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

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Friday 31st January
Last night I trundled over to the Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst for a second sighting of Michael Katon in six months. Appearing as part of a tight but fluently effective power-trio that on this occasion boasted Johnny ‘Bee’ Badanjek (Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Bob Seger, Nils Lofgren) as its drummer, plus Todd Perkins on bass, the guitarist/vocalist from Hell, Michigan, is on the road to promote an impressive new album called ‘Hard On (The Boogie)’ but wheeled out a repertoire of tunes from what’s now a three-decade recording career. Curiously, Katon’s best-known UK release, 1988’s ‘Proud To be Loud’, was overlooked (yeah, even ‘Get On The Boogie Train’!) but despite pushing sixty years old his voice remains able to match the intensity of the music, instilling his blues with a steely, robust rock ‘n’ roll edge. Lifted from another new covers-only release entitled ‘Blue Tooth (Blues I Cut My teeth On’), his interpretation of Buddy Guy’s ‘The First Time I Met The Blues’ was a classy mid-show highlight, along with the saucy ‘Barbecue On My Boogie’ which saw Katon leering lasciviously: “When my baby lets me lick that Jalapeño/That’s when I get satisfied”. The set-list ran as follows: ‘Hard On (The Boogie)’, Medley: ‘Yeah… But We Can Boogie’/‘Come On Back To Hell’, ‘Check Out The Blues’, ‘Red Moon Rising’, ‘Diablo Boogie’, ‘Barbecue On My Boogie’, ‘Rip It Hard’, ‘The First Time I Met The Blues’, ‘No More Whiskey’, ‘Fried Jalapeños’, ‘Luv A Dawg’, ‘Motorcycle Blues’, ‘American McMofo’ and ‘Jump Back (Your Baby Wants To Boogie)’.
The clock is ticking and English football’s transfer window slams shut later today. As I type it seems likely that that Tom ‘Son Of The Devil’ Ince could join Palace on loan till end of the season, with a permanent deal for loanee Jason Puncheon… Yes please! That would suit me just fine.
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Thursday 30th January
Could Status Quo’s upcoming Frantic Four tour possibly be any better? Amazingly, it seems so. The news has broken that Wilko Johnson is to support them on several dates of the outing, which takes place in March. I’m thrilled!
However, it’s all over for the Allman Brothers Band who have announced an intention to split up at the end of this, their 45th anniversary year. Oh bollocks. Thank God I saw them at the Greek Theatre back in 1995. How about saying goodbye to the UK fans please, Gregg and company? (No, I didn’t think so...)
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Wednesday 29th January
In the wake of Palace’s sensational 2-0 victory over Hull, which elevated the club to 14th in the table, here’s a memo to I sent last night via Facebook to Steve ‘Flatnose, Gardening Leave, Tiny Penis’ Bruce: Thanks for the six premier league points, now just FOAD, love Dave and Eddie x
On a slightly less bonkers note, I’m absolutely loving ‘Delivering The Black’, the newie from Primal Fear. It’s a kick-ass slice of Judas Priest-style heavy metaaaaaaaaaaaaaal! Check it out here.
Get well soon, Chris Tsangarides. The Grammy-nominated record producer is critically ill in hospital with Legionnaire’s Disease. I first met Chris three decades ago when he produced Spider’s ‘Rough Justice’ album at London’s Power Plant Studios, and he’s an absolute top geezer. Here’s hoping for a full recovery.
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Tuesday 28th January
Geoff Barton had commissioned me to write an introductory piece on Space Elevator, the new British rock band whose video for the song ‘Elevator’ caused a minor storm over at the Classic Rock website a few days ago. When Geoff described their songs as sounding “like they were written by a Spandex-clad Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice scribbled on the back of a discarded bandana”, the readers responded with a barrage of comments – 48 at the last count – which ranged from the positive (“Better than the rubbish you hear on the radio these days”, “full of energy, albeit a bit mad”) to the dismissive (“Biggest pile of crap I’ve ever heard on this site”) and even the slightly deranged (“Never thought I’d end up listening to a Tampax advert”). Clearly, Space Elevator are a band to polarize opinions like no other since The Darkness.So last night I set up a rendezvous their two main members, guitarist David Young and female singer The Duchess, over a coffee in the West End. Young has played guitarist in Queen’s We Will Rock You Show, so it was apt that their publicist suggested we meet outside the stage door of the Dominion Theatre. I have Queen-related history of my own with the Dominion, too… it’s where for the first time I met Brian May (and as a punter collected his autograph outside the same stage door) when he and Randy California guested there with Heart back in June ’82.
The pair seemed perplexed and intrigued by the extreme response to their video, and we conducted a rather good little interview. The Duchess giggled when I pointed out that Spandex catsuits are something that you don’t see ladies wearing every day of the week… more’s the pity. She wasn’t sporting one at the time, but when asked to explain her fondness for them she smiled and replied: “Because I have a great arse”. No argument there!
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Monday 27th January
I’ve just stumbled upon this lovely online tribute to Shades Records, the late, lamented specialist rock records store in central London. Aaaaaah, I have such treasured memories of both of the Shades stores in St Anne’s Court. Behind the counter, ‘Modest’ Mike Shannon, C**t Davestable, Kelv Shirtlifter, Steve Price, Fred Avesque, Dave Reynolds, Mick & Anna... Lars Ulrich dropping by with a test pressing of a new record called ‘Ride The Lightning’. Signing sessions by Bon Jovi, W.A.S.P., Queensrÿche, Poison and many more. The American Dream concert series. Under-the-counter vodka service, and those brilliant ever-Kerrang! adverts: “Buy or die”, “Total Death – Not for Wimps”... *Wipes away a nostalgic tear*.
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Sunday 26th January
Well, that was bloody disappointing. Eddie and I arose at 6am to board the supporters club coach to Wigan and arrived home again at around 11.15pm. That’s quite a long ol’ schlep. Sadly, despite dominating the game’s first ten minutes or so, and scoring the scrappiest of equalisers in the second half, the players of Crystal Palace FC failed to turn up. Final score: Wigan 2, Palace 1. It wasn’t so much that I minded losing – the FA Cup can be a bit of a distraction from staying in the Premier League – but the day was a waste of time, effort and cash. That’s the harsh truth.
The coach journey allowed me to finish of High Stakes And Dangerous Men, Neil Daniels’ book on UFO. On the whole it’s pretty good but being unofficial and without the participation of the voices that matter (Messrs Mogg, Way, Parker, Schenker, Raymond, even Vinnie Moore) it doesn’t come close to getting under UFO’s skin. Very little of the group’s legendary offstage character is conveyed. Daniels’ detached cut ‘n’ paste style tells us which album tracks were released as singles and exhumes a few relevant set-lists but it’s all just a little too tame and comfy. Indeed, we must wait till page 108 – more than halfway through – before the story rises above the mundane as Laurence Archer, Clive Edwards and producer Kit Woolvern break ranks to spill a few truths about the alcohol-fuelled and tempestuous recording of the ‘High Stakes And Dangerous Men’ album. The text is also littered with small but annoying mistakes, which doesn’t help. It’s not a bad effort in all fairness, but the book that tells the real warts ‘n’ all truth about UFO and celebrates their legacy in a manner the band deserves, is yet to be written.
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Saturday 25th January
My Friday evening was dominated by a lengthy phone interview with Dale Bozzio, the former Playboy Bunny Girl discovered by Frank Zappa in 1974 who went on to become a co-founder of the AOR-meets-New Wavers Missing Persons. Now almost 60 years old and long divorced from her drumming husband Terry, Dale still sounds sprightly which is just as well as she has a new line-up of the group and is about to release ‘Missing In Action’, a Billy Sherwood (World Trade, Yes, Yoso etc)-helmed set that is the first studio album of new material to bear their name in over 25 years. With a visual style that is said to have rubbed off on Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Lady GaGa, Bozzio remains proud of what Wikipedia calls having played “a pivotal role in moving the culture of music videos towards that of overt sexual exhibitionism” and has a good story to tell. I’m happy to say that we on famously. It helped that Dale found my English accent “cute”, as she informed me before we hung up. Aw, shucks…
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Cambridge Rock FestivalFriday 24th January
Okay, here’s where I shall be in early August. A chance to celebrate three decades of the mighty FM. 20 or 30 different types of cider are available at the Cambridge Rock Festival, that’s one for each year! Note to self: Might be a good idea to pack some extra loo roll. There's a nice supporting bill, too…
It had to happen; Motörhead have pulled their spring European tour. I’m unsure how to read this not so unexpected news… is it a good thing or not? All I can say is: Get well soon, Lemmy. Remove those cowboy boots and put them under the bed, buy a onesie, cut down to a single bottle of wine a day, tell the Rainbow’s doorman that you won’t be seeing him for a few months, watch a few more WWI documentaries and we’ll catch you later this year, okay?
This time tomorrow Eddie and I will be on our first awayday of the season for a 4th round FA Cup tie as the mighty Crystal Palace visit the trophy's current holders, Wigan Athletic. It’s a new ground for Eddie so he’s quite excited but I’ve been there before. Am looking forward to a few priceless hours away from the gloom and misery of Ling Towers, if nothing else. (Er… did I really just write that I’m attending a Crystal Palace game in a bid to escape gloom and misery?! That’s priceless!)
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Thursday 23rd January
Last night was spent enjoying curry and beer with friends in the West End (well, just curry in my case, January being a ‘dry’ month). ’Twas a fascinating evening. The food was delicious and company – including Paul Newcomb, Dave Boyce, Cliff Evans, Mark Taylor, Terri Weston – pretty darned riotous. How are you supposed to react when a complete stranger compliments your “cool individual look” and then in all seriousness suggests adding some black stripes to your hair, “cos it would make you look like a zebra”? Er... loony alert!
I’ve been playing a listening link to Magnum’s new album, ‘Escape From The Shadow Garden’, due via SPV on March 24. Its first two tracks, ‘Live Till You Die’ and ‘Unwritten Sacrifice’ are absolute monsters, and rest are consistently strong. Bob Catley sounds a little throatier than usual in places, which is worrying, but songwriter, guitarist and producer Mr Clarkin has delivered the goods again.
I’ll confess a minor bout of nervousness before yesterday’s phone interview with guitarist Adrian Belew as promotion for a UK one-off gig from Crimson ProjeKCt, a six-piece fusing the members of Belew’s Power Trio with Stick Men featuring KC drummer Pat Mastelotto. I’d imagined him to be a bit stiff and starchy. He wasn’t that way at all! Phew!
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Wednesday 22nd January
News has finally broken that a deluxe edition of Status Quo’s ‘Piledriver’ album is due for release on March 24. Besides a 15-track bonus disc that features some John Peel sessions of 1972/73 and Quo’s must-own BBC concert from London’s Paris Theatre in 1973, the revised version offers rare photos from the archive of unofficial fifth member Bob Young and “extensive liner notes by… someone or other”. Oh, hold on! It’s me! *I wrote them*. Hahaha! All I can say is that the 16-year-old with the pudding bowl haircut that went to see Quo at Wembley Arena as his first ever live gig would be incredulous with pride! Here on Planet Ling that’s the musical equivalent of a knighthood. Hahaha!
Just got off the phone with the one and only Steve Lukather. It seemed only fair to get a quote on the guitarist’s former Toto band-mate Fergie Frederiksen, who passed away at the weekend. Though it wasn’t what you’d call a sudden demise, Luke was still in shock and sounded pretty upset. When I emailed him a lovely tribute written by Jim Peterik which began with the words: “A sweeter soul and a more radiant spirit you will never find than Fergie Frederiksen”, he replied: “It would be hard to beat that. Spoken by a true friend of Fergie… God bless him.” And so say all of us.
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Tuesday 21st January
I’m writing my next melodic rock column for Classic Rock magazine. ‘Live In Stockholm’, the new double-concert release from W.E.T. is sending me all of a quiver. My Swedish pal Stefan Johansson is a lucky ol’ git for having been there on the night concerned. Produced and mixed by Mike Slamer (City Boy, Streets, Seventh Key) and featuring contributions from Slamer’s Seventh Key band-mate Billy Greer – also a member of Kansas, of course, plus Unruly Child’s rhythm section of Larry Antonio and Jay Schellen, FM frontman Steve Overland’s new solo album, ‘Epic’, is also hitting the spot.
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Monday 20th January
Oh dear. Coming from his long-time manager, Todd Singerman, the latest news on the health of Lemmy Kilmister is worrying. The diabetic Lem has replaced Jack and Coke with white wine, and according to Singerman “doesn’t grasp that he’s just trading one demon for the other.” I’ve said it before: I cannot exactly see Lemmy on a beach somewhere, knotted hanky on his head, but the guy really should be taking it easy. Going out on next month’s UK tour could be a big mistake.
Talking of Lemmy, I’ve just been talking to Max Cavalera about his early days with Sepultura. Max told a great story about being “baptised” by the Motörhead mainman after the Brazilians made their near-legendary UK debut at the Marquee Club back in October ’89. Cavalera is one of the metal scene’s great guys, and we had a fantastic conversation. Oh yeah… during my research I stumbled upon this YouTube footage of the Seps’ Marquee gig supporting Sodom. I was at the show concerned and the clip, filmed at the side of the stage as they played ‘Inner Self’ and ‘Escape To The Void’, made me feel very, very nostalgic indeed!
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Sunday 19th January
RIP, Dennis ‘Fergie’ Frederiksen (May 15, 1951 – January 18, 2014), once a member of Toto and a true singer among singers. He will be missed. Here’s my favourite song from Toto’s underrated ‘Isolation’ album. I was supposed to have interviewed Fergie earlier this year for what proved to be his final album, ‘Any Given Moment’, but his health was declining and we couldn’t quite make it happen. For those that didn’t get to hear it, check out ‘Any Given Moment’ – created during Frederiksen’s lengthy illness, you won’t hear many more poignant, dignified releases…
Well done to Jason Puncheon, who following last weekend’s humiliating penalty miss answered his many critics in the best possible way – by scoring the winner against Stoke. Yesterday’s magnificent result clawed the Eagles out of the relegation zone and sent yours truly out on a crazy booze-fuelled bender. It’s always nice to put one over on Mark Hughes, the Welsh wanker who robbed Palace an FA Cup Final victory back in 1990 with an equaliser eight mins from time. Never forget, never forgive… that’s my motto.
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Saturday 18th January
Just back from a park run with Danger Danger @ Firefest 2008 on the headphones. Although I knew that D2 jammed with their former singer Paul Laine in ’08, I had forgotten that they opened the show with ‘Horny SOB’, ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ and ‘Bang Bang’. A casserole must've been stewing in John Dryland’s undergarments! Ughhhh...
Today is a day (and evening) of many, many libations and, of course, C Palace vs Stoke City. Technically speaking I’m ‘on the wagon’ this month as part of my training for the upcoming half marathon, though match days are of course exempt. COYP!
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Friday 17th January
I nearly spat out my Pot Noodle lunch in astonishment – Stevie Nicks guesting, and sitting at a piano to play ‘Rhiannon’, in this week’s episode of American Horror Story: Coven. WTF?!
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Thursday 16th January
Yesterday’s workload was enriched by enjoyable phone interviews with Genesis keyboard maestro Tony Banks and Bigelf leader Damon Fox. I hate my job!
With little on the horizon in terms of live gigs, I’ve been catching up on some music-related telly shows. The Sky Arts Channel has been showing a series called Behind The Music Re-mastered, most of which date back to 2009 (I think). The episode on Heart, which does a decent job of detailing the Seattle band’s complex internal romances and actually shows footage of Roger Fisher smashing his guitar onstage, was surprisingly good. Likewise the one on Judas Priest. Sadly, it was filmed before the exit for guitarist KK Downing but I was surprised by the honesty of Rob Halford, who spoke of his cocaine and Jack Daniel’s years which lead to rehab in ’86: “I was just a full on, roaring, drug taking, whacked-out-of-my-mind heavy metal maniac, a hateful son of a bitch”. There are further stockpiled shows on Genesis, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Meat Loaf. Cool.
Equally wonderful: Jonny Williams, Palace’s teenage wonderkid, has signed a new deal that – on paper, at least – will keep the talented midfielder at Selhurst Park until the summer of 2018. Just as well, as I have his name on the back of this year’s shirt.
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Wednesday 15th January
It was great to get back into the saddle of my going-going routine at last nite’s Iced Earth show. Australia’s Elem Street got things running with a melodically-friendly style of thrash-metal that was liberally dosed with twin guitar, and special guests Warbringer, from California, had a circle pit from the word go, really whipping up a storm with the atomic blast of golden oldie ‘Total War’.
The headliners had been forced to apologise for sound issues at a previous show in Birmingham. Barring some minor vocal gremlins, for which the estimable Stu Block was blameless, the Floridians sounded absolutely incredible at the Academy. We also got a far longer performance than at their last headline show in London back in 2011, which was done ‘n’ dusted by 9.30pm. I really like the band’s new disc ‘Plagues Of Babylon’, so it was pretty cool that they included seven of its songs, including the moving ‘If I Could See You’, which guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer wrote about his granddad, and the ode to gunslingers ‘Peacemaker’, which Block introduced as having “a little bit of country in it, and a lot of heavy metal”. No argument there, hahaha. However, it was a little disappointing that ‘Red Baron/Blue Max’ was the only song from the Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens era, with no sign of my personal fave, the 9/11-inspired ‘When The Eagles Cries’. Anyway, the stirring 105-minute display was a wonderful reminder that Iced Earth play music of substance and weight. Here’s the set-list: ‘Plagues Of Babylon’, ‘Democide’, ‘Dark Saga’, ‘If I Could See You’, ‘Disciples Of The Lie’, Jekyll & Hyde’, ‘Among The Living Dead’, ‘Red Baron/Blue Max’, ‘Blessed Are You’, ‘Peacemaker’, ‘Vengeance Is Mine’, ‘Cthulhu’, ‘My Own Saviour’, ‘The End?’ and ‘A Question Of Heaven’, with encore of ‘Dystopia’, ‘Watching Over Me’ and ‘Iced Earth’.
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Tuesday 14th January
I’m looking forward to my first gig of 2014, which takes place this evening: Iced Earth at the Islington Academy. It’s pretty shocking to consider that I’ve not attended a live show in more than three weeks. Then again, as Wolfsbane’s Steve Danger just posted at my Facebook page, I am “just a scenester”. Haha. Yes, but at least I’m not a drummer.
Footie-wise, there’s fantastic news – Carlton Cole has signed a new deal with Wet Sham, which means he won’t be joining Palace after all. £40K a week for that donkey??!! You're having a laugh. (Sorry, no offence intended to any donkeys that might be reading).
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Sunday 12th January
I’m disappointed that guitarist/frontman Joe Gooch and bass player Leo Lyons have quit Ten Years After to concentrate on their other band, Hundred Seventy Split. I saw the latter at the Skegness Rock & Blues Festival a year ago, and they were superb, but although Ric Lee and Chick Churchill are are speaking positively of continuing TYA’s 48-year legacy, let’s not kid ourselves… it’ll be incredibly tough to find suitable and compatible replacements for Gooch and Lyons.
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Saturday 11th January
Okay, there's good news and bad. More of the latter to be truthful, so let's accentuate the positive first. The initial draft of my Frantic Four tour programme notes has received a thumbs-up from Bob Young, the band’s unofficial fifth member, and Quo manager Simon Porter. Result!
And in the department marked 'glass half empty' it seems that I am set to miss another gig that I wanted to see. When Trans-Siberian Orchestra return to Hammersmith this evening, lighting up the legendary venue with lasers and pyro, I shall be sitting in front of the tellybox with my kids watching The Voice or possibly something even more puerile. It also ruled me out of popping my head around the doors of birthday parties for my friends Tony Wilson and Neil Pudney. Jesus! How annoying (especially as my ex-wife ended up staying home and could have minded the sproglets after all).
This afternoon's game between Spurs and Palace ended with the home side victorious, and yet it could have been so different. The Eagles had never lost at the Lane in the Prem, drawing three and winning one of four visits since 1992 and I really fancied us for a point today. Sure enough, we shocked Spurs by bossing the entire first half. The least said about that embarrassing penalty miss the better, but Palace created enough chances to have lead comfortably at the break. What happened next was screamingly obvious. Spurs came out rejuvenated for the second half to score two goals. The message was clear - you've gotta take your chances. I'm getting so, so tired of writing things like: "If we play like that for the rest of the season then we'll be okay". The table doesn't lie and Palace are bottom, admittedly just a point adrift of safety but the games are running out. Next weekend's home clash with Stoke is now bigger and more vital than ever.
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Friday 10th January
It’s raining and windy outside but nice ‘n’ toasty warm here in my office where I’ve been having a bit of an Alice Cooper afternoon due to the arrival of the re-mastered ‘Trash’ (Hear No Evil Records) and the CD/DVD set ‘Brutally Live’ from Hammersmith in 2000 (Salvo). Oh, and look… and double-pack from Armoury Records of ‘The Eyes Of Alice Cooper’ and ‘Dirty Diamonds’ – that should keep me going for a while! You’ve gotta love the Cooperman!
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Thursday 9th January
Oh shit. There’s some dreadful news for my fellow fans of the Allman Brothers Band: guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks have announced they are to quit the group at the end of this year. I’m so glad that I got to see them once, at the Greek Theatre in LA way, way back in 1995 – one of the greatest experiences of my life!
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Wednesday 8th January
Here’s wishing that I could attend this evening Nektar’s show in London. Their last two appearances at the Borderline (in November ’08 and September ’09 respectively) were little short of fantastic. Alas, I’ve an important phone interview to conduct and I suspect there won’t be too many more such opportunities in future. Ain’t it always the way?
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Tuesday 7th January
Happy birthday to my youngest son, Arnie. You wouldn’t believe the strop the little bleeder threw in trying to get out of going to school for the day… I daresay we will visit the local pizzeria this evening.
Gosh, it’s great to have Bigelf back. I have been playing their upcoming fourth album, ‘Into The Maelstrom’ (due via Inside Out in March and featuring Mike Portnoy as guest drummer), for most of this afternoon – it’s truly fabulous stuff.
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Monday 6th January
Just a quick reminder to Scumwall’s newly appointed manager Ian Holloway: The January sales are *still on*. Messrs Dindane, Wilbraham, Grandin, Blake and more can all be purchased. Buy one get one free, maybe? Oh, and good luck Agent H! We’re all counting on you to take the Knuckledraggers back to their ‘natural level’ in League 1…
Over on my Facebook page a friend has just expressed astonishment that Holloway would take such a job. Well, let me see… he can’t manage a dressing room or organise a defence, and his transfer policy remains dubious (did we *really* buy the wrong player following that legendary French scouting trip??!!). And after it all went tits-up at the Palace the gaffer looked distinctly haunted; like he needed a long holiday – six months in the Algarve at the very least. Yeah, I think he’ll do Scumwall just fine. Haha…
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Sunday 5th January
I’m getting rather stressed about the prospect of not finishing my annual accounts by tomorrow, when the Classic Rock office dudes return to work. A soothing blast of Richie Sambora’s solo album ‘Stranger In This Town’ is helping, followed by one of my all-time fave Genesis albums, ‘Wind And Wuthering’, the opening two tracks of which – ‘Eleventh Earl Of Mar’ and ‘One For The Vine’ – never fail to bring up goosebumps.
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Saturday 4th January
It’s amazing to think that Philip Lynott died on this day back in 1986. The Thin Lizzy/Grand Slam singer/bassist remains a personal hero – I’m glad to say that on the occasion I met him he lived up to all expectations – and the music he made still sounds as good as it ever did.
With just half an hour to go till this afternoon’s 3rd Round FA Cup game at the Hawthornes, I realised I was experiencing a strange feeling... indifference towards the result. WTF? Yeah, before the KO I’d happily have taken a narrow defeat with no injuries or suspensions. Staying in the Prem League is far, far more important. And yet as I worked away on my accounts with BBC Radio London’s commentary on in the background, the hunger slowly returned… just as well as Palace won the game 2-0. As my friend Caroline Gibbons later suggested: Maybe I should try not caring more often?!? LOL…
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Friday 3rd January
Back to reality with a hefty thump. A gale is blowing outside, and I’m stuck in my office working on my accounts. Only the sounds emanating from the turntable – a package of wonderful coloured vinyl re-issues from Nazareth, Hawkwind and Stryper, courtesy of Darren Toms at Back On Black Records– is making life worthwhile.
For those that care, the Playlist and YouTube pages have been amended.
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Thursday 2nd January
Arrived in Norwood Junction in quite a state, having dozed off briefly on the bus from Streatham and been forced to double back again. My CPFC buds Kev Denman and Neil and Louise Pudney struggled to believe that I had managed the journey at all. It was disappointing, then, that Palace were restricted to a single point from a 1-1 draw when Norwich were there for the taking. Consequently, the Eagles dropped back into the bottom three. Bollox. On the upside… after getting my second (possibly third…) wind, Kev and I took root in our usual social club and supped round after round of cheap drinks as we set the world to rights till around 9pm. It had been a fabulous NYE, plus VAT… what a shame that the Eagles couldn’t have made things perfect!
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Wednesday 1st January 2014
Having stayed home at Ling Towers for the previous two New Years Eves, I was determined to have fun in 2013/’14. The trouble was… where to go? One or two possibilities were available in Central London and Camden – neither being an option I really fancied. So I remained here in South London with a gang of mates that included John Dryland, Jerry Ewing and Lauren Archer at a nice, friendly public house in Streatham called the White Lion. Some serious boozing ensued, resulting in Lauren and I dancing to Wham’s ‘Wake Me Up before You Go Go’ (ahem). After the place finally called last orders at 5am it was back to Dryland Mansions, where I was disgusted to learn that Mr D’s otherwise extensive record collection didn’t include any FM. HOW ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL! Later on, as a monstrously large bottle of Sambuca began to evaporate, Mr D found the Rock Candy re-issues of ‘Indiscreet’ and ‘Tough It Out’, so all was fine with the world. Phew… Cue plenty of air guitar and cider spillages to the strains of Winger’s immortal debut, FM and the one and only Danger Danger. Finally, at around 10am, I began plotting my route to nearby Selhurst Park for today’s game against Norwich City… no sleep at all, pissed as a fart and conversing utter, utter plop. Yappy Hew Near everyone! And come on you Palace… Hic!