Strange but true

If you do a Google image search with the words “stupid arse” – the first picture that appears is one of our cat!

Nuff Said!

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You’ve been moving through solid air

John Martyn’s website

John Martyn 11th September 1948 – 29th January 2009

With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.

The above statement was posted on the website of John Martyn who died today aged 60. He had just been awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours list.

He was a musician who I had admired for many years even if he hadn’t always been at the top of my playlist. I saw him a number of times over the years. I think he fills a special place in my life because he symbolises to me a time when my musical horizons started to expand and I started to discover new genres and artists which has been a journey that still continues to this day. The music of John Martyn arrived with the new boy at school back in the late 70’s. He introduced us to John Martyn, Roy Harper and many others. I remember we all went to see John Martin at Newcastle Poly at the height of his echoplex days.

His life was never easy with a constant battle with drink and drugs, the divorce from Beverly and the loss of his leg after a cyst burst. He has however left behind some great music and will be sadly missed. But as he said himself “If I could control myself more, I think the music would be much less interesting, I’d probably be a great deal richer but I’d have had far less fun and I’d be making really dull music.”

You’ve been taking your time,
And you’ve been living on solid air
You’ve been walking the line,
And you’ve been living on solid air
Don’t know what’s going ’round inside
And I can tell you that it’s hard to hide
When you’re living on solid air

John Martyn’s website

BBC profile of John Martyn when he was awarded the OBE and an obituary

Solid Air on youtube

Edited to add: I looked it up and the John Martyn gig mentioned was actually at the canteen in Newcastle – don’t remember this venue but I think it was a “hip and trendy” name for the venue at Newcastle University.

I’m just not cut out for this!

Last night I got stopped by the Police due to a “serious lack of illumination” on my car – it turned out that all of the lights down one side had gone! I found a rear light bulb in my car so I replaced that and I took out the side light bulb so I could see what I had to buy. To get it out you have to stick your hand through a hole in the wheel arch. Now without being sexist most car mechanics are “hairy arsed blokes” so why don’t car manufacturers build cars with holes “hairy arsed blokes” can get their hands through without scratching themselves to pieces?

Anyway I bought a bulb this morning and replaced the side light. This just left the big one! The headlight! When I first bought the car I looked in the manual to see how I would go about replacing the headlight bulb – it said “take it to your dealer!” It really is a pain in the arse to do which is why it took me so long to get round to it (as I explained to Plod last night).

So to cut a long story short – there I am with my hand jammed down between the battery and the headlight trying to get the clip for the back cover fastened (which incidentally once you put your hand in you can no longer see!) and suddenly I hear a tinkle! Removing my hand I see my wedding ring is no longer on my finger!

I can see it but I can’t get to it – it’s on a ledge under the battery. I get something to poke it with and suceed in pushing it further out of reach. I try every thing including jacking the car up to see if I can get it from underneath but without success. Suddenly I have a brain wave! Matt from the office he has quite long slender fingers! So I call him and thankfully he manages to retrieve it – phew!

I’m an artistic person for fucks sake, I’m quite good with electronic devices but I really shouldn’t be doing mechanical things!

21st Century ethics

This struck me this evening:

If you have guests staying in your house and you go to empty the wastepaper basket in their bedroom. Is it ok to go through the bin to pick out the recyclable items or is this an invasion of privacy?

1967 and all that!

It could be argued that 1967 was the year popular music changed – so may great songs and albums were released that year – Sgt Pepper, Forever changes, Are you experienced?, Axis:Bold as Love, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Velvet Underground & Nico plus debut albums by The Grateful Dead and The Doors. So this year was chosen by local musicians in Medway as the topic for one of their irregular theme nights at the Barge in Gillingham.

1967 Poster

Over 20 local groups or musicians appeared at a full to overflowing venue performing songs from 1967 either as exact reproductions of the original or performed in their own unique style. The event was organised by local musician and photographer Phil Dillon who as well as organising the event ran around like a crazy person all night and even found time to perform and take photographs!! It was part of the collective that is known as Medway Eyes that organised the Look at Medway exhibition a few months ago.

Phil Dillon

Among the highlights of the evening was Andy White who had become Syd Barrett for the night performing Interstellar Overdrive and Bike from Pink Floyd’s first album before being joined by Unlucky Fried Kitten for a version of Arnold Layne. Also enjoyable was the skiffle versions of Jimi Hendrix and Captain Beefheart songs presented by “skiffcore” group Bender Crack Corn and a version of the Velvet Underground’s Waiting for my man performed by Justin Fun on a Bazouki!

Bender Crack Corn

Outstanding performances were put in by all of the artists appearing and the evening was concluded in great style by Ben Jones with an incredible version of Good Vibrations (ok we’ll gloss over the fact that it was actually released in 1966) which he built up layer by layer using a Head Rush sample pedal. All in all a really enjoyable evening and given that a majority of the musicians weren’t even thought of in 1967 let alone born and the rest of us were probably only kids (I was only 5) it is a indication of the power of the music from this era abd it;s ability to touch our psyche.  Here’s looking forward to the next one – wonder what the theme will be.

Ben Jones

You can see more of my pictures here

And there is a video of the night here

Polaroids from the Dead

Polaroids from the Dead

All pictures taken at the SoL party near Hawkhurst in 2007 & 2008 – Click on picture to open larger version in new window

Pictures by deadheaduk, unless otherwise credited and most quotes are from the songs of the Grateful Dead.

Top row – left to right

1. Polaroids from the Dead – It’s me with my 1990 tour t-shirt and Grateful Dead  tankard! Quote is from the Douglas Coupland novel which inspired this montage.

Photo by Chris Jones

2. Dr. Paddy Ladd signing music for the deaf. Quote is from Attics of my life

See him do it here

3. Brian from the Cosmic Charlies a Dead cover band who appeared in 2007. Quote from Playing in the Band.

4. The Grateful Dead were well known for setting aside a section for people to set up equipment to record their shows. Here American John Bleich sets up his microphones in front of the sound desk.

Photo by Martin Rordam

5. One young party goer gets into the spirit. Quote is from Terrapin Station

Photo by Martin Rordam

6. Cover from the Grateful Dead live album Europe ’72 used as a stage backdrop and painted by one of the friends of Workingman’s Deed

Photo by Martin Rordam

Bottom Row – left to right

1. Two party goers in tie-dye. Quote is from Scarlet Begonias.

Photo by Alan Thompson

2. Ollie from Tyrannosaurus Alan playing in front of more of the paintings provided by Workingman’s Deed. Quote is from Uncle John’s Band.

3. Another picture by the aforementioned artist. This is a representation of the Skull logo used by the Dead that became known as a Stealie from line in the song He’s Gone which is used as a quote here.

4. Jim from Workingman’s Deed a Scottish Grateful Dead cover band who headlined in 2008. Quote is from Ripple

5. John Bleich again – this time selling the official t-shirts. Quote is from Brown Eyed Women

Photo by Martin Rordam

6. And finally back to me – taken in 2007 with “Space your face” t-shirt and hat from Oz. Quote is from the Other One

Photo by Martin Rordam

Info about this years event can be found at www.solparty.org.uk