This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily - except after days of stress and nights of excess.
Tuesday 30th June
My pre-match post for yesterday's game was full of optimism. I quote: It’s been 114 days since a ball was kicked at Selhurst Park. Tonight the famous old ground will be empty for the visit of Burnley, Palace's first home fixture since Project Restart. How strange it's gonna be to watch a home game in any other location but my regular seat in the lower tier of the Holmesdale Road stand. With two evenly matched mid-table slugging it out this is unlikely to be a classic game but I cannot wait for Premier League footie to return to SE25. COYP, three points please.
The stark reality was that narrow as the game was, Burnley deserved their 1-0 win. The chances of a European campaign are now very remote indeed. Bugger. But no complaints. And I must say, I kinda wish that Dyche was *our* manager.
Monday 29th June
I had just emailed my obituaries for Steve Priest and Tonka Chapman to Classic Rock when Billboard broke the news that soft-rock Benny Mardones had also shuffled off this mortal coil at the age of 73. I hope that I did the memories of Steve and Tonka proud. Today is going a bit of a Sweet/UFO day, I think. But then, what's new? Lol...
Friday 26th June
With live gigs well and truly off the menu, just like the rest of the nation, Amanda and I have been glued to Netflix each night. Having watched Better Call Saul we decided to keep going with Breaking Bad. Both of us have seen it before, but it's well worth a second viewing.
Thursday 25th June
The pandemic has poured kerosene upon incredibly tough times for all music titles, and today's confirmation of the rumoured demise of Planet Rock magazine makes me very sad. Personal experience has taught me of the distress caused by such terrible circumstances. I can only express sympathy to all concerned, especially writers, designers and photographers.
How about this for a fabulous Throwback Thursday piccie? The Classic Rock Awards 2007. I had forgotten all about the photo. I was trying to interview Steven Tyler but the bugger kept running away.
Saturday 20th June
FOOTBALL IS BACK!!! I've waited a long time for this. Palace live on the BBC tellybox. Let's finish above Arsenal. COYP
[Edit: Very proud of my team this evening. Four straight Premier League wins. No goals conceded in six hours. European football a possibility. And we leapfrog above the Arse! We are mathematically safe... again. Eight seasons in the Premier League - what a thrilling journey it has been. That's what dreams are made of.]
Wednesday 17th June
Just had a fantastic, affectionate phone call from Phil Mogg to help out with Classic Rock's obituary on Paul Chapman. His first words were: "Tonka, ah Tonka. He was our procurer."
Sunday 14th June
My Sunday begins at 8.42 am with Primal Fear's newie, 'Metal Commando'. Great German band, and another humdinger of an LP. My neighbours must love me… lol.
Saturday 13th June
I've treated myself to yet another Amazon lockdown pressie. A triple-'best-of' anthology to be burned onto iTunes. Always loved these Maple Leaf Mayhem Merchants since seeing them support Styx at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980, and again as headliners at the Lyceum. One of the most underrated bands of all time. #AirKeyboardFrenzy
Friday 12th June
What a lovely chat with Ian Paice, among the most articulate and likable drummers on the planet. And Purple's new album, 'Whoosh!', is also a very pleasant surprise.
It's the end of another week and I'm gonna treat Amanda to a chippie tea. I cannot commend the fish and chips down here highly enough. Oh, and chip shop pickled onions. Food of the gods, and no mistake.
Thursday 11th June
We bought a second hand leather sofa for what will be our conservatory-cum-home bar area. It seems to have got the thumbs up from the furries.
Wednesday 10th June
How upsetting to awaken to the passing of yet another hero. As a teenager I would read with wide-eyed excitement in Sounds magazine of the latest antics of UFO guitarist Paul Chapman, nicknamed 'Tonka' in honour of his alleged indestructibility. This was a guy that lived life like rock stars were *supposed* to live it, throwing barbecues in his hotel room and drinking aftershave when the minibar ran out (I'm kidding about that last part... I think). But the unpredictable wildman was also an exceptional musician. Few have been qualified to fill the shoes of Michael Schenker, and of course Lone Star and Waysted represent other areas of a legacy of distinction.
We never met face to face but in the summer of 2018 I enjoyed a precious phone conversation. Paul was about to fly in from his US home to meet Pete Way to discuss a potential Waysted reunion that failed to get off the starting blocks (naturally). The bloke was buzzing with life, he had dropped several jeans sizes and was looking after himself. We spoke just like old friends, laughing, gossiping and joking. So the news that Chapman has left us on his 66th birthday came as a bolt from the blue.
The Welshman's era of UFO remains savagely undervalued. To these ears 'The Wild, The Willing And The Innocent' stands toe to toe with just about anything in the band's catalogue. Steve Priest last week, Tonka today. The icons of my youth are toppling at a devastating rate.
And amid all of the gloom: I just conducted a tremendous breakfast phone interview with the one and only Ian Gillan. I've had good moments and bad with Ian in the past... this one was excellent.
(Edit: I just closed a very productive working day with a call from Dee Snider. I first interviewed Dee in the car park outside the Queensway Hall in Dunstable way back in 1983. He never lets me forget that I was working for a pop magazine at the time. To me Dee will always be a Premier League rock star.]
Monday 8th June
Our good friends Jeff and Philippa who live 15 mins down the coast were just here for a couple of very pleasant socially distanced hours; our first visitors in three months. It was such a pleasure to see them both. We sat out on the lawn drinking tea and eating Battenberg and biscuits… apart from having to fend off pesky gulls it was a most civilised experience. We have decided to do it again very soon, with added alcohol of course.
Saturday 6th June
Schhhhh, you ain’t seen me. But I'm at the Ravenside Retail Park in Bexhill-on-Sea, in post-apocalyptic hunter-gatherer mode.
Friday 5th June
No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! Andy Scott has confirmed the death of his classic-era Sweet band-mate, bassist Steve Priest. This is so, so, so sad. Sweet were the band that made me a rock fan. Their singles, B-sides and albums are part of my DNA. My thoughts are with Andy, Steve's wife Maureen and family and those of us that set out on a teenage rampage so many years ago.
Thursday 4th June
Commencing a third straight day of the penning of obituaries for the Classic Rock news pages - 20 in total, including Phil May, Brian Howe, Bob Kulick, Moon Martin, Derek Lawrence, Sally Cato, Denny DeMarchi, Florian Schneider and Thee Slayer Hippy of Poison Idea. What a shitty couple of months it has been.
Oh balls, Kansas have rescheduled their London Palladium concert until nesxt year due to the pandemic. Things get gloomier and gloomier.
Wednesday 3rd June
Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! What an enticing rumour. Please let it be true: Bournemouth vs Palace, Saturday June 20, KO 7.45pm... live on the BBC. COYP
Tuesday 2nd June
This month's Playlist is up.
Monday 1st June
On this day in 2010 I was among a reported 3,000-strong crowd of Crystal Palace fans protesting outside Lloyds Bank HQ as the clock ticked down towards the extinction of my beloved football club. To the huge amusement of my kids at home in Catford, Sky Sports News interviewed me about why I was there. Long after the deadline of 3pm had elapsed and it appeared that hope was lost, a representative of Sky TV came out of the building to reveal that a deal between Lloyds and a new group of owners, CPFC 2010, had been agreed **in principle**. There was a mass chorus of: “Let’s go fucking mental, let’s go fucking mental!" and after the rumpus died down a policeman told us wearily: “Chaps, can we encourage you to go to Selhurst Park - you’ve got your club back."
This was ten years ago - and barring a spectacular collapse in form, next year marks Palace's eighth in the Premier League. Thank you CPFC 2020, and especially Steve Parish. Thank you so much.