Monday 10 December 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 174 (Intro)

December 19th:
Well dear readers, Christmas is coming and George Osbourne’s getting fat, are we all really going to stand for that? It’s just dawned on me that this might be our penultimate ever issue if the Mayan prophecy about the end of the world on December 21st is true. Even if it isn’t, it seems like the end of the world. As of last Monday I wait to hear whether I will be forced into slave labour on the whim of the Government for no greater crime than being ill and having been placed in the ‘work programme’ category of ESA. Frankly, it was a random throw of the dice which group I ended up in anyway, as it is for so many others. Either way it may be my last chance to write these newsletters. It might be my last chance to actually do some good rather than merely struggle to survive. And if my body is forced to do what its crying out not to do then, who knows, I might not last to the end of the course – whatever allotted time that might be. I might not even pass my latest esa application, sent in months ago to a ridiculously tight deadline. Or I might have passed it already – no one could be bothered to tell me last time until yet another application form came through my door. If the world ends then I can’t say I care too much – because the way that I’ve seen human beings behave towards each other, with those in power showing no empathy or capacity for caring at all, makes me wonder whether we might not be better off cast away to oblivion swiftly, rather than slowly. If the world does survive into December 22nd this year, I hope that the likes of Cameron, Clegg and Osbourne take a long hard look at themselves and realise the damage they have caused to countless thousands of us and do something to put that fact right. If I have a new year’s resolution for next year it’s to show everyone I can how badly some of us are being treated – and how much better it would be for all of us if we showed a bit of humanity towards each other next year.

In the meantime, here’s our usual news section for you which you can access by clicking on the normal link:

ANNIVERSARIES: Birthdays come but once a year so for these AAA stars (born 12-18th December) give a big cheer: Ray ‘Jacka’ Jackson (lead singer with Lindisfarne 1970-72 and 1978-89) who turns 64 on December 12th, Frank Allen (bassist with The Searchers 1965-present) who turns 69 on December 14th, Tony Hicks (guitarist with The Hollies 1963-present) who turns 69 on December 16th and Keith Richards (guitarist with The Rolling Stones 1962-present) who turns 69 on December 18th. Anniversaries of events include: Pink Floyd perform their first gig under that name at an Oxfam charity show (December 12th 1966); The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, also featuring The Who, is filmed but left unscreened for another 30-odd years (December 12th 1968), John Lennon also plays his first post-Beatles gig with the Plastic Ono Band at Toronto Peace Festival (December 12th 1969), The Who perform ‘Tommy’ at the Coliseum Opera House in London (December 13th 1969); Paul Simon scores his first hit in seven years with ‘The Boy In The Bubble’ (December 13th 1969); Ringo takes a close-up look at the younger trendy pop sensations when he dons a camera for ‘Born To Boogie’, the Apple label’s documentary film about T Rex (December 14th 1972); Mick Taylor quits the Rolling Stones after just four albums with the band (December 14th 1974); John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band play the first solo gig of any Beatle at the Lyceum in London, weeks before the announcement of a split (December 15th 1969); George Harrison breaks up the Beatles when he is deported from Germany for being underage – thankfully for music as we know it the band decamp to Liverpool and reunite in the new year (December 16th 1961); The Who bow out for the first time after 17 years on the road, after a show at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens (December 17th 1982) and finally, JohnandYoko appear in a ‘bag’ to highlight racism classism and sexism during a memorable event during London’s ‘Alchemical Wedding’ Christmas celebration (December 18th 1968).

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