Posted in Events dear boy. Events at 8:38 pm on 29 March 2015
…. was an emailed letter of comment in yesterday’s print edition Guardian Review on a piece called A Door into Wonderland which was the lead article in last week’s edition.
Unfortunately my letter doesn’t seem to be on the online version. (Or if it is I couldn’t find it.)
But the text was in my email’s “sent” folder:-
The idea of a “wonder-land” has certainly – as Robert Douglas-Fairhurst said – also attracted English and American authors but his point was perhaps a little undermined by the first example quoted, Thomas Carlyle, not actually being English. Ecclefechan may be near to the border but it’s still on the northern side.
Posted in Events dear boy. Events, Fantasy, Science Fiction at 7:43 pm on 12 March 2015
It’s sad to hear of the death of prolific SF/fantasy author Terry Pratchett. Alzheimer’s Disease is a terrible affliction. It is for anyone; not just those whose working lives depend to a large extent on memory. His passing is a great loss to the overall SF/fantasy genre.
Pratchett’s greatest creation was of course Discworld, whose genesis owes more to fantasy than to SF.
Looking through my shelves I found I have more of his books than I had remembered, 9 novels in total, of which 6 are Discworld books. This is perhaps because I never much took to Discworld and didn’t really find the novels amusing. I think I laughed only once when reading a Pratchett book and that was for an atrocious pun (of which I admit I am fond.) Reading Equal Rites in particular I felt there was a serious novel in there struggling to get out and that the treatment somewhat detracted from the book’s possible import. I fully understand that Pratchett’s later work may have fulfilled the hopes that I had for Equal Rites when I was reading it but by then I had moved on to other things. According to Fantastic Fiction there are 40 Discworld novels. Too many to catch up with I fear.
Terrence David John Pratchett: 28/4/1948 – 12/03/2015. So it goes.
Posted in 1960s, Events dear boy. Events, Friday On My Mind, Prog Rock at 9:57 pm on 27 January 2015
So Demis Roussos has gone. He was only 66. Strange that in the 70s he seemed quite old.
He first came to my attention in the 60s as lead singer of Aphrodite’s Child, another of whose members was Vangelis.
I posted their song It’s Five O’Clock here. It was out of songs and groups like this that Prog Rock developed.
I’ll skip over Roussos’s 70s solo number 1 For Ever and Ever and instead feature a live version of Aphrodite’s Child’s only UK hit, a number 29 no less, Rain and Tears.
Aphrodite’s Child: Rain and Tears
Artemios “Demis” Ventouris-Roussos: 15/6/1946 – 25/1/2015. So it goes.
Posted in 1960s, 1970s, Events dear boy. Events, Music, Reelin' In The Years at 12:00 pm on 16 January 2015
Another member of the most idiosyncratically named band of the 60s, Dozy, bassist of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich fame, has died.
This isn’t one of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich’s big hits. It doesn’t feature Dave Dee at all and was recorded and released in 1970 after he left the group when the band had shortened its name to the remaining members initials. This track apparently has the first use of a Moog Modular Synthesiser.
D B M & T: Mr President
Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies (Dozy): 27/11/1944 – 13/1/2015. So it goes.
Posted in Events dear boy. Events at 8:59 pm on 8 January 2015
Just for the record.
Killing people offends me more than any cartoon ever could.
The depths of an adherent’s faith must be shaky in the extreme if they can’t withstand a hint of criticism – or they respond to it in such a disproportionate manner.
Are they somehow trying to convince themselves?
Posted in Events dear boy. Events at 12:01 am on 1 January 2015
What it says on this post’s title.
Posted in Events dear boy. Events, Politics, Scotland at 12:00 pm on 31 December 2014
So farewell then 2014, a year which promised to be the most important in Scotland’s history since 1707, but turned out to be more like 1746.
My abiding memory of the referendum year will not be the referendum itself but of the morning after; when we Scots discovered that, far from being about Scotland, the process we had all been through for the previous eighteen months had in fact been, instead, about England, when Mr Irresponsible said his EVEL1 piece. (Paragraphs 19 and 20.)
My first reaction – apart from thinking it was the most spectacular case of missing the point I’d ever witnessed – was that they will just never value us. This was the time to heal, to welcome the result as a coming together, a reaffirmation of what keeps the UK united, a sense of sharing and mutual worth. But what we got instead was an assertion of self-importance, a rejection and dismissal. A Thatcherite Prime Minister telling us that he was in charge and now he’d got what he wanted we didn’t matter any more, that he didn’t care, had in fact, despite his bluster, never cared.
It was only seeing the clip again a few months later that the comparison occurred to me. It was like an abusive husband, told by his wife after a period of consideration that she had decided she had too much invested in the marriage to give it up lightly and was willing to stick with it, immediately turning round and blackening her eye again.
I know not everyone in England agrees with him. Let’s hope they vote accordingly in the General Election in May.
1English Votes for English Laws.
Posted in 1960s, Events dear boy. Events, Friday On My Mind, Music at 12:00 pm on 23 December 2014
I was sorry to hear of the death of one of Sheffield’s finest, Joe Cocker. I’ve mentioned before his hit with the radical reworking of the Beatles’ song With a Little Help From My Friends and also his Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour.
From that tour here’s the live version of Delta Lady.
Joe Cocker (Mad Dogs and Englishmen): Delta Lady
John Robert (Joe) Cocker: 20/5/1944 – 22/12/2014. So it goes.
Posted in 1960s, Events dear boy. Events, Friday On My Mind, Music at 12:00 pm on 5 December 2014
I was sorry to hear yesterday morning of the death of Ian McLagan, keyboard player with the Small Faces and The Faces.
Itchycoo Park was a departure for the group, its phasing making it a part of the mid-60s psychedelia trend, but it does foreground his keyboard playing.
The Small Faces: Itchycoo Park
Ian Patrick ‘Mac’ McLagan; 12/5/1945 – 3/12/2014. So it goes.
Posted in Events dear boy. Events, Football, World Cup at 8:23 pm on 27 November 2014
To Scottish football followers of a certain age (that’ll be me for starters) the name of Arthur Montford is shrouded in misty memory. Well, given that one of his trademarks was the checked jacket and in black and white TV days that caused all sorts of weird effects on the domestic TV screen that should be strobed in misty memory.
The news that he has died is sad. One of the last links to the golden age of sport (for which read football, mainly) on television – golden because there was so little of it it was all precious.
Arthur was a stalwart of STV’s Scotsport programme for many years when it was in its pomp.
No-one who heard one of his commentaries could ever forget it. Liberally sprinkled with the phrase “what a stramash” he also rarely missed the opportunity to say “up go the heads” when two or more players contested a ball in the air.
He never hid his allegiance when commentating on Scotland games, “Mind your legs, Billy” when a scything tackle came in on Billy Bremner. This perhaps reached its peak in the crucial qualifier for the 1974 World Cup at Hampden versus Czechoslovakia with his cry of “Disaster for Scotland” when the Czechs scored first. His euphoria when the game was turned round is there for all to hear.
Nevertheless he seemed a gentleman and his background knowledge of the game always shone through.
Today’s presenters have big footsteps to follow.
Arthur Montford, 1929-2014. So it goes.