Following on from the previous post, let me expand a
little on the subject of 'Bob Billens' and my brief mention
of SUPERMAN IV. One evening, sometime in 1986 or early
'87, I got a 'phone call from Bob, saying that he'd snapped some
photos of CHRISTOPHER REEVE dressed as Superman on
location in MILTON KEYNES, where the 4th (and worst)
film of the series was being shot, and where Bob and his
wife were then (and may yet be) living.
the situation been reversed, I'd have had extra prints made
and sent them to him at my own expense. I hesitated while I
tried to come up with a diplomatic response. "I'd be interested
in seeing them because you took them," I said, "but they're
not really worth anything to me over and above the cost of
printing." A moment of silence followed as he pondered
this clearly unexpected development. (No photo-
graphic pun intended by the way.)
"Do you know anyone else who might buy them?
recognised as a photographer before, so I wondered why he
I said, "and get back to you." As we drew our conversation
to a close, he told me he'd get a spare set of photos made
and post them to me. "I'll reimburse all your costs,"
I said, "so that you won't be out of pocket!"
commercial value on account of there being no end of
I naturally assumed it was at the shortsighted thinking (as
with me; after all, I'd done my best. As I was saying my good-
time continuing a conversation with my mother as he passed
me. The combined volume of telly and parents made it
difficult to hear what Bob was saying, but we were
in the closing seconds of our chat anyway.
"I'll call you when the pics arrive," I said, " 'Bye."
I was in a fair bit of haste to hang up and spare us from
the cacophony of TV and parents, so didn't quite catch his
reply, but I got the distinct impression he'd raised his voice. I
assumed he'd done so only to compensate for the sudden burst
of sound emanating from his receiver, but on reflection, I now
wonder if he was being stroppy, thinking I had been bullsh*t-
ting about ringing anyone regarding the photos. You see, I'd
called him back within about 15 minutes, and perhaps he
considered that too soon to have fully investigated
all the potential possibilities.
Anyway, never heard from him again, 'though I
later learned he'd dropped into our former workplace
a couple of times while back in town to visit his inlaws. I
once considered him a top bloke, but when I became surplus
to the requirements of his everyday life, I was jettisoned like
so much 'excess baggage'. However, my philosophy is who
the hell needs 'friends' like that anyway, so no great loss. So
why bore you all with this reminiscence now, you may be
wondering. Am I acting under a bizarre compulsion to
indulge in some sort of cathartic 'exorcism' ?
The explanation is simpler than that. When one
has a blog, one often has to plumbs the depths of one's
personal experiences to provide material to write about,
otherwise you lot would have to go without - and that'd
never do. So - consider the depths plumbed.
Any of your pals ever proved to be 'fairweather'
friends? Tell your Criv-ite chums all about it in our
ever-so-interesting comments section.
Next - another rambling (but riveting) repost.