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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Wednesday 31st January
Uriah Heep's longstanding drummer Lee Kerslake has left the band due to "health issues" as they work towards releasing their first new studio album in a decade. Guitarist Mick Box comments: "For me, it's particularly devastating to lose someone who I've worked with for some 35 years, but also one of my closest and oldest friends. It is, however, in the best interests of both Lee and the band that a change is made now." The news leaves me shocked. The bear-like Kerslake has hardly been in the best of shapes for these past few years but can always be relied upon to deliver the goods behind the kit. Then again he's 60 this year, which as a drummer is a pretty ripe age. Perhaps it's time to start taking it easy at his home in sunny Lanzarote. The band are holding select auditions for replacements.
Iron Maiden have, as universally foreseen, been confirmed to headline the final night of this year's Download Festival at Donington Park on June 10. According to Bruce Dickinson, they will perform "quite a few more classic favorites" as well as material from 'A Matter Of Life And Death'. Topping the bill on the first two evenings are My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park. Neither of those excites me too much, I've gotta admit, but my hotel room for the Sunday night is already booked.
Well done to Palace for bringing back a hard-earned point from Scumderland's Stadium Of Shite. The commentary of last night's 0-0 draw made it sound like our defenders deserved every last penny of their pay packets, but after the frustration of exiting the FA Cup at the weekend, it was vital that the ship was steadied. Seven league games unbeaten is a good, if somewhat flattering, record for Peter Taylor's side.
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Monday 30th January
Yesterday morning I trundled along to Abbey Road Stadios for a preview of Porcupine Tree's forthcoming album, 'Fear Of A Blank Planet' in glorious 5.1 surround sound. Before the playback began, band leader Steven Wilson informed the gathered throng that the album is one "continuous piece of music" that lasts for around 53 minutes, explaining that most CDs these days are way too long to hold the listener's attention. "It's a very intense album", he warned, adding that it includes no potential singles - something that hardly seemed to bother representatives from the quartet's new label Roadrunner Records. And why should it? The album is simply stunning from start to finish; elaborately conceived, brilliantly orchestrated and executed with consummate sophistication. The track that will surely generate most attention is 'Anesthetize', which at 17 mins and 42 seconds long features a guitar solo from Rush's Alex Lifeson. Robert Fripp of King Crimson also offers guest soundscape guitar effects to the penultimate song 'Way Out Of Here'. But, believe me, the whole album is a stroke of genius.
I also did a quick interview with Mr Wilson, who was helpful, friendly and polite - a pleasure to deal with. I've spent spent quite a while chewing the cud with him since Classic Rock's inception and three things always strike me about Steven; his sheer enthusiasm for music, the diversity of his influences (try talking to him about the Carpenters or Abba one day) and, of course, an unwavering creative focus.
In the evening it was off to Brixton Academy. My last sighting of Killswitch Engage was at the Mean Fiddler in '03. The Massachusetts maulers have come a lo-o-o-o-ong way since then, their last album 'The End Of Heartache' having shifted 60,000 copies in the UK. With Adam Dutkiewicz at home recovering from the surgery for a herniated disc that forced the original show's postponement (ex-Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers stepped in to deputise), the jury was always going to be out. But the packed Academy hailed every last endearingly dumb rant from Howard Jones, metalcore's answer to Homer Simpson, roaring the makeshift line-up past the finishing post in fine style. Incredible but true, a heavied-up version of Dio's 'Holy Diver' ended what turned out to be a triumphant night.
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Sunday 28th January
Crystal Palace were recently named the English football league's eleventh worst/most frustrating club to support. Yesterday's FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Preston made it easy to see why. Preston are one of our biggest bogey sides, so it was no shock that a mere 8,422 (including myself and son Eddie) showed up at the morgue-like Selhurst Park for what looked like - and turned out to be - an inevitable defeat. Incredibly, the Eagles bossed the first half, registering about 10 corners to North End's one, and forcing the visitors deep into their own half. The hammer blow was struck two minutes after the re-start, David Nugent going on a long solo run and firing a powerful shot into the top corner. You knew instantly that there was no way back, but it was highly disturbing to witness supposedly mature members of the squad standing in the net, shoving and haranguing rookie goalie Scott Flinders for the gaffe that made it 0-2 with seven minutes to go. Messrs Morrison, Ward and Hudson, I hope you're utterly ashamed of yourselves this morning. As ashamed as I'm starting to feel about this rotting carcass of a football club.
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Saturday 27th January
There's loads of post this morning - hurrah. Although it's one of the greatest recordings of its genre, I've never owned Glenn Hughes/Pat Thrall's self-titled debut from 1982 on CD. Thanks to ex-Kerrang!-ites Dante Bonutto and Derek Oliver's re-issue label Rock Candy Records this sorry situation has been amended at last - and how. Rock Candy always do a thorough job; their re-mastering is second to none, and they go the extra mile in the packaging with extensive sleeve essays and imput from the artists wherever possible. Today's parcel also included Balance's second album, 1982's 'In From The Count', and the self-titled 1983 debut from Preview, the latter a niche record if ever there was one. I also received a finished copy of 'Anth-f***in-ology: The Gospel According to...', a collection of The Almighty's best songs that comes with a bonus DVD disc. Top marks to designer Hugh Gilmour, who has squeezed all manner of memorabilia and detail into the booklet to accompany my own sleeve notes.
P.S. According to Billboard magazine, contracts for Van Halen's reunion tour (with David Lee Roth on vocals for the first time in 22 years!) will be signed this weekend. Leaves me with a mixture of child-like excitement and utter dread, I admit, but how many of us could tear ourselves away from such a car-crash spectacle?
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Thursday 25th January
They say that bad news always comes in triplicate, and I believe it. Firstly, two reliable sources have informed me that there will be no Monsters Of Rock Festival in 2007. Gutted is not the word. Secondly, vocalist Joey Belladonna has quit Anthrax just as they were about to commence a new album. Guitarist Scott Ian would apparently like John Bush to return... if I were Monsewer Bush I'd be tempted to tell him to shove it after the disgusting treatment he received to accommodate the classic line-up's reunion. And thirdly, the Hammersmith Palais - a hall in which Anthrax actually made their UK debut back in 1986 - is the latest London venue to be threatened with demolition. This is getting ridiculous!
I was among those at Soil's Mean Fiddler show last night, despite the Chicago band's current album 'True Self' being thoroughly underwhelming. Having reviewed her latest yawnsome CD for Metal Hammer I passed on opening act Lennon, but regretted missing the start of Brand New Sin, who were like a supercharged, heavied-up version of Molly Hatchet. Special guests Godhead, on the other hand, were so vacuously tedious I almost dozed off awhile.
And so to Soil, a band whose career I've followed with growing enthusiasm since 1999's independent album 'Throttle Junkies', and a sparsely attended first UK gig at the Underworld circa their major label debut 'Scars' two years later. For a while I thought they would be massive, but without short-ass vocalist Ryan McCombs and promoting huge chunks of the damp squib that is 'True Self', that opinion has been revised. New frontman CJ Cavalier has bags of personality, but the same cannot be said of 'Jaded', 'Forever Dead', 'Fight For Life' and the perhaps appropriately named 'The Last Chance', all of which paled into insignificance alongside the likes of 'Breaking Me Down', 'Wide Open' and a rousing finale of 'Halo'.
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Wednesday 24th January
Awoken earlier than usual by the sound of Bob The Dog's barking. Bleary-eyed, I look out the window and see the reason(s) why: Not only has the trusty hound never seen snow before, but the maze of footprints on the lawn confirm Mrs L's theory that those pesky foxes are partying in our back garden again. After the awful fate that befell our chickens, the airgun will be left by the window tonight. Although it was barely 6.30am, the only way to calm Bob down was a visit to the park. Watching him scamper excitedly across the carpet of fresh whiteness, leaving pawprints in his wake, was lovely to behold. The Walkman in my pocket also kept the cold at bay. Buzzing around my head was a watermarked promo of 'The Weirdness', the Stooges' first new studio album in - ulp! - 33 years. Iggy, guitarist Ron Asheton and drummer Scott Asheton have been joined by ex-Minutemen bassist Mike Watt and original Stooges saxophonist Steve Mackay for this high-spirited, foul-mouthed and rarely less than compellingly anarchic 12-song disc, which has scarcely left the Ling Towers death deck since dropping onto the mat. Find out for yourselves when it hits the racks on March 19.
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Tuesday 23rd January
Given that their edgy brand of alternative power-pop/punk-lite has made them underground darlings, not to mention cited by artists as diverse as Stone Temple Pilots, Def Leppard and Sonic Youth, I'd expected the Underworld to be packed with trendy f**kwits for yesterday's Redd Kross gig. Instead, 'comfortably busy' was more suitable. Where was everyone?! Oddly, just about the only two faces that I recognised were CJ from the Wildhearts (again) and ex-3 Colours Red guitarist Chris McCormack.
And the show itself? Apart from a slightly smug delivery, it was hard to find fault with. 'Switchblade Sister', 'Peach Kelli Pop', 'Jimmy's Fantasy', 'Mess Around', 'Crazy World' and 'Bubblegum Factory' are ingeniously constructed around sugar-coated hooks and urgent powerchords. To my immense shame, the only two Redd Kross albums currently nestling in my collection are 'Neurotica' (1987) and 'Show World' (1997). After last night this situation will definitely change.
Met up with TotalRock's Malcolm Dome for a pre-gig snifter. He'd kindly blagged me copies of the two new re-mastered Y&T re-issues. 'In Rock We Trust', from 1984, remains (to quote the mighty Saxon) a solid ball of rock, but 1981's 'Earthshaker' is an all-time great that would definitely feature in my Desert Island Discs Top 50. I'll never forget those two scorching shows that the San Franciscans played at the Marquee in Wardour Street back in June '82. It reminds me... must find the time to paste the full, unedited version of the interview that appeared in Classic Rock #85, onto this site.
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Sunday 21st January
A 30-yard thunderbolt from Carl Fletcher seemed to have earned Palace all three points against Hull yesterday, but such a result would've flattered the home side. What on earth was manager Peter Taylor doing in attempting to shut up shop and replace striker Dougie Freedman with a midfielder before Hull's 72nd-minute equaliser? Baffling and bloody enraging.
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Saturday 20th January
Saxon threw a launch party for their new album, 'The Inner Sanctum', yesterday. Music journos of all nationalies and various styles of ludicrously striped legwear convened at the Courthouse Hotel in Central London in advance of the band's 18th album (which drops in March here in Europe, a month later Stateside). I'm pleased to report that 'The Inner Sanctum' kicks serious quantities of ass, with songs like 'Need For Speed', 'Let Me Feel Your Power' and 'I've Got To Rock (To Stay Live)' richly deserving of inclusion in their live show.
For the past couple of months, Saxon's movements have been followed by a TV camera crew. This is for the benefit of a reality TV show called Harvey Goldsmith Presents, in which the legendary concert promoter (who played a huge role in Live Aid and worked on shows by Pink Floyd, The Who, Springsteen etc) attempts to elevate the band's profile by whatever means necessary. To this end, Saxon singer Biff Byford has actually consented to having his flowing locks shortened ("What's an inch when you've got a foot?" he reasons), and consulted a stylist for an image makeover. They've also brought in Razorlight producers Mark Wallis and Ravid Ruffy to re-mix one of the tracks from the album, 'If I Was You', as a single, dispensing with their usual logo for something a little more contemporary-looking. In a bizarre PR stunt they're even attempting to get into the Guinness Book Of World Records by accumulating the most ever air guitarists in one place. I'll be honest, I thought the single re-mix was bloody abysmal but you've probably gotta admire Saxon for giving it a go. The show airs on Channel 4 in April... I'll watch with interest.
In a highly advanced state of inebriation, it was then off to the Royal Standard for a gig by my old guzzling buddies Chariot. These guys are among the most consistent performers around, but could probably do with a leg-up from Harvey Goldsmith themselves - not that somebody as opinionated as guitarist/frontman Pete Franklin would consider accepting such an offer. How I safely negotiated the tube system to Walthamstow and back home at Catford is subject of great mystery, but I do recall Chariot playing old favourites 'Warriors', 'Run With The Pack', 'Screams The Night' and, for the first time in about twenty years, 'Burning', during a hugely enjoyable performance that seems to have given me a bit of a neck-ache.

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Friday 19th January
Good ol' British weather... it never lets you down. Ten people lost their lives yesterday as 100mph gales blitzed across the country, throwing the already chaotic transport system into meltdown. So how did yours truly spend the evening? Snuggled up in the warm, with a bottle of cherry brandy on the go? Hardly. More like braving the elements to watch my first gig of 2007.
Surprisingly, a respectably-sized crowd had gathered at the Mean Fiddler to see Ginger of the Wildhearts playing a solo show. Before it began, I bumped into Wildhearts guitarist CJ, who was enthusing about the band's recently completed new album. Apparently it's the most demanding thing he's ever played on, a full-on rock album with no less than two nine-minute tracks.
Ginger's new solo album 'Yoni' is also still unfamiliar to me, but tunes like 'Black Windows', 'When She Comes', 'Why Can't You Be Normal All The Time' and 'I Can't Drink You Pretty' all hit the spot in no uncertain terms, especially the latter, a brilliantly-titled bar-room boogie-blaster that somehow segued into snippets of Glenn Miller's 'In The Mood' and 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy' by the Andrews Sisters. Surreal stuff. Going home afterwards, with trees uprooted on the pavement - that was equally extraordinary.
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Thursday 18th January
Ouch... mustn't hit the keys too loudly this morning. Last night was spent in imbibing a few jars in the company of three fellas from reunited UK thrashers Onslaught, plus two old pals from my days on RAW magazine, Phil Alexander and Malcolm Dome. Guitarist Nige Rockett, frontman Sy Keeler and drummer/George W Bush lookalike Steve Grice were in town to spill the beans on their rather splendid new album 'Killing Peace', released on March 5th. I used to have a great time hanging out with the Onslaught guys circa their 'In Search Of Sanity' opus during the late 1990s (though, of course, Steve Grimmett was their singer back then), and as drinking buddies they're as much fun as ever, if perhaps a little too over-zealous in their use of the word 'c**t'.
Bad news for Saga fans: Michael Sadler is to exit the veteran Canadian pomp-rockers for good at the year's end. Given the inexcusably minute turnout for their last UK show at the Garage - myself, Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden, Phil and Sue Ashcroft from Fireworks magazine and a small Dachshund called Colin - I won't bother feigning surprise. Sadler has one of those voices that's just irreplaceable. It's difficult to imagine Saga carrying on without him, though the remaining members haved decided to "keep all possible options open".
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Tuesday 16th January
67 days into their tour of Australia, England's cricketers have finally won a game... against New Zealand. And even then it went right down to the last ball. This is getting too much to take. Can't we just wave the white flag, fly home and get the friggin' post mortem underway?
Just been enjoying an excellent interview with Jeff Beck in the new issue of Classic Rock. For such a talented dude, Beck is Mr Modesty. When you deal with as many ego-obsessed under-achievers as I do, that's unbelievably refreshing. Writer Paul Henderson plucked some good quotes from Beck, but what really struck home was his subject's sheer bluntness and self-effaciveness. Asked to name the favourite album of his career, he chuckles: "Why do you bastards think of such awkward questions? To narrow [my] albums down to one is so senseless. They all suck."
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Sunday 14th January
Coventry Shitty's fans were left chanting "what a load of rubbish" as Palace shafted Micky Adams' team by four goals to two at the Ricoh Arena yesterday afternoon. The magnificent result leaves the Eagles just seven points behind the play-off pack. Planning to see Killswitch Engage and The Haunted at Brixton in the evening, I didn't attend the game, so news that Howard Jones and company actually postponed the show on the morning concerned (it now takes place on the 29th) was annoying. But there's consolation a-plenty in the shape of Charlton's hilarious home capitulation to Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough... the relegation trapdoor is being oiled as I type.
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Saturday 13th January
After more than a quarter-century of interviews, they rarely make me nervous anymore. But I admit, my stomach was knotted for most of last night in advance of a phoner with Journey. Classic Rock had been trying to speak to someone - anyone? - from the band since the whole lip-synching controversy erupted back in the summer.  Requests for statements regarding the accusations were repeatedly ignored. When the dust had settled a little, interviews were confirmed and then mysteriously blown out on multiple occasions. Then came the unexpected message: Friday night, call Ross Valory at 10pm UK time, Neal Schon half an hour later. To be honest, my initial fear was that it would all go pear-shaped. Valory answered the phone but was "busy" and requested to talk after Schon, who was in a fairly noisy restaurant (in San Francisco, I assume) when we hooked up. Then Ross failed to pick up five times afterwards and I had to call the band's management office to find out what was going on before we finally connected.
Both conversations were revealing. Obviously, I can't pass on the exact details of what was said (we'd quite like you to buy the darned magazine!), but the pair did address the Augeri rumours with reasonable calm and good grace - one denying them more emphatically than the other. That's all I'm really at liberty to impart until the story is printed in the issue after next. But I will say this.... both Neal and Ross seemed hugely fired up by the arrival of new singer Jeff Scott Soto, which augers well for the already largely sold-out UK tour that begins on March 1.
Also last night I received a call from Rob Grain, who runs www.paulsamson.co.uk. Chris Aylmer, who played bass with Samson, has died after a long battle with throat cancer. That's awful, awful news. Unlike Paul, who also succumbed to the big C back in 2002, I only knew Chris vaguely. But by all accounts he was a lovely fella. RIP, chap.
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Friday 12th January
The last nail in the coffin? Ex-Michael Schenker Group/current Kottak bassist Rev Jones has given a typically straight-talking interview to the Pivotal Rage webzine, in which he discusses his reasons for quitting MSG after the band's recent, aborted tour of the Far East. With accusations of Schenker being too drunk too play and walking offstage during gigs, it makes for tragic reading. The key quote would be: "[Michael always] talks about his wife leaving him and selling [all his personal effects], but he leaves out the fact that he abandoned her, their kid and his whole band on tour in 2001. He just took off with some crazy lady to Mexico, so why wouldn't she sell everything? He cares about no one, not even himself." If Jones' allegations are true, that's very sad indeed.
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Tuesday 9th January
You may have read of the recent death of Snake, frontman of Tobruk, Idol Rich and (briefly) The Wildhearts. Regrettably, his passing generated the most cursory of mentions, mostly due to an almost complete lack of info out there on the world wide web - even the man's real name was unknown. A few days ago the Classic Rock website asked for anyone that knew Snake to come forward, so that we could compile a decent obituary. Hey, I'd like to think someone would do the same for me. Happily, Steve Newell, Martin Holwill, Tracie and Paul Stefanowicz were among the kind folks to help out. It seems that Stuart John Neale died at his home in Kettering of congestive heart failure on December 20th (not the 21st, as has been reported). A boating accident whilst fishing in Lanzarotte in July 1996 had left him with physical and psychological problems as a result. In 2004, he was fitted with a pacemaker and the last year of his life was difficult.
"Stuart told me on several occasions that he was going to die," says Paul Stefanowicz, "but he used to bounce into a room, and you certainly knew when he was around." Having met Snake several times and even seen him onstage with the Wildhearts at an all-dayer in London's Highbury, I agree. He was never anything less than a decent fella. RIP, Snake.
For the past fortnight or so I've played the heck out of a set of advance promo copies of the next Whitesnake re-issues (all re-mastered, and due via EMI on March 12th). Bringing back priceless memories of the Hammersmith Choir, 1980's 'Live... In The Heart Of The City' is a staggeringly good document of the Moody/Marsden line-up's power, passion and charisma. Released back in 1982, 'Saints An' Sinners' also has its share of classic moments, but although 'Lovehunter' has always been my personal favourite of the early Snake records, I'm starting to agree with Mr Coverdale that 'Come An' Get It' perhaps has the edge. Check out those brilliant songs; 'Don't Break My Heart Again', 'Wine Women And Song', 'Would I Lie To You' and 'Child Of Babylon'. DC took plenty of stick for the salaciousness of his lyrics during the group's heyday, and you could see why when he sang "You treat me like a dog/But still I shake my tail for you" during 'Girl', but he could also be a romantic old fox. "Women and whiskey are my only friends," he purrs during 'Lonely Days Lonely Nights', "One gives me strength and one just pretends." Timeless stuff...
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Monday 8th January
How bloody influential is Celebrity Big Brother? After the national headlines generated by Towers Of London frontman Donny Tourette's exit from the programme, yours truly took Bob The Dog for his evening constitutional around the local park. I was surprised and initially confused when, having clocked the barnet and leather jacket, a gang of black kids hollered the greeting: "Hey, Tower!" Could've been a lot worse, I suppose. At least they didn't mistake me for Ken Russell.
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Sunday 7th January
This is quite, quite brilliant! Disgusted by what they call a "phoney hardman image" and the fact that his band allegedly "pretended to be West Ham supporters" (an act of sheer lunacy that I'm quite unable to fathom), The Cockney Rejects have challenged Towers Of London frontman Donny Tourette to a charity boxing fight with their own lead vocalist, Jefferson 'Stinky' Turner. The Rejects, who of course once made an album that was produced by UFO's Pete Way, are disdainful that Tourette "was so tough he ended up legging it over the wall after failing to go two rounds with Jade [Goody] and her mum in the Celebrity Big Brother house." According to the Mail On Sunday, Donny actually hails from ultra-posh Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, and might turn out to be a bit of a sheep in wolf's clothing. For the full hilarious story go to www.cockneyrejects.net.
Still in the realms of footie, Palace eased past Swindon Town in the Third Round of the FA Cup at a rainswept Selhurst yesterday afternoon. The 2-1 victory wasn't as simple as the two clubs' respective league placings might have suggested but at least we weren't giantkilled like relegation-doomed Clowntown Pathetic, who slipped up by two goals at Nottingham Forest. Oh, how I laughed myself silly at hearing that.
Happy birthday to my youngest son, Arnie, who is eight years old today. He chose his birthday cake all by himself, but he's not fixated!
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Saturday 6th January
So Donny Tourette, Towers Of London singer and shower wee-wee fiend extraordinaire, has hoofed it out of the Big Brother House. It was really only a matter of time, of course, but Tourette's abrupt exit came just as I was beginning to warm to him. Wonder whether ex-The Darkness warbler Justin Hawkins will now make it onto the show as his replacement?
You might notice, I've introduced two new sections to the site - see the links at the top of the page. YouTube Of The Week is self-explanatory. As is the Crystal Palace Football Club Shrine, which at the moment is still fairly rudimentary. But please feel free to make suggestions regarding the former.
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Thursday January 4th
RIP Philip Parris Lynott, who died 21 years ago today at the age of just 37. This an anniversary that seems to come around faster each year. Lynott was not only a hellraiser but a musician of incredible stature, which is more than can be said of Donny Tourette, the Towers Of London frontman who made an embarrassing V-flicking, expletive-charged entrance to the Celebrity Big Brother house on Channel 4 last night. Err... didn't it say Celebrity on the tin? This adjective applies to Ken Russell, esteemed movie producer father of my old mucker Xavier, also of course to Jermaine Jackson and Leo Sayer. But a disgraced Miss Great Britain and Kenny Everett's former curvaceous sidekick, Cleo Rocos? C'mon now... get real. Quite what Lynott, who had a big heart beneath his macho facade, would have made of a show like CBB is something we'll never know. But one thing's for sure: he'd have eaten a vacuous, attention-seeking loser like Donny Tourette for breakfast and dumped his sorry carcass behind the dustbins.
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Wednesday 3rd January
Let's get one thing straight. Had Simon Jordan not been involved, I'd rather have licked up one of Bob The Dog's runny poos than watch a barrel-scraping programme like ITV's Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway. Basically, it involves people coming onto a stage to beg for cash from a panel which includes SJ and (believe it or not) jailed former MP Jeffrey Archer for money to finance an array of 'deserving' causes. Like the two bum-boy nerds who wanted to share a cabin travelling the country on a train, the cheeky bitch that sought £1,000 for a new sofa or the women's football team who needed to make a CD of a quite awful-sounding song. There's a million quid, from the panel's own pockets, to be claimed over the series.
As car crash telly goes... well, Eagles supremo Simon's attempt at Cowell-like grumpiness made it just about watchable. Loved it when the irate female contestant who, plea for cash having been declined, attempted to bait SJ with a comment of: "Your team can't even get a win on Saturday." Just get back to your trailer park in Gillingham, luv. I'm sure that Jordan sobbed tears of rage as his chauffeur returned him to his mansion, a spot of fellatio from Sophie Anderton and a chilled bottle of Cristal (Palace) en route. Where on earth do they dig up these imbecilic specimens? If they can find a few more - and some genuinely moving cases, like the brave young lad with a chunk of his leg missing that wanted a holiday caravan for fellow cancer victims - I'll be watching for the next six weeks.
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Tuesday 2nd January
Although I was one of those who worked through most of the festive break, this morning's 6.30am alarm call reminding Mrs L to return to the grindstone sounded pretty bloody severe. Especially as during the evening before I'd been swigging at the Baileys following Palace's extremely welcome (though distinctly flattering) 3-1 victory over Norwich. Unbeaten over the holidays, and having registered impressive away draws at Southampton and Cardiff, the mighty Eagles now find themselves nine points from the play off zone once more. How queer.
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Monday 1st January
Greetings, and welcome to 2007. Where on earth would we be without the internet? Just been surfing over at the official Sweet website, which has a forum sometimes frequented by one of my all time heroes, Steve Priest. In a thread titled 'When did Sweet open for Kiss?', the bassist recently dropped by to post that he was "ashamed, totally ashamed" of having to open for $immons and company in America back in 1978. When pressed to explain his comment, Priest launched into a rant about Sweet having "inspired" Kiss, being limited to enough stage space "for a skiffle band - if that", and declaring "Spinal Tap's songs much more fulfilling" than anything that he heard from the headliners on the night concerned. "Shite does come to mind with Kiss," sums up Mr Priest, who might well have minced around onstage but clearly doesn't follow suit in his choice of words. Love it!