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Dean Whitbread 2013

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Written on March 6, 2005, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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The place I am now has fantastic skies, looking West towards Camden.

I heard today about the death of DJ Tommy Vance – real name Rick West – here’s a nice biography of him with some soundfiles, my favourite of which is called 31 Days In May. Go listen. What a fabulous voice he had. Tommy was “first English D.J. to broadcast on a USA radio station” so he claimed. With a voice like that, who would disagree?

I sit staring at the gorgeous site of sun fanning golden fingers through clouds 3 miles from here, “huge girders of light arriving from space”, IG called them. Tommy has just left the building. Tommy’s 21 grams have vanished. He has breathed his last. He is an ex-Tommy.

Why is the parrot sketch so funny? Because it is about death. Taboo subjects always heighten our tension and make easy meat of us for clever carnivorous comedians.
Why tension? The unknown. Death is the limit. Of understanding. Of consciousness. Of Us. Or is it? We just don’t know. This is the Big One. The big

We laugh because it’s scary. Not. Knowing. What. Lies. Beyond.

The place we go – maybe we don’t go anywhere. Or maybe we do. Nobody can ever really say. Is death the beginning of a journey, or is it the end of one? Or isn’t it?


Of us.



Or do we just end up in Camden?

I am aware I am not making much sense, but today, frankly, I don’t give a damn. Neither am I feeling morbid, or in any way morose. Instead, after a fabulous gig last night, remaining in high spirits until 4.30 am, spending all morning with my gorgeous girlfriend, and a chilled Sunday lunch with an old friend who has dropped in from Canada, I am musing about the place we all go to.

And it IS, in fact, Camden – look it up on the map. Tommy Vance told me. He’s there right now, talking with Elvis and Jimi and Janis.

If anyone ever asks you (and parents, this especially applies to you) you must tell them, “Camden, that’s where we all go when we die.”

We go to Camden and we buy clothes.


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This thing has 8 Comments

  1. Lindsy Stephenson Jr
    Posted 6 March, 2005 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Whew! Thought for a minute you were talking about Camden, N.J. Jersey. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-11-22-dangerous-cities_x.htm
    I guess for every heaven there’s a hell.

  2. dave bones
    Posted 7 March, 2005 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Tommy’s dead? shit! I grew up with the friday rock show. have to get my black spandex mourning trousers, spiked cod piece and blond wig out for the funeral.

  3. retarius
    Posted 7 March, 2005 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    i thought you were making lots of sense. so camden is where i go when i die? to buy clothes? cool, at least i have something to look forward to.

  4. Blog ho
    Posted 7 March, 2005 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    nice remarks on death and humor. spot on. Camden for death…who knew? perhaps I should visit it before i die so I know what’s in store.

  5. transience
    Posted 7 March, 2005 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    in college, when i was without ambition and without a salary, i would go to the italian shoe shops and say to myself, “i go to italian shoe shops to dream.” of course, my outlook has changed now. the national archives, that’s where i’ll go when i die. i’ll smell musty but at least people will look through me. i guess it’s still legal to dream.

  6. Astrid
    Posted 8 March, 2005 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    So we buy clothes in Camden? I sure hope they have good taste in fashion then and do we need to bring our own wings when we go this heavenly place or can we rent them just like we rent bowling-shoes in a bowling-alley?

  7. finnegan
    Posted 9 March, 2005 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Ah, so maybe I should look for Vicky in Camden. She always did want to visit England.

    I found this site from your funny ‘horny’ comment at transience.

    As this is an entertaining place, I’ll be knocking on wood (not woody) here.

  8. Kenny Surtani
    Posted 11 November, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Thats good to know!

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