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 31st March
The Classic Rock website has just re-posted my story from 2003 about the making of the Queensrÿche album 'Operation: Mindcrime'. I had great fun writing this piece. Enjoy.
Sunday 29th March
Here's an invitation to a party that I threw in 1988. I promise that there will be another just like it when all of this is over. Thanks to Michele Key for finding it again after all these years. "You are vodka and lime cordially invited...", and Terraplane at the Marquee, brilliant.
Saturday 28th March
But for this 'kin virus, today I would have been at Hammersmith Odeon for the unmissable triple-bill of Saxon, Krokus and Girlschool. It's been re-set for Saturday September 5, but that's no good for me. I WANT IT NOW!!!
Friday 27th March
What a great cover! What a compelling cover line. I’m absolutely loving this World Exclusive story on Dave Mustaine in the new issue of Hammer. It's the tale of his vanquishing of the Big C, related in a very humane and determined manner - it really made me smile.
Mustaine says that that he “expected” to recover, having done everything recommended by the doctors including nine doses of chemo and 51 radiation treatments and believing that support from friends, fans and family pulled him through. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I expected it,” says the 58-year-old. “I had faith that I was going to be healed." I love Mr Mustaine. #MegaDave
Thursday 26th March
I'm disappointed by the cancellation of this year's Download Festival, but of course in the current global pandemic scenario it was always going to happen. Safety first. And hopefully, Maiden will play in 2021.
Wednesday 25th March
Life goes on and, I'm happy to say, so does Classic Rock magazine. It's another melodic rock column day... I'm absolutely blown away by 'Sonic Forces', the newie from Captain Black Beard, the Swedes whose self-titled debut was hailed among the best albums of 2011 by Geoff Barton. Produced by H.e.a.t guitarist Dave Dalone, their fifth album packs an irresistible mirrorball-tastic groove not entirely dissimilar to that of their countrymen Night Flight Orchestra. Axel Rudi Pell's 'Sign Of The Times' and Compass' 'Our Time On Earth', centred around Steve Newman of the band Newman, are also hitting the bullseye. #AORtastic
Tuesday 24th March
You'll most likely be aware of the current social media craze: That of compiling alphabetical lists of the acts you've seen onstage. May I present my ‘alternative’ selection? Who needs the same old names…?
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
MANIC STREET PREACHERS
TOM ROBINSON BAND
VINNIE VINCENT’S INVASION
Monday 23rd March
It's always fun to leaf through my archive of cuttings from Sounds, Melody Maker and the NME. Today it's the turn of the might Judas Priest. Meta-a-a-a-a-l!!!
Sunday 22nd March
Our new feline arrival Purdy has found a favourite place on the landing; remote but with a good view of everything going on below. She's still a bit quiet and anxious but on the whole seems to be settling in well...
Friday 20th March
Announcing the arrival this evening of a new fluffy feline edition to the family here at Gentling Towers. She's a very cute pedigree tortie British Shorthair and she started purring within 15 minutes of being here so we are renaming her Purrrrdita aka 'Purdy'.
Many thanks to Claire Moat for suggesting us as new adoptive puddy tat parents. We are very happy to have rehoused this delightful creature.
Thursday 19th March
Taking in a food parcel to Dad before London goes into lockdown, as rumours suggest. My sister and I can send him internet shopping but, frankly, I've no idea how the poor old bugger is gonna get through 12 weeks on his lonesome.
On the upside I've got some fine reading material for the journey from St Leonards - the new issue of Fireworks magazine, with Nightwish on the cover! - and so far at least, a completely empty carriage.
[Edit: On the train home from my visit to Dad and it seems that for some, thanks to Corona, today is a last day of senior school education. Four or five young girls were getting all emotional. "Have a nice life," said one as she disembarked. "Smash it ladies," shouted another at the next stop. To the amusement of the carriage one just got off at Battle and told her friends: "Don't become strippers! I will find out if you do!"]
Wednesday 18th March
Gotta admit I've developed a bit of a man-crush on Vicente Guaita, Palace's current goalie. The Spaniard has been a revelation between the sticks, and by all accounts he is a decent, family-motivated guy. I love this story about him helping out a young girl that has been bullied at school. I'm off to the shops again. Taking the scenic route once more. Wonder whether there will be anything to buy? If not... I had a nice walk. #calm
Tuesday 17th March
The grip of the COVID-19 pandemic tightens. In the absence of anything new to report, here's another great memory, and it's nice to dwell on something positive for a change. I just found this wonderful cutting whilst leafing through a box of mags - the day in 2006 when OK magazine covered the second annual Classic Rock Awards. Apart from handling the acceptance interviews, my job for the night was to chaperone Chris Squire, who as you can tell from the grin on his face wanted to meet in a pub.
Meanwhile, though we are stuck indoors in remains St Paddy's Day everybody! Fill your boots with this.
Monday 16th March
Oh wow. This is superb. A friend has dug up a classic YouTube clip of MTV's coverage of Monsters Of Rock in 1994. Sporting the famous Red & Blue and drink in hand, yours truly interviewed by Headbangers Ball about the introduction of a second stage. I'm at the one hour and 16 minute mark.
Saturday 14th March
I've spent the past 24 hours processing the sad loss of Kelv Hellrazer, reminiscing with others that knew him including Tony Marshall, Steve Price, Rob Evans, Jeff Braithwaite from Chariot, Grant Foster and Paul Mitch Rudland, Kelv's partner at AOR Blvd Records. Dave Reynolds and I nattered about the time during the pre-grunge early 1990s when the three of us went to North Carolina to report on Warrant opening for Poison; Kelv representing Metal Forces, Dave for Kerrang! and myself on behalf of RAW magazine - what a riotous few days. Dave reminded me that we hired a limo to go record and toy shopping... what indulgence. Mostly I thought about the era when I first knew Kelv, during his time working behind the counter at Shades Records in Soho. Laughs always abounded with Kelv and Dave Constable batting back and forth, Reynolds playing their straight man.
Like many that knew him in those wonderful times I lost contact with Kelv after he moved away from London, though AOR Blvd caused us to reconnect in the last few years. He was still a hugely entertaining character, so passionate about his music.
Hearing the news last night was genuinely shocking. It's saddening to think that never again will I greet him with a ritual cry of: 'Aaaaah, Kelv Shirtlifter!' but I'm so glad that I had the privilege of knowing this very unique human being. Sleep well, sir.
Thursday 13th March
The remainder of the Premier League and the EFL seasons have been delayed "until Apr 3 at the earliest" due to COVID-19. Disappointing but wholly inevitable. As long as Shiteon get relegated I don't mind waiting a while longer. The European Championships will have to be delayed till next summer, I guess.
Wednesday 12th March
The continuing spread of the dreaded Coronavirus ensures Amanda and I are unlikely to be wandering far from Gentling Towers-on-Sea over the next few days, so this dark rum shouldn't last for too long! The DHL man looked confused as he requested a signature: "It says it's a present from... motor... head?" Cheers Lem, wherever you are!
Tuesday 11th March
Oh look, Classic Rock have re-posted my 2011 story with the Marshall Tucker Band. What a great clickbait headline: 'How to spend a million dollars on cocaine, pot and scotch whisky'! The rest they wasted, obviously...
I’ve just conducted a great new phone interview with former Styx keyboardist/singer Dennis DeYoung: "When am I coming to play in the UK again? That's up to the promoters, right now nobody is making me any offers. You pay me £2,000 and I'll come and play at your house."
Er... anyone fancy a whip-round?
Monday 10th March
The dreaded Coronavirus is beginning to sing its toxic fangs into the world of music. Richard Marx has opted to postpone his UK tour. I, too, am "super-bummed" about this course of events but this is a great announcement, what a classy guy to sit and offer a personal explanation instead of hiding behind a press release.
Let's follow things on a positive note - Grace Potter... what a great artist, how on earth has she stayed off my radar till now? I cannot get enough of this song.
Sunday 8th March
The result from yesterday's game at Selhurst Park: Eagles 1 Hornets 0. Palace rise to 10th in the table, while our wretched, thuggish opponents from Herts hover above the drop zone thanks to goal difference alone. It’s always nice to beat Twatford Rugby Club. Once again those cheating bastards took it in turns it in turns to kick Wilf off the park, but they got what they deserved from the game - sweet fuck all! Down with the Shiteon, you're going down with the Shiteon...
The celebrations carried on long into the night, including on the train back to the coast. After leaving the Hastings Palace Mob in Wetherspoons I headed alone to a local hostelry on the sea front called The Pig's Palace. Since we moved here I had wanted to check out its wide range of rums - 30 different varieties. I'm certainly feeling pig-sick this morning, but it was worth it!!!
P.S. Oooooh look, I'm on MOTD again, hugging David Gulvin after the Palace goal!
Saturday 7th March
When was the last time you attended a gig that ended with a conga spiralling around the room? I cannot recall such an experience. The Night Flight Orchestra's return to London was an exhilarating if slightly surreal experience. The Swedes, based around two members of death metallers Soilwork, play a glossy, mirrorball-tastic, multi-coloured fusion of classic hard rock, AOR and the all-important x factor, kitsch US disco - think an episode of Miami Vice Come to life. Their seven-piece line-up included two 'stewardess' backing singers and auxiliary muso on guitar and percussion, with bass player Sharlee D'Angelo, better known for his roles with Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars and Mercyful Fate, bopping around the Islington Assembly Hall stage sporting a John Travolta-esque white suit.
For the second half of the show, Björn 'Speed' Strid augmented a Dave Bicker beret with a shiny golden cape that made him look like a space age matador as he cajoled the audience to dance away their Friday night blues. We were only too happy to do so. And full credit to the band's merch selection for a coronavirus-friendly T-shirt bearing the motto: 'Never Mind The Virus Here's The Night Flight Orchestra'. These guys (and gals) are very special... when they come back DON'T MISS THEM!
Alas, an opening slot from One Desire proved anticlimactic. With a terrific sophomore album about to drop and three years after dazzling alongside Eclipse at the Borderline (RIP), I'd been dying to see them again, but a cruel front of house mix dealt them a losing hand. Playing at a feeble volume my office hi-fi could easily drown out, their keyboards were inaudible and the lead guitar was at half-mast; it took more than 30 minutes to get anything near a decent sound... and within 10 more they were bidding us goodnight. BUGGER!!!
Friday 6th March
SE25’s big Boss Man Hodgson has extended his contract. This makes me very happy indeed. Roy has performed miracles at Selhurst, and for the manager to put pen to paper this must mean that the club will *FINALLY* be spending some money in the summer. Yessssssssss!
Thursday 5th March
I’m just back from my health check-up at the new local GP. Blood tests were fine. I knew that I need to lose some weight and I'm working on that. Despite being a Palace fan my heart is good shape. Cholesterol satisfactory. Very low risk of diabetes. The doc was alarmed by my binge drinking on match days and asked me to consider that. Thought about it for a moment... then moved on, lol... A man's gotta have some vices!
Wednesday 4th March
Court documents show that Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey have fired the group's rhythm section, Steve Smith and Ross Valory, the latest is a succession of spats. You silly, greedy, old sods. For those that give a shit, the details are here.
Tuesday 3rd March
A Genesis reunion, you say? Without Messrs Gabriel and/or Hackett?!? Um... no thanks, as a fan whose membership expired with 'Duke', or maybe even 'Abacab', I'll pass. Of course, it's been 13 years since the last tour from Collins, Rutherford and Banks, and I understand that to others such a proposal will be hugely exciting. Those people should go here. Me? I'm going back to my copy of 'Seconds Out'.
Monday 2nd March
What utterly fantastic news. Sweet are going back on the road again in December – with the same line-up as last time: Andy Scott (lead guitar, vocals), Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards), Paul Manzi (lead vocals), Lee Small (bass, vocals) and Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals). London and Shiteon for me! As a rule I’m not into tribute bands, but I might even try to take a look at special guests Limehouse Lizzy, who are said to be among the scene’s finest exponents.
My latest Playlist has been uploaded here.
Sunday 1st March
I've just been watching Rock 'N' Roll - Animal, BBC4's Eric Burdon documentary. Inspiring stuff. To my eternal shame I knew nothing of the Alan Price 'House Of The Rising Sun' writing credit scenario. Oooooof! Ya bastard, that must hurt. How on earth was something so big and important never rectified?! No wonder Burdon is torn up with bitterness each time he sings the most famous song of his career.