Saturday 22 September 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 163 (Intro)

In reply to those who ask why I write this website:

I remember being aged seven and being asked by my bête noire of a form teacher to go through a long list of items and sort them into ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ items. Like my peers –and iognoring the lyrics to one of my favourite Hollies songs ‘The Air That I Breathe’ I quickly got through the usual suspects: food, sleep, breathing. There was one item on the list that screamed out to me as being the most important thing in the universe and, without thinking I ascribed it pride of place at the top of my list. When the teacher went round the class asking everyone to read their list out to the rest of the class (which in a class of 33 must have been one of the most boring 10 minutes I ever sat through) I began to fear apprehension/pride at the fact that my list was ‘different’, that I’d clearly discovered something no one else had yet. When it was my turn I proudly started off with the words ‘music’, before being told I had clearly misunderstood what a ‘luxury’ was. For the first time in my life, I refused to back down: music wasn’t a ‘luxury item’ that we could do without on a whim, it was a wholly necessary, integral part of being, something that gave me the ability to understand the world around me and the capacity to enjoy it better. I argued that although my body probably wouldn’t last long without food or sleep (I wasn’t arguing that), my mind would last an even shorter time without it. I got told I was wrong. I was attacked for speaking out of turn. I was shown the ‘book of answers’ (because the teacher didn’t have a clue about anything without the ‘book’; it was the be all and end all of life and must be ‘right’ because it showed things in print). But they never broke me, because I knew that I had found something no one else had (yet). I always vowed that one day I’d write my own book, with ‘my’ idea of what constituted the important things in life. Then the internet came along and gave my ideas possibility, reaching out towards a world wider audience I never dreamed of reaching and transcending barriers of language, nationality, race and colour. Whatever happens to this site, whether it gets taken away, closed down or left to rust I could do nothing better with my life than scratch away at it, turning the music round in my head and on the screen and understanding better just what it is about the records I play that give my life meaning and purpose.

We need our arts – whether they be music, painting, sculpture, writing, anything. We need to learn how other people approach the world in order to understand how we see it ourselves and learn how our actions have an effect on other people. The Coalition are cutting our arts funding left, right and centre. In their eyes it ‘doesn’t matter’ - or at least it matters less to them than people running round a field, earning wages for some fatcat businessman or pleasing rich millionaires who are spending lots of money abroad. If you’ve made it to this site and this far down the paragraph then clearly you are ‘one of us’ (either that or you’re computer has frozen on this page!) Well done – you’ve learnt something ‘they’ will never understand.

Talking of which latest Government faux pas for you: ‘Teachers don’t work hard enough’...said the politician with the same amount of time off in the summer, various taxpayer-paid expenses who turns up in parliament every weeks or so. Hmmm...
As per last week we haven’t got a ‘new column’ as such, just a new column featuring lots of news from various ‘official sources’, so its on with the music...

Once again we point you here to enjoy our latest weekly feast of news from all the official music sources we could think of via (its much easier and more detailed than writing it for myself!)

♫ Beach Boys News: However there is one news item to add, with the recently reunited Beach Boys appearing on the first episode of Jools Hollands’ ‘Later’ series. Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnstone and Dave Marks haven’t been in the UK together before ever (its 1963 since Marks last toured Europe with the group!) so it should be a fascinating chance to see how the band sound with this unique line-up. The show is on Tuesday, September 25th at 10pm with an extended repeat (of a live programme?! What the...?!) on Friday, September 28th. There’s also a whole heap of Beach Boys stuff on radio 2, including a 90 minute concert and a two part documentary ‘The Beach Boys at 50’ (On Radio 2 this Monday, September 24th) and a repeat of the excellent ‘Record Producers’ episode featuring the Beach Boys from a few years back (on BBC 6 this Wednesday, September 26th).

ANNIVERSARIES: It’s another year on the line for the following AAA members (born between September 26th and October 2nd): Craig Chaquico (guitarist with Jefferson Starship/Starship 1973-88) who turns 58 on September 26th, Dewey Martin (drummer with the Buffalo Springfield 1965-68) who would have been 70 on September 30th and Phil Oakey (lead singer with The Human League 1978-present) who turns 57 on October 2nd. Anniversaries of events include: It’s now 43 years since the last Beatles LP ‘Abbey Road’ (September 26th 1969), The Hollies release their groundbreaking single ‘King Midas In Reverse’ (September 27th 1967), A and M sue George Harrison for being late with delivery of his last album for the label (George is ill with hepatitis, delaying delivery of ‘33 and 1/3rd’ till later in the year), the Rolling Stones begin their first ‘proper’ tour – supporting Bo Diddley and the Everly Brothers across the UK (September 29th 1963), CSN go gold in America with their first self-titled album less than three months after its release in July (September 30th 1969), In contrast, it takes the Grateful Dead 22 years to earn their first platinum disc (for ‘In The Dark’, the same day in 1987) and finally, 63 Rolling Stones are arrested after failing to get in to see their band at a concert in Milan. 2000 fans are thought to have taken part in the riot after finding out the venue had been sold out by an overwhelming number (October 2nd 1970).

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