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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Saturday 31st August
With Palace’s home clash with Sunderland kicking off at 5.30, this morning is a little more leisurely than your average home matchday. I’ve been out for a run and am current editing the gig guide for the October issue of Classic Rock Presents The Blues as the clock ticks down towards beer o’clock. It’s a very good time to bung on that rather good Freddie King live album, ‘Texas In My Blues’.
[Edit: Here’s a post from my Facebook page… “Currently celebrating Crystal Palace's first Premiership win in eight years – well deserved, too. Don’t wait up! PS Sunderland can we play you every week?”]
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Friday 30th August
Last night I sank a few cold ’uns at the tenth birthday party of the Islington Academy. Christ, is the place already a decade old?! On a negative note, I fear I might’ve consumed my own weight in onion rings! #Burps loudly#
What a lovely surprise, courtesy of Ross Halfin (yes, he is human after all!) Unearthed during his travels in Japan, the legendary snapper has bought me a pressie of a double-CD bootleg of Wishbone Ash called ‘Time Will Pass Away’ (recorded in Passaic, New Jersey in 1974, and Long Beach Arena '76) – mixing desk quality. Oh dear... I am in Halfin’s debt. I dread to think how he will recall the favour. Seriously – thanks, Ross! It’s brilliant... Pete Haycock from the Climax Blues Band jams on a version of ‘Where Were You Tomorrow’ on the ’74 disc.
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Thursday 29th August
I’m absolutely gutted to learn that Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty is retiring… although of course his health must come first. The Scottish group’s website informs us that the singer has been suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which affects respiration. After trying to play a festival in Switzerland last weekend Dan curtailed said show after just three songs. In the dressing room afterwards he told his distraught band-mates that he “couldn’t go on any longer.” For the full story go here.
I consider it a great honour to have got to know McCafferty pretty darned well over the last few years. Despite putting it through the wringer on a daily basis – I witnessed his pre-gig routine a few times and it didn't involve a salad and a tumbler full of Tizer – he retained an excellent set of pipes until maybe a year or two ago. I shall miss those incredible vocal performances and the warmth, kindness and humour that flowed out of every pore whenever our paths crossed. Enjoy the rest of your life Dan… you deserve it.
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Wednesday 28th August
Yo ho ho, and hip flask of cherry brandy! Splice the mainbrace (whatever that might be). A vast behind, landlubbers! Oh dear… what’s happening? I’m turning into Captain Pugwash! It’s gone midnight and I’m just home from an evening spent on board a boat called the Tamesis Dock on the River Thames’ Albert Embankment where Damian Wilson of Threshold, Headspace and Maiden United performed a solo date. With the Houses Of Parliament on the opposite side of river and a well-stocked, reasonably priced bar, it was a fantastic place for a gig.
Wilson had turned up at venue to discover it didn’t have a PA – oh well, no panic… let’s make it a *completely* unplugged gig. Luckily there was willing assistance from keysman Andrew Holdsworth and also occasional b/vs from his siblings Paul and Justin. With dad Mike joining them for a nautical-flavoured tune that might have been titled ‘Sailing Home Boys’, at times proceedings were more like a family gathering than an actual gig (that’s no criticism, BTW). The air of informality was further enhanced by some choice heckling, notably from Arena keysman Clive Nolan. A fan had flown in from South America and was invited to sit in and play keys on a farcically, hilariously untogether version of Iron Maiden’s ‘The Evil Of Man U Goes On And On’. Talking of the Maiden, during a break in proceedings, my boozing buddy Dave Craig and I speculated upon how rock history would have changed had Wilson replaced Bruce Dickinson instead of Blaze Bayley (I’m told that Damien did audition). Would Bruce have got his job back? It's not as foregone a conclusion as you might imagine.
The excellent ‘Home Grown’ was dedicated to yours truly as I’d shouted out for it. As the two-hour mark approached, Wilson was having a ball and showed no sign of stopping. ‘Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay’, ‘Hard To Handle’ and ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ were all duly trotted out before a pair of exquisite originals, ‘I Want To Build My World’ and ‘Disciple’. After a final rousing singalong of ‘Johnny B Goode’, a grinning Wilson took the mic for one final time: “Just to reassure you, that last song’s not on any of my CDs!” Haha!
Damien is due to play a few more of these gigs till October 20, see the dates here. If he’s in your neck of the woods, go along and say ‘hi’ or miss out on a very special night.
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Tuesday 27th August
Still seething after last night as Crystal Palace crashed out of the League Cup in ignominious style. Brizzle Shitty have always been a bogey team of ours, but with the clubs now two divisions apart, even allowing for squad rotation and the blooding of some youngsters, there can be no excuse for such an apparently below-par display.
Still in the world of footie, I’ve been enjoying the fan-written 2013/14 season predictions of the footie mag When Saturday Comes. Palace would sell their grannies to finish fourth from bottom of the Prem, we knew that. After CPFC stuffed ‘em in the play offs, Shiteon’s hatred of us has, apparently, “reached heights not seen since the 1970s” – well, who’d have guessed?! Predictably, there's fuck-all gratitude from Scumwall, despite saving their asses on the final day of last season. Brizzle Shitty gloated emptily of beating us again (er... what division are you in?!), but funniest and best of all is the continued, justified distain for Pete Wankelman’s odious Franchise FC... “MK Dons: No questions asked”. Keep it up WSC! I must get around to buying that subscription I’ve promised myself…
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Monday 26th August
Bank holiday… what Bank holiday?! I’ve broken the back of my Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule/Allman Brothers Band) story for The Blues magazine. Now for a nice early evening run, some healthy grub and a tellybox catch-up.
Credit to Australia caption Michael Clarke who decided to make a game of it at the Oval for yesterday’s frantic conclusion to the Fifth Test. Sadly, bad light stopped play just as England were about to take a four-game lead in the series… A chase of 211 runs in 40 overs had looked doable, and Clarke didn’t seem quite so sportsmanlike as the final denouement seemed likely to arrive. My hackles rose as the umpires dragged the players off the pitch – whatever happened to common sense? And yet with the series already won, who gives a f**k.
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Sunday 25th August
Wow… what fun was had at last night’s Hawkwind gig. Arrived in Shepherd’s Bush in time for a few cheeky ciders and with the Empire rammed upstairs and down I was chuffed to find that myself and Mr Pudney had been given allocated seating in the balcony – a gladiatorial view of proceedings and the usual excellent sound. The show lasted for two hours, accompanied by great lights and a procession of dancers and stilt walkers. The set-list ran as follows: ‘The Awakening’, ‘Master Of The Universe’, ‘Steppenwolf’, ‘The Hills Have Ears’, ‘Assault And Battery (Part 1)’, ‘The Golden Void’, ‘The Wizard Blew His Horn’, ‘Opa-Loka’, ‘The Demented Man (performed by Dave Brock an acoustic previously owned by the group’s late guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton), ‘Magnu’, ‘Standing At The Edge’, ‘Spiral Galaxy 28948’, ‘Dying Seas’, ‘Warriors’, ‘Kings Of Speed’, ‘Sentinel’, ‘Reefer Madness’ and ‘Hassan I Sahba’.
At encore time vocalist, cellist and bassist Mr Dibs announced: “As you may well know, our old friend Lemmy has been a bit poorly, but he’s back in LA finishing a new album and we’ve been sending him this get well card every night” before the band launched into ‘Motorhead’, the ‘WOTEOT’ album’s Kilmister-penned non-album B-side, returning again for an additional version of ‘You’d Better Believe It’ that was sung at maximum volume by the packed-to-the-rafters venue.
Afterwards, thanks to a lucky quirk of fate (bumping into the band’s manager Kris), Pudders and I ended up in the Hawkwind dressing room for a quick nightcap. I don’t usually enjoy such environments but apart from the noxious farting of Dave Brock’s dog (!) we were made to feel perfectly comfortable. I was a great conclusion to one of the best Hawkwind gigs I’ve seen… and there have been a few!
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Saturday 24th August
I’m gutted by the result of this afternoon’s Crystal Palace game with Stoke. As the away side the Eagles gabbed proceedings by the scruff of the neck during the first half, seizing the lead thanks to a well taken strike by Marouane Chamakh. At the interval, Palace were just about level in terms of possession and had enjoyed more shots in total and on target (also a stonewall penalty overruled). Sadly, and perhaps predictably, some Keystone Kops defending presented two quick goals for the home side, who despite the best efforts of loanee Jason Puncheon, whose searing strike was clawed back on the line by City’s goalie, had little problem holding onto the lead till the final whistle. Grrrrrrr.
As with the opening day of the season versus Spurs, the team’s display provided grounds for cautious optimism, but even so… I need a drink. It’s time for a little space-rock from Hawkwind over at Shepherd’s Bush.
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Friday 23rd August
You can laugh at me all you like but I always find myself watching Celeb Big Bruv. All the same I am astonished by the array of dimwitted, vacuous, self important Z-Listers that the producers have cobbled together this time around. The Geordie Shore bird was just abhorrent, but is there anyone more annoying on God’s green earth than Louis Spence?! And then, just as I reached for the controller to change channels, thinking “I shall give this series a swerve”, ‘Big’ Ron Atkinson enters the BB house. Dammit – I shall have to pre-record and FF through the bits that feature the odious Spence, till Ron gets evicted… which can only be a matter of time. [Edit: My friend Kev McDempster has just pointed out how amusing it would be if Marcel Desailly were to become a surprise house-mate... go on, Channel 5 – I dare you!!!!!]
Still on CBB: My good pal Mr John Dryland must’ve been drinking something especially strong this evening. He just sent a BlackBerry message saying he’d like some tiffin with Carol McGiffin. Euuuuuw!
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Thursday 22nd August
It’s still only a rumour at present but there are whispers that Bon Jovi have sacked Richie Sambora. Well, at any rate the goss site RumorFix.com is recycling old quotes from a “source close to the band” to that effect. If true, well… Bon Jovi (the band) are now officially dead to me.
I happened to hear a song by Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats on my old, esteemed friend Phil Alexander’s Planet Rock show last nite. The Cambridge-based combo, who are inspired primarily early Alice Cooper, MC5, Blue Cheer and Blue Öyster Cult and B-movie biker movies, will be supporting Black Sabbath on December’s UK tour and sounded rather great… so much so that I have requested a copy of their album, ‘Mind Control’ (Rise Above Records). Here’s the YouTube for the record’s title song. Goat skulls, nuns, acid tabs and grainy TV clips of Jim Jones and Charles Manson… fascinating!
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Wednesday 21st August
I am busy transcribing a lengthy phone interview with Francis Rossi. Pretty pleased with its contents as we touched upon several crucial issues. Here’s a sample of what’s in store. At the end of our chat I laughed and said: “You don’t duck the difficult questions, do you?” I’ve only just noticed that, puzzlingly, towards the recording’s conclusion he starts calling me “luv” at the end of certain responses – what’s that all about??!!
Spooky timing… the postie has just delivered advance CD promos of the Frantic Four’s Hammersmith Apollo and Glasgow Academy gigs, and I’m reliably informed that my DVD of the Wembley Arena show will be here on the morrow. Fantastic! Can’t wait…
There’s encouraging transfer news from SE25: Palace have signed Southampton’s Jason Puncheon on a season-long loan deal. The 27-year-old is well-known to Eagles fans, having scored a hat-trick against us a few seasons ago whilst playing for the Knuckledraggers from the Den, but I’ve always rated him as a player. The Croydon-born winger is making all the right noises (“I’ve always dreamed of playing at Selhurst Park, so it’s a young boy’s dream coming true”)… If he helped to keep us up then the fairy story would be more remarkable still.
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Tuesday 20th August
Oh yes, my place on the guest list for Saturday night’s Hawkwind gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire is confirmed. ‘Warrior On The Edge Of Time’ in its entirety? Yes please matey! Mr Neil Pudney and I will be in beer mode… it’s shame that we won’t also be at Palace’s game at Stoke during the afternoon but I guess you can’t have everything!
The sunshine’s back and it’s been a bit of a melodic rock day so far, fuelled by ‘Sentimental Blvd’ with Harem Scarem (via ‘Mood Swings II’) and great new releases from Jesse Damon (‘Temptation In The Garden Of Eve’), House Of Shakira (‘Pay To Play’) and Avenue Of Allies’ new Swedish sensations The Theander Expression (‘Strange Nostalgia’).
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Monday 19th August
The 1-0 home defeat registered by Palace in yesterday’s first game of the season left me with mixed emotions. With a squad worth at least £200m Spurs are likely to be a Top Six side when all’s said and done and yet the Eagles showed that even with our starting line up from last season’s campaign (bar the departed Zaha), we can compete in this league. There were a lot of positives to take away: Spurs won by a penalty disputed by ian Holloway (though it looked like a spot-kick to me) and CPFC’s balance was much better after a triple substation that introduced Jonny Williams, Kevin Phillips and Chamakh. This was the first of many David v Goliath performances, of course, and I just hope that long-term the team won’t be ground down as the months go by. Had we been able to sign a proven goalscorer like Darren Bent, who at the last minute opted instead to join Fool ’Em, I’d have been much more confident about our prospects. Even so… things could have been a lot, lot worse. Crucially, the atmosphere within the ground was electric – everything sounded and looked great on TV.

Dave Ling Online

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Sunday 18th August
The Jettblack rooftop show was a lot of fun. Given Soho’s stringent noise pollution restrictions I’d fully expected the band to be shut down by their building neighbours after 15 minutes or so but they managed to play what felt like a full set, complete with a great version of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’. There was free beer, too. What’s not to like? Here’s a rather crap photo I took on my BlackBerry… I like the band’s impressive new illuminated logo at the side of the makeshift stage. They went to great pains to inform us that the JB *did not* stand for Justin Bieber!

Dave Ling Online

I ventured into the Crobar for a pre-Jettblack half and was flabbergasted to discover that Jerry Ewing, Malcolm Dome, Steve Hammonds and John Dryland were all conspicuous by their absence! Seriously, the place was like the Mary Celeste! Also poked my head around the door afterwards, only to find a similar lack of familiar faces. Shocking!
Anyway, Eddie and I shall be heading off to Selhurst very shortly. A nice loud blast of the Rock Candy re-issue of White Sister’s debut album, washed down by a cup of tea with a splash of cherry brandy is actually managing to calm the butterflies.
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Saturday 17th August
I’ve managed to keep the subject of tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Spurs out of my mind, but with 24 hours to so… well okay, it’s starting to eat away. Just a bit! The transcription of my interviews with James LaBrie, John Petrucci and Mike Mangini has presented a welcome distraction. Tonight I shall further anaesthetize my trepidation by sinking a few beers watching Jettblack performing a private roof-top gig in central London as part of the promotion for a new compilation album, ‘Black Gold’ – should be fun!
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Friday 16th August
Ling Towers is remarkably silent at present, and here’s to a quiet night in with my youngest son Arnie; a home-cooked spag bol, the Big Bruv eviction and lashings of white wine... and once the lad’s in bed I shall catch up with a few goodies on the Sky+, including Ray Donovan, Love/Hate and some of Burton And Taylor before dozing off!
It’s been a great day for a vinyl worshipper such as myself. Mark Palmer at Nuclear Blast has very kindly ordered up four albums that I had requested – Avantasia’s ‘The Mystery Of Time: A Rock Epic’, ‘The Mouths Of Madness’ by the brilliant Orchid, Kadaver’s ‘Abra Kadavar’ and the self-titled debut from Scorpion Child – all on heavyweight 180-gram black wax, complete with lavish gatefold sleeves. The debut from Denner’s Trickbag, featuring ex-Mercyful Fate/King Diamond guitarist Michael Denner, will also be slithering onto the turntable over the next coupla days! Things bode very well for the latter: A brief spin revealed an excellent cover of Mountain’s ‘Never In My Life’.
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Thursday 15th August
With the Frantic Four live albums/DVD/six-disc earBOOK due at the end of next month, Classic Rock have commissioned two further phone interviews with Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster. I seem to be dialling these numbers so often that I might have to add them to my BT Friends & Family list – get a couple of quid off my bill… Haha. Not that I’m complaining.
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Wednesday 14th August
Last night’s so-called friendly game between England and Scotland presented a bit of a no-win scenario. It was only to be expected for the Three Lions to claim a comfortable victory against a nation lurking somewhat lower in the rankings. Defeat to a side that have memorably failed to beat the Faroe Isles and Lichtenstein would have been unthinkable. So imagine my distress when England seemed to treat the game like a bit of a kickaround, allowing the Sweaty Socks to take the lead – twice! My pre-game prognosis of a three-nil win for England was incorrect… okay, the visitors’ two goals were a tad unexpected but strikes from Walcott, Welbeck and Rickie Lambert, Southampton’s former beetroot-potter turned England centre forward, who nodded the winner with his very first touch in international football, served to spare Roy Hodgson’s blushes. And indeed my own!! My other prediction – that the opening goal would be greeted by a reprise of the infamous ‘dentist chair’ scene here at Ling Towers – also failed to come fruition, but it was a cracking game!
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Tuesday 13th August
I’ve been enjoying the contents of this month’s Classic Rock (dated Sept), which is an “American shit-kicking rock issue”. The story on ZZ Top’s 18-month ‘taking Texas to the people tour’, which saw the trio performing on a stage littered with a buffalo, a Longhorn steer, several venomous rattlesnakes, some tarantulas and six vultures – all called Oscar – is a great read. Am looking forward to the segments on Creedence Clearwater revival, Bob Seger and the James Gang when time allows, and it was nice to see some love for Cactus and the now reunited Brownsville Station. Elsewhere, Charles Shaar Murray’s brilliantly written obituary for his friend Mick Farren, who recently died onstage during a gig with his band the Deviants at the Borderline, made me choke up, and Paul Elliott’s visit to the house of Queen drummer Roger Taylor, usually a guarded individual, is unexpectedly revealing and entertaining. I quote: “I heard Ginger Baker saying some incredibly cruel things about Mitch Mitchell and I thought, ‘What a c**t’.” Brilliant!
And what a gripping conclusion to Day Four of the Fourth Ashes Test. For long periods of play it had looked as if the visitors were capable of pulling off a famous chase but having been seemingly in control at 168-2, nine Aussie wickets tumbled in less than two hours as England turned up the heat, principally due to fast bowler Stuart Broad, to claim a 74-run triumph, thereby sealing the series. Eddie and I opened a can or two of Scrumpy Jack to celebrate!
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Monday 12th August
My Sunday was spent writing a couple of album reviews for Metal Hammer (Stormzone’s ‘Three Kings’ and the new Sabaton live double/DVD, ‘Swedish Empire Live’), editing an AOR magazine news story about next April’s package tour from Foreigner, Europe and FM, chilling out to watch some cricket as England seized the Fourth Test by the scruff of the neck, and conducting a phone interview with Arjen Anthony Lucassen of the band Ayreon. The Dutchman’s label, InsideOut Music, have hired me to write a new biography to accompany the long-awaited new album. Save for the fact that it is titled ‘The Theory Of Everything’, very little of its details have been made public. Indeed, Lucassen has just launched an online competition to guess the names of its guest contributors from a selection of newly posted soundclips. Take a look here. Previous Ayreon records have included cameos from members past and present of Iron Maiden, Marillion, Dream Theater, Golden Earring, Opeth, King’s X, Avantasia, Within Temptation, Symphony X, Spock’s Beard, Magnum, Blind Guardian, Epica and many, many more. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard ‘The Theory Of Everything’ and it’s as great as I’d hoped… but apart from that my lips must remain firmly sealed.
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Sunday 11th August
As my friend Steve Taylor tweeted from the ground, “Lazio are a lot better than the last Italian team we played” – a reference to the Watford side beaten so memorably during the play-off final at Wembley. The Italians *were* superior to Palace, that was inevitable, though the game was decided by a solitary goal that had an element of luck to it; Julian Speroni spilled a long distance shot from Antonio Candreva that was quickly rammed into the net by poacher extraordinaire Miroslav Klose. However, the Eagles had multiple chances of their own and, despite the mass substitutions that can make these games so farcical, might just have deserved a draw. A good, beery day out…
Meanwhile, much mirth ensued as Clowntown Pathetic, Scumwall and the Team From The South Coast all lost their games in the Championship. A clean sweep – joyous!
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Saturday 10th August
This morning I was up nice ‘n’ early for a run and I have squeezed in as much work as possible before Eddie and I head off to Selhurst for the final pre-reason friendly of the season, versus Italian heavyweights Lazio.
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Friday 9th August
Yesterday’s activities included a mid-morning phone interview with Reuben Archer, during which we discussed his excellent debut solo album, ‘Personal Sin’ (which features guest appearances members of Status Quo, Y&T, UFO, Saxon, Thunder and many, many more), plus a more concise chat with Mike Mangini, who spilled the beans on his contribution to the new Dream Theater record – an advance CD that I’m having trouble extracting from my office Death Deck.
Okay, this is the first and last time that I will refer to Selhurst Park as the 12Bet Stadium (if those rumours of a corporate rebrand are true). I've a kid named after the place, FFS! Eddie Lemmy 12Bet Ling just doesn’t sound anywhere near as impressive. Grrrrrr…
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Thursday 8th August
My son Eddie is incredibly excited about the draw for the second round of the League Cup, which takes place in about 20 mins. He’s been jabbering on about it all bloody morning and even knows that CPFC are ball number seven. Here’s hoping for a home tie with Shiteon - oh, I forgot… the Team From The South Coast already lost 3-1 at home to Newport County… he smirks. [Edit: Oh, bollocks… we ended up with Bristol Shitty away. What a steaming pile of plop.]
Until today I had never interviewed anyone from the band Soundgarden. That changed when I did a phoner with their bass player Ben Shepherd to talk up the Seattle group’s approaching UK tour. He seemed like a nice guy, possibly a bit on the serious side (which you’d probably have expected), but with a very dry sense of humour. I liked him!
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Wednesday 7th August
There’s some positive news re: Lemmy Kilmister. Motörhead’s Phil Campbell says that his band-mate is “on the mend” after being taken ill at the Wacken Festival (see August 2). The guitarist has also poured scorn upon “asshole tweeters” for circulating a rumour of Lemmy’s demise. Honestly… some people. Motörhead are still due to tour the UK with Saxon in November in promotion of their 21st studio album, ‘Aftershock’.
After consuming burger and chips so large they could have fed a (red & blue) army, a balmy summer evening was spent with son Eddie at Champion Hill for Palace’s friendly with Dulwich Hamlet. Goals from Jerome Williams, Yannick Bolasie and Elliot Grandin (a winger signed from Blackpool who notched two) were sufficient to see off the home side by 4-1, a score that flattered the non-leaguers who nevertheless played some pretty decent football. An extremely good workout for the CPFC squad and a pleasant way to pass a few hours.
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Tuesday 6th August
Oh yes… a new double-live album from Canuck pomp messiahs Saga has just arrived at Chateau Ling. My neighbours must be wondering why I am here in my office yelling out: “Mouse in a maze, and so many ways/But there’s only one way to get out”. Oh, listen - now they’re into ‘Careful Where You Step’, with keys set to stun… What an underrated band… Don’t miss ‘Spin It Again – Live In Munich’ when it drops on September 30th.
I’m happy to report that the reunion of NWOBHM band Vardis is now signed, sealed and delivered. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Zodiac and company now have a website and will be appearing at the second annual Brofest on March 2nd. Must try to get up to Newcastle and see that!
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Monday 5th August
Up with the dawn chorus to put in a couple of hours on my Robin Beck story before a 9am appointment with the chiropractor. It seems as though his careful treatment of my back problems have paid off, my visits now taking place on a six-monthly basis. However, when I complained of a having a stiff shoulder for the past two or three weeks I was diagnosed with a muscle strain in my neck. I roared with pain (and surprise!) when it was snapped back into place. The bad news is that it will require several more weeks of ice treatment and repeated visits to the surgery. Bollox!
Back at Ling Towers and… Aaaaaaarg! Where is this fucking rain that we were promised??!! I want it in Manchester... right now! For the rest of the day please! English wickets are tumbling on the fifth and final day of the third test, with Cook’s men looking worrying fragile in the face of a determined bowling assault.
[Edit: Rain has *finally* stopped play at Old Trafford. England retain the Ashes (AGAIN). It’s a hollow way to have sealed triumph, perhaps, but look at me caring! Had England won the toss and batted well they might have been in the exact same scenario, punching chunks out of the dressing room walls.]

Dave Ling Online

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Sunday 4th August
Yesterday’s wedding was a lot of fun. Having met Jerry Ewing for a few liveners in the Crobar I got a wee bit drunker than I’d expected so didn’t stay much later than 9pm. It was good ‘do’, though. James and Charlotte looked like a great couple. Best of luck to them both.
Where do the years go? Graham Bonnet was the first artist that I interviewed, way back in 1981. I’ve just spoken to him again. Talking about Rainbow’s spot at Monsters Of Rock in 1980, the singer exclaimed: “It was so exciting with all those people there, I knew I had to pull it out… not my dick, I mean performance-wise.” Graham was jumping the gun; the notorious MSG willy-waving incident was going to be my *next* question!
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Saturday 3rd August
There’s no Iron Maiden at the O2 Arena for yours truly, nor indeed a trip to the Cambridge Rock Festival. Instead I am attending the nuptuals of my Metal Hammer colleague James Isaacs and the delightful Charlotte Read. ’Natch I will run for cover when the bouquet is thrown... I ain’t doing *that* shit again!!
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Friday 2nd August
I’m extremely worried about Lemmy. This evening I was at home watching TV when the emails and texts began to flood in: Had I heard that the Motörhead mainman had been unable to complete the band’s spot at the Wacken Festival in Germany, exiting the stage after just six numbers? No, I had not. There was no alternative bt to nip out to my office and fire up the PC. Though my sources within the band’s camp tell me that a lot of what has been posted can be taken with a pinch of salt, I didn’t like what I was reading. Positive vibes are headed his way from Catford.
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Thursday 1st August
I was among the attendance of 576 at Bromley's Hayes Lane ground for last night's pre-season Under-21s friendly between Cray Wanderers and Crystal Palace - yes, I *am* that tragic. The Eagles were comfortable winners by three goals to nil. The youngsters are the future of my beloved club and
there was plenty of talent on display including Reise Allassani, who I've seen a few times at different levels, a centre-back called Olly O'Dwyer who used to play for Reading, and a triallist wearing Number 17, ex-Chelsea winger Ambrose Gnahore, who had pace to burn and offered a touch of early Wilf Zaha - sign him up!
BTW, the usual monthly amendments to the Playlist and YouTube pages are up.