This is a collection of short stories edited by Nick Hornby, featuring a story entitled “The Slave,” by Roddy Doyle, which includes this Joni reference: I bought a CD today. I went down to Virgin during the break. I was going to get one of the old ones, something I loved but didn't have on CD. Dylan or Bob Seger or the Eagles or Bob Marley or Joni Mitchell -- I could go on forever. But I didn't. I had Blue and Blood on the Tracks in my hand -- I was going to get the both of them. But I didn't. I went for something completely new. I bought an album by Leftfield, this band that isn't really a band. They're a pair of young lads who do this sampling and mixing, you know. Robbing other people's ideas and making their own thing out of it. Dance music. Not Barry White dancing, more Trainspotting dancing – I’ll let her watch it; she’s well able for it. Anyway, the music. There’s a touch of reggae, a bit of Kraftwerk. At a knackering pace. It’s mad stuff. I put it on loud when we’re having the tea tonight, when I got home. And I love it. I got little Chili to dance with me, and Mary and Oskar joined in – he’s five foot ten, by the way. Even Sarah was smiling. There’ll be no stopping me now. Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, Red Bull. No fuckin’ stopping me. But I’ll tell you one thing – the chips and the egg put in one almighty protest when I was bopping. You’d want to be fit to be a raver. Seriously though, I’m not trying to be cool. I wanted the music to be an announcement. To the kids, and to Jackie. That I’m fine. Because they can’t have helped noticing that I have been a bit low, and restless. We never told them about the rat, by the way. None of them has a clue. But the music, especially me dancing to a thing called Afro-Left, sweating like a bastard, that was an announcement. I’m grand. And I think they got the point. It was nice.
(Contributed by Bob Murphy)
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