Monday 8 October 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 165 (Intro)

October 17th:

Dear all, it’s a tiring task running a website, as I’m sure you’ll imagine what with cfs lapses and everything, and one thing I’ve been neglecting recently is trawling through the search engines to see what people are saying/proclaiming/praising/debating my site. I haven’t done it for a few months what with one thing or another and I’m surprised by a lot of what I’ve found; there’s several entries for individual reviews on my ‘blogspot’ site ( I wasn’t expecting for starters. My main discovery, though, is a page about my moonfruit site ( on ‘Web Stats Domain’ (you can visit yourself here at According to this site, we are now worth $57,814USD though I’m not quite sure how they arrived at that figure (it must be by the word because I’m not seeing any of that money!) To be honest I haven’t got a clue what the rest of it means (I’m no computer genius, as no doubt you’ll have realised by now), but I am intrigued by the statistics of whose been visiting the site, something I haven’t found out before at this first site. 30% UK and 22% US hits aren’t that far removed from the Blogspot site statistics although the rest is pretty amazing: 11% India, 3% China and 2% each Spain and Pakistan. I hadn’t realised our site had become so multinational! Anyway a big hello to you wherever you read this and whatever music you have access to – apologies if some of the local cultural references are a bit confusing to you (they are to me, in truth) but we’re glad to have you aboard, wherever in the world you are.

Unless, of course, you’re David Cameron or George Osbourne. Despite the fact that several hundred people die every month from the Government’s insane welfare cuts the Coalition have just announced more – and have abandoned plans to add a mansion tax on the rich to boot. What kind of insane, backward, nasty, ludicrous, moronic, outrageously dispassionate idiot could think that such a scheme could be acceptable? Most of the cabinet, apparently, who still think that paying ATOS and G4S millions of pounds instead of spending it on people or jobs is the way to go. This is despite the fact that there is now proof that both the unemployed and the poorly are suffering from targeted sanctions – not because they’ve done anything wrong, but simply because each job centre has to hit specific targets each week or lose their licenses. George Orwell wasn’t that many years out in his view of ‘1984’ now was he?! Honestly, make sure you use our twitter hashtag #CoalitionOutByXmas and let your feelings be known because we cannot tolerate this despicable betrayal of our British citizens, simply because the Government want to waste more money on their friends at a time of recession.

As per the last two issues we’re transporting to you to the golden world of our web address for the majority of this week’s news stories (you can access it by clicking this button):

Although there’s one heck of a lot of TV and radio news for you this week...

♫ Beatles News: A whole plethora of Beatle-related TV and radio goodies to tell you about, either linked with the new ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ DVD release or the – gulp – 50th anniversary of ‘Love Me Do’ on October 10th. First up ‘A Year In The Life: The Beatles 1962’ was broadcast this Wednesday, October 3rd on Radio 2 at 10pm, with Roger McGough following the Beatles’ story from their failed Decca audition on January 1st to their triumphant tour of Scotland with Helen Shapiro at the year’s end. Second is/was ‘The Blagger’s Guide To The Beatles’ again on Radio 2 at 9.30pm Thursday, October 4th. David Quantick offers a ‘beginner’s guide’ to the band – and given that he’s only got a half hour to fit all that history in its likely to be a whirlwind ride. Third up is the special one – the Arena documentary on the making of ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ taken direct from next week’s DVD re-release. The programme is being broadcast on BBC2 at 10.45pm on Saturday, October 6th and should be available on I-player for a week or after. Stuart Marconie then presents ‘Love Me Do – The Beatles in 62’ on BBC4 this Sunday, October 7th at 10pm and looks back at the band’s ‘legacy’ (let’s hope that means sites like this one and not more godawful interviews with modern so-called celebrities).Then there’s ‘Beatleland’ on Radio 2 Wednesday, October 10th at 10pm finds Red Dwarf star Craig Charles (why?!) tracing the fab four’s legacy in their home town (err, that’ll be one statue and a Cavern Club on the wrong side of the road then!) Finally, BBC6 have their own two part documentary about John Lennon’s time in New York City – which has been well served these past few years already what with the ‘Lennonyc’ and ‘US Vs Lennon’ films. It’s on next Tuesday and Wednesday, October 16th and 17th at 4AM in their ‘documentary’ slot.

Since writing the above paragraph, we’ve seen the Arena documentary on MMTour and here are our thoughts:
‘I’m an erudite and sophisticated documentary here to tell you why the Beatles’ much maligned 1967 Boxing Day special charted new waters and had the pulse on the nation’s real thoughts and feelings’ said the documentary’s pr team. ‘Oh no you’re not’ said little Nicola – and half the audience left scratching their heads. There was a great documentary to be had here and the glimpses of unseen footage was wonderful: more of Ringo arguing with his Aunt Jessie, hundreds of extras being herded into place and – in a special minute added over the restoration credits on the new screening of the TV special itself – a fascinating fly-on-the-wall feel of what it really must have felt like to be on the Beatle bus in September 1967. The new interviews with Paul and Ringo were fascinating too, Paul still proud and defensive of the Beatles moment he was most in charge of and loving the chance to fig out what little remains of his mid-60s home movies and even Ringo added a few jokes and seemed less, well, arrogantly grumpy than he has of late. But whole great chunks of the documentary were given over to ‘explaining’ the TV special and the influence its had over the decades – so much so that it took a good half hour before the cast had even got on the bus, so to speak. There was very little about the actual nuts and bolts of the filming, with even the famous stories about the coach not being ready on time for the first day’s filming (because the psychedelic paint was still drying) or the Beatles having to re-work their original planned journey at the last minute when the coach became lodged under a bridge. Worst of all there was hardly anything about the music – no mention of how ‘MMTour’ was recorded as early as the Spring in the ‘Sgt Peppers’ period to give the band ‘something in the can’, Macca’s conviction that he’d just met the new messiah while out walking his dog (a thought that led to the creation of ‘Fool On The Hill’) or the wonderful mix of bile and sarcastic taunting of Lennon’s old English teachers that is ‘I Am The Walrus’. There wasn’t even a mention of the long running Beatle myth #38: who was in the walrus costume during the shooting? (Both the MMTour EP booklet and the White Album track ‘Glass Onion’ claim it was Paul). A frustratingly lost opportunity, then, which – like the special – tries so hard to be hip that it rather gets in the way of all the real magic that’s there.

The ‘Love Me Do’ special on the year 1962 was so much better in every way that it’s a shame it was shunted to BBC4. Longterm fans know the gist of the story backwards, but giving a whole hour over to the crucial moptop year of 1962 meant that we got much more detail than given in the Anthology documentary and the programme makers dug out several intriguing interviewees who have rarely spoken about their Beatles connection before. These included Rory Storm’s sister Iris Caldwell, who also happened to be one of Paul’s many short-term girlfriends before Jane Asher came along (although she bravely disputes the long-term claim that ‘Love Me Do’ was written for her) and session drummer Andy White (who played on the original UK single of ‘Love Me Do’ as heard on the ‘Past Masters’ set). Sacked drummer Pete Best also notches up another moving and informative interview, although sadly the documentary doesn’t have the space to tell what happens next (Pete ends up working for the Liverpool job centre helping clients recently made redundant and empathising about their loss). Add in some top quality audio and video footage (almost a complete print of the 1962 Beatles playing ‘Some Other Guy’ at the Cavern, lots of choice cuts from the Decca audition and Starclub Hamburg tapes) and you had probably the best AAA documentary of the year so far (although the hilarious ‘Blagger’s Guide To The Beatles’ on radio cut it close, simply for its sheer verve and audacity!)

ANNIVERSARIES: Birthday greetings to you if you’re born between October 10th and 16th. So are this lot from AAA bands - Paul Simon who turns 71 on October 13th, Justin Hayward (guitarist with The Moody Blues 1967-present) who turns 66 on October 14th and Bob Weir (guitarist with The Grateful Dead 1965-95) who turns 65 on October 16th. Anniversaries of events include: The Beatles receive their first ever gold disc, for ‘She Loves You’ a year and a week after their first ‘proper’ release (October 11th 1963); The Beatles’ prestigious TV gig on ‘Saturday Night At The London Palladium’ (October 13th 1963); The Who release their milestone single ‘I Can See For Miles’ (October 13th 1967); Janis Joplin’s ashes are scattered off the coast of California after nearly a year of legal hold-ups (October 13th 1971); Grace Slick, then still with her first band The Great Society, makes her first on-stage appearance with the Jefferson Airplane after their singer Signe Anderson leaves to have a baby (October 14th 1966); Pink Floyd play their first major gig at the launch party for underground newspaper International Times (October 15th 1966) and finally, The Kinks release their all important follow-up to ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ (October 16th 1964).

1 comment:

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