Arthur Promotion

By early summer of 75, it became clear that the Arthur album was not doing as much business as Journey had done. In an attempt to boost the sales, Brian Laine, Ricks manager, agreed to a BBC 2 proposal to make a documentary film loosely based on the Arthurian period, but more broadly aimed at promoting the album. So off we went to Tintagel in the west country. It was an appallingly embarrassing experience, with Rick, at six feet five dressed up in Merlin guise complete with wizards hat and cape, the rest of the band dressed as associated knights.

In one, thankfully edited scene, I’m filmed falling from my horse into a lake. Not until I hit the water did I realize I was lying in the stable drain off area, I was up to my arse in horse piss, but hey! I was in the movies. Needless to say, further filming that day had to be abandoned due to hysterics.

Later back at the hotel, I was talking to the film crew’s director, Peter Middleton, the conversation led to what was to be their next project, an “Arty farty film” to be shot in Sardinia. Some weeks later, my agent rang to say I’d been offered a film part, it seems that the “Arty farty” movie in Sardinia had run into trouble, two weeks into shooting, one of the principal actors had walked off and Peter Middleton had shown footage of me, arse deep in horse piss to the director Derek Jarman. Hey! I’m in the movies…again.

I first met Derek at his Sloane Square apartment, it was a bewildering experience, full of beautiful men, some lispers, some hunks and some just plain chunks. I remember I just wanted to bellow, I’m not gay! Derek handed me the script and a black marker, I was to play Severus, a centurion obsessed with the films central character “Sebastiane”. The script had many scenes of explicit gay sex, Derek must have seen my expression, and said “Don’t worry darling, just black out the scenes you feel you can’t do”. Handing back the almost totally redacted script, I feared that he would reject me for the part. But he was fine and said I looked great in horse piss, but was concerned about my long blonde hair, not a good look for a centurion. I got the part and kept my hair.

3 Responses to “Arthur Promotion”

  1. would have loved to seen you dressed up as a knight….with the shinning armour of course !

  2. Graham Smith Says:

    Hi Barney, this is Graham’s daughter, Nicola. Graham is your cousin – Bill and Lillian’s lad. He left you a message earlier – he is trying to get in touch. I think he must have left you the wrong e-mail address, it is psmith2010@sky.com. It would be lovely to hear from you.

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