This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily - except after days of stress and nights of excess.
Sunday 30th August
Amanda and I have just been watching the concluding episode of the BBC's Once Upon A Time In Iraq. The story of the Middle East conflict through the eyes of civilians and soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Everyone should watch this harrowing programme. What a truly unforgiveable clusterfuck from the politicians. It's one of those shows that at the conclusion of each part causes you to think: 'Well, things cannot get any worse'... only for them to do exactly that.
Saturday 29th August
Although it was just a friendly against the hapless Clowns of League One, there are positives to take from this afternoon's game - including a first start from new signing Eze. He looks the real deal, I must say.
Friday 28th August
Just home from my weekly visit to check in on Dad. I wore my new 'Odessey & Oracle' facemask, a promo gift from the Zombies. Great album but the mask looks like someone's bikini bottom!
Thursday 27th August
After days of nerve-gnawing anticipation, the Palace have agreed a deal with QPR for their forward Eberechi Eze. This is very, very exciting news. Eze scored 14 goals in 46 appearances for Rangers last season and has just been called up to the England Under-21s. It's the type of forward-thinking transfer that I thought the club had forgotten how to get over the line. This is a young, phenomenally gifted player that the Eagles could build a team around. I can't wait to see him on the pitch in the famous Red & Blue. COYP
Tuesday 25th August
Last night before turning in to bed I read Malcolm Dome's excellent exclusive interview with Billy Squier in the new issue of Rock Candy. The extraordinary things Billy says: The boss of Capitol Records telling him that Squier had made a great album in 'Tell The Truth' but promising to ensure it "wouldn't happen" commercially speaking - that makes no sense at all. And Billy's career was killed by "indirect homophobia"?! Anyway, this morning I cannot get this fine song out of my head. With my vinyl still packed up I had to go onto Amazon and buy a cheapo second hand CD copy of ‘Don’t Say No’. I was lucky enough to see Squier at the Reading Festival in 1981 and also on tour with Whipsnake, sorry… Whitesnake. He was bloody great; should have become a big star.
PS Fucking hell, footie is back! Look, there’s proof! COYP
Monday 24th August
I’ve just pressed 'send' on Classic Rock's 3,000-plus-word obituary for Pete Way. I'd like to think we pushed the boat out with this one. It gets the thumbs up from several people whose opinions I trust, so that's a whopping great relief. Now only another 15 others to write for the same issue...
Saturday 22nd August
Three years ago the lovely Amanda agreed to move in with me in Catford. I'm still thanking my lucky stars that she did! XXX
Here's my latest l'il lockdown pressie to myself... I wanted to burn some missing Steely Dan classics onto my iTunes. I have some of their LPs on CD, but not the entire catalogue. Here's my recipe for a sunny day: Select 'Reeling In The Years'. Set the volume to 'stupidly high'. Grab a tennis racket. Press 'play'. Leap around the room. Repeat.
Friday 21st August
Very sorry to hear the death of yet another important rocker, ex-Quiet Riot skinsman Frankie Banali. I didn't know Frankie well, but when he joined W.A.S.P. for 'The Headless Children' in 1989 RAW magazine sent me on a trip to New York in which he and Blackie took me on a guided tour of all of their favourite Big Apple haunts, including Mickey Mantle's Restaurant & Sports Bar, Radio City Music Hall, St Marks Place in the East Village, Times Square, a Dirty Water Frank hot dog stand and Stomboli's Pizza Parlour on East 13th Street - it was such a fun day. I gather Frankie battled pancreatic cancer like the proverbial lion. He has my respect. Sleep well, sir.
Thursday 20th August
It's fixture release day. This is always something I look forward to. Excitement is lower than usual this year; even as a season ticket holder, how many of the games can I actually go to?
Wednesday 19th August
We thought we'd lost Ziggy... until we saw him. Somehow he had climbed up the bookcase from the back and stuck out his head. Silly little sod!
How nice to interview Mitch Perry this afternoon. Lots of great stories about his career (see August 6 entry). I can't commend the Mitch Perry Group's album 'Music Box' highly enough. Check out its first single. You're welcome.
Tuesday 18th August
I’m listening to a new album from Blue Öyster Cult, their first in almost two decades. What a way to start the day! A couple of songs in and we got a great BÖC lyric: 'Is the glass half empty/Or is the skull half full?' I'm happy to report that 'The Symbol Remains' is an excellent piece of work that lives up to the New Yorkers' skyscraper standards. Start saving the pennies now for its October 9 release through Frontiers Records.
As everybody suspected they would, Thunder have moved their UK arena tour from December to May 2021. Being selfish, this suits me just fine. Wembley no longer clashes with Steve Hackett revisiting ‘Seconds Out’ down the road at Bexhill. Shame that we still have to endure Ugly Kid Joe as the trek's 'special guests'. Maybe we could sue under the Trade Descriptions Act?
Sunday 16th August
Though it’s arduous work my Slade interview transcript is lightening the mood a little. Dave Hill has just been talking about the band’s triumph at the Reading Festival in 1980, and how they went on to embrace a harder sound with ‘We’ll Bring The House Down’ and ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’. “That period in our history was nice. We’d come out of being dressed up like Christmas trees and now we were a bit more rocker-y. No, I don’t mean we looked like rockeries!” he brays with laughter. “But we toured with Whitesnake and we wanted to appeal to the Donington crowd.”
The sun is dipping and I fancied a change of scenery. I have been working at my desk from dawn to dusk for the past five days, without leaving the house; several different stories back to back and I lost count of how many thousand words I wrote. More of the same is planned for tomorrow. I love what I do but enjoying a bit of quiet reflection time. #coastalliferocks
Saturday 15th August
I had hoped it would all turn out to be a bad dream – alas, it wasn’t. This one hurts, a lot. However, the legend of Pete Way will live on long after all of us are gone. The catalogue of fantastic rock ‘n’ roll he played a part in, also the hilarious stories he told and inspired. Several incidents in public houses spring to mind. During my days with RAW Magazine he was holding court in a boozer in Carnaby Street. When it got to Pete’s round he told a brilliant shaggy dog story about royalties being paid alphabetically, and with ‘W’ being closer to the end of the alphabet than the start his hadn’t come in in yet. He was expecting them any day. Could anyone lend him a tenner till then? On another occasion, as we walked across the threshold to the Pillars Of Hercules, Pete warned us: “I’m not really drinking”. When I ordered a pint of strong, ice-cold cider he looked at it and announced: “I’ll have one of those.” “But I thought you weren’t drinking?” “Well, it’s only apple juice, isn’t it?” he replied with that twinkle in his eye. Then there was the night that he invited my friend Wendy and I back to a party at his house in Birmingham... after a gig in Bristol.
I’m gonna miss talking to Pete. When he lived in the States he would call in the middle of the night to discuss the football scores, not thinking about the time difference. “The Villa were losing three-nil at half time,” he once told me, “so I had to take some heroin.” Good job he wasn’t a Palace fan.
I didn’t agree with him going out as a frontman with The Pete Way Band. Though he gave it everything he had, it wasn’t enough. But that was Pete – he loved music and needed to be in the spotlight.
Instead I choose to remember him charging around the stages of the world in those ludicrous chequered pants of his, throwing shapes and setting off lightbulbs in the heads of a new generation of thunderous bass players (hello, Steve Harris and Nikki Sixx).
Lights out and good night, Monsewer Way. It was a blast and you will never be forgotten.
Here’s a photo of the time the Linglets met their Uncles Phil and Pete. I figured that if they were gonna end up as drinkers in later life, they should probably learn from the best.
Friday 14th August
Well, I've just made a start on transcribing four and a half hours of interview dialogue with Nod, Dave, Jim and Don. How extremely rare to find four band members who are all charismatic, quotable, friendly and pleasant - and of course still breathing. Save of course for the actual physical act of transcript - stop, rewind play, rewind (ad nauseum) - this one will be fun to write.
I see that the alleged 'footballer' Lee Cattermole called it quits today. A few years ago he told a North East newspaper: "If Sunderland go down [from the Premier League] and Crystal Palace don't there's something very wrong". Got that one a bit mixed up, didn't you son? Good luck on the allotment. You've found your level. Now fuck off.
Thursday 13th August
This awesome YouTube clip made me exclaim 'fucking hell!' several times. Behold the power and majesty of the electric guitar. Yngwie *can* play for the team... who knew?!?
And talking of great guitar players. This Throwback Thursday is a bit of a special one - meeting one of my all-time heroes, Frank Marino, at the Rock & Blues Custom Show in Derbyshire (2005).
Tuesday 11th August
Just sat down and watched Parts #1 and #2 of Sky's Laurel Canyon, largely at the recommendation of Jim Lea who said it was great. The makers have used the happyish Californian HQ of The Eagles, The Byrds, The Monkees and The Turtles, Love and The Doors, Crosby Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, the Mamas & the Papas, Jackson Browne, Frank Zappa and even Alice Cooper, as a framework to revisit some of the best music from the 1960s and '70s. I never got into CSNY as I don't like Young's voice, but this enchanting film has made me realise how wrong I was.
Oh wow, Sparks have rescheduled their UK tour till May 2021... and add an additional date in Bexhill! *Emits a massive whoop!*
Monday 10th August
What awful news to wake up to.
Deep Purple ‘Machine Head’
Wishbone Ash ‘Argus’
Black Sabbath ‘Heaven And Hell’
Iron Maiden ‘The Number Of The Beast’
Whitesnake ‘Come An Get It’
Blue Öyster Cult ‘Cultösaurus Erectus’
Where would we be without Martin Birch? RIP The Headmaster…
Sunday 9th August
Once again from Facebook Memories: A year ago today on the UFO tour bus somewhere between Dortmund and Wacken with my old friend Alice Klaar (whoops, 'eternally young' friend), when she was not not not drinking. Or something. Anyway, it was a great night! Incidentally, Phil Mogg took the piccie in between serenading us with songs by The Four Tops and busting out his best soul moves.
Friday 7th August
I'm loving the new video from Space Elevator, filmed entirely in lockdown for their track 'Queen For A Day' and co-starring Freddie Mercury collaborator Mike Moran on piano. What an enchanting video from a band that deserves to be much, much better known. The Duchess scrubs up rather well, too. (Well, for a Gooner anyway...)
Thursday 6th August
I cannot stop playing this pair of CDs! Both are almost certain to be in my end of year Top 20. Mitch Perry is probably best known as a guitar-slinger for other artists, including Schenker, Cher, Hughes/Thrall, Edgar Winter, Frankie Miller and most recently Steve Priest's Sweet, but his album is a super-focussed gem of funky, bluesy hard rock. Joe Elliott-approved UK hard rockers Hustler made a pair of LPs back in the 1970s, as well as supporting Queen and Quo. 'Reloaded' arrives some 45 years after they broke up. On paper it should probably suck... actually, this is as convincing and emphatic a comeback as you could possibly wish for. Each is heartily recommended to those with a decent set of ears!
Wednesday 5th August
What a lovely text from the evergreen Jim Lea who enjoyed yesterday's face to face interview as much as myself. And how appropriate that he closes his messages with the words 'rock on'.
Tuesday 4th August
I'm at West St Leonards station en route to London. A day of interviews ahoy, and I will pop in to see Dad on the way home. I'm still working my way through Evelyn McDonnell's book on The Runaways, mentioned here a few days ago. Was gobsmacked to learn that on their visit to the UK in 1976, the girls supported... er... "the legendary metal band Metallica." I've read a few howlers in my time, and also been responsible for a few, but that one takes the biscuit. Taxi for McDonnell!
Monday 3rd August
Laugh-a-minute conversation with Slade's superyob Dave Hill, especially when reminiscing about the succession of gaudy outfits he used to wear on Top Of The Pops. "The other guys would be on the floor rolling around with laughter like those aliens from the Cadbury's Smash adverts; you know, 'They cut them with their metal knives'."
Attn: fellow England cricket nuts, if you haven't watched BBC's documentary The Edge, which follows the team picking itself up from the gutter to retain the Ashes and become the number one nation in the world in all forms of the game (also the ugly fallout on the other side), do you yourself a favour and get onto iPlayer now. It's 'kin fantastic.
Sunday 2nd August
The Facebook Memories section has just reminded me that 12 months ago, aware that I was desperate to see them play with Neil Carter, UFO very kindly took me on the road in Germany with them for a couple of unforgettable days in Dortmund and at the Wacken Festival. No assignment, no obligation… just have a few beers, travel on the bus, chill out and try to forget about the agony and uncertainty of a long-rumbling house sale. It was outbound on the Stanstead Express that I realised I couldn’t pay that month’s mortgage, due while I was out of the country. Just to be on the safe side at Stansted I took out cash to cover the rail fare from Gatwick to South London on the return journey. Lunch at Stansted was the cheapest sandwich I could find in Boots. I couldn’t afford to eat on the flight, and in Dortmund the band had said to jump a taxi to the venue and they’d reimburse me. With insufficient dough, I took a train. Yeah… things really were *that* bad. I cannot thank Phil and the guys enough for their hospitality over those spirit-affirming 48 hours, and luckily I’m back on my feet again now.
Saturday 1st August
It’s the first of the month, it must be Playlist day. Topping the hit parade in St Leonards-on-Sea this month is Lionheart’s newie, ‘The Reality Of Miracle’, a more satisfying fusion of rock, pomp, AOR and metal it would be hard to imagine.