I’m back – and I’m very annoyed! No, not with The Queen for once or even the Spice Girls for once but with this stupid computer. Yes, dear readers, DellBoy Mark III is back home, but with half the hard drive space, no graphics card and a CD/DVD drive that’s worked sensibly for fewer hours than the Coalition. I’m particularly angry that my webcam now seems to be non-existent, just when I’d written a great script for my first online ‘news, views and music’ video for Youtube. Alas, having commissioned him to do it already, I’ll have to keep Max the Singing Dog’s salary of bones and top hats up high until it’s made. At least bingo’s drunk his wages already! Soon I shall be hitting the phones (for a third time in a month!) and complaining – but in the meantime enjoy the (all too brief) return of some decent graphics!
Well, thank goodness the Royal Wedding is out the way – I don’t think I could have stood any more patriotism from a country that’s got nothing to be patriotic about. And although the vote for a new election system isn’t till Thursday, at least the Conservatives have stopped sending me leaflets packed with lies about what will happen if I vote to change a corrupt and pointless voting system (what’s the worst than can happen? We’ll get another betrayal from another Lib Dem leader and another corrupt Conservative Government and – shock horror because that’s all they keep telling me – another coalition? Not for the first or last time on this website, David Cameron should be ashamed of himself and, in the words of John Lennon, how the hell do you sleep at night?’) So that leaves me without anything else to moan about – that can’t be right, surely?! So, anyway, it’s on with the news...
It was going so well too last week. I'd even found my long missing Sims disc so was having fun with that again - talking of which with all that talk of jobcentres and benefit forms and David Cameron being a right gomper (see our tweaked Rolling Stones review out this week) I never did tell you what had happened. John Lennon beat the competition and won the game! (well to be fair, his nearest competition was Ringo, the traitor, who walked out of our house! Just as we'd paid for that drumkit and everything!) What did we win? Why only the big mansion at the top of Sim hill!
Anyway I've moved The Beatles over to the game's 'save' file for safe keeping (though Ringo keeps turning up!) and moved CSNY in!!! To be fair they've been leaving down the end of the street for months now while we've been working on The Beatles, but this time they've got my full attention. Well, as much as anyone's got your attention in these games - I spend more time looking after the sims than I do myself and there's always someone else that needs something doing! (Don't quote me on that benefit people - it's a joke!) Any this time it's Crosby's turn to become a star, which sounds like a challenge. Especially as he keeps falling asleep on the sofa every five minutes! We're back to square one with the money (thankfully Lennon kindly bought the mansion outright before he left but we still have to fill the fridge - and boy can Crosby eat!!!) Thankfully Stills and Nash have given up their jobs so now Stills is a full-time painter and getting rather good (well, I don't know what those pictures are meant to be of, but someone keeps buying them!) while Nash spends most of him time tidying up and sighing. Neil Young, meanwhile, won't do anything and won't come out of his bedroom even though I've spent the last of our money on a guitar. Was Laurel Canyon really like this?!
Erm, despite all this hard work don't worry - the 'other' hard work of running this site will still get done. In fact most of its done already this week, which shows you how much I can achieve when the jobcentre actually leaves me alone!!!! Adiue for now from AAA towers, more newsing musicing and grooving next week!
♫ Beatles News: The second and third CDs in the ‘McCartney Collection’ have been announced for June 13th. Details are still sketchy at the moment but the albums have been confirmed as 1970s ‘McCartney’ and 1980’s ‘McCartney II’. There will be bonus tracks on each set but we’re not sure what they are as yet (did the home-produced McCartney ever produce any outtakes?! Although presumably A and B sides ‘Another Day’ and ‘Oh Woman Oh Why’ will be included as per the last CD issue) but the 1980 album at least will be re-issued in extended form as per last year’s ‘Band On The Run’ 3 CD/1 DVD set (there are oodles of outtakes and extended versions available for that album, which was originally set to be a double and has long been a favourite of bootleggers – it sounds far better as a two CD set too, especially a nearly six minute version of ‘Coming Up’!) More news if and when we hear more details!
♫ Hollies News: A quick reminder too that the long awaited six CD ‘Clarke-Hicks Nash Years’ box set is due out on May 9th at the very reasonable rate of £12.99 (on Amazon at least). The set includes every single A and B side, album and EP track the band recorded during the Graham Nash years of 1963-68 and a previously unreleased eight track concert from Nash’s dying days with the band in 1968 (of which only ‘The Times They Are A Changin’ has been released before, on ‘Rarities’) months before he left to form CSN. Alas the only downside seems to be that many of the tracks from ‘Rarities’ and ‘The Abbey Road Years’ are missing – such as the Graham Gouldmann song ‘Schoolgirl’, a French Language version of ‘Look Through Any Window’ and the remarkable Italian Song Contest entry ‘Non Prego Per Me’. Having said that, though, there are two more foreign language songs that have never been released in the UK or US on CD and the three tracks first released on the 1980s compilation ‘The Hollies’ are present and correct for the first time in 20-odd years (‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’ and ‘Poison Ivy’) and ditto the two EP only oddballs (‘When I’m Not There’ and ‘What Kind Of Love?’), not to mention a few odds and ends tidied up from the ‘Long Road Home’ box set (‘Listen Here To Me’ ‘She Said Yeah!’ and the demo for the majestic ‘So Lonely’). So still a fairly good mopping up job for fans if not a perfect one – and if you don’t already own the first seven amazing Hollies albums with Nash on board then you really have no excuse not to buy at this price!
♫ Rolling Stones News: It’s not 5 x 5 anymore as per an American Stones LP of the 1960s but 6 x 6! Sorry you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about so let me explain...The 1980s six part doc ‘The Rolling Stones Story’ at last gets a repeat on BBC6 this week! The documentary, presented by band friend and early ally Alexis Korner, starts in the early hours of Friday morning (3am-4am) and is set to run up to Thursday next week (although knowing how much BBC6 love changing their minds at the last minute, anything could happen!) If I remember rightly this programme goes up to 1989’s under-rated ‘comeback’ Steel Wheels and was the first real documentary to look back at the long career of the Stones rather than just a specific event.
ANNIVERSARIES: Birthday candles are being lit everywhere for AAA members born between May 7th and 13th: Graham Gouldmann (bassist with 10cc 1972-83 plus re-unions) who turns 65 on May 10th and Ian McLagan (keyboardist with the Small Faces 1966-68) who turns 66 on May 12th. Anniversaries of events include: An unbeaten record on May 8th 1965 – no less than nine record in the American top 10 are British (the Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ and the Stones’ ‘The Last Time’ among them); the Beatles officially sign their contract with EMI and become recording artists, although they won’t actually release anything until October (May 9th 1962); a year later on the same day, Paul McCartney meets long-term girlfriend Jane Asher for the first time following a prestigious gig for the band at the Albert Hall; The Rolling Stones record debut single ‘C’mon’ (May 10th 1963); the Beatles officially dissolve Apple Records after eight years (May 10th 1975); the famous London ‘Games For May’ concert at which Pink Floyd played, among others, debuting their top five single ‘See Emily Play’ (May 12th 1967) and finally, the first ‘new’ Beatles release in seven years – ‘Live at the Hollywood Bowl’ – is released (May 13th 1977). Amazingly we’re still waiting for an official CD release even now in 2011!