Script Blue Iguana Deacon Bradshaw's first appearance


Deacon Bradshaw was my best friend! I know, he had a few small faults, but the good in him always outweighed the bad and he always did right by me.

He paid me handsomely to sing in his pub--cash in hand, of course--and he genuinely like the old school crooner and country Western songs I sang there every weekend. Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Vic Damone, Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Bobby Darin, Frankie Laine. They were his heroes as well as mine. He was also a big Def Leppard fan. I'm not. The only disagreements we ever had were about music.

I'd come down from the North East, homeless and jobless back in 1986 and Deacon fixed me up with a room in the attic of his dad's pub in Willesden. That's how far back we went.

I helped him out with a bit of strong-arm stuff and the usual burglar logistics; he stole me my first decent sound system and drove me to my first professional gig--in the vintage Morris J van he'd just nicked. I was his best man when he married and I even sang at his wedding: Pour Some Sugar on Me, in the style of Dean Martin. He loved it.

And now he's gone forever, cruelly cut down in his prime by those two wise-cracking Yankees. Oh, how I wish I could have been there that day to help him! But HH refused to write me into the scene.

So all I can do now is to carry on and try to make the most of my singing career. Deacon would have wanted it that way.

So, now I'm off to Thailand. I'm hoping to get myself a nice new wife, to rebuild my life--and to sing a lot of classic Engelbert. I hope I can make a go of it out there.

I sang at Deacon's funeral, an old religous song, Shall We Meet at the River first and then My Way. It was a grand send off, down in Bethnal Green, starting at the Blind Beggar pub. Half the old East End was out. Every old school villain from Shoreditch to Stratford was paying their respects. Plenty of trendy hipsters, too. Him and George used to come down to the Birdcage in Shoreditch with me to sing karaoke way back when. Deacon always opted for Whitesnake and Def Lepard. And George could do a mean Old Man River. We had some grand times down there.

We'll never see his like again. He was some kind of man. A true fighter. A Yorkshireman. And, above all, an Englishman.

What does it matter what you say about people?

But Marlene Dietrich was wrong about that. It matters a great deal. Because what exactly is a man? And what has he got? Yes, Deacon always did it his way. And he was my friend.

Bravo Deacon! Bravo the Lads!

Dino Laine is a character invented and played by Tom Tunney. Deacon Bradshaw is a character invented by Hadi Hajaig for his movie Blue Iguana. Thanks to HH for letting me use the latter character in the above true story and for allowing me to reproduce a page from his actual Blue Iguana shooting script, which is copyright Hadi Hajaig.