Monday, September 25, 2006

Job No. 23 - Press Officer

Today, I have my friend Dave to thank for bringing this job advert to my attention; Press Officer for Polydor records...

The advert stated that 'previous PR experience was not essential' (no problem, I thought to myself) and asked that candidates have a 'passion for the press' and a 'demonstrable flair for writing' (I could surely bluff my way through these two!). However, their next requirement caused me to briefly consider whether I have what it takes to be appointed to the position: 'you must know all that's worth knowing about rock and hip hop.'

I know a lot about music, sure...but do I know all that's worth knowing? What, I asked myself, would be their response if I told them I knew some things that were worth knowing about rock and hip hop and a considerable number of things that weren't worth knowing at all? I was also worried about how this knowledge might be tested during the interview so decided to pre-empt their challenge from within my application letter:

Hi Sarah

I wish to apply for the position of Press Officer, as advertised in the Guardian, and enclose my CV for your consideration.

I have worked with PR in the past during my time in the game industry, have a good relationship with the press and possess a flair for writing. I was a little concerned about the request that candidates ‘know all that’s worth knowing about rock and hip hop’ as it is possible that there are some things worth knowing that I don’t know and some things I do know that aren’t really worth knowing. However, to demonstrate my encyclopaedic knowledge of all things rock and hip hop, I have constructed a list of 20 interesting piece of music industry information (I could do more but I realise your time is limited!):

  • Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson’s favourite colour is blue.
  • Originally, The Beatles’ White Album was going to be called The Almond Fishcake Experiment.
  • R&B star Lemar once owned a pet badger called Gerald that died in a tragic lawn-mowing accident.
  • The first instance of rapping on record can be heard on a little-known country and western recording, Little Train, in 1968 by Lou Judd.
  • Diminutive sex symbol, Prince, believes he will be reincarnated as a camel.
  • BB King once played live, non-stop, for more than sixteen days.
  • Missy Elliott’s favourite food is Top Ramen noodles.
  • ABBA were banned from playing a concert in Nepal because it was feared that they were ‘morally corrupting’.
  • Radiohead played their first gig at the Jericho Tavern, Oxford in 1986.
  • Ozzy Osbourne has a phobia concerning pheasants.
  • The world’s shortest album was by Norwegian death metal band Calcifus, whose eight songs, together, clocked in at just under three and a half minutes.
  • Michael Jackson insists on changing his shoes every 31 minutes.
  • Elvis Presley and Robert Johnson died on the same day, thirty nine years apart.
  • Mariah Carey still talks to an invisible friend she has had since childhood.
  • Contrary to his image, Noel Gallagher has a Master’s degree in Botany.
  • Brian May only uses Optima strings on his guitar.
  • Rod Stewart believes, in a previous life, he was Joan of Arc.
  • Metallica’s Lars Ulrich gave up a promising tennis career to pursue fame as a drummer.
  • Jennifer Lopez is so keen on her new hobby of keeping fish that she intends to launch a range of rhinestone-encrusted aquariums in 2007.
  • Elton John turned to music after failing in his attempt to become a wrestler.

I hope my dedication in compiling this list will be appreciated and look forward to hearing from you soon…



The only problem was, during the construction of my list of twenty interesting things, I realised that I only knew six interesting things and so was forced to carefully construct mistruths for the remaining fourteen. However, I am hoping the human resource department of Polydor will not know all that is worth knowing about rock and hip hop, allowing my cunning ruse to escape their notice...


Declan Fallon said...



via. Beeb Radio 5

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! What are you going to do if you apply for a job and someone responds, "Hey, you're that Oliver guy aren't you?"

Anonymous said...

Heard you on 5 live in the wee small hours. You are an inspiration. I have applied for two jobs just outside my experience and thought I was being a bit of a daredevil. How about "Horizontal Boring Mill Operator" just because it's just such a cool job title?
Keep the faith! Nellie

Anonymous said...

Laughed out loud at the Lemar 'fact'! :)

Loving the blog, I hope you get to 100 and perhaps you might really find a great job at the end of this.

Oliver Davies said...

James - I'm doubtful anyone will recognise the name but, you never know, it might improve my application odds! I can always apply abroad lol

Mike said...

Ok I'm confused - you're in Middlesbrough, you have a sense of humour and you appear to be intelligent??? Good good! What is the world coming to?