Diamond Jack : Diamond Jack & the Remittance Men
Diamond Jack And The Remittance Men Diamond Jack is the fourth son of Lord Gleet, the 18th Earl Gleet, of Middle Bollock in the County of Wiltshire, England. After an expensive and totally unproductive education at Eton and The Balls Pond Road Bible College in north London young Jack was drafted to do his National Service in the British Army as a trainee cook. He distinguished himself there by never having one of his soufflés rise and accidentally shooting his weapon through a fridge, ruining 300 new-laid eggs and narrowly missing killing the cook sergeant. After National Service, and proving to be totally inept at anything he tried, he was eventually persuaded by his family towards the Colonies and sent regular remittances of money with the condition that he should remain indefinitely far removed from England. He became, indeed, a Remittance Man. His family breathed a sigh of relief. After stints in Argentina, as a chronically lip-burned circus fire-eater and rapidly unemployed gaucho, he became a notoriously unsuccessful trouser-snake trainer in the outback of Australia. He next tried an ice-cream franchise in Greenland, which never prospered, and opened an Irish Pub in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was shut down as soon as it was spotted by the mullahs. He was given a month to leave town, during which time he, and a devoted drinking friend, drank 759 pints of Guinness and 85 bottles of Jamieson's Irish Whisky. Finally, he made his way to Canada. At last he had found a country where his talents were recognized for what they were, i.e. limited. He got the soubriquet "Diamond Jack" when, as a social scrounger at a Polo tournament in Grande Prairie, Alberta, he was mistaken for a famous and successful gambler of that name. This was, perhaps, the reason he had been allowed into a posh event like a Polo tournament in the first place. Diamond Jack's career path has finally in Canada led to where, perhaps, it should have been all along-----in the robust, energetic, lunatic entertainment industry. He is hoping that, after all these years, his family will be proud of it's long-exiled kinsman. The present, 19th Earl Gleet, Diamond Jack's oldest brother, at his stately home, Castle Nuffin, in Middle Bollock, Wiltshire, was said to be speechless when he heard this CD. Flush from the critical success of this first CD, Diamond Jack's boat came home, literally. Shortly after the Studio Sessions were finished he sailed off into the sunset, with Lady Linda, in their ocean-going sailing yacht, Wyntersea. Not, however, before learning the rudiments of sailing. They learned the difference between Port and Starboard, how to raise and lower the sails and to be able to say "Avast me hearties" all the time without embarrassment. They also became aware that North was up and South was down on what were, curiously, called charts and not maps. The yacht was stacked to the gunwales (whatever they are) with many cans of baked beans, spam, licorice-allsorts and enough Chinese milk-powder to last forever. They knew that a balanced diet is very important at sea. At last they were ready to leave, but the yacht would not move away from the dock. A knowledgeable onlooker pointed out that it would probably help if they untied the dock lines. And so it proved to be as they now effortlessly sailed away from the west coast of Canada. Their first voyage was North to Alaska, redolent with the adventures of legendary Jack London. Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway were just as rough and ready as their names suggest and the weather was bracing. In other words, it was bloody cold and miserable and wet. There were icebergs everywhere and Alaskan crackpots sunbathing on a little silt beach beside the Mendenhall Glacier. Sarah Palin had not yet been invented. The yacht was continually having to dodge the dozens of cruise ships bobbing about in those waters. Lady Linda was permanently frozen and fell in love with the Hot Springs at Baranoff Island, with it's wonderful bath-house. It was difficult to get her out of there. Alaska was a great thrill, but Lady Linda and Diamond Jack resolved that future voyages would only take place in The Tropics. The long voyage to the South Seas began by sailing down the west coasts of Canada, the US and Mexico. They had Christmas in La Paz, Mexico, all in Spanish. They then took the great plunge-----the 3000 mile open-ocean passage from Central America to French Polynesia. It took 25 days and they saw nothing; no ships, no planes, nothing but a few pelagic birds, some fishes that they caught and miles and miles of bloody Pacific Ocean. They had quickly discovered that the water was too deep to anchor at night (they were later told that the ocean was in fact about 12000 feet deep most of the way) so they just had to keep on going. French Polynesia, including Tahiti and Bora Bora, was fun, although the people there did insist on speaking French. Diamond Jack simply used the Englishman's method of international communication, namely to shout louder and louder in English until the poor, benighted foreigner understood, or gave up and slunk away. It was easier in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and Fiji, which were very beautiful too and where the people had, sensibly, learned a kind of English patois. This made the purchase of alcohol, more licorice-allsorts and Chinese milk-powder a great deal easier. All these islands were exquisite, if rather far apart, and the people were a joy. They had never heard of Diamond Jack, or his CD, but they were funny and laughed at his jokes a lot. After a lovely month in Fiji, DJs remittance money caught up, thus allowing an expanded diet to include Cheeze Whiz and crackers. They then set sail on their second longest voyage, from Fiji to New Zealand. The 1200 miles of open ocean, one of the roughest bodies of water in the world, took 12 long miserable days. The high winds were "on the nose" all the way, the seas were huge and it was like traveling in a submarine. Both Linda and Diamond Jack were quite vexed and it was with great relief that the mist-shrouded mountains of New Zealand appeared in the dawn, just where the chart said it would be. But they had made it! They had crossed the greatest ocean in the world and had lived to tell the tale. They discovered that New Zealand was full of white people called Kiwis and brown people called Maoris. They spoke a kind of strangled English-like language and were kind and friendly and said "No worries" a lot for no apparent reason. They seemed to be a bit like Australians, but with good manners. Diamond Jack and Lady Linda are still in New Zealand. With accumulated remittance money they bought an old banger, an ancient and challenged motor-car in which they exlored all of the North and South Islands of New Zealand. They received visitors from Europe and Canada and had a great time. The hot spot for them was an Irish Pub in Auckland called The Dog's Bollocks, where a great deal of abandoned singing, harp playing and heavy drinking took place. It occurred to Diamond Jack that, if he had called his Irish Pub in Saudi Arabia by this name, it would not have been shut down so quickly. Alas, all good things come to an end and the beloved yacht, Wyntersea, is for sail (sale?) So far the buyers clutching cheque books are not lined up around the block for the privilege of lurching around on deck to change sails in a storm or of fixing engine problems at sea with a piece of string and a bit of chewing gum. All in good time. Meanwhile, Diamond Jack and Lady Linda await the fame and fortune to come from the sale of 'The Remittance Man' CDs and other merchandise like Diamond Jack Tee -Shirts and life-size blow-up Diamond Jack dolls. Diamond Jack is currently dreaming up future recording projects and practising on his newly acquired Concertina. He is preparing for his rumoured debut at Carnegie Hall, New York, playing the solo Concertina in Barack Obama's First Concertina Concerto for Baritone Concertina and String Orchestra. That man can do everything. More news of this in the future. IN HIS OWN WRITE ------------------------------ Diamond Jack writes: I have read all this stuff that people have written about me and I must say that it all gives the impression that I am some kind of well-meaning, bumbling idiot. The fact that I AM a well-meaning, bumbling idiot is probably where they got that impression. However, if a colossally inept figure like Sarah Palin of Alaska can make millions with a book deal, then I can certainly do the same with this epic recording, DIAMOND JACK AND THE REMITTANCE MEN. So, if you are planning on buying the Palin book, make sure you also pick up a copy of my CD, or down-load some, or all, of the tracks. You are bound to get a good laugh out of both my CD and Palin's book. In spite of all the ups and downs of my life, it has all been a great adventure and continues to be so. And I am unanimous in that. L.