Inspired by Gary's Notebooks and Tickets posts, I dug under the bed for these microcassettes (remember them?) from the three and a bit years I spent editing Barry Sheene's monthly column for Bike magazine between 2000 and 2003. I'd call him up at his house on the Gold Coast in Australia a couple of times a month and we'd have a chat, which would end up as the 1000-word column. I'd sometimes fax him possible ideas ahead of time and, quite rightly, he'd studiously ignore them. Much of it is fairly straightforward stuff, but there were certain outbursts that were never fit for publication and some funny moments. One went something like this:
Sheene: ... yeah, and so... er...
MP: Barry? Are you still there?
MP: You were saying...
Sheene: Oh, yeah, sorry Mick, there was this gorgeous couple of birds on the telly. Right, where were we?
I keep meaning to transfer the tapes to digital, so I at least have a back-up, but seven and a half years after Barry died of cancer, I've still not got round to it. Mr 'Get On With It' himself would be appalled. MP