Paul Lester

Just (Re)Married: There was nothing sweet about our honeymoon

By Paul Lester, December 7, 2012

I know it’s customary to go on honeymoon straight after you get married — like, duh — but I’ve only just returned from mine, despite getting hitched in May.


Kiss: the secret to being a rock legend? Face paint and a head for business

By Paul Lester, November 1, 2012

Gene Simmons, bass guitarist with the US hard-rock group, Kiss, may be one of the most successful Jewish musicians of the past 40 years.

But he is also an arch proponent of what he calls “Kisstianity” — the religion followed by the band’s thousands of devoted believers.


Just (Re)Married: Festivals? Me and the kids did them weeks ago

By Paul Lester, September 27, 2012

For those of you with kids, it was probably with some sadness — and some relief — that the summer holidays came to an end. My new wife, unbelievable as it might sound, is one of those weird, twisted individuals who (whisper it) actually likes spending time with children. I know, I know, it shouldn’t be allowed.


My obsession with tidiness is messing me up

By Paul Lester, August 23, 2012

A lot can happen in six or seven weeks. To bring you up to speed, I got married, went on honeymoon and moved into a new house.


Rock'n'roll served up without acetic acid

By Paul Lester, August 10, 2012

‘If you are after sensational celebrity stories from my 52 years in the music business, stop reading now; this book is not for you,” writes Elkie Brooks in the foreword to her new memoir. This is either very brave or very stupid, given that “sensational celebrity stories” are precisely what so many people seek in entertainment industry insider biographies.


Drake — the rap star who performs at barmitzvahs

By Paul Lester, July 26, 2012

Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake, is one of the world's most successful performers, and without doubt the most popular Jewish rapper/singer - his father, Dennis Graham, is an African-American musician from Memphis, but his mother, Sandi, is a Jewish Canadian.


Adam Yauch's legacy - the rappers from the suburbs

By Paul Lester, May 10, 2012

So, farewell then Adam Yauch. Dead of cancer at 47. Yauch, and his fellow Beastie Boys - Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz - comprised one of the biggest rap groups ever. Along with mogul Rick Rubin, co-founder of Def Jam - label home of the Beasties, Run DMC, Jay-Z and Kanye West - they put Jews at the forefront of the genre in its early days.


The words I never thought I'd say: Marry me

By Paul Lester, April 4, 2012

Readers, you may remember that, late last year, I got dumped by my girlfriend Mandy when she finally twigged I wasn't going to be able to provide her with the things she really wanted: my ultra-rare Frankie Say Arm The Unemployed T-shirt from 1984 and box set of nine Seinfeld DVDs.


Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be: The Lionel Bart Story

By Paul Lester, March 2, 2012

David and Caroline Stafford
Omnibus £19.95


Randy Newman: 'If I could have written more hits, I would have'

By Paul Lester, February 2, 2012

Maybe it is his status as one of America's foremost songwriters, the one to whom other acclaimed tunesmiths defer. Perhaps it is the forbiddingly acerbic nature of his songs.


If auld acquaintance be forgot, here's why

By Paul Lester, January 26, 2012

The new Year's eve just gone was a significant one for me - it was my first without my three children since 2006 (my ex-wife was looking after them).


It's child’s play to defeat me

By Paul Lester, December 16, 2011

I know that at Chanucah, our thoughts are meant to turn to children. But do they have to dominate to such a degree? My three overshadow my every waking move. But then, that might be because they are better than me at everything. You name it, my two sons and daughter make me look bad at it. This should be a source of parental pride. It is more often the cause of embarrassment.


Mark Zuckerberg ruined my life

By Paul Lester, November 10, 2011

Breaking up - as that old Jewish sage Neil Sedaka once put it so pithily - is hard to do. And that was in 1962. These days, it's even harder.


My Arab Spring vacation, with extra camels

By Paul Lester, October 6, 2011

I am writing this column sitting beside a hotel pool in Tunisia, where I have come on holiday because I needed a break from all the financial misery and rioting back home. Did you not hear about the Bushey riots? Jews went on the rampage because they ran out of herring at the Deli Cafe.

Why, I hear you wondering, would I pick for my annual holiday destination Tunisia? Because it's cheap.


My love life doesn't quite add up

By Paul Lester, September 1, 2011

You might have noticed that, after three years of being called "Suddenly Single", this column has changed its name, to "Still Single". That's because I'm still single. It's a title that sums up my continuing utter uselessness with the opposite sex.


A child is following me wherever I go. Yes, it must be the summer holidays

By Paul Lester, August 8, 2011

One of the great things about being single is, you don't have to put up with anyone moaning at you. And yet somehow I still managed to get told off this week by a virtual stranger, a young lady in a pub who approached me to complain that lately I've been coming across as "too bitter" in this column.


Interview: Chris Stein

By Paul Lester, June 30, 2011

Before Lady Gaga and Madonna, there was Debbie Harry, the original subversive platinum blonde pop star. In the late '70s and early '80s, she became the world's hottest pin-up.


We no longer need to mind the age gap

By Paul Lester, June 30, 2011

What is the appropriate age-differential when it comes to dating? What I mean is, how low is it OK to go before disapproving stares become audible tuts? I ask this because I've been seeing a girl who is a bit younger than me and I'm wondering what you think.

How much younger? Put it this way: I was born during Beatlemania and she was born during punk.


Barmitzvah boy 1 - barmitzvah boy's dad 0

By Paul Lester, May 27, 2011

My barmitzvah was three decades ago. My eldest son's was three weeks ago. But the similarities are uncanny. Both services took place in north London synagogues and were conducted by young rabbis. Both parties were held in tastefully decorated function rooms (we decided against the replica of the barmitzvah boy sculpted out of smoked salmon). Oh, and I was single at both events.


I'm browned off over whiter teeth

By Paul Lester, April 14, 2011

It would be hard for me to argue that I have become more vain since getting divorced, especially considering that one of the many things that annoyed my ex-wife was that, whenever I was in a restaurant, I would regularly check my appearance in the cutlery.