For whatever reason the following exchange, which happened at a party in London’s Soho district sometime in early December 1980, has never left my memory. It was a really great gathering, thrown (or so I recall) by Time Out magazine. It was crowded and everyone was half bombed and the music had a great tribal drum thing going on. This is how it went:

Me: Who are we listening to?

Guy #1: What?

Me: (shouting in his ear) Who’s playing?

Guy #1: You know who it is.

Me: I do? It’s not coming to me.

Guy #2: You know who it is…say it!

Guy #1: You know who it is!

Me: Bow Wow Wow?

Guy #2: That’s right.

Three or four days earlier I had been woken up at a place I was staying in Stockwell with the news that John Lennon was dead. I was over there to do a GQ profile interview with Peter O’Toole. O’Toole wasn’t very receptive at first, but it eventually happened and the piece turned out fine.