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300 Words From London: Me and David Beckham

With David Beckham set to boom or bust US "soccer" Lake recalls a time when the two of them sat at the same table... Only days apart.

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by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: January, 2007
I wowed my usual double digit crowd and not the 3 hour queue that DB generated

I have just come back from Los Angeles. David Beckham is on his way to Los Angeles. David and I go back a long way.

It was in 2000. Probably in the autumn but I am not certain. I was standing outside Borders Bookshop in Oxford Street smoking a cigarette - this was before my hypnotherapy-Cd-stop-smoking-lobotomy - and I was killing time before I had to go inside to do a reading to promote another of my much ignored albums. I noticed that there was an a-Board on the street just on the other side of the door and I could see a poster with my name and face on it. I have to say it was one of the few promo photos I had ever had taken in which I didn't look like I had some kind of illness.

While I smoked, a few people walking towards the shop glanced down at the board and then a group of three middle aged women stopped and looked at it and I could hear them say "Oh he's gorgeous. Absolutely Gorgeous." Then another person stopped and looked at this board and wrote something down. And a few more people stopped to read it and then a few more. Almost all of them were female. This was extraordinary. Some interest at last. Before I went inside to shuffle my papers and soundcheck my mumbling I walked over to look at my amazing poster more closely. Then I realised that the side of the a-Board that was causing all the interest, the side furthest from me, didn't have my poster in it at all. It had a poster for a David Beckham signing that was happening the following day.

So when I finally performed at Oxford Street Borders I wowed my usual double digit crowd and not the 3 hour queue that DB generated. I was reminded of this by the photo above which I found in a box I mistakenly brought down from the attic thinking it was full of Christmas decorations. At the time there was a Borders promo poster that had me and David Beckham alongside each other and I had asked the organisers to get him to sign one for me. I like to think I signed one to leave for him too but I probably didn't. I can't find that but I still have the Polaroid. I think I sat at that same table you can see in the photo. Probably in the same chair. David and I go back a long way.

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Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

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