Barney says, “My aim is true.” Shoots Alison.

In the kitchen, an amused Barney, arm well braced in measured anticipation of the recoil, smiles with anticipation as he takes aim at the enchanting Allison.

Allison, inspiration for the song of that name, sitting across the kitchen table, brazenly  ignoring the gun pointed at her, enchants me with what I hopefully imagine is the gaze of a beautiful woman interested in my presence. Photographed by myself (David Wills) in 1967 ten years before the Elvis Costello songs, so if there is any connection, it is difficult to imagine what. But the gun and Allison episode did happen, and these are the photographs to shew so.

From an older post:
“It’s bein’ so cheerful what keeps me goin” – Saying of the character, Mona Lott, on the 1940’s BBC radio show ITMA, probably taken from the patter of the King of the Music Hall, comedian Dan Leno, aka Little Willie. Dan Leno was the great -grandfather of the muse for the Elvis Costello song ‘Allison.’ Allison, a beautiful and insightful woman, a temp (I think) who had worked at Conran with Barney, lived in Fleet in Hants. in 1978, and was a good friend. I think of Dan Leno as a key to the humour and wilfull wit of Barney Bubbles.

One of this blog’s oft-repeated real historic fun filled facts is that the influential Music Hall comedian Little Willie and Dan Leno were, as many have suggested, the same person, and never appeared on stage at the same time. A fact sworn to by Allison, his multi-grand child, and the inheritor of his wry wit.

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