The Diary of Paul Ruskan

25th April, 2005

"Gav" from CrittyRecords emails me.

Hi Paul

I�ve heard some of your music, and think it is just the thing that CrittyRecords needs. How about we meet, and we�ll discuss putting together a recording contract.



A&R CrittyRecords (Subsidiary of AllOneWordIndustries)

I read the email and consider replying. I decide to make myself sound slightly more important and busy than I actually am.


Thank you for your interest in my music. I am glad you enjoyed the aural treats which I slaved over for many an hour, often whilst in severe need of a haircut and coffee.

Sadly, I cannot meet with you at the moment, as I am in Florence, creating musical instruments from various to-hand materials. Did you know you can make a harmonica out of the more sturdy types of pasta? I didn�t!



A&E Department, Florence General Hospital

28th April, 2005

I went into JJB Sports to buy some trainers today today. The girl who helped me fit them was very pretty. I immediately fell in love. Consider asking her out.

30th April, 2005.

I ask out the girl from JJB Sports. She politely declines. Further conversation reveals that her name is Fiona, but to me, she�ll always be the girl from JJB sports.

4th May, 2005.

Gav replies.


I urgently need to set up a meeting if you are to be signed to CrittyRecords. Could you possibly tell me your phone number, and we will discuss this further?



Consider giving him a fake number, but figure it is probably best to play ball.


Here is my phone number:


Please do not use this information for evil. I will be available between the hours of 2am and 4am.

Please be aware that I will only consider your offer if it is the greatest recording contract known to man.



5th May, 2005

Gav phones at 3am, whilst I am sound asleep. This angers me. Consider reprimanding him for daring to phone at such a time. He offers to set up a meeting. I politely slam the phone down and get some sleep.

6th May, 2005

I construct a guitar, mostly from ham. It does not stay in tune for very long. Consider the senseless waste of life that went into the making of this instrument.

7th May, 2005


Since you obviously don�t like the telephone, you can meet me in the Costa coffee shop in Worcester on the 10th of May, at 3pm.

We will discuss the record deal then,








Consider becoming a werewolf.

10th May, 2005

I pop into WH Smiths before I meet with Gav. The girl behind the counter is very pretty. I immediately fall in love. Here name tag says �Emily�, and I jump to the conclusion that that is her name. Consider writing a love song for Emily.

I meet with Gav and tell him about Emily. He tells me to shut up and sign the piece of paper he puts in front of me. I politely storm out.

11th May, 2005


Attached is a Word document of a better record deal. A �50,000 advance and 5 points. What do you think?








12th May

I write a song for Emily. It is called "Emily The Pretty Girl Who Sold Me The Without A Trace DVD, This Song Is About You I Hope You Like It". I play it down the phone to Gav. He tells me it needs a snappier title, like "Feelings", or something. I politely tell him to "Quote unquote fuck off".

13th May

Gav tells me of my misuse of the phrase "quote unquote", and how trying to work out what I meant has kept him up all night. This makes me feel uneasy. Consider learning how to throw fireballs.

14th May

"Terrance" from Cutthroat Music phones me. I�m not quite sure how he got my phone number. He says he�d like to talk about offering a record deal. I tell him to speak to my representative, and give him Gav�s number.

16th May

Receive phone call from an irate Gav, claiming he�s received at least 15 phone calls from �metalheaded muzos who speak in the pauses between piercings�. Reassure him that he�s hallucinating. This doesn�t calm him.

20th May

I build a banjo from some elastic bands and some Tupperware. I try recording it, but it sounds rubbish. Consider evolving to a state of pure energy.

21st May

Gav phones, and says he has a gig lined up in a week�s time. I tell him congratulations, and I hope he plays well. He tells me that it is actually me who will be playing the gig, and he has gone to a lot of trouble to arrange it. The bewildered silence that follows leaves Gav to assume that I have accepted the offer of playing the gig.

23rd May

Begin rehearsals for gig. By rehearsals, I mean sitting in a cold room, alone, creating brief musical interludes between coughs. Consider why the room is so cold, when it�s 33 degrees outside. Come to the conclusion that the door is a trans-dimensional portal. Consider finding proof to back this up.

Phone Gav and sing Auld Lang Syne in as Jamaican a voice as I can achieve. He proclaims it to be �shoddy�.

24th May

Hello Paul!

I am big fan in Tokyo! Your music make happy whole happy songs community!!! Please rock yes more fans in Japan!!

Rock music also!!!


25th May

Rehearsals. Break a string. Replace it with a long strand of BluTack. It does not work.

Phone Gav to ask him if he supports Aston Villa, claiming it is important that I know. It isn�t.

26th May

Rehearsals. All the plug sockets except for one break. I am left with the choice of plugging in the PA system or the tin opener. The obvious choice wins.

Consider inviting Emily to the gig.

Find a hand-operated tin opener. Realise that the day is wasted.

27th May

Go to WH Smiths. I ask if Emily is around. The staff say no. I curse and shout until security arrives.


I am very nervous. I just fell off my chair, and I wasn�t even sitting in it.





You�ll be fine,


28th May

Play gig. It is a success. Various men in suits with cigars watch youngsters with beady eyes, looking for signs of enjoyment. When they see enjoyment, they appear to clap and laugh with big mouths. Consider throwing rubber balls at their mouths, like an odd quest from The Crystal Maze.

The only objection from the crowd seems to come when I stop playing the guitar solo to "Emily The Pretty Girl Who�" and start a lengthy rant about being polite. Claim I am 'freewheeling', and that the crowd should go along with it. They don�t.

Talk to the support band, who appear angry that I headlined, despite my total lack of experience, talent, and songs. I tell them not to worry, as my beard will never be as impressive as their singer�s.

29th May

Consider growing a beard.

30th May

Am receiving many record offers now. Each better than the last. Play table tennis with Gav, reciting obscure poetry whilst doing so. This doesn�t put him off to the extent I hoped. Notice that his hair is significantly greyer, compared to when I first met him.

Build a drum out of some plates. Smash it with first strike. Chalk it up to experience.

2nd June


Here is our final offer. It cannot be matched by any record company. You are guaranteed to be a millionaire this time next week.






I reluctantly accept.