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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming:
"WOW, what a ride !!!"

Nigel Hollingsworth #356

I’m Pissed and I Can’t Read Anymore

*The following is a reply to the letter from P.J. Read in our previous issue-

Preterite: “McCook you pissed wanker you! After all we’ve been through, you post a letter from a bygone Mate that I would just as soon forget….and without telling me first! What did I do to deserve the bushwhack? We got on so well this past spring holiday with the birds in Quebec City and on our successful ISDT run together in Labrador. I thought we could tell each other…well, anything. My response to P.J. Read for publication follows” –

So my old scrambles cohort Read finally raises his head on your humble little website.

I have been wondering what happened to him since the unpleasantness in Thailand.

Nigel at the 2005 Labrador ISDT. The
Pigs Ear is in respect for Sir Jack
Brabham and Nigel's membership in the 'Royal Pigs Ear Club'. Joel Robert is also
an active member

I see that he is ensconced in luxurious Floreat Park in Western Australia with former pop queen, Olivia Newton-John. He can’t have been handling her affairs too closely considering the current situation with her American lovers disappearance. As usual with his affairs, trouble usually follows with none of it sticking to Read, of course.

These situations go back to our time in London when we were a part of the Chelsea crowd. You may recall the famous Rolling Stones drug bust where Marianne Faithful was caught naked and high on “substances”? Read was in the middle of that groggy little affair and managed to escape through the servants quarters with that gorgeous Dan Gurney and little Petula Clark, avoiding scandal once again by the hair on his arse. I was lucky that day as I was supposed to be there but got caught up with Pippi Ponche-Crema and the Argentinian crew in a right little piss up at the Drooping Melon pub in Fulham. If Pippi and I would have been there when expected, our names would have been tabloid fodder that evening as well.

Another time Read was the middle of trouble was at Watkins Glen, NY in ‘66, when we were attending the Formula 1 GP . We had come off the horribly unsuccessful motocross season with the Ariel team and were at Watkins Glen to support our old chums Pippi , Jack Brabham and Dan Gurney. On the Friday before qualifying, Rock Hudson and I held a soiree in our suite at the Grand Hampton Hotel, inviting the usual fast crowd. Read was livid with anger as he had tried to throw a similar party in his suite but could only summon minor guests like that insipid Jerry Lewis and the guy who dressed as Captain Kangaroo on telly. We had A listers like Twiggy, Doris Day, our old mate Bobby Goldsboro and those wacky Kennedy brothers.

I believe it was around 1 AM while Doris Day and Paul Butterfield were heavily into an impromptu blues set. An obviously very pissed Read stormed into the suite with an equally drunk and semi naked Tuesday Weld riding piggy back.. At first things were under control, but it didn’t take long for Read to start to misbehave. His manners plunged downward rapidly when he began to remove Doris’ panties while she was in the middle of a spirited version of Sweet Home Chicago. Ever the professional, Doris kept singing while Read eventually removed the panties and placed them over my darling Rock Hudson’s head, shouting “This is what you are missing Rocky Baby!”. It all fell apart after that. A teary but still semi naked Tuesday Weld quickly left with Bobby Kennedy and this prompted Read to be even more erratic. She grabbed Paul Butterfield’s prized Hohner harmonica and jumped on the table and started to play a poorly structured version of On Top of Old Smoky whilst urinating in the rum punch, to much amusement and some concern to those wishing a glass of punch.

I valiantly tried to remove Read from the table but he leapt into the crowd as if they were a sixties version of a mosh pit, sending Stirling Moss and that lovely Henry Kissinger flying into the soufflé table. The party was fading fast. Then without warning the room was full of police and secret service agents, guns drawn calling for the music and mayhem to stop instantly. We were all arrested and herded to Watkins Glen police station in a caravan of paddy wagons and charged with drunk and disorderly conduct. All of us that is, except Read. The ever-resourceful Read quickly spotted an old Rugby chum amongst the police throng and with a wink and a nod, he was shuffled away from us and into the night and freedom.

Reads whole life has been like that. Avoiding the consequences of the trouble he had caused.

Since my current Beverly Hills abode has become common knowledge amongst the scrambles subculture, one would have thought that Read would have dropped by my humble hacienda for a glass of port and a chat when he was last in LA. It seems that old friendships amount to nothing with this chap. Imagine my surprise to see him on the telly at the Olsen Twins underwear parade being held not even a five quid taxi ride from this house a week ago. I am obviously an outcast in PJ Reads social spectrum.

Despite his weaknesses I still admire the man. It is a hope that Read and myself might be able to each throw a leg over a couple of my Carabelas and have a bit of a reunion ride close to my home, perhaps in the Topanga Canyon. My lover, fitness guru Richard Simmons has become quite a sweet little rider himself so perhaps the three of us could get together. I would love Read to visit my home/museum and see that the monkey is indeed off my back. There is a bottle of 1896 Penfolds Para Port and two Waterford Crystal glasses awaiting that reunion. As the tennis chaps often say, the ball is in your court, Read. It’s up to you to return it.

Nigel Hollingsworth
Beverly Hills, California


More from Nigel Hollingsworth and PJ Read


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