AUTHOR:Roy D Hacksaw
Roy D Hacksaw
For a council house kid from the middle of nowhere in the early eighties, the only real method of expressing yourself after leaving school was to shout very loud and bash things in a punk rock band. After stints in the nearly successful outfits DATWMF, the Beach Bums and the Cesspit Rebels, Roy remembered that an old English teacher told him he could write a bit and started up the fanzine Xerox Heaven, which was mostly about other fanzines. From there on he stumbled about doing the occasional writing gig before he found himself in London at the turn of the century editing an early student lifestyle website for Jim Kerr out of Simple Minds. That’s when he realised that he could probably start doing this larky for a living. Since then his journalistic highlights have included reviewing a noise festival in Shanghai for Metal Hammer, reporting from every Eurovision Song Contest since 1998, and answering the readers' letters in Disney Princess magazine in the voice of Jessie The Cowgirl from Toy Story.
More recently he’s turned his hand to documentary filmmaking, and his first short film, The Bard’s Wife, was nominated for a dozen awards at festivals worldwide, and won a runners-up gong in the Whicker’s World Foundation Awards at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2017.
On top of that, he’s a retired semi-professional game show contestant, having appeared on shows as varied as The Weakest Link and Fifteen To One, via The Chase and Total Wipeout, to University Challenge and Mastermind, where his specialist subject was the children’s TV series Trumpton. In a case of poacher-turned-gamekeeper he now writes the questions, most notably on Tipping Point where he became the most prolific writer in the show’s history.
But he’s still happiest when he’s making a right old racket on stage in a dirty pub front of a handful of people, and is currently a member of the veteran bogroll-chucking duo Hacksaw, Bristol noise rock merchants GlueHorse, and the newly reformed eighties punk legends Chaotic Dischord.
He has absolutely no idea how he keeps getting away with all this nonsense, and fully expects to get found out for the chancer he is any day soon.
Roy was inspired to write Bugger Banksy after the illusive artist chucked up an artwork opposite his local chippy for Valentine’s Day, and he watched the unwelcome chaos that ensued for the unfortunate souls that lived on the other side of the wall.
He has now finished his new book, Worst. Eurovision. Ever. and whilst the Eurovision Song Contest might seem like an unlikely subject for a gnarly punk rocker to write about, but Roy D Hacksaw has surprising form in this field. Being a bit of an old fart, he grew up in a time where his main access to music on TV came as part of the many variety shows that littered the three available channels in the back end of the sixties and early seventies. All the cool music shows were on way after his bedtime, and his old man really couldn’t stomach Top Of The Pops. So it was always a treat when on a Spring Saturday night every year his Dad would go out to play snooker and he could sit and watch Eurovision with his Mum. As the decades passed by and he got more involved in punk rock the old contest lost a little of its shine and he found himself watching it less frequently. But he still always kept an eye on the results. That was until in the early nineties when he found himself in Sweden on Eurovision night and he could see how differently the locals viewed the contest. It was more of a popular national passion than the mildly entertaining embarrassment that we Brits viewed it as, and this instantly rekindled his passion for the show.
A few years later, when Katrina & The Waves won the thing for the UK, he realised that he could finally achieve his long-held ambition to attend one Eurovision in his life, so when the next year’s contest was held in Birmingham in 1998 he blagged his way in on a press ticket, and unbeknownst to him his life was never going to be quite the same again.
Since then he’s travelled all over the continent covering the contest for an array of magazines and websites, including heat, BBC Online and Popbitch. In that time he’s partied in palaces, shaken hands with Presidents, and been to places that he’d only previously dreamed of visiting. From bobbing about in the Dead Sea with a gaggle of sunburned Estonians to being jostled by Vladimir Putin’s security in Moscow, and most unlikely of all, spending an incredibly strange afternoon with Engelbert Humperdinck and Jedward in a hotel room in Baku, the contest always has always offered way more than just a gaggle of silly songs if you know where to look, and shown him things he could never have imagined when he was sitting watching the contest with his Mum back in the mists of time.