Showing posts with label Groucho Marx. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Groucho Marx. Show all posts

Friday 21 April 2017

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.

Saturday 19 November 2016

TV Dinner - #ALifeInNumbers #57

I often hear (and see thanks to social media), people complaining that there is nothing on television. That is in these days of so many channels that you can get lost. The thing is you can only watch one thing at once, but some people seem to think that means they can only watch one thing, their TV diet is often X-Factor, EastEnders and if they are feeling adventurous maybe Coronation Street and Britain's Got Talent. Needless to say I don't watch these , but I do remember the days before BBC2 existed and you couldn't record anything.

It is true that since the digital explosion there are an awful lot of channels filled with unwatchable dross, but this very fact means that there is always something that you can watch. Groucho Marx once said that he found TV very educational, if he walked into a room where the TV was on he'd walk out and find a book to read. TVs have always had an off switch.

Today the options to watch high quality content has never been better. There are films and TV series that I will never see despite them being must watch programmes. Dexter, Braquo, and 24 are three that immediately spring to mind.

Also I remember everyone complaining about repeats on television, now you have whole channels screening repeats DAVE and GOLD are two that spring to mind though there may have been name changes and one may be the other.

Anyway we are up to number 57 in #ALifeInNumbers and it has to be Bruce Springsteen's "57 Channels (And Nuthin' On) which does hit the nail about the choices we are presented with which are maybe no real choice at all.

Me, I find that 6Music , Radio 2,3 and 4 then BBC2,4 , Film4, Sky Living, Atlantic and Arts provide me with far more than I need. If I then add Youtube and TED then that gives you a small indication of my tastes.

Enjoy Saturday Night my friends.