As part of my new year work ethic, I'm getting stuck into my transcription backlog for the Dawson book. During my chat with Con and Dec Cluskey of the Bachelors, Con remembered the medical advice given to Tony Mercer of Black and White Minstrel Show fame:
'He was told not to drink. He said “I do like a drink” and the doctor said “Well just have a glass of wine”. So, he started drinking pints of wine.'
Which is a funny story until you remember that Mercer died in 1973 at the age of just 51. Heavy drinking was the norm at one time, and it continues to astonish me how much actually got done considering how pissed everybody must have been. One comedy writer told me that seven rounds of drinks in a standard lunch hour was nothing unusual, and that they went back to work afterwards, and produced good stuff. Now he says he can't concentrate in the afternoon if he has a glass of wine at lunch time. I know what he means. I once drank a lot more than I do now (well, I suspect that I spent 1998 to 2002 at least slightly drunk, with all the book launches I felt compelled to attend), and I enjoy what I do drink far more.