Sunday 30 April 2017

The First of A Million Steps

Tomorrow is May Day, The first of May and tomorrow I embark on a Million Step Challenge. That's a million steps in three months taking me through to the end of July. To do this I need to average 11.5K steps a day, so that's nearly two hours a day walking.  That is not a major challenge really apart from the fact that today I ran for a bus and have pulled a muscle possibly , somewhere round my hip region. If I don't move , it doesn't hurt, but to continue the step challenge , I have to move (obviously). I have 4K steps to complete today to do my first month in years of more than 10K a day , and hopefully hit the average that I will need to maintain over the next three months.

I know I don't HAVE to do this, but I want to do this. Today I managed my ten thousand steps, but intended to do the last four thousand downhill past Hadrian's Wall and through Denton Burn. That all went well but I intended to get the bus back , but that didn't turn up. Twenty minutes after it should have been there I started walking back ... and then it flies past me. If I was paranoid I'd think the bus driver was waiting for me to set off. The major thing is I got the steps done, and I am in a good position to start the Million Step Challenge.

The other thing is my phone is playing up and that is what I use to measure my steps. I have a feeling the problem is the battery, but the replacement battery doesn't seem to work at all, so hopefully that will get resolved soon.

Sorry if all this seem negative and mundane, you know I don't like to be either of those, but tomorrow is a good way to start the week , with a day not going to work , because it's the May Day Bank Holiday.

I'll leave you with the excellent "Genesis" by Grimes, which I haven't heard for a while but when I first heard it, I went out and bought the album. Take a listen and enjoy my friends. Then for some reason on the same page, one of my favourite singers Peter Gabriel covering the song that got me into Tom Waits "In The Neighborhood" . I'm not sure if this is available on an album (it is here), but check it out and then check out the original (on "Swordfishtrombones")

Right , it's Sunday, the weather is beautiful, go out and enjoy yourself.

A Bit of ABBA on the Side

Last night I went to a screening of "Mamma Mia" organised by Angie and part of Andrew and Glen's pre wedding celebrations at The Side Cinema. I'm not a huge fan of musicals (my favourite is South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut) but this was not a screening it was an event.

There was copious drink, and everyone had a great time socialising and creating a wonderful atmosphere, with a pre "Mamma Mia" film of Andrew and Glen falling of bikes and general going round the world. This was a gathering of great joy and fun.

The "Mamma Mia" movie had the subtitles up for all the songs so everyone could join in and were encouraged to. Glen and Andrew led lots of the singing , dancing , drink spilling, high fiving and celebrating and with good reason.

The Side Cinema itself is great for private screening , compact and but also great for socialising as well, and as it's on the Quayside you are close to pubs and restaurants for pre and post film food and drink.  The seating is red velvet and it had been remarked slightly seedy but perfect for a gathering such as this. A damned sight better than the antiseptic Multiplexes that you have these , but it is a perfect setting to have a great time with the right people and right film and last night was absolutely perfect.

Anyway last night I wanted to post a Star Spangled Chestwigs rendition of an ABBA song on Facebook as a thank you to Glen and Andrew but couldn't find any, so I will leave you with the finale from the film, and below is a bit of the Chestwigs doing what they do :)

Have a great Sunday everyone.

Saturday 29 April 2017

Random Observations

Have you noticed that the abbreviation id when turned upside down is pi (near enough)? You could extend this to say that identity is the fore never ending. I know that is off centre and random but it's just the way my mind works.

April is nearly over and the beginning of May is on Monday. Then I am going to start my Million Step Challenge . It is being done to raise money for diabetes research but in my opinion their timing is wrong and as I am so rubbish at tracking things I am not going to do it for sponsorship, just for myself, to prove that I can do it. I, averaged 11K steps a day for the last two months so I don't see a problem doing it for the next three. My target  normally is to do 10K a day.

I was thinking of repeating my #SongADayInMay which I did a couple of years back. If I do you will see the first post on Monday . The theme would obviously be "May" (avoiding any reference to a certain person) but I think Dr. Brian May might feature fairly heavily, probably opening with Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive", but we shall see.

Anyway it's Saturday, the weather is quite pleasant, and I have other things to get on with. I've been listening to Graham Parker, played my first '78 on my turntable, but am currently listening to a best of Joe Walsh (Pete Townshend's favourite guitarist) so I think we will go with "The Bomber" which he played with The James Gang, Barnstorm and solo. I love his simple but beautiful playing. His riffs are not beyond me and that is what makes him a brilliant guitarist.

Have a good day everybody.

Friday 28 April 2017

Two Eight Four

It could be a house number, it could be a bus number , it could be any number. It's the first three number in the powers of two with the last two's positions swapped. Although this is essentially a diary so that I can keep a track of things that catch my imagination it was also meant to be a source of inspiration for a book which is still nowhere near completion.

It's also another example of how my mind flies off at tangents influenced by things I see hear or read. Wire's album "154" was named because they had just played their 154th gig.

284 is the page I've reached in Tony Morley's "The Age Of Bowie" that started as a sort of biography but is now using David Bowie's albums as an almost stream of consciousness narrative. It's also up to the album "Diamond Dogs" which was a soundtrack to to Bowie's "Nineteen Eighty Floor Show"  which was meant to be his take on George Orwell's brutal "1984", but the Orwell foundation would not grant him permission to use the book. He still included a track on the album called "1984".

Last year I did a musical sequence call #ALIfeInNumbers in which I included a sequence of 59 songs containing, in one form or another, songs with 1 to 59 in their titles or prominently in their lyrics.

When "Diamond Dogs" was released John Peel played the whole album on his Friday night show. I taped it, loved it and bought it the next day. I remember they airbrushed out the dogs you know whats on Guy Peellaert's excellent cover, but the video I've included has the unretouched version.

The piece I've included is the "Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing(Reprise)" sequence which ends with a brutal speaker swapping guitar sequence before a complete stop heralding "Rebel Rebel", probably the best Rolling Stones song they never wrote.

It's a Bank Holiday Weekend, It's a Beautiful Day, have a brilliant time my friends.

Thursday 27 April 2017

Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

I was going to write this a couple of days back, but time seems to be running away from me all through the day. Actually that's not completely true, what it is is that my time is being taken up by stuff. Instead of leaving the house at 7:30 and being in work before 8 AM , I am leaving the house at 7 AM and walking into work most days , maintaining my step challenge of 10K steps a day , which at walking pace takes me around a hundred minutes. That's over an hour and a half ... a day! If you then factor in that most days I do more than that, all of a sudden I have a two hour chuck removed from my day.

Add to that catching up on Doctor Who from 2015 and another chunk of time goes out the window. It's not that I am not enjoying doing this and it's definitely a far more interesting form of exercise than going to a gym. At a gym you are directed but this walking needs my own direction, and I always try and find another way to walk in.

I have discovered a lot of places I didn't know about, realised that some places are closer together than I though, I mean I never knew there was an Asda down Westgate Road. The other thing is I am getting a lot more music listening in, today I was reminded how great the title track of "Aladdin Sane" is , drenched with Mike Garson's off kilter piano, I also got "Helden" as well from the soundtrack of "Christiane F" with Bob Fripp's luscious everlasting guitar lines, so two slices of David Bowie on my way in this morning.

Which song should I choose?  There are three songs mentioned here and I decided to hit "Christiane F"

Have a lovely evening

Saturday 22 April 2017

Read A Book .... You Never Know What You Might Find Out ... Again

It's World Record Store day, my mate Jim wants a copy of The Queen Symphony and I fancy the new The The single, first new music from Matt Johnson in 15 years and it's as good as ever.

I'm still working through "The Age of Bowie" by Tony Morley and today I found out how Marc Bolan (at the time Marc Feld) settled on his surname. Apparently he took the first two letters of one of his heroes' first name and the last three letters of his surname, which shows more than a little ingenuity, that hero was Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan also changed his surname from Zimmerman to Dylan taking the first name of one of his heroes , Welsh stream of consciousness poet Dylan Thomas (I love "Under Milk Wood").

I've included the Dubwood Allstars "Under Dubwood" which I never tire of (but doesnt, which takes Richard Burton's introduction and uses the soundtrack which  is the same as John Holt's "Ali Baba". Can you how my mind wanders?

Anyway, it's a beautiful day, and I have vinyl to buy.

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone.

Friday 21 April 2017

The Wildflower Hour

It sort of makes me sad when I am in and outside work, and almost everyone is carrying a branded cup or foodbag, be it Costa, Starbucks, Greggs, Pret A Manger (they seem to have lost their accents)  or any number of the brands you see on every high street and railway station. People justify it because "they know what they are getting". If you try to dissuade people from buying this homogenised sameness they will always excuse it with a variation on the above excuse.

In Newcastle, you have no excuse because there are so many independent places where you can eat, get coffee, tea or whatever and today I'm going to gush over Wildflower cafe and art space on Westgate Road.

Firstly it's ten minutes walk from St James' Park , a place awash with student accomodation and therefore students. When I was at sixth form college I would have loved a place like Wildflower, but todays students seem to need a label on everything they buy.

The food is vegan. I'm not vegan, but I like good food, and I like to have something different. Today I was in two minds, the Lentil Dahl or Spanish Tomato Soup . I went for the soup (which also had a fair amount of lentils) , with a brown spread roll and a very green mango and papaya smoothie. Until I walked in I hadn't a clue what I was going to have, but it was gorgeous.

As I sat down Wire's "Outdoor Miner" came on the sound system and Asher told me about the joint smoking proprietor of a cafe up the road having a mini rave as he waited for customers.

I was soon joined by a big party of people to come and sample the delights of the cafe in the wonderfully art decorated welcoming surroundings, so I'd just got my order in in time.

Wildflower also host lots of events and themed meals and gatherings, and I love seeing how well attended these are and love the fact that it's popularity is growing thanks to the hard work of Jessica and Asher. They even have their vegan cookery slots on Tyne and Wear TV (and the vegan custard creams are lush).

If you live in Newcastle and haven't visited this place , shame on you, because it really is wonderful. It's the sort of place the media will airbrush over because it's not a big money brands, but for me it's the perfect sort of brand because it surprises me consistently with food and events and I try to eat there once a week, and I have to be honest the exercise walking the hill probably does me good and walking back down you get great views of the Tyne Bridge and The Sage.

It's very close to the town centre and if you message them on Facebook they will tell you what's on (the menu) and are open to suggestions for food ideas. Jess and Asher are both at least ten years younger than my girls so I'm old enough to be their grandad, but home I don't act that way.

So I will leave you with Wire's "Outdoor Miner" and I have the anticipation of what new delights will be served up next week.  The weekend is her.. Enjoy

Read A Book .... You Never Know What You Might Find Out

Groucho Marx once remarked on the educational value of television. "Every time someone turns on the TV, I go into another room and read a book". The quote is not exact but you get the idea.

While I like reading books, my mum taught me to read before I went to primary school aged 4, and I remember something about a dog and some kids and the word "pretty" which I pronounced wrongly when I first read it, there were two instances that caused me to be disappointed related to books.

One was when my mum gave away two sets of vintage encyclopedias because she decided she "didn't like books anymore", but one of those sets was a vintage set from my grandma on my dad's side and the other was one that my mum had worked hard to buy after being sold them by an Australian door to door salesman who she mistakenly believed was a friend of my uncle (her brother) who had gone out to Australia on an assisted passage in the sixties. Those sets of encyclopedias were my internet in the sixties and early seventies and I am thankful to my mum and dad for making sure I had access to lots of reading material. It was really because it was so unexpected which is why I was disappointed.

A couple of years ago for World Book Night (which for the first time I am not taking part in because it's become very corporate and they now expect you to give away books you have or be a recognised "organisation" to take part and that's a third disappointment), I gave away "A Little History Of The World" by EH Gombrich , a great book for parents and children, and one person who had two children said "That's going straight in the dustbin", I asked for it back but he said "You gave it to ME, it's mine now".

Anyway that's about book disappointments in among positives , but I'm reading "The Age Of Bowie" by Tony Morley, and I was well aware of Anthony Newley's influence on David Bowie, usually as sub Dick Van Dyke cockney on "Laughing Gnome" and I was aware of Newley's entertainment, middle England compartmentalisation, and always found him a little annoying. Reading Morley's book I today found out that Newley along with Leslie Bricusse composed "Feelin' Good", covered by Nina Simone, Muse and many others. The song is from the 1964 musical, "The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd.". The two also collaborated with John Barry for Shirley Bassey's theme for the James Bond film "Goldfinger.

So basically reading a book has raised Anthony Newley in my estimation and his version of "Feelin' Good" as not bad at all. I thought it would be mannered and rubbish, especially being from a musical (I'm generally not a fan of musicals), but it's not, it is very good, listen to it.

Anyway it's Friday, the sun is shining and it's World Record Store Day tomorrow, so have a great day everyone.

Monday 17 April 2017

Easter X

Tomorrow the shops will be full of cheap Easter Eggs, Easter is over for another year now, and Jesus still didn't come back did he? I have enjoyed the four day weekend, but tomorrow begins the clean up at work for the new financial year that actually started on April Fools Day.

I've only just made that correlation that the new financial year starts on April Fools Day .. so the Government can takes for another ride, tell us we need to to tighten our belts as CEOs and Politicians give themselves huge pay rises because they deserve it. And we still stand for it... but as Nick Hanauer says, it's only a matter of time before the privileged leeches go down in flames and pitchforks.

Silent Passage
I've managed to find all my "missing" books, hidden in a bag under the stairs. This house is a bit bigger than I thought, it is amazing what things can be hidden under the stairs , in cupboards and elsewhere.

I'm currently listening to "Silent Passage" by Bob Carpenter , which I bought because of the beautiful woodcut cover drawing and the album is living up to the cover.

Yesterday I listened to "Paradise Ballroom" by The Graeme Edge Band a beautifully packaged excruciating seventies album which is in the pile going to the charity shop, so you can't judge an album by it's cover.

But as it's Easter I'll go with Marillion's "Easter" , and wonderful song from the Steve Hogarth incarnation. Hope your Easter has been a good one.

Sunday 16 April 2017

Mid Day At The Lost And Found

Today is grey and rainy. This is the sort of day when a five mile walk is not exactly inviting, but it was fine again, although I didn't exactly surpass my target by much , a mere 300 steps at the moment, but that may increase by the time midnight comes around.

Today I found a series of books by F. Paul Wilson , the whole of the "Adversary Cycle" series which were in a bag under the stairs , but missing  "The Touch" which I seem to remember I borrowed from a friend of mine to read, but I'm not so sure if I bought it. Then I thought I'd look for it and I seem to have mislaid quite a few of my Clive Barker novels, including my favourite ever book, "Imajica", plus the excellent L.Ron Hubbard biography "Bare Faced Messiah". I have read these books, and can probably buy new copies if I really want them, but it's strange how finding one thing can spur you into looking for something else.

This is one of the problems with our magpie attitude to stuff, we always want to have although we do not need. My music collection is huge though nowhere near as big as some, and my book collection is also quite extensive.

As I write this I'm listening to some alternate recordings of early Pink Floyd songs, "Matilda Mother" has completely different lyrics but is still good, and "Jugband Blues" is still a prime late sixties music hall psychedelia hybrid. That's a small part of my 5 thousand CD or half a terabyte of MP3 music collection (100K songs , though probably a lot of duplicates).

Anyway this Easter Sunday I have had an Easter Egg, done 10K steps, and found the books above. The weather is rubbish, but you can't have everything, although it would be nice to have. So it's time to see if I can track down those books and if I can't find them , reorder them online.

I've include two excellent videos of "Matilda Mother" from "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" and the alternate version so you can hear what I've been listening to.

So I need now to see if those books are still around, and make my tea (a couple of bacon sandwiches methinks). So enjoy your Easter Sunday my friends, and if you're lucky like me you'll be able to have a lie in tomorrow too.

Saturday 15 April 2017

On Coincidence

I am quite surprised that that my last but one post (here) about Theremins got only a few hits for some reason, it is probably because I couldn't directly post it on Facebook due to an apostrophe in the original title, I know my friend Jessica read it because she was asking about the sixties psychedelic music featured in it, and effectively she is part  the inspiration for this post, as you will see.

By the way I have been out this morning and the sky is blue but the wind is freezing,

Anyway a few months ago Ladbrokes completely inefficient back room set up effectively banned me from using their loyalty card. It isn't a deliberate ban but when I sent up an account they set me up with a different loyalty card number to the one I had, and then blocked the card I had because it was different to the one on my account. After phone calls and emails nothing changed, and as the offers weren't that special anyway I didn't bother.

A betting organisations including Ladbrokes have a betting offer called Best Odds Guaranteed which I used for small bets at my local shop.This week they limited this to loyalty cards (and also reduced it to single bets) which means I can't take advantage of it , but as it's on singles I wouldn't really use it anyway, so I won't be doing much horse betting at Ladbrokes now......

Also a few weeks ago I took part in a small Step Challenge and as a result I said I would do at least ten thousand steps a day from now on, and as a result I usually walk into Newcastle.

Yesterday Wildflower (Jessica and Asher's Vegan Café and Art Place)  were having a clothes exchange event. I had a bag of clothes bound for a charity shop but thought I would combine my walk into town and drop them into Wildflower.

My walk took me down Westgate Road and I was walking past Paddy Power which I knew did to the Best Odds Guaranteed offer as well. Spoke to a very nice girl in there called Nell, who offered me a coffee and told me nothing had changed and they still had the offer without strings. We got talking and I told I was going to Wildflower to drop some things in for Jessica.... and it turns out they're actually good friends, so an incredibly  unexpected coincidence that only happened because of a hell of a lot of unrelated events.

I really wanted to post this so I would just remember what actually happened, and why it happened.

So what piece should I choose? Because of what I have been reading there's been a lot of Tom Waits and Bowie appearing but I'm going the Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" because that's one of the seven inch vinyl discs I've been spinning while writing this piece , and it's a great record and also very funny.

Enjoy your Saturday my friends.

Friday 14 April 2017

On Mortality

A departed friend of mine once said we now die because something wears out, once we get that sorted we become immortal, that was decades ago. I've just started reading "The Age of Bowie" by Tony Morley after finishing "Tom Waits on Tom Waits". When I first opened the Tome Waits book , the writing was so tiny that I had difficulty reading it. I actually found a solution which was .... remove my glasses and hold the book a bit closer, then everything became crystal clear. When I opened the Bowie book the print was bigger so is easily readable using glasses or contact lenses, the books have similar numbers of pages but the Bowie book is larger format.

That got me thinking that without contact lenses and glasses my life would be far more difficult. I wouldn't be able to drive, watch TV properly or spot things from a distance. We now take these things for granted but visual aids have only really proliferated properly since the late nineteenth century.

When I was a child, people died because they died, there was the odd time there was a reason but , mostly they jsut died, the equivalent of "natural causes". Now there is always a reason. The thing is, we are still all mortal, but now have a lot more support in prolonging and enjoying life, although unfortunately the younger generations have a shorter life expectancy that older generations mainly due to junk food and sedentary lifestyles.

Today's media promotes that you child is under threat from any number of predators, when in fact that has always been the case. I taught my children to look out for themselves because I would not always be there to protect them , and also they needed their own independence. In all the time we once lost Juliet for three hours (pre mobile phone days) . it turned out she was with friends in a house across the road. We just emphasised to let us know if she was going to do that again. Another time Kirsty phone me at midnight:

"Dad can you come and get me"
"Where are you?"
"I don't know"

It turned out she had fallen asleep on the last Metro and missed her stop. Luckily she was at Manors station, not the best place to be but it was within walking distance for me (no car) and two nice guys had stayed with her til I came for her.

The thing is if you look after yourself , and keep in touch with friends and family , life can be very positive. You should always do things that you want to do , and don't procrastinate. Anyway I could go on and on, but I kept putting off writing this because I thought it would be too depressing, and I prefer positive things.

Despite all the bad things the media piles on us, we are living in great times. We have so many opportunities to enjoy life, experience things, and do things , alone and together and if you do all those things you will live long and prosper (to nick a line for Star Trek's Mr Spock I think , but am willing to be corrected).

I think in this post to have seen a little of how my mind wanders. I was going to include many more examples but I think I've have generally got some points across, and am now returning to the book that sparked this off "The Age Of Bowie" and Tony Morley keeps mentioning "Supermen" by Bowie from "The Man Who Sold The World" , although I first heard it when I bought the Glastonbury soundtrack from Palace Records and Coffee Shop next to the old Public Hall in Preston (where I saw my first live gig Uriah Heep on the "Demons and Wizards" tour) and spent many an afternoon there when I should have been in lessons. Wildflower on Westgate Road has very similar atmosphere but these students just go corporate brands. I wanted to "educate" one I heard walking through Newcastle yesterdat who proclaimed loudly:

"Newcastle has so much choice.... Jamie's Italian, TFI Fridays, Frankie and Bennies, Costa, Starbucks ...."

What an idiot. I desisted though.

Anyway my mind wandered again and I will leave you with "Supermen" by Bowie , because that is want we can all be (I am using it as a generic term).

Enjoy Good Friday Easter Bunnies.

Tuesday 11 April 2017

I Have A Theremin And I am Going To Use It

For some reason I decided I wanted a theremin, then found this theremin app on Amazon. If you want I'd suggest you get the free version and I use the play store as Amazon decided I didn't own a number of apps I'd downloaded from them. Suggestions were made that I could deinstall go and do something online and then reinstall and then they might work. My time is worth a lot more than the the few pounds I've lost, so I use Google Play Store, as my Samsung Note 4 is Android (although BlueTooth doesn't work now and Google & Samsung like Apple won't acknowledge that the problem exists, so I have to use wired headphones).

Anyway I'm still playing with my Tascam home studio and the theremin will be great fun to add to the recordings. My phone also has a great drum machine on that I paid for from the Play Store (Rock Drum Machine) so along with my guitars, keyboard and voice I have everything I need to do what I want apart from the ability to play or sing properly, but it's amazing that now you can have a full studio effectively in your bedroom.

Apparently the theremin was invented accidentally (it was meant to be an alarm) but Leon Theremin (Термéн) patented it in 1928 (see here)and it's been a staple of many science fiction soundtracks and even Midsomer Murders!

I've included "Noises For The Leg" by The Bonzo Dog Band so you can hear a theremin in action, and a live take so you can see a leg theremin in use in Brighton. Have a great Tuesday everybody.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Sunday Night

It's 9PM Sunday Night , knowing that tomorrow is work again.  As an added task I now am trying to walk 5 miles a day as well. Given that it means I can listen to what I want, walk where I want and when I want it's probably a good way to exercise. Today I decided to walk into town , then decided to walk back and ending up doing about eight miles. From May 1st I'm going to do the million step challenge , that's one million steps (500 Miles) i three months. There is a Diabetes UK 1 Million Step Challenge to raise money for research into diabetes here but I won't be taking part in it as my diabetes is self inflicted (several people have pointed out that diabetics are overweight and if they would just lose it they'd be be fine) . I don't let it bother me, I am to busy enjoying life.

The weather at the moment is wonderful and we have a couple of short weeks coming up, so opportunity to lie in and enjoy not having to get up for work.

I managed to miss a celebration of the release of the first Clash album , forty years ago yesterday,  and I remember it was dismembered and re assembled for the American market, so I ended up buying two copies of it. Although there are lot's of brilliant songs on there my favourite is still "London's Burning" but I'm sure there will be lot's of other favourites on there.

Anyway I could have chosen The Proclaimers "500 Miles" but I will go with "London's Burning".
Enjoy your Sunday night my friends.

Thursday 6 April 2017


Again this is more linking of the Step Challenge and reading Tome Waits on Tom Waits. He's been releasing albums since the early seventies and been covered by people who, shall we say, are easy on the ear, and I chose a Tom Waits song to kick og my random play as I walked into work.

The song I chose is "(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night" and it's a beauty, and Waits' version could fit on any easy listening station although it is undoubtedly a Tom Waits song with him delivering  the song. If it's not in your collection it should be. I got a live version which is slightly more edgy that the studio version but worth your time.

Fast forward to "Bone Machine" and this is real end of the world / Armageddon delivered by one of Lucifer's stormtroopers. "Earth Died Screeaming" really hit me when I first heard it, this is Tom Waits taking no prisoners, and I love it.

It is amazing to hear the change in his music, yet retaining his essential magic.

If you are not into Tom Waits , why not?

He isn't easy ... but he is worth it.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

A Devilishly Short Post

I wasn't going to post anything this morning, as I need to get off to the doctors, pick up a book from the Post Office, then go to work. But again, reading "Tom Waits on Tom Waits" I come across an interview with Terry Gilliam. That's two of my favourite artists talking together (well the words transposed to paper) , how good is that.

I also saw a great mural in Edinburgh featuring Gilliam (see here) and below:

I suppose it's natural that imaginative people gravitate towards imaginative people and Waits ended up cast as The Devil in Gilliams' "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" , which I loved (As I do with most of Gilliam's films"

I'll include "Down In The Hole" from "Frank's Wild Years" (which was the theme to "The Wire") and references The Devil heavily.

Anyway I just wanted to tell you about that before I went off to pick up my book. Have a brilliant Tuesday everybody.

Sunday 2 April 2017

Everyone Will Hate Me Even More Than They Already Do Now ....

Well all the male members of the various neighbouring houses will do, because I think I'm the first one to mow the lawn this year, so you know what that means, people will be saying "Well he's mowed his lawn". It actually looks very well after the first mow, but this means I'll have to do it at least once a fortnight. Also there's still quite a lot of leaves so the brown bin is full and ready to be emptied.

We're only two days into April and I'm still keeping up my five miles a day. I'm sure I'm going to miss my target one day, but I want to do it every day in April if possible, the everyday after that. It's a simple way of getting a little exercise although I need to vary my toutes, and today I ended up in a fenced off cul-de-sac.

It's funny ever since seeing the film "Eden Lake" with is JG Ballard type premise, all estates make me go cold. I am fine in normal streets, but when I hit a housing estate, especially if it's walled, I do start to feel more than a little threatened. Obviously "Eden Lake" had it's desired effect on me.

I decided to mow the lawn yesterday but it began to rain so that's why I did it today, and I am glad I've got that out of the way..

Today , surprisingly I didn't actually listen to any music on my walk, but it actually kept my attention.

I also watched the film "Youth" featuring great verbal  sparring between Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, and also cameos from Paloma Faith (Good in Bed apparently) and Diego Maradona (Rather portly but a great back tattoo). I was wondering what song to include and really it has to be "Michael Caine" by Madness hasn't it?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday my friends.

Saturday 1 April 2017

Two Songs

One of the benefits of my ten thousands steps a day that I'm trying to do, is that I am listening to a lot of my music on random play and rediscovering music I've either never played or I've just forgotten. My memory has never been good so it' is always difficult when I play or sing a song. so the chances are that I've known the songs but just forgotten them.

Two songs came up that reminded me strongly of other songs, one being a straight lift, other just having similar phasing and phrasing.

The first was PM Dawn "Art Deco Halos" which appropriates Baloo's "I Wanna Be Like You" from Disney's "Jungle Book". My friend Katie quoted it at me when I said that people just wanted to be like her because she was such a good example of  a human being.

Next up was A Flock of Seagulls'  "Nightmares" which is not a song that springs immediately to mind, but reminds me very much of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'". YOu may think differently but that's what it made me think of.

Anyway I will include both the songs to see what your opinion is.

Good night my lovely friends.

Bohemian Rhapsodies

It my last post I was talking about things Boho / Bohemian but it never crossed my mind to include Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (a fact mentioned by my friend Julie) ... to me that definitely does not fit the Boho Groove, though Freddie Mercury definitely did and this did spill over into some Queen songs (thinking "Killer Queen" and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy"). The think that I loved about Queen was that they didn't give a damn about fashion and just did what they wanted.

I bought their first single "Keep Yourself Alive" which was released with the fanfare "NO SYNTHESISERS" despite some nifty phasing on the guitar. I think that statement appeared on a lot of their albums.

In fact I think the Muppets' take on "Bohemian Rhapsody" is actually in the Boho Groove.. and would that be a good way to start this April on April Fools Day... I think it would.

Enjoy your Saturday my friends.