Monday, 8 September 2008

News, Views and Music Issue 3 (Intro)

September 8:

Not much more to add this week on the AAA front. The last few links are still being joined together, the last  ‘I’s are being dotted and the last groups of quavers are being bunched together. So, with no real news there, what has been happening in the world of AA groups?

Hollies/ 10cc/ Oasis: So what was last Friday’s BBC4 Manchester night about then?! The Hollies’ Just One Look (yawn!) 10cc’s Rubber Bullets (snore!)  and Oasis’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (ho-hum!) Anyone whose ever had the courage to sit through Steve Wright’s so-called witticisms on TOTP2 will have seen these clips dozens of times already—the first two have already been on the ‘Dave’ freeview channel twice this year! Fair enough, the BBC only wanted to use archive clips that they owned, but surely there were more interesting clips than these tired ones to be found (I could have put my hands on oodles of TOTP Hollies clips alone that haven’t had an airing in years!)

Plus, there was an interesting story to be told here—but this wasn’t it (there was absolutely no linking footage between the clips—something that works when it’s a group we all know the story of and just want the music—ie the superlative ‘Early Beatles’ doc of 1982 that set the tone for this sort of documentary - but useless for a programme on such a broad spectrum where we all might have learned something about the groups we know little about). And why did the programme dispense with the 1960s five minutes in, mainly to show un-listenable and obscure punk groups instead ?! (Where were the Mindbenders, the Monkees/Davy Jones and CSNY/Graham Nash solo for crying out loud?!) A grave disappointment hot on the heels of BBC4’s repeat of Merseyside Night, which came complete with dusted-off rare documentaries that actually were entertaining! 

It will have been on by the time this site goes up, but there was a rare film on BBC 2 on Sunday night starring Art Garfunkel. ‘Bad Timing’ from 1980 is one of the strangest acting roles the under-rated Garfunkel ever did—a psychoanalyst who falls in love with his patient only to go rather monkeynuts himself when she commits suicide and he fails to save her. Not a barrel of laughs, then, but this project is heartbreaking when you realise why Art took the role: his long-term girlfriend Lauren Bird really did commit suicide in the late 1970s and the press, very unfairly, pinned the blame partly on Art for never getting round to proposing to her for all that time, a neat inversion of Art’s character’s relentless naggings for commitment in the film. Art’s guilt-ridden album Scissors Cut, which came out the following year, is an under-rated and for Art rather harrowing album which goes hand in hand with the themes in this film and is dedicated to Lauren Bird.

Pink Floyd: Yet another David Gilmour live concert has been released on DVD/ CD, “Live in Gdansk” (which is in Poland apparently, but don’t feel bad if that’s news to you because I’ve just had to look that up myself!) For those who don’t own a Gilmour live DVD yet, its worth getting as it features the better percentage of his solo material and a lot of rare and dusty old Floyd favourites that haven’t been revived too often. However, following on from the ‘In concert’ DVD of 2002 and the ‘Remember That Night’ DVD of two years ago (co-starring David Crosby and Graham Nash, no less), releasing yet another DVD recycling much of the same material is at best too obviously treading water before the next Gilmour magnum opus comes out and at worst plain daft.

Humble Pie: At last, a re-issue of debut album ‘As Safe As Yesterday Is’ on CD, but no bonus tracks alas! More on this release soon (if I ever manage to track it down!)

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