One man, 5,000 parties
PLEASE NOTE: Clubs, Drugs & Canapés is in production so your name can not be listed in the back of the book. However, you can pre-order a copy of the special Unbound Limited edition that will not be available in the shops.
Armed with a bottle of Milk Thistle and unshakeable optimism, Nick Valentine has spent most of his adult life in fifth gear, betting on a Royal flush while covertly holding a pair of deuces.
Clubs, Drugs and Canapés traces Nick’s story; just a suburban bloke who has blagged, lucked and laughed his way into just about every party, club, stage and hot-tub imaginable.
Introduced to the world of celebrity at a young and impressionable age when Steve Currie, bass player with the legendary T. Rex, moved into Nick’s family home, Nick was star-struck and knew he, too, belonged on stage. No matter he couldn’t see (glasses not being very punk) and made Sid Vicious sound like a virtuoso: he made his musical debut two weeks later, one day after leaving school.
Following a gap weekend, Nick then sailed through his teenage years and twenties as a film technician, trainee surveyor, paste-up artist, journalist, publicist, club promoter, musician and DJ until he eventually banked in the shallows of party central.
The following 15 years spent as a social editor on London’s over-heated celebrity/canapé circuit (while co-founding the Entertainment News press agency), saw him play social hopscotch with liggers, lords and luvvies and single-handedly keep the Royal Mail in business, all the while viewing every invite as a temporary visa into impolite society.
An enterprising period acting as a social PR for the super-rich facilitated another career change for Nick and resulted in this self confessed dilettante co-founding three London nightclubs in quick succession, including the much lauded celebrity home from home, The Cuckoo Club. With the West End as his nocturnal playground, he then bid sleep a final fond farewell.
Nick professes to have attended well over 5,000 parties in his time, drunk enough champagne to test the Thames barrier and occasionally made it home in time for Countdown. 'I’m a night person,' he says. 'The trouble is I’m a morning and afternoon person as well.'
This account is a surprisingly touching, light-hearted look at the daily mechanics of enjoying life to the max and then some. If Adrian Mole and Janis Joplin had a bastard lovechild, his name might very well be Nick Valentine.
My granddad once had a nervous breakdown and ended up in Shenley Psychiatric Hospital which was once discourteously known as a ‘colony for mental defectives.’ On my first trip to see him he kept telling me to ‘hang in there.’ The doctor told me later that my grandfather thinks I’m the patient and he’s the visitor.
Not a minute’s sleep last night, so I’m in Bar Italia in Soho sipping my third double espresso, desperately trying to survive the day. I’m taking a slash every two minutes and my internal organs won’t stop arguing. It’s called ‘a gram of regret’ for good reason. Unfortunately, I cannot really see myself having an early night tonight as I can’t bear to miss out on anything. London’s the most amazing city on planet earth and I’m smack bang in the heart of it, though this morning I think I exited through its arse.
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