Thursday, 20 September 2012

"Dreams of Portobello"

You're schlepping down to Portobello
When Portobello was THE Scene
And you're young enough to cut it
And too old to be too green

You've got a little swagger
You know you're lookin' good
An' you've got a dangle going
And it's riding like it should

So you catch the ladies glances
And you're nimble on your feet
And you're known on every corner
As a cool dude on the street

The straightest dealer on the block
Delivers to your home
Hand rubbed hash or best Thai sticks
You seldom smoke alone

*Leonard drops in for a chat
To see what he can discover
I wonder how many spliffs got rolled
On his first two LP covers?

*He passes Cat Stevens on his way
He has the flat above
And the most beautiful call girls in the world
Sell their surrogated love

You can drop into Hennessey's
For a drink with all the boys
Hawkwind's drummer buys you a pint
Says, "Sorry about the noise!"

You can grab a pint at Finche's
Or a curry at East and West
But for Peas and Rice the proper way
The Mangrove is the best

You can meet up with a travelin' friend
Just hitch-hiked back from Thailand
Or spend the night with those Aussie Girls
You met out in the Islands

You can schlepp on down to Notting Dale
Find Bob Squire making tea
Him 'n' John Martyn playin' crib
And Beverley bored as can be

Bob always telling Vernon
"Don't you bring the Old Bill near!"
And when Old Bill did come round
Bob said, "He don't live 'ere!"

But that was in the good old days
When Dear Juttè was still living
When Bermuda Mick would cut a dash
Before Martin took to drinking

When Kieth and Val were host to all
Their tiny room a-popping
And Andy was quite beautiful
And the whole joint was a-rockin'

I still listen for that other beat
That I used to use for walkin'
But I think now it is Time's feet
And It's me that He is stalking

And now it seems just like a dream
My loves 'n' friends of yesteryear
But if you can remember it
They say you were not there!

"That John Lennon has a lot to answer for!"

Copyright © Res JFB 29th May 2010
*Verses marked * and in italics  refer to Mayfair, where I worked, not the area of North Kensington that included Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Ladbroke Grove where I lived.

Shlepping ~ from Yiddish ~ To walk laboriously, but as adopted into London slang it meant to walk with style, panache.

Old Bill ~ Police

Love to all ~ Res

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