Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Roy Kinnear

Roy Mitchell Kinnear (8 January 1934 – 20 September 1988)was one of those supporting character actors whose performances made the leading actors look even better. Born in Scotland of a famous Ruby playing father, he started his acting career in the 1950's in repertory theatre,going to do a bit of radio work before his break into TV in That Was The Week That Was. It was in The Beatles film Help! that he really came to my attention when he acted as the bumbling sidekick technician to Victor Spinetti's mad scientist character. He made several films with his good friend and director Richard Lester that not only included Help! but also A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, How I Won the War, The Bed-Sitting Room, and the Musketeer series of the 1970s and 1980s. He played the father of spoiled rich girl Veruca Salt in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's famous children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

His performances, typecast perhaps, were nearly always comical with his innate ability to fumble his way through every character role he performed. He seemed such a lovable and capable man and even though such appearances may be stage manufactured I would like to think not in his case.

Sadly he died during the filming of the last of the Musketeers films when he fell from a horse and broke his pelvis. He died of a heart attack whilst under surgery. Prior to this he had completed the role of The Common Man in A Man for All Seasons a made-for-television film directed by and starring Charlton Heston as Thomas More, with John Gielgud as Cardinal Wolsey and Vanessa Redgrave as Lady More. Mr. Heston dedicated the film to Roy Kinnear as a memorial to a great actor and personal friend.

A great actor

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Wildfowl Reels or Folk Songs by any other name - Lord Marlborough

You generals all and you champions bold
Who take delight in the field
Who knock down dungeons and castle walls
And fight until they yield
Now I must go and face my foe
Without my sword and shield
I've often fought with merry men
But now to death I must yield

I am an Englishman by my birth
Lord Marlborough is my name
In Devonshire I drew my breath
That place of noted fame
I'm most beloved by all my men
By kings and princes likewise
Af all the towns that we did take
We hit them all with surprise

King Charles the Second I did serve
To face our foe in France
And at the battle of Ramillies
We boldly did advance
The sun was down, the earth did quake
So loudly I did cry
Fight on, my boys, for fair England
We'll conquer or we'll die

And now we have gained the victory
And bravely kept the field
We took a number of prisoners
And forced them to yield
That very day my horse was shot
'Twas by a musket ball
And ere I mounted up again
My aide-de-camp did fall

Now on a bed of sickness prone
I am resigned to die
You generals and you champions bold
Stand true as well as I
And to your colours stand you true
And fight with courage bold
I led my men through fire and smoke
For there was a pride in all


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Dob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour

One of the things that I love about Bob Dylan is his way of never doing quite what is expected of him. He isn't the traditional Rock n' Roll rebel in that he doesn't hold a finger up tp society; he dosen't pour out a stream of abusive vitriol like John Lydon and doesn't appear to the the arrongant cynicism the John Lennon had and yet, off he goes and breaks every rule imaginable. Rock stars do not appear on ladies underwear ads (or didn't until Dylan did it first) and Rock stars do not host radio shows that are as amazing to listen to as the mans music itself.

Theme Time Radio Hour (TTRH) is a one-hour long radio show hosted by Bob Dylan. Each episode is an eclectic, freeform brew of blues, folk, rockabilly, R&B, soul, bebop, rock-and-roll, country and pop music, centered around a "theme," with songs from artists as diverse as Patti Page and LL Cool J.

The show reflects Dylan's wide ranging love of American music and of all music in general. In between the songs he plays are littered his witty remarks along with email readings; phone calls; old radio station ID's, promos, and jingles; "def poet" poetry recitations; taped commentary from a variety of musicians and comedians; and thoughts from Dylan on the music and musicians, as well as other miscellanea related to the themes.

The shows have been broadcast since 2006 and were first heard via XM Satellite Radio and since 2007 on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music in the UK, and in Ireland on Dublin-based alternative rock station Phantom FM.

The music range is vast and includes all manner of music that has been an influence on Dylan but it isn't just the music that is incredible to listen to and to hear, in many cases for the first time, but also great to hear is Dylan. The man is a natural broadcaster. Very off the wall, leftfield perhaps but it is his idisyncratic way that is so charming and endearing. Very fifferent in style o good old John Peel but of a similar nature in that he explores relatively unchatered waters.

For years his singing voice has been much written about: discussed, dismmissed as being unlistenable and praised to the hilt for its defiance of all the rules of singing. His speaking voice is equally unique. Odd, quirky but, as far as I am concerned, captivating. If you haven't listened to the show then tune in and catch it. You won't be disappointed.


Monday, 16 March 2009


Rather a sharp sounding words this, all claw and beak and rending of flesh which is apt when you see its meaning. Sort of like the sound of shears clipping.

accipitrine definition

ac·cipi·trine (ak sip′ə trin′)


of or relating to a family (Accipitridae) of diurnal birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, and kites