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Monday 12 April 2010

Beatles Day 11 - Liane Carroll & Russell Field "Blackbird"

This was an un-rehearsed performance!
Liane Carroll was not scheduled to appear at Beatles Day. But came along anyway & was asked to perform a couple of songs, to fill in. This was part of the result,
It was amazing to watch this up close.

This is the first of several videos from Beatles Day 11. Some will be completes songs & others, compilations.

Beatles Day 11 was held on April 11th 2010.
The event raised over £15,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. The best ever total.
Thanks to all involved for a great day.


Sorry, i mentioned the "P" word!!

A vlog about politics & the upcoming UK General Election.
Some thoughts after a discussion with my son.

Don't worry, i realise this video will not be for everybody.

Thursday 8 April 2010

Never Mind The Bollocks...

Having just heard about the very sad death of Malclm Maclaren the ex manager of the Sex Pistols, at the age of 64. I thought i'd get my own obituary in early.

Now, i know that Malcolm Maclaren was not universally liked & for a number of reasons. But, it has to said that without him, the world of music would most likely be a very different place.

Ok, so he didn't write any of the music of the Sex Pistols. But, he did effectively put the band together & certainly guided them during their early days. Without him, the Sex Pistols would not have been the force in British music that they turned out to be.
It is generally accepted that he was the driving force behind many of the bands publicity stunts, their dress, style & much of their confrontational manner. And if not, he certainly encouraged it & got the maximum amount of publicity out of it. That publicity helped to get the Sex Pistols music & the whole Punk idea out into the open & into the media.

The Sex Pistols were a focal point for the whole Punk & New Waxe movement, especially here in the UK. Yes, they stole bits of it from the USA. But, it was only when the Sex Pistols exploded onto the music scene that the whole Punk idea really kicked off. The Sex Pistols showed that Punk Rock was more than just a small youth movement of angry young kids.

The Punk ethos changed the whole world of music & art generally & those changes are still being felt today. The whole Punk movement helped encourage thousands of young kids to try & express themselves. Something a lot of them had never thought possible before. Suddenly anything seemed possible & the whole world was starting to take notice.

Out of that movement came so many bands, writers, artists, film makers, magazines etc etc & a whole new do it yourself culture & way of thinking. As i said earlier, the ripples of that explosion of talent are still being felt today. You only have to listen to the influences quoted by so many of todays movers & shakers, to hear the influence that the Punk movement had on them.

Speaking as somebody who was aged 19 in 1977 & who bought the original 45 of "Anarchy In The UK", i don't think it's stretching things too far to say that without the Punk movement of the late 1970's, the world would be a very different place today.
Whilst Malcolm Maclaren might not have responsible for all of that. He certainly played a very big part in bringing about those changes & for that i am very grateful.

Never mind the bollocks....that's the truth.

R.I.P Malcolm Maclaren.

Monday 5 April 2010

Friday 2 April 2010

Fooled Again?

As i'm sure you're already aware. Yesterday was April Fools Day.
In fact the reason you remember it is, maybe, because you got caught out by one of the many pranks pulled by people? And if you were caught out, maybe you were a little annoyed about this?

I did actually get caught out myself, by a friend of mine as it happens. This didn't annoy me. Maybe because of the nature of the prank. But, it may well have done so if i had got caught out by somebody else.

I have to confess that i'm not a big fan of April Fools Day. What i dislike about it, is that you have to go around all day being very sceptical about everything you read, hear, or listen to. You just can't trust anything.
I know that some people quite enjoy trying to spot the fake stories in the many forms of media throughout the day. And i know that this only happens for one day every year. But, for me at least, it's a source of great irritation.

These days, every media outlet, including advertisers, feels the need to try and fool their customres. Even supposedly respectable broadcasters and newspapers get in on the act and also go to some pretty extreme lenghts to try and make their efforts appear plausible.
Why on earth is this and when did it start?
According to Wikipedia, the first recorded example of a prank of this kind, was in Chaucers "Canterbury Tales", way back in the 13th century! Even i didn't expect the "tradition" to go back quite that far back.
Having said that, it isn't really until the 20th century that the April Fools pramk takes off, especially in the media.
I vivdly remember, back in my school days, having to be very careful on April 1st. But, i don't think the media really got into all of this until a little later.
There was a famous example (here in the UK) of a well respected national news programme fooling pretty much the whole nation, when they did a feature about the "spaghetti harvest" in Italy. That was back in 1957. But, that was very much the exception, rather than the rule. Nowadays everybody is at it. One of the reasons that the 1957 example worked so well, was that it was totally unexpected.
Now, we all have to be on the look out for all those prank stories, or adverts.

So, why do i find all of this an irritation?
Well, for one thing, i don't like feeling that i have to be suspicious of everybody & everything. Even if it is for one day.
Also, i am an avid consumer of news. Both on tv, radio & in the (news)papers.  I dislike having to go through the process of weighing up every news item to try & decide if it's true, or not.
This can often lead to you dismissing a "real" news story as a fake. If you wanted to take this argument ot it's limit. You could argue that any fake story could actually be dangerous. Yes, i know that would never be the intention. But, it is possible. Just look at the panic caused by Orson Welles radio version of "War of the worlds" to see what could potentially happen.
I know we all think that we're more sensible than that these days. But, a similar example happened in Eastern Europe recently, when it was falsely reported that Russian tanks had invaded the country of Georgia.
What is fun for some, could end up being deadly serious for others.

Or, maybe i'm just being foolish?


Is perfection really what we want? 
This video was recorded about 1 month ago. 
A beach vlog.

However Did I Manage?

A vlog inspired by an illness, an email thread & some Tweets.

How did i ever manage before all of this technology was available?