Dave's Diary
This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily
(except after nights of excess)

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Friday 31st August
Following a rather impressive opening ceremony – that appearance from Stephen Hawking was just brilliant!! – I’ve been enjoying the coverage of the telly Paralympic Games. How exciting was last night’s wheelchair basketball game between Team GB and Germany? These guys do not fool around. The disabled version of the game is no mere powder puff affair and after watching the home side miss a number of crucial baskets I became so worked up that I ended up flouncing off to bed before the chiming of 10pm as the Krauts marched onwards and claimed their inevitable, ruthless, systematic victory. Gah!!!
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Thursday 30th August
PMSL... I’ve just received a promo copy of ‘One’, Charlotte Church’s new single. No wonder record labels are in such dire straits. Putting the CD into the ‘for sale’ pile is simply too good for it. Does anybody have suggestions of how I might dispose of this confounded item?!? (Then again, Andy Beare would probably like it!!!).
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Tuesday 29th August
Oh FFS… Palace have just crashed out of the League Cup to a club from League 1. Preston North End have always been a bit of a bogey side for the Eagles… but to lose 4-1??!! That’s just unacceptable. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dougie Freedman gets his matching orders before too long. It would be a huge shame as the boss is a bona fide CPFC legend, but he’s had no money to spend on transfers and has had the spine of his side tripped out through departures. To be fair, though, Freedman’s tactics leave much be desired and at the end of the day his sequence of poor results speaks for itself.
I’m disappointed by the news that England’s Test captain Andrew Strauss has quit playing at international levels in all form of cricket. Straus is only 35 years old but did a wonderful job of leading the team, winning the Ashes home and away as his side became the best in the world… I suspect that he had far more to give. Though Strauss has denied such suggestions maybe the regrettable business of Kevin Pietersen and those stupid texts sent to the South Africans played some part in the decision – I hope not.
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Wednesday 28th August
I’ve just finished writing a press release for ‘Afterglow’, Black Country Communion’s new album. It expands upon the progression that took place between ‘BCC’ and ‘BCC2’; i.e. it’s one of those albums that bears additional fruit with repeated spins. I guess that some may lack the patience, preferring a quicker fix, but I really, really like it.
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Monday 27th August
Uggggh. You know you're having a shitty day when you switch on Planet Rock Radio whilst you make a cuppa, and they're playing RE-fucking-M ‘Stand In The Place Where You Live’. Nearly vomited on the spot. Anyway, I’m dying to hear the debut album from Steve Harris’ solo project British Lion – there are some interesting comments about it here.
Oh soddit... call me a saddo if you must but I simply cannot resist. Most of my work is done and I’m off to Selhurst Park for Palace's game with Liverpool in the new Development Under 21s League. Eight quid for me, a pound for Eddie... there are worse things to do on a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.
[Edit: Just back from the match. Palace lost 3-1 but there wasn’t a great deal between the teams. Not a bad turnout, either - 1.5K. It was nice to see both sides (inc Palace) playing the ball around on the floor – maybe the first team should’ve been there see how it’s really done. Palace’s pint-sized no.10, Reise Allassami, looked a bit tasty and he could have a big future once he grows a foot or two. The only negative... having to sit behind a big mouthed London Scouser. Grrrrrrrrr.
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Sunday 26th August
Still rooted to the bottom of the table, Palace’s losing streak continues. Middlesboro won yesterday’s game at the Riverside by 2-1 but apparently we had a pretty good spell during the 2nd half and the new Brazilian dude (Moritz) sounds like... er, a Brazilian... compared to what we’ve got! A few days ago Chelski finally agreed to shell out £9million for former Palace academy starlet Victor Moses. Through sell-on clauses approx £450K is now set to drop into the Selhurst Park coffers... ker-ching!! Oi! CPFC 2010... can we put this windfall towards the purchase of a friggin’ player purrr-lease?!!
During the evening I attended Tokyo Blade’s gig at the Borderline. The band were stricken with onstage monitor issues and the front of house sound also left plenty to be desired. It took till about halfway through before they became listenable, which was a huge shame as Nicolaj Ruhnow is a very good frontman and the gig’s final run-in of ‘If Heaven Is Hell’, ‘Unleash The Beast’ and ‘Midnight Rendezvous’ presented them in an extremely favourable light. Following a similar experience across town at the Royal Standard not too long ago, this was the second consecutive time that the Blade had been blunted by non-performance issues… very frustrating indeed.
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Saturday 25th August
There were tears, beers and memories good ‘n’ bad as the eighteenmonthus horribilis continued with the funeral of my mother. Staying strong for the sake of my two young sons was tough but I’m happy to say that mum was given the send-off she’d have wanted and deserved; surrounded by an army of friends, relatives and well-wishers. Unusual notions tend to pop up at such watershed moments. I found myself conscious of the vicar doing an extremely good job during the ceremony and also thinking back to how well the staff of the staff at King’s College Hospital had treated mum during her final weeks (it felt only right send them a cheque). But perhaps most of all it dawned upon me that, if I’m lucky, I might have two decades of existence left on the face of this planet. In certain areas of my life, it’s high time time I stopped treading water… I’m gonna enjoy them to the max.
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Friday 24th August
Yesterday began earlier than usual with a visit to central London for a breakfast press reception for the release of Supertramp’s new DVD, ‘Live In Paris ’79’, in the company of the band’s saxophonist John Helliwell and producer Peter Henderson. Helliwell mingled among those munching and drinking orange juice and coffee and seemed like a bit of a character. The DVD’s bloody excellent, too…
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Thursday 23rd August
Sheesh… a busy day spent writing news stories and album reviews, plus two very cool phone interviews – Bruce Dickinson on his upcoming appearance at the Sunflower Jam and a lengthy chat with Glenn Hughes about Black Country Communion’s newie, ‘Afterglow’ (which drops via Mascot on October 29). Here at Ling Towers I’ve been playing my advance copy for days and it gets the thumbs up from me. Check out the trailer here! Oh, and the Bruce interview has just been posted at the Classic Rock website.
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Wednesday 22nd August
Following a distinctly cheerless afternoon spent at Lambeth Town Hall helping to finalise my mother’s affairs, I came perilously close to bailing out on last night’s debut UK gig from Pavlov’s Dog. Christ, what a huge mistake that would’ve been. Responsible for two cult classic albums – 1975’s ‘Pampered Menial’ and the following year’s ‘At The Sound Of The Bell’ – the band from St Louis had pulled a rather large, inquisitive crowd.
The venue held its breath as David Surkamp, who in his youth made Geddy Lee sound like Lemmy, swaggered towards the microphone. At the age of 60 he couldn’t still deliver, surely? An eruption of relief and joy greeted “All the ladies of court gather round/Joined in heavenly fair”, the opening lines from ‘Of Once And Future Kings’, somewhat less Larry The Lamb-esque than before yet sung with sumptuous, mellifluous falsetto power. Game on!
Over the course of the next two hours the seven musicians delivered most of those first two albums, plus assorted solo material from Surkamp (‘Wrong’, from ‘Dancing On The Edge Of A Teacup’, for instance, which was sung by his wife Sara) and a couple of tunes (‘Trafalger’ and ‘Only You’) from the group’s long lost third album ‘Has Anyone Here Seen Siegfried?’. I found their blend of muscular hard rock, violin-enhanced prog and tender ballads such as ‘Standing Here With You (Megan’s Song)’ completely entrancing. Indeed, this turned out to be one of the most unexpectedly satisfying gigs I’ve seen in a heck of a long time. The set-list ran as follows: ‘Preludin’/‘Of Once And Future Kings’, ‘Breaking Ice’, ‘Late November’, ‘She Came Shining’, ‘Fast Gun’, ‘Brown Eyes’, ‘Angeline’, ‘Wrong’, ‘Standing Here With You (Megan’s Song)’, ‘Trafalger’, ‘Only You’, ‘Alcohol’, ‘Gold Nuggets’, ‘She Breaks Like A Morning Sky’, ‘Episode’, ‘Theme From Subway Sue’, ‘Angels Twilight Jump’ and ‘Song Dance’, followed by encores of ‘Julia’ and ‘Valkerie’.
P.S. I’m going to draw a discreet veil of silence following Crystal Palace’s away game with Bristol Shitty as the only words I could use to describe the team’s display are just about unprintable.
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Tuesday 21st August
Yesterday would have been mum’s birthday… ho hum. After an early morning visit to the chiropractor who passed me clear of back problems for further six months (hooray!) and with Classic Rock just about to go into another production deadline, much of my day was passed in ‘interview transcript’ and ‘news surf’ modes. I was somewhat amused to note that a fan is suing Whitesnake for £10,000 after she slipped in vomit during a concert and suffered various injuries at a gig in Newport last December. The 39-year-old female tells the BBC: “It was horrifying – you don’t expect to fall in someone’s vomit.” Um… don’t get to many Whitesnake shows these days do ya, luv?
As expected, England’s cricketers are no longer the #1 Test side in the world thanks to yesterday’s mesmerizing defeat to South Africa at Lord’s. The best team won, undeniably, but for a while with Messrs Prior, Swann and Broad leathering the ball into the stands one of the most miraculous fight-backs of all time had seemed a genuine possibility. However, there’s no disputing that the fact that the superior team deservedly took the spoils.
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Monday 20th August
Over at the Crystal Palace message board the haters have been venting their fury at Saturday’s opening day of season defeat to Watford with the appearance of threads entitled: ‘Freedman OUT!’, ‘Same crap as last season - legendary player - inexperienced & poor manager’, ‘Enough is Enough… Dougie has to go!’ and ‘Cometh the hour cometh the man bring back Sir Coppell’. What on earth do these people expect from a club of such limited means??!!
Most of Sunday was spent at the PC, the cricket commentary playing quietly in the background – sadly, it looks like England are gonna lose their No.1 Test ranking status to South Africa – as it was simply too hot to go out running. Before turning in for the night I called Pat Travers, one of my favourite artists, for a bit of a catch-up chat. I’ve interviewed PT on several occasions in the past and he’s a nice, straight-talking fella. Am not gonna spoil the surprise by repeating it here, but his dig at Mötley Crüe was brilliant.
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Sunday 19th August
I always love the opening day of the footie season. Thanks to our name beginning with ‘c’, Palace are always right at the top half of the table before the big KO. It’s shirtsleeves and sunscreen weather and an ice-cold can of cider on the train sets things off on the right foot. Arriving at Norwood Junction, a trail of red and blue shirts snakes down Selhurst Road towards the Home Of Football, which basks in a glorious heat-haze… a beautiful sight. After the distress of the last couple of weeks it was important to reclaim a little familiarity and comfort. How gutting, then, to concede a 93rd min decider to a Twatford side that oozed mediocrity in a game that the Eagles had seemed destined to win (3-2 was the final score).
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Saturday 18th August
I’m really, really enjoying ‘Immortal’, the fourth album from Pride Of Lions. Ex-Survivor man Jim Peterik has penned some truly exquisite material for the four-active range of Toby Hitchcock, including a song called ‘Vital Signs’, a surging little beaut conceived yet unfinished as the title cut of Survivor’s 1984 masterpiece of the same name. It’s released on September 21st in Europe. Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it snippets can be heard here.
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Friday 17th August
Thanks for all the kind words, emails, phone calls, texts and FB messages about the death of my mother. I am utterly overwhelmed. Though she will be missed, there was no pain when she slipped away, and I’m happy that the last words she heard me say were: “I love you, Mum.”
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Thursday 16th August
With an ice-cold pitcher of Pimm’s at my side, last nite my attention was focussed upon a half-empty stadium in Switzerland where an experimental England side got the better of its Italian counterpart by two goals to one during an intriguing friendly international. You could hardly call it revenge for the way the Azzuri murdered the Three Lions in the Euros but I took encouragement from the national team’s first victory over its opponents since (ulp!) 1997. And though most of both sides’ best known names were missing, Roy Hodgson will surely have picked up some useful pointers for the approaching World Cup Qualifiers.
A few days ago I mentioned having been asked to select my top five albums of the year so far (from Jan 1st to the end of June). For what it’s worth the results can be seen here.
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Wednesday 15th August
Oh no! Testament's London gig at Koko on November 30 clashes with TNT at the Underworld. I so-o-o-o-o hate it when that happens!!! Another annoying clash occurs on December 16 when Little Angels and Skin appear at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, whilst It Bites and Frost* are across town at the Scala. Grrr… Anyway, the 2012/13 season is underway. Eddie and I channel-hopped from coverage of Shiteon being mauled 3-0 by Swindon to reports of our game at St James Park (Exeter not Newcastle!), where the mighty Eagles overturned an early defecit to ease into the second round of the League Cup. With Scumwall and Clowtown Pathetic all joining Shiteon in falling at the first hurdle, it felt like a pretty damned good nite at the office.
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Tuesday 14th August
Called in on my mum at the hospital on the way to central London for an album launch party by Canuck rivetheads Kobra And The Lotus – she was looking a little better, I’m happy to say.
With a busy week ahead I hadn’t intended to imbibe any alcohol, but meeting Malcolm Dome, Jerry Ewing and my pal Dave Craig in the Crobar… it doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict what happened, does it? A combination of wine, cider and slammers was consumed. So much for good intentions!
Having held their own (so to speak) opening for Judas Priest at Hammersmith back in May and now signed to Gene $immons’ record label, K&TL have come on in leaps and bounds during the last 12 months. I had been a admirer of their 2009 debut ‘Out Of The Pit’ (produced in part by Goddo’s Greg Godovitz and mixed by Kevin Shirley), but such is the creative leap between that disc and the newly released ‘Kobra And The Lotus’ that the female-fronted band have seen fit to jettison all of its songs from their live set. Sporting white eye make-up, Brittany (sometimes AKA Kobra) Paige has taken her banshee vocal persona to a whole new level and if the quintet were disappointed by the slightly sparse attendance then they didn’t let it show. In the last issue of Metal Hammer I stuck my neck out to describe ‘K&TL’ as “a wonderful, rabid, leather ‘n’ studs heavy metal album that earmarks them as potential stars of the future”, and 55 minutes later that prediction still seems to hold water. Here’s the set-list: ‘Nayan’, ‘No Rest For the Wicked’, ‘Welcome To My Funeral’, ‘Calm Before The Storm’, ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Heaven’s Veins’, ‘Forever One’, ‘My Life’, ‘Dark Passenger’, ‘Lover Of The Beloved’, ‘50 Shades Of Evil’ and an encore of ‘Aria Of Karmika’.
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Monday 13th August
I’m truly sad that the Olympics have finished. The games have been inspirational… unexpectedly so. Over the last fortnight I’ve tuned in to watch football, running, water polo, cycling, sailing, basketball, archery and lots and lots of beach volleyball and like the rest of the nation have cheered just about every medal won by Team GB. And yet, in stark contrast to its introductory counterpart, what complete and utter drivel the event’s closing ceremony turned out to be. The Spice Girls?! Jessie J screeching along with Queen??!! That prize plum Russell Brand miming (badly) to ‘I Am The Walrus’???!!! Where were the rumoured appearances of Kate Bush and David Bowie? Thank the Lord for The Who, whose show-stealing antics made the thing just about bearable.
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Sunday 12th August
My Saturday evening was spent in central London, where an Olympic-level males-versus-females drinking competition was supposed to have taken place between myself and Andy Beare and our glamorous opponents Debbie Shaw and Tina Edmonds. The ladies had taken things seriously, heading off to Spain for some high altitude training under the guise of a holiday (Gasp… what’s one of those??!!) Sadly, Tina was unable to stay around for too long thanks to babysitting issues, so we took raincheck and headed off to the 100 Club for a gig by Voodoo Vegas, a rather fine five-piece band from Bournemouth who are currently completing a debut album with Pedro Ferreira, producer of The Dorkness, Tokyo Dragons and Tank among others.
With plenty of high quality twin-lead geetars from Nick Brown and Meryl Hamilton, the band cite the likes of Aerosmith, GN’R, AC/DC and classic Bon Jovi as their heroes and it shows. Tempered with a mild flavour of Southern rawk, their attitude-charged brand of bluesy hard rock bowled me right over (or might it have been that hip flask of Jägermeister… hahaha?!). Though I was a wee bit too inebriated to have taken serious notes, I recall being impressed by the songs ‘King Without A Crown’, ‘Mary Jane’ and the sassy ‘So Unkind’, the latter of which has a video. I’d definitely see them again and will be keeping an eye open for their album.
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Saturday 11th August
Well, I needed cheering up and with impeccable timing Magnum’s newie, ‘On The Thirteenth Day’, has just dropped thru the letterbox. Am loving it. Horns up to drummer Harry James for wearing his Crystal Palace scarf and hat in the booklet – on a page that provides the lyrics to a rather fine song called ‘So Let It Rain’. Its words (‘Let it rain down on me/You know that I don't give a damn/It’s only me, that's who I am/So let it rain down on me’) offer a pretty good summation of ups and downs of being Palace Till I Die. Speaking of which, the new season tix are here. Must admit after the way we finished last term and considering the way Selhurst has been stripped of many of its best assets, I’m kinda dreading the 2012/13 campaign, though no doubt by this time next week I shall be raring to go for the first game, at home to Twatford.
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Friday 10th August
Last night’s visit to the Beaverwood Club made me feel pretty ancient. I’d travelled across to Chislehurst to check out a couple of upwardly mobile UK-based blues-rock guitarists, headliner Mitch Laddie and his special guest Laurence Jones – aged 21 and 19 respectively! Ulp! I’ve got T-shirts older than both musicians!
Jones was playing tracks from ‘Thunder In The Sky’, a well received debut that has already brought him to the attention of Radio 2. His originals were augmented by ‘I Take What I Want’ from Rory Gallagher’s 1975 album ‘Against The Grain’ and BB King’s ‘The Thrill Has Gone’, plus a rocked-up ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ by Stealers Wheel, revealing a nice fluid technique with plenty of fruity sustain. Sadly, though, due a misunderstanding over the show’s running times his set was curtailed early.
A former member of Walter Trout’s backing group, Laddie is another Radio 2 favourite. Hailing from Newcastle he favours a robust, hard-driving style of blues that’s fashioned upon a bed-rock of groovy rhythm, especially apparent during a precocious version of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues’ that appears on his latest disc, ‘Burning Bridges’. These harder moments are balanced out by the likes of ‘What Are You Living For?’ and a supremely laid-back tribute to Laddie’s hero Eric Johnson, entitled ‘Mr Johnson’. I must confess to losing interest during a rather ridiculous cod-funk workout titled ‘Annie Don’t Wear No Panties’ that failed to live up to its provocative title. However, the rest of the 95-minute show was great, especially a version of ‘Them Changes’, a Buddy Miles-penned tune from Hendrix’s ‘Band Of Gypsys’ album, and a lengthy encore jam of ‘Out Of My Mind’ that featured some excellent interaction with Laurence Jones, plus another of Jimi’s tunes, the evergreen ‘Foxey Lady’, squeezed in just before the venue’s curfew.
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Thursday 9th August
There’s not much to report other than an enjoyable phone interview with Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, and the near-completion of my sleeve essay for the re-issue of ‘Kitsch’ by the Heavy Metal Kids, one of the all-time great albums! It’ll be great to own the gem from 1977 on CD, with bonus tracks.
Happy to say that things are going well for The Treatment on their North American tour with Kiss and Mötley Crüe. Chatted with their manager Laurie Mansworth by email yesterday, who informs me that Kiss actually put their make-up on to the strains of the lads’ album, ‘This Might Hurt’!
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Wednesday 8th August
Fought off a stiff hangover for an 11am phone int with Dante Gizzi of Gun, whose newie ‘Break The Silence’ is an absolute aural joy. It’s always nice to natter to Dante, a top geezer.
Here’s some fantastic, completely unexpected news: the Dan Reed Network are to play a one-off reunion show in their home town of Portland on December 31. That’s my New Year’s Eve sorted, then! Seriously… if I can put together the necessary dosh then I shall go out.
Surely I cannot be alone in the belief that Usain Bolt’s tiresome boasting detracts from his impressive achievements on the track? So glad I was out watching live music on Monday night as the world further indulged this man’s rampant ego. I’m sick and tired of seeing his grinning face all over the TV and newspapers.
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Tuesday 7th August
Having thoroughly enjoyed last summer’s shows at Download and the Islington Academy, last night I returned to the latter venue for a third sighting of Dio Disciples, the ensemble of Dio-related alumni that are now fronted by Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and Toby Jepson in tribute to the late, great RJD. Along for the ride (and a few cold bevvies) was a curious Mr Beare who ended up enjoying himself immensely. Once
again I was impressed by the guitar playing of ex-Giuffria/Rough Cutt six-stringer Craig Goldy, who kept the riffs pumping and the solos piping hot, building a great platform for the talents of Messrs Owens and Jepson. The set-list (pictured) hadn’t changed a great deal in a year, but the addition of songs like Rainbow’s ‘Kill The King’ (voiced by an enthusiastic Jepson), ‘The Mob Rules’ and a medley of ‘Magica Theme’, ‘Lord Of The Last Day’ and ‘All The Fools Sailed Away’ served to spice things up a little. Perhaps the only disappointment was the size of the crowd. Er… was everyone watching the Olympics??!!

Dave Ling Photo Gallery

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Monday 6th August
Saying a quiet prayer for my mother who undergoes a very nasty operation this morning. My 6am run is completed and (as much as possible) the decks are now cleared with work. Off to the hospital... [Edit: Though mum’s not outta the woods just yet, early signs seem to suggest that the operation was a success… thanks to all of those that emailed, texted or used Facebook to offer their support].
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Sunday 5th August
I’m staring at a blinking, blank PC screen, facing a mathematical quandary. The Classic Rock website has asked the magazine’s writers to name their five best albums of the first half of 2012. Nine into five just doesn’t go, does it? In no particular order my not-so-shortlist consists of UFO’s ‘Seven Deadly’, ‘Amaryllis’ by Shinedown, H.E.A.T.’s ‘Address The Nation’, ‘Bag Of Bones’ by Europe, the self-titled debut from Storm Corrosion, Anathema’s ‘Weather Systems’, Rush’s ‘Clockwork Angels’, ‘Last Of A Dyin’ Breed’ by Skynyrd and Gun’s ‘Break The Silence’. How can I sacrifice four of those?? It’s a toughie. However, I’ll post the link when the page goes up.
Well played to all of Great Britain’s medal winning competitors at London 2012; yesterday was our most triumphant day of Olympic sport since 1908. Britain now lies third in the medals table… Jeez, that’s a heck of an achievement.
Capping a pretty stressful week, my Saturday evening was spent in the central London watering hole the Crobar along with Messrs Newcomb, Dome, Ewing, Dryland and Dave Boyce of the Quireboys. I often find myself joking of the likelihood of such occasions “getting messy” but on this time that production came true as, whilst we stood at the bar throwing back slammers, a certain drinking buddy coughed and followed through, sending a trail of spew down my left arm. No names mentioned. But unless Malcolm Dome sends me a hundred quid in used fivers I shall unmask him in all his bleary-eyed shame. Oh cripes, what have I gone and done…?
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Saturday 4th August
I’ve finally completed Brent Jensen’s book No Sleep ’Til Sudbury (see yesterday’s diary). For a first-time author the Canuck has a good way of expressing himself. F’r’instance, when referring to a concert by the Blaze Bayley-fronted incarnation of Iron Maiden plus Dio and “a great English band I'd never heard of called Dirty Deeds” (an offshoot of my old mates Chariot – Pete Franklin will be pleased to read that!!) in a quarter-full arena in Hamilton, Ontario, he describes the rather unsettling encounter as “like seeing them at a moment of vulnerability, almost like when you visit someone in hospital.” It’s a striking summation.
I roared with laughter when, during a chapter that attempted to re-examine the catalogue of the Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath, Jensen wrote: “The liner notes of ‘Technical Ecstasy’ contain some chat from someone called Hugh Gilmour. Not sure I should know who he is.” This page was scanned and emailed to Monsewer Gilmore, the near-legendary designer and bass player of Pig Irön, because, quite frankly, it’s a question I often ask myself… (sorry, Hugh…)
Am I the only one surprised by John Waite calling Journey “garbage”? In this story from the Classic Rock website, Waite says that there will never be a reunion of Bad English, the band in which he shared membership with Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo and Jonathan Cain, declaring: “Fuck that – I’d rather shoot myself.” Strong words…
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Friday 3rd August
With my mother hospitalised I’ve canned all plans to attend the Cambridge Rock Festival. Being away from Ling Towers for an entire weekend is simply impossible. And with no gigs for the last week and none planned for the foreseeable future, yours truly is in danger of turning into a very dull bunny indeed. I’ve spent the last few evenings thumbing through a book called No Sleep ’Til Sudbury, in which a Canadian hard rock music fan and former psychology student named Brent Jensen attempts to reassess his life via the contents of his record collection and various gig/booze-fuelled dating incidents. Apart from the fact that he calls Def Leppard “the AC/DC that it was okay for girls to listen to”, Jensen and I have rather similar tastes and he was doing well until page 63 came along. The pot-shot he takes at Metallica for covering ‘Tuesday’s Gone’ by The Allman Bros (eh??!!) is a gaffe so humongous it made me begin to question whether the poor fella really has a clue of what he’s babbling on about. The entire chapter called 'The Pointlessness Of Debate', in which Jensen reaches the realisation that “there really is no [definitive] answer” to the question of which act is the most important of all time was also a moment that cried out: “No Shit, Sherlock!” On the whole, though, it’s an entertaining and chucklesome read. And you’ve gotta love that it has another chapter entitled: ‘I Don’t Trust People That Don’t Drink’.
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Thursday 2nd August
Eldest son Eddie and I seem to be unwitting lucky mascots for the Team GB footie games. On each occasion that we’ve tuned in, either to cheer on the nation’s men or women in Olympic competition, Team GB has won. Though the men’s recent 3-1 victory over United Arab Emirates was enjoyable enough, last night’s 1-0 triumph over Uruguay in Cardiff was better still. And that’s before we get into the ladies outclassing Brazil to ease into the quarter-finals before 70,000 delirious fans at Wembley Stadium 48 hours earlier. What a performance; if only Kelly Smith (the women’s game’s answer to David Beckham) had put away that penalty!
I’ve just been enjoying current Tank bassist Chris Dale’s excellent recounting of a trip to war-torn Bosnia with Bruce Dickinson’s band in late 1994 that’s been posted over at the MetalTalk website. Grab a mug of coffee, free up 15 minutes of your time and check it out here, it’s a terrific, sometimes emotional, read.
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Wednesday 1st August
Am currently jigging about the office to the strains of ‘Pure’, an album from The Bluefields, featuring Dan Baird (ex-Georgia Satellites), Warner E Hodges (Jason & The Scorchers) and vocalist Joe Blanton (Royal Court Of China). There’s a UK tour next year, so I understand... I’ll be there! Thanks to Dan’s super-fan Bela Green for taking the time to cajole Mr Baird into sending me a copy.
P.S. The latest monthly updates at the Playlist and YouTube pages are up.