“Some are blessed with musical ability, others with good looks. Myself, I was blessed with modesty.”
Ok, so this one isn’t really about advertising. Let me explain.
I had been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. What it can do. Where it can take you. And the fact that these moments last and linger. Sometimes, for a lifetime.
So, I was all set to write about the topic when Sir Roger Moore died. This changed things for me. He had had been a big part of my childhood. My brain got a bit frazzled. I couldn’t write anything for a bit. James Bond had given me writer’s block. I was in an unending loop of Live and Let Die followed by Octopussy. And every time I began to write, boom, 007 in the house. I know it’s very weird. So, I must write this down to get Roger Moore out of my head. Also, I am not sleeping well. So, think of reading this as a favour to me or a bizarre form of online therapy.
When I was about ten I used to walk to the movies every Saturday. I can remember ambling along trying to imagine what the film was going to be like. We lived in a small suburb in Cape Town called Kenilworth. It was about as far from the magic of Hollywood or Pinewood Studios as you could get. And that, was what made those films so magical every Saturday. Westerns, comedies and action movies all blurred into the perfect Saturday. However, there was one film that always stood out. A James Bond film. We waited for those and acted them out for weeks afterwards. I can vividly remember seeing Moonraker for the first time. I remember thinking I want more of those stories. It made me think of doing impossible things.
A couple of decades later, I had the amazingly surreal opportunity to shake Sir Roger Moore’s hand at the annual La Colombe d’Or lunch in Cannes. I had seen him there a year or so before but was too shy to walk up to him. When I did, I instantly turned into my 10-year-old self. All I could muster was the word, thanks. I was trying to say thanks for the movies but all that came out was, thanks. Fuck. He looked up at me through his massive yellow tinted glasses and simply said with a half smile and in that unmistakable voice, you are welcome. I went to the bathroom mortified and stared with a self-loathing intensity at a real Picasso while feeling like a real, bloody idiot. I still cringe writing this.
What I had wanted to say was thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for showing a kid that dreams can be made. Thanks for making me think stuff was possible. Thanks, for making me imagine.
Oh well, at least I got to say thanks.
Thanks for giving me that I can do anything feeling Sir Roger.
Goodbye Mr Bond.