Sunday, July 23, 2006

The time I met Sir George Martin

I recently bought the Alan Partridge radio series CD set off ebay. He does a great non story about George Best. honour of that, here's the story of the time I met Sir George Martin:

It was about 1991 and I was with the Wedding Present staying at the Columbia hotel, England's closest equivalent to the Chelsea hotel (though I never got a blowjob off Janis Joplin or even anything near equivalent to be honest). I went to check the van hadn't been towed away and to put some money in the meter. Who should be there at the meter than (Sir) George Martin. He said 'I don't think this one's working'. Quick as a flash I replied 'No, I don't think this one is working either!'

The time I met Sir George there, great days....

I remembered this story after mentioning putting top rock stars straight in dreams. I don't do this often....I also have to remind myself that a blog reads kind of backwards so it doesn't really work properly.

Godda Gedda Widnes - Part 2

I bought a guitar from a couple at a hair dressers who gave me a beer, showed me their home studio and shared an enthusiasm for the Beatles. Nice people, nice guitar. Left some good feedback on ebay (not enough characters to get into characters or to mention beer).

On the way back I had a nice long time at Widnes railway station (by the way, why does everyone use the phrase 'train station' these days when 'railway station' is much nicer) . There's a plaque there that says that Paul Simon wrote 'Homeward Bound' there in 1965. Well, on the surface all very interesting and rock and roll and all that. However, I have to ask what kind of twonk actually gets out his guitar and starts playing in front of people on the railway platform? I had a guitar with me but if I'd have got it out and started calling myself a 'poet and a one-man band' I'd have been laughed at (by a teenager who hasn't been bummed among others). I reckon that's where he had the IDEA which he wrote about later. Next time I bump into Paul I'll ask him. I've told Paul McCartney a thing or two in dreams but never Paul Simon.

Godda Gedda Widnes - Part 1

I had a day out to Widnes last Tuesday. I spent the morning quietly mumbling ‘godda gedda Widnes’ to myself. Spent the afternoon and evening on trains mainly. Is there a war on? - this is the legitimate question posed by my sister who also doesn’t understand why trains can’t be designed to withstand the rigours of the British weather. Widnes was effectively cut off from the outside as far as trains were concerned, too much sun on the line or something. Warrington was a popular stopping place where trains were cleared of passengers and Scousers were peeved – though not as much as you might’ve thought.

Highlights of the day included:

After dinner mints on the platform
A man drooling over himself – who wasn’t sitting next to me!
A packet of golf tees (and a bottle of White Lightning) in the toilet
A teenager announcing to friends that she had ‘never been bummed’
A man attempting to remove his legs with a train
Jack the baboon and his signalman owner (with false legs)

I can get angry - but I am proud of myself


I just discovered a letter I sent to Yorkshire Water. I think I may have mentioned them before. I was responding to an advert they use to scare old people. I'm quite proud of's what I said.

Dear Sir or Madam

Thank you for your undated and un-addressed letter REF YWDP41K

Thanks for implying that we’re in terrible danger of being flooded and that we can buy ‘protection’ from you. No doubt lots of elderly and other vulnerable people will be giving you their money after you’ve scared them into thinking they’re going to suffer an emergency and that they’ll never get a plumber.

I object to your advertising, and come to that also to the fact that it’s delivered by the post office as if it was real post. I’d normally bin it but I think this despicable shite deserves a reply.

The solution to the plumber shortage is to train more plumbers and not for you to buy them up and extort money out of people for services they’re probably not going to need.

We won’t be taking up your ‘protection’. If you weren’t a monopoly supplier we’d go somewhere else for the water.

We got a plumber within about half an hour recently by the way and it wasn’t that expensive.

So, rip us all off, don’t bother giving us a name, deliver more stuff to us and we’ll bin it – and I guess we’ll have to keep paying whatever bills you send us – hurray for advertising, insurance scams and corporate capitalism!

Yours with the arsey attitude you deserve.

(John Parkes)

Friday, July 21, 2006

The WSM chapter of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (the Osiris Temple)

Please not that ‘the WSM chapter of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (the Osiris Temple)’ is not a branch of top band Whole Sky Monitor. WSM here stands for Weston Super Mare. Seaside towns r'us. FT readers may know what I mean.

Ram On!

Now I’m not that bothered about having a cool record collection. I’m more concerned about defending parts of my record collection from scorn and ridicule. I won’t get very far if I give you a list of records to defend all in one go – you will probably scoff. However, there comes a time is every person’s life when one has to simply assert.

So, my assertion is that Ram by ‘Paul & Linda McCartney’ is a great album. So there. It’s got some slightly embarrassing bits and some slightly twee bits – and its still great. Effectively Paul McCartney’s second solo album (and not credited to Wings – the band the Beatles could have been according to Alan Partridge of course…), it doesn’t set out to change the world but it’s a whole log less self important than John Lennon’s stuff around the same time.

It’s haunting in places, evocative of something I can’t put my finger on and sounds kind of sad and upbeat and playful…it sounds like the sun is out in the late afternoon and has family photos on it. I bought it on CD for £6 though I’ve lived with it since I was about 14 when I went through all the Beatles albums followed by most of their solo albums. I just love it. All music should speak to 14 year olds if possible (none of my own music does as far as I know).

I’ve known loads about the Beatles for years and it only occurred to me a few weeks ago that it’s probably called Ram (featuring the song Ram On) because Paul Ramon was the name he used in the early Beatles as a stage name. Let’s admit that John Lennon made a total arse of himself at times (though I’ll tell you about the John Lennon Plastic Ono band album at some point). Incidentally, for someone who likes puns, I only realised that the name Sandie Shaw was a pun a couple of years back - how stupid is that? Mind you, I live with someone who thought that Gilbert O'Sullivan might be the man's real name - let's not do Gilbert tonight...

Back to being 14. My bible was a book called ‘The Beatles – An Illustrated Record’ by Roy Carr and Tony Tyler. It was LP size and featured full size colour pictures of all the Beatles LP covers (so, so much better than CDs which as far as artwork goes are really a bit rubbish), biographical stuff and comments / reviews of all the singles and LPs including the solo stuff up until1974. Just think, on one day in 1965 you could go into a shop and buy 16(!) brand new Beatles songs – Rubber Soul for 14 and the Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out single. Two minutes silence needed or something.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Keeping up with the Soap and Butter

The other day I accidentally used some ‘Palmolive Ultra Nourishing Liquid Handwash with Shea Butter.’ Mistook it for soap. What a bunch of tossers eh?

Shea butter is of course very difficult to get hold of, being seasonal seat guano drippings from the famous Shea Stadium - harvested by Mexicans. My hands became so well ‘nourished’ they grew several inches and now have big square teeth, an obesity problem and very little knowledge of foreign affairs.

It's getting increasingly difficult to buy soap that's actually called 'soap'. I even washed my face with 'handwash' the other day and I'm getting a bit smelly because no-one seems to make 'willy wash' or 'arse wash' with Shea butter or otherwise. Similarly, it's now impossible to buy margarine - 'Speciality spreads' made with goat kidneys yes, margarine, no. I hate Tescos. Since they have 'Indian meal solutions' I assume they dissolve curry in water and you suck it through a straw. If not they can't speak English and should be sent back where they came from. B*stard marketing Tw*ts all I'm afraid.

Love your junk mail

These are my favourite titles from junk mail from the last couple of days:

1. Chipmunk passport 2. Evergreen convulse 3. Your cash paint drier 4. Flowerpot mumps
5. Your cash muse descended

My favourite ‘senders' were:

Riboflavin G Soddy (long time, no see Ribe!) and Damon Coit (Hi Damon!) - and you thought Disraeli Gears was cool!

Friday, July 14, 2006


This one really hurts....

Dear reader, when I was eighteen years old I ironed something. The Sweeney was probably still on telly (and not a repeat - lets talk about that later....) A shirt, a t-shirt, a pair of gold lame underpants, whatever, I ironed something. It was possibly the worst 10 minutes of my life. I resolved never to iron again. I haven’t. Haven’t wanted to, haven’t needed to, haven’t been asked to, haven’t asked anyone to, just simply haven’t done it because it’s like being dead.

Occasionally someone will assume this is because someone irons for me. This is not true. If I catch anyone ironing for me I will tell them to stop immediately. It’s a filthy waste of time and you shouldn’t do it. Think of the sort of person who irons a shirt – not pretty is it? Think of the sort of person who wears an ironed shirt – disgusting isn’t it?

It’s simple – don’t iron, ever. It’s easier than giving up television because not all television is shit whereas all ironing is shit.

So imagine the humiliation, the sheer pain angst and screaming agony of being forced to iron a shirt – by your own band! Imagine when you’d done the desperate deed the drummer of the band shouting ‘who ironed that shirt? There are creases all up the front’. Well dear reader, the humiliee was me, Whole Sky Monitor were the humiliators. They dressed me up, criticised, made me wear other people’s clothes and generally pushed me about. They didn’t even do this for base sexual reasons apparently. They just have no sense, taste, decency, manners or nous. Set of ****s, I really hate them.

Joining the Circus

The Moscow State Circus was in town recently. Everyone's got a token except me and circus children (short hairy clowns with elastic legs to a child, you know) went to the local school - for two weeks. People thought they were Germans - though the days when the Home Guard would be called out with brooms have long gone you know. Tea's off ration and everything.

I had a wonder up there. It was during a performance, weird how quiet it was from the outside – a sound-proof big top? Anyway, I fondly imagined that the ticket office would be staffed by the Strong Man and the Bearded Lady between shows. I expected it to be closed during the show. It wasn’t. Nor was it staffed by the Bearded Lady or Strong Man understudies. In fact it was a girl from Gipton trained to do a Russian accent (possibly). Might have just been a Russian woman. Whatever.

Bought tickets, saw a man run over by a truck. Well worth £20, you could wait ages on the A58. It’s £32 in at Elland Road and you’re unlikely to see a man in leopard skin being run over by a truck. Unfortunately, he wasn’t actually dressed in leopard skin. He did have sparkly foil trunks though. I think that’s as good. Willy like garlic bread at the end of the show though I imagine - French rather than Italian. Men - don't think about that metaphor for too long.

Oh yes, and the woman doing the splits had the narrowest gusset you’re likely to see. Not that I’d be interested in a thin white gusset on a slim attractive blonde young lady suspended from the ceiling by wires and spinning, doing the splits.

No-one asked me to join. Felt a little affronted. I'm not answering their e-mails.

Somehting to beef about - ha ha!

MacDonalds say their burgers are 'made from 100% beef'.

So how come they taste sort of oniony too – and what holds them together? If they were 100% beef they'd just be beef wouldn't they?

What proportion of a 100% beef burger is beef? I suggest the answer is around 64% - such is the modern world.

Curvy Wooden Minxes

Just wanted to say that after certain ‘special’ people I know (you know, family, partner, ex-colleagues etc. - not necessarily people with special needs - though I love everyone, you know) one of the most beautiful things on earth is the Rickenbacker guitar. Specifically, the 360 12-string (and I quite fancy the 330 and some of the other 300 series too, the tempting little minxes). It just looks (and smells, incidentally) just FANTASTIC. I could just look at one for hours. ‘Fireglow’ is the best (the reddish one) though the maple ones look fab too – and black (‘Jetglow’) is great too. The blue ones and other odd colours are nice too. I just love them all. Some people buy them for investment and hang them on the walls - caged songbirds all, go and steal one to play if it’s hung on a wall or stored away. All the best guitars were designed ages ago which just goes to show. I had one once but had to sell it to pay studio bills before we’d got properly acquainted.

Having said all that, a Ric (as us guitar people call ‘em) for sale on ebay recently was referred to as ‘she’ throughout and it all seemed a bit, well, odd. This is not a sex thing, OK? I would never hit a woman with a plectrum to make her sing. Unless she asked. Nicely! Best to stop there I think.

Curvy Wooden Minxes - They make you want them. Then they're too expensive - Dang! (or drat, or perhaps Bother).

Off the Rails


Yup, I've had 2 1/2 months not blogging but now I'm on again. Thought I'd start off with a good story. Then I though nah, a couple of small rubbish ones.

First - I found a banana. In the street. At a bus stop. On the floor. What did I do? - I ate it, that's what. It was fully skinned (or not skinned at all depending on your definition I guess). I searched for needle marks, found none - just ate it. Willy Nilly! Crazy guy! The pageantry of roll eh?

Second - I'm attemping to spend £3,400 on guitars. I had a job, they got rid of me, they raided the pension fund, they gave me money - I've now broken a legal agreement to only tell 'close members of my family'. If it goes to court I'll explain that you're all close members of my extended family and it's all part of my religion. So there.

Better stories in future I'll bet. For now I got fired by e-mail, got another job, got addicted to ebay and stopped doing gigs because I'm lazy. Ate a banana from a bus stop.