ninety-eight and still sexually obsessed
Cut to: Atrium lounge of an upscale boutique hotel on
George Square. Boswell and Johnson relax with shots of Lagavulin
and Guinness chasers, watch the action.
Mondrain boogie-woogie traffic. Pigeons explode across the square,
circle the statues... Watt, the inventor of the steam engine... Trocchi,
inventor of the intravenous gamahuche. Pretty women cross diagonally, models in
search of a runway, rehearsing for the invisible men concealed in surrounding
buildings. Bagpiper in full Highland regalia marches back and forth, bleeding
his lungs. The flag above City Hall at half-mast. The leader of the Scottish
Assembly is dead.
J: Here's to Dewars.
B: Cheers... who's Dewars?
J: Scottish nationalist... he just croaked... that's why the flag's
B: Thought that wus fer Trocchi.
B: Surprised how sentimental some Scots are about the past.
Get a coupla oil wells, start thinking Bonnie Prince Charlie.
James Bond -- he's the rebel now.
B: Who -- Sean Connery?
J: He's a rebel, man.
B: Tha fugg he is -- he's "Sir James
Bond". The Queen touched him with her sword.
J: I'm telling you he's
a big time Scottish nationalist.
B: Right. That explains why he
lives on the Costa del Sol.
J: Taxes, man. You know how it is.
B: Didn't Trocchi live in Spain?
J: Not long. Paris was
his scene... New York... actually spent some time in Mexico...
B: (groans) 'lajara... I went there fer Christmas
and it snowed... can you believe that? It snowed in Guadalajara. First
time in recorded history.
J: Killed the Monarch butterfly
B: Another time I wus there, the sewer exploded, took
out a whole neighbourhood.
J: That's one thing about Glasgow -- the
smell of shit is supressed.
B: One good thing, yeah.
Wasn't always so... when those shipyards were going, it was pure poison here.
B: Poison is money, man.
J: Notice the number of cell
B: Kids. Toys.
J: Weird, isn't it...
today's young Scot prefers Budweisers, Bacardi Breezers, and a shaven head.
B: Bud is shit. I mean, why?
J: Advertising. Bud is like
Rap -- cool way to be anti-social.
Boswell lights a fresh ciggie.
B: Their smokes are crap. Like the whiskey, not the smokes.
J: Trocchi -- that'd be a good name for a brand of
B: A Trocchi, sure. Hash blended, no
J: Cardboard filter... Pulp Fiction.
B: You ever
J: Of course.
B: What's his first book?
J: Helen and Desire.
B: Any good?
It's crap... but you'd like it.
J: Sure. Porno.
The adjectives fall like freshly pumped sperm. Wrote it in Paris for Gerodias,
B: Huh... when someone tells me he writes porno for
money, I gotta wonder. Must be an easier way.
J: Was a means to an
end... Gerodias said he'd publish Trocchi's novel... Young Adam... a
serious piece of work.
B: Jeeze, I have that. I read it.
J: It's good -- fits like Volume 1 of Cain's
J: Define autobiography.
B: When a writer makes himself the subject.
J: Even when
B: The act of writing is an act of fiction -- you
said so yourself, Doctor.
Big white billboard other side of the Square, covers the entire
face of a building. Ad for the new Mercedes.
J: Christ, German cars are ugly.
engines. Can't beat a BMW.
J: Why would a Scotsman want to drive a
B: Thrifty, reliable.
J: Thrifty my ass.
B: It's a Euro thing. Think Leni Riefenstahl gave Hitler a blow job?
J: I don't think anybody gave Hitler a blow job.
B: She says Goebbels wus in love with her, wanted her
J: She always says that. She got another book of photos
B: Yeah, more African shit...
J: How old is she?
J: Why she always so horny?
She's clean, man. No drugs.
J: You know Hess crash landed in
B: The Nazi?
J: Hitler's Number 2. Rudolph Hess.
Spent the entire war incarcerated in a British prison.
Rudolph. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, eh.
J: I think Leni
mowed her way through all of 'em, the whole Nazi elite. I'm surprised Trocchi
didn't write her up. She's exactly the kinda chick Trocchi admired. Just like
Helen Smith, you know, the heroine of Helen and Desire.
(chuckles) Helen Schmidt.
J: Leni Schmidt.
Both men laugh, knock back their single malts.
B: "13" wus lying.
J: Yes. Small time
B: No idea where Trocchi is, wus taking us fer a ride.
J: (nodding) Know what? I got this feeling.
J: Trocchi is still alive.
J: Think about it. All his life he hides behind aliases...
"Frances Lengel", "Jean Blanche", "Carmencita de las Lunas", "Oscar Mole" --
B: Frankly, even Alexander Trocchi sounds fake to me --
J: We'll check the bars along the river.
J: Why not?
B: He's a river rat, right?
Exactly... we're not gonna find him selling lst editions of Celine and Genet in
a flea market.
I'd rather speak Gaelic
Now the action becomes downright ugly. We now know who Trocchi
is... and we also suspect the intentions of these two travelling bon
vivants. In Denholm's, a bar near the railway bridge, they encounter a
biker called "Glasgow Eddie" who directs them to the oldest bar in the city,
GE has a Manchu biker beard and wears iodine shades. No, he
doesn't know Trocchi personally but he's heard of him. No, he doesn't mind
being in a movie. Yes, he hates the English.
B: You tell me you'd rather speak Gaelic?
(huskily) Yus -- ah wid.
B: You speak it?
ye think am speakin' noow? Hey, show us yer gun --
B: My gun?
GE: Yor packin' heat, ah I know it.
B: That's illegal...
we're just a couple of tourists.
GE: Save it, man... ah know. Tell
yew what -- yew show me yours, ah'll show yew mine.
B: You've got a
GE: Saturday Night Special... looks like a camera.
B: Like a camera, eh.
GE: Yus -- like yours. Hi tech.
The Scotia is the lair of the buskers, street singers, various
musicians and waterfront rif raff. Faces float in the smoke and shadow, like
the ghosts of a clientele already dead... music in snatches as the camera
wobbles like a drunk returning to his seat... Brown-Eyed Girl... Everywhere
You Go Take The Weather... little cliques drinking and singing. We smell
sweat, smoke and swooning liquor. Raucous laughter, the chime of cheap guitars.
Glasgow Eddie leads them to a black-haired vixen with rings
in her nose, ears, and who-knows-where else. Elvira, aptly named after
the TV witch.
GE: Howz about a ride, Elvira?
(looking at the Canadians) Don't have enough gas in yer tank,
GE: Couple of punters here like to talk wi' yew,
Elvira: (waving her glass) Well fill me up...
A blind singer materializes, supported by a chorus of rivermen
with pints and smoldering cigarettes. Large man, his head hangs slightly, as if
depressed by the low beams of the rancid ceiling. His song is The Loneliness
of the Long Distance Scotsman... lonely in London, lonely on the bridges,
lonely by the river, ooohh I'm soo fookin' lonely... the rivermen echo the key
lines. Soo fookin' lonely. Double-exposure with the dark waters of a
GE: Thaz beautiful, right?
B: This what you
brought us here for?
GE: Yew don't like music?
men on a mission, buddy.
Elvira: Is it me or someone else ye
GE: Whaz the guy's name?
Elvira: Is he a singer?
B: A writer... a junky writer.
Elvira: Talk to Alex Nails.
B: Who is
Elvira: Nails knows all the poets.
GE: Ah jest laid
some new flooring for Mr. Nails.
B: Is that what you do?
GE: Aye... ah make floors flow.
B: (laughs) I
thought you were a dealer.
GE: Ah make floors flow -- if yew get me
B: If you'd stop speakin' fuggin Gaelic, I
GE: (laughs) Aw don't shoot me, man!
(to Elvira) Does the name Oscar Mole mean anything to
Elvira: Run that by me again --
J: Oscar Mole.
Elvira: Is he queer?
J: How about
Elvira: Now that sounds familiar... a transvestite,
J: Living on a barge, maybe.
Elvira: I used to
live on a barge... in London.
B: Think we're shootin' blanks here.
Elvira: You men really armed and dangerous?
and gettin' more dangerous by the second.
Elvira: You got a tattoo?
B: (snorts) No.
Elvira: A man without a tattoo is a
sad and dangerous thing indeed.
B: (to Johnson) Should we
J: (to Elvira) They got barges on the Clyde?
Elvira: Not anymore.
knows? Try Bible John.
B: Who's Bible John?
busker... plays Buchanan Street. Disciple of Jesus.
B: Born Again?
J: Plays an electric guitar, hangs out with a
chick in white?
GE: Naw, he uses kareoke, fakes it.
Waste of time.
Elvira: He's a sex killer.When he was a young
bloke... did the dance halls, picked up women, strangled them.
Wus fingered by Cracker.
B: So how come he's on the street,
singing songs about Jesus?
Elvira: Weren't able to nail
J: A friend of Trocchi's?
Elvira: Nah... just another
colorful character in the scenario...
GE:Wus profiled by
Glasgow criminologist. Cracker said he wis the killer but the cops couldny
close the evidence.
J: That's a great series...
Cracker? The best of the nineties.
J: So this Bible John knows
Elvira: Naw -- he's got a nice tattoo!