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
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
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
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.
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.