But because this leaves my upper body exposed I've taken to wearing a tee shirt. The tee shirt I had on last night was a gift from Joe. It has a picture of Jim Morrison stripped to the waist, looking edibly gorgeous with the legend An American Poet above his head.
Well, I couldn't wear it on the street, now could I? People might think I meant it.
I have a history with the Doors. Graham Leader- who is now a film producer and lives (I think) in New York- introduced me to them. We were a couple of rich kids having an educational glaze put over us at a university in Switzerland, only we stopped going to classes and instead we'd hang out in his bedroom and listen to his miniscule record collection: Dylan, the Doors, Miles Davis, Miles Davis, the Doors, Dylan. In Paris there was a revolution in full swing and we were going to join in and do our bit just as soon as an opportunity presented itself.
For a long time the Doors were my idea of rebel music. When I was courting Ailz I used to play them very loud in the car. "Father, I want to kill you. Mother I want to......" Ailz was fond of me so she never said- until long afterwards- how sad that was. Joe remembers those days.
Unfortunately by the time he came to give me the shirt I was no longer a fan, having finally (at the age of 47 or thereabouts) acquired a sense of humour. He wasn't to know this; parents are, after all, incapable of personal development.
I'm not saying the Doors are rubbish. That swirly, haunted carousel sound they make is lovely. It's just Morrison- the poete maudit stuff, the attitudinising, the absence of irony. Poor little sod, he took himself so seriously.