Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Ballad of Mike Clark...

I first met Mike Clark in 1984 at the PCLSU building on Bolsover Street - central London. Myself and Gerry Cox had been working on McGarel - the Student Union magazine - for its then sabbatical editor Thom Dibden. Somebody told me and Gerry there was a party on the second floor - so we went down stairs to see what the scoop was. In the midst of the rather meagre festivities was a guy with a pudding-bowl haircut and black motorcycle jacket. The jacket was emblazoned with a logo that was somewhere between a white cross and serpent's tail... Gerry introduced this man as "Mad Klaag." Initially, from his strange accent, I believed Mr. Klaag to be of dutch origin, or the like. Later I would find out that he was from Scotland and was in fact MIKE CLARK.

Mike had been many things - Writer, activist, and even a male hustler. He was a unique individual who would veer from the sartori of homeless man to cotton suited dandy. He had a council flat in Chalk Farm and kept a pet tarantula. To this day, I have never met anybody quite like him. He flunked his degree for political differences - so I thought. The following year I would find out that Mike left college because he was very sick - and indeed was awarded his degree posthumously.

It was Nick Coote who told me of Mike's death. Nick mentioned a very sad hospital visit, where Mike was terminally ill, yet still trying to convince a Priest that God did not exist. Ironically enough Mike was remembered at a High Mass and Church memorial service.

I only wish that Mike was still around to read the following story, which was in the Hollywood Reporter, earlier this week. A long time 'upsetter,' one of Mike's masterplans was to broadcast an alternative version of the news, where the newscaster would sing the headlines... Yes, Mike - wherever you are - even this will come to pass....


....Yahoo! is hoping a quirky take on the news will strike a chord as its next original programming effort.

The Web giant confirmed Wednesday that it will launch a new initiative before the end of this quarter that will feature a journalist-cum-crooner who will sing the news.

While a Yahoo! spokesman declined to elaborate on the video project, which will be titled "Odd News Underground," he did issue a statement from Scott Moore, head of news and information.

"This project will create an entirely new kind of news beat, so stay tuned," Moore said. "All I can say for now is that this reporter will leave you tapping your feet."

Well there you have it. A mad man's dreams have become reality. Or, as I prefer to think of it - A sadly missed visionary has become vindicated. His dreams are now a reality.

To my friend MIKE CLARK - I raise a toast. You are often missed - and the world is not quite as bright without you...

READ the whole story in 'The Hollywood Reporter'
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