Readers' Mailbag: Madonna and Scatman John

Anybody who’s ever written an unofficial biography about you has died in mysterious circumstances. Why is that?


I don’t like what you’re implying Fred. Sally Wheeton (author of ‘Portrait of a Monster’) was adjudged to have died in a freak Spaghetti Bolognese accident; Mike Snowden (author of ‘Deconstructing a Maniac’) is technically missing, not dead; and Terry Wise (author of ‘Flann: 100% Psycho’) drowned in his own sink, which could happen to anybody who accidentally stabs themselves twice in the back of the neck.

You also ignore the fact that Bill James (author of ‘Celtic Genius’) is alive and well.

You were stripped of your World’s Strongest Man crown in 1979, though you always vehemently denied taking steroids. That famous interview on CBS when you broke down, and swore your innocence on the graves of your late parents, still reduces me to tears. I never doubted you for a second. Are you still bitter about the injustice?



Actually Collin, I stopped denying that late last year. Truth is, I couldn’t have taken any more steroids if I tried. Sorry for the confusion.

Why did Madonna take out a restraining order against you in the 80s?


Pure misunderstanding Joanne. I thought we were in love, whereas she held the opinion that we’d never actually met. I learned a valuable lesson that summer: when a woman finds a deluded stranger lying on the back-seat of her car holding a cloth and a bottle of chloroform, flattery simply does not come into it.

For the last time, stay off the west side. Next time we take your thumbs.


That coin has two sides Vinny. I catch your goons on the east side again, they’re coming home without pinkies.

You duetted with the legendary Scatman John in the 70s. That must have been a terrific time for scat. What was he like to work with?


Actually, we worked together more than once Justine. We scatted together on Sci-ba-di-ba-di-ba-bo, the second single off his first album, and again on Scu-bi-da-bi-da-bo-bo, which was the third single from my second album.

Frankly though, I couldn’t stand the prick. Overrated as a man and a scatter. Sure, he was a media darling, but his scatting was not well regarded among the scat community. It was sloppy, and he often forgot his lyrics live, like when he infamously scatted sci-ba-di-ba-di-bob-boo instead of sci-ba-di-ba-di-bob-doo at the Royal Albert Hall in 1974. The place nearly erupted in a riot, and he didn’t scat live again for over a decade.

You’ve always been a keen advocate of whaling, and Youtube footage has recently emerged of you clubbing a family of seals. Aren’t these outmoded practices to endorse in this day and age?


Not at all Jake. Whales, or ‘sea rats’ as I call them, are a filthy scourge upon our majestic oceans. And what do they even look like? Ignoring the general shape of their body, I defy anybody to take a pen and draw a whale’s face. Why is that? What are they trying to hide? I suggest we whale them to extinction and ask questions later.

As for seals, or ‘ice rats’ as I call them, have you never tasted Seal Stew Jake? It is a delicacy, and I contest that stew made from clubbed seals is clearly tastier than seals euthanised by lethal injection. I proved this conclusively in a Pepsi-style challenge a few years back, when I successfully picked clubbed stew in 51% of cases.

Jaysus, I’m bollixed,


Sure what can you do Phil, hah?

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