Sunday, October 29, 2006

4th July 2003

Well it is now Thursday and my legs still look like I have been scalded. That was some cooking I must have got on Sunday. When I got up on Monday morning and shuffled into the bathroom I could hardly see my face in the mirror for the expanding "Karl Malden" nose in the middle of it. It had blistered overnight and the skin peeled off with remarkable ease. It is still very red today, giving me the look of a man who has fallen asleep in his bolognese.
I was up in the loft the other day sorting through the shit you have in the loft and I found a couple of reels of tape. Three were from my dad's house and two were old demos reels. I dragged an old reel to reel tape recorder that I had in the studio back to my house and investigated their contents. The tapes from my dad's house were about thirty five years old so I was expecting some deteriation in the sound quality but I was not disappointed when I clunked the big play switch and the antique sprung into life. The voice coming our of the tiny speaker in the front was my own. I had found my first ever recordings The tape contains me and my sister reciting nursery rhymes, sing-a-song-a-sixpence and baa-baa black sheep. The highlight though was my recital of the story of Chicken Licken. I took the machine up to the studio last night and transferred the tapes onto mini-disc and when I have put them in the pc and cleaned them up a bit I will put them up somewhere for you to hear. The other two reels were old demos from Dancing Girls days with three songs on one and one on another. I recognised the tapes becasue even at half speed I could make out that famous Johnson warble. I could not transfer these because they run at a faster speed than my shitty tape machine would allow so before I can let you hear these I need to find a machine that runs at 15ips. Ah nostalgia!!!
Today is my wedding anniversary, I think it is 18 years, and also the day that my eldest daughter is to be confirmed in church. In case you don't know, confirmation is something you do when you are 13-14 when you go to church and renew your bapstism, sorta. Now you are old enough to know your own mind (and don't we fucking know it!!) you can decide whether you still want to be part of God's family and they give you an extra name as well. After the ceremony my daughter will be back at the house with some of her mates for a little celebration and me and Mrs Nash will be celebrating also. It was only when I got in a three this morning that I remembered that I had not got an anniversary card so I am off out to get one before she comes back from work or I may have played my last note. Personally I think this greetings card racket is a pain in the arse but I know how much you ladies like your token piece of decorative cardboard. On the way I will be caling in to watch my little boys final sports day at his school but this time I am going out in a hat and an overcoat and will be staying out of direct sunlight. Bye 4 now.

30th June 2003

Hello to one and all. If you have been watching the Glastonbury coverage then you will know that me and the boys never got our chance to rock the people in Somerset which is a shame. Normally I would tune in and be very curious to see what was on offer but my mind was poisoned by the fact that we were not there. I will give you an example: My mate sent me a text yesterday asking if I was there and I sent him one back that said "No, I am sitting in front of the telly going ' they're shite, he's shite, what a fucking wanker, we would wipe the floor with this lot'". So instead of facing the sweaty throng in a field I was actually sitting in a field watching my boy play football. He plays for the school team and I have often watched his team play and they usually get rinsed by at least ten goals. This is probably because "competitive" sports are not really encouraged in the school that he goes to. I can understand the philosophy behind this but it peeves me a little. If the people of this country were not a nation of people who got "fired up" for confrontation then we would probably all be speaking French, German or Italian now and I reckon sport is a passionate pastime whether you are an amatuer or a professional. I don't condone "competitive dads" screaming and shouting from the sidelines but nor do I condone not having the will to trounce the opposition. It seems that trouncing is not on the agenda anymore. I would always say "If you can't stand losing then don't play but if you win , then win with grace, and with consideration as to how your opponent might feel". This is something that Sir Alex Ferguson has never learnt whilst growing up!!!!
I digress, the boys got to the final and lost 1-0. There was a little disappointment amongst the ranks but at least it was nice to walk away with some medals, even if they were silver.
Just been out for a few scoops with the irrepressible Mr P and my old man (he was down here on stand-by in case I got the call). I would say that it was a perfect end to the day except my face looks like a smacked arse from all the sun I have had today (no shade at the football) and my bright pink legs are in stark contrast to my bright white feet. I think I will be in for an uncomfortable night so it is a good job I had a few pints of the black stuff to cool me down and make me forget about being "TOOOO HOOOOT MAAAAAN!!". Ttfn.


Forthcoming Gigs.

1st August - Eastleigh Festival
For further info go to

9th August - Eden Festival
For Further info go to

Welcome to the new look "wise words". The entries have been less frequent because my digi camera was busted and I haven't been able to capture any stills so there will be no pics in future editions and any new pics will be in the gallery section. There should be some nice stills from the recent gig at The Flying Picket. With this new web log format I will be updating more frequetly and will try to make it more like a diary rather than the mammoth newsletter you have been getting every month. This is the last mammoth edition so I suppose we better get on with it.
The new band have been out and made there first mark on a stage with the recent gigs we did. Two nights before the gig in Liverpool we did a little warm up at the boys local on the night of the UEFA Cup Final which unfortunately Celtic lost. We played very well and were primed for the gig in the 'pool. The worst thing about the Liverpool gig was that I had to drive there, do the gig and drive back again all in the same day. I thought we played very well at the gig and the lights and sound were excellent. The only disappointing thing was the low turn-out. Thank you to all the people who did turn up: Lex & Po, Tez & Reidy, Irv & Mark, Mark & Lou, Ian & Pete, Paul & Paul. It was nice to see you all and I hope you enjoyed watching as much as I did playing. There was one important visitor to the gig in the 'pool and this was a lady who does a lot of bookings for festivals including Glastonbury and I am currently waiting a phone call that will most probably not happen. She has managed to wangle us a reserve slot for this year and if someone pulls out then Dan, Niol and myself will be tearing down to Somerset to join Noel who is already there. It would be beyond belief and totally ream if the phone does ring but as you can imagine I have resigned myself to the fact that it won't ring so I do not disappoint myself too much. All that said: you just never know. So althoug Glastonbury is a distant dream there is one festival that is booked which is stark reality. The same lady has booked us to play the Eden Festival in Arrowe Park on the Wirral on the 9th August so if you fancy some fun in the sun then shoot on up to Merseyside. On the subject of Merseyside it was the boys first visit to the 'pool and as the venue is so close to the Anglican Cathedral we managed to pop in there for ten minutes and have a quick look around. You may know that I have sung the praises of this magnificent building in these pages before and it is truly an awesome sight. It was a little unfortunate that we arrived about five minutes too late to go up to the top of the tower which would have been a treat because it was such a lovely day. I also spun them up to Toxteth which was a surprise for them because they were expecting it to be like Dodge City but because of the amount of regeneration that has gone on in the area it all looks quite posh. The only give away is the dodgy little kids running around on BMX bikes. Lastly on the subject of Merseyside, it was good to see Liverpool win the bid for the European Capital of Culture. It will mean a lot of much needed investment in the city and there will be a lot of good to come out of it. Maybe David Moyes can apply for some European funding to help him develop his shite football team.
Now for the obituary column. We have lost a couple of crackers over the last month. First, radio commentator Peter Bromley. He was the horse racing correspondent for Radio Five and following his death they broadcast a tribute programme to him and aired some of his more famous pieces of radio commentary. There is one that always has me welling up and it was when Red Rum won the Grand National for the third time. A great piece of audio but not a good as what I deem to be his best ever which was his commentary on Bob Champion winning the National on Aldiniti. Bob came back from cancer to win the greatest race of all and it was such a fairy tale they made a movie of it with John Hurt playing the role of Bob Champion called imaginatively "Champions". Although I am not a racing fan it is sad to lose such great professionals, especially when they have been at the top of their game for so long.
The other great loss was Mickie Most. If you are my age then you will know more about Mickie Most from his days as a panelist on the show "New Faces". He was the one who the audiences loved to hate because he would always slag the bands off, kinda like Simon Cowell but not such a fucking wanker or such a totally annoying twat (I would love to pull his pants over his head). I used to think he was a bit harsh but he was probably right. They would have these half decent cabaret bands on in powder blue tuxedos and he would say something like "the performance was average, they don't have their own songs and the suits are disgusting" and all the audience would boo but he was absolutely spot on. I had the good fortune to meet him once when Grant and myself went to see him to play him some Dr Jolly's stuff. He was a total cool cat and listened to five songs, really loud and then said "Well, you've got three of the four singles you are gonna need, I really like the direction with the Beach Boys harmonies but what do you think I can do". the answer was not much but he then went on to slag off the music industry in a way that I could never hope to reproduce in this edition and even if I could it would not do it any justice. Mickie produced some great records in his time from "Mellow Yellow" and "House Of The Rising Sun" to "Tiger Feet" and "Every One's A Winner". Maybe we will see him pooping up on satellite tv when they show the re-runs of "New Faces". Nice one Mickie, rest in peace.
News from Big Top: Apart from the rehearsing that me and the boys have been doing I have had some visitors in the shape of The Popes. The Popes were so pleased with their first visit to Big Top they have decided to come back and to some more recording again. Nice bunch of chaps with some nice tunes. I managed to persuade the banjo player Tom to come and play on some of my new tunes in the future which should be a vibe.
Cinema reviews: I ain't been out to the flicks for a while so I had a bit of a cultural burst and went to see "Secretary" which is a bit of a dark "relationship" movie which was not bad. It stars James Spader doing his best "James Spader playing the bad, mad guy". I dragged Irish Ed down to Camden Town to see a Japanese horror/thriller called "Dark Water" which is about a woman and daughter living in a very foreboding tower block that is haunted by the ghost of a young girl. It certainly had the hairs standing up on my on a few occasions and was well worth a visit. Last week I went with Noel to see the new Matrix movie which was quite good. I get the vibe that the people who made it were not too bothered about the story being too strong as long as there were plenty of bombs going off and lots of fight scenes. The CGI is incredible and well worth seeing. I got a leaflet from Ket yesterday that showed the screen times to see The Matrix Reloaded at the IMAX cinema in Waterloo. This is a cinema with a huge screen that is as tall as four double-decker buses and it is a different format from 70mm so I reckon I will go and check that out when it starts in August. Hope you like the new look and hopefully there will be more stuff to read in the coming days. I am at my son's school fayre tomorrow and I might set up a stall doing Beatles songs on my little acoustic for a pound each, what do you reckon, good value????

24th Mat 2003

I guess we should start with today and go backwards. Woke up about one
today after a night out at the local rugby club to celebrate another 40th
birthday but not mine. I good friend of my wife and I, Alex, was throwing
a bash and a good time was had by all except the continual shouting which
happens when you are trying to hold a conversation with someone whilst
competing with the DJ has left me with a croaky throat. I am sitting here
trying to sing along to some top tunes but failing miserably. I only hope
I get it back by Friday or there will be some disgruntled punters at The
Picket. The day before I was out trying to get some secondhand patio doors
for my studio to improve the soundproofing and whilst I was sitting
outside someone's house waiting for them to return I got a phone call from
Afro Mart who asked me if I would like a ticket to see Peter Gabriel at
Wembley that night. What a touch, the seats were only five rows from the
front!!! I toddled off to Wembley and saw Gabriel for the third time. This
show was not as extravagant as the last tour but still top drawer
entertainment. I saw ads for these gigs a few months ago and I was
undecided about going as the gig was at Wembley and I hate the fucking
sound in there as you will know if you read my review of the Foo Fighters.
I cannot begin to describe many of the wonderful things that happened
during the show let alone talk about the great band he had with him but I
will say that it was an excellent belated birthday gift from Mr Mart. Mr
Mart brought his new digi camera with him so I may get a nice pic of Peter
for the next edition of Wise Words.
Moving back to my birthday, I was taken on a surprise trip to Jersey by my
missus which was out of the blue and well appreciated. She had done a few
sneaky arrangements with our friends Steve and Jane over there and we flew
out for the weekend from City Airport which was a first for me. The
airport is in a part of London where they reckon they are going to build
the stadium for the Olympic bid. We landed in Jersey to be greeted by rain
which stayed about for the whole weekend which was a shame but it did not
dampen our spirit and it was a great weekend for us both and it was great
to see our good friends again. The picture above is from one of my
birthday cards which proclaimed that I am now a member of the old git club
but I still feel about twenty odd and not approaching middle age. People
say "Life Begins At 40" but I say "Life Begins At Birth" and age is just a
number. There are no fringe benefits for reaching 40 like cheap seats at
the cinema or a free bus pass so I don't know what the fuss is all about
really. Thank you to the people who sent me birthday wishes, it was very
nice of you all.
Before I went away I had The Popes in my studio doing a bit of recording.
The Popes are Shane MacGowans backing band but exist in their own right
when Shane is busy at the bar which it seems is quite a lot these days.
Nice chaps and a few nice tunes as well. I had a guy called Ed in the
studio not so long ago. My mate Grant had seen him play somewhere and got
him to come to Big Top to bash out a few ideas. Good singer / pianist /
guitarist and he had some great tunes which is quite sickening considering
he is only fucking 20!! His band is called Chopper Harris and I hope to be
able to record them in the not too distant future so that is another name
to look out for. When Grant came to see me he gave me a CD of a band
called "Parlour" from the US and it blew me away. This was not a finished
CD but some demos which were recorded at home. They have a real charm and
the guy who sings has an amazing voice. They have just signed to Capitol
records in the states for about $2 million and I reckon by the time it has
come out of the industry machine it should have been well ruined because
it will not sound like the cd that I have got which is a shame but shit
I went up to Liverpool for a few days to see the reds play Charlton, a
game which was snatched from the jaws of defeat but we have played better
and got nothing from other games so I suppose I should be happy with a
win. I would have been totally fucked off if we had lost and I had to
drive back in the appalling traffic the next day. We left Liverpool at
midday and after three hours in the car we still had not reached
Birmingham and still had 125 miles to go. I usually travel late at night
or early in the morning because I hate sitting in traffic but I had to
travel during the day and I reckon it is the last time I will do this.
FIVE AND A HALF HOURS later I eventually got home. We keep hearing the
government in this country saying they are going to do something about the
traffic congestion in this country but it is all hot air. I have the
perfect solution and I will bore you with it now. It is estimated that 25%
of the cars on the road are illegal, i.e. no tax or insurance or MOT or
all three. We have a disc on our windscreen that shows our road tax so why
not have another two for insurance and MOT, how fucking simple is that. If
you don't display all three your car is towed away and you don't get it
back until you pay up. This would reduce the traffic by 25% but the
government don't want to lose the 25% of the tax they get from petrol
because even illegal cars are using petrol. No lets just make people pay
more with congestion charges and soon tolling the motorways. Pull your
finger out Blair!! Sorry rant over.
Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League and went out with a
whimper at Chelsea. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic!!! I find it staggering
that the players could not raise their game in a match that is potentially
worth £15M to the club. I can only hope that there is a clear out of some
of the dead wood we have had at Anfield in recent seasons. I think Heskey,
Smicer, Berger, Carragher Cheyrou and shit-head Murphy would be a good
start. This is the final paragraph of football until August (MJ
celebrates!!!) and I have to say I am quite pleased because it means I
will not have to travel six hours to see overpaid players turn in such
mediocre performances. I was disappointed to see West Ham drop out of the
top flight and I hope their stay in the Nationwide League is a short one
and that the financial restraints are not too stifling for one of my fave
teams. I was also disappointed to see Celtic fail to lift the UEFA cup but
not as disappointed at the 50,000 Scots who travelled to southern Spain to
watch the game. Anyway I'm off, next edition should not be as long because
I will try to do it sooner.

11th April 2003

Sorry for the huge gap in the wise words but things have been a little
hectic recently. So where shall we begin with this months story?? Let's go
from Saturday and go backwards. My wife threw a party for a work colleague
at our house on Saturday night and we did not get to bed until the birds
were singing at six on the Sunday morning. I managed to escape without a
hangover because I didn't start drinking until about 11. The reason I was
missing was because I dodged the first few hours of the party with a visit
to London Welsh in Kings Cross to see Mal Pope and The Jacks. Mal Pope is
a Welsh singer songwriter from Swansea and his backing band, The Jacks,
consist of all my Welsh buddies (Wal, Tim, Nigey-Nige and Ryan) so I
thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with them for half an
hour. It wasn't any longer because I had to pop back home as my prescence
was being missed at the party. So Saturday ended very well but begun very
badly because Liverpool lost 4-0 to Man United at Old Trafford. It is
never very nice to lose to our fiercest rivals but I guess in light of our
recent good results against them I guess we were due a beating. The
scoreline suggests a beating of major proportions but the game was against
us after five minutes when our captain was sent off after conceding a
penalty after four minutes. Once this happened it was only going to be a
matter of how many they were going to beat us by. On the subject of The
Reds we were also unceremoniously dumped out of the UEFA cup by Celtic.
Again I don't have any complaints as the best team won and Liverpool paid
for the cautious approach in the first leg when they should have gone for
the jugular and killed them off up at Parkhead.
I have been doing a lot of recording up at Big Top in the last month.
First up was Wal and Tone for a couple of days recording some new tunes.
We recorded the backing tracks for two songs, "Answerphone" and "Es La
Vida, Lar". I may have mentioned that I wanted to record an e.p of mini
album before the end of the year and these new songs are the first
installment on that album. "Answerphone" is a song that should have been
included on LGF but I felt that the arrangement of the song we had
recorded was not the best it could be so the new version is more to my
taste and has a more epic finale which is more fitting for the type of
song it is. The other tune is a song about Mad Spanish hence the Spanish
title which is a mixture of Spanish and Scouse. "Es La Vida" means "That's
Life" and "Lar" is Scouse for mate as in "Orright Lar, 'owzit goin??".
Both of the tunes are quite minimal in terms of their production as this
is going to be the theme for the mini album which is provisionally titled
"A Lo Minimo" which again is Spanish for "the minimum".
As well as the old guys in the studio we have also had the news guys (and
one gal) up at the studio. The guys who I am playing with live also have
their own band called "Evo Diablo" but they have Ms Portelly on vocals
rather than me. They were recording a couple of new tunes that I will be
mixing tomorrow. You may have heard these boys jamming with me at Big Top
on the version of Power Of Love. That song has a similair opening chord
structure to "Broke" and I thought it may be nice to slip into it at the
end of "Broke" but we will have to see how it ends up sounding when it is
chopped down to three minutes as opposed to the fifteen minute jam that I
sent to Irv at the Frankie website.
I went over to Fulham to see Mad Mark Blackburn, or as he is usually
referred "The Captain". Unfortunately we didn't do any recording at his
house because he has put all his recording toys away so we drank beer
instead. He was in fine fettle and has already fled these shores to head
back to Thailand.
The interview with Spence Leigh was broadcast just after the last edition
of wise words and he has since sent me a mini-disc of it and as soon as I
have finished typing this then I will record it into the pc and chop it up
for you and post it somewhere if not on this site. There is an interview
with a couple of tunes on the acoustic. One of the tunes is called "4th of
July Everyday" and I played this because Spencer was talking about old
protest songs and I mentioned that I had written this tune but I didn't
bargain on him asking me to play it so I was put on the spot and had to do
it. Whether I was successful in pulling it off I will leave up to you.
On the business front I went to have a meeting with an old friend of mine
last week who has her own distribution netwrok sorted out so I can try and
get LGF into the shops. Liz and Wan used to run a rehearsal room / record
company in North London but have since fled to the wilds of Lincolnshire
so I toodled up there in the car and had a chat about how she can help me
earn a decent living. I have realised that if I am to give the music the
platform it deserves then I am going to need some help and Liz has offered
her help and I think I would be mad to turn it down. Apart from probably
being a lot better dealing with these industry types she is much better
looking than me which can be a help when meeting these record company bods
so hopefuly by the time we have then next installment in the wise words I
should have something more to tell you.
Last but by no means least is the three amigos at the top of the page. I
took this picture during rehearsals after making them listen to the
recorded version of "The Power Of Love". We were rocking last night and
finished with a Maximum Joy Jam which Noels dad filmed so I will try and
capture the bastrd and sent it off so you can all see it but I reckon
George Bush has more chance of capturing Hussain than I have of capturing
us rocking!!!!

9th March 2003

As you can see from the text above I have finally got the first gig in for
2003. I am always being asked about when I am going to play live so
hopefully a few of you can start saving for a trip to Liverpool in spring.
The Picket is a great venue and I am looking forward to taking the new
band there and show them my home town. We have been rehearsing on and off
for a while now but getting the first gig in means we have a deadline to
get it spot on and this will increase the rehearsal load. While we are on
the subject of Liverpool, I will be appearing on Spencer Leigh's
Merseybeat programme on Radio Merseyside this evening at 6.00pm. As usual
this is very short notice but you cannot hear it on the web so I guess
most of you would not be able to hear it anyway. Spencer has promised to
send me a copy of it so when it arrives I will put it up on the site.
The peice of silverware above is The Worthington Cup which Liverpool won
last Sunday against arch-rivals Manchester United. The game was held in
the magnificent Millenium Stadium in Cardiff or, as it has been renamed by
some Liverpool fans, Anfield South. It was my first visit to the stadium
and to say I was impressed is an understatement. I was on the top tier of
seating but it didn't matter because every seat in the ground has an
excellent view. The ground also has a sliding roof and this was closed for
the game which heightenend the already electric atmosphere. I met up with
Newport Nikk and a few of his buddies before the game in the worlds most
crowded pub. Unfortunately I could not join them in a huge session because
I had to drive home straight after the game. Liverpool won the game 2-0
and by the end of the game I was standing up singing with everyone else in
our end. It is always nice to give the Mancs a bit of a slapping and the
fact that a cup was at stake made the victory even sweeter.
I had to go to see my old mate Jeff in hospital last week. He had been
admitted for major heart surgery following an angiogram that showed he had
damage to the veins around his heart. He was wheeled in the day after and
given a quintiple heart bypass which is a massive operation in anyone's
book. Considering what he went through on the table I thought he looked
really well when I went to see him but then again I thought he was looking
really well before he had the operation. jeff is a fanatical Everton
supporter and I was surprised that he actually had a heart (or is it the
brain that Evertonians are missing??) Joking aside I was really pleased
that the operation was a success becasue despite his Evertonian bitterness
heis a good egg and the world is a better place with him in it. When I was
visiting him one of his workmates had popped in to see him. He had been to
the Marsden hospital because he was getting treatment for cancer in his
neck. When he told me this Jeff piped up "I told you mate, you don't wanna
work in our place, it will fucking kill ya!". Nice to see his sense of
humour was fully intact even if his heart wasn't.
I have been busy doing acoustic demos for some new songs and hope to put a
few of them down next week if I can gather the necessary musicians
together. Some working titles are: "Es La Vida Lar", "Had (is all we've
been)", "Conspiracy Man" and "Dirty Old Man". I am pleased with the songs
on Le Grande Fromage but becasue it took me so long to complete it I have
grown a little bored by the songs and can't wait to get excited about some
new ones.
On the subject of LGF, I know that some of you have already received your
copies and if any of you would care to put finger to keyboard then I would
like to get a couple of reveiws to post on the site so someone should get
I was up in Liverpool yesterday to watch the reds beat Bolton Wanderers
2-0 at Anfield. I think the result is all you need to know about this
tawdry game of football. I have seen more life in a tramps vest. I guess
the champagne hangover from last Sunday must have still been hanging
around because most of the team looked half asleep.
Sorry there is not much news this edition but I have been doing mundane
telephone stuff so I have not been gadding about as much as usual but I
will try and up the exotic factor for the next visit when I will hopefully
have some more gig news. Ttfn.

21st February 2003

Sorry about the long delay between the editions of "wise words" this month
but I knew I was going to be attending a few things that I wanted to tell
you about and I thought I would wait until I had attended them all before
I started typing so here goes. I went to the Millwall v Southampton FA Cup
replay at The New Den which was all going well until The Saints scored and
The Lions exited the oldest cup competition with a growl rather than a
roar. As I suspected they had missed their opportunity to progress when
Southampton scored the very late equaliser at St Mary's. It is difficult
for Nationwide teams to get the better of Premiership sides, especially
over two legs. I only hope they recover their form to have a late charge
at the play-offs or my footy season will end after my attendance at the
forthcoming Worthington Cup Final in Cardiff. On this latest visit to
Millwall I approached the ground from a different direction when I drove
through South Bermondsey. For opposition supporters getting off the trains
at South Bermondsey station it must look like they are entering Dodge
City. This is enhanced by the fact that the game was an evening kick-off
and the dark streets made it look even more menacing. Don't let this put
you off ever going to The Den if you get a chance because the atmosphere
in the ground is great and I cannot compare the singing in the stands to
anything I have heard in another football ground but try and go with a
local. To top the night off I got flashed on the way home by a GATSO on
the Old Kent Rd which means I am £60 lighter in my wallet and three points
heavier on my driving licence. Anyway let's move on, we have a lot to
I have been recording demos of some of the new tunes at the studio but not
without a few days of equipment stress. Me and Simon D had a nice day
tearing out our hair and looking at the blue screen on my studio pc. It
has just been souped-up but was not recognising my audio card. I cannot
begin to explain the shit that was going on but let's just say we
installed the drivers for the card in every way possible, doing it the
windows for dummies way, and then doing it the sneaky back door way and
every time we opened up the audio card utility it said "card not found"??
Aaaaargh...smash the fucking thing...........let's go the pub instead.
Luckily, Simon D had a boffin buddy close by who helped us out and got it
going with a very swift manoeuvre and a couple of clicks. Every time I
think I am getting to grips with computers Microsoft pull the rug out from
under my feet and tell me to go and join the "computer illiterates" line.
The gent who came to our aid is the younger brother of a guy called Steve
Sunderland who suffered a stroke some time ago. Sunderland Senior was
someone I got to know through my mate Stevie B. He used to pop down to my
studio now and then to sit down and talk about, and play, guitars. I never
knew him well enough to say he was a good mate of mine but he was someone
who I was always pleased to see and someone who always had a grin on his
face. All this coupled with a nice touch on the guitar made him a welcome
visitor at Big Top anytime. I suppose my recent flirtations with different
tunings started with Steve Sunderland as he was the first person to show
me open D tuning so, indirectly, he has had a hand in all these new tunes
I have been writing in open D. Steve passed away last week after spending
a long time in hospital and is probably auditioning as I type for the
house band upstairs saying "'Ere Jimi, ever tried DADGAD???". I know this
page has had plenty of dead musicians at the top when they have popped off
this mortal coil and that is why I decided to put a picture of Steve on
the top this week. I think he would be pleased to be in the company of Joe
Strummer, John Entwistle and Maurice Gibb (and that is only in the last
six months). Why did we get on to this subject..............well the gent
who came to our aid with the sound card was Steve's younger brother
Michael who is a mate of Simon D. Small world or what?? He was rewarded
with a swift pint in The Mitre with Marky Mark (again, happier now??two
mentions in a month???) and his wife Lorraine and Mad Spanish.
While we are on the subject of pubs I forgot to mention something that
happened after the Liverpool v Arsenal game at Anfield. I was in The Flat
Iron pub after the game with my mate Pete and we were sitting next to a
couple of Arsenal fans in the pub. I went to the bar and when I came back
one of these guys stuck his match programme under my nose and asked me to
sign it. I looked at Pete and wondered if he had said something to him but
this guy had recognised me!?!? I couldn't believe it. Well weird. The last
time I was "spotted" was in the off licence next to my studio by a scouser
who had seen me every other day for about a week but I have to take my hat
off to The Gooner. Very good spot. I was wearing a fucking baseball cap as
well so he had no "hair clue". Ten out of ten for observation. I signed
his programme next to a picture of Bill Shankley. He was chuffed and so
was I. Good result all round, especially after the draw we snatched from
The Gooners.
After the session in The Mitre with the above mentioned posse I had to
jump a bus to my son's school to MC the International Evening. I always
like the International Evening and I am sure there have been reviews of
previous International Evenings in these pages. The reason I like it is
because there is always some good grub on offer. There is a Japanese
couple who have had children in the school for years and they always turn
up with loads of home-made sushi. I can see other parents talking to them
and saying "raw fish?....oh no, I'm quite full". This leaves the way open
for the sushimeister, fuelled on tumblers of red wine, to creep in and
sneak away with Japan's best home-made. An interesting addition this year
was a couple of African families, one carrying a blinding beef curry. Ok,
what have we learned about other countires?? Fuck all, all you've learned
is I am a fat bastard when I ain't eaten all day and the grub on offer is
good. The only scary moment of the evening came when the headmistress
walked up to me and said "Do you sing in your band?? Get up and give us a
song!!". Luckily your correspondent was able to swerve the invitation and
managed to stay behind the bar serving the other "internationals". As a
people, the residents of these isles are a pretty insular bunch but add
alcohol and food into the equation then you are appealing to
everyone...the drunks and the gluttons. I managed to set up the PA system
and the only downside was the headmistress continually pointing the
microphone into the speaker next to her which resulted in the high pitch
screeching that we have all heard before.
I was lucky enough to be able to pop out last Sunday afternoon to catch
the second half of a Michael Moore double bill at my local arty cinema.
They were showing "Columbine" and "Roger & Me" which was his first movie.
It was a little bleaker than the other stuff he has done but still great
film making, and made way back in 1988. It follows MM's quest to get to
see the boss of General Motors who has just closed down the local GM plant
in his home town of Flint, Michigan, putting 30,000 people out of work. I
won't go into detail but just reiterate what I have said about MM before.
Watch his films and read his books and become a little bit more
enlightened than you already think you are. There is a scene in "Roger &
Me" where a woman clubs a rabbit a couple of times and then proceeds to
skin it. The reason she is doing this is she is on welfare and she is
raising an extra $15 a week by selling rabbits as pets, or meat. The two
women sitting next to me winced when the woman clubbed the rabbit. This
leads me to a point in his new book "Stupid White Men" where he explains
that there two scenes in "Roger & Me": One showing a rabbit being clubbed
and a scene showing an unarmed black man being shot by the police in the
middle of the road. He tells of the complaints received about the rabbit
scene. There were no complaints about the black man being shot because it
is just not a shocking image anymore. I have read the book and I witnessed
this reaction in the cinema, it certainly makes you think.
Fed up yet??? Well, as Jiminy Cricket said "There's more!!!" I went to see
Low on Friday night with a few other disciples and a couple of new
disciples. Me and AfroMart holding the standard with Sloe Joe second in
command, with Raul and Simon D who were Low "virgins". The gig was fucking
wicked as always. It was a The Union Chapel in Islington which is a great
big Victorian church and I won't bore you but you know what I think of the
band, needless to say I was well blissed-out for about an hour. Great
tunes, Mimi is a godess and Alan Sparhawk is a great guitar player (not
forgetting Zak too). I went to the following night with Cujo Kev who was
well blissed-out too. These gigs were Friday and Saturday night but I
missed out a very important Saturday afternoon. I went on the peace march
in central London with my son Taylor. We were joined by Simon D and Leanne
and Debbie with Frankie B and Maria and some friends of theirs who had
come up from Ringwood in Hampshire. Nine very different people all
together with one aim, sort of a microcosm of society. I am not one for
public pronouncements, except in the pub with some chaps, but I thought I
should go, and Taylor was up for it too. I was proud of him because the
only thing he asked for all day was a hot chocolate from McDonalds. Maria,
who is from South America (Chile) asked him if he had been on a march
before and told him that he would remember it for as long as he lived. Her
first march was the "Cinco De Mayo" marches in Argentina. She was marching
to protest about "The Disappeared" in Argentina which was a huge day in
their history. I was pleased he went because this was the biggest peace
march in London and by taking part he has become a part of history. The
march was great and it was brilliant to see so many young people out
there. I don't want to sound like some old twat but I am encouraged to see
that such a large number of the "youth of today" present instead of
drinking lager with Apple Sour chasers in Wetherspoons. Big shout to Tom
Duff Paddy who was out there marching to with the rest of his young
disciples. The police seemd pretty cool and it was great to walk down
Tottenham Court Road without traffic. It was great walking down
Shaftesbury Avenue and being waved to by the cast of "Les Miserables"
hanging out of the windows of the theatre. We got to the park and we said
our goodbyes and headed down into Green Park tube station. My dodgy leg
was giving me a bit of greif as I had been doing more standing than
walking and I thought that we had both shown our support, plus I had to
get back for the next Low gig.
There's more...........still............. Roll on Sunday afternoon and I
am installed in The King Of Bohemia in Hampstead with Kev P, Jim amd Tonto
watching footy before a night out at Dingwalls in Camden watching "Three
Men and Black" which is a punk / two-tone "supergroup". The band is Jake
Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Jean-Jacques Burnel (The Stranglers),
Pauline Black and some other bloke (The Selector). They played various
tunes from their past's and it was a decent nights entertainment but not
as entertaining as Mr P coating me off about the comments I had made on
the website the previous week concerning Mo Gibb and Joe Strummer. As time
is short I will precis "What the fuck can Maurice Gibb teach Joe fucking
Strummer". Most entertaining.
So last night I was at Hammersmith Apollo watching Peter Kay. If you don't
watch "That Peter Kay Thing" or "Phoenix Nights" then you may know Peter
Kay from the John Smith's Bitter commercials that have been showing for a
year on tv in Britain. He was good to see and me and Simon D had a chuckle
or three (this songwriting stuff cannot be stopped). I took my mini-disc
and recorded it, as I did the Low gig, and have spent most of today
recording it into the computer and will bein slicing it up into bite-size
peices as soon as I have finished this edition.
Lastly, I have a release for the album. I hope (fingers crossed) that it
will be available from 3rd March unless I have more grief from the
pressing plant. I thought 03/03/03 sounded like a day when something big
should happen and maybe that happening is the rolling out of the big
cheese. Let's hope so. I am now off to put my aching fore-fingers into
some surgical spirit and hope it won't be quite as long before I put
finger my keyboard again. Ooooohh x 2 Matron.

1st February 2003

This is "wise words" coming to you from the frozen waste of North London.
I don't what happens in most other countries around the world, maybe you
can tell me in the forum, but when we have a substantial snowfall the
entire country comes to a standstill. In this case it was not the entire
country but a big chunk of the south east corner. I was arriving back in
London just as the white stuff started falling yesterday afternoon and by
the time I had made the half hour journey north from Euston it was falling
thick and fast. For those of you who don't live in the south it was a big
one and huge tracts of motorway and roads were gridlocked with traffic
after several accidents and no doubt a few sliding bumps. My wife was in
work four hours away and the night staff that were due to take over could
not get into work which meant that she had to stay and work nights in the
hospital which is probably just as well becasue she don't like driving in
the snow. When she came home in the early hours this morning she said the
roads were littered with abandoned cars and even abandoned buses. The only
ones who seemed pleased about the weather were the kids who were out in
the street making snowmen and having snowball fights. The partner of a guy
who works with my wife is Australian and she certainly made the most of it
by going out in the main road and building her own snowman as this was the
first time she had seen snow over here. I take my hat off to her becasue
she was on her own and she is in her late twenties and must have looked
like a psycho to most of the passers-by. I have just come in from my local
pub where I was watching a band and it seems to be on the the thaw but if
it gets colder later then we could be in for some more fun tomorrow. As I
said I have just come back in from my local music venue and while I was
there I received some good news: it seems that the local promoter has lost
his grip on all the music nights there because the band who were playing
had organised this Friday night gig themselves. This means that I will be
speaking to the landlord tomorrow and sorting out a gig for myself and
maybe a little album launch so all of those people who travel to see me
play will have their wishes granted shortly when I announce a gig in
London ( I hope they are still smiling when the see how much a fucking
hotel room costs in these here parts). I will try and have it sorted by
the time I do the next edition.
As I said earlier I was up in Liverpool to watch The Reds take on the
mighty Arsenal. I took the opportunity while I was up there to record an
interview with Spencer Leigh on Radio Merseyside which will be aired some
time in the near future. Spencer is a bit, well actually a lot, of an
authority on music, especially the local music scene and has written books
and contributed many articles about Mersey artists past and present as
well as presenting his show on the radio. I took the Baby Taylor up there
and played a few acoustic tunes which he recorded and I will post the
interview on the site when I get a copy of it. Before I saw Spencer I had
a swift half with Mrs Reed and we discussed the current woes of our footy
team. I went to the game and despite the worries that we might get rinsed
by a team who are at the top of their game we managed to steal a draw.
Although the draw was not as good as a win it was an entertaining game and
it was good to watch the current Arsenal team playing live. While we are
on the subject of football, a subject I know you all love, I went to see
Millwall play Southampton at the new St Mary's Stadium. My mate Liam and I
met up with Southern Claire and The Duke who were our hosts for the
afternoon. It was an exciting game that ended in a draw after the plucky
Saints scored in the dying minutes. I am now looking forward to the replay
down at The New Den next Wednesday. I liked St Mary's Stadium but I feel
that these new stadiums don't have any character and they all kinda look
the same. Liverpool are about to build a new ground and I am not sure if
it will end up looking like one of these generic footy stadiums that are
cropping up all over the place. I guess we will have to see when it is
finished. As long as my seat in the new ground is as good as my seat in
the current one then I guess I will be happy.
Musically the rich vein of writing form has continued and I have been
recording a few things on my new hard disk recorder. I replaced the Mackie
with an Alesis and bought some new computer hardware from PC Dave in
Bolton and with a little help from Ket and my mate Si I have got my gear
running and looking good. I am looking forward to the coming months of
swearing and cursing at the shiny inanimate machinery in my studio when
they decide to fuck up (which they always do). I was thinking the other
day about the comparison between computers and cars. If you bought a car
that stalled everytime you accelerated with the radio and headlights on,
you would take it back to the garage but we all seem to accept the fact
that these machines play up and crash and generally cause us greif at one
time or another. If you pay £1000 for something I expect it to work
brilliantly and before I get mails from the Mac snobs telling me to get a
Mac, shut the fuck up because they fucking do it too.
I have been to see a couple of movies recently which I will review in the
following paragraph. "Gangs Of New York": Daniel Day Lewis is top and Leo
Di Caprio is not. I wonder how many movie roles Leo would get if he looked
like Martin Clunes? In the handsome stakes he gets an Oscar every time but
I don't think he is a very good actor and alongside really good actors
like DDL and Jim Broadbent he just looks a bit poo.Went to see "City Of
God" which is a Brazilian movie about little Brazilian gangsters in the
ghettoes of Rio.This was a good movie if not a little depressing as it was
filmed in the slums of Rio and it makes you realise how lucky we are to
live in houses with heating and electricity.
Now for the obituary column. These pages have resembled chapters of "Breif
Lives" with all these pop stars dropping off. We lost another recently
with the death of Maurice Gibb. When I was a 14 yr old punk the "squares"
were wearing white suits and suffering from Saturday Night Fever and I
could not admit to having any liking of the high pitched squealing
associated with The Bee Gees. I realised that my prejudice was ill-judged
and The Bee Gees have written some great tunes, my personal favourites
being "You Should Be Dancing" and "Jive Talkin'". Whether you like the
high voices, white teeth and big hair (well we have all been there haven't
we?) you have to admit that when you hear some vintage Bee Gees it is very
hard not to shake your groove thing. Maybe Mo is up there now showing Joe
Strummer how to harmonise. I bet if he had done some high backing vocals
on London Calling he could have made Mick Jones sound a little better
(sorry Mr P).
As we have had our Xmas weather a month late I think I will close this
week with a snowman joke.
Q: What did one snowman say to the other snowman?????
A: Can you smell carrots??

6th January 2003

Happy New Year to one and all. I am currently listening to the Home
Secretary talking about getting rap musicians to change the lyrics to
their songs following the murders of two young girls during the recent
terrible shootings in Birmingham. I saw the same thing in "Bowling For
Columbine" where numerous politicians and newscasters blamed Marilyn
Manson. Pathetic, who do they think they are kidding? I don't beleive that
anybody would aspire to go out and get themselves a gun because some
gangster rapper is singing about it. It pisses me off intensely. We had
all this shit with Tipper Gore and the PMRC getting stickers put on CDs.
If you fancy doing a bit of research on the net then I would recommend you
try to find Frank Zappa's address to congress on the subject of music
censorship, it is an excellent and informed read.
Sorry to start off the New Year with a rant but you know what I am like by
now. I hope you all had a good Xmas and were not ill from any form of
over-indulgence of any kind. I spent the time at home with the family and
managed to escape the holiday period without any major hangovers. I got
some nice pressies for Xmas, plenty of books to read over the coming
months including Lemmy's autobiography, Steve Earle's autobiography and
Lance Armstrong's autobiography.
Spent the day with AfroMart down at his studio putting the finishing
touches to the album. It sounds great and will be sent to the pressing
plant in the next few days and I will have a release date for you by the
next edition. It sounds great and I look forward to hearing what you all
think. I played it to my mate Simon D last night and it was the first time
I had listened to it almost all the way through for quite some time and I
am very pleased with it but bored also. I want to get a six track EP out
this year just to up my output a little. Si and I had been to see City Of
God which is a Brazilian movie about kids growing up in the slums of Rio.
It was a great movie althoug a bit depressing seeing how the other half
I will close this edition with a word about another great artist that has
put his knife and fork down. The passing of Joe Strummer is a sad loss for
music. Although I am not the greatest fan of the stuff he has done since
the end of The Clash, I am a fan off The Clash and Joe & Co played the
music of my teenage years. I was never fortunate enough to see The Clash
live but I have had enough reports of them from Mr P who, being a young
North London punk, got to saw them on many occassions. I remember hearing
their first album and loving Janie Jones and I remember dropping
everything to run round to my mate's house becasue he had the Capital
Radio EP. As a guitarist who played with many different bands as a hired
"gun" then I am sure Joe will have no problem fitting in with the house
band upstairs. I think the only good to come of his passing will be that
it ensures that The Clash will never tread the boards again on the
nostalgia circuit and I, for one, am very happy about that.

21st December 2002

I will start this edition with a mention of a meeting with Marky Mark. Not
the geezer who was in Boogie Nights but nevertheless a geezer who can
boogie. Mark used to play for our footy team and I occassionally get
together for a quick scoop or two and talk about the latest music etc. He
was raving about a new band called Audioslave who have come from the
remnants of Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden. I downloaded a few
tracks from their album and I know why he likes it so. I was telling him
that I was going to take my wife to see Taboo, the play in the West End
about Boy George, and he kindly arranged some free tickets for me so I am
off to see that on Monday and will let you know my thoughts over the
holiday period. I had a nice few beers with Mark and it is always good to
talk to people who are really enthusiastic about their music and I hope we
will be meeting up again in the not too distant future. We touched on our
respective football teams and considering my team's current form this is
the only mention of football in this edition.
Went out for a family meal to celebrate my eldest daughter's birthday. She
chose to go to my favourite Indian restuarant near my studio which was a
result and a decision that was taken under no duress from myself. It's
nice to know that she enjoys the culinary delights from around the world
rather than heading straight for the golden arches for a Big Mac. All my
kids dig Indian food and it makes me think about what sort of food I used
to eat when I was a kid and we had no McD's and Pizza Hut. My mum was a
good cook but nevertheless I used to think getting savoury rice was well
fucking exotic. God knows what I would have thought about eating sushi
(raw fish...............??????? raw.................????
fish..........????) and onion bhajies when I was 12 (not on the same plate
of course). While we are on food I have to tell you about a large trout
that I was given by my neighbour Mary which I cooked for dinner last
night. The same kids who will delve into the exotic were initially very
disgusted at this dead fish with the head still on but after a little
cajoling and me cahsing them around the kitchen with it they each picked
it up and were less grossed-out but still not convinced. It was very nice,
nuff said.
Me and Stevie B went to see Michael Moore's movie "Bowling For Columbine".
It was on in a mutliplex cinema that has a load of really small theatres
and we were sitting in the dark with about 40 other co-conspirators. It
was a great movie and something that everyone should try and see. I won't
go into depth because I don't think this place is suitable for political
rantings but his analysis of the US media makes me question everything I
see on TV and everything I hear on the radio. I started thinking about
this and realised that "my media" (talking to mates, like-minded
individuals, conspiracy theorists, liberals and radicals) is just as valid
as the stuff I see and hear everyday in "their media". In future I will
try and disseminate the information and remember that the news is just the
stuff they want us to know. I think that if you get a book voucher for
Xmas then you should go and buy "Stupid White Men" and it may make you
look at things a little differently.
Nature Call: Every now and again we have a little nature story in these
pages and we have our own version of Animal Rescue this week. Last week I
was pottering about the house and heard the door go. I answered it to be
confronted by my neighbour's little boy, 9 year old Ben, who was a little
distressed and was trying to tell me that a Starling had flown into his
football net and got tangled up and his Mum could not hold it and try to
free it at the same time. I went over and held the bird whilst Ben's mum,
Gina, cut the net from his legs. Ben's concern for the trapped bird was
diluted a little when he saw his Mum snipping away at his footy net.The
little fella was well tangled up (the bird, not Ben) and after a few
minutes the bird was free. I tentatively opened the gloves and was pleased
to see the bird fly away instantly. Hurrah, smiles all round.
I have hit a real hot streak in the songwriting stakes. I have knocked out
about five songs since the last edition and I put it down to changing my
guitar tuning. I won't bore you with the details but I have been playing
in DADGAD tuning and experimenting a little. It is kinda like learning to
play again and it takes a while to work out which chord shapes and
fingering produce the best results (oh matron!) but I am getting into it
and picking up a guitar everyday which can't be a bad thing. New titles
include "Had" and "4th July Everday" and I have been doing a couple of
rough demos. My studio pc has been freaking and has an error on the hard
drive so I forsee some pc expenditure in the coming months. I know that
the computers we use are hardly military spec but it freaks me out a
little knowing that we are all totally dependent on these fucking things
in one way or another. Can you imagine the chaos if every pc in the world
crashed at once. It makes me think that the whole scare about the Milenium
Bug would have been a lot worse if the threat would have been that real.
No TV, no radio, no bank accounts, no cctv, no traffic lights!?!?! It
doesn't bear thinking about.
Moving on to the fella above whose birthday piss up I attended last week.
Oh...... the youth of today?? Where do you begin??? I witnessed "hair
fluffing" of Olympic proportions from Sweeney The Younger. Put the world
to rights with Sweeney The Elder and joined our picture boy for a few
beers. Another late night, good fun at the time but not much fun getting
out of bed in four time to get the kids up but if I'm too old to rock 'n'
roll then I should retire. Continued my socialising with a ticket for one
to see Lord Of The Rings Pt 2. I would not normally do the cinema solo but
I had to see this film before the end of term and the cinemas are filled
with kids. Nice movie, a little less stunning than the first one but only
because all of the "tricks" are as good as the first movie so that level
of computer trickery is maintained and pushed a bit further with the
charachter Gollum. Weird shit, mad eyes but not real, I would love to know
how that shit was done. Went into town to meet Grant and attend the Book
Club with a colourful cast of characters who distribute much wit and
jollification to all in earshot and an arms length.
Anyway enough of me what about the geezer upstairs, not God, Mr Noel
Date of birth: 13th December 1976
First started playing bass : I started playing guitar when I was 11 but I
wanted to be a rock star from the age of 7.
First record bought: FLM by Mel & Kim.
Desert Island Disc: Led Zeppelin 2
If you weren't a musician what would you be: I would be achef like Jamie
Oliver because I love cooking.
Which musician, alive or dead, would you most like to meet: Jimi Hendrix,
Jim Morrison and Jimmy Page. (The Three Jimmies)
A big hand for Noel for admitting that his first record purchase was FLM.
I think that is enough to give someone some serious musical scarring. Ta
I wish everyone a Happy Xmas and a New year that brings us tolerance and
World Peace, not much fucking chance of that!!

1st December 2002

How many shopping days to Christmas??? I ain't started yet, what about
you. Welcome to part two of "Pop Bunnies" The Real Rivals!! We will leave
all the details of the handsome chap above until the end of this
chapter.Well we have had an interesting time since I was here last. I took
my son and his friend to see the Foo Fighters at Wembley Arena last Friday
which was more of a blast for him than it was for me. He didn't really
want to leave his seat so I sat there loking around this big metal shed
and started thinking about how many bands I had seen playing here over the
years. Although it was originally designed as a swimming pool and sports
arena it has mostly been used for pop concerts in the last thirty years or
so and during that time they have not done anything to try and improve the
sound in there. It is truly awful. You may remember me saying this in a
recent "wise words" following a visit there to see Faithless. The Foo's
sounded not too bad but not loud enough for me. I like my rock music loud
enough to rattle my scrotum and this was a little short of that. My son
really enjoyed it and it was nice to be able to share his "first gig"
experience. Had a trip up to Liverpool to see them play Sunderland which
was ok for a 0-0 draw. the reds played well but The Black Cats were the
worst team I have ever seen at Anfield. In ninety minutes of football they
had no shots on-target and no shots off-target and didn't even win a
corner!!! And people say Liverpool are negative. While we are on football
for a short while I will be off to the pub in a while for a 12.15 kick off
to see Liverpool take on Man United in what is arguably the biggest game
of the season at Anfield. I will be joined by Irish Ed who supports the
Manc Scum and Teacher Trev who will be stuck in the middle and refereeing
the abuse between us. I was out with Irish the other night to see 28 Days
Later which will now get the shortest review in history, " it was ok".
Musically I have been in the studio and sorting out my songs for the next
album and found that I have already got 13 tunes ready to record plus one
or three undeveloped ideas that could come to fruition. I wrote a couple
of new ones this week which I am not sure will make the grade but that can
change very quickly depending on the amount of inspiration applied when it
eventually strikes. I have been listening to a lot of music lately and
have been getting into the new Feeder album which is very good indeed.
There are a couple of outstanding tracks on it. I have been taping stuff
onto my mini-disc player from the tv via the Sky box and putting them in
my phone. Mostly stuff from Later with Jools (except Tom Jones) can we
discuss Tom for one second. When I was a kid and getting into The
Stranglers etc, Tom Jones was cabaret personified and I have hated him
ever since. Little did I know that over 20 years later I would still have
to put up with the twat on my tv. He has now teamed up with Wyclef Jean
(what a massive fucking talent he is??!!!?? he should have been executed
for his version of the Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" not to mention that
peice of shit that went "We gonna e-e-e-lope to Me-e-e-exico". I just
can't see the attraction, I must have slept through that particular
meeting) Sorry, back to Tom. A Lard-Arsed pensioner trying to rap in pants
that are too tight. Let it go Tom, it's over. I think all true punks and
music lovers should have mass burning of Tom Jones's collaborations with
young upcoming artists (you hearing me Mr P?!?). Sorry about that, just
had to get it off my chest, a little rant for you on a Sunday.
I got my Low tickets to see Low on Valentine's Day next year. Whilst some
of you will be having dinner with your loved ones and exchanging red roses
and chocolates I will be blissed out in church with a few mates watching
my favourites. If they are playing near you then you should go and check
them out. I always say this and I know that none of you will but I still
have to preach.
Anyways, do we wanna hear about the big fella up top, I don't mean God, I
mean the lean mean bass playing machine that is Mr Dan Sweeney.
Date of birth: 21st March 1976
First started playing bass : I started playing when I was 13 because a
mate wanted to form a band
First record bought: A Mini Pops album
Desert Island Disc: Harvest - Neil Young, Meddle - Pink Floyd, Abbey Rd -
The Beatles.
If you weren't a musician what would you be: I would be rich becasue I
would have a proper fucking job.
Which musician, alive or dead, would you most like to meet: Elvis Presley,
Jimi Hendrix and Paul McCartney, just to piss Nasher off!!
Thanks Dan. I feel sooooooo young when I hear that you first record was
the Mini Pops. A bold admission in anyone's book. Next week we have the
Jimmy Page of Palmers Green and the last in our "Pop Bunnies" series, Mr
Noel Martin, not the smallest guitar player in the world, but fucking

16th November 2002

This is a double edition of "wise words" because there was a delay getting
the last update to you because my video camera was fucking up and I
couldn't transfer the stills from the camera to the computer. I have
eventually got around to borrowing a neighbours camera and have downloaded
the pics for the next three editions. I have to fill you in on what has
happened since the 6th. I was at Kevin White's Surprise 50th birthday bash
last Saturday. It was a great do for all who attended, especially Kevin
who was dragged around to his Mum's house on the premise of fixing her
lights and found his Mum's house filled with life long friends..
Unfortunately I wasn't there when he arrived but I bet his face was a
picture. Kevin is one of the Gooner clan and was pictured on these pages
some months ago when the Gooners won the Premiership title. He is a top
banana of wit and high intellect and should be representing us in the
House Of Commons as far as I am concerned. I had a great time meeting up
with a few of the old AC Phoenix / TNS chaps. Big up to Mr Blythe, The
Brothers Hislop and Kev Greeney. Great chats about music and football
(well, what else is there??) with Big Al the reasonable Manc and Phil the
usually unreasonable but well behaved Gooner who played a blinder later on
in the evening when your narrator took a turn for the worse. I was buzzing
and having a gas and then went outside to order a cab and got hit by the
air. I gave the cab company my number and told them to ring me when the
cab was outside. At the time of making the request I didn't realise that
when the cab arrived I would be throwing back some nice red wine. I can
hear you all grossing out and beleive me you are not as disgusted with me
as I am with myself. As I was "Ralphing" in the garden the cab driver
called to say he was outside. "OK mate, eeeaaauuughhh, I am coming right
out, aaaaarrrguuugh". How I managed to answer my phone whilst my eyeballs
were popping out is still beyond me. I crept back inside the house and
requsted that Phil should pour me into the cab and get me back to the
ranch. I almost made it home before another ejection but failed 500 yds
from my house. Luckily for both myself and the cab driver I got the door
open and left the remnants of my dinner for the squirrels. I got home and
prayed on the big white telephone for about fifteen minutes. The upside of
all this turmoil was that I escaped with no hangover. Result!!! I hope
that hasn't grossed you all out but this is the age of reality tv and you
have to take the rough with the smooth.
Next up is Jam Master Jay. One third of Run DMC was shot last week and I
have been a bit tied up and haven't manged to get around to finding out
why he was killed. I love Run DMC. I have many great memories of listening
to their music when I first toured America. I heard a track called "The
King Of Rock" which was from their second album. Our US manager at the
time dug them as well and turned me on to the first album which contains
"It's Like That (and that's the way it is)". I listened to these two
albums a lot when we first toured America and I felt a pang of sadness
when I heard he was gone. I hope they have turntables upstairs.
"I'm The King Of Rock, there is none higher,
Sucker MC's should call me sire,
To burn my kingdom you must use fire,
And I won't stop rocking 'til I retire!"
We also lost Lonnie Donnegan. We spent an evening listening to Noel's Dad
telling us about Lonnie and we paid our respects by listening to his
greatest hits over a late night cup of tea but it is music from another
generation and hard for me to appreciate and even harder for the young
pups I was with. When The Beatles were still The Quarrymen they were all
aspiring Lonnies so without him there would have been no Beatles and for
that alone he has gained his place in rock history.
Went down to Shepherds Bush to watch the Liverpool game with a nice man
called Bob who works for the BBC. Bob was a FGTH fan whom I sent my album
to and we have been in touch via e-mail and thought it was about time to
get together for a beer. Had a quick peek around the Beeb. I have radios
in every room in my house and when I enter the room I put the radio on and
catch five minutes. I have three radios in the studio, one for each room,
so whether I am putting the kettle on, setting up some gear or doing the
hoovering I am always entertained. We had a beer down Shepherd's Bush and
had half an eye on the game which was ruined for me between one and a half
minutes and eighty six minutes. Our conversation was more entertaining
than the Liverpool v Basle game (3-3 draw, we go out) and comparing
musical tastes is always good value. It makes me realise that what we like
and dislike in our music taste is probably the most common ground we share
with other people.
Lastly this week, I went to see Michael Moore do a show last night at The
Roundhouse in London. Seven of us went and he was the daddy. If you know
who he is then you know what I am talking about. If you don't know who he
is then go out and buy his latest book "Stupid White Men" or go and see
his latest movie "Bowling For Columbine". I cannot go into any detail
about what this man does because I don't have the time to tell you about
1% of the entertainment and enlightment this man has brought into my life
via his books, films and tv shows. If you think of the US as a huge dodgy
department store that we don't ever visit then this man is holding open
the curtains on the High St so we can get a real good look at some of the
bad stuff that the world's only super-power is getting up to. I don't know
how much this book costs in your local currency but go out and buy it and
enjoy it. I would like to hear from anyone who follows this advice and
buys it. I loved the show and love Michael Moore and I hoep I am not
writing about his untimely death in this column. That's it for this week,
now let's hear about the handsome devil at the top of this page.

6th November 2002

Well Vin Deisel kicked arse and I saw a big slice of movie budget go up in
smoke along with a few helicopters / fast cars / boats etc etc. All
harmless fun really, nobody getting too injured, like Beverley Hills Cop.
I thought I would aspire to being Vin Deisel for a week and thought about
walking round Barnet in a sawn off tee-shirt and a sleeveless leather
jacket but the very thought of it gave me a cold. I have had that cold for
just over a week now and this prevented me from doing a gig last night
with Cujo. My head is choc-full of shit and I can't pitch so I went to the
venue and watched Cujo instead. They were really boss and kicked more arse
than Vin Deisel and without the aid of a Hollywood budget. Really loved
the covers they played as well. They did "Hotel Yorba" by White Stripes
and little Benny was singing his socks off like an swinging his oversize
instrument about like he was enjoying himself. I think I will have to have
a word with him about that. It was nice to hear "Stanley" dragged out of
the cupboard. It has a swampy sort of groove and gave me a few ideas of
how it can be totally "swampmungus". They did a cover of "Last Nite" by
The Strokes and a couple of Who tunes and fucked it all up at the end by
doing Johnny B Goode. Only joking, even that had me tapping my feet ever
so slightly. I think if you are a fan of good music and sometimes like
jumping around your living room playing a Slazenger tennis racket then
Cujo could be just the sort of therapy you need.Visit their website where
I think you can grab a free tune at . I was with Yash at the
gig last night who I think has told me to rectify something that I had
said in a previous edition or something else of world-shattering
importance but I can't remember what it was so I apologise Yash.I guess
this is a testament to the memory erasing qualities of Guinness. I went to
France on a beer / wine run with Janice and Liz. It was the usual over
indulgence in the alcohol. I had a bad day with the liquids on two
occasions. The first was when we were eating dinner and the waiter tipped
a glass of beer all over the table and me. My jeans were nicely splattered
and gave me the look of a man who has the spout of a watering can on the
end of his penis and has had an epileptic fit whilst visiting the toilet.
After all that the Salmon Ravioli was shite and tasted like Ravioli Ding
from yesterdays leftovers. We won't be going there again. the next bad
vibe came when I have gone into the duty free to buy some "oily rags" and
I bought a bottle of Tia Maria because my missus sometimes drinks it and
to be honest I didn't really need to get it but I did and when I put it on
the floor to open the boot of the car the bottle cracked and leaked all
over Dan's Silk Cut and Joe's Drum. Now Dan can enjoy the usual lungfuls
of air you usually get with Silk Cut but now with added rich coffee
aroma!! It was great coming back along the motorway and watching fire
works go off all over Kent as we passed. After I dropped the ladies off in
South London I headed home along my familiar route only to get diverted
and lost in the middle of London. My knowledge of the inner city is
appaling and I saw Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Marble Arch, in
fact quite a few top tourist attractions. I got pissed off at first
becasue I didn't know where I was going and I crossed back over the river
at Waterloo Bridge after having crossed it once at Blackfriars bridge and
that is all I am prepared to admit for fear of being lambasted by
Londoners who read these pages. After I calmed down and thought "Fuck it,
I can't be lost, I will eventually get north or recognise something so
chill and enjoy London at night. It was like being in "The Long Good
Friday", all very nice and for those who may give a flying fuck, the queen
was not at home (probably out down the bingo). I have had Evo Diablo in my
studio doing a few demos. Evo Diablo are Dan, Niol and Noel and Laura. The
first three being the chaps that played on the live version of "The
Honeymoon's Over". I thought this would be an apt moment to introduce you
to these reprobates so over the next three editions of this page we will
be doing a "Pop Bunny" feature with each of the boys kinda like Smash Hits
Personal. In each of the three pictures our "Pop Bunnies" are all wearing
shades. They are not showing off or trying to give it the "big 'un"
because it was I that requested they wear them. The reason for this
request is patently obvious, all aspiring "Pop Bunnies" will need to
become accustomed to wearing shades at all times of the day when they are
recovering from a night of abuse and have to face papperazzi at Heathrow
at six in the morning. When you have seen all three pictures in the series
I think you will agree that all of our contestants passed the "shades"
exam with flying colours and showed that they are all well accustomed to
the putting on the Lew Grades at un-godly hours after a night sniffing
someone's jumper. Anyway moving swiftly on, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Niol
Date of birth: 16th January 1978. Ealing, Middlesex
Started playing drums: I started hitting biscuit tins when I was eleven.
First record bought: Bad - Michael Jackson
Desert Island Disc: Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley - Robert Palmer
If you weren't a musician what would you be: A saxomophonist.
Which musician, alive or dead, would you most like to meet: Jeff Buckley.
Next week it's big brother Dan. Oh I just can't wait that long, can

23rd October 2002

There is definitely a nip in the air and it seems that winter is upon us.
Spent Saturday evening at a junior school in Palmers Green for Yash's 50th
birthday party. As you can see from the picture above Yash took the Bengal
Chancer dig in good humour and decided to make some Bengal Chancer
chicken. I think this was the only contribution he made to the buffet and
credit should be given to his wife Sheryl who is number one in the unsung
hero charts. Plenty of lovely grub on display and most of it was down to
her spending all of her day in the kitchen. I tried the Bengal Chancer
chicken and it was not bad at all. I think he may have overdone the
chillies but it was still a valiant effort at upstaging his wife!! Me and
the new boys did a short set of six songs and we recorded the gig for
posterity and we will be having an autopsy and adminstering fines for
shaby playing when we reconvene later in the week. It was good to play
with loud amps and full PA as we have been rehearsing pretty quietly and
overall I was very pleased. A late night was had by all and I escaped with
minor injuries in the headache department next morning. had a good week on
the gambling front, backing against the mighty Arsenal in two consecutive
games has proved rather profitable for me. I had Everton at 4-1 on
Saturday and Auxerre at 8-1 last night which means I will be almost in
front for the season. The next issue of wise words will feature a few
pictures of these handsome young man who I am playing with at the moment
(I think I should maybe rephrase that!!). I hope to be revamping the index
page of the site so people can find the forum easily and the MP3 of "Top
Of The Pops Again" will be changed to a weekly MP3 which will probably be
changed every time the wise words is changed. This will include some live
stuff, some old stuff and probably some stupid stuff. I hope that will
keep you entertained for a while until Le Grande Fromage is ready. Went up
to Liverpool over the weekend to see Liverpool v Spurs and met up with Mr
& Mrs Reed in The Flat Iron afterwards for a swift one. I was scheduled
for a few large beers that night but had to bail early in search of food
and an early night as I was leaving early to get back to London and didn't
fancy driving home with a hangover or worse still half pissed. I got up at
5.50am because I forgot to put the clocks back and set off for home. I
managed to break my world record as it was so early in the morning. I left
the Shell garage in Liverpool at 6.15 and was eating a bacon roll in my
local cafe at 8.40!!!! That is some serious speeding. The speedometer on
my car is bust so I don't really know how fast I was travelling except at
one point I was going through roadworks and must have been exceeding the
50mph speed limit because I had my photo taken by a speed camera. Oh shit,
I hope it is one of those that has no film in it or I will be getting my
first licence endorsement for about five years. I am off to France for the
day tomorrow for a booze run and expect my car to be groaning under the
weight of cabernet. I am just off to the movies with my lad to see "xXx"
becasue I haven't had a dose of bombs and helicopters for a good while so
tune in at the end of the week for a Jonathan Ross style review of Vin
Deisel (surely not his real name) and his rippling biceps.

14th October 2002

As a infamous child molestor once sang on Top Of The Pops "Hello, Hello,
I'm back again". Sorry about the lack of "wise words" over the last few
weeks but I have been having computer stress. Despite having my Anti Virus
stuff right up to date I managed to get a virus called new dot which I
deleted but too late. It had already managed to get into the system and
started fucking up the computer. There was no removal tool availible and I
had to start from scratch and wipe my hard drive. When I say I, I really
mean Ket who patiently helped me get re-booted and back on line.
Unfortunately I then installed the latest version of XP to find that none
of the stuff on the pc would work like the modem etc because it didn't
have XP drivers so I am back with the back up ME files and my computer is
working again. As you can see we have a new forum on the website which you
can reach by clicking on the guestbook link on the index page and start
posting you notes. I think this will be a good idea becasue I can answer
queries in the forum rather than people e-mailing me and waiting for three
years to get a reply.If anyone is outstanding in the e-mail reply
department I wil get round to it becasue I saved all my outstanding mails
before the big clean up and I will get around to dealing with them in the
not too distant future. (he promised...again). As for news on the album
front it looks like the album will not be availible this side of Xmas
because AfroMart is still mixing and by the time he is finished it will be
too close to Christmas to get the promo happeneing so it looks like early
next year. I apologise for this but if you want a quality album then I am
afraid you (and I) will have to be patient a little longer. Unfortunately
the lack of product has meant that I cannot organise any gigs until next
year. I have been rehearsing with the boys today and it is really starting
to take shape and we will be road testing a twelve song set at a mate's
party this weekend. It is Yash's 50th birthdya and we will be providing
some entertainment for the Bengal Chancer. In fact the next installment on
this page should have some pics of the band playing at the gig or at least
playing in my studio.It will be good to do a proper gig with "loudness"
because the only ones I have played with these chaps have been muted
acoustic affairs and it will be good to crank up the volume. I will be
doing some recording of some live stuff in the following weeks so I can
start giving you a bi-weekly MP3 on the index page where the current "Top
Of The Pops Again" is. I would suggest that the first topic on the forum
should be requests for songs so fire away and see what happens. I am
currently downloading some ftp siftware as my last pirate copy got lost in
the wipe so hopefully it will be Tuesday morning when you are reading
this. I did a little acoustic spot with Noel and Niol last night to help
them out with their acoustic set. they asked me to play, not becasue they
like hearing me sing but becasue they were about five songs short of
turning in a reasonable length set, the cheeky monkeys. Still it was good
fun despite being largely ignored by pissed up people. Hope you didn't
miss me too much and I shall be back at more regular intervals.

29th September 2002

Wedding frivolities in Wales. The picture above is of the happy couple and
Sue's daughter Ffion (hope I spelt that right or I am dead!). Myself and
the whole family braved the railways and took off for Llanelli last Friday
afternoon from Paddington Station. It is the first time I can remember
that we have all travelled together on the train and it reminded me of
going on holiday when I was kid because we always went by train. My
parents didn't drive or own a car so I was used to travelling by train or
on a "chara" to various resorts around England and Wales so I thought it
would be appropriate fro us to travel by train. Another reason was not
wanting to face the M4 going west on a Friday afternoon, especially with
the reception starting at 7.30pm. We were staying at The Stradey Park
Hotel where the reception was and we arrived in good time and installed
all the kids in their own room, put the glad rags on and hit the bar. It
was nice for my wife to meet all my Welsh buddies and all of the people
who have made me feel so welcome on my visits to their beautiful country.
I got up and played a couple of songs on Tim's acoustic for the assembled
masses. I played "A Girl Like Sue" and "Tainted Love" which is probably
the last time I will play that since it has been mortally wounded by
Marilyn Manson and has been completely spoiled for me now. There have been
some murderous crimes in the British pop charts recently with the
appalling version of "The Long and Winding Road" and "Suspicious Minds" to
name just two. I think there should be a covers panel (like the pools
panel but with songwriters instead of ex-footballers) who should decide
whether a cover has added anything of significant merit to the original
and if it hasn't then it cannot be released. Now you might say "who are
you to say that with all the covers that FGTH did" and I admit that my
orange box is on dodgy ground so I will shut up and withdraw gracefully
and say one thing in our defence and that is this; The FGTH version of
"Born To Run" is a vast improvement on Mumbles Sprinsteen's. Anyway I am
rambling, back to the wedding. Plenty of Guinness was drunk by myself and
I did the usual fucking stupid thing that I always do when I have exceeded
the Guinness guage and that was go for a large Jameson's which is always
fatal and is usually the major contributing factor to the sore head the
next morning. The wedding was boss and it was nice to see all the
following; DJ Jazzy Tone, Ade and Helen, Ryan, Mal, Nige and Shaz, Wal and
Ren, Syb and Rod, Stavia, Stuart and Michelle and the White Horse
regulars, Mr King and of course the bride and groom. If I missed anyone
out, sorry. The next morning we were picked up by Wal and driven over to
his house in Glanamman for Spag Bol and a walk around the local castle
which was a vibe. Wal ruined his lunch by overdoing his application of
"Dave's Insanity Sauce". "Dave's what??" "Dave's Insanity Sauce" is a
pepper sauce made from Habanero Pepper extract and is truly without equal
in the Hot As Fuck category. It recently won the "World's Hottest Sauce"
competition and luckily for Wal mine was the medium heat range. I got it
as a present from Nigey Nige who loves a hot thing, or two. I like hot
things but this just takes the piss completely. My new party peice is
letting people stick their finger in the lid and applying a tiny drop to
their tongue and watching them change colour. As Nige says "INSTANT PAIN".
I did a TV interview on Monday for Chrysalis TV. They had been
commissioned by Channel 4 to do a programme about the 50th anniversary of
the British Pop Chart which had "Relax" and "Two Tribes" in the top 50 or
100. Very quick, in and out, all the usual questions.
Moving swiftly on to today and the European victory in The Ryder Cup. very
emotional watching Sam Torrance pick up the cup and can only thank god I
was watching the highlights and knew the outcome or I could have been
reaching for the kleenex. If you are into golf then you know how good
today was and if you are not into golf then you should be by the time the
next one comes around. I don't have Sky Sports and had to settle for the
excellent commentary on 5 Live. After the shenanigans of the last
tournament with the Americans running all over the green it was nice to
see a bit of decorum restored today with Paul McGinley jumping in the lake
with an Irish Tricolour above his head. Top result from all concerned.
The forum will be sorted shortly when Mr Ket gets back from a jaunt in
NYC. It is alright for some innit???

19th September 2002

Before I move on to the picture of the two handsome men above I just
wanted to tell you about the chat sessions. There is a fault on the chat
page at the moment and I have decided to suspend the chat until further
notice. When it is reinstated it will probably be on a Sunday at some time
which I think would be better for all concerned and stop me from keeping
you up late. I will let you know via this page when it is all back on.
Also I have to mention something about e-mail. During the month or so I
was having problems with my site I think I may have lost some e-mail so if
you have mailed me in the last month then you can presume that I haven't
received it. If there are matters of pressing importance that need my
attention then dig the mail out of your sent box and send it again and I
will get it now that my mail is sorted.
I am not certain but I think this may be the only picture most of you have
seen of Mr O since the late eighties and as you can see he has not changed
very much. He can still like like a fucking horse without an inch going on
his waist. We managed to hook up while he was visiting friends in Orlando
and his wife, Laura, and baby Cairo came over to join my clan and two of
our cousins from San Francisco for Sunday roast. He was playing a guitar
for Cairo who had us all in stitches singing kiddie songs and doing all
the actions. I think Mark was sorry he picked the guitar up because every
time he finished he would hear "Again! Again!". It was great to see him
and I hope it won't be the best part of ten years before I see him again.
I don't think he has any intention of coming to live in England again and
with the shitty weather we have here I can't say I blame him.
Next on the agenda is "Designer Clothes for Fat People". Why is it in this
country that fat people cannot buy designer clobber? If you went into any
shop on Bond Street and asked for a pair of Ralph Lauren jeans with a 36"
waist you would get laughed out the door becasue they don't stock sizes
that big. So you can imagine how stunned I was when I walked into a Ralph
shop over there and saw jeans that would fit a weeble!! I picked up a pair
of jeans that were 44" waist and 32" inside leg. If they have sizes that
big over there why don't we have them??? It is because they don't want
lard buckets trolling down Oxford Street wearing their clobber and making
it look bad. Over there a fat persons money is just as good as Callista
Flockhart's. I think that the next brave step would be to have only size
16 and upwards on the womens catwalk and 36" waisted geezers with beer
bellies done up in Alexander McQueen and Versace!!! I am off to Wales
tomorrow for Timbo and Sue's wedding. All of the family are going and we
are going by train which should be an adventure. All of the Welsh Posse
will be there and I should imagine most of them have been sketched in to
provide the nights entertainment, myself included, so I will be back
Sunday with tales of Bouquets and Buckley's Dark.
15th September.
Where was I?? Oh I remember, we had landed at Charlotte and had an hour to
kill and the first thing we see as we walk into the main part of the
airport is "Starbucks". Indulge me one minute while I talk about
Starbuck's and how they have got their advertising and marketing all
wrong. I don't think it is a coincidence that we now have lots of coffee
shops in the UK and I wonder if this is due to the popularity of
"Friends"? Groovy, funny, attractive people (not in my opinion) sitting in
coffee shops drinking coffee and being attractive and funny? Looks like
the sort of lifestyle that your thirty-somethings would buy into as they
are the only people with enough disposable income to be able to spend it
on a £3 coffee. Personally I don't mind getting a big cup of "jolt" from
the Starbucks near my studio but I take-out and don't want to be sitting
with a big mug and a big paper in a big armchair in front of a big window
on my local High St. Can anyone else verify this for me but I have seen
"big" newspapers lying around in there but no "red tops". Does this mean
they want "Guardian" and "Indepent" readers drinking their coffee but not
"Sun" and "Star" readers?? I can guarantee that the cast of "Friends"
ain't eating the calorie loaded cakes they sell in these coffee shops,
Chocolate Fudge Heart Attack and Carrot Cake with Cholesterol Chunks. But
anyway, I digress. My kids ain't been to Starbucks and they want to go and
I don't know why. I can only think that it is because it sounds groovy. We
eventually took them to one in Universal Studios and they had hot
chocolate (despite being 90 degrees outside) and then the next time a
Frappacino (more sensible). So I reckon they should be aiming Starbucks at
kids. It could become the new McDonalds couldn't it. "Mum, Mum, can I have
a Caramel Macchiato, pleeeeease???" The bonus of this is that they are
selling a drug (caffeine) in very large doses and they could get all their
future caffeine addicts at a very early age and get them emptying out
their money boxes for their Grande Caffe Latte with an extra shot!?!?!
So we go to Disneyland. I have been on more than a dozen occassions and it
hasn't changed much since I was last there 15 years ago. The picture above
is Cinderella's Castle (not a bad pad for a cartoon!). My mother-in-law
Joan was with us and we decided to take her around Disneyland in a
wheelchair which turned out to be a smart move because most of the rides
have a seperate disabled queue so we didn't have to queue in all the
regular queues. We did it all in one twelve hour day which is something I
have never been able to do on all of my previous visits. We went to
Universal Studios which was well cool. I think the best thing about these
places are the 3-D rides. I love 3-D and I can't understand why they don't
have it in cinemas. I went on this Spiderman ride in Universal which was
truly excellent. Wicked 3-D that I cannot begin to describe but it was
realistic to the point that some kid sitting behind me was screaming as
the baddies came and shoved their various weapons right in his face. We
saw the Terminator 3-D presentation which was a mixture of live action and
3-D film which was also excellent. The only thing that pisses me off is
that every single ride exits throught the souvenir shop and I cannot
imagine how much cash these places must take in one day. There were too
many good rides to go into depth about them all but The Hulk roller
coaster in Universal got done about four times and Duelling Dragons gone
done five times. I thought the best roller coaster was Kraken in Sea
World. I managed to persuade my wife to take a ride on it with me which is
something she didn't enjoy. My eldest daughter loves the coasters like me
but the other two are not keen and despite massive persuasion they kept
their feet on the ground. My duaghter and I had a coaster total of 21
which I think was quite good going.
While I am filling in the "wise words" for the holiday I will try to slip
in little entertaining bits about my visit, the first of which is this.
Hats; I have never been somewhere that is extremely hot for exteneded
periods of time. Since I have had thinning hair I have never taken
precautions against being burnt and have only ever been found out once
which was during a visit to Wimbledon when I got my head burnt standing
out watching the tennis all day. I couldn't really wear hats with the mop
head I used to have so now my hair is really short I can start wearing
hats. I like baseball caps but not the ones with the plastic straps to
make them fit your head so I thought I would fill up on fitted baseball
caps while on holiday because if you can find them in a sports shop here
then you will probably only be able to get a New York Yankees one. So I
went cap mad and bought six, all of which I wouldn't get over here so I
was well pleased. I didn't get my head burnt and managed to stay out of
the sun wherever possible so when I came home I had brown arms and face
and looked like I'd been on holiday so that is good enough for me. I guess
that if I am going to enjoy holidays in foreign climes then hats have
become a necessity rather than an accessory.
I will close with another quick observation, dubbed movies. I was sitting
there one evening watching telly and started watching "Goodfellas" (for
the 20th time probably) and was amazed that it was dubbed and all the
"fuckin"'s had been changed to "freakin". It was so weird watching Joe
Pesci "freakin" all over the place. I find it odd that they can showed a
guy getting his head squashed, and eventually popped, in a vice but they
can't have a few "fucks" flying about. Very strange??
9th September.
Did you miss me? I apologise for the lack of "wise words" since I returned
from my holiday nearly two weeks ago but I have been experiencing a few
problems with my web hosting and have now switched to somewhere else. I
had been paying for my web space with the hosts taking their monthly fee
from my debit card. This was all going well until the card expired and
they pulled my site down without a phone call or an e-mail, nice eh?? You
may remember this because I got a lot of mail telling me my site had
disappeared. So I call them up and give them my new card details and tell
them I only want it up for one more month and then I will be switching
hosts. So while I am away the month runs out and they take it down again
and tell me that before it goes up again I have to pay for my webhosting
for the next year and my e-mail because I have two invoices outstanding
etc. I told them I was moving and they would not re-direct the site until
I paid them, in advance, for a years webspace that I am not going to use.
The expression "caught by the short and curlies" described the predicament
I was in. As you can imagine I was fucking livid, being blackmailed by
some little fucking computer geek who I could not bollock on the phone
because he has you people in his hands and it is up to him when he gives
it back. So I had a lot of teeth marks in my tongue due to the extreme
biting required to stop me from screaming at this prick. Well he probably
thought he had heard the last of me but I plan to pay him a visit in the
next week or two to "discuss" me getting my money back. You may notice
that the guestbook is very old because we uploaded the last version we had
of the site and it will shortly be replaced by a forum which should happen
towards the end of the week. So by the beginning of next week we should
all be back to normal. I have a lot of topics to cover and catch up on so
I will be updating the "wise words" every couple of days for the next week
or two and changing the picture as well so keep yourself tuned if you want
to get all the gory details. Our first installment is below.
There are lots of things to fill you in on that have happened in recent
weeks but I will begin at the beginning of the adventure. It is about
7.30am and I am at Gatwick Airport waiting in the departure lounge. Why do
you have to be at the airport three hours before your flight? Is it
because we are all simple and the checking in process may tax us too much
and we may need a little lie down. this three hour thing is even more
bizarre when you think about how many flights are delayed to
"circumstances out of our control". I have never managed to be on a plane
for longer than ten minutes before take off so why DO I HAVE TO GET UP AT
conspiracy between the airlines and McDonald's, Burger King, WHSmith and
all of the outlets at the airport. If you are there for three hours you
are going to buy something aren't you? Whether it is a book for the plane
or a poxy rubbery breakfast from McD's. So I was strolling through the
airport on my way to WHSmith to buy a book for my hols (told ya). As I am
about to enter the shop I hear someone shout "Nasher!!" and turn round to
be confronted by this Northern chap who I did not know. I presumed he was
a FGTH fan and I was amazed that he had "spotted" me, considering I look
completely different to how I did then, but it turns out he is a Nasher
fan and he tells me he was on my site last week and that he has a copy of
"Ripe" in his car. I told him that I wished my kids had witnessed this
"spotting" as they would then believe that I was once famous and that I am
not making it all up. We had a breif chat and I told him I would mention
it on the site as soon as I got back so I have. If you are reading, Steve
from Middlesbrough, I hope you enjoyed the two weeks at Gatwick as much as
the two weeks I had in Florida. By the way, the book I bought was called
"A Time To Die" by Robert Moore which was the events leading up to, and
following, the Kursk submarine disaster in Russia a few years back. It was
a very interesting but tragic tale and a criminal loss of life due to
imcompetence and financial cutbacks in the Russian Navy. The first picture
of the "Nashnal Lampoons Vacation" series is this lovely pic of the sky
over the Atlantic. It has been a long time since I flew long haul and a
lot has changed in the entertainment department. I was flying with US
Airways (they filed for bankrupty the day before I left but were still
flying which was a stroke of luck) and they had these mini monitors on the
back of the headrest in front of you which gives you a nice selection of
the latest flix to watch. This may not be that amazing to most of you who
have seen these but last time I was on a long haul flight I was wearing a
pair of headphones that looked like they had come from a Lancaster bomber
and the picture quality on the screen was total pants. I watched
Spiderman, A Beautiful Mind and The Shipping News all of which made the
flight go very quickly. The only drawback was for my wife and daughter who
were sitting in the only two seats on this airbus that didn't have a
television working. We arrived late in Orlando going via Charlotte in
North Carolina. I think that's enough for today so I will give you the
next installment before the end of the week. Keep it here.
12th August.
I am off on my holidays very early tomorrow morning so there will be no
wise words updates until 28th when I will be regaling you with tales of
Mickey Mouse. I hope the sun is shining in your part of the world because
it will certainly be shining where I am. Next wise words pic will probably
feature myself and Mr O'Toole as he has promised to visit so that is
something to look forward to. See ya with a tan.