Yesterday I listened, belatedly, to a Little Atoms interview with Jonathan Meades. (Itâ€™s available for download here â€“ the second one, dated
The entry devotes a paragraph to de AndrÃ©â€™s kidnapping by Sardinian bandits in 1979, which is interesting, but I thought Iâ€™d draw your attention to two other things, mentioned in passing, that particularly intrigued me.
De AndrÃ©â€™s first wife was named Puny. This is a superbly Hooting Yardish name, isnâ€™t it? I do not think it will be too long before a character named Puny turns up in a piece of prose here, perhaps one that features heroic infant Tiny Enid. I recall that somewhere or other I refer to a book or film entitled I Was Puny Vercingetorix, and though puny there was intended as an adjective rather than as a first name, I may have to revisit that in the light of my new knowledge.
The other thing that made me slap my forehead with glee was the title of de AndrÃ©â€™s second album â€“ or rather, the contrast between it and the titles between which it was bracketed. (Forgive those two â€˜betweenâ€™s, I canâ€™t think offhand of a more felicitous way of putting it.) The first album was called Volume One, and the third was dubbed Volume Three. Yet for some extraordinary reason, the title of what a lesser artist would have called Volume Two was instead Tutti morimmo a stento, or We All Died Agonizingly.
Thatâ€™s the thing about Jonathan Meades, he provides you with new and unexpected avenues to explore, even when heâ€™s just picking a piece of music.