A Day at Dave Courtney’s


by Matteo Sedazzari

If it’s going to go wrong, it will. I am standing outside a Southeast London tube station on a beautiful summer’s day. I am feeling nervous and excited, because in less then half an hour I will be interviewing Dave Courtney for the online magazine PEOM, www.peom.co.uk.

After conducting many hours of research, I was prepared to do an enjoyable and interesting interview with Dave Courtney. As I only knew Courtney from his reputation and hearsay, I was entering the lion’s den. However, before today, I had spoken to the man several times on the telephone. In doing so, we had built a good rapport. Dave Courtney kindly invited a few friends and me for an audience at his house in Southeast London, ‘Camelot’.

Meeting him did not faze me. In fact, I relished the opportunity. Of course, I had butterflies, however I enjoy the whole tension before doing an interview. My biggest concern was that he would like the questions and everything would run smoothly.

Sod's law, it did not. Joe Cumbers, PEOM web designer and photographer was being moody in the morning, due to the fact that he had given up cigarettes and was suffering from nicotine withdrawal. Fuck you, I thought. At one point, I felt like telling him to go at home and smoke a cigarette. However, my rational thinking won me over as I felt that Joe & I would enjoy the day.

Another fella making the trip to Courtney’s was Garry Butler. An old friend of mine and an associate of Dave’s. Garry is a big fan of the website and wanted to see his old friend again.

We were 15 minutes away from our final destination in Southeast London. When Garry tells us that Dave Courtney has two American Pitbulls, Knuckle and Duster. Courtney would let them run free in the house and at times, they had been known to bite people.

I had a feeling that he might be winding me up. Moreover the idea of a couple of dangerous dogs being there was not an impossibility. I do not mind dogs as a rule, but I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of American Pitbulls.

Once Garry saw I was slightly worried, he took full advantage. Telling me tales of how Dave would let the dogs chase people round his garden, as he looked on, laughing, smoking a spliff and drinking a double brandy.

I knew I could not ask Dave to lock up his dogs, as he would see my request as an insult and perceive me as weak. Giving Dave Courtney an opportunity to make me the latest victim from the brutal behaviour of his canine friends. I would have to grin and bear it, hoping that Knuckle and Duster liked me. Better still, that the dogs chased Garry around the house, leaving me to do the job in hand.

We got off the tube and Garry started to make barking sounds, I fucking need him I thought. Joe was mellower, because he had smoked a few cigs on route. I felt it was like a day out for the Three Stooges. I tried to forget about Knuckle and Duster, and focus on the objective, to get a shit hot interview.

I opened my rucksack to check I had every thing. Tape recorder? Check. Blank tapes? Check. Batteries, extra batteries, notes, pad pen, check and three copies of the questions? Check. Directions and address to Dave Courtney's? Not there. I rummaged frantically through my rucksack, resulting with me tipping contents of the bag on the pavement. Joe could see that I was stressed and suggested that I called Dave for directions.

Joe’s simple but effective plan solved the problem with ease. I called Dave, and he gave me directions. They sounded simple enough. Within ten minutes, The PEOM entourage would be at Camelot, drinking a cold beer and enjoying the day. However 20 minutes later we had walked in a big circle, and ended up back at the tube station. Rather sheepishly, I called Dave again, and told him we were lost. I was half expecting him to bite my head off, but instead he laughed and gave me directions again. I took more note then before.

30 minutes later, we are completely lost. Joe and I started to argue, whilst Garry was saying “Don’t worry the dogs will find us.” Then a gang of Chavs strutted pass us, as they did I shouted out “Do you know where Courtney’s manor is?” The Chavs were more then helpful and walked us to Dave Courtney’s home, good boys. We arrived at Camelot, an hour late.

Dave was sitting by the front with his girlfriend Storm and his daughter Chelsea, enjoying the sunshine. I gave Dave a little wave as we approached his gate, he did not look amused. Why the fuck did I not use streetmap, I thought.

As we opened the gates, I was waiting for the ambush from Knuckle and Duster. Unable to contain myself, I asked Dave straight away, “Where are the dogs?” Dave looked confused, and replied “What fucking dogs?” Garry shrieked out, it had been a wind up all a long. I cocked my head at Garry and gave him a dirty stare. Dave’s face broke into a beaming smile. My demeanour resumed, and I begun to chat with ease to Dave and his family.

Within minutes of our late arrival, Dave threw his car keys to Joe to go on a booze run. We all chipped in some money for what seemed to have the makings of a hedonistic afternoon. As Joe pulled off, I looked at him. We could read each other minds, “Don’t crash the car.”

Knowing that Knuckle and Duster were a figment of Garry’s warped imagination. I started to parade in front of Dave’s house with an air of arrogance. Dave turned to me and says, “You look like a cocky cunt, any good at pool?” “Yes” I reply. I was given a seven-ball start, and Dave would play with his left hand. He thrashed me.

Joe arrived back with the much-needed alcohol. Dave challenged Joe to a game of pool, he too was given the same advantage. Whilst Garry gave me a tour of Courtney’s infamous dungeon in the back of his huge garden. The dungeon gave Garry another chance at a wise crack. Garry told me that Dave likes to tie up journalists and torture them. I laughed but as I left I gave the dungeon one last glance. I was overcome by a cold shudder.

Dave and his family and the PEOM entourage chatted for about an hour. I felt at home and was enjoying the afternoon, losing the map, Joe’s mood swings and Garry’s winds up were now forgotten. With the beer flowing and friendly banter, both Dave and I forgot that we were meant to be doing an interview. Then Dave announced “Let’s do it”. By now I was slightly drunk.

We retired into Dave Courtney’s front room. Dave and I faced each other, whilst Storm, Chelsea, Joe and Garry sat on the opposite side of a room. We had an audience. I sobered up, glanced at my questions, thanked Dave for his time, hit the record button and away we went.

The interview lasted for one and half-hours. In addition it was one of the most passionate interviews I have ever done. Many topics were covered, and Dave was never short of an answer. Dave’s friend Seymour turned up and joined the others. It became a great debate.

After the final question I felt exhausted and needed a drink. Then I had the added bonus of interviewing Seymour, as he has a new book out shortly. I had no questions, so I ad libbed and it went well. Two for the price of one, nice.

None of us were in a hurry to leave. We stayed on and enjoyed Dave’s hospitality. More people turned up and it became a small and friendly party. We parted as the sun was setting and headed for the nearest takeaway before we boarded the tube.

Once we got to Waterloo, we decided to have a few more drinks and recap on the day. Our only conclusion was what a great experience it was. Cheers Dave.

Matteo Sedazzari

PEOM’s www.peom.co.uk Full interview with Dave Courtney will be on line shortly with a link proved on this site when it is live. Please visit www.davecourtney.com for an update. 



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This page last updated 15th August 2006