It was very late by this time but I smelled fun and games and accepted Hutton’s invitation to accompany him, along with a couple of girls to whom we’d become attached along the way. Once there Hutton introduced me to Harry who wasn’t best pleased that Hutton had brought a writer along. “I’m not really here,” he told me. I understood. Nevertheless, we availed ourselves of his hospitality, drank hard liquor, flirted with the girls, talked drug-fuelled nonsense and, I distinctly recall, listened to Harry play an upright piano and, with Hutton, sing all manner of songs, standards, Beatles, Randy Newman, all sorts, into the early hours until dawn broke. It was fantastic, probably all the more so in view of the state I was in.
It was about 9am when I left, head spinning, by taxi, to where I then lived in Bayswater. Sleep was out of the question so I took a long bath, had something to eat and, somehow, made it into Melody Maker’s offices by noon, ready to attend the weekly Wednesday conference which that week was chaired by assistant editor Richard Williams. I felt truly awful and didn’t contribute much in the way of ideas for next week's paper but I shrank visibly into my chair when Richard said: “I’ve heard a rumour that Harry Nilsson is in town. Does anyone know anything?” Everyone shook their heads, including me, though it was an effort since it throbbed so bad.
It wasn’t until 20 years later that I could bring myself to tell Richard the truth.