Monday 7 February 2011

News, Views and Music Issue 90 (Intro)

February 7:

Ummagumma! Hello and welcome to another ‘news, views and music’. Sorry this issue is so hard on the heels of the last one, but next week looks like a busy one for us so we’ve had to alter our dates a bit. Seeing as there’s no real news for you so soon after last time (we’re on 4390-odd hits now, with an accumulative 160-odd for our YouTube videos and our Beatles Sims are still struggling to pay for their new mansion), we thought we’d celebrate the recent and poorly publicised ‘troll a Tory day’ by delivering our own message to David Cameron. For those who don’t know, this is a day of protest where everyone sick of the stupidities of the UK’s coalition Government and their bizarrely twisted priorities harangues a chosen Conservative Mp for the whole day until they either agree to change policies or our arms get tired. And boy is there enough to complain about.

So here’s our AAA message: I’m so pleased for you, DC, on being so privileged all your life. The fact that you went to the best schools, was given every help in your career path without actually having to make any real decisions as a politician and had every whim of your early life catered for. Because that means you’re so thankful for your good start in life, of course you’ll do everything in your power to give everybody else a happy, privileged life like yours. It also means that you won’t be tired fighting on our behalf, having been handed everything on a plate, in the role where you represent the people – not like the rest of us, beneath you, who have had to fight for everything your Government has decided to cut. And well done helping out the rich by giving them tax breaks because that, surely, means they will feel even more generous and will want to help out their slightly less wealthy brethren in return for getting off with their recent mistakes scot free. I also have to thank you, DC, if your plans for banning industrial strikes comes to fruition because it will stop us from thinking about all the horrible things your Government is doing to us, even though its been the only way the average man in the street has been able to make his views heard in this country for the past few centuries. But of course, all that heritage means nothing in the face of a tiny deficit in a country that’s been in debt for 80 years now and counting. I have to think like this because the alternative – that we’ve got a corrupt politician in charge that never actually technically won the election, who will be in power for another three years and is clearly in politics only to help himself and his rich chums – is surely impossible in our modern democratic age. Isn’t it? So let’s look forward to a coming year when all our worst fears are unrealised – or else. Look at the riots in Egypt and France for a warning – you wouldn’t want that to happen would you? I mean, it’s not as if our benefit-slashed, VAT-taxed, recently made redundant population had anything to riot about is it? So take this as a warning. Being privileged by birth does not make you popular with everybody. And serving as your country’s representative could easily be seen as a privilege too far. But you won’t let us down will you DC Ummagumma? Not after the trust we’ve placed in you?...

Oh and I had to laugh at the political debate the other day: ‘Mr Cameron, you keep pretending you’re being Father Christmas by making everybody a part of your ‘big society’, but really you’re being Scrooge...’


Beatles News: Hundreds of letters made by John Lennon to various friends and colleagues have been sold to publisher Orion Books, causing a feast of speculation among Beatleologists that a book might be in the works (perhaps in 2012 according to the latest news bulletin). The letters were owned by Beatles biographer Hunter Davies (author of the first full book about the band in 1968), although technically Yoko owns the rights to any of Lennons writings, however small and it is she who has just given permission for them to be used. The vast majority of the letters have never been seen before and many contain typical Lennon doodles, such as the ones published in Johns three books of prose. More news if and when we hear it... 

ANNIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to everybody, everywhere celebrating this week (February 2nd-8th) and that includes AAA members Skip Battin (bassist with The Byrds 1970-72) who would have been 77 on February 2nd, Graham Nash (guitarist with The Hollies 1963-68 and Crosby, Stills and Nash various dates since 1969) who turns 69 on February 2nd, Eric Haydock (bassist with The Hollies 1963-65) who would have been 68 on February 3rd and Dave Davies (guitarist with The Kinks 1963-93) who turns 64 on February 3rd. Anniversaries of events include: The beginning of the end for The Beatles, when three of them officially hire Allen Klien as their manager against the wishes of Paul McCartney (February 3rd 1969); The Who headlines their first concert, surprisingly late in their career, at London’s Finsbury Park (February 4th 1966); The Rolling Stones releaser ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ (February 4th 1966); John and Yoko begin what the American courts call their ‘trial separation’, beginning an 18-month ‘lost weekend’ (February 4th 1974); Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner offers up his prize guitar as one of the lots in a San Francisco musical auction to help Save The Whales – the first real music charity auction of its kind (February 4th 1979); Paul Simon released his first single without Art Garfunkel, ‘Mother And Child Reunion’ (February 5th 1972); The Rolling Stones switch labels to join The Beatles at EMI (February 5th 1977); Three Beatles enter a recording studio for the first time in seven years, when Paul and Ringo guest on George’s tribute to John ‘All Those Years Ago’, eight weeks after his death (February 6th 1981); The Beatles arrive in America for the first time, to be greeted by hoards of fans at JFK airport (February 7th 1964); The Kinks make their first TV appearance, miming to ‘Long Tall Sally’ on ‘Ready Steady Go!’ (February 7th 1964); Ringo has his tonsils removed, interrupting a Beatles tour of Australia (February 7th 1965); Stephen Stills becomes the first musician to ever make a digital recording, although alas the results still aren’t released even now (February 7th 1979); Pink Floyd play the first of just four ‘Wall’ shows (February 7th 1980) and finally, two years on from The Beatles’ demise when it seems clear they aren’t getting back together, their fan club officially closes its books, having hit a peak of membership in 1965 that’s never been equalled since (February 8th 1972). 

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