Mick Phillips is stuck out on our Italian wing, but he's not even a runner he's a flanker. He's Sideburn's literary fixer and ensures all our 'i's are dotted, 't's crossed, and that we don't make too many grammatical boo-boos. He's written for the motorcycling press, with a certain twisted wit for many many many years; including Motorcycle News, Classic Bike, Road Rocket, Bike, Performance Bikes and now for Sideburn too. We Love him. This is his workstation in Rome.
You've caught this looking especially tidy, though it's never all that messy.
1: Barry Sheene, Cadwell Park, 1978. I was working on Bike magazine when Barry died in 2003 and we sold a load of these, the money going to his favourite charity.
2: Another dead great. When Joey Dunlop died in 2001 Bike's then art editor, Richard Brown, tidied up a shot dug out from the archives and highlighted Joey's name on his leathers in yellow. I think this was from Joey's second year at the TT, which would have been 1977. This tweaked shot now pops up all over the place.
3: I love the old London American Recordings label. In a past life I was a Ted, and one of my mates, who was also a Ted back when we were in our teens, recently got married, so I did him a compilation CD of rock 'n' roll stuff with a love theme and mocked up a London label for the CD. This was a spare.
4: A signed photo from MZ works rider Alan Shepherd. He told me the best Boy's Own story ever, involving the Iron Curtain, a former Nazi rocket scientist, Daytona, impossible odds and improbably victory – all involving him, an unassuming carper fitter from Northumbria. He's dead now. There's a theme going on here...
5: Mike Hailwood on a 500 MV in the 1963 Senior TT. He won. He's dead. Blimey...
6: Me and my 1973 Guzzi V7 Sport in the south of France. Don't ask about that bike, it's all too pathetic...
7: Numberplate for my entry on the Guz in the Coupes Moto Legende at Montlhery, France, in 2002.
8: This indispensable bit of kit turns any sound coming out of my computer into an FM signal and throws it 150ft or so. Forget your tiny iPod gizmos, this means I can listen to the same stuff all over the flat.
9: Ben Miller, former Bike magazine staffer, went to Poland on a job and came back with a load of these hand-painted plastic speedway figures. In the lucky dip I got Ryan Sullivan, the Aussie who happened to be one of the top riders for Elite League Peterborough Panthers, the team we used to go and watch after work. Their stadium is half a mile from the Bike offices.
10: Proof reading a layout of Ben's for SB#4
11: SB#3. It's always handy to have a back-issue as a benchmark reference when making a new issue.
12: Amstrad keyboard from 1872. The keys and case are made of of special kiln fired pastry.