So this is it. The big one. A lesson learnt the hard way.
Some years ago, a friend (M) and I attended a Gene gig at Cardiff's Coal Exchange. We arrived at the venue early and decided to have a wander around until other people started turning up. At the back of the venue we found the tour bus. Before we had chance to think anything else, a door opened and out popped Mick Talbot of The Style Council. He was the session keyboard player for the night. Being fans of Paul Weller, we were obviously thrilled to meet his Style Council partner in crime. This was an exciting celeb spotting moment! Without thinking, M began to yell "Mick...Mick....Mick...MICK!!" (a bit like Alan Partridge in that episode where he yells "Dan!" about 20 times). Finally, Mick turned around.
Mick: Yes boys.
(We all looked at each other. The silence was deafening).
M: Er, Umm....
And then he said the words that still haunt me today.
M: Big Weller Fans!!
(Another long silence follows. The expression on M's face was now like that of Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters when he realises that he has just summoned Mr Stay Puft).
Mick: (looking deeply offended) Oh thanks lads.
And then he walked off. Possibly fighting back tears. During the concert he also seemed to be banging away at the keys a little harder than he normally would. Yep, those were hurtful words.
A few years later, I spotted Mick again at another concert where he was playing the keys. I looked in his direction. He looked in mine. Our eyes met. I really wanted to make amends. He gave me an icy stare. Not unlike the one that Brad Pitt's character gives to Rachel in that Thanksgiving episode of Friends. Oh yes, he remembered me. And he wasnt ready to forgive.
These days, I eagerly await Mick's inevitable autobiography and the chapter dedicated to the day his ego took a battering and he lost his self-esteem. So I'm sorry Mick. You're a true hero. Especially when you wear sailing attire and a straw boater.