For a split second, you have every right to wonder just how a simple two-day brush with Rod Stewart greatness led me from being at the Getty Mansion in Los Angeles several weeks ago on the set of Stewart’s upcoming PBS program, Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas Baby, to suggesting you dig deep into the British comedy vault and grab the little-known 2003 Simon Day comedy, Grass, set aside four hours and power watch the eight episodes that exist.
In Grass, Billy Bleach, Day’s character on The Fast Show, is a Londoner who is reasonably happy enough with his life of taking a Thai cooking class and being a pub know-it-all. Unfortunately, all that changes in an instant after witnessing a gangland killing and then finding himself relocated to Norfolk in rural England under a witness protection program (he was really counting on Florida). The series ran for only one season and will forever be linked in my mind with Whites as a comedy that found themselves inexplicably axed after one season for no apparent reason. To get you started, here’s episode one:
Oh, before I forget, the Rod Stewart connection to Grass. Hearing Rod Stewart for a couple of days, even though he was singing Christmas classics, reminded me of Faces, the post-Jeff Beck Group efforts of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joining forces with Small Faces members, Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane and Ian McLagan. Stay with me here. That reminded me of the Faces’ final studio album “Ooh La La” in 1973. That reminded me of the title song, written by Lane and Wood, which is the theme song to Grass. See how easy that was? Here’s Lane, singing the title song…