Okay, we’ve managed to piece this much together from various sources, including his very odd sister, his deaf old aunt, and numerous ex-co-workers. The information so far:
Jeff Wayne No Relation began life as plain old Jeff Wayne, which he remained throughout much of his life, up to the point when his sister claims he “started seeing the visions” in the late 1980s. At the time, he was a sports commentator (specialising in lawn bowls, curling, and synchronised ping-pong), working with the BBC – his ex-co-workers pretty much described him unanimously as “a harmless oddball who turned into a right royal nutter”. The “visions” came to him out of the blue, according to sources, after he spent an entire weekend celebrating Manny Cufton’s record-breaking victory in the 1987 Under-18’s Amateur Curling Championships in the small town of Twiggington-on-Rye.
As well as being home to the famous ‘Stone Circle of Sutherness’, it appears the small town of Twiggington-on-Rye’s other claim to fame is their intensely bitter, highly-alcoholic Twiggington Ale, of which Jeff Wayne allegedly sank pint after pint, making toast after toast to the remarkable curling-skills of the young Manny Cufton, who ironically was underage, and not allowed to join the festivities. According to the barkeep of Twiggington-on-Rye’s only pub, “The Shagging Bullock”, the next morning saw Jeff Wayne curled in a foetal position in the centre of the famous Stone Circle, clutching his head and babbling. From that moment on, allegedly, he was a changed man.
His very strange sister, when pressed in interviews, described a man slowly descending into madness. Less and less did he care for lawn bowls, curling, and synchronised ping-pong, instead spending his days reading esoteric texts, drawing strange diagrams, and staring into space, only to quickly jot down his “revelations” like a man possessed. He dressed in only turquoise for a year, insisting it was “the colour of truth”. His co-workers at the BBC began to suggest to him that he take a vacation, but Jeff Wayne ignored them. To their credit, his co-workers treated him as magnanimously as they could, tolerating his dishevelled appearance, his wild stares, even his insistence that the on-air studio be refurbished in aquamarine, and that his microphone be always pointing west. But then came the event that pushed things too far.
According to one of his co-workers (who wished to remain anonymous), it was the 1988 Synchronised Ping-Pong Semi Finals, Eastern (and Sou-Eastern) Regional Division. The Rickton Bullets were exhibiting incredible form against the clear favourites, the aggressive-yet-elegant Worpshire Warriors, and the score was tied. Percy Bellingthrop of the Bullets was just leaning back to serve, when suddenly all eyes were on Jeff Wayne – leaping up onto the ping-pong table, naked as the day he was born, arms raised skyward as he shrieked “WE MUST NOT BE AFRAID, FOR THE TRUTH WILL OUT!”
(According to his aunt, Jeff Wayne had actually shouted “WE MUST NOT BEEF RAID FORTY ROOFERS LOUT”, but it has since transpired that the old coot has been deaf as a post for as long as anyone can recall.)
The 1988 Synchronised Ping-Pong Semi Finals, Eastern (and Sou-Eastern) Regional Division, had exploded in a flurry of action – as officials chased Jeff Wayne around the room, the Worpshire Warriors screamed interference and demanded a rematch, resulting in indignant cries of foul from the Rickton Bullets, which inevitably led to physical violence, ping-pong bats finding their way into places they were never intended to go. Jeff Wayne was eventually cornered near the pennant-board, roughly sedated, and dragged away. Three days later, he “retired” from sports-commentating forever. His ex-co-workers never heard from him again, and further interviews with them have proved fruitless.
Information about his life thenceforth is very sketchy. There are reports that he tried several times to form a Doomsday Cult, but was hampered by the fact absolutely nobody was interested in his crazy rantings about Interdimensional Reptilians from the Hollow Earth, the Fake Moon Robots, and the Jewish Nazi Hindus from Space. There are reports he embarked on several speaking tours of lesser-known university campuses, but that these also failed for the very same reason. There was one small snippet we discovered in the “Twiggington-on-Rye Gazette”, a minor interview with the man (presented in a very ‘odd-spot’ kind of tone), in which he insisted that the only reason people refused to listen to him was because of his name (being the very same name as the man who made a musical out of the War of the Worlds in the mid-seventies), and that he was going to change his name to something else, something that made it clear he was no relation.
“Jeff Wayne No Relation” was born. Needless to say, the name change didn’t seem to help, as he remains shrouded in immense obscurity.
According to his very odd sister, he then disappeared from the face of the Earth, only to occasionally phone her and ask perplexing questions like “What rhymes with ‘intergalactic’?” or “I need another word for ‘reptilian’ dammit!”. Eventually it became clear he was writing a musical – he believed that, where cults and speaking tours had failed to get his vision out to a wider audience, a musical would undoubtably succeed. For what better way to force people to see the truth than to have them singing along to it? His quite unusual sister also added that, although he had sent out many cassette tapes of his musical meisterwerk to universally-disinterested radio stations and record labels, there was only one existing copy of the manuscript itself, and that he had hidden it deep in his countryside bunker, swearing to her that if it was ever discovered, it would mean he was dead – moreover, that he had been killed by the Reptilians, and that the entire human race was now irrevokably doomed. When I told her that the IWML did indeed appear to have a copy of the manuscript, she broke down and kicked us out, calling us all manner of unsightly names.
So. That’s what we have so far. The cassette remains unplayed, and the silver scrap of mysterious fabric continues to undergo rigorous analysis. We’ll present you with updates when we have them – this is a very busy time of the year, and we apologise for the delays.
Next: the manuscript itself…
The IWML is currently trying to piece together the life and times (and creative work) of a man named Jeff Wayne No Relation, for the A.R.S.E musical challenge circa 2010-2011.
Any information is greatly appreciated.