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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Thursday 31st January
That’s another pretty cool interview consigned to tape. Last night I met Vega singer Nick Workman in a bar at Marylebone Station for a chat about the group’s new album, ‘What The Hell!’ before darting back across London in time to tune in the radio for the kick-off of the Huddersfield-Palace match. Had the Eagles won, they’d have ascended back into the automatic promotion places. Alas, the home side notched a second half goal to seize the points just as Holloways men were enjoying a spell of dominance!! Grrrr…
With the transfer window about to slam shut, my friend Mark Kentfield just texted the shocking news that Palace have signed Kevin Phillips on loan from Blackpool for the remainder of the current season. On paper, that doesn’t really float my boat. The guy *always* scores against us no matter who he’s playing for, but he’s about 107 years old isn’t he??!!
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Wednesday 30th January
Great news – my guest list application for next week’s gig by Danny Bowes and Ben Matthews at the Komedia, down in that unmentionable place on the South Coast, has just been okayed. I missed the one they did at London’s Shaw Theatre ’cos it clashed with my trip to Skegness. That’s summat to look forward to.
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Tuesday 29th January
Well, it really doesn’t take too long for that cosy ‘holiday feeling’ to subside, does it? I’m back at my desk here at Ling Towers and it’s almost as though the Skeggy experience didn’t happen. Anyway, as we enter another Classic Rock production week, I’ve just conducted a really interesting phone interview with Robyn Hitchcock. As a co-founder of neo-psychedelic-punks The Soft Boys, also a keen conservationist, Hitchcock had a lot to say for himself. I really enjoyed our chat.
I’m working my way through a huge pile of album reviews. Please welcome my favourite new band… Free Fall. Weaned on Zeppelin, UFO, Priest, Van Halen, The Who, AC/DC and the Stooges, the Swedes kick serious quantities of ass!!!! Check them out here.
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Monday 28th January
Onto day #3 of this year’s GBR&BF and I felt increasingly sad that the event was coming to a close. After a late but humongously proportioned brekkie (the food at Skeggy is *amazing*!!), we grabbed some seats in a sports bar for the televised lunchtime FA Cup clash between Brentford and Chelski. Sara is a big Bees fan and was thrilled but ultimately disappointed when her side came tantalisingly close to an audacious feat of giant killing – the Stamford Bridge millionaires can count themselves extremely lucky to have departed Griffin Park with a 2-2 draw.
Music-wise, Sunday’s itinerary produced so many riches that you could only dip in and out of its delights. Finland’s queen of slide guitar, ERJA LYYTINTEN [7], sported a pair of eye-catching sparkly hot pants as she began on the Rock Stage. Her playing, especially during the mesmerising ‘Change Of Season’ (a song from the new album ‘Forbidden Fruit’) was equally dazzling, but soon it was time to switch location. Over at Jak’s Bar, the UK-born Amazonian blonde JO HARMAN [6] was performing a solo set away from her band The Company, accompanied by just acoustic guitar and occasional keyboards. As I arrived she was busy crooning a delightful version of Bobby Blue Bland's Whitesnake-popularised ‘Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’. Christ, what a voice! But for me there was a little too much chatter and not enough music, so I headed back to the chalet, changed clothes and went out for a nice, long run along Skegness beach… at the waterline, with waves lapping at my feet and the sun beginning to dip over the horizon. Lovely…
After the evening meal we returned to the Rock Stage for the Joe Bonamassa-approved HENRIK FREISCHLADER [7], an artist whose recorded work I knew but had never seen live before. His blues-rock was drenched with Hammond organ and underpinned by funky groove but barring the occasional dip into commercial waters such as ‘Breaking My Heart Again’ it soon began to feel a bit lethargic.
It was time to head back to Jak’s for a look at ROADHOUSE [7], a band featuring my ex-Shogun/Tokyo Blade pal Danny Gwilym on guitar. TB’s John Wiggins was also in a rather large crowd that cheered the band along, and why not? Into their tenth consecutive year at Skegness and with three cute female lead singers, Roadhouse offered a party-friendly vibe that was hard to ignore, tearing the joint up with the fruity rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Devil’s Highway’.
Reluctantly we tore ourselves away from Jak’s to take a look at BLUE COUPE [7], a power-trio featuring the Bouchard brothers, once of Blue Öyster Cult, and Dennis Dunaway, bassist of the original Alice Cooper group. Starting strongly with ‘The Red And The Black’, ‘Burning For You’ and ‘Cities On Flame With Rock ‘N’ Roll’ they sounded unexpectedly good, though the addition of a second guitarist would’ve yielded some welcome additional welly and finesse. Alice fans would’ve enjoyed a version of ‘I'm 18’, though the effect was diluted by the inclusion of some nondescript-sounding tunes from a new album currently being mixed by Jack Douglas. The band were just about to launch into ‘Godzilla’ when it was time to move on (again).
Sara had wanted to wanted to watch ROBIN BIBI [8], a talented guitarist/vocalist who comes from her local blues patch of West London, and I’m extremely glad that we did so. Playing delicious slide guitar and jumping up onto the tables, Bibi highlighted the festival’s strength in depth on its satellite stages.
With the clock ticking down I was faced with the choice of an honest, AC/DC tribute act or the band of non-originals known as DR FEELGOOD [6]. On the surface it was no contest: The latter won out. And there’s no denying they’re good; authentic, too. But for me it was just too hard to get past the levels of audacious fraud involved (the band were handed use of the name by singer Lee Brilleaux after his death in 1994), so I headed back to Jak’s for a little more of Robin Bibi, a final few rounds of drinks and – ulp! - some dad dancing! I hope that nobody took photos!!
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Sunday 27th January
After brekkie I managed to get in a quick jog around the outer limits of the holiday park complex. It was just my luck that Noel Buckley and Paul Newcomb were on a fag break outside a building as I ran past it, and that Noel happened to have his trusty camera to hand. “Officer, I’ve been papped… what about my privacy issues??!!”
After a quick shower it was onto the Blues Stage, where the ever thoughtful Alice Klaar had saved Sara and I some seats right at the front of the stage for HUNDRED SEVENTY SPLIT [8.5], the side-project of Ten Years After men Leo Lyons and Joe Gooch. Electing to studiously ignore the TYA catalogue in favour of songs from an album entitled ‘The World Won’t Stop’ was a brave move, though the excellence of ‘Where The Blues Began’ and ‘Dance On Your Tombstone’ – the former melodic, the latter detuned and gnarly – solicited an unscheduled but thoroughly deserved encore of ‘Going Down To The Smoke’, confirming them as the best band of the bill till that point.
STRAY [8] were formed in 1966 so Del Bromham should know his way around a fretboard by now. Unlike so many bands at Skeggy, Stray still make records that withstand modern scrutiny, a fact proven by their first three numbers, ‘Move A Mountain’, ‘Free At Last’ and ‘Harry Farr’ (all from 2009’s ‘Valhalla’). Bromham’s, chirpy, witty stage banter went down as well as the band’s bluesy, hook-laden hard rock and when he hung a squealing axe from the roof girders during the epic, Iron Maiden-covered ‘It’s All In Your Mind’, success was assured.
It was time to grab a pint of wine and claim a decent place on the dancefloor for the arrival of HAWKIND [9]. With their cosmic light show, sexy android dancers and stilt walkers, also some wonderful back-projections, Dave Brock and company took off into the stratosphere with the crisp one-two punch of ‘Master Of The Universe’ and ‘You’d Better Believe It’ and never looked back. When the crowd simply refused to let them leave, there was just one song that they could possibly play: ‘Silver Machine’. The band of the weekend, and no mistake.
Let me just say that I consider myself a fan of the reunited CURVED AIR [6]. I saw them last April at the Borderline and filed a rave review for Classic Rock. At Skeggy, however, the audience could not get to grips with the quirky-jerky time changes and crazy violin solos. Sonja Kristina still has a very decent set of pipes but did not appear to be enjoying herself, and it rubbed off on the audience, who fled the building with such haste that I thought Mark Taylor had begun taking off his clothes. Time for a few more sherberts back at the chalet, then…
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Saturday 26th January
Yesterday marked the opening of this year’s Great British Rock & Blues Festival. The journey to Skegness in a car owned and driven by my photographer buddy Noel Buckley was full of laughter and joy, also plenty of ciggie smoke for Sara Harding and I as Noel and Mark Taylor puffed away in the front seats. The chalet was excellent, and we wasted little time imbibing a couple of liveners before heading off to Jak’s Bar to check out THE MENTULLS [7], a frighteningly young blues band that my gig promoter friend Pete Feenstra has been jabbering on about at every available opportunity. The four-piece unit (keys, no bass), didn’t disappoint. In fact, a beanpole guitar player who towered above his Lilliputian band-mates was extremely impressive. Look out for ‘em!
Moving onto the Rock Stage, JOHN COGHLAN’S QUO [7] whetted the appetite for the upcoming Frantic Four reunion with a nostalgia-friendly set that focussed on Quo’s vintage years, bookended by ‘Junior’s Wailing’ and ‘Down Down’ but also including gems such as ‘In My Chair’, ‘April, Spring, Summer And Wednesday’, ‘I Saw The Light’ and a full-length ‘Railroad’. Dandruff was shaken.
Several years ago OLIVER-DAWSON SAXON [6] played one of the most dreadful gigs I’ve ever seen. At Skeggy, running through ‘Strong Arm Of The Law’, ‘Denim And Leather’, ‘Crusader’, ‘Dallas 1PM’ and ‘The Eagles Has Landed’, they were vastly improved. But any version of Saxon without Biff Byford on vocals is, frankly, a non-starter.
Annoyingly, one of several schedule clashes meant that FOCUS [8] were already well into their headline set by the time we arrived at the Blues Stage. Last year the Dutch maestros released a truly strong comeback in ‘Focus X’ that I’m sure was well represented in their repertoire. The glut of instrumental solos seemed rather pointless, though the band redeemed themselves with great versions of ‘Sylvia’ and a wonderful, yodel-tastic encore of ‘Hocus Pocus’.
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Friday 25th January
I’m disappointed by the seemingly imminent transfer of Crystal Palace wonderkid England Wilfried Zaha to ManUre. Wilf is a genuine star in the making. His departure was inevitable. The Red Filth are paying £10m up front, with an extra £5m in additional fees but the best news is that Zaha will remain with the mighty Eagles ‘on loan’ till the end of the current campaign. So long as we hang onto striker Glenn Murray during the transfer window then I’m reasonably happy with the outcome. I’d like to say I wish the 20-year-old good luck at Old Trafford but of course that’s impossible. It’s a small crumb of comfort but at least Wilf didn’t opt for a tin pot joke of a club like Wigan, unlike so many others before him (*Braces himself for the next email from Phil Ashcroft*…!)
Anyway, I’m heading out of the door to the Great British Rock & Blues Festival weekend at Butlins in Skegness. Can’t wait to see Hawkwind, John Coghlan’s Quo, Virgil & The Accelerators, Erja Lyytinen, Leo Lyons & Joe Gooch, the band that calls itself Dr Feelgood and as many of the other attractions as the numerous schedule clashes will allow. I’ve packed the Jäger test tubes along with my running gear and swimming trunks. With a posse that includes Paul Newcomb, Mark Taylor, Noel Buckley, the quasi-legendary Alice Klaar and my ‘hair twin’ Sara Harding, good times and hangovers are ahead!
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Thursday 24th January
On the grounds that each time our paths cross in the Crobar I can never recall a word of the conversation, I arranged to have a civilised sit-down meal and catch-up with my good pals Annick Barbaria and Harj Kallah, the godparents of my two sons. Rendezvousing in the Cro was *not* a good idea, neither was the bottle of delicious, fruity white wine that washed down the nosebag. And whose goddamn bright idea was it to return to the Cro for a nightcap? “I must get my last train home”, I thought and gazed down at my watch, expecting it to say 11.30-ish. No. 12.18am… the bugger was long gone. Oh well, one more drink… just to be sociable. After a night bus journey home I crawled beneath the duvet at 4.30am, the alarm going off at 6.40am… ugh. Making the kids’ sandwiches for school, I’m sure I’d have failed a breathalyser test. Luckily I got my s**t together pretty quickly as there are two important phone interviews to conduct – Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg and Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. No rest for the wicked.
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Wednesday 23rd January
Aston Villa crash out of the League Cup semi-final to a team from the fourth tier of football. *Titters*. Eldest lad Eddie and I sat glued to the TV coverage as the underdogs of Bradford gave the Premier League big-boys as royal ass-spanking (yes, I know that sounds like something my friend Mark Taylor might get up to in the privacy of his boudoir). ’Twas a great game for the neutral but somewhere in the midlands, Sir Peter of Way still resides in a darkened room, head in hands.
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Tuesday 22nd January
I’ve just been out for a run in the snow and slush. The park was completely empty and the combination of silence (save for my own footfalls), fresh air and the chill factor was rather exhilarating. Sometimes a spell on the exercise bike just won’t do.
Though I’d been intending to attend a late-afternoon playback of the new Bon Jovi album, when push came to shove there simply wasn’t time. Given the band’s shocking artistic plunge I’m pretty sure it would’ve been an exercise in blind optimism anyway.
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Monday 21st January
Well, what an enjoyable interview/lunch with Brian Wheat to talk up Tesla’s headline appearance at Hard Rock Hell AOR Festival in April. Well worth braving the snowdrifts for! It’s hard to believe that I first met ‘Shredded’ when I witnessed Tesla opening for Diamond Dave Lee Roth at the Civic Centre in Lakelands, Florida, for a Metal Hammer ‘on the road’ story waaaay back in February 1987. Sheesh, that’s an aeon ago!! Great, great band. They’re gonna make a new album, too…
Brian and I chatted a while after the tape recorder went off. As we did so, the door of the restaurant opened and in strolled legendary lensman Ross Halfin, my CR colleague Peter Makowski and… who was that bringing up the rear?... oh yes, James Patrick Page. Note to self: BE CALM as you (very gently) shake the hand of God. Hahaha! That’s not very easy…
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Sunday 20th January
No, I wasn’t among the idiots to have booed former boss Dougie Freedman upon his return to Selhurst Park with new club Bolton. Besides the fact that uncertainty still surrounds the reasons for Doog’s exit from SE25, I have too much respect for his exploits as both a player and a manger. Sadly, the game was less than a classic. Freedman has taken his defensive-minded tactics up to the Reebok and, try as they might, Palace were unable to break down the visitors. When Wilf Zaha rattled a post towards the end it had seemed as though the deadlock would be broken, but sadly not so. The Eagles are in fourth place, just two points off the automatic promotion places. Things could be much, much worse but we need a win before too long or confidence will begin to fade away. (If only the same fate would be befall this fuggin’ snow – it’s just started coming down again!!).
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Saturday 19th January
Last night’s journey to central London and back was a bit of a nightmare. It was worse still for the hapless Monsewer Beare who sent a BB message in the wee hours of this morning, revealing that he had fallen over, been sick and was attempting to negotiate snow drifts whilst walking home. Oh, Mr Beare… do you never learn? I’m not sure how much of this admission was attributable to the icy conditions. Having been an extremely good boy, I was long since in bed and notching some Zeds.
Amazingly, CPFC’s Facebook Page has confirmed that today’s game between Palace and Bolton is ON! So I need 45 mins on the exercise bike and some LOUD music (the first Montrose album will be perfect), a quick shower and to be on the ale within an hour. Come on you Eagles...
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Friday 18th January
The new issue of Prog is here, with an excellent cover feature on Steven Wilson. Am looking forward to reading it over the next coupla days.

Dave Ling Online

Have decided to brave the banks of fluffy white stuff and head up to the Crobar this evening. Andy Beare and I have agreed to don our ‘sensible heads’ for this journey… arrive by 7pm and be on our respective paths home by 11pm. I didn’t know that I had a sensible head! But after a week spent chained to the PC that included at least three 7am to 8/9pm stints, I do need to blow off some steam! If tomorrow’s Palace game is called off then I’ll be working for just about all of the weekend, too.
My Swedish mate Stefan Johansson was in attendance at W.E.T.’s album launch show at a club in Stockholm. “The gig is already a classic – pure AOR happiness,” he writes this morning. “I’m nursing a monumental hangover.” Git!!!
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Wednesday 16th January
Don’t be fooled by the final score of last night’s FA Cup third round replay. A deserved late equaliser from Glenn Murray saw Crystal Palace take Premier League team Stoke to extra time – even after our reserve goalie gifted the home side the lead with an embarrassing howler. 4-1 flattered the Potters, especially as the Eagles missed a first half penalty and Stoke can be considered fortunate to have avoided defeat in the original game at Selhurst. A home tie with Man City in the next round would’ve been nice but, all in all, I’m satisfied. Let’s get on with promotion back to the top flight.
UFO have been added to the Download Festival bill – yessss! Their first time on a Donington Park stage, so far as I know? So that’s Maiden, UFO, Motörhead, Alice In Chains, Down and Airbourne for starters. Hmmm. Better book a hotel!
Postscript: Argggg! Have just realised that UFO’s gig at the Forum is the same night as Crystal Palace’s crunch home match with Hull. I had it down in the diary as being an away game. Two words spring to mind: ROAD TRIP!!!!!
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Tuesday 15th January
I cannot stop playing my watermarked advance CDr of the new Steven Wilson album ‘The Raven That refused To Sing (And Other Stories)’. What a truly breathtaking piece of work. Love those Mellotron sounds...
I’ve also been working on a new press biography to accompany the January 18th unveiling of Erja Lyytinen’s excellent new album, ‘Forbidden Fruit’ (Ruf Records). Lyytinen is known as Finland’s Queen Of The Slide Guitar, but the new record – her fifth studio release – houses some wonderful songs and is without the doubt the best thing I’ve heard from her so far, continuing the advancements that made 2010’s ‘Voracious Love’ so popular.
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Monday 14th January
Snow is falling in London, but what a great way to begin the week – a 9am phone interview with Europe’s Joey Tempest… truly one of the nice guys of rock music.
I’m making a list of great, under-appreciated rock power ballads. It was impossible not to include this one by Shy – I will never forget seeing them perform it at the old Marquee in Wardour Street. That guitar solo by the late, great Steve Harris still brings up goosebumps. Here’s another of my favourites, by the mighty Winger. There are great melodic hard rock vocalists, and then there’s Terry Brock of Strangeways. This one by Unruly Child was also a bit of a no-brainer.
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Saturday 12th January
Aaaaarg, Crystal Palace concede yet another late goal and lose at Burnley, having dominated the game’s second half. That’s no wins in the last six away fixtures... but do we allow our heads to drop? F**k no. We pour ourselves a stiff one, go online and book our travel for the trip to Hillsborough on February 23. Come on you Eagles!!!
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Friday 11th January
Closing the news pages of the February 1st issue of Classic Rock. Apart from the fact that it meant re-jigging the obituaries column, I was sorry to hear of the sad passing of Claude Nobs – ‘Funky Claude’, from Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water’. I had a very brief meeting with Claude during my one and only visit to the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2003 and he seemed like a complete gentleman. Thanks to Purple, immortality is assured.
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Thursday 10th January
Last night was Date #3 with the lovely Sara Harding. Armed with a mountain of popcorn and a small bottle of something to wash it down with (!), we headed back to Leicester Square to see Texas Chainsaw, the latest spin-off of 1974’s all-time great slasher movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in 3-D. Never let it be said that I don’t know how to treat a lady, hahaha! Truthfully, the film wasn’t great, though the company was vastly superior.
That’s interesting – Crystal Palace have taken Alex Nimely, a 21-year-old forward, on loan from Man City, for the remainder of the season. The Liberian lad can apparently play as both a winger (on either flank!) and a striker… looks like a good temporary deal by the gaffer.
Just received a nice-looking four-disc Girlschool boxed set from Lemon Recordings. ‘The Bronze Years’ pulls together the group’s first four albums and various bonus tracks, with a detailed 5,000-word sleeve essay penned by yours truly. 1983’s Noddy Holder and Jim Lea-produced ‘Play Dirty’ has always been my favourite Girlschool album, so I’m later on gonna give it a good ol’ blast.
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Wednesday 9th January
I eased myself very gently into 2013’s gig-going waters with last night’s show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where folk-prog veterans Caravan paid a 40th anniversary anniversary revisit to the ‘For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night’. The QEH has a steep incline and seated just seven rows back and with the sound just about perfect – maybe the keys of Jan Schelhaas could’ve been a notch louder – it almost felt as though my friend Mark Taylor and I were onstage with the band. The perception is that Caravan is very much the band of guitarist Pye Hastings, so I was a little surprised that Geoffrey Richardson was such a huge part of the show, introducing the songs, playing a multitude of different instruments – even including the spoons during ‘Gold Girl’. I was mightily impressed, and the set only improved as it progressed. ‘Nightmare’ was wonderful, its carefully woven delicacy fully justifying the band’s request for mobile phones to be switched off, and the epic, 20-minute strains of ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’s ‘Nine Feet Underground’ were magnificent. Now into their 44th year as a band, I hope that Caravan get to celebrate their half-century. Here’s the set-list: ‘Memory Lain, Hugh’, ‘Headloss’, ‘In The Land Of Grey And Pink’, ‘Smoking Gun (Right For Me)’, ‘The Unauthorized Breakfast Item’, Medley: ‘L’Auberge Du Sanglier’/‘A Hunting We Shall Go’/‘Backwards’, ‘The Dog The Dog, He’s At It Again’, ‘Golf Girl’, ‘Nightmare’, ‘Fingers In The Till’, ‘Chance Of A Lifetime’ and ‘Nine Feet Underground’, followed by ‘I’m On My Way’ and ‘Hoedown’.
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Tuesday 8th January
Yay! My phone interview with Train’s Pat Monahan happened at the third attempt! What a bloody relief!
I’m liking David Bowie’s Tony Visconti-produced new single, ‘Where Are We Now?’, released without warning at 4am today on his 66th birthday. It was quite shocking to have heard them playing a snippet on Radio 4’s Today programme as I awoke! Wasn’t Bowie supposed to have retired?! It seems not, there’s an album in March! Frankly, it beats me how in this day and age you can make an album with someone like Visconti, and keep that knowledge out of the public eye. Check out the news story here.
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Monday 7th January
Happy birthday to my youngest son, Arnie. Like many whose big day falls so close to Christmas and New Year he’s already had most of his presents but there’s a rather large chocolate cake in the fridge (Note to self: Must do *big* run tomorrow).
I also have a present of my own. DL website regular Mark Willett has generously posted an enamel Crystal Palace pin-badge that passed into his ownership – a gift for my alleged “services to rock journalism”… hahaha! Apparently, said badge has lucky qualities. Its previous owner believed that if it is worn for the rest of the season, “promotion to the promised land” will be achieved. Conversely, however, should its new owner fail to wear it to even a single game at Selhurst, “the power will be lost and Palace will be playing non-league football within four years”. Ulp. I’d better not screw up! Thanks a lot, Mark (you complete loony!).
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Sunday 6th January
I’m proud to be an Eagle after yesterday’s FA Cup Third Round clash with Stoke finished goalless. Could’ve done without the prospect of a replay at the Britannia Stadium as the League is paramount for Crystal Palace, but my beloved Eagles played well against a very strong starting line-up from Stoke. We chose to rest Speroni and goal machine Murray and by the end had five non-first team players out on the pitch but still more than held our own.
Eldest son Eddie had been excited about seeing Michael Owen in the flesh but the former England man barely touched the ball. Don’t mean to be rude but I couldn’t watch Stoke week in and week out. I approached the game with open mind – I don’t really give a rat’s arse about the Prem – but I’m afraid I agree with all clichés about City – they dished out ugly, physical, unimaginative football and worse still were extremely unsporting, failing to return the ball to Palace from a free-kick after it had kicked out for one of many fouls. Talking of which, though inevitable, their thuggish treatment of CPFC starlet Wilf Zaha was beyond shameful.
Really wish I could’ve made it along to this morning’s Orpington Record Fair, but I’ve simply too much work. *Sighs deeply*…
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Saturday 5th January
I write with an outrageously severe hangover following date #2 with the lovely Sara H. My Friday night was spent in central London’s Crobar. Need I say more? Sheesh, that girl can put her drink away…
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Friday 4th January
Must confess that I always had Justin Hawkins pegged as a bit of a tosser, but I actually enjoyed this afternoon’s phone interview. Hawkins doesn’t take himself anywhere near as seriously as I feared, and we laughed and joked quite a lot during the phone conversation.
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Thursday 3rd January
I’d been intending to break my 2012 duck by attending this evening’s gig by blues whippersnapper Laurence Jones at the Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst. However, the offer of a phone interview with Joe Bonamassa was just too good to turn down. Apart from shoving a tape recorder under the guitarist’s nose at the Classic Rock Awards a few years ago, till this evening I’d never spoken properly to JB. He projects the same type of vibe as Steven Wilson: Extremely serious and passionate about music, and of course very well-informed in all of the opinions he expressed. I liked him a lot.
Here are this month’s updates to the Playlist and YouTube pages. Enjoy!
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Wednesday 2nd January
Thank f**k for that. The result of the big New Year’s Day fixture at Selhurst: Crystal Palace 3, Glenn Hughes and Robert Plant’s Ladyboys 1. Back to winning ways at last. The Eagles played pretty well and Andre Moritz took his two goals well – yes, CPFC have a Brazilian that can curl a free kick over a wall… WTF? – but it has to be said: Wolves were very, very poor. Unless something is done very soon they could go straight down another division. Palace, on the other hand, move to within two points of an automatic promotion place.
Today is when the office-based employees of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog return to work. I’ve been here at the PC since 6am attempting to finish my Buckcherry story. Apart from basking in the CPFC result, the only thing to have cheered my day was the discovery of this rather salacious website, stumbled upon whilst Googling the name of Gene $immons. It makes pretty good reading…. unless you’re Lars Ulrich, Alice Cooper or even Courtney Love – Euuuueeeeew!
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Tuesday 1st January
Oh well, that was the second consecutive sober New Year’s Eve – with Sara with her own family down in the wilds of Cornwall I had a quiet, uneventful night in with my kids. Now, at 8am, I’m back at the PC transcribing an interview with Buckcherry. Welcome to my somewhat daft world.
Just donated a tenner of what I’d have spent in the pub to my friend Chris Payne's DRYATHLON™ drive. Basically, he’s abstaining from the Demon Drink for a month, with the profits going to Cancer Research UK. Nice work, Chris! Link here. Of course, as regular visitors to this page will know, I never touch a drop myself (ahem)...