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Q: July 95

Some shoot first and ask questions later. Fortunately, the Q questionnaire keeps its handgun safely holstered until all lines of mind-enveloping enquiry have been completely and utterly exhausted. Expelling a huge sigh of relief this month…

Damon Albarn

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Put the radio on. My radio only picks up long wave Radio 4, so I get the morning service at 10 o’clock.

What was the first gig you went to?

It was more a musical, called The Point, and The Roundhouse, North London, 1975. It was like Hair. It was about the hippy world where everyone had pointed heads.

Which song do you wish you’d written?

Waterloo Sunset by Ray Davies. Without a shadow of a doubt. It’s the most perfect song that I could ever hope to write, with my sort of voice.

What is your most treasured material possession?

These beads that I wear. My mum made them when I was about six, and in one form or another I’ve kept them on every day since. I take them off when we play, because once, three years ago, in Hamburg, they got pulled off. I stopped the gig and insisted that they picked up all the beads and returned them to me before we went back onstage. They only gave me half of them back, and then last year when we played Hamburg again, a girl came up to me and gave me the rest of them back.

Who is the last person you slept with?


What do you think of Bob Dylan?

I think there a three Bob Dylans, playing, simultaneously, around the world. I believe this because he always looks the same- dark glasses, scarf, big hat- and he always songs every song with the same note. One of the three is the real one. We played with him at a festival in Milan and I just knew it wasn’t Bob Dylan…

When did you last cry and why?

Watching that yellow pages VE advert on television; it starts off in black-and-white with this young soldier leaving a girl in France, and he says, I’ll be back. I found that incredibly moving.

What characteristics do you think you’ve inherited from your parents?

A desire to keep things simple from my mother; and a desire to complicate things from my father.

What’s the biggest myth about fame?

That it makes you feel somehow enlightened. It actually makes you feel disabled. It’s the equivalent of having no arm and walking down the street. Everyone looks at you. Fame is just a condition.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Fairly lewd. Generally optimistic. I used to be very violent but now I’m not now. I started off wanting to jump off buildings; now its a bit more pedestrian.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Brad Pitt, of course. Its obvious.

Pick five words that describe yourself?

Am I saying ‘Hi’ or am I saying ‘Bye?’

Is there one piece of criticism that sticks in you mind?

You pick up on things that you obviously feel most vulnerable about, so I’d be shooting myself in the foot by revealing what they are. Even though tabloid stuff is made up, it can still be quite offensive because it reaches people, and however much they tell themselves they don’t believe the tabloids, they do. And tabloids focus relationships and no-one really wants to have their relationship talked about.

Do you believe in God?

I believe in talking to yourself and telling yourself that things are alright.

What is your most unpleasant characteristic?


What’s your greatest fear?

I’ve got so many. I’ve still not really come to terms with mortality. I’m still immature about that. Its like if you get pregnant, you get happy hormones, who-gives-a-fuck? Hormones, and as I get older, I hope to get some of them.

What ambitions do you still have to fulfil?

What this week, or this year? Hundreds. Keep going onwards, not necessarily upwards. Not ‘breaking America’ as such. No-one ever talks about ‘breaking Britain’, its very unhealthy, this attitude of ‘breaking.’ By sheer definition, its negative.

Are you afraid of failure?

I’m not afraid of failure in the wider sense, but I am intensely annoyed about personal failure, about not doing my best work. That is unbearable. I’ve got enough ego to cope with not selling records, but if I think I’m doing shit, I cant take it.

What do you never leave home without?

My beads. This belt. And I have a stone that I keep in what the Levi adverts call the watch pocket. Its just millennium paranoia.

Who is your best male friend and your best female friend?

Justine is my best female friend, excluding my mother who is… a mother. And I could offer about three or four male friends, but I wouldn’t want to upset any of the other ones. I’m not into defining friendship; its something I used to do at school. Kids need to; it’s a very brutal form of meritocracy.

Who would you most like to meet?

I would have liked to have met Samuel Beckett, just to look at his face. I’d like to meet Peter O’Toole. Sophia Loren. I’m usually quite relaxed about it.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

It depends on how sudden it was. I’d like to compose something for my death- not in a grand way, I’d just like to pull a few surprises. But I might not get the chance…

When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see?

Occasionally. In the right light. There are some mirrors and some lights where I don’t believe that I’ve managed to walk the earth for 27 years.

Do you have anything to declare?

I went to Walthamstow dogs last night, and I did a trifector, which is where you forcast the first three dogs, and I won. On a £30 bet. The odds are something like 80-1. I put it down to the fact I wasn’t drinking. The people down there couldn’t believe a pop star could also go and win so much money, so I had to buy everyone in the fucking place a drink.

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