Saturday, 31 August 2013

the book of revelation - rupert thomson

'The Book Of Revelation' (by Rupert Thomson) started out as a strange tale of sexual shenanigans, but then moved on to with dealing with what had happened, and trust me, it's not too cheerful a tale.
A male dancer in Amsterdam is kidnapped by three hooded women, held hostage in a white room, abused and raped, and suddenly let free. He then tries to get on with his life, doesn't confess what has happened to anyone (apart form his long term girlfriend), and tries to find the captors, who he only knows through their bodies and actions, as they kept their faces hidden throughout the ordeal.  At first l was not so keen on the tale as it struck me as another posh git writing porn trash either to make money or to shock and show how 'street' he is (similar to the feelings l kind of harboured about Jonny Glynn's 'The Seven Days of Peter Crumb) book, but l gave that one the benefit of the doubt (and l don't know Glynn's background).  Maybe that is more to do with my own preconceptions and attitudes, because the 'Revelation' book progressed as l didn't expect it to, it was well written, and l can' t really have any complaints about the motives of it, as it was so entertaining, and left you wanting more.  I shall purchase more of his tales, but in second hand form only, as l still have my principles (and fucked up attitudes), unless l find out in the meantime that he is a fine upstanding fellow, because let's face it, people can't help their backgrounds.

toodle pip

some valiant comics l've uploaded

Some of the many comic pages (from The Valiant) that l have uploaded on another site.
I really need to get a life.

toodle pip

the darlington monthly magazine

Hold yourselves back ladies! I assume he's married, but this is the sight that awaited me when l was trying to find an article in the Darlington monthly magazine about a film an acquaintance of mine is producing. I couldn't get the magazine to open up online, and with that cover, it may have been for the best, as l dread to think what delights were lurking within. I'd have Operation Yewtree banging on my door in no time (or should that be breaking in my back door?).

toodle pip

Friday, 30 August 2013

some george best books

When not at work, l have been keeping myself out of mischief (alongside trips to the pub) and devouring some books about George Best, with varying results.  'Loving George' (by Alex Best)  is her tale about their relationship, and it's often not very easy reading.  Despite the fact l loved George Best for his football skills and cheeky charm, there is no disputing the fact he could be a nasty drunk and violent to women, and this is one of the main themes of the later part of the book.  In my humble opinion, Alex should have left him earlier, and despite her claims not to be interested in the fame and money, l still find it hard to believe she would have stuck with 'Bestie' as long as she did (or even married him in the first place) without the trappings of fame that went along with it.  I know lots of women do so without the celebrity attachments, but they often expect no better because of their background, or put up with it for financial security (and often, for the children). Either way, there are no winners in that kind of situation.

'A Life In The News' (edited by Richard Williams) features reproduced newspaper reports about Best's matches, interviews and viewpoints by journalists. As you can imagine, it starts off full of praise, and get's more depressing as it goes on, as Best stumbles drunkenly on from one escapade and relationship to another.  It was still worth the effort, as it was good to read the match reports from an earlier and more innocent time, when Best was at his peak, and the future was uncertain.

'Best and Edwards - football fame and oblivion' by Gordon Burn was the best of them all (no pun intended), albeit also depressing in it's own way.  It covered Duncan Edwards and George Best (as you would expect from the cover), but also Munich, Bobby Charlton, statue makers, Matt Busby, and the eroding respect shown in all walks of life as the years pass by. Times are a changin' (as Bob Dylan so eloquently stated) but it's not always for the advancement of mankind. An excellent read which l would wholeheartedly recommend to anybody, not just Manchester United fans, but it left even a  miserable cynic like myself pining for the olden days.

toodle pip

Thursday, 29 August 2013

the house is going to ruin

I can't believe it! The FPO only moved down south a day ago and the house is already falling apart!  The onion in the fridge has seen better days and looks like it's been grasping for some life (like us all), and a bleeding slug appeared in the bath, much to my disgust.  They were both thrown away, but l spared the slug the salt treatment out of pity.  Mind you, he did still go down the toilet, so that was probably a fate worse than death (or salt).

toodle pip

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

dazzer is now airport

The Motors were a bunch of ugly bastards who could have had more success if they were pretty boys, but to me, from now on they shall always be associated with Dazzer (my brother in law's) new nickname - Airport.

toodle pip

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

the waterboys - under the skin, fanzines and following them around

Ah, The Waterboys and my 'Under The Skin' Waterboys magazine.  Between about 1985 and 1990 l thought they might have been the best band in the world, with only U2 giving them a run for their money.  Don't get me wrong, l liked lots of other music of the time (The Alarm, Prince. Springsteen, The Mission, The Cure, REM, Spear of Destiny, Echo And The Bunnymen), but from 'A Pagan Place' until 'Room to Roam' l absolutely adored them, and saw them on numerous occasions.  My favourite gig was probably at The Riverside in Newcastle in 1986 when Karl Wallenger was still in the band, as it was a very small venue, the show was great, it was one of the first times l had seen them, and the set was very, very long (and available on t'net).   Because of my love for them, l put together a magazine of stuff l would have liked to have been available to me as a fan (old cuttings, reviews and photos) as they didn't have programmes in those far flung days.  l thought l could flog them at their gigs, therefore paying for me to follow them around and enabling me to see them on tour.  As l couldn't drive, l had to hire a mate (hello Rocker!) as a driver, and we went all over Ireland and the UK flogging the magazines (I did a second one after the first Fisherman's Blues tour out of stubbornness!).  Beforehand, I had written to Mike Scott asking for permission to sell them at their gigs, but he declined and wished me luck.  He then put myself and my driver on the guest list of the Ireland 1988 tour when we turned up and met him before the opening concert in Cork (although he wasn't too happy at first about the old articles being reprinted). However, after a few dates, he took us off the list, as he probably thought we were raking it in (Hah!) and people may have thought it was the (non existent) programme for the tour. I nearly got into a fight with Mike after one of the early Irish shows about the magazine and how we weren't taking the piss (he obviously thought we were), but we were then taken off the guest list, and had many obstacles put in our way as regards selling them, despite other fanzine sellers (and pirate t-shirt sellers) being allowed lots more access and getting no grief.  I had no problems with the other fanzine or shirt sellers, bought their products, and got on with them, drinking with them and having a laugh.  To me, Saints and Angles was far and above the other fanzines as far as quality was concerned, but l enjoyed all of them and what they had to offer, as l appreciated their labours of love, and their wares appealed to me as a fan myself. Eventually, even the pirate t-shirt sellers were amazed at the treatment we were getting, as they made their wonga outside the venues while the Waterboys lackeys moved myself and my friend away from the gigs (whenever they saw us).  Because of our pitiful situation compared to the other sellers, we were actually given dodgy access all areas passes by the swag guys, so were able to see most of the shows (which was the whole reason for doing the magazine in the first place).  It was still a great experience because of the travelling around, seeing the band, and meeting people, but it was tarnished by the treatment we received.  Obviously Mike had his viewpoint and reasons, and l had my own, but it left a biter taste for a long time. I gave away a batch of left over magazines outside a Liverpool show a few years ago (I'm originally from there) and have seen the band since the Fisherman's Blues era and still adore their music, but it was definitely a 50/50 love /hate experience.  Love on my side, hate on theirs.  Hate is probably too strong a word, but who knows?
The good side was l met a lot of genuinely lovely and interesting people, The Saw Doctors stayed at my girlfriends place in Newcastle, The Hothouse Flowers were some of the nicest people you could imagine (as was The Edge and his brother), and I travelled around of the UK, without the experience putting me of the Waterboys music (Room to Roam did that at the time). One of the people we met (and gave a lift to) even ran off with and married my girlfriend (hello Graham and Dianne!), but luckily we remained friends. Rocker (the driver) said it was the best time he has had in his life, and who am l to disagree with him.  Drinks all round!!

toodle pip

Monday, 26 August 2013

take a nap

Take a nap.  It solves everything, apart from my lack of sleeping (and many, many issues)

toodle pip

Sunday, 25 August 2013

please help hitch hiking sign

Will they get what they want?  Are they attractive (and female?).  If the answer is yes - there's a good chance it will happen (but l wouldn't like to think of the cost).

toodle pip

Saturday, 24 August 2013

all the way from russia - the singingoffkeys!!

Amongst some recent finds searching through old photographs, were these snaps of a barbershop quartet l used to be in called The Singingoffkeys ('All the way from Russia').  There is a club near to where we lived called The Travaux that we used to play football for, and they used to have a barbershop singing competition every year.  As a laugh, myself and three mates decided to enter it, but to liven it up, we did comedy routines along with the singing, as there was no way we could take it seriously.  The above photograph features our dirty old men flashing routine, but we also dressed in nappies and danced like babies (amongst other delights).  Anyhows, we ended up winning it every year, as the audience voted for their favourite act, so the (old and disgruntled) organisers of the competition got upset with our impertinence and cancelled it, leaving us as undefeated champions.  I think the trophy is still on display at The Travaux, and l'll check it out the next time l go there (whenever that will be).  As for the other members of the quartet, say hello to Frenchie (Peter French), Lammy (Paul Lambert) and Rocker (Mark Rye).  I am the good looking one in the coloured undies.

toodle pip

jonny glynn - the seven days of peter crumb

One of my charity shop purchases from the other day, The Seven Days Of Peter Crumb reminded me of Nick Cave's  'The Death Of Bunny Munroe', as they both feature a deranged character spiralling off the rails, although Johnny Glynn's Crumb is undergoing a contrapuntal crisis, as a result of  a death years before, leading him to drink, drugs, rape, murder and an unexpected act of heroism.  It's a real page turner, without doubt very gory and violent, but the story keeps you entertained and wanting to know more, as Crumb reveals flashes of humanity coupled with a sharp intellect. An unexpected delight.

toodle pip

Friday, 23 August 2013

saying goodbye as a foursome

The delights of Colin Changs

Outside The Southern Cross

                                                       Outside The Southern Cross (again)

Some happy times and holidays as a foursome

My bed for the night - very comfy!!

Well, it was off to Robbo and Kerry's in Middlesbrough last night to say goodbye to the FPO as a foursome, as she is moving to a new job down south next week.  It started with a bang as the exhaust on her car fell off as she was driving me and Robbo to The Southern Cross.  She had been warned by Kwik Fit that it was about to fall off, and had it booked in to be repaired on Tuesday, but due to this calamity, she had to wait for a repair man to come and take it off completely, so me and Robbo carried on walking, had a couple of drinks and an in depth chat outside The Southern Cross, then got a taxi back to the house with Chinese food for everybody from Colin Changs.  The FPO left early as she wasn't able to drink much due to driving, and l stayed up with Robbo for a while once Kerry went to bed, drinking and chatting some more (when he wasn't falling asleep).  Up early in the morning as we all had work, except for Kerry, but she had to be up to drop off Cairan (or Mr C as l have decided to call him) at the nursery. Kerry is off to meet the FPO in London before Christmas, but it's probably the end of a glorious era.
I blame God.

toodle pip

Thursday, 22 August 2013

charity shop books just purchased

An excellent return for an hour or so of mooching around the charity shops in Richmond.  I've already got (and read) the Dee Brown 'Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee' book, but my old copy is pretty tattered now, so l'll give that one away and replace it with the newer version.  You can't go too far wrong with anything concerning Bill Hicks, and the others were just spur of the moment buys because they looked interesting.  I'll find out pretty soon if l was correct or not.

toodle pip

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

new george best and manchester united framed pictures

At long last l have got around to putting the above pictures into frames and sticking them in the spare room. The George Best cartoon and signature was a present from some friends (Hello Mick and Gail!) which has been rolled up in a tube for the last few years, as l wasn't that keen on the cartoon, but loved the signature and thought that had gone into getting me the pressie.
The Manchester United one l put together myself, and am already cursing as l should have put the Typhoo Tea pictures at the top in a different order, with Best and the ball in the middle.  I will do this very soon, but l am put off by the amount of time it took to hang it correctly.  However, my annoyance with it will override my laziness.  If you are sad like me, and wondering what the little pictures are, they are a complete set of the Manchester United team from the  'Soccer Stars In Action' picture stamp album from 1969/70.  I also have the album itself with all of the teams squads completed and stuck in (see below).  Told you l was sad, but l've got to occupy myself somehow.

toodle pip

dolly parton slowed down

Want to hear Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' slowed down?   It's as good a version as the original, if not better. Certainly more moody.

toodle pip

george best on this is your life - 17 november 1971

What a great find this was!!
George Best on This Is Your Life from 1971, an episode l had never seen before.
I only discovered this about 2.30am as l was about to go to bed, but obviously l then stayed up to watch it. In hindsight, it's funny to see Frank O'Farrell (the then manager of Manchester United) looking so happy, as that was about to end in tears.  Best's disappearances and fines for missing training were glossed over, and where was Denis Law or the other players?.
It was only about a year after this when Best retired for the first time, and although he achieved a lot, and always said he had no regrets about his career, he could have done so much more, and scarily enough, been an even better player if he had looked after himself.
All praise Belfast Jack for putting it up.

toodle pip

now that's what l call a sand sculpture!

The person who did this is a genius!  I bet there will be more than a few people freaked out by it (and some others thinking they have had a lucky discovery).  The seaweed hair is a nice touch.
From here.

toodle pip

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

infrared photographs of space

Space is endlessly fascinating, and there is still so much we don't understand about it (dark matter anybody?).  It is however, also amazing to look at (with the right equipment) as these photographs of visible space and space as seen through infrared lenses highlight.
From here.

toodle pip

Monday, 19 August 2013

tattoos of the body being opened up

Want to see some tattoos that look as though the body has been opened up?  Of course you do!  Well have a gander at these beauties, all of them pretty impressive, with the bottom one being my favourite. They certainly put to shame the crappy tats that l have got, that's for sure.
There are more to be found here.

toodle pip

Sunday, 18 August 2013

some old holiday pictures

Nevada Smiths, New York, as Manchester United completed the treble in 1999.

I've been sorting some stuff out and changing some photographs in frames, and while doing so, came across (amongst many others) these fine examples of old holidays. 
Ah, the good old days, when we didn't have a care in the world.

toodle pip

Friday, 16 August 2013

robin thicke and marvin gaye - fight!

Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr are taking out a counter lawsuit against Marvin Gaye's family and Bridgeport music after a disagreement over the similarities of 'Blurred Lines,' and Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up'.  The trio say there are no similarities "other than commonplace musical elements", and l'll let you decide, but to my old cloth ears, it sounds like they have nicked the backbone of the song. However, the 'Blurred Lines' song is still a classic dance tune (as is the Gaye track).   There are two top tunes out there now instead of the one, so everyone's a winner (babe), unless you are trying to make money out of it and face ongoing court action, so 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the population are quids in, and l'm sure all interested parties in the song/songs will make a pretty penny out of it/them as well..

toodle pip

Thursday, 15 August 2013

my new (clean) driving licence

I can't believe it!  My new driving licence arrived today, and for the first time in nearly 20 years it is clean. No points, no convictions, nothing. Clean as a whistle, sharp as a thistle.
It doesn't feel right.
It's unnatural.
It's not me.
It won't last.

Now if l can only get the 4 pages of my CRB check seen to and cleaned up as well, l'd be sorted.

toodle pip

charlie brown, peanuts and the smiths

My admiration for the Charlie Brown / Peanuts cartoons by Charles M Shulz is second to none, as l used to spend most of my (meagre) pocket money on the books when l was a nipper, identified with some of the stories way too much, and my crappy 'cartoon style' is heavily influenced by them (for what that is worth!).
Putting the lyrics of Morrissey  together with them was a genius idea, and it has been superbly realised by This Charming Charlie in this here tumblr page, where there are plenty more to be found.
As in many things in life, l wish l had thought of it first, and, although l do like The Smiths, the amalgamation of the lyrics and cartoons highlights how poignant (or just downright miserable) Morrisey's lyrics are.
By jove, Morrissey was easily mocked (and still is), but he sure was good.

toodle pip