observations about everything from his own mother, to Sean Connery (who he often brilliantly impersonates), to attending birthing classes in LA with his ex-wife before the arrival of his son Milo (who is now seven).

Craig Ferguson, son of Robert and Janet Ferguson, brother to Lynn, Janice and Scott, is an alcoholic, and did his time in rehab 17 years ago. He came to America in 1995 and headed straight for Hollywood. After several auditions that went nowhere, he landed the role of Nigel Wick on The Drew Carey Show and has never looked back. You could say that he’s never had to worry about having only 27 cents in his bank account since, although he may claim that the alimony he pays keeps that account from reaching its potential.

Craig, who had his own BBC comedy show called The Ferguson Theory (1994), has also starred in several terrific projects for which he either wrote the screenplay, or wrote, directed and/or produced the film including: The Big Tease (1999), Saving Grace (2000) and I’ll Be There (2003).

A Wee Bit O’ Revolution opens with Craig expressing how excited he is to be FINALLY playing the Wilbur Theatre in Boston; a city full of surly drunks, but, “That’s my family you’re talking about!” He talks about his love of America, becoming a US citizen last year and within a few months hosting the White House Correspondent Dinner and meeting George W. Bush, the least popular president in the history of America. Already, I’m laughing out loud, and when he lovingly describes his mother’s insane love of America and the crazy things that she’d say to him as a child and states, “She’s like an acid casualty who never took acid”, I just can’t stop laughing.

A particular highlight involves Craig reminiscing about attending his first rock concert (Blue Oyster Cult) at age 13, on his maiden voyage to the States to visit family. It was the occasion on which he smoked his first joint and when he had his “light bulb moment.” “From this moment on, I will dedicate my life to drugs and rock’n’roll.” Even more hilarious is his recount of going to see Deep Purple in concert and after months of anticipation, taking a hit of chloroform at the beginning of the show, passing out immediately, and missing the whole thing! He talks about the shame of eating pizza while on heroin and that his particular addiction was for cocaine and alcohol and how that translated to status in the rehab dynamic. One of my favourite lines from that section is, “Get yourself a sex addict! Those people can’t do enough for you.” Later, while discussing hotel porn, he declares, “Ah, the frugal orgasm…for a Scotsman there is nothing finer!”

Craig riffs on his early years in Hollywood, The Drew Carey Show, his Jewish/Scottish wedding, huge c**k (Oh, did I mention that already?), success in Hollywood, Tom Cruise (“I’m sorry, that’s twelve feet of crazy in a four foot man!”) and his interview with Matt Lauer wherein he criticized Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants while suffering from post partum depression. Oprah, the plastic surgery epidemic in LA and the craziness of new age spiritual birthing classes rounded out the show. I was disappointed that his show ended rather abruptly and felt it was just a bit short, but that didn’t stop me from watching repeatedly.

The special features on the DVD include an interview with Craig in Boston by the water (which looks like something you’d see on a local cable television station) and his heartfelt, patriotic speech, at Faneuil Hall on the 4th of July, about what it means to him to be an American citizen. They aren’t great special features but it doesn’t really matter because they are not what you’ll want to watch over and over again. A Wee Bit O’ Revolution is a must have DVD for every fan of stand-up comedy and of TV’s Craig Ferguson.

Enjoy a clip from A Wee Bit O’ Revolution on YouTube!

Billy by Pamela Stephenson

Book Review
Title: Billy
Author:  Pamela Stephenson
Publisher: UK General Books
Released: August 15, 2002
Pages: 304
ISBN 10 – 0007110928
ISBN 13 – 978-0007665457
Stars:  3.0

As a big fan of the genius that is Billy Connolly, I have been wanting to read his 2001 biography simply titled Billy written by his wife, Pamela Stephenson, for a long time and I finally got around to it.

Glasgow, Scotland’s Billy Connolly, born November 24, 1942, is one of the most famous comedians in the world and in my humble opinion, the funniest. I saw his live stand-up show for his Erect for 30 Years tour in Toronto in 2000 and I laughed so hard I thought I had burst a blood vessel in my head and at the end of it, left with a massive headache. No one has ever made me laugh as hard. Connolly is also a very talented, accomplished and acclaimed actor who was the star of the sitcoms “Head of the Class” and “Billy”; was nominated for a BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe for his portrayal of John Brown in the film Mrs. Brown; and has appeared in such movies as The Boondock Saints, Still Crazy, An Everlasting Piece, The Last Samurai and The Man Who Sued God to name just a few. In 2003, Billy won a Life Time Achievement BAFTA and he most recently appeared in The X-Files: I Want To Believe.

Billy, a.k.a. The Big Yin, had a torturous childhood in which he was abandoned by his mother and raised by his father who sexually molested him (between the ages of 10 and 16) and two aunts, one of whom had a severe personality disorder and was sadistic and cruel to him (she later ended up in a psychiatric hospital) and his sister Florence. He began working in his late teens as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, spent a couple years in The Territorial Army Reserve with The Parachute Regiment, and in his 20’s decided that he wanted to be “windswept and interesting”, and above all, a tramp. Fascinated by the sound of the banjo, he started playing it and not long after was getting gigs as a folk singer with his friend Tam Harvey. Together they formed The Humblebums but after recording one album, Harvey was replaced by Gerry Rafferty. It was during those years that Billy began to develop his comic routines while on stage with Rafferty.

What came next, over a 30 year period, was no less than world domination as a comedian for this innately, furiously funny man. “His observational comedy is idiosyncratic and often off-the-cuff. He talks about himself, who he is, where he’s been, what he thinks and how he reacts to the world around him. He has outraged certain sectors of audiences, critics and the media with his free use of the word “fuck”. He has used masturbation, blasphemy, defecation, flatulence, haemorrhoids, sex, his father’s illness and his aunts’ cruelty to entertain. By exploring these subjects with humour, Connolly has done much to strip away the taboos surrounding them. Yet he does not tell jokes in the conventional way.”

Connolly’s rags to excess riches story is a fascinating one but I was somewhat disappointed in Billy as so much of the book focuses on his early life and his career as an actor was simply skimmed over very quickly. Pamela Stephenson morphed back and forth throughout the book from the present (2001) to the past and I felt that she was holding back from disclosing anything really personal about her life with Billy and their five children (the two eldest, Jamie and Cara are from Billy’s first marriage to Iris Pressagh). She disclosed a few fun tidbits about his escapades with some of his famous rock star and actor friends while he was still drinking heavily – he quit in 1985 – but never went into much detail. For someone who has been married to the man for almost 20 years and with him for longer than that, Pamela’s description of Billy as a man, friend, husband, father, comedian and actor comes off as being somewhat clinical and lacks any real passion or convincing emotion. The snippets from Billy’s journals that she quotes from are extremely tame and don’t reveal much about what he was really feeling at the time nor include the year of the entry date. This is in fact, a beige, one-sided account of his life and would have been much more interesting if some of his closest friends had been interviewed for the book. That being said, Pamela wrote a follow-up called Bravemouth about Billy in 2003 and I now want to read it as well to get the rest of the story.

Stephenson, a.k.a. Pamela H. Connolly, Ph.D., once a comedian/actress herself who is most recognized for her work on the BBC comedy series, “Not the Nine O’Clock News”, is now a practising psychotherapist (which would account for her detached writing style). She analyzes Billy’s character like this:

“A highly combustible mixture has been bubbling away inside Billy his whole life. A huge dose of abandonment pain, a dollop of existential fury, a giant scoop of performing talent plus a massive portion of hell-bent-on-vengefulness has whirled around inside him since infancy,” catapulting him from tenement to ‘tinsel town’ in five extraordinary decades. It is the kind of volatile compound that could have exploded at any time, and it is the containment and alchemy of those elements that constitutes his most admirable work.”

This is an interesting book for Connolly fans (I didn’t know he had his nipples pierced in his fifties!) and you will learn what Pamela believes makes Billy tick, but it’s not a definitive biography and if you read Billy’s Desiderata in the Epilogue, you’ll get almost as much out of those two pages as in the 381 pages preceeding them.

For those of you who would like to discover some of Billy’s finest work, I highly recommend the video Billy and Albert: Billy Connolly at The Royal Albert Hall (1987), Billy Connolly Live In New York (2006) and all of the movies I mentioned above, as well as a trip to his official website at billyconnolly.com.