Monday, 30 November 2009


From the LP "Moshi" by Barney Willen and friends on the French "Saravah" label. 80's I think but not sure.

Tracks are-

1. Balandji In Bobo
2. Sannu ne Gheniyo
3. El Hadji

Seems that Barney and friends went to live and travel in Africa in the late sixties after hearing some music by a pygmy tribe. He stayed in Algeria and travelled accross the Sahara to Senegal and Mali long befor the notion of "World Music" was ever thought of and recorded this double Lp on his return.

"Wilen's contract for IDA helped create a comeback for a fine musician. In the 1980s he tinkered with jazz-rock and African rhythms (he went to live in Africa in the late 1960s) and his return to a bop-inflected style has something of the full-circle maturity which Stan Getz came to in his later work; Wilen's tenor sound does, indeed, have something of the magisterial sweep which Getz delivered, but the main character of his playing continues to lie in his even trajectory. His solos have a serene assurance which eschews dynamic shifts in favor of a single flowing line. With his tone still exceptionally bright and refined, it grants his playing a rare, persuasive power."

Ellie Greenwich

Among the many great song writers that burst into out lives via the radio and our black and white TV sets were the songs of this remarkable woman: Ellie Greenwich.
Her CV is one to be proud of and contains the songs of legend.

Songs such as: "Be My Baby", "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", "Da Doo Ron Ron", "Leader of the Pack", "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", and "River Deep, Mountain High", among many, many others.

Her songs were incandescent little bombs that exploded into life and burnt their tunes forever into your heart.

Acts like The Ronettes, The Crystals, Neil Diamond, Manfred Mann, The Shangri-Las, The Raindrops, Tommy James & the Shondells, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans all owe a huge debt of thanks to Ellie Greenwich who sadly died aged 68 in 2009.

Pop music is nothing more than 21st century folk music and these nuggets of the ladies are classics of the 20th century. They are songs that will last forever.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Grocer Jack (Excerpt from a Teenage Opera) by Keith West

Released in 1967's summer of love this single received huge airplay, certainly on Johnnie Walker's Radio Caroline and to such a degree that its popularity took it to the number two spot in the singles chart.
It was part of a larger pop opera but one that never got to see the light of day for several decades as it wasn't released until 1997 nearly thirty years after the singles success.
I have always liked a song with a narrative and this one had a rather melancholic tale that was accompanied by the voices of many childern singing. It was all very typical of its time and very British too.

Count the days into years
Yes, eighty-two brings many fears
Yesterday's laughter turns to tears
His arms and legs don't feel so strong
His heart is weak, there's something wrong
Opens windows in despair
Tries to breathe in some fresh air
His conscience cries, "Get on your feet
Without you, Jack, the town can't eat".


Grocer Jack, Grocer Jack, get off your back,
go into town, don't let them down, oh no, no.
Grocer Jack, Grocer Jack, get off your back,
go into town, don't let them down, oh no, no.

The people that live in the town,
don't understand - he's never been known to miss his round.
It's ten o'clock, the housewives yell
"When Jack turns up, we'll give him hell".
Husbands moan at breakfast tables, no milk, no eggs, no marmalade labels.
Mothers send their children out, to Jack's house to scream and shout.


It's Sunday morning, bright and clear,
lovely flowers decorate a marble square.
People cry and mourn away, think about the fateful day,
Now they wish they'd given Jack more affection and respect,
The little children, dressed in black, don't know what's happened to old Jack.


Grocer Jack, Grocer Jack, is it true what Mummy said,
you won't come back. oh no, no.
(rep. and fade)


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Poetry By Inches, Words By a Mile - Sylvia Plath

Lady Lazarus
I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it_____
A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot
A paperweight,
My featureless, fine
Jew linen.
Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?-------
The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.
Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me
And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.
This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.
What a million filaments.
The Peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see
Them unwrap me hand in foot ------
The big strip tease.
Gentleman , ladies
These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,
Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.
The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut
As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.
It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical
Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:
'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge
For the eyeing my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart---
It really goes.
And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood
Or a piece of my hair on my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.
I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby
That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.
Ash, ash---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----
A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

By Sylvia Plath


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Chas & Dave

Sad to learn that Chas and Dave have split up. I think Dave Peacock has retired but Chas Hodges still goes out on the road with his own band. (or is it the other way around?) Anyway, a great rockney band who made some great music in the 80's but success spoiled them and they churned out loads of party records full of singalong hits which is a shame as they were fantastic early on. Wrote some catchy songs which inspired some terrific adverts for some beer or anuvver.
Here's an excerpt from a Christmas radio show they did back in the 80's with guests the Barron Knights.

The Official Chas & Dave website says-

"In the tradition of The Kinks and the Small Faces and around the same time as Ian Dury and Squeeze, Chas & Dave wrote and recorded exceptionally witty songs about life in London, performed with a strong affection for all things English reminiscent of many of the great Music Hall artists many years previously. In their case , however, the musical accompaniment to their sharply observant material was neither rock nor punk but solid, no-nonsense Rock’N’Roll style which had been their background and inspiration.

Pianist Chas Hodges and guitarist Dave Peacock were widely experienced around the British rock scene of the 1960s and early 70s before teaming up with drummer Mick Burt (another much-travelled musician who had gone back to his original trade as a plumber) to form the group. Chas had worked with the legendary producer Joe Meek, backed Jerry Lee Lewis, played with Mike Berry and the Outlaws, along with Ritchie Blackmore, and also the highly respected Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, which had Burt on drums. He then joined Albert Lee’s cult band Heads Hands and Feet before playing with Dave and Albert in Black Claw. Dave had been equally active, Starting out in The Rolling Stones (no, not them!) in 1960. Spells with The Tumbleweeds, Mick Greenwood, Jerry Donaghue, and the above mentioned Black Claw followed prior to the pair coming together to go out on their own as Chas & Dave."

Read more about Chas & Dave HERE.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Screaming Lord Sutch

Screaming Lord Sutch singing Dracula's Daughter. A Joe Meek Production from the 60's. I must admit I have a soft spot for rock stars that dress up as Count Dracula and have a coffin and a skull on stage as a prop. In fact I think he used to emerge from the coffin at the start of his act! Great sound effects too. One of the very first records I ever bought was "Jack The Ripper" accompanied by suitable blood curdling screams. After his brief pop career he ventured into politics and became infamous as the leader of the Raving Loony Party and thus cheering us all up on those depressing polling day evenings - he stood in full witch doctors costume holding a trident with all the suits on the runners and riders podium.

Wikipedia says-

Sutch was born at New End Hospital, Hampstead, North West London. In the 1960s, inspired by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, he changed his artist name to Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow, despite having no connection with the peerage. His legal name remained David Edward Sutch.

After his career as an early-'60s rock 'n' roll attraction, it became customary for the UK press to refer to him as Screaming Lord Sutch, or simply Lord Sutch. Early works included recordings produced by audio pioneer Joe Meek.

During the 1960s, Screaming Lord Sutch was known for his horror-themed stage show, dressing as Jack the Ripper, pre-dating the shock rock antics of Alice Cooper. Accompanied by his band, The Savages, he started by coming out of a black coffin. Other props included knives and daggers, skulls and "bodies". Sutch booked themed tours, such as 'Sutch and the Roman Empire', where Sutch and the band members would be dressed up as Roman soldiers.

Despite self-confessed lack of vocal talent, he released horror-themed singles during the early to mid-'60s, the most popular "Jack the Ripper", covered live and on record by garage rock bands including the White Stripes, The Black Lips and The Horrors for their debut album, Strange House.

In 1963, Sutch and his manager, Reginald Calvert, took over Shivering Sands Army Fort, a Maunsell Fort off Southend. This was to be Radio Sutch, intending to compete with other pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline. He planned to play music and broadcast Mandy Rice-Davies reading Lady Chatterley's Lover. It didn't happen and Calvert took over the project, renaming it 'Radio City', which lasted for a couple of years. In 1966 Calvert was shot dead by Oliver Smedley over a financial dispute. Smedley was acquitted on grounds of self-defence. About this time Ritchie Blackmore left the band to form Deep Purple. Roger Warwick left to set up an R&B big band for Freddie Mack.

In 1968, Sutch toured parts of the United States in a Rolls Royce with a Union Flag on the roof and a trailer of Marshall amplifiers to sell.[clarification needed] He had a share interest in the Marshall company.

Sutch's album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, a status it also held in Colin Larkin's book The Top 1000 Albums of All Time, despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.

For his follow-up, Hands of Jack the Ripper, Sutch assembled British rock celebrities for a concert at the Carshalton Park Rock 'n' Roll Festival. The show was recorded (though only Sutch knew), and it was released to the surprise of the musicians. Musicians on the record included Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Matthew Fisher (keyboard); Carlo Little (drums); Keith Moon (drums); Noel Redding (bass) and Nick Simper (bass).

In the Rolling Stones song "Get Off of My Cloud", the guy who shows up "All dressed up just like a Union Jack" was Lord Sutch uninvited in Mick Jagger's room."

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Fungible is an odd word. All large, aggressive bits with no room for manoeuvre. Coarse sounding like dog's barking beneath a hooded moon. It is the sort of word Viv Stanshall might have used when drunk on Absinthe or perahps the sort of word a Walrus mubls while eating a sandwich filled with mustard.

fungible\FUHN-juh-buhl\ , adjective;
1.(Law) Freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation.2.Interchangeable.noun: 1.Something that is exchangeable or substitutable. Usually used in the plural.


Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Death Mask of Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel

I want one of these that, after cloggs are popped obviously, can then be hung on the downstair loo door for friends, family and others to enjoy while emptying the bowels.


Friday, 13 November 2009

Edwardian Ladies

There was something extraordinarily elegant, if not a little over the top, with the style and dress sense of Edwardian ladies; a certain flamboyance perhaps but a style that was far more vivacious than that of the Victorian's

I wonder where they hid their tattoos?


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pressed Rat and Warthog

A sly fox of a song, one that slipped onto Cream's 1968 album 'Wheels of Fire' in between some incredible songs by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown plus some of Clapton's finest guitar playing. This song was by Ginger Baker and Mike Taylor and somehow fitted in neatly with this more experimental album.

Pressed rat and warthog have closed down their shop.
They didn’t want to; ’twas all they had got.
Selling atonal apples, amplified heat,
And pressed rat’s collection of dog legs and feet.

Sadly they left, telling no one goodbye.
Pressed rat wore red jodhpurs, warthog a striped tie.
Between them, they carried a three-legged sack,
Went straight round the corner and never came back.

Pressed rat and warthog have closed down their shop.
The bad captain madman had told them to stop
Selling atonal apples, amplified heat,
And pressed rat’s collection of dog legs and feet.

The bad captain madman had ordered their fate.
He laughed and stomped off with a nautical gate.
The gate turned into a deroga tree
And his pegleg got woodworm and broke into three.

Pressed rat and warthog have closed down their shop.
They didn’t want to; ’twas all they had got.
Selling atonal apples, amplified heat,
And pressed rat’s collection of dog legs and feet.


Tuesday, 3 November 2009


fiber /fi·ber/ (fi´ber)
1. an elongated, threadlike structure.
2. nerve f.
3. dietary f.


A fibers myelinated afferent or efferent fibers of the somatic nervous system having a diameter of 1 to 22 μm and a conduction velocity of 5 to 120 meters per second; they include the alpha, beta, delta, and gamma fibers.
accelerating fibers , accelerator fibers adrenergic fibers that transmit the impulses which accelerate the heart beat.
adrenergic fibers nerve fibers, usually sympathetic, that liberate epinephrine or related substances as neurotransmitters.
afferent fibers , afferent nerve fibers nerve fibers that convey sensory impulses from the periphery to the central nervous system.
alpha fibers motor and proprioceptive fibers of the A type, having conduction velocities of 70 to 120 meters per second and ranging from 13 to 22 μm in diameter.
alveolar fibers fibers of the periodontal ligament extending from the cementum of the tooth root to the walls of the alveolus.
arcuate fibers the bow-shaped fibers in the brain, such as those connecting adjacent gyri in the cerebral cortex, or the external or internal arcuate fibers of the medulla oblongata.

And there you have it...RUFFAGE...Nuff said?

aNOtHEr trIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mUdDY miRE.