Thursday, 13 December 2012


I haven't always liked music ,when i was a kid i didn't particully like THE BEATLES for instance ,there were bands on the telly ,but mainly your Sandy Shaws ,Dusty Springfield, and , of course CILLA, who i'm ashamed to admit i fancied as a snotty 5 year old, but that passed as the teenage juices were formed and fermented to screw me up forever ,as far as i can tell.....52 and still seriously screwed up and proud. The telly was also flooded with your ANDY WILLIAMS,MAX BYGRAVES ,THE BATCHELORS,etc, etc ,enough to drive anyone to get out of watching music shows on the telly, and then i started listening to some records ,dont ask me why, but the first record i bought was 'MORNING HAS BROKEN, by CAT STEVENS. Followed by 'SCHOOLS OUT' by ALICE COOPER. By then i liked the 'FAB FOUR', although i hadn't got any records yet ,but time passed and i remedied this lapse in musical taste. Dad came home one night with an 8-Track player with two tapes ,can't remember one, but the other was THE WHOand although i only heard it a few times there was a couple of "Ay ,Dad put that one on again!" tracks.....It was a few years later when they released 'WHO ARE YOU' that i watched the video of them recording it in the studio and that was it !I was hooked!

As the years've ground by i've listened to most stuff . I am not particually knowledgable on music matters, but "I know what i like!"....Over the last ew years i've always likedrock guitar- based music and hated synthesisers and Moog thingies n' stuff and the keyboard pop bands, but i have developed a liking for a lot of the 60's-70's progressive rock ,mainly the main ones ,GENESIS,PINK FLOYD, YES,etc although THE LOVELY LYNNE cant stand YES' JON ANDERSON 'S singing ,admittedly it can be an aquired taste, but i must've aquired it. I love the musical half hour long tracks, i love instrument solos, but still like a good tune.

Although i like nicetunes i still like nasty stuff ,some of the PUNK ,although it was the music of the kids and all that shit  you have to admit there was an awful lot of shit out there....SID VICIOUS, etc as an example ,i loved THE SEX PISTOLS, but he was ,well!!!..

Recently i've developed a liking for the old BLUES stuff, LYNNE hates that as well. I like folk and even some COUNTRY(eeeek!!), y'awl !

I've had to develop a liking for SKA as LYNNE is in a Ska Band and i get to hear a lot ,the other day we went to see MADNESS ,and very enjoyable they was too. And ,apparently we're going to see THE SPECIALS sometime soon. 

I like a proper orchestra too after going to a few performances with lynne ,and love film music ,the soundtracks by people like JOHN BARRY, JOHN WILLIAMS, etc.

Having said i'm not a keyboard fan ,we went to see RICK WAKEMAN a while back and he was great to watch and listen to his banter between songs ,a clever fellah he is ,indeed his son is carrying the family torch as e also saw him perform with his son....on the keyboards!...

Now any day now i'll get into boy and girl bands ,HIP HOP and various music of 'DA STREETZ??' and all that fuzzy,dance DJ SHITE!......I DONT THINK! ......But for now THE WHO are the boys ,well maybe not boys, but definitly 'the dogs bollocks' ,just listen to 'MY GENERATION' from 'LIVE AT LEEDS'....I rest my case, m'lud! 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


If you walk outside into the freezing frosty night and look up at that clear star studded sky, thats why its so 'effin' freezing 'cos that bloody clear star studded sky.....That cold ,but nice 'Sky at night ' looks as it should, but if you removed the MOON it ,very suddenly wouldn't look quite so normal and 'right!'.....Likewise if you took the longest running telly series in the world, 'THE SKY AT NIGHT' and removed SIR PATRICK MOORE it would have a similar effect as removing the MOON from the heavens. But as the MOON is drifting away from us into space, in a few millions of years the moon'll be gone and the sky at night will be weird ,empty and just quite simply not right. A similar thing, but over a much shorter time period has happened and SIR PATRICK MOORE has drifted away to who knows where leaving his eternally long running 'THE SKY AT NIGHT' a very empty and weird place.

Who'd've thought this scruffy, oddly shaped totally nutty , eternally old aged ,even in his youth, man would be one of the most beloved of British characters with his burning enthusiasm for everything outside the thin blue line that covers the PLANET EARTH. His '15 INCH REFLECTOR' became almost a national catchphrase. His mapping of the MOON through that '15 inch reflector in his back garden and his scribblings with a soft leaded pencil in notebooks formed the maps that NASA would use for the APOLLO space programme that landed man on the moon......Thats pretty impressive when you think about it.

Everybody thouht he was a miserable ol' git. He was so seriously wrapped up in his subject and addressed his viewers as fellow 'nerds' who shared his obsession, which ,if you think about it was a compliment when we're surrounded by various telly smartarses speaking down to us. The nation was stunned when this seriously miserable ol' get turned up in sketches on the 'MORECOMBE AND WISE SHOW' and he was shown to be a musician and playing his beloved XYLOPHONE...."Holy Galaxies, Batman!....PATRICK MOORE has a sense of humour and he's a musician !!!."

If ,God forbid, or God allowing anybody, does find themselves up there in paradise. ,If Heaven rings to the BING ,BONGS,of xylophones, instead of the DRIIIINNNG! of celestial harps, SIR PATRICK MOORE might just have something to do with it.

Friday, 30 November 2012


Guy carter isn't really an old fart ,but you could easily mistake him for one. He is balding grey and ussually got pockets full of notebooks and books of poetry and Shakespeares sonnets. Up until recently he never watched a telly ,not owning one ,but now with his beloved laptop has been known to enjoy mainline and not so mainline entertainment courtesy of the internet!!!.....As far as i know this strange freak of nature hasn't much if any interest in music ,but due to a lady friend over the'pond' our hero is going to sit in the middle of the front row at the WHO'S gig in Chicago. I can see him walking the streets of Walthemstow with his target mod tee shirts ,deerstalker hat ,or trilby with a feather. But maybe not....The only equivalent i can think of is the effect the SEX PISTOLS  would've had on the QUEEN MOTHER in 1942. But we shall see ,as i am already being woken up in the night by text phone messages starting the process of rubbing my face in it.....He'll be rubbing my face in it because he's going ,but i can rub his face in it because he is going!

apparently he's even going to the soundcheck rehearsal ,he's informed us that he's going to bring a book to read while these 'MOODY BLUES WANNA -BE'S' are on???/......I told you he was an oddball!


As i go out into the dense freezing mist to take the dog for a walk i pass a smashed bus stop with a bunch of scallie lads clad in track suits even in this freezing weather and to compound the fitness theme of their attire are lounging about scratching themselves and puffing on an endless supply of ciggies....Their girlfriends are off to the side keeping quiet and not interfering in their mans talk or 'the 'effin' n' blindin' that passes for manly conversation. The girls are texting away to who knows who ,possibly the girlfriend of one of the other lads whose standing in her place to the side or behind her man only yards away .I wonder looking at the relationship between these boy n' girl scallies wether they are converts to Islam ,or something.
I hate the scalliffication of the world, it is on the increase and i hate it!.....I hate the way it has affected peoples accents ,instead of the reigional mild accents ,as in Liverpool from years by ,now its mutated into this terrible gutteral street talk, as has accents all over the land , the language of the streets, my arse ,making you cringe when scallies of all ages spout their uninformed crap about whats wrong with the world and why they've just burnt the town centre don ,etc. all with their hoodie uniforms and scallie vicious dogs ,etc
I hate how 'a look' becomes popular and everybody on the planet has to copy it, cloths ,facial hair ,whatever ....I hate the celebrities ,talentless shitheads who are famous for being famous , at the moment i hold a special place in my spleen for that pain ,Cheryl Cole. Every day theres something about her being wonderful and a national treasure???.....I hate the deluge of stand up comedians all with razor sharp observations on the world  on every night and in between on those endless panel shows.
I hate people at concerts who have to stand and dance ,ok we have to sit at concerts these days ,its a fact of life then one knobhead will stand and 400 people behind him have to then.....I hate those stupid bitches who have to sit on their boyfriends shoulders blocking everything of to all the people for 200 yards behind them. I hate everybody compounding it all having to film with telephones ,which was a nuisance ,but is worse as people hold up bloody I_Pads....
I hate people who have to wear sunglasses on their head all the time...I hate those jeans with the crotch by the knees and those hats which are furry ,but with the long dangly bits at the side. Ah theres plenty more, but i've vented my spleen to an extent and am going to put the kettle on......We're out of milk ,Gawd i hate that!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


When we were over in the good ol' U.S.of A. the other week ,in FLORIDA we had to go to SEA WORLD and while there i got dragged kicking and screaming to see the Killer Whales jumping and splashing about, very impressive they are ,but very mercenary. They wont even stick their snout above the water unless they get a bucket of fish to swallow from the team of swim suit clad smiling typical American girls called Becky and who say "Hi!" a lot.

As we sat there waiting for the show to start ,a big screen started to show a Disney type "If we all band together we can save our wonderful ,beautiful world!" cute ecological film......They showed their fish medical department which has, apparently some of the most advanced equipment there is. It was commented how the hospital was as good as a human hospital. The only difference i could see was that if your human you have to pay through the nose to be treated and cured, if your medical insurance policy isnt paid up to date ,tough shit ,you could find yourself in a hole ,or, as the gangsters used to say"Swimming with the fishes!".....Who thanks to the sea world and such places are a lot healthier. than the folks of that great nation. I think to avoid any medical bills dress up as a dolphin ,as everybody loves the dolphins and go to the fish doctor with your malady ,dont tell him what the problem is,but with dolphins being dead clever you might be able to indicate whats up, the piscine doctors and nurses wont be suspicious they'll just be amazed how wonderful nature is and how cute dolphins are.

Monday, 26 November 2012


If you look on SKY TV they are showing the original DALLAS  series which is the ultimate SOAP OPERA.... Even more dramatic then CORONATION ST and HOLLYOAKS together. The stories of  the distgustingly oil rich EWWINGS family.....But the main character spawned was the nastiest ,evilest, greediest ,slimiest, money grabbing character of them all J.R. with his alcoholic wife SUE ELLEN...But money and oil and doing terrible bad things to get more oil and money was J.R.'s stock in trade. J.R. was so famous that when the actor who played him LARRY HAGMAN realised his worth and wanted a payrise, the producers decided to 'kill him off'!....Hagman didn't back down and went on holiday with his family and his character was shot!.....Even today people who weren't even born when DALLAS was on ,or have quite simply never watched it at all really used ,possibly one of the most famous phrases ,ever!..."WHO SHOT J.R.?".....Actually i've forgotten who shot him.
When the film arrived in the UK it was kept under maximum security in case the answer got out. Apparently, the cast in the States had to film a heap of different scripts and scenarios ,so none of them knew who did the dasterdly deed ,even if it was them!Hagman got his ridiculously large pay rise and returned.
They couldnt afford to pay him ,but they couldnt afford not to either.
I temember a young freshfaced LARRY HAGMAN when i were no'but a lad! He played an astronaut who found a very tasty genie in a lamp in a series called 'I DREAM OF JEANNIE!'....This was a slight wacky series as was Larry ,who was very fond of the 'WACKY 'BACCY!'....Liked to drink and was fond of LSD...with musicians and actors like JACK NICHOLSON...So he was a bit of a 'lad' an,although ,apparently a nice guy ,an inveterate practical joker. I saw him on various shows and he seemed to enjoy sending himself up .
But the most famous bad guy in telly history has gone to meet his maker...Not the nice fellah with the beard n' halo ,no the other one with the horns,wings ,tail and fork


                                                                              I do enjoy watching the various sports channels and watch a bit of KICKBOXING,or the increasingly popular MMA, MIXED MARTIAL ARTS  mayhem which is becoming increasingly popular. The two cartoons which i have put up for your delectation were done a while ago and the more eagle eyed and pedantic nit picking pains in the arse amongst you will recognise as being used before ,although i prefer to look at it as artistic recycling of a sort. The top one was when our beloved P.M. DAVID CAMEROON  was fighting our cause for something or other with our oldest friends across the channel. I thought they should let them slug it out in a cage fight. Likewise when the elections were taking place and we had to sit through the three way telly debate ,i thought they should have slugged it out in the cage, the winner would've gained a lot more respect for their fighting prowess and courage than the party policy bullshit which was the political 'SUZY Q' knockout punch that CAMEROON won it with.

The reason for the cage fight theme was quite simply because a MARTIAL ARTIST lady friend of me and the family and teacher of my nephews was fighting in a title KICK BOXING fight in the holiday town of CONWAYin North Wales.....Lovely it was too....As we walked through high winds and pissing down storms to the glamour of Conway Leisure Centre. All the competitors and their club mates were there,various MMA club hoodies ,all with stubbly unshaven chins ,but totally shaved heads and ,if you looked carefully you might see a bit of flesh coloured skin between the tatooes.
As we sat there guzzling from bottled lager with 'dance music' booming out ,from the speakers that we found ourselves right in front of .....I'm sure i've got tinnittus now.  One by one after the young ,but still puppy-fatted long legged would be model ring girls had done their circuit of the ring with the round number the spilling of the blood n' snot began. Dont get me wrong ,some good stuff took place ,but basically it was a brawling slugfest ,on the whole . KICK BOXING is ,basically fists and feet, but the MMA is no holds barred ,kicks,punches, knees and most amazingly aside from JUJITSU locks and holds on the deck is how its ok to hammer the face of your opponent with your fist as they lie on the deck. I dont think any of the MMA fights went the distance . Possibly the best two fights of the night were the womens ,two momentous scraps ,unfortunatly our friend ANN lost to her opponent ,only just ,but she is a slim lady and her opponent who held the title wouldnt fight if she was above a certain weight ,so Ann had to lose over 2 stone, so she went from not much in the first place to virtually nothing in as many weeks, which cant do you much good.
Call me a MARTIAL ART SNOB,if you will ,but i remember watching the great fighters at KARATE championships through the years in a lot more traditional vein, although it was semi-contact ,a lot more control and skill was displayed ,sadly ,as sport KARATE is becoming more and more important in the burgeoning number of new schools and styles popping up all over the place ,the traditional techniques and principles of MARTIAL ARTS  and the BODY MECHANICS that make KARATE a life time study have all but dissappeared, but the sport fighting like boxing is hard and fast ,but as in traditional boxing and most sport the body wont take it after the thirties on the whole. The traditional KARATEKA would power in ,but would protect themselves ,but the cage figthers went in swinging and leading with their faces ,there was hardly a guard up all night, very strange.....
Nobody likes getting hit: Then you get used to it...: Then you dont mind it too much: Then you dont mind it at all : Then you start to enjoy it and then you look foreward to a smack and cant wait to fight and enjoy ,getting a smack ,but never quite as much as dealing them out.....If you do ,then i think maybe its time you looked for something else to pass your time.
One thing that i didn't miss about the cage fighting night was ,i blame the bottled lager ,but the smell of  farts pervaded the hall....The fighters didnt stink ,but some of the audience did!....Some knockout stuff there ,it actually made me wish i wa up in the cage sometimes.

Friday, 23 November 2012


                                  Long ago a couple of days after the world was very kindly created in a week long rush job by the supreme being known as GOD  to his mates, the single occupant of this paradise ,well it was starting to look like that once all the rubble ,diggers and skips had been moved....Well the lone resident was a fellah called ADAM. I imagine he was quite pleased even if he didn't have a clue what in gods name was going on,he probably didn't know who god was until he stood by him humming and muttering pessimistically, rubbing his beard over wether he could squeeze a mountain range before the horizon ,or wether a verdant forest could be inserted over here ,or over there, etc. Lets face it builders are builders wether they be supreme beings or not!

The garden of EDEN as it was called was very nice and everything ADAM could want for was there ,if he had any idea what he wanted for. Adam ,to be honest ,although he didn't know it was lonely and bored, he was the only person in the world ,so there wasn't even anything to watch on the telly, there was plenty of nature around him, but nobody to make the nature programmes ,i mean this is a long time ago ,even before DAVID ATTENBOROUGH¬

GOD had an idea .ADAM went to sleep one night and woke up in the morning and came out with the first mouthful of expletives ,since the dawn of creation ...The reason for this outburst of swearwords was because as he sat up a pain shot through his side due to the nocturnal removal of a couple of his ribs by GOD?....Now having busted a couple of ribs in my time i can appreciate how ADAM felt. Once he'd calmed down and stopped swearing GOD revealed his grand design....

It was what would become known as  woman in biological terms, but for now she was called EVE. ADAM was a little flabbergasted....She had a lumpy hairless chest and absolutly NO DANGLY BIT?????.....But funnily enough it wasn't unpleasant to look at and ADAMS dangly bit seemed to lose a bit of its 'dangle' for some reason. They both weren't too attracted to each other, but felt awkward and went about covering bits of themselves up. When this had taken place a funny thing happened the more they covered themselves up ,the more they wanted to rip the others covering off???.....GOD sat them both down and 'HAD A TALK' about things n' mummies n' daddies ,etc,etc. He also 'SPAKE UNTO THEM!', as thats what gods do rather than 'TALK TOO!' about living in paradise and populating the planet.

Eve was a woman and the only thing she was worrying about populating the world was losing her figure! As every woman has and will no doubt continue to do so ,she investigated various diets. God told them to leave an apple on a tree alone, but EVE who'd just had a few months on a meat only diet THE ATKINS DIET ,i think its called, decided with the help of the DEVIL disguised as a serpent whispering in her ear to start a fruit diet and started with a chunk out of a certain off limits apple, whereas if she'd stuck with the ATKINS diet she may well have bitten a chunk out of the serpent, i believe snake meat is very tasty. If she'd done that we'd all be living in paradise.

When THE LOVELY LYNNE goes out in the morning with her packet of fruit ,bananas,apples ,etc, i imagine her with her lunch of chopped serpant ,if things'd been different once long ago.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


During my blog layoff ,unable to put images on the computer i attempted a couple of purely painted images ,no pre sketches or computer imaging just some very battered paint brush, long past their chuck in the bin by-date and slapped on the acrylic paint to attempt yet another DANIEL CRAIG as we'd been   to see the latest ,much anticipated JAMES BOND  film, SKYFALL ,a few days before.

Yes i know its not like the old SEAN CONNERY style ,etc,etc, but the changes have to be made and let it evolve and i could see our mean rough tough DANNY BOY turning into an early wry smoothie OO agent, as it becomes clear the character and stories ,although they are set in the modern day are from the beginning of JAMES BOND and how he became what he did. Whether we'll have SPECTRE,SMERSH,BLOFELDT, the white pussy cat and shark tanks,etc, who knows, but i enjoyed SKYFALL and love DANIEL CRAIG ,in a manly butch way ,of course .....He's a hard bastard! But the film was interesting with plenty of twists and turns . People complained about being set in London and Scotland, but i enjoyed that, it made a refreshing change from exotic beaches, etc, apparently it was mainly financial reasons rather than artistic reasons, but it worked for me and, quite frankly thats all i'm worried about. 

The other main relief was the action scenes ,they werent the mad frenetic ,badly edited way ,as in QUANTUM OF SOLACE,esspecially. In fact they were quite good and able to be followed by us conneisseurs of extreme violence. The LOVELY LYNNE drooled over MR CRAIG for totally different reasons and even said she'd like to go back and see it again.....Praise indeed!

A few days ago i got dragged all the way to SKEGNESS as THE LOVELY LYNNE  and her band THE MANCHESTER SKA FOUNDATION were playing a 'gig' at a scooter rally. I had two C.D.'s of BOND soundtracks ,,One was GOLDFINGER and t'other was THUNDERBALL. when i used to drive around our green n' pleasant land i used to play them loud , it was great flying along the highways and byways overtaking everybody while the BOND theme boomed in you ears , i have to admit to the odd wry smile and cocked eyebrow, it was even better when i was going to a job and i was in a dinner suit....I was LEATHERBARROW!....TIM LEATHERBARROW!  So i gave THE LOVELY LYNNE  the best of JOHN BARRY,admittedly it wasn't what she'd've chosen if asked,but i didn't, so on went the Bonds! But when she heard all the Brass ,esspecially the TROMBONES she was happy. Whether the modern BONDS will ever match the old ones musically is ,sadly doubtful, but you never know...

It just ,so happened the following day Lynne had a 'gig' in Manchester ,so i stayed home and watched THUNDERBALL following the music as i still had the soundtrack in my head,  it was great, i've always lked THUNDERBALL,in fact i think its the first Bond i remember seeing on the pictures. I always remembered THE VULCAN BOMBER under the sea , a beautiful craft .Then a few weeks later bursting with excitment on seeing "the bond plane!" and excitedly informing my dad at Speke airshow as a kid as this gorgeous Delta-Winged vision roared over our heads, absolutly wonderful, its still the JAMES BOND PLANE!


(I do hope so!) 


                                                                           WHAY HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.................Its a grotty wet cold Warrington morning, not that theres any other kind ,so i'm fairly used to it ,but what makes this grotty morning different from all the other grotty mornings is that for some reason i've managed to get an image on the fuckin' blog ,at long last!......Forgive the colourful language, but i've been totally screwed for weeks and ,although i haven't a clue what i've done .....I've done it!.....I did a couple of pure painted caricatures the other day ,not using pencil sketches or anything ,just slapping on the jolly old acrylic paint. The reason you have been exposed to yet another WHO image is twofold.....If you are sitting comfortably ...I shall explain.

The other week we were across the'pond' in the good ol' U.S.of A. We had a trip to Florida no less. The weather was nice and there wasn't that many people there so the 'parks' weren't full so 'yours truly' could go on the rides 'again n' again....I admit it ,i'm a middle aged ol' fart and i love 'the rides ,even the simulated ones ,like SPIDERMAN and THE SIMPSONS at UNIVERSAL....But the main reason for the park trip was because my daughter ELARA is an out n' out HARRY POTTER nut!.....Her mum THE LOVELY LYNNE is quite fond as well it should be said and has read the books a heap of times. The two of them have the ability to 'fly' through books ,Lynne can read an 8 inch thick tome in a day...It's a gift i'd love to have, but alas! Elara takes after her mam ,thankfully and zooms through books retaining the information ,yet another gift i don't possess. But anyhow the two of them were reading HARRY POTTERin the Florida sun and going on the HARRY POTTER RIDE again and again and yet a few more agains and again, but its all very clever and impressive and they loved it.

But HARRY POTTER was a big part of the trip ,but not all .....There was something else ,far more important due to take place!

THE WHO were playing in down town ORLANDO!!!!.....And we were going to see the boys. Anight or two before we went to see them ,they played their first QUADROPHENIA gig and after when they were ploughing through the hits when my best mate PETE TOWNSHEND with his much publicised hearing difficulties muttered something about the sound levels and walked off....Nothings ever simple when the 'ORRIBLE 'OO go on stage. Our tickets were for Petes side of the stage and we had visions of bare stage with tumbleweeds blowing across. But the boys were there on the night in fine fettle and let rip !!!!.Townshend leaping about like a madman, wonderful! And Daltrey sounding stunningly powerful after surgery on his throat a while back....Even ELARA conceeded "THEY WERE AWESOME!"......Praise indeed!

Across the road was a boozer where we met a few English lads who'd lived in the states for years, one had a proper Union Jack jacket as TOWNSHEND  and MOON used to wear i got a photo of me wearing it ,if i can work out the advanced technology in putting a photo on the blog i'll treat you . Lynne now knows what she can gether stylish hubbie, me for xmas, wether she'd let me out in it is another matter, although she'd not be above nicking it for one of her SKA GIGS ,as she's done to her daughters DOC MARTENS boots( what would the bank say?...) And you lot thought she was nice and respectable, well !Let me tell you!...............

The other reason for the WHO picture was purely because it was on the scanner from last week so PETE n' ROGER were my scanner guinea pigs..............

Friday, 19 October 2012


The other day me n' me ol' mate Simon met up in our beloved capital city. Before involving ourselves in the business of the day we ,of course ensconsed ourselves in a boozer to partake of a 'couple'.....We were down in our capital den of iniquity to meet with a certain 'rock n' roll legend ...a certain MR PETE TOWNSHEND  , crazed guitarist of the parish and the 'ORRIBLE 'OO!'....He was doing a talk and signing copies of his newly released  autobiography. We found our hotel in RUSSELL SQ  and entered our cosy lodgings .The reception was 'manned 'by two fat miserable scowling exotic far eastern ladies totally ignoring us as they yattered on in Indian or Bangladeshi  before snarling over her shoulder "SEVENTY POUNDS ,OUT BY TEN AND ..NO BREAKFAST!" throwing a key at Simon and a three story trudge up a narrow staircase to our luxurious twin cupboard.

We trolled across town to find BRICK LANEin the EAST END .We found a bar next to the OLD BREWERY ,where the event was taking place. and had a drink with a group of fellahs who'd followed THE WHO since the very early days....One was the original drummer DOUG SANDON ...An one of TOWNSHENDS oldest friends and one time flat mate and author of the excellent WHO biography MAXIMUM R&B..RICHARD BARNES....Barney to his friends! They were all good lads and we had a pleasant chat and a few scoops were consumed until the 'effin' boozer ran out of beer?????....

We went into listen to the main attraction and after an entertaining hour and a half ,as MR T' was in good form and seemed to be enjoying himself he got to signing the books. We queued up like good fans, i had my caricature to present to him ,i thought i might get a picture with me TOWNSHEND and the caricature....But being a typical corporate 'event', the place was run and organised by 'Bright young things' guaranteed to screw up any organised event. The security had luminous coats inside for some reason and could've  only been in their teens. When i gave PETE the picture they pounced on me yelling "NO MERCHANDISE!" TOWNSHEND took it off me and chuckled and laid it on the floor beside him ,i passed the padded envelope and they flew into a noisy panic again ,TOWNSHEND looked at them and said "IT'S OK ,ITS ONLY AN ENVELOPE!"....He signed my book and laughing he thanked me  as we shook hands, i said "Cheers ,Pete!" and our dedicated pain in the arse organisers wouldnt allow any pictures ,so that was that!...We retired back to the boozer and they had even less ale than before. A WHO family member called WOLFY offered to get the picture signed and returned to me, but i thought "Nah!it was meant as a gift and it would've been great to get a picture and i was hoping to get it dedicated to THE LOVELY LYNNE, but we're the fans who spend all our money ,queue and sleep in hovels in Russell Square ,etc ,the corporate shitheads in the reserved seats get the perks ,etc. But i met PETE TOWNSHEND, so i'm happy.

His signature is nearly as totally indicipherable as my own. I was going to put it up on the blog, but the dang blasted computers playing silly buggers again ,so you'll have to make do with the TOWNSHEND caricature AGAIN!!!!

Monday, 15 October 2012


 It's shameful being a 52 year old husband n' father sitting trying to stifle the building schoolboy -like excitment that s building within my my (only slightly ptotruding)middle aged belly.....And what is this excitment that has gripped me ,well quite simply ...JAMES BOND IS BACK The new film SKYFALL is out in almost days...THE LOVELY LYNNE is slobbering at the prospect of that DANIEL CRAIG flaunting his manlyness around the screen ,whereas i'm looking foreward to the more cerebral aspects to the film, story ,characters and most important of all the extreme violence that Craig has put into the fights . There is an aspect of this that i'm worried about .CASINO ROYALE wasn't 'that' bad for it ...QUANTUM OF SOLACE was terrible for it and i'm praying that SKYFALL will not suffer from it...The 'IT' in question is the high speed ,hand held ,badly edited blur that all action sequences in films over the last number of years are full of. QUANTUM was a blur. To this day i still can't make hide nor hair of the opening car chase. The rooftop chase could've been a cinematic masterpeice, but was to fast and cluttered to follow, etc, etc.
Just recently SKY have been reshowing the BOND  films and i've been catching up. SEAN CONNERY  has filled my last week and he's still good ,i didn't take to him for a long time ,not because of his BOND ,but i just didn't like him for some reason...A great BOND  ,but for a long time i just didn't like him!....He had some great 'PROPERLY FILMED' action sequences and fights ,remember ROBERT SHAW in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE on the train and  virtually every film he made ,i quite like where he beats the shit out of two blokes in a lift in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. They were the classic BONDS without a doubt .
I watched GEORGE LAZENBY in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE yesterday and it's a great film and i didn't mind poor George . He was great in the violent bits ,some really good fights and ,EMMA PEEL , as was DIANA RIGG ,who described him as "A shit!" on a recent interview and was supposed to have scoffed garlic for the love scenes. LAZENBYS agent advised him not to take the offer of more Bond films, ah where'd we be without people to advise us.
I'd grown up loving ROGER MOORE in THE SAINT....And was chuffed when he became Bond in LIVE AND LET DIE. I have to admit liking his films ,every one says he played it 'tongue in cheek', but when he had to be the mean Bond he did the action and fights and could be mean. I always thought ,like DOCTOR WHO it's not whose best, but because they changed  is what gave them their extended life. MOORE played a few stinkers ,my personal 'stinker' is THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. From LULU's theme its downhill all the way.
TIMOTHY DALTON could've been a good 'un....He was going back to IAN FLEMINGS Bond and THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS isn't bad , the fight on the netting from the back of a HERCULES TRANSPORT PLANE is great....These are the days when stuntmen did it all ,i mean actually did it all! Dalton was tough and mean ,i liked him and problems with film companies meant films didn't get made and Bond was on hold and ol' TIM never got the chance to don the dicky bow again.
PIERCE BROSNAN hit with GOLDENEYE, still the skinny little charmer from that gawd awful REMINGTON STEELE...That wasn't a bad film ,good touch putting 008, SEAN BEAN in as his mate then as the baddy. The poster for the next ,'TOMORROW NEVER DIES', shows Brosnan a lot more muscled than before. He wasn't bad and watching them again ,as they were made so well, they're always better than i remembered. The Peirce days finished with an INVISIBLE CAR?....Then they said "We're taking Bond back to basics!"
                                                                                                Then the shit hit the fan and "OH MY GOD! A BLONDE BOND!".....Riots took place in the streets ,websites slagging off poor old DANIEL CRAIG abounded . He arrived at the press conference with the ROYAL MARINES ,but as the Marines did ,he wore a life jacket over his dinner suit..."JAMES BOND WEARING A LIFE JACKET..OH GAWD!...IT GETS WORSE!"...Poor Daniel couldn't win .They forgot even SEAN CONNERY wore crash helmets with his jet pack and LITTLE NELLIE gyrocopter. But the new boy ,blew them away . Daniel Craig is now a national institution beloved by everyone ,esspecially my missus! From the little i've heard SKYFALL is getting good vibes , SIR ROGER MOORE  reckons its the best Bond, ever and Craig is far the best Bond .....God i need a drink...A mug of tea stirred not shaken!

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Due to problems with the computer ,compounded by the apparent existance of an electromagnetic BLACKHOLE which exists in the middle of our house causing our BROADBAND signals to be sucked up in to the spiralling EVENT HORIZON before being sucked with every thing else to do with phones ,light ,computers and telly's and stuff  in to the yawning chasm of the GRAVITATIONAL SINGULARITY that exists in the middle of our living room ,according to the nice B.T. telephone broadband engineer they sent out to us the other week. All the problems and achingly slow hair tearing ,teeth grindingly signals are due to this 'Black hole!'... All you out there worrying about when i shall inform and entertain you in the ways means and why's of the world and bafflements and befuddlements of 'life the multiverse and most things, you may rest easy Blackholes allowing i'm back.....Even now the keyboards playing up as the computer signal keeps freezing. The only that can stop TIM LEATHERBARROW outing his inane/insane garbage is the most powerful force in the universe, not bad eh?

Thursday, 4 October 2012


Friday, 14 September 2012



A few weeks ago we were over in ITALY by a lovely lake surrounded by impressive mountains. The lake was where the the opening JAMES BOND car chase in 'QUANTUM OF SOLACE' took place. Apparently the lake and the surrounding villages are connected by tunnels built by that beloved of Italian facist dictators MUSSOLLINI. He decided that the villages had to be connected by these network of tunnels. The tunnels are all named after his ex-girlfriends, well they would be Ex's ,as they're probably all dead a long time, who knows our favourite facist met up with them in whatever afterlife his sort go to. The longer tunnels are named after his favourites, the shorter ....Not so fondly remembered!....Still, not bad, having a tunnel through a mountain named after you and your tunnel used in a Bond film and these pretty (once) Italian Dictator bits of stuff would one day have DANIEL CRAIG powering through you, so to speak!...Mind you i wouldn't like to be 'MUSSO' explaining why certain girls became the shorter of tunnels.
The week or so was very nice ,but "God it was f**kin' boiling hot!!!".....The sun beat down and the only thing we could do was crawl to the bar .....Often!....I sat and read reams of electronic pages on my new KINDLE . I was surrounded by sweating drooling women . I automatically assumed this was due to the unbearable heat and gallons of drink that everybody guzzled down. I came to the conclusion that the women ,who were all reading that naughty book...'50 SHADES OF GREY.'...I also decided that all these sexually aroused women were drooling over me as i ambled Bond-Like cool and catlike to the bar.Did they wonder if thee was another Bond film being filmed. I mentioned this observation to the LOVELY LYNNE....Funnily enough she thought it was very amusing. As every women was reading and being aroused by the '50 SHADES OF GREY'!...Except for one notable exception....THE LOVELY LYNNE, my missus! She was reading 'HITCHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY' which  is very clever and amusing ,but the late wonderful DOUGLAS ADAMS didn't manage to inject much rudeness and horniness into the story so THE LOVELY LYNNE wasn't turned on, drooling and lusting after me ,anyhow at the end of the day it was my own fault as she was reading this sci-fi classic on my reccomendation. I should learn to keep me big mouth shut. Mind you i think i might've got a few funny looks from my beloved if i'd reccommended '50 SHADES OF GREY' to her. 

Friday, 7 September 2012



                                                                                  Watching the PARALYMPICS over the last week or so has stunned and amazed me as every day you actually get to see the HUMAN SPIRIT in front of your face and see it working at full horsepower. The HUMAN SPIRIT is something priests and politicians and their speechwriters like to speak about, but watch these 'guys n' gals' competing and its there in your face ;Blind ,deaf, dumb, crippled, limbs missing ,mentally deformed ,etc ,etc ,god bless 'em all they put us all to shame. It struck me the weaker the bodies ,the stronger the will......And i should know having a fine fit body ,but a will of clay......No Olympic medals in the LEATHERBARROW trophy cabinet for the forseeable future anyhow.
Some of the athletes ,as that is what they are, possibly even more entitled to be called so then their perfectly fit colleagues, have problems and deformities from birth, but some are a result of injuries or whatever, deciding "FUCK THIS!....i'm not going to be beaten by the broken back or the loss of my legs !" and they grit their teeth and get on with it.
One guy who got me thinking about the whole thing suffered from some kind of condition of the blood where the oxygen in the blood wasn't able to supply the muscles with the full amount they needed. Basically what that meant to me was that the lad had to train any number of times harder than anyone else as his fitness needed so much more work so his oxygen starved muscles could race and compete ,i think he was in the pool and he won in a world record time ,i think. What about the blind footy players?...Amazing ,all amazing !
The ice skater cartoon was done a while ago when that evil MRS PAUL McCARTNEY....JULIET(?) MILLS was entering CELEBRITY ICE SKATING  and did quite well considering she had a prosthetic limb ,one of her legs which did her bad public relations with the British SIR 'MACCA' loving folks a bit of good.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


                                                                               As a favour to a friend JED CLARK i did this piccie of a not so young NEIL YOUNG.....And as i was trying to find a picture of our hero i took the oppertunity to activate that most wonderful of inventions that mankind has developed through the years, you can forget the wheel and the I-Pod .....I'm talking the kettle!......I used to fill an old army tea pot and fill it with loose leaf tea and guzzle a few gallons to help with my many creative difficulties ,i dont know if a few gallons of tea made me more creative or sitting guzzling watching the telly put me in 'couldnt give a shit 'mode. Things aren't quite the same now . And i shall tell you why!.....Women ,thats why!......Long ago THE LOVELY LYNNE entered my life and when the glow of passion and romance dimmed and she started to give ,not advice or requests , but outright orders as women are wont to do when they take control.....She KIDNAPPED MY TEAPOT??????......And i didn't see it for years until it turned up in the downstairs bog .....Full of flowers????.....If you ever come to LEATHERBARROW TOWERS and you are more than welcome, the teapot is still in the bog! Not only did she take my teapot ,but she stopped me drinking loose leaf tea and i've been on tea bags for all these years. But i apologise for the slight sidetrack into my tea guzzling adventures and history , but as i walked into the living room with my mug with two teabags in ,much to the LOVELY LYNNES irritation, its a small pathetic victory over the forces of female coffee drinkers, but its my small pathetic victory!....Anyhow i sat down and who's on the telly, but a not so young NEIL YOUNG!

I know a lot of people who are big fans of NEIL YOUNG ,i have to admit not to being one of them , i've nothing against him and appreciate what he does, but i sat and enjoyed his acoustic show. He sat surrounded by a wall of standing guitars ,banjo's, etc and alongside him was a bucket with a mouthorgan in it. I always fancied being able to play the guitar and mouth organ . At one time i had a mouth organ ,quite a long one about 8-10 inches long. I was in the back of the car on a family trip to Wales years ago running the mouthorgan from side to side blowing and sucking producing what i thought was music of the angels, but my cousin beside me either didn't agree or he was just plain car sick and threw up over the protruding mouthorgan , i managed to freeze my playing the blues dead, or i'd blow vomit over the back of my dads head or suck a gobful of my cousins vomit depending wether i was blowing or sucking as the instrument went back from right to left. I somehow lost the urge to play with that mouth organ even after hours under the tap there was always something that looked like carrot or fried tomato in the workings of that instrument.  

Monday, 13 August 2012


Now after a little admittedly cynical start to the OLYMPIC GAMES i am quite happily able to admit to being impressed and proud by my country and my fellow populous.....The joy and spirit that the British and Irish are known for is still there . And after a fortnight of being the centre of the universe we've showed the world how it should be done. The sportsman and women (,christ ,the girls were cooking on gas,weren't they?)....They were all amazing as were the crowds and all involved . The opening show and the closing show were both "WOW!" events .And i was a little worried ,when about midnight last night i thought that the WHO weren't going to appear at the closing ceremony, but "PHEEEUUUWWW!"....Pete n' Rog were there to help the place explode at the end. I have to say ,that aside from that French fellah ,the head of the OLYMPICS,or whatever he was ,still not convinced he was  important enough for every single bloody announcement over the whole games to be said in French first. The only other politician i saw or heard from was SEB COE and i have to admit to being impressed by what he said,god on yer ,Seb. At least i didn't hear from our beloved pain in the arse PRIME MINISTER and his lot ,as well as the other lot....Almost a politician free fortnight .Hardly any celebrities and not a single 'stand up 'comedian ...On our telly ,anyhow! We enjoyed the atmosphere and the sport ,some very strange ones i must admit, but i didn't get bored at all. The British athletes ,MO FARRAH ,etc ,just astounding stuff ,everybody in the house yelling over their chinese takeaway over the 2 Saturdays.

Will the spirit of sport infest us?...Will the gymns and leisure centres be full to the Sally Gunnells with people enrolling in all these new sports ,as well as the old ones determined to make RIO in 4 years ,or just to play a game and get rid of the gut?....I tried running a few months ago ,but not being much of a runner off the footy pitch , my attempts can be summed up in my graphic portrayal below. THE LOVELY LYNNE having recovered from her seriously bad illnesses this year is running with the dog and is feeling "GREAT N' SOOPER!"...And is feeling and looking great. The incentive to forge my body in the furnace of my will hasn't really taken hold yet with me.

Now the games have stopped the politicians are starting to move into their latest 'BUZZ THING!'....promoting school sports ,the same sports their cutbacks ,etc stopped and closed the facilities for all over the country....But it's good for votes. Funny a few years ago ,they were trying to reduce or stop sporting competition. Winning or losing wasn't important ,the taking part was what mattered, hmmmm?

The combat sports are holding their own ,the boxers ,the girls!.....Fighting a stormer all of them. The lads fought some hard opposition and all did well . The TAI KWAN DO had a bit of controversy ,the federation wouldnt pick the British World and European champion as he trains with his own coaches and not with teamGB. So the lad who took over got a lot of unfair flack ,even though he won a Bronze. It does seem the top fighter who'd rained for these game specially did get the shitty end of the stick.  But the Judo and boxers as well were unstoppable, as were the Irish boxers.   
We had a good showing in the various athletic events and a few Triathletes n' Pentathletes ,etc, i kept thinking of the achetype british comic character WILSON the fittest man alive!'....And , of course ALF TUPPER,THE TOUGH OF THE TRACK!'....He'd get the bus or run to take part in a marathon and stock up on fish n' chips before the marathon or 400 metres ,or 10000 metres ,or all of them.....Our Brit lads with a can of lager n' a fag overtaking USSAIN BOLT.

But overall ,as MICHAEL JOHNSON the American legend said.."He was happy that ,at last British Athletics had 'made it!"...Runners ,throwers ,jumpers .Had held there own and done us and themselves proud ,no longer also rans.

As Lynne is getting herself into a modicom of shape ,quite pleased that she has calf muscles. She did have a set of various gymn machines ,but my cousins thought it was highly amusing ,as they said that the only use she'll get out of them will be to drape washing over them....And sure enough the dripping undies and shirts n' blouses dripped dry from hi-tech fitness equipment in the utility room.

But now its all over ,the telly's back to normal ,last night JONATHAN ROSS was advertised as was THE X-FACTOR....Debates about the effect of the olympics and the way foreward ,etc etc is on every channel and all the endlessly repeated stand up comedians ,'Live at the Apollo ,etc are suddenly there again. Its back to normal again .

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


                                                                        It has to be said that life and energy has been brought to our little island with these OLYMPIC GAMES thingeys taking place. It is wonderful to turn on the telly and hear stories of  normal dedicated people busting a gut for no other reason than to win a medal for their country....Real sportsmen and women ,not overpaid proffessionals ,except for the footy players and tennis players which are thrown into the mix for some reason. And it seems theres hardly a word spouted  from the politicians, in case they upset the voters who're having a ball. As Britain rakes in the medals they've started hinting about the promotion of sport for the youth of the future ....These are the same sporting facilities that their cutbacks have taken away from the the youth of the last few years and the future. All the athletes that have done us so proud have had to jump a bus or get a lift under their own steam at some ungodly hourin the morning or night to go and bust a gut at a gymn or pool somewhere before or after ,or both school or work. The corporate stranglehold and security and ticket screw ups were all down to the sponsors ,politicians and organisers and we know who they were, they caused the empty seats not the the Great British public.,The joy and euphoria and pure British insanity that has blossomed forth is wonderful, as a result   the rest of the world not only thinks we're mad  they're now convinced of it and i'm so proud of us!

                                                                     On the subject of worlds ,across the void of space "Nobody would have believed.....!".....I can hear RICHARD BURTON reading WAR OF THE WORLDS.While all the chaos was taking place here the yanks dropped the Martian rover CURIOSITY on the surface of MARS. It's job ,to have a trundle around ,filming ,scraping and digging to find traces of life. Maybe there was life once upon a time. Who knows Billions of years ago the OLYMPICS could have taken place there. Swimmers with 5 arms, Gymnasts with 4 arms and pretensile tails ,great on the parallel bars or the pommel horse, etc. But once the water had dissappeared after the magnetic field dissappeared the water sports woul've gone and the field events as well. But the craters would've made good VELODROMES and cycling would done well. The dry ground would've been ok for the track events so the OLYMPICS would have faded over time.The wet events then the murderous marathons ,as Mars has mountains about 10 miles high, murder on the hoof or bike have you seen the state of the roads ,rocks n' potholes on the Martian surface. There'd've been no countries once the seas had dried up so no international competition, so no sport ,the martians must've died of boredom.

Monday, 6 August 2012


                                            A few weeks ago me n' the LEATHERBARROW rabble went to the pictures for the first time in a long time. It was to see THE AVENGERS ASSEMBLE......IN 3D...... we paid our exorbitant fees for the tickets then for the sweeties and popcorn to crunch and annoy the people sitting around us as much as their crunching and paper rustling was  annoy us.   best defence against irritation is to annoy them first .....Attack always the best form of defence. We then  had to splash out on a pair of crappy plastic sunglasses as the epic we were about to watch was in 3D.

We sat in our comfy seats down at the front ,if your going to watch the big screen you may as well watch it as big as you can.  back seats were ok for a snog with a bit o' stuff in younger days ,but when with the missus and daughter you may as well focus all your attention on the  screen and god forbid.. ....The film, things haven't half changed. I slipped my cheap scratched scuffed sunglasses on. Although the screen was about 30 feet in front of me i could hardly see it even if it was in 3D and bursting out at me across that 30 feet. When the MARVEL COMICS epic started the best bits of 3D imagery were the various 40-odd production company corporate image logo's. When the film started there was wonderful scenes of people stood in front of each other or cops in front of fire hydrants. These are the moments you go 'Oh a bit of 3D he looks like hes in front of the screen. For the next few minutes things look quite normal, i slipped my glasses off as i find them annoying and was amazed at how bright and colourful the film is without them until the suprisingly clear picture goes slightly blurry again as ,apparently a little 3D 'trick' is occurring on the screen ,so ,slipping my specs back on to see a taxi cab driving out of the screen the dusky gloom of the dark cinema exagerated by wearing sun glasses in such a room.

As the action rips off and IRON MAN and THE MIGHTY THOR, Lest we forget THE INCREDIBLE HULK as these are the guys who do a bit more flying in and out of the screen. CAPTAIN AMERICA doesn't do as much ,but his sheild flies around a lot . The CGI SPECIAL EFFECTS which are a bloody curse as everything is done so fast and frenetic and is compounded  by 3D.

Real life is 3D. Up ,down; side to side;Foreward and back.....2D as on film, etc seems to be 3D as the action is all over the place and is easy to follow . 3D is nearly 1D ,basically in and out of the screen. The last few times i've been to the 'Flicks' its been good ol'2D and i have to say i've preferred it  each time the pictures better the action easier to follow.

The prospect of the family sitting on the couch with our 3D sunglasses in front of our 3D telly ....Well, can you imagine 'EMBARESSING BODIES !!!!!!.... and allthe other telly goodies we're inflicted with night after night coming out of the screen at us ....Hmmmmmm?.....2D ,a t least keeps them within the screen where they're better off!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


                   As it has been mentioned in past blogs ,as well you should know if you've been paying attention to the garbled rubbish i fill cyberspace with ,well you'll know that only a few days ago ,yours truly celebrated his 52nd birthday. My daughter has stolen my light by having her birthday on my birthday. Everybody goes "Ahh isn't that nice!"....No, not particually! Family ring up to inquire about her birthday and i have to slip into the conversation about why JULY15th is such a big day for another reason , basically 'cos of me! JULY 15th has been my birthday for 38 years longer than it has hers. My aged ,slightly hung over body was dragged out of bed at some ungodly hour as madam wanted to open her presents! Eventually it came to me to open my cards and things ,all very pleasant and i do like birthdays ,etc ,i like anything that means people give me things.

One of my present was a fairly large cardboard box. A sign on the side announced that it was 'CERTIFIED FRUSTRATION FREE PACKAGING'!...I had never seen that before and thought it quite amusing as i began my attempt to open the box without getting frustrated. THE LOVELY LYNNE told me to take it easy and had a go and failed miserably. I had another go and broke into a bout of severe bad language as i thought i'd broken my little finger and in a fit of CERTIFIED FRUSTRATION i tore the top of the box.

When we cleared the cardboard debris and i spent a few seconds sucking my finger and trying not to swear i took a look at what wonders lay within this FRUSTRATION FREE CONTAINER,because funnily enough it told me how easy it would be to open it ,but not why. It didn't say what it contained. Eventually i discovered a KINDLE E-BOOK READER. Which i wasn't sure i'd want ,but i have to admit i'm quite enjoying it. Still read books ,etc ,can't beat a good second hand book shop y'know!


                                                                                        The older you get the faster time seems to fly by .The concept of time travel and being able to travel into the future is said to be pure science fiction, but its not! Anyone who has had a 52nd birthday as i just have and those poor swine who're even older, as a bunch of my cousins are, who, much to my joy and amusement   are suffering the advent of advanced years at around the same time as my own birthday, thankfully it eases my own pain to see others suffer. These time travellers as that is what they are, know the feeling of having some event or something far ahead in the future and then  you wake up one morning and its zoomed past into the distant past and is dissapearing into your memories....Theres nothing wonderful or nice about it !  It is F**kin' terrifying. One day your a kid ,then a schoolkid and having a wild time with friends and fellow batchelors gay .(The 'G' word here is used in the free ,wild ,boozing ,womanising context ,before it was stolen). Now ,suddenly the 'WILD BUNCH' aren't quite so wild as their wives and their bad backs wont let them.
                                                                           Physicists say that the reason time goes foreward is due to THE ARROW OF TIME! There is a force called ENTROPY a posh scientific word for the increasing universal disorder. As order becomes disorder its ENTROPY increases which, apparently is the way of the universe....Everything is falling apart! Most of use can feel the effects of ENTROPY, or the feeling your life , body ,etc is falling apart...Aches pains ,etc its all THE ARROW OF TIME in universal terms ,but in personal terms its the CATAPULT OF LIFE!....

Basically your born, they cut the cord and 'TWANG' the catapult is fired and you are slung through the years of your life at a constantly accelerating rate until you land in a whole in the ground and your dead! Ah isn't life wonderful?

Thursday, 12 July 2012


 Ever since the goverment announced that London was going to be thrown in to the hat to potentially host the OLYMPIC GAMES the political sounbites were drowned out by the nationwide groan that issued forth from the population who have lost all iota of trust and respect for our leaders and our betters? We all knew that it was going to be a total F**k up from the start. Building problems kicked off the debacle and then the costs started to escalate to millions n' billions and on and on. The OLYMPIC TORCH ,eventually hits our shores and promptly goes out! Sez it all ,i'd've thought. Security is a total F**k up a fortnight before the opening ceremony as some security firm that were paid millions have screwed up and we now need 3000 soldiers that we've recently axed due to military cutbacks, probably to pay for the games. Theres a fuss as the goverment have put ground to air rockets on peoples luxury appartments. I don't quite understand the need for these short distance rockets which would shoot a plane down over the middle of the city which could cause problems when aircraft and missile debris comes raining down on to the streets of the capital. Radar and tracking equipment can detect air traffic and potential threats half way around the world, even in WW2 they attacked the V1&2's before they arrived in the city ,but for some reason they have to be stopped at 'virtually'target zero!'

The 'PEOPLES GAMES' as they've been laughingly portrayed .The games are going to benefit us all , companies like that old British family firm, MCDONALDS.  They have managed to have small traders ,chippies , unable or banned ,legally unable to sell chips unless its with a certain portion of fish.

Apparently theres a organisation LOCOG (LONDON OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPICACT 2006)...They have banned the use of the OLYMPIC SYMBOL and even certain words and phrases with Olympic overtones ,referring to medals and 'going for gold,etc'....People ,shops ,villages over the months have been banned from using the olympic symbol ,like in butchers and bakers using sausages and bread to make the loops. Olympic parties can't be called that and even if they were celebrating the flame passing through couldn't copy the torch or have Olympic parties ,when they tried to remove the'O' to host re-named 'LYMPIAN' parties ,because it was obvious what its all about and is seriously frowned upon if not banned.

The peoples games are nothing to do with the people ,most people cant even get tickets and unless its not a goverment sanctioned celebration cant even celebrate and show their pride at being British ,cos funnily enough ,theres no reason to be so ,but a lot of people still are!

Monday, 9 July 2012


                                                                                                 You couldn't get two more American ,American entertainers than BOB HOPE and BING CROSBY....Ironically ,whereas BING is a pure American boy ,the archyotype American comic BOB HOPE is an ENGLISHMAN born and raised during his early days in gods country. He went over 'the pond' and ,suprise ,suprise , spent time in reform school and was a boxer for a while, joking  he was so bad they sewed handles onto his shorts ,or was that LES DAWSON?...He broke into showbiz and on it went . To boost his career America joined the SECOND WORLD WAR ,so Hope could go and entertain the troops. In fact as the years went on, whenever Hopes career was having a quiet time of it America would go to war ;KOREA, VIETNAM, he was there entertaining the troops. This may seem a little extreme , but you have to put a little effort in if you wish to create a showbiz legend . All i can say is that the yanks didn't know their favourite comedian ,friend of the troops and presidents was a Brit. Apparently 'Our Bob' was a bit of a womaniser and a bit of a lad ,liked a drink and was a friend of all the stars like 'THE RAT PACK' of which he was a regular. Everybody tuned into watch BOB HOPE reading his monologues even when he got to an age where he couldnt read his idiot cards.

He met up with the other great, BING CROSBY a one time jazz singer who liked a drink. App arently Bing was the guy who fought to have his radio shows recorded and through him taping techniques eventually developed. He gave LES PAUL some kind of recording tape system and this lead to multi tracking. BING CROSBY ,get this!.....His team created THE LAUGH TRACK!!!....Which we've all grown up wih ,and which is used even today for virtually every comedy show,  but for radical ,finger on the pulse comedians into reality comedy ,like THE OFFICE',without the laugh tracks.....I dont know if the attraction of BING CROSBY to  BOB HOPE was access to the laugh track ,he wouldn't have had  to worry about the audience ,he would've got an audience pissing themselves laughing at the press of a button ,indeed a comics dream. Crosby was the ultimate 'CROONER' and SINATRA was told to copy CROSBY by concenterating on the words rather than the jazz beat and tune and ,apparently thats just what'OL BLUE EYES'went and did. Everybody loved UNCLE BING...He made it look so easy. He put a lot of effort into making it look easy. He also liked a drink and was a great fan of 'THE WACKY 'BACCY!'....And according to one of his sons ,was a right bastard who used to beat them with a metal studded belt until he drew blood. Some of his brothers backed him and some denied it . Some of his sons blew their heads off with shotguns. The rest seem to be getting on with it. That tasty blonde actress who played TASHA YAR in STAR TREK..THE NEXT GENERATION was a grand daughter of BING.

When BING N' BOB  weren't wearing funny trousers and sweaters playing golf ,or bouncing abuse off each other  on stage, they made about 7 films all titled 'THE ROAD TO...'...DOROTHY LAMOUR  was their paramour in most of the films until the last 'THE ROAD TO HONG KONG'...Where lovely BING decided that 40-odd DOROTHY  was too old to appear, but HOPE insisted she did or he wouldn't appear, so she got a little 'bit' in the film to keep everybody happy and the leading lady was JOAN COLLINS...But our heroes were looking a little 'past it' and it was thought the young fresh PETER SELLARS stole their comic thunder. It was arranged for them to make a film in the middle 70's ...THE ROAD TO THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH'...This hit a hiccup soon after the decision was made to go ahead when BING  popped his clogs. They both had amazing lives living in amazing times ,wars ,prohibition ,gangsters ,etc and most important they were great to watch ,i admit to loving 'the crooners' and i watched a documentary about CROSBY the other day and he was so listenable as were they all, but he was so easy and funny and quick. HOPE was quick ,sharp and funny always doing the Oscars ,etc for year after year . He never got one and referred to the oscars as 'Passover. BING got one and on one of the road films HOPE grabs an Oscar and wont give it to CROSBY screaming how it was his and .."You've already got one!"...But although they were never a double act ,as such .They were perfect together and always worth watching.                                                           

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Sad news today as its announced that ERIC SYKES has died. I met him twice and he was a really nice and friendly humourous fellah in that cloud of cigar smoke ,a gent and as far as i'm concerned a comic genius. He got into writiing after an attempt to get into showbiz after the war along with everybody else filling the theatres and wireless waves in them days and a bit later the telly waves. He fell into writing and soon was writing for some big names of the time like FRANKIE HOWARD. Later he'd meet SPIKE MILLIGAN and they'd set up a writers co-operative and such comic luminories as GALTON AND SIMPSON, JOHNNY SPEIGHT and the DALEK inventor himself ,not DAVROS,but TERRY NATION and a variety of others through the years. SYKES helped MILLIGAN write his GOON SHOWscripts and actually on occassions took over the whole job ,when MILLIGAN was ill,or whatever. Whereas MILLIGANwas the achetype tortured genius throwing typewriters through windows ,or locking himself in offices for days on end, SYKES seems to have been a fairly level headed easy going bloke and wrote for many other peoples shows 'to help out'....He started his own show which became shortened from SYKES ON..... to 'SYKES' and with HATTIE JAQUES as ,originally his wife, but for comic freedom later becomming his sister at 28 SEBASTAPOL TERRACE ,EAST ACTON...ran for years. SKY are showing them again and i started watching them ,albeit unenthusiastically a year or two ago and i'd forgotten how witty and funny they were. SYKES was known for taking a simple premise and twisting it and stretching it to ridiculous lengths and it shows and that is the charm of the 'SYKES' series its not just another sitcom based in somebodies living room, its quite often a surreal universe with a settee in the middle.

The twisting an idea can be shown with two films he made ,the first a silent film about two labourers carrying a wooden plank ,aptly titled'THE PLANK',with his sidekick TOMMY COOPER and just about every British comedy actor there was. The other was 'RHUBARB.' Apparently when actors shoot a scene and are meant to be speaking in the background they ,so it was said , just repeat the word "RHUBARB,RHUBARB!"to each other. In his film all the characters throughout just said THAT word.

Sykes started having hearing problems in the 50's and had to learn to lip read. Funnily enough the big heavy spectacles he always seemed to wear weren't for his eyes and, apparently had clear lenses, but they were some kind of hearing aid. Years later when his eyes started going ,maybe they stuck something in his ears to help him see, i dont know.

Monday, 2 July 2012


When we left the wonderful land of Malaysia to come back to our pebble n' condom riddled shores .I said we'd swapped the bright lights of KUALAR LUMPUR for the broken streetlights of WARRINGTON. Which is ,fairly true ,but more likely to be the smashed bus stops of Warrington. I was treading through the crunchy shattered remains of one of the remains of the bus stops erected for the community and to protect people from the wind and rain and any other elements from which little old ladies and such need protecting from. For some reason ,which i have to proffess not having the slightest understanding as to the reason why, little scallie bastard kids n' teens who have decided to have a break from their computer or text phone are filled with an almost primal urge to smash plexiglass bus stops and windows in general .As i crunched through the shattered plexiglass crystals i glanced over the road and some member of this track suit clad adrenaline junkie hoards of knobheads had put the window of the chippy through???? Why? ,as the little bastards ,who ,actually are between a fifth and a bit less of my age are a lot taller than me....But ,anyhow they spend most of their feeding time in the bloody chippy.

I suppose the reason for the youth getting rid of the bus stops is partly as they consider them of no use .They stand there ,chewing, spitting ,smoking and looking generally intimidating. This has the desired effect upon the intimidated bus driver ,who instead of gearing down to slow and stop ,will gear up and accelerate over the plethera of speed bumps and whizz past the bus stop. The passengers getting tossed around the inside of the bus like an old episode of 'Star Trek', or Voyage to the bottom of the sea',where they always had a scene were the crew were thrown all over the place. Its got to a stage now where the bus drivers dont cruise around the route  taking it slowly so they're ready to stop ,but more like they adopt the RACING LINE  like FORMULA 1 drivers on a track, so they can get around their routes at the optimum speed as if to  get the bus version of pole position.

Then if you do manage to get on these examples of public transport(?)...We now have the ticket machine ,never has such an odious device been inflicted upon the public. Its value to the community is only equalled by the V2 BOMB from WW2. They charge a figure ,say 73 1/2 pence, nobody has that sort of small change ,so you end up giving a pound as theres a queue behind you as the last three busses have whizzed past and everyone is waiting for you to stop farting around looking for chang ,and they all have to do the same, so tickets may be relatively cheap, god bless our goverment, but the money being paid is way over. remember the old red busses with the open back and the chirpy bus conductor, just like 'ON THE BUSES'....