February 20, 2010


This is a bit of a "Story behind the song"


Castro was in the bathroom, hiding from his wife and doing a line of heroin. I was on the phone to Nippon TV.

“Do you speak English?”

“Hai,” said a female voice.

That was what they all said. She was the third tier of secretary-receptionist and I had already been on the phone for twenty minutes. They all knew how to speak English, but then didn’t. “Well, ah… Could I speak to Mr Kurosawa, please? The international news editor?”

Some rapid-fire Japanese. Then: “Kurosawa-san? You like to speak to Mr Kurosawa-san?” The incredulity in her tone of voice conveyed the idea that Mr Kurosawa-san was an incredibly important man and one quite simply couldn’t call up like this out of the blue and expect to speak to him.

She put me through to a lady called Yui instead, and I started on the same story I had already told ABC, NBC, Sky, BBC, ABC (Australia), TVE, TV France, Doordarshan and God knows who else. Castro and I had been working the phone in shifts from his kitchen without stopping for 24 hours.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the overall military commander of the Talibn was killed yesterday. We have a video interview, the first one he gave specifically directed at a Western audience. It was recorded 24 hours before he died. Might you be interested?”

The Japanese bought it, too.

A week earlier, I had dropped in on Castro because he had called me up, asking for a favour. I was sick, sick, sick. I hadn’t taken any heroin for two months..

(to read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hm, I didn't realise you'd posted this...