My lawyer sends me a fax every week saying: “Drive
slower.” He knows I’ve had quite a few car crashes in my life.
One of the worst ones was bizarre. I was doing
a concert in Norwich and I came off stage at 11pm. I had to be in Birmingham
for 7 o’clock the next morning so I set off about midnight for a four-hour
drive in my VW Golf.
I had just bought Kate Bush’s latest CD, The Red
Shoes, and I was listening to a song on it called Moments of Pleasure —
a very special song about Kate’s mother who had died before she made the
album. It’s the most beautiful song in the world.
Some of the roads I was driving while listening
to this album were really bendy, but some of them were quite straight Roman
roads. As Moments of Pleasure came on, and I was really howling at this
song with the tears streaming down my cheeks, I thought I was on a straight
road but suddenly this sharp bend came out of nowhere.
I was doing about 75mph and I missed the bend
entirely, shot over a ditch (which slowed me down a bit) and ended up in
someone’s front garden.
I must have slammed on the brakes when I realised
I was leaving the road, but I pranged a tree or two before coming to a
sudden stop. Then I just sat there for a minute listening to the song finish.
The local people got up when they heard a crash
and came to see if I was all right. The car didn’t come off too badly considering
the speed — there was just a big dent down the passenger’s side and dirty
great tyre marks in their front garden. I reversed out of the garden, somewhat
embarrassed, and was able to drive it home with my tail between my legs.
15th July 2003
Thanks to John Shepherd