The Stranglers’ Last Day On Earth

Jean-Jacques Burnel shares ideal last 24 hours

If you were to die tomorrow, how would you spend your final day on Earth?

Speeding through the gates of hell this month with a belly full of fine French food is Jean-Jacques Burnel, bassist with prolific Surrey punks The Stranglers…

Where would you like to wake up?
I would like wake up in my house in the arms of my girlfriend. I know it’s obvious but I doubt there are many people out there who would prefer to wake up in the arms of a complete stranger.

What would there be left to achieve on your last day?
I would like to tie up all my loose ends – whatever they may be – and to wreak revenge on all of the people that I still need to wreak revenge on. It’s not very nice I know, but it’s my last day so I can do what I want! Revenge is a dish best served cold so it can sometimes take on a physical form, but I’ll see how the mood takes me..

Who do you have at your final dinner?
I would definitely invite Alexander the Great because for such a young man, he achieved more than anyone could ever imagine. He conquered the world as we know it and set up dynasties all over the world which had an influence for hundreds and hundreds of years. And he just seemed really charismatic and also beautiful – I would love to get talking with him over dinner. Cicero – the lawyer and politician – is another person I’d like to invite because I think he a was seriously fascinating guy, and wrote his own lines!

What are you going to eat?
We would have some French cuisine. I know it’s controversial but for our starter we would eat foie gras with a sautain jelly and wine. Then for our main course we would have ‘tomates farcies’ (stuffed tomatoes) with a blend of minced pork and minced beef.

What would you do that evening?
As it’s my last evening I would go all out with the sex and the drugs. So I would have copious amounts of sex and then take a load of drugs to dull the pain, and then some more. If I’m going to die then who cares!

What would be your greatest regret?
My greatest regret as a musician would be not having made the perfect album.

What would be the last album that you’d listen to?
It would be a Melvyn Tan compilation album of John Field, Chopin and Debussy. It is really significant to me because I have listened to it more than any other album in the whole world. And very often – years ago – I used to listen to it to go to sleep to, or to make love to.

How are you going to die?
I would die in a horrific motorcycle accident. I would be speeding along at a ridiculous speed and then miss a bend and crash. But I wouldn’t feel a thing.

What would your final words be?
“Shit, miscalculated that bend!”

What song would you like played at your funeral?
I would have ‘The Girl With The Flaxen Hair’ by Japanese artist Tomita. It’s just a beautiful song.

What would you have written on your gravestone?
‘Shit, I missed that bend!’

Which dead star would welcome you at the pearly gates, and why?
I’m hoping it’s only the main man himself; God. I won’t be fobbed off with his second-in-command.

If you were resurrected the day after, who or what would you want to come back as?
After my mortorcycle accident I wouldn’t want to come back as me because I would be in lots of different bits and pieces. But if I had been completely re-built into some kind of super-human then I can’t think of anyone better to come back as. The ‘Terminator’ version of me.

Describe your vision of heaven…
Just driving around on my motorcycle for all eternity. I think it looks like lots of fantastic mountain roads with great bends which I can go round on my bike at 100mph, if not faster, and there are no speed cops. And along the way there are loads of bars and we can stop and have a beer and we never get breathalysed. And only the most beautiful girls ever are serving me at all these bars. Just driving on my motorbike for all eternity.

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