Sunday, October 29, 2006

4th July 2002

Happy Independance Day to all our American readers. Enjoy the holiday as I
am sure you will. It is also my wedding anniversary which is 16 years. I
have to say it doesn't seem like 16 years but time has very big wings and
it has flown rapido!! Sorry about the lack of updates but I have had
nothing of outstanding interest to share with you but I will give you a
little taster of recent activities. I have been spending lot more time on
the "wise words" so what I lack in installments I try to make up in
quality (of sorts?). The World Cup ended and the Brazilians won which was
a bit of a gutter for me because I had backed the Germans each way at 20-1
at the beginning of the tournament and would have had a good meal for five
had they won but as it turned out they lost and it was more like a
take-away for two. I went over to Blackheath to visit our Saaarf Landan
Posse for Janice's 50th birthday and I took my guitar and had a strum in
the garden but I have to admit that I am not the best guy to give a guitar
to at a party because I don't really know a lot of tunes because a) who am
I ever gonna play them too and b) I think I am probably too lazy to work
them out and remember them as there seems little point. Well that's my
excuse and I am sticking to it. Had a good drink and a good chat with good
company and woke with only a minor headache which would be cured with a
fry up and a Solpadiene and a visit to a pub in Greenwich to watch the
World Cup final. I had my second experience on the Docklands Light Railway
which is the driver-less underground/overground train and it was a
pleasant morning for taking in the surroundings. I have never walked
around Greenwich before and it was quite a vibe. At midday on a Sunday it
defintely had the air of olden days and ships and Lord Nelson and barrells
of rum and all that stuff. The cobbled streets away from the main road are
pretty much how they have been for "many a year" apart from the occasional
lick of paint over small townhouses and small shops on winding roads. The
pub was an old one and a place where you can imagine people were
press-ganged outside after having a few too many ales and woke up to find
they were on the way to the West Indies for a tobacco run (some things
don't change except the modern-day equivalent is people filled with
condoms of crack cocaine). Good hospitality with shrimps and cockles and
whelks with some cheese and biscuits thrown in for good measure. After my
first Guinness I started to feel a lot better and after the second I was
almost back to full steam. The game was ok and to be fair there is hardly
ever a "classic" final. I think that last one would have been a classic if
the "Ronaldo Incident" had not occurred and I was quite pleased for him
that he scored and won the cup for his country because he has had a
terrible four years since the last World Cup. He was out of club football
for a year with a knee injury and half an hour into his comeback game he
did the same thing to the same knee. No wonder that his guest of honour at
the final was his surgeon!! After the game Joe took me down to Greenwich
Market and we had a stroll round for half an hour and looked at lots of
nice stuff particularly the old "reclaimed" pine furniture. Very nice
indeed if you have £600 to spend on a chest of drawers to put your
"smalls" in. The best part was visiting a shop called "The Flying Duck"
which sells lots of tacky "kitsch" stuff like pineapple ice buckets, Elvis
glasses, vintage porno mags, "home" bars and all sorts of amazing stuff. I
was gutted I didn't have £40 becasue I would have spent it on the "Sacred
Heart Jesus" (Catholics, you know the one?) on a beaded curtain. It was
absolute quality. I love that tacky shit and actually went in there to
find either a "Crying Boy" or an "African Princess" or a "Spanish Lady" or
an "Eygyptian Lady". These are those 70's prints that everyone used to
have in their house (well they did in the UK, I don't know about elsewhere
but I would be keen to know!"). We used to have an Egyptian Lady in my
house when I was a kid and I think Mark O'Toole's Mum had a Spanish Lady.
They had some in the shop but I thought it was a piss-take at £12 and
shall go to a car-boot sale and buy my own for a quid. I should also
explain for our foreign readers why the shop was called "The Flying Duck".
It refers to the three ceramic ducks, decreasing in size, that one would
have hanging on one's parlour wall if one was posh in the Seventies.
Enough of my jollities and take a moment to think about another musician
who has unplugged and switched his amp off. John Entwistle was an
outstanding musician. How many bass players are there that are instantly
recognisable from their sound? There are plenty of guitarists like Gilmour
and Van Halen and Hendrix and probably lots of others but I can't think of
any other bass player who you can name in about six bars. I was glad I got
to see him play live and once spent a few minutes with him when I was
rehearsing at a posh studio with Mark and Ped. I was discussing it with
'arris the other day and he was telling me that when people heard his bass
chop in "My Generation" everybody wanted to be a bass player and try to
get that sound. I guess this means the end of The Who because I don't
think they could play without both members of the rhythm section. JE has
probably just got to that boss jam in the sky to join Moon The Loon in The
Nirvana All Star Cabaret. It seems with the passing of George Harrison and
John Entwistle than I have now entered the years where my rock heroes will
be dying of natural causes and I guess that is more of a milestone than
turning forty (nearly). When I was a kid and first getting into music we
had people choking on their own vomit (Hendrix, Bonham), freezing to death
whilst drunk (Bon Scott), drank and drugged to death (Phil Lynott), hung
and unhappy (Ian Curtis), shot and unhappy (Kurt Cobain) and for KP I
better mention Johnny Thunders (could have happened at any time during
twenty years of extreme drug abuse) and Nikki Sixx ( died and came back
after a "shed-load" of intravenous drugs) but now I am going to have to
get used to these guys popping off "au naturelle". I did glimpse a sight
of a headline in one of our Daily Bollox papers that said he died in the
arms of a stripper and if that is true then you couldn't really begrudge
him that, regardless of if he was married, because I guess he was only
trying to keep his end up, as they say in cricket, and gone out like one
of his comtempories. If it is evening when you are reading this then get
yourself a small/large one and raise it to Mr Entwistle and if you are at
work have a Latte with an extra shot of espresso!! Thanks John, Rock In
Peace. See ya next week.


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