Archives » Events dear boy. Events

Are Dead Nazis Due Royalties?

I heard about this in an item on the radio news today.

It seems the owner of the copyright of the diaries of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels is suing a publisher over quotations from them.

My first reaction was “Goebbels had an estate?” As far as I was aware he and his wife Magda had killed all their children before themselves committing suicide – or having an SS man shoot them. So who could be the beneficiaries of his estate? (A private individual it would seem from the link above.) Reflecting on it as I write this, I wonder did Hitler have an estate? And who owns that?

My second thought earlier was, why should Goebbels have an estate? It all ought to have been confiscated and given over to victims’ organisations. Surely no single person has the right directly to benefit financially from the activities of the Nazi hierarchy?

This is a murky area of course, as the publishers are seeking to do just that.

Günter Grass

I see that Günter Grass has died.

I haven’t actually read any of his novels – he’s one of those novelists whom I meant to get round to sometime. The closest I have come was when I watched the film that was made of his novel The Tin Drum. The film was excellent.

There was a stooshie when he revealed he had been a member of the Waffen SS – mostly because he had managed to keep the fact to himself for 60 years and in the interim had been outspoken about Germany’s post-war attitude to the Nazis. I doubt, though, many German seventeen year-olds would have resisted being called up in 1944. In any case his war record can have had no bearing whatsoever on his abilities as a writer. As a person perhaps; but not as an author. (There were doubtless many more in Germany, Austria and various parts of Eastern Europe who may have had more reason to keep theirs quiet.)

The Nobel Committee saw fit to award him its prize in literature in 1999. That puts him in good company.

Günter Grass: 16/10/1927 – 13/4/2015. So it goes.

Richie Benaud

He of the clipped delivery has died.

Along with the long gone and lamented John Arlott, Richie Benaud was part of the sound of my childhood – at least when the cricket was on.

Benaud’s commentaries – especially his end of day’s play summaries – were always insightful and his voice was of course a godsend to imitators.

I remember reading once (in the late 60s or early 70s) that Benaud had witnessed – either as a player or commentator – somewhere around 70% of all the Test matches that had ever been played up to that point. Certainly well over half. In those days there were many fewer Test playing nations and the international schedule was lighter but it was still a remarkable feat and went a long way to explaining his deep knowledge of and love for the game of cricket.

The world always seems emptier when a figure who is redolent of a certain sphere of activity, who represents it in your mind – the first thing, the one above all else, I associated with the name Benaud was cricket – passes away. Present day players seem totally insignificant in comparison.

Richard “Richie” Benaud: 6/10/1930 – 10/4/2015. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 102: My Brother Jake (RIP Andy Fraser)

A belated recognition of the passing of Andy Fraser, Free’s bassist.

It’s also an almost follow on to the “Jack” songs I posted over a couple of weeks not so long ago.

There’s some good mellotron on this too.

Free: My Brother Jake

Andrew McLan Fraser: 37/1952 – 16/3/2015. So it goes.

My Latest Publication

…. 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.

Jack Deighton.

Terry Pratchett

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.

Not Friday On My Mind 26: Rain and Tears – RIP Demis Roussos

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.

Reelin’ In the Years 98: Mr President. RIP Dozy

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.

Taking Offence

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?

Happy New Year

What it says on this post’s title.

free hit counter script