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GUEST,Jim Carroll Ewan MacColl - any first-hand anecdotes? (239* d) RE: Ewan MacColl - any first-hand anecdotes? 10 Oct 07

Have stayed out of this one deliberately because of my tendency to monopolise, but will perhaps join later.
One of my earliest memories was of the first time I went to stay at their home; I had been asked to re-wire the lighting system which was giving trouble.
Ewan was writing the script for 'The Festival of Fools' (an annual political show the Critics group and volunteers (Diane?) put on at the end of the year).
Whatever we were doing, Ewan would come down from his workroom with part of a script and demand that Peggy and I listen to and comment on it after he had read it through. He did this towards the end of the day once when I had miscalculated how long a job would take me. We had to sit there in the almost dark and listen while he read the script by the light of a torch, then I had to borrow the torch to finish the light circuit.
That week we drove to the Singers Club where they were performing. I sat through what I believed to be a near perfect night of singing, but going home in the car he and Peggy went step-by-step through everything they had sung that night, criticising it minutely; then they asked me what I thought. I replied with an extremely feeble "it sounded all right to me".
My fondest memory of Ewan was when I moved to London and they gave me a home (and fed me) for a month. Ewan was totally impractical and, instead of letting me go out and find work, he would insist I help him in the garden, though most of the time we sat in deck chairs and talked.
He seldom spoke of his childhood, but on one of these occasions he told me of an incident when he was still in junior school (Grecian Street Salford). His father had been blacklisted at work and had taken to the bottle. One time he turned up at the school during playtime, the worse for drink and had beckoned him through the railings. Ewan said he deliberately pretended not to know him - he was still ashamed at having done so.
Nuff sed.
Jim Carroll

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