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40. Gangsta

Tapehead no 40

“Yo, whassup, G? Where da fuckk you at, man? Yeah we’re getting busy y’all, just hanging, knowwadarmsayin’? So whassup wit chew man? Chill. Word to ma niggaz, Mad Bone and L’il Monster. Damn. Word up G…Peace.”
Yes, this week we’re in Blackpool. B.l.a.c.k-pool, and yes, okay, we’re in Los (as in Lost) Angeles. Da Bank Holiday starts hers, G.
Best of all, we’re in the TV Dreamland that was ATV-land, so a big shout to Tapehead’s OG, fly, nigga, Mr Roger Moore:
“He is larger than life, never eats butter, he’s just Mr Television.”
Yeah, ’nuff respect to Lew Grade, aka Louis Winogradsky, World Charleston Champion, Man Who Could Sell Fridges To The Eskimos, and creator of this week’s Bank Holiday viewing, ATV’s finest, The Persuaders, Randall and Hopkirk, Man In a Suitcase, Jason King, and Crossroads.
Check out The Persuader: The TV Time s Of Lord Lew Grade for Sir Lew’s resemblance to a) Goldfinger b) Alfred Hitchcock and c) a large sea turtle.
“I love talent,” says Sir Lew.
Who doesn’t ?
Meanwhile, based on the theory “the only true expert on gangs is a gang member”, this week’s Witness: Eight Tray Gangster – The Making Of A Crip follows the life and crimes of gang-banger, Kershaun Scott, his brother Kody and his poor, magnificent momma, “Birday Mae Canada.”
Kershaun describes his initiation into the Eight-Tray set when his mum moved the family to South Central, his participation in the ’92 riots, down on Florence and Normanide, in Eight-Tray territory, and his work now trying to maintain the truce.
The Crips have been going in LA since 1969 and the film explains, at least in part, why the feuds are still running.
“Twice I thought I was gon’ die,” says Kody. “You would think you wuz gon’ die too, you had blood pouring out both sides of yo’ face.”
Another time, Kody was shot point blank in the stomach, in the back, and three times in the leg. His buddy ran over to him sayin’ “what happened ?”
“I said, ‘damn fool, I’m shot, that’s what happened.’”
Revenge, Kershaun explains, had to be swift. When he was shown the pictures of what he’d done, he says, “I couldn’t believe a shotgun could actually do a person like that. Made me respect the shotgun even more.”
Not exactly remorse, but still.
“That person had no stomach anymore. It didn’t look a human being.”
With a family of his own, but still a wanted man, now when he goes out, Kershaun takes a bodyguard and stays out of the middle lane in traffic jams. But then, who doesn’t ?
Dreamtime: A Brief Anatomy Of Blackpool begins with Jayne Mansfield, cooing “that’s the most fantastic sight I’ve ever seen in my life”, taking the words right out of Tapehead’s mouth.
“Blackpool’s one of those places where you do things you would never do anywhere else,” says the head of tourism.
David Thewlis remembers coming out of the sea aged eight covered from head to toe in maggots, which is certainly something you wouldn’t want to do anywhere else.
Needless to say, he has never been swimming again, and now neither is Tapehead.
Look out for the ultimate Blackpool holiday hat:
“Forget the love/Forget the passion/Whack it up her doggy fashion.
Who said they couldn’t rap in Blackpool ?

The Persuader: The TV Times Of Lord Lew Grade: Sat, 9pm-9.50pm, BBC2
ATV Night: A salute To Lew Grade: Sat, 7.55pm-12.50am, BBC2
Dreamtown: A Brief Anatomy Of Blackpool: Mon, 8pm-8
Jason King: Mon, 11.20pm-12.10pm, BBC1
Witness – Eight-Tray Gangster: Wed, 9pm-10pm, C4
The Persuaders: Wed, 10.20pm-11.10pm, BBC1