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.
Wednesday 30th May
People often ask what it was like to be a music writer in days gone by. Were interviews more decadent back then? My reply is always the same: No comment. Here I am talking to the members of Shy for RAW magazine in the board room at MCA Records circa their 'Misspent Youth' album in 1988. Let’s just say that lunch and refreshment were provided.
Tuesday 29th May
Just home from a terrific hour in the company of former Slade bassist Jim Lea, who has a rather good six-song EP entitled 'Lost In Space'. What an honour. I could have listened to the bloke natter all afternoon.
Monday 28th May
And now it’s official: here's what Moggy called me about a few days ago. The singer is to depart UFO after next year's 50th anniversary tour, an action that will surely spell the band's demise. Very sad news but I admire his dignity. A few road trips are on the cards. Full story here.
Friday 25th May
The weekend is here at last. As I type I'm at the Hammersmith Club watching a rousing, classy set from Space Elevator, topped off by an unexpected encore the 'Ace Of Spades'. (No more Twix gags please). Such a great band and I *really* like their second album. If only they were better known... to these ears the music really deserves attention.
Tuesday 22nd May
How great to finish the working day via a phoner with the ever quotable Dee Snider. I first met Twisted Sister's legendary motormouth at the Reading Festival way back in 1982. His interviews are never anything less than mini-epics!
I finally got around to watching the excellent documentary on commentary legend John Motson, whose 50-year career touched the lives of every fan of the beautiful game. How great that he finished up on the final day of last season at the home of footie, Selhurst Park.
Saturday 19th May
If Carling made Friday nights they’d be something like mine. FM and Dare at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, floating on an ocean of cider, on board a life raft of loveable loony gig buddies. Although we missed a chunk of Dare’s set awaiting Eddie’s arrival the band were on top form and I grinned like a fool as they revisited ‘Abandon’ and ‘Into The Fire’.
FM had spruced up the set-list to emphasize the excellence of ‘Atomic Generation' – a surefire contender for album of the year. Joy of joys… ‘The Dream That Died’ was back, too, but song of the night was a goosebump-inducing ‘The Story Of My Life’, showcasing the superlative vocal talents of Steve Overland. The night was topped off in style when Darren Wharton returned to the stage for ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. Besides nattering to various FM-ers, for the first time in waaaaaaay too many years it was great to hang with Darren, Vinny and Nigel from Dare at the after-show party… and then onto the Crobar for a few nightcaps with Malcolm, Jerry, Marlene, Jeff & Pip and a whole host of others. Awesome, awesome fun!
Here’s the set-list: 'Black Magic', 'I Belong To The Night', 'Life Is A Highway', 'Let Love Be The Leader', 'Someday (You'll Come Running To Me)', 'The Dream That Died', 'The Other Side Of Midnight', 'Metropolis'/'Over You', 'Closer To Heaven', 'Does It Feel Like Love', 'The Story Of My Life', 'Tough It Out', 'Bad Luck', 'That Girl' and 'Killed By Love', plus encores of 'Burning My Heart Down' and 'The Boys Are Back In Town'.
Friday 18th May
Friday's office soundtrack: a three-disc set from the legendary Diesel Band. This package includes their now legendary show at the Marquee Club in July 1985 (four days before Live Aid), which saw the core line-up of Messrs Coghlan, Moody, Lynton, Young, Gustafson and Simmons joined by Rick Parfitt and Alan Lancaster. I was there in the crowd, looking on disbelievingly like all of the rest; this is bringing back some amazing memories!!
Phil Mogg called just as I was getting my things together for the gym. For years we have had this long standing joke about my tight black jeans (at least I've never worn a kilt onstage!). As the conversation finished he laughed: "Off you go, then. Work on those Arnold Schwarzenegger legs of yours."
Thursday 17th May
Foreigner at the Royal Albert Hall – a great show with lasers, dry ice and no less than a dozen US Top 30 hits. What it didn’t have for first 35 mins was Mick Jones, who arrived six songs in. At 73, Foreigner’s leader rarely plays complete concerts anymore and, sadly, one can only wonder how many tours he has left. Bringing the band back out for an encore, he blinked away tears. Should these extended 40th anniversary celebrations mark Foreigner’s farewell, Mick Jones can be proud that he went out in style.
On a lighter note, Ozzy Osbourne has emailed his interview with me for the Download Festival programme. His response to 'which actor would portray you in a movie of your life?' made me chuckle. Denzel Washington... hilarious!
Sunday 13th May
Super Roy Hodgson... thank you, thank you, thank you. A final day of the 2017/18 season - a comfortable win over the doomed Baggies. Try comparing this supremely assured, silky performance with the headless chickens of the FDB era. Another great display from the Holmesdale Fanatics rendered the occasion more colourful still. On the pitch afterwards the boss spoke of aiming for "the top half of the table - the top half of the top half" next term. My only complaint? He didn't bring Jules Speroni on between the sticks for the last half-hour for what would surely have been his final game for the club. But hey... Roy's a pro. And to top it all, Ed and I were seen by quite a few of our mates on Match Of The Day!
Saturday 12th May
It's that time of year again. A very happy 21st birthday to Eddie Lemmy Selhurst Ling. The last few years haven’t been easy at all, and I'm extremely proud of the young man that he is becoming.
Friday 11th May
Hold the front page: I have taken the day off work. Amanda and I are off to Leeds Castle in Maidstone for a falconry day. Weather is scorchio, scenery lovely and there are a whole host of wondrous feather friends. A is massively into ornithology... it's great to see her so happy. I had to wear my Hawklords T-shirt for the occasion!
Thursday 10th May
Thursday night rockin' blues with Chantel at the Beaverwood in Chislehurst, along with her fine band and a whole host of gig buddies. The half-acoustic and half-electric 'Inconsolable' was just superb!
Monday 7th May
Last night was spent at the Hammersmith Odeon for the London stop of the Britrock Must Be Destroyed! tour. Revisiting my RAW Magazine daze it was just like the noughties didn't happen. Amanda really enjoyed Terrorvision but I preferred The Wildhearts. I love Reef and their new album 'Revelation' is a right l'il belter, but as headliners it just didn’t work. There were way too many slow songs and the same song played twice... really?! I don’t care if you are filming a video... get it right first time!
Sunday 6th May
There's no such thing as a Bank Holiday for a freelance music writer. Back to normal after an exceptional Saturday: at my desk by 8am for a latest set of obituaries for Classic Rock, followed by some text for the Download and Ramblin' Man fair programmes. A triple-disc of 'The Essential 10cc' is providing the background accompaniment.
Saturday 5th May
WWWEEE AAARRRREE SSAAAAAFFFFEEEEE!!!!! Stoke 1 Crystal Palace 2. The result of this game has always threatened to be crucial, and so it transpired. Despite the home side taking the lead, Palace's second half revival doomed the Potters to the Championship and assured Roy Hodgson's men of a fifth success season in the top flight. Frankly, the outcome was never really in doubt.
Friday 4th May
It was good to receive an invitation from my old mate Dave 'Bucket' Colwell to Dean Street Studios in Soho for a playback of his new album 'So Good Summers'. To be released under the handle of Bucket's Rebel Heart, it sees the much travelled guitarist (whose CV includes spells with Bad Company, Paul Samson's Empire and The Jones Gang among others) trimming back the special guest-enhanced approach of 2008's 'Guitars, Beers & Tears'. This time there's a favoured lead singer, Jim Stapley, and a mere handful of mates drop by. Among them Mollie Marriott adds some marvellously sultry b/vs to a pair of tracks and former Georgia Satellite Rick Richards rips it up on 'Radio State Of Mind'. The results sound far more focussed and Stapley is an exceptional vocalist. Good songs well sung - it's a formula that can't be beaten. Colwell has come up trumps here.
Thursday 3rd May
Released on this same day in 1974, 'Quo' is quite probably my fave of the band's studio records. It's impossible to pick a favourite track as each is brilliant, especially 'Don't Think It Matters', 'Drifting Away' and the mighty 'Slow Train'.
Wednesday 2nd May
I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to the lovely Amanda, who has become such an enormous part of my life since we met. Last night we had a dinner for two by the Cutty Sark on the River Thames. It was lovely...
Tuesday 1st May
Don’t mind admitting that I was a bit nervous about both of today's phoners, step forwards Lenny Kravitz and Little Steven, but happy to say they went very well.
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