Monday 15 October 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 166 (Intro)

October 24:

Dear all, we’ve reached that magic point in our history when we are – gulp – exactly halfway through our trawl of all things AAA. Yes, I really am mad enough to have counted up how many reviews I will have to write (502 to be exact) – and that’s assuming that a) no more come out during the next five years and b) special editions, april fool’s issues, choice reunion albums and solo albums don’t count on that list (otherwise I’ll still be writing it when I’m 903 and have genetically mutated into a timelord) although if I have the time and energy I’d like to write those too before the end. What have we learnt so far on our travels? Erm, don’t trust Governments then and now (Cameron is the re-incarnation of Nixon for sure – and there I was spending a decade thinking it was Blair), albums can fade or rise in different eras when they’re ripe for re-discovery and music is the only answer we have to what life throws at us.
Around 0.001% will be interested to learn how, statistically, each AAA member has been covered so far. The top three most covered groups (in terms of albums reviewed so far) are Dire Straits, Small Faces and Janis Joplin on 75% - but then the first one only released six albums and the others four; the highest of our longterm AAA men covered is John Lennon at 71.4%. The lowest members, which we’ll have to get a bit of a move on with include Jefferson Airplane/Starship at 38.8%, The Beach Boys at 36.6% and this week’s review group Pentangle now at a lowly 33.3%. We’ll be trying to concentrate on some of the lower-banded artists in the weeks to come in an effort to work out these reviews roughly equally, so bear with us!

By the way this is a slightly shorter newsletter than normal this week because I’m absolutely whacked out with another chronic fatigue outbreak after another busy week (although at least I’ve managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done!) We should be back up to full length next week (I hope!)

In other news, I can’t believe what I’m hearing from this year’s Tory conference. In one breath the Conservatives announced that they would be dropping the Lib Dem-invented wealth tax on millionaires – and in the same breath announced a further £1 billion cuts to welfare despite the fact that everyone in the country except cabinet members have already considered what they’ve done to be a really bad idea. A whole host of celebs still paying tax in the UK have come forward and said they don’t think they’re paying enough, so what does our beloved overpaid leader do? He helps himself to a fortune by renting out his second house paid for by taxpayer’s money, that’s what! And if the Government really were interested in saving money then why not say adios to unemployment company G4S and disability testers ATOS, both of whom have repeatedly broken the law and proved themselves to be a shambles (instead of which both have been given bonuses and more control in the coming years). Frankly I’m getting scared about the powers and corruption of this controlling man who didn’t even win the election and yet has forced through more longer-term changes in our history than any other leader since Napoleon (and even he wasn’t as nuts as Cameron is). I’m even more scared by the inability of the world’s media to report what’s really going on and how badly people are suffering and want this corrupt sinister presence out of our lives (click here for what the public really thinks of David Cameron, all comments posted during his first hour on Twitter). Let’s hope the world really does end this December – because with another year of the Coalition there won’t be anything left of the country to save.

More news: apparently One Direction think they’re the new incarnation n of The Beatles. Apparently one of them saw the documentary ‘Beatles in the USA’ and said he really ‘recognised our personalities’. Hmm, I get it now, you’re a band made up of four Ringos! That explains a lot...
In the meantime, cheer yourself up by rummaging through our latest news column (the link is below!)

KINKS News: The one item extra to report is that BBC4 are repeating their previous Kinks night on Friday, October 19th, first shown about last Christmas. I’m particularly grateful as my copy of the Ray Davies doc ‘Imaginary Man’ was ruined by my DVD recorder giving up the ghost, while doc on brother Dave Davies ‘Kinkdom Kome’ (which I do still have a copy of) is every bit as good. Best of all there’s a new compilation of Kinks material from the BBC archives, collected from old TOTPs, Old Grey Whistle Tests and various TV shows down the years.

ANNIVERSARIES: Unusually there are no AAA stars celebrating birthdays this week (October 17th and 23rd) and to be honest not many events happening either. Anniversaries of events this week include: The Beatles make their first TV appearance, singing ‘Some Other Guy’ at the Cavern Club for TV show ‘People And Places’ (October 17th 1962), The Dick Lester film ‘How I Won The War’ starring John Lennon receives its premiere at London Pavilion (October 18th 1967); An early riot at a Stones gig in France where 150 people are arrested for causing £1400 of damage to the stadium and nearby buildings (October 20th 1964) and finally, The Who – then still gigging under the name ‘High Numbers’ – are rejected after an audition at EMI (October 22nd 1964)

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