Ye Page Of Ye Contents:
EDITOR'S NOTE AND A REPORT ON THE MULTIVERSE JUMP BY GUEST EDITOR Dr ZEUS
(Translation: #2: Now this world I'm not so keen on. Everything here is really dark and I'm not just talking about the gothic lighting. There's no happiness or hobbies everywhere. Even dogs have been outlawed here as pets in favour of crows so I will have to be careful! As a result it was rather easy getting a submission from a certain poet who, in a land where everyone was as sullen as him, couldn't make a living as a poet full of woeful tidings. I do see where 'our' version of him got his life-long love of crows from, though.
Everydays is a ballad to sooth the heart of a wolf
(Translation#5: This world was even more to my
liking - I got to stay at Dogwarts, the international school of magic! There
were all sorts of people open to writing reviews for me in this world -
although most just cast a spell rather than doing the work themselves! I had
lots of good entries for this one but decided to use a name some of you may
know. Oh and before you ask, no my top hat is not a sorting hat although it is
a useful place for keeping my sandwiches! Hmm I wonder who'll play me in the
inevitable film? Dogley Moore perhaps or Pudsey the dog who won 'Britain's Got
J K Rowling reviews Dr Byrds and Mr Hyde in "Harry Potter and the Byrds Album Of Secrets"
Translation: #6: Brrr! I've gone right off this world - I seem to have materialised in the sea! Thank goodness someone is fishing me out - and no I am not a whale thankyou very much. How many whales do you see wearing top hats? That would be silly! Oh I see - apparently this world is all full of seas and everyone is a fisherman or a whaler - yes even Bob Marley is one of the Whalers! Ho ho ho, err ahem, OK I'll stop with the jokes I promise. As luck would have it I happened to end up in the same boat, as it were, as an aspiring author I'd visited many years before while doing another multiverse adventure for Alan's Album Archives and he keenly pressed this review into my paws.
William Shakespeare reviews Dire Straits' "Makin' Movies"
(Exits Stage Left, pursued by a Dog in a top hat)
NELSON'S COLUMN: IN 2022 WE SENT OUR ROVING REPORTER... BACK IN TIME!......Now a full seven years before he left, Nelson is still trying to find his way back home to the AAA office while doing good deeds for AAA musicians
Last week we'd left Nelson heading for what seemed like a nice little rest watching a late 1940s school assembly production of 'Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland', which was quickly turning into more like 'The Adventures Of Alan's Album Archives' given that two future musical superstars had just met. From there Nelson suddenly found himself whisked off into time again and finds himself, in his minus seventh year out of time (that can't be right - has something has gone wrong with our tracking machine again?!), inside a van heading to goodness knows where, a bass drum on his knees...
'Let's try that again, Arthur!' the teacher said, messing his mop of curly golden hair that looked like a halo. 'I don't want to hear you sing - I just want you to show your teeth. Now look don't pout, you're meant to be playing the Cheshire Cat you know and he doesn't sing at all now does he?'
'Excuse me!' I say, calling out form the front row. 'I think a song right there would be just fine - and I just happen to have one!' I say, passing on the film score to the Walt Disney production of Alice in Wonderland, which luckily for me won't be out until 1951 (and yes, before you write in, there was a song written for the Cheshire Cat but they cut it - have a look at the DVD extras!)
'And who are you?' accuses the teacher.
'I'm Nelson - I'm here on behalf of, erm, the Walrus union to check my clients aren't going to be wrongfully presented in this school assembly! Do carry on!' I add
'Well, we'll pick up where we left off for now Arthur and we'll practice that song later!' said the teacher, the five-year-old future superstar's eyes widening in triumph. 'Now for this next part I need to cast the white rabbit...'
'Got it!' I cry, 'What about casting Paul - oh and I happen to have a song for him too!' I add, hurriedly re-writing the score to Jefferson Airplane's drug-referencing hit single 'White Rabbit' as I go.
'Yes, yes, alright then' the teacher said wearily 'and yes another song added later will be fine. I think you can sing can't you Paul?'
'How about if they sing together?' I add
'I don't think you two even know each other do you? Different classes I think. Alright Simon - this is Garfunkel, Arty, this is Paul. You may be spending a bit of time together during the coming rehearsal week as you have a lot of lines and we're all going to be busy busy busy!' With that she ushered most of the boys out of the room, but the two I was most interested in stayed back.
'I like singing I do - I'm going to be a famous doo-wop singer when I grow up!' lisped Arty.
'Well, I'm going to be a famous doo-wop writer and write the songs that'll make you famous!' said Paul.
Arty giggled before realising that his new friend was serious.
Paul continued 'Do you fancy coming over to my house later? I've just got hold of a copy of the Penguins' new song 'Earth Angel, its about an angel....from Earth!'
'Would I?!' said Arty, grinning from ear to ear.
Thank goodness for that, I thought to myself, this week's mission seems to have gone rather better than expected - my work here is done.
You're very tall!' drawled Paul.
'Well you're awfully short!' shot back Art.
'What kind of a name is Garfunkel?' blurted out Simon
'What sort of a person has two first names?' stung Garfunkel.
Oh dear, I thought - not only was this a reunion of the pair's first meeting - it was a reunion of their first falling out too!
Before I had time to put things right though, suddenly....AAAAGH! I felt that old familiar feeling again as I prepared to go 'out of time'. Where was my monkeynuts editor sending me on this occasion? I just hoped it was somewhere quieter (those nattering five-year-olds acting the part of playing cards can really talk you know!)
Blimey, where was I now? Instead of the nice wooden ceilings of a 1940s kindergarten school I was suddenly staring at the heavy metal of a van being driven at speed with a bass drum sitting on my lap. According to a calendar helpfully stowed away on the back seat which always seem to be around in time-travelling works of fiction, it was sometime in January 1968. Next to me on the back seat was the drummer clutching the other parts of his drumkit and, luckily he'd been looking the other way when I came in or that might have been embarrassing.
In the front were two blokes, one of them clutching a keyboard and the other one, driving with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, was wedged into the steering wheel by a bass guitar. Realising that this must be the band I needed to speak to I had a quick look at the drum on my lap. 'Ink Flo' it said. Hmm that was odd, I couldn't remember a band called 'Ink Flo' but then knowing what the editor of the AAA was like I figured he's just discovered a new band.
Unfortunately my attempts to read the drum alerted the drummer sitting next to me that I was there.
'Hullo' he said, blinking, visibly a little bit shocked but not as shocked as I would have been to see someone suddenly arrive out of thin air. 'We don't often gets groupies hiding out in our vans - and certainly not male ones!'
'Sling him out!' the bassist sitting at the front declared impassionately 'We're coming up to Grantchester Meadows at the next roundabout, we'll chuck him out there!'
'Hold on' the gentler keyboardist replied, 'He must have gone to quite some lengths to stow away in the band for all that length of time. We could at least give him a signature each!'
'Yeah, right, whose going to want our signatures now that Syd's not here'. There was a sudden hushed intake of breath. This was clearly a subject the three of them had been training themselves not to talk about and accidentally blurting the topic out like this was something the three of them rarely did.
They all looked ahead a little guiltily.
'I take it we are going to pick him up now?...' the drummer asked worriedly.
'Yeaaaaaah' the bassist said uneasily.
'Poor Syd' added the keyboardist.
'Well what about poor us?' the bassist demanded, battering his hands against the steering wheel. 'All that hard work, all those great songs, best up and coming group in Britain and then he goes and...well what has he done exactly?! It's just another brick i the flaming wall!' he exploded 'I'd understand it if he'd fallen off a stage and broken his arms or been clawed at by groupies but instead Syd's just...'
'Syd' the others finished for him.
'I think you missed the turning, Roger' the keyboardist helpfully tried to point out which sent the bassist into paroxysms of wild fury again as he u-turned down a busy road.
Counting the instruments and trying to work out which was missing I cough and say 'isn't there another guitarist you could play with?' An innocent question I thought, but that wasn't the way it was greeted by the three members in the van.
'Replace Syd? We couldn't...could we?' asked the drummer.
'Shurrup Nick, of course we wouldn't replace Syd - I mean he's the lead singer, the lead guitarist, the lead writer...'
'We're the tail to his Halley Bopp' added the keyboardist 'That's what one of the newspapers called us!'
Roger snorted. 'Well we're certainly not that - but the thing is we're not a full band. Now perhaps if we could bring in someone else and let Syd on stage when he feels like it. Nobody would be replacing him, he could still and write and record but we wouldn't go through...you know...That again.'
I confer with the drummer in whispers. Apparently once this Syd fellow had put a combination of a whole jar of brylcream and the drugs he was on into his hair which melted under the studio lights. And on another day he'd played the band a new song which they'd found impossible to learn - it went 'have you got it yet?' but changed tune tempo and key signature with every verse so the band couldn't keep up. And he'd refused to appear on Top Of The Pops, a cardinal sin so I was told.
'The only trouble is' Nick adds in a whisper, 'there isn't a single guitarist in the world who could possibly be good enough to replace Syd or re-create his sound. He's one of a kind!'
I suddenly realise which band I am in the back of the van with. This isn't 'Ink Flo' at all but 'Pink Floyd' - I just hadn't turned the whole of the drum head round!
'What about David Gilmour?!' I blurt out.
Roger Waters slams the brakes on and my head nearly ends up inside the bass drum.
A grin grows across his features.
'Roger? You're scaring me again Roger!' says Rick Wright.
'Like that's something new!' scorns the drummer I know now is Nick Mason.
But the atmosphere in the van has changed.
'Are you thinking what I'm thinking?' said Roger, his eyes suddenly full of fire, ambition and creativity.
'Well, I mean he's very good and all but he's no Syd...' trails away Rick
'But he's the next best thing!' adds Roger. 'I bet ol' Dave knows how to play Syd's sound - they've played with each other often enough! The old Cambridge lot who've been there from the beginning would appreciate it more than just getting any outsider in! Think we'd be doing old Syd a service really and he's a friend, he'd understand!...'
'...And he's less likely to fight me for control of the band...' whispered Roger under his breath, so quietly that only I could hear it '...I'm sorry old friend, I don't want to do it and I'd do anything to have you back but I'm not going back to being a nobody...'
A moment's silence.
'We'd be doing Syd a favour really... wouldn't we? I mean, he's not really been enjoying it much recently has he?' adds Rick kindly.
'It would do him good - and us too' added Nick, half-convinced by the power in Roger's voice.
'And we'd keep him going with royalties from his back catalogue' added Rick. 'And if we don't do something now, nobody will remember us or buy the old records anyway...'
'Then it's settled?...'
Roger pulled up to a crossroads that led left, apparently to the certainty of Syd's shared flat, or right to the open road of adventure and the unknown, with David Gilmour a mere jaunt away with a whisper of 'Syd...save me...Syd' from Roger so quite only my AAA-enhanced hearing actually notices it.
Time seems to wait an eternity but before I can see what destination the band choose I sense that old familiar feeling taking root once more. I have tried to do my job in this time zone - I only hope that I have done some good. Then the lights swirl away into darkness and I am on my way again...
(Translation: Well that was nice, but my editor can't wait
Translation #14: Well that's surreal! I don't often have bubbles coming
out of my hat! I thought at first someone had set the Hitch-Hiker's
Improbability Drive into action - but no I was in a surreal world full of
hookah-smoking caterpillars, playing cards, walruses and carpenters (running a
branch of Ikea), a white rabbit, a cheshire cat (which I tried to chase but iot
kept disappearing) and two idiots named TweedleDave and TweedleClegg (or
something like that). I nearly despaired of finding anyone to write in this world
- but luckily a human was there with me too
Lewis Carroll reviews The Beatles' "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"
Alice had been growing bored of reading Alan's Album Archives. 'It does go on a bit doesn't it?' she said to her tabby cat Dinah, 'They say that its all made by one lone writer but I think must be heaps and heaps of people writing to come up with that many words every week!' Dinah nodded. 'And it makes me feel so sleepy...I think I'll just have forty winks...'
It was then that Alice first saw the dog. He was very different to the usual dogs she saw, dressed up smartly in a top hat and holding a cane. 'I'm late Im late!' he cried, 'I've only got up to review eight!' and disappeared through a trapdoor.
'Good gracious!' said Alice and without even thinking she got up and rushed after him.
However once through the door she didn't recognise the world at all. She was on a boat in a river, full of tangerine trees and marmalade skies. She thought she heard the dog calling and turned around to answer but it was just a Hookah-smoking caterpillar who'd wondered in from the Jefferson Airplane dimension with rather funny kaleidoscopic eyes. She lost sight of her as some cellophane flowers of yellow and green began to grow, oh so incredibly high, blocking out the sun.
Finding herself at a bridge she then spotted the dog's hat waving in the breeze and rushed towards him. 'What's the big hurry young miss?' asked a passing rocking horse, currently being sat on by a Blue Meanie and an Apple Bonker. 'Wouldn't you like to stop and eat one of my marshmallow pies? They're yummy!'
'No thanks - I've just eaten!' explained Alice, as she dashed off to get inside a newspaper taxi that had appeared out of nowhere on the shore line, waiting to take her away. Climbing in the back she suddenly found the scene had shifted again, to Terrapin Station where Ted the Terrapin had woken up out of his weird dream of dancing skeletons and was having lunch at Carlisle with his friends Squirrel Nutkin and Mopsy Flopsy Bunny. But even as she looked again the scene changed - the porters suddenly morphed into, well, Morph with everyone around her on the platform suddenly made out of plasticine and all the porters seemed to be wearing looking-glass ties.
It was then she saw the dog again. He was at the turnstile trying to get his ticket out when he suddenly noticed her, rushed over and introduced himself. 'I'm Max' he said, lifting up his top hat, 'I'm travelling through parallel dimensions looking for record reviewers - oh hang on, I don't think you belong in this time zone either, never mind I'll ask someone else...'
Suddenly somebody spoke and she fell out of a dream to find herself waking up, getting out of bed, dragging a comb across her head and trying to hold on to the ginormous dream she'd just had of talking dogs in top hats and wondered why it had just come in to her mind to ponder how many holes it would take to fill the Albert Hall...
Alice thought to herself 'that's the last time I'm reading Alan's Album Archives before bed - It's getting more surreal with every issue!' and added 'I'd love to turn...you.... ... ... ... ...off!"
Translation #16: 'Where've you been then, hi the noo!' my mother Maxine declared when she saw me. I hadn't remembered her being Scottish! 'Hoots Max where's yer troosers?' me dad Maxus said when I went home. I hadn't remembered him being Scottish either. Suddenly it hit me: I was in a parallel world where everyone was Scottish (this one's for you, Lizzie!) After enjoying some home cooking (though take it from me pedigree chum does not go well with haggis and porridge) I set out in search of authors and poets - and discovered that, now that everyone was a Highlander (even those in the lowlands) wee Rabbie Burns was out of work. So I asked for his help. D'y'ken? 'Cause I don't!
Robert Burns reviews Wings' "Red Rose Speedway"
Translation #20: It was just a short hop and a jump from that timezone to the scariest timestream yet - well after the one where the Spice Girls have outlawed all other music on the planet anyway! This was another parallel dimension for the Earth involving aliens that left me feeling even hotter as you can probably see from my picture (aren't I handsome by the way?!) Scary as this world, was, though, the inhabitants needed the music I brought with me more than ever - using it as both a comfort and a warning (I'll never listen to Pentangle the same way again!) I may have to pause here again by the way dear readers - this world's taking a while to solve - see you after the equally sci-fi themed break!
E L James reviews The Rolling Stones' "Black and Blue"
Anastasia had grown tired of her life with Christian Grey. He just didn't have the power to excite her anymore. No it was music for her now - music was the only thing that could reach the dark forbidden inner places that ordinary life couldn't reach. Although she carried on in her day to day world of drab business meetings and selling hardware implements to bored housewives, the moment of the day she really lived for was when she met someone she loved to call her 'love pusher', Max The Sexy Dog.
He called round at her house just then, parcel in hand. Good, she was in need of some serious 'party time'.
'Come in big boy, the door's on the latch!' she cried, checking to see that her suspenders with the bones on them she'd had made specially for showing to only him were showing.
'Hello' said Max, poking his handsome nose round the door.
'My what a handsome hat!' Anastasia cried. 'I bet it must be several inches long under there! Have you come to see me with mother's little helper, twelve inches in black?'
'Umm, ok' said Max, looking worried. 'What did you think of the last record I gave you to review?
Rolling Stones wasn't it?'
'Let's just say it gave me....Satisfaction' she purred.
'Oh, err, good' said the Dog. 'Would you like more on the same subject?'
'I certainly would - how about, I don't know, Walkin' The Dog?' she slurred.
'Don't think I've got that one' he barked, nervous and tense, poised to run.
'Look here dog, I'm tired of playing games, let's spend the night together and make this a Ruby Tuesday!'
Max didn't quite know what to say. His walking cane twitched in his hand.
'Here's a Stones album from 1976 you might like. I've got to be going now!' said Max, turning bright scarlet round the cheeks.
'Not so fast, honey bunny. You can't always get what you want' she chuckled locking the door.
'No really, got to go - I think I'm having my 19th nervous breakdown!' he cried, running out the cat-flap in Anastasia's door.
Curses, she thought, I'd forgotten that was there. Less enflamed now, her senses cooling, she picked up the record the dog had casually thrown away across her floor. A smile spread across her lips. Hmm 'Black and Blue', just my type of record she thought and went to sleep, her senses pounding again, listening to the funky inner groove of 'Hot Stuff' and 'Cherry oh Baby', leaving her muttering one last cry before she fell to sleep: 'they've done it again, Paint it Black, you devils...paint it black!'