What about books? Do you read much?
“More than you would ever know.”
Are we talking fact, fiction…
“How about this one? Do you know what Ismailism is?”
I don’t, no.
“Well, you should learn about the [indecipherable] ’cause you’ll never understand what they’re trying to sell you about Al’Qaeda that doesn’t exist unless you know about Ismailism and something that will never give up and the death [sic] it will be amazing cause Rome marched through Damascus and built the Roman baths and aqueducts there and they’re gone. They’re here. Londinium. That’s what Albert Shrine is right across this park. You should walk across this park and take a look at it, read about this. I mean you should, it’s a beautiful day, it’s straight across, it’s right there, Albert Hall, they completely reguilded it…but these books are thicker than your head and surely contain more knowledge. I’m talking 1500 Cambridge Press, these are books to educate professors, these are not public books, it’s not Barnes and Nobles or get them on sale at Boots or what have you. These are the real deal, crazy books.”
Do you think they should be made available to the public?
“Well, they obviously are, there’s a whole world out there, but here’s the thing…”
No-one wants to learn?
“I don’t watch pornos. Or play video games…”
[Out of the window, Anton sees some pigeons flying around and talks at length about them, before a brief discussion about the open space in New York and the size of Central Park]
How do you find New York? Are you enjoying it or not?
“It’s just a sh*t hole I mean London’s a messy sh*t hole too, but it’s got a thousand years of sh*t hole history and New York’s just got a couple hundred years. The Indians didn’t even hang out there because nothing would grow cause the climate changes. They didn’t [indecipherable] fish there and banked there and camped there, but there was no permanent settlements when they made New Amsterdam, the Dutch.”
Do you miss the West Coast?
“Elements of it. I figure I’ll take my wife out to meet my nana and all my family and my roots and all that stuff and show here from BC down, even into Mexico. I just think it’d be educational for her. She’s never traveled that way.”
Would you go by coach, by Greyhound?
“I’ll drive my Mercedes, man. I don’t care, I’ll just roll right down.”
I’d love to drive across the States actually.
“I’ve done it a million times.”
Yeah. I feel very unfortunate I was born in England rather than America. I suppose it’s the allure of the unknown.
[Here he lets out a heavy, disapproving sigh] “You weren’t born in the lowlands of Bangladesh…”
Well, yes, it’s all relative.
“…like having a monsoon flood every day carrying your holy cow or whatever over your head as you’re running for these highground piles that they built, that aren’t even dykes, that are just standing points to run if you grab your people in the middle of a monsoon with trees flying around so you can’t hang on to them. I mean think about it.”
Do you always think on such epic terms? It seems everything translates to a bigger aspect, a bigger part of the world.
“Perspective. No, the bigger part of the universe. How’s that. Perspectives.”
But you always think grandly?
“No, I don’t have a myopic vision. I’m not focused and self-centred, I’m just thinking about perspective to me. When you said you thought you were unfortunate for being born in the UK, I mean, I can just think of a million different situations. Try Guatemala, Honduras…”
Of course. At some point, though, you have to reign it in surely?
“You have to. At some point you need to actually concentrate on yourself because you were the one who was expressing some false sense of pity you were born in a different place. I don’t have to do a f*cking thing. I’m your elder. You have to go f*ck yourself, basically. This is over, this interview. Because this is a ridiculous assumption. You really don’t know how to speak English and I can’t believe you passed your A-levels.”
Well thank you very much…
“No, it isn’t a thank you situation. You don’t have to be smug.”
I wasn’t being smug.
“Well you are, actually, because this is not a thank you situation. I would say ‘Good day’. That’s polite. That’s civic. And civil. I’m just saying good day because it’s insulting to me that you would say that.”
I was going to say thank you for your time.
“Well, you didn’t. So you…a minimum of decorum is required. And at least a minimum of professionalism. And I can say to you in three languages this is unacceptable. This is my time. This is my beautiful wife. I’d rather be f*cking her than talking to you. I mean, you can barely speak English, because if you rewind your tape, I got a witness right here, he’ll just review it for you and you can find just find numerous, not grammarical [sic] errors, but errors of syntax that are really insulting to somebody who has any sort of intelligence. I don’t know if you need to up or down your Prozac level, but really, man, this is over. And you can talk as much shit about me as you want…”
I have no intention to…
“Well, then, go quietly. Please. I mean, I’ll pay you for your time.”
And those were undoubtedly the last words Anton Newcombe will ever speak to yours truly. It was, to say the least, quite an experience. For the record, I've never taken Prozac...
[Disclaimer: The above dialogue is a word for word transcript of the interview with Anton Newcombe and has been transcribed exactly as the interview occurred. Nothing has been added or changed to the dialogue. Where noted, certain small sections - where he was addressing his wife, or other people, or talking about pigeons - have been removed for the sake of brevity. Everything else has been left untouched. Any comments below are not necessarily the view of Aloud. We're working on the technicalities and legalities of the soundclip. Bear with us!]