- 13 Oct 16
The World’s Greatest Rock Journalist has broken a decade-long silence to discuss his potential role in the Presidential stakes…
I got a call from the Great Samuel J. Snort the other day. Given that, to all appearances, he disappeared off the face of the earth just over a decade ago, newer readers of Hot Press may not even recognise the name of the iconic and greatly revered World’s Greatest Rock Journalist. But his legend still looms large around Hot Press Towers – and for good reason.
Mr. Snort was what is sometimes described as a larger-than-life figure. He wrote with what even his most ardent fans recognised as a loose-limbed, freewheeling, occasionally free-basing absence of self awareness of even the remotest variety about his fantastical exploits in the crazy and unspeakably, not to say irredeemably, hedonistic world of sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll and all-out, gung-ho, loony-tune and all-too frequently entirely comatose partying. Indeed this lack of self awareness was probably The World’s Greatest Rock Journalist Sam J. Snort III Esq’s most important asset as a so-called Rock Scribe. Like a kango hammer on a Saturday morning, when you have been up all night drinking and fornicating, he never knew when to stop.
His congenital inability to get out of bed before 4pm in the afternoon (and only then if he was pushed) notwithstanding, Mr. Snort was known to every sub-editor who ever worked with him as a stickler for detail, except of course where anything to do with his own responsibilities was concerned. Indeed, one good example of the extraordinary precision of his pernicketiness is that he insisted from the get-go that we should always refer to him as Mr. Snort. Either that or The Great Samuel J. Snort. Or The World’s Greatest Rock Journalist, Sam J. Snort III Esq. He was smart too: his contract – a 184 page document if memory serves me, that would have put the legendary Led Zeppelin riders to shame in the scope of the obligations it imposed on his employers – included an abstrusely worded clause which upon a twentieth re-reading crystallised to mean that, if we ever deviated from these three carefully thought-out and precisely sculpted denominations, the stipend to be paid for the column written in the fortnight of the sub-editorial transgression would automatically be quadrupled. Faced with such a penal sanction, we never made a mistake and Sam was happy. But not as happy as he’d have been if he got his hands on the extra loot.
He also had it written into his contract that we could not dispense with his services, no matter how outrageous what he wrote was; nor how far beyond the pale he went at any time in terms of what he said or did; or indeed what he pretended that he had said or done. (There were other variations in the contract to do with what any future or alternative version of himself might do on any platform yet to be invented in this solar system or any other, or this universe or any other for that matter, whether real, imagined or co-existent with this particular scrawny little mini-universe we currently live in, but that need not detain us for now).
We may also return, another time, to the strange circumstances in which this contract was signed and sealed. It was never, in fact delivered, which might have been a telling factor except that it didn’t need to be, having been signed in either my office or Sam’s – frankly I have no idea which.
Over the years, rumours abounded that I personally had been taken advantage of by being given a suspect beverage, which allegedly contained a mixture of absinthe, poitin and something called Spirytus Polish vodka, as well as a variety of unnamed narcotics, including a substance that had purportedly been scraped from the nether regions of a particular genus of toad, but this has always been strenuously denied by Mr. Snort. Either way, the end result was that if we sacked the great Samuel J. Snort, then we had to go out of business.
Now, I have, all of the foregoing notwithstanding, something sensitive to confess and I will do it here for the very first time. It might be acknowledged, quietly among friends at least, that we did, on occasion, perhaps, indulge Sam somewhat. He could – at times it must be stressed – be slightly over-enthusiastic in his always unnervingly accurate descriptions of threesomes, cocaine binges and orgies of various types, shapes and stripes. But we decided not to shut down the magazine by firing him, because we always retained a sense that somewhere inside the Great Samuel J. Snort, there was a human being. And it was breathing.
We also believed, in our Tantric spirit-wisdom, as it were, that allowing Sam to regale us, and what is more important to regale you, my dear reader, on an ongoing basis with the sordid details of his various indiscretions could only be good, not just for us but for all of what we fondly thought of as humankind, bless all creatures great and small and even those in between. Oh, I know, I know: he could be lewd and over-bearing and as plain, downright silly as a schoolboy after consuming his first flagon of vodka on occasion. But this, my friends, was the point. Secretly, we thought of Sam as a caricature of a caricature: a beast in beast’s clothing, the telling of whose life story in pithy instalments would not only provide a moment of absurdist humour for our readers every fortnight (or at least when he deigned to get his copy in on time), but which would, willy nilly, also throw a whole way of looking at the world into a certain kind of skewed light. Sam, after all, just like the dodo before him, was an endangered species.
On a point of detail, since we are still going, and Sam is (or at least has for some time been) nowhere to be seen, what – you might well ask – happened to the legendary, unshakable Snortian contract?
All we can say for sure in this regard is that The World’s Greatest Rock Journalist literally disappeared on a fateful day sometime in the dim, though probably not very distant past. The first reports were that he had defected, as a representative of the State’s securocrats put it to me during a late-night clandestine phone call, ending up behind what remained of the Iron Curtain, convinced apparently that this would be the last redoubt of the gloriously hedonistic lifestyle to which he had long been accustomed, as what he saw as the poisoned chalice of political correctness began to dominate our modes of communication to the detriment of the kind of, let us not hesitate to call a spade a silver spoon, uncompromising honesty and frankness with which The World’s Greatest Rock Journalist had always laced his unashamedly idiosyncratic, formidably psychedelic prose style.
Suggestions that, like Edward Snowden, he was divulging all manner of State secrets to the Russian KGB have since surfaced on some of the more paranoid websites on the darknet, but nothing has ever been either confirmed or denied by the Great Samuel J. Snort himself, by his infamous house-boy and bag man Raoul or, for that matter, by the ever-elegant Mr. Putin and his illustrious comrades.
Which is why the phone call, referred to in the first paragraph in case you have fallen asleep or lost your way entirely in the meantime, came as something of a bolt from the blue. As a side-note to potential screen-writers, the classic old-fashioned black rotary dial retro telephone which is cunningly deployed as my direct, private line – the number of which is known only to a small handful of intimate friends, I might add – rang insistently and with a threateningly loud and aggressive tone. In the context, that it was an individual that I did indeed know on the other end of the cable, came as something of a relief – even if the first thought that crossed my mind was that it might in fact be the Ghost of the World’s Greatest Rock Journalist who drawled a greeting down a line which sounded like someone had turned the reverb up to at least 11. That was when I knew that it really was the great man himself...
Pausing on the other end of the phone, all the better to make his point clear, Mr. Snort sounded as stoned as always. Plus ça change, I ruminated idly, lighting up a cheroot that Fidel himself had sent as a present just before he took alarmingly ill. Perhaps Sam was just a little bit drunk too. But he was categorical in his insistence that he is still, as he put it, both sound of mind and in personal charge of enough testosterone to sire an entirely new battalion of the much-feared red army. In that there was perhaps a hint of his current whereabouts. Then again perhaps not. What he could tell me about his personal predicament was clearly limited by circumstances that he could not describe to me. The thought flashed through my mind, as thoughts tend to do, that perhaps he was in a penitentiary somewhere – that his devotion to psychedelic substances might have finally caught up with him and landed him in a rat-infested hell hole of a prison, in some tyrannical, right-wing fascist State in a necessarily obscure part of either Central America, the old Soviet Union, Turkey, Hungary or indeed Indonesia.
But the point of the call was simple. The great Samuel J. Snort wanted to share his thoughts on the man they call Donald ’the idiot’ Trump.
He had read, God knows how, since the internet is almost certainly banned wherever he is, the news that has emerged about what the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has said in the past about women, the insufferable, arrogant moron.
Now the Great Samuel J. Snort would be the first man to say: “Let he who is without sin cast the first rock.” That indeed has always been the corner stone of his personal credo. But he wanted to share with the world the fact that he would make an exception in the case of Donald Trump. There was something touching in the tone of what Samuel J. Snort III Esq. had to say and so I will relay it to you entirely uninterrupted, except where I feel like it.
“You know, I would be the first to acknowledge that I said some things in the past that might with the benefit of hindsight seem just a tad more explicit than is advisable for a man who ultimately does not really want to spend his time either behind bars or being nailed to a stake by the more high-minded among the politically correct classes,” Mr. Snort ad-libbed impressively and with just the tiniest hint of contrition. “But I want to say that even by my standards, Donald Trump is a pathetic, disgusting, low-rent, two-bit, one-track, hologram of a piece of vermin of the sort that most people would not even scrape off their shoe if they were unlucky enough to stand on it, but would instead throw the shoe away or more likely burn it.”
Sam was on a roll now.
“You know, I never had any cause,” he added, “to criticise any man who likes women and who is therefore committed to the task of getting as many of them into the sack as possible, at the same time if necessary, in the shortest number of minutes available...”
Here, as Sam paused amid the torrent of words that clearly had been building up over the past few months as he searched in vain for my phone number, which he had stored in his rolodex but couldn’t find, for reasons that remain occluded, I heard the distinctive sound of a hammer being cocked on a gun which was clearly being pointed at his temple. Or maybe it was just the sound of him removing something from between his teeth with a particularly noisy tooth-pick. But I digress…
“What I just wanted to ask was this,” he said, and I could hear the tremulous emotion in his voice, as he formulated the question, in that familiar, ultra-sensitive Sam-like way. “How the fuck did we let my destiny as the potential future President of the goddam United States of America slip away like that? How. The. Fuck.”
There was another pause, when I feared that even a practiced stoic of the first water like the Great Samuel J. Snort III Esq. might just be about to break down and cry and moan and weep uncontrollably, and be lost forever in a miasma of what might have been.
At the same time, I had to admit that he had a point. Mr.Snort never hid his desire to make sweet leurve to as many representatives of the female of the species as he could accommodate in his luxuriously shag-pile carpeted pad. But Sam was all about persuasion. He knew that groping a woman was the mark of a reptile; it was something that Sam, who believed passionately in free love, but not in any form of harassment, stood absolutely firm on.
And what was equally important was this: there was not a single race against whom the self-same Samuel J. Snort harboured even the slightest grain of prejudice. “As you know,” Sam whispered, “I would fuck anyone – black, white, yellow, brown, green, purple or even any crazed amalgamation of the lot.”
It seemed to me, in that inexplicably tender and deeply emotional moment, the perfect statement of just how vital the Presidency of Mr. Snort might have been, if only he had decided to enter the race early enough – all the better to trounce the grotesque parody of a sentient mammal, if that is not too great an insult against all other mammals, that Donald Trump embodies.
At that moment, there was a click and a loud bang and a muffled grunt of sorts at the other end of the line. It was only then that I realised that this was almost certainly a glorious prank, perpetrated by the World’s Greatest Rock Journalist, on his oldest buddy and brother in arms, me. It didn’t surprise me one iota that Twitter was rife with rumours the following morning that the man they call the Great Samuel J. Snort III Esq. had been assassinated in a place as yet unknown the previous evening, even though the only person I had spoken to in the meantime was the head of the counter-espionage unit at the HQ of the British Secret Intelligence Service, whose assistance I was seeking, in my efforts to trace the true origin of Sam’s desperate call.
But I do not believe even for a second that the World’s Greatest Rock Journalist has departed the land of the living. On the contrary, I have a funny feeling that he may yet play a part in the US Presidential election – that is, after Donal Trump has been finally roasted over a blazing fire in the Chihuahuan desert.