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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Monday 30th October
Palace's alleged Director Of Football, Mr Bob Dowie, has left the club with immediate effect. Could never understand why the interfering buffoon stayed on at Selhurst after his brother's illicit disappearing act. Hopefully Bob'll re-join Iain "up North" at Clowtown, his unique brand of transfer 'insight' hastening their slide into the abyss.
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Sunday 29th October
Well, Firefest was a big success - which is more than I can say about Palace's wretched performace against Plymouth. Yesterday's 0-1 reverse was the club's third consecutive home defeat. Promotion now looks an absolutely vain hope, but unless something's done to stop the rot we'll be fighting for our lives at the bottom of the table come the season's end.
Grabbed a bottle of Australian white wine to drown my sorrow during the trip North, settling down to enjoy the Slade boxed set. By Christ, did this band write some brilliant songs or what? 'Far Far Away' and 'How Does It Feel' are so darned good, I had to go back and listen to them a second time.
Gotthard were going through their paces at a packed Nottingham Rock City as I arrived, the whole place rocking along to 'Lift U Up'. Co-organiser Kieran Dargan passed by in a blur, looking chuffed (and relieved) at the turnout. The event was running about 20 minutes late due to one of the earlier bands being granted a few extra minutes of stage-time, and with an apparently strict 10.30pm curfew that didn't bode well for the headlining act, Winger. So much so that guitarist Reb Beach came out to help the roadies with the changeover. Alas, it took 'Blind Revolution Mad', 'Loosen Up', 'Seventeen' and 'Down Incognito' for the sound to achieve any sort of clarity, and the band were forced to re-start one of my all-time favourite songs, 'Rainbow In The Rose', due to a keyboard malfunction. Sections of the crowd grumbled loudly at Winger's choice of material, and along with 'Junkyard Dog', two fine new tunes ('Generica' and 'Right Up Ahead') were a little too heavy for their moderate taste. However, 'You Are The Saint, I Am The Sinner', 'Headed For A Heartbreak' (a ditty that could have been purpose written for Crystal Palace FC), 'Can't Get Enough', 'Easy Come Easy Go' and 'Madalaine' ended things on an absolute high.
Kip had moaned from the stage that being forced to curtail his set "fucking sucks", and was none too happy in the hotel bar afterwards. I could see the situation from both sides. Firefest is planned, financed and run by enthusiastic and unpaid amateurs whose goal is to keep a style of music alive. You might argue that in such circumstances Winger should have cut out their blues jam, or the guitar and drum solos. But the fact remains that allowing one or more of the support bands - which is exactly what everyone else on the bill was - to overstay their welcome represented a disservice to the show. When I mentioned this to Kieran and somebody from the Bonfire camp, the latter had the audacity to call me "a bean counter". No, fuck off. It's about having respect for the band who'd flown across the Atlantic to headline the show. [Incidentally, Dargan insists that Winger were only contracted to play for 70 minutes, which is exactly what happened].
Regardless of who's right or wrong, congratulations go to all involved in making Firefest #3 so memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit and will be back next year... whoever Palace happen to be playing.
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Saturday 28th October
Okay, I take back a small amount of the abuse I've written about the post office in this diary. There I was, trying to decide which Winger T-shirt to wear to Firefest and seeking as-yet unplayed delicacies to occupy the train journey from St Pancras to Nottingham when - bing, bong! - I must sign for a copy of 'The Slade Box - A 4CD Anthology 1969-1991'. That'll do perfectly, thankyou. Looking forward to a day 'n' night of record buying, footie, rawkenrawl, alcohol and lots 'n' lots of gossip. Heaven... so long as the Eagles don't lose to Plymouth.
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Friday 27th October
Gee, it must be tough to be Budgie. I thoroughly enjoy seeing them play, and last night at the Underworld was no exception, but the aviary riffmeisters from Wales are fast reaching a point where they must sit on their perch and take stock. Budgie have played this same hall three times in as many years, probably to identical fans on each occasion, and with little variety in the way of set-lists. A brand new album called 'You're All Living In Cuckoo Land' (their first since 1982's 'Deliver Us From Evil') is recorded and mastered but with typical ill fortune missed its deadline at the pressing plant. So knowing they're obliged to play 'Panzer Division Destroyed', 'Melt The Ice Away', 'Turn To Stone', 'In For The Kill', 'Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman' and the "well-pecked" (bassist/vocalist Burke Shelley's term) 'Napoleon Bona-Parts One & Two' and 'Breadfan' once again the trio romp through them happily enough. But the evening's three new songs - 'Dead Men Don't Talk', 'Justice' and 'Falling' - are good enough to confirm Budgie can do better than clone their last London show, and the one before it. They must envy a band like Iron Maiden who can proclaim, 'We're playing our new album in its entirety, and if you don't like it then just stay at home'. But part of the problem is of Budgie's own making. With a 10-album catalogue and a history of almost four decades of music to mine, would fans really mind them replacing '...Bona-Part...' with the full-length 'Parents', or reviving tunes as great 'Breaking All The House Rules', 'Wildfire' or 'Forearm Smash'? When we've all got to know '...Cuckoo Land', a bit of a spring-clean must top their agenda...
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Thursday 26th October
An interesting statement has been released from Ozzy Osbourne's office regarding speculation that Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward are lining up a tour with Ronnie James Dio as Heaven And Hell - the title of Sabbath's masterpiece from 1980, and one of the three greatest records to bear the group's name. The press release states "there is only one Black Sabbath" (falsely, in my opinion), then reveals that Iommi, Butler and Ward will reunite with Ozzy in late 2007 for a tour to promote - gasp! - the first "new album" from the classic line-up in almost 30 years. Given the amount of false alarms we've endured on this score, I'll believe it when I hear it. I wonder whether the 'other three' have actually been informed of this decision, or if it's just the Osbournes attempting to piss on their rivals' fireworks? Shockingly, however, the communication ends on conciliatory note towards Ozzy's arch enemy Dio, wishing him "much success" with the project alongside Tony (yet mysteriously ignoring Geezer and Bill's alleged involvement). Go on... knock me down with that feather! I've gotta be dreaming!
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Wednesday 25th October
Yes-s-s-s-s-s-s-s! My London to Nottingham rail ticket just dropped onto the mat. Yes, the Firefest is now just three short days away. For the third consecutive time the all-day melodic hard rock festival clashes with a home game for the mighty Eagles, but there's no way on God's green earth that I'd miss Winger playing a rare show on British soil. Pausing only to grab a bottle of something lethal, I'll dash to St Pancras and hope to reach Rock City in time for at least some of Gotthard's special guest spot. My heart is weary at missing the rest of a very strong bill - Bonfire, Fair Warning, Wig Wam, Treat and Nexx - but for all Palace's flaws, cut me and I still bleed red 'n' blue blood. Some tix are apparently still available, so get y'self over there or miss a great night...
Hail to EMI Records for re-issuing for a set of classic Steve Hillage albums in January. Ex-Gong guitarist Hillage was a musical genius, creating some breathtakingly freaky and moving space rock with his synth-playing girlfriend Miquette Giraudy. My all-time favorite Hillage record is 1977's inspirational 'Motivation Radio', which along with 'Fish Rising' (1975), the Todd Rundgren-produced 'L' (1976) and 'Rainbow Dome Musick' (1979) is at last to be offered in remastered and expanded form (actually, 'RDL' doesn't have bonus tracks, but I've only ever owned it on vinyl). Better still, 'Green' (1978 - produced by the Floyd's Nick Mason), the concert double 'Live Herald' (1979), 'Open' (1980) and 'For To Next - And Not Or' (1982) all receive the same treatment a month later.
P.S. There's no rush back to London from Firefest now, as Glenn Hughes has put back his Shepherds Bush Empire show until March "due to unforeseen circumstances."
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Tuesday 24th October
On the strength of 2003's highly credible self-financed debut album 'The Failing Light', and having enjoyed conducting a small interview with them for Metal Hammer, I sank a few vodka & Diet Cokes whilst checking out female-fronted gothic hard rockers Season's End at the Underworld last night. Around since 1998, the UK-based band are still possibly a little short of the finished article presentation-wise, but musically, they're even tighter than my wallet (believe me, that's tight), with just the right combination of fiery axework, dextrous keyboards and soothing, mellow sections. I quite like the fact that Becki Clark isn't some dazzling Scandinavian goddess with a Size Zero figure, and although it's unlikely she'll audition for Nightwish anytime soon, she holds the show together (wo)-manfully, even when the microphone cuts out at crucial moments. Album tunes 'Nothing After All', 'Touch' and 'Celestia' offer a maturity and power deserving of a far bigger audience, the show ending with their best song 'Ghost In My Emotion'. However, 'The Emptiness In You' (one of several unreleased songs aired) suggests their next album will be a lot more uptempo and in your face.
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Monday 23rd October
Well, I admit it - I'm shellshocked. Last night I went to see the New York Dolls, or what remains of the influential US sleaze-rockers, for the first time. Beanpole vocalist David Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain still fly the flag for the group's definitive line-up, though the presence of ex-Hanoi Rocks bassist Sammi Yaffa and Crown Jewels guitarist Steve Conte compensates for the omission of key personnel. I was amazed how much Johansen and Sylvain seemed to enjoy themselves during a thoroughly excellent show. Opening with the 1973 classic 'Looking For A Kiss', the band hit the stage running and barely slowed for breath all night. From the new album 'One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This' we heard 'We're All in Love', 'Fishnets And Cigarettes', 'Punishing World', 'Gimme Luv And Turn On The Light', 'Plenty Of Music', 'Dance Like A Monkey', 'Gotta Get Away From Tommy' and 'Dancing On The Lip Of A Volcano' (unlike the record, devoid of guest vocals from that vile bald prat from REM). Janis Joplin's 'Piece Of My Heart' received a brisk rubdown, as did late guitarist Johnny Thunders' 'Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory'. Of the Dolls' classic catalogue, 'Personality Crisis', 'Private World', 'Puss 'N' Boots', 'Pills', 'Trash' and 'Jet Boy' all lit a metaphorical Bunsen burner beneath the sold-out Forum, sending it - and yours truly - into delerious meltdown.
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Sunday 22nd October
Was disappointed that Palace brought home just a point from yesterday's lively 1-1 draw with Leicester. What a soulless shell the Walkers Stadium turned out to be. I'm well aware that people call Selhurst a dump, but at least it has character. These new purpose-built stadia are monstrosities, especially Coventry's ground in the middle of that bloody industrial estate. Gimme Selhurst and its leaky roof any day of the week.
Cheers to the individual calling themselves 'man from 1992' for the latest imbecilic guestbook message. I do count Barney from Napalm Death as a good friend, but although my memory sometimes lets me down I've no recollection of going to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Birmingham Hummingbird with him. You probably saw Barney standing alongside Mole, a celebrated and rather dashing roadie from the midlands who has the good fortune to bear an uncanny resemblance to my good self (or at least my overweight 1990s self). It's caused problems and confusion in the past, with at least one band threatening to clout Mole for a review penned by me. Anyway Man From 1992, given your obvious lack of braincells it's an honour for a dolt like you to have called me a "hopeless rocker" and a "mong". You've somehow achieved the impossible by making the previous guestbook poster 'f' - a Blaze Bayley fan who came up with the tremendous slur of calling me "retared" [sic] - look like a rocket scientist.
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Saturday 21st October
Off shortly with my eldest son Eddie to see Palace play (that should probably say 'lose') in Leicester. Still had time for a quick news surf. After his recent jam with estranged brother Igor, Max Cavalera is now telling interviewers that the Sepultura line-up will probably reunite next year. That's co-o-o-o-o-ol!!! Equally fascinating, Blind Melon's surviving members have reunited with newcomer Travis Warren as replacement for Shannon Hoon, the charismatic singer who died of a drug overdose in October 1995. I met Hoon several times and found him wonderfully engaging and thought-provoking company. The thought of Blind Melon existing without him is kinda sacrilegious, but I suppose I'm willing to give it a try...
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Friday 20th October
Something for the weekend, sir? Indeed so. Yesterday got off to a bad start with yet another unnecessary trek to the Post Office collection depot. Why do the morons that walk these rounds fail to comprehend that an otherwise bulky collection of individual jiffy bags WILL fit the through the letter box if you remove the elastic band? However, the tasty haul that I brought home should occupy the coach trip to Palace's game in Leicester tomorrow. It included a finished copy of the new Meat Loaf album ('Bat Out Of Hell 3'), Tim Finn's 'Imaginary Kingdom', a double anthology from Demon ('Time Has Come - The Best Of'), a CDr of the new Starz album ('Live In Cleveland') and a vintage Pat Travers band DVD ('Hooked On Music', recorded onstage in Germany, 1976). Clive Nolan of Arena/Pendragon fame was indeed been as good as his word and had mailed the debut EP by his latest project, Caamora, plus a copy of 'Contagion', the sole Arena album missing from my collection. 'Freelight', the fourth album from Final Frontier is a wondrous slice of pure-AOR from a band based around the God-like presence of Mladen from Von Groove and Rob Moratti's soaring vocals. So good is the Final Frontier record, it softened the blow of John Waite postponing his long-awaited UK dates until next March.
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Thursday 19th October
Well, apart from from the exclusion of two key band members, the Genesis reunion chatter has finally come to an end. Yesterday afternoon I received an invitation to a London press conference announcing Turn It On Again - The Tour. The band's line-up for these dates will be Phil Collins on vocals/drums, Mike Rutherford on bass and Tony Banks on keyboards.
Pointedly, vocalist Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett are not involved. For an old-school fan like myself, that's not the news I'd hoped for. But then a yuppie-era, Gabriel/Hackett-free Genesis is (marginally) better than no Genesis at all. I guess we'll discover the full whys and wherefores when the band speak out early next month.
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Wednesday 18th October
If you expected me to be furious after Palace were given a football lesson by West Brom at Selhurst last night, you're mistaken. After the disappointing performance against Cardiff, I almost expected it. Even Stevie Wonder could see the flaws in our current squad - no pace, no midfield, a defence that you can drive a combine harvester through and reliance on long balls to a targetman (Scowcroft) who just doesn't look like scoring - and given his dodgy looking transfer deals, manager Peter Taylor's future is beginning to look precarious. What was most purturbing about last night was my own acceptance of the first goal, just before half time, and its successor a minute or two afterwards. I'm getting used to losing... dare I say it, caring about it less? Not since the Trevor Francis years has supporting Palace been about apathy, but that's where I find myself drifting right now.
On the other hand, the afternoon was lots more fun. After last Tuesday's aborted attempt to interview Pete Way in the midlands, the great man jumped onto a train to get the job done here at Ling Towers (yes, I did bury the cocktail cabinet in the garden, and nailed down anything remotely breakable). Arriving with a bottle of Spumanti wine and obligatory can of Special Brew, Monsewer Way was on fine form. After the work and indeed the Spumanti were done, Pete took a look at my office. A photo of himself, UFO vocalist Phil Mogg and Eddie and Arnie from this summer's Rock & Blues Custom Show is my current screensaver, and upon noticing this he almost made me piss myself laughing by innocently remarking: "Why am I on your PC with your kids and Victor Meldrew?", referring to the grumpy pensioner played by Richard Wilson in UK comedy show One Foot In The Grave.
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Tuesday 17th October
Last night it was back to the Royal Albert Hall for the second time in a fortnight. The occasion? A one-off gig from Meat Loaf to preview new album 'Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose' (released in a week's time). Despite prohibitive ticket prices - believe it or not mine had cost £55; those nearer the stage must have been more expensive still - I'm reliably informed that the RAH could have been sold out three times over. Besides a top-notch band that featured former Todd Rundgren bassist Kasim Sultan and ex-Anthrax guitarist Paul Crook, The Loaf was backed on selected songs from the 'Bat Out Of Hell' trilogy by the Hustler Symphony Orchestra, a group of 25 classically trained babes that had to be seen to be believed.
The almost two-hour set began with an excerpt of 'All Revved Up With No Place To Go', leading into 'Paradise By The Dashboard Light', 'You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)', 'Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)' and 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)', with 'Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are' closing the show's first half. After a short interval, the songs from 'Bat 3' started to emerge. Co-penned by Nikki Sixx, 'The Monster Is Loose' sounded big enough to fill the Albert Hall, which isn't something that's written too often, though 'Bad For Good' sadly lacked the album's guest appearance from Brian May. 'If It Ain't Broke, Break It' was a typical piece of Jim Steinman whimsy, 'Blind As A Bat' proving that album producer Desmond Child hasn't lost his skills of parody. The place went absolutely apeshit for 'Bat Out Of Hell', followed by encores of 'It's All Coming Back To Me Now', performed as a duet with Marion Raven, and 'Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back'. I thought the audience reaction deserved at least another song, but Meat decided to keep us waiting for a full-blown UK tour, details of which will be announced shortly. If you're a fan, start saving those pennies.
P.S. How much joy did it bring to log onto Sky Sports News for the score of last night's Ch**lton-Fulham game, and see the headline 'Sorry Addicks stay bottom'? And to a goal by one of their ex-players... absolutely priceless! Keep up the good work, Agent Dowie...
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Sunday 15th October
Am still absolutely gutted by Palace's defeat to Cardiff yesterday. The visitors, who I'm surprised to say are points clear at the top of the table, were certainly better than us in the first half, but despite conceding yet another early goal, newboy Stuart Green's strike restored parity by half time. I'd have said the Eagles had the edge after the break, so it was incredibly frustrating to concede what turned out to be the killer blow just before the end, especially from a hotly disputed throw-in that should have gone our way.
So I'm sitting here, hung over and pissed off at having to work on my accounts on a Sunday, when a new guestbook entry arrives. Oooh look... it's from a Blaze Bayley fan, hiding behind the name of 'f'. This should be fun. Hehehehe. Apparently I'm 'very retared' [sic] for allegedly "bashing" a "legend" such as the erstwhile Maiden frontman. For someone who claims to have listened and to and played heavy metal "for over 25 years", this sorry individual appears to have the IQ of a toddler. Listen up, 'f'... I'd rather be 'retared' than suffer any of your own afflictions, so get back to the nursery and cheers for brightening my day.
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Saturday 14th October
Alas, last night's all-Norwegian package of Grimfist, Red Harvest and Susperia wasn't as appealing as it seemed. Grimfist went on first before a small but enthusiastic Underworld crowd. After releasing their '10 Steps To Hell' album, and indeed since I last saw them opening for Enslaved and Arcturus on this same stage, Tommy Hjelm has replaced ex-Necrophagia/Gorelord frontman Frediablo. Hjelm seemed to be doing a pretty good job, but after less than half an hour Grimfist were gone. I've seen Red Harvest enough times to be assured of their excellence, but last night something was definitely lacking. Unless you can give Red Harvest's experimental blend of metal and industrial music your full attention, their songs have a tendency to sound rather similar, and with the crowd's enthusiasm waning the group's levels of interest also seemed to wither. So thank goodness for headliners Susperia. Unfortunately vocalist Athera was battling a throat problem, but despite the declaration of "no fucking virus is gonna stop my rock 'n' roll show", it was clear after just a few songs that he was straining. Favourites 'Petrified', 'Home Sweet Hell' and 'Anguished Scream (For Vengeance)' were matched with previews of 'More' and 'The Clone', a pair of impressive-sounding numbers from a fourth studio album. Oddly, the night ended with Susperia's version of the W.A.S
.P classic 'Wild Child', Athera's larynx sounding sandpaper-raw.
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Friday 13th October
Some of yesterday afternoon was spent exchanging jovial e-banter with three of my musical heroes; guitarist Richie Ranno, singer Michael Lee Smith and drummer Joe X Dubé, from the mighty US hard rock band Starz - though MLS isn't part of the ongoing reunion. Like contemporaries Angel, Starz were a band whose records found cult appeal during the 70s (in the UK, at least). Starz never gigged in Britain, but along with Jon Bon Jovi, Nikki Sixx and many others I must've spent hours playing air guitar to 'Coliseum Rock' and singing into a hairbrush to 'Violation'. So it felt strange when the 'in' box pinged to a message from Smith, requesting I keep his e-address confidential, unless of course I wanted pass it onto "that magnificent blonde with the Twin Peaks of Perfection" that he'd bumped into "at Brand's Hatch [whilst] watching our Formula 3 racing car back in 1976". Seems the singer's wife was around at the time. 1976... hmmmm, that's three decades ago... it'd probably place said mystery blonde in her very late forties, so my guess is that those self-same Twin Peaks now very probably point towards her cowboy-booted toes. Maybe it's time to let that memory go, fella.
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Thursday October 12th
Grrrr.... Where to start regarding last night's England game? I'm still spitting feathers with fury after a passionless display against Croatia that was capped by Gary Neville and keeper Paul Robinson contriving to hand the home side a Keystone Cops-like own goal, placing the proverbial tin hat on a dismal but justified 2-0 defeat. England's national side are bollocks and will never win anything again, I might as well just get used to it.
Back in the realms of music, I was shocked to hear that Justin Hawkins has walked out on The Darkness for a solo career, citing drug addiction and alcoholism among his main reasons for doing do. But hang on a minute, aren't those things supposed to be perks of the job?! I guess not if you spend over £150,000 on cocaine in three years, causing your nose to disintegrate. According to reports, the band are to continue with new bassist Richie Edwards at the microphone. You never know, without those ridiculous falsetto vocals I might even end up liking 'em now.
Riveted onto the Ling Towers death deck at the moment: 'Robert Johnson's Tombstone' by Thunder (on sale October 30; apparently recorded in a mountain-top villa in Spain... all I can say is that the Sangria worked its magic!), Wetton/Downes' 'Icon 2' (due November 10; what a songwriting partnership!) and Uriah Heep's 'Easy Livin' - The Singles A's & B's' (great music... awful sleeve notes! Hahaha).
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Wednesday 11th October
Yesterday was a watershed moment for Crystal Palace Football Club. Simon Jordan outfoxed his arch enemy Ron Noades into selling the leasehold of Selhurst Park for £12 million. We've got our ground back at last, now we can spend some money on it and push on from there. Speaking of the legacy he intends to leave behind him, Jordan told Sky Sports News: "I'd like to stabilise the club in the Premiership and have a stadium befitting of the club's position, then see who's got the legs or the energy or the outlook to want to take it on [from me]." But being a long-term Eagles fan Simon did have the modesty and realism to add: "By that stage I'll be an old man."
It was fantastic, completely unexpected news to receive, my mate Steve O'Connell's call brightening the mood of glum frustration as I sat in a car on a gridlocked M25. Was supposed to have been going to Birmingham to interview Pete Way. The whole trip was amusing in a Spinal Tap sorta way. Hope that Pete received the message we'd been forced to turn back to London, as Robin George had called him from a phonebox earlier in the morning and failed to replace the receiver properly, jamming the line. And although we'd been told Way's mobile wasn't working, we called it and were relieved to hear it ringing... only to discover his wife Rashida had taken it out shopping with her. I have this vision of Pete still sitting in a pub somewhere near the Bullring, looking at his watch. Then again, these things happen all the time on Planet Waysted. He probably didn't turn up either!
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Tuesday 10th October
Here's some good news: Dave Mustaine is talking about bringing his successful Gigantour package to the UK and Europe next year in time for Megadeth's new album, 'United Abominations'. He's hoping to have Anthrax, Testament, Exodus and one other group on the bill. That's something to get excited about.
And how spooky is this? Two days after posting that photo of myself with Bernie Tormé at Reading, a package from The Great Man hits the doormat. Besides a message of thanks for the recent review of the Desperado album in Classic Rock, Bernie wanted to pass on a copy of 'Bitter & Twisted', the debut from his latest venture GMT. I'd already seen the band (completed by ex-Gillan/Mammoth bassist John McCoy and former Rachel Stamp/Bruce Dickinson drummer Robin Guy) whipping up a storm at a Clive Burr benefit gig at the Ruskin Arms last year, so knew of their potential. What can I impart of Tormé's oeuvre that hasn't already been written? Very little. A typically monstrous slab of punk-tinged psychedelic hard rock, overlain with squalling guitars, Whammy bar torture tactics and barely intelligiable, electric soup-fuelled vocals, 'Bitter & Twisted' is worth tracking down right away.
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Monday 9th October
I won't bore you by droning on about England's inexcusable 0-0 draw with Macedonia on Saturday beyond stating that it was a soulless, half-hearted performance worthy of the Eriksson era. The honeymoon for Steve 'Son Of Sven Gormless' McLaren is now officially over. Wednesday night's game in Croatia is now bigger than ever.
Thanks to webmistress Batttttty for sacrificing some of her valuable Sunday to post a few more photographs in the Gallery section. (Message from Batttttty: No problem matey. We strawberry blondes have to stick together) There are recently taken snapshots with Hanoi's Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy, fellow Finns Lordi and those canine boozers American Dog. And from my scrapbooks, vintage 'uns of Night Ranger, Bernie Tormé and former Hendrix bassist Mitch Mitchell. Each one brings back memories!
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Saturday 7th October
Enjoyed an unusual show from Walter Trout and The Radicals last night. What was odd about it? Well, the band took the Mean Fiddler stage later than billed and former John Lee Hooker/Canned Heat/John Mayall's Bluesbreakers guitarist Trout announced: "Good evening, London. Tonight's a special evening... Sammy [Avila]'s keyboard's broke, so tonight we're gonna throw the set-list away and be a power-fuckin'-trio for you." Kicking off with 'Dust My Broom', an Elmore James classic covered by ZZ Top on 'Deguello', Walter and his trusty rhythm section of Ling lookalike bassist Rick Knapp (my, what a handsome fellow!) and stick-twirling drummer Joey Pafumi performed just nine songs during the next 105 minutes... Einstein won't be required to work out what type of a show we're talking about here. "This is fun!" exclaimed Walter a few numbers in, "I can play even more notes than usual - even louder that I'd normally be. It's perfect. I can play as fucking tasteless as I want!" Although I'd like to have heard 'Life In The Jungle', the tune that turned me onto Walter in the 1990s, the show's levels of sponteneity and musicianship were utterly compelling.
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Friday 6th October
So some daft Swedish paleontologist thinks that naming a fossil after Motörhead mainman Lemmy Kilmister is clever, huh? Dr Mats E. Eriksson, Associate Professor of Paleontology in the Department of Geology at Lund University, professes to be a long-time fan of the band and has given the scientific name of Kalloprion Kilmisteri to a 428 million year old jaw of an extinct, marine polychaete annelid worm found in the Silurian strata of Gotland, Sweden. "Not only is Kilmister a legend in the music business, but his name will have a permanent record in science," explains Eriksson (I wonder if he's a relation to the hapless Sven-Goran?!). Well, Mr Big Shot, here's something to shove up your stethoscope. Come back to me when you've given the name of Lemmy to your first-born son, you lightweight. I introduce to you, Eddie Lemmy Selhurst Ling, meeting his namesake at the 'God Save The Queen' video shoot in 2000.
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Thursday 5th October
Wow... Iron Maiden are performing the whole of new album 'A Matter Of Life And Death' on their world tour, which began in Connecticut last night. Bruce Dickinson had told me this was their plan months ago, and sources close to the band later revealed their intention to clear out much of the old material they'd been playing for years. And so it has transpired, the likes of 'The Trooper' and 'Run To The Hills' being axed from the set. Everyone must agree that this is a supremely brave move on Maiden's part, but one that vindicates their belief in the excellent 'AMOLAD'. Then again, if I was some pimply-faced kid buying my first ever ticket to see the band, I can't deny the fact that I'd be pretty irate.
Palace's future at Selhurst Park is becoming shrouded in uncertainly, with landlord (and ex-chairman Ron Noades) reportedly planning to sell the land to property developers Structadene for £12 million, and an approach to re-locate to the National Sports Centre having been reportedly snubbed by the Mayor. Structadene are the company that bought Bournemouth's ground and generously leased it back to them. As you can imagine, debate at the CPFC Bulletin Board has been heated, with one poster branding asset stripper extraordinaire Noades "a vile parasitic arsewipe who'd sell his own mother's vital organs whilst she was on her deathbed if it would make him a few pieces of silver" and others pointing out that he's worse than that. Sites for new stadiums are being proposed, and the idea of ground-sharing with Scumwall, or somesuch lowlife London neighbour, is even being floated - like a turd at the bottom of a toilet bowl. There's no smoke without fire, and the silence emanating from the Club is deafening. Whatever happens, unless Noades and surrent supremo Simon Jordan come to some agreement, or the Supporters' Trust steps in again, three years are all that remain on our Selhurst lease. There's never a dull moment following this club.
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Wednesday 4th October
Paul Rodgers has always been one of my favourite vocalists, and the much-travelled former Free/Bad Company/The Firm/The Law/Queen frontman played a splendid gig at the Royal Albert Hall last night. The beautiful yet cavernous London venue wasn't full to capacity, but Rodgers certainly pulled a highly respectably-sized crowd, running though several Free songs ('I'll Be Creepin'', 'The Stealer', 'Ride On A Pony' and 'Be My Friend', perhaps predictably ending the show proper with 'All Right Now'), The Firm's 'Radioactive' and 'Closer', plus some vintage Bad Co ('Feel Like Making Love' and 'Bad Company') before Gary Moore brought the house down by joining him for excellent renditions of 'Standing Around' and 'Louisiana Blues'.
Given that Moore has recorded the song himself, I was surprised he didn't hang around for 'Wishing Well', though Gary would return for an encore finale of 'The Hunter' that also included a tribute to Hendrix with 'Little Wing' (nice solo from ex-Heart man Howard Leese), 'I'm A Mover' and a one-man farewell of Bad Co's 'Seagull'. Barring a fairly nondescript new song called 'War Boys' there was no doubting the quality of the performance, nor indeed of Rodgers' seemingly indestructible voice, but with such a rich catalogue to have mined, surely he could've managed more than 90 minutes onstage?
My antennae are a-trembling with anticipation at news that Bob Seger kicks off his first tour in 10 years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on November 8. With a new album called 'Face The Promise' in the racks, my fingers are firmly crossed that it'll include some British appearances.
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Tuesday 3rd October
Further to yesterday's Genesis update, I received several emails from individuals casting doubt on the Sunday Mirror's 'Gabriel snubs reunion' story, insisting that Peter will definitely participate. One, from a reputable source that I'm unable to name, even dares to suggest there will be TWO tours... the Collins-fronted 'And Then There Were Three...' line-up going out next year (possibly including a spot at Glastonbury), followed by a full-blown, Gabriel/Steve Hackett-augmented, 'Lamb Lies Down On Broadway'-themed stadium jaunt in 2008. As a sworn enemy of the vile 'Invisible Touch' era, I know which one of those options is the more personally appealing!
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Monday 2nd October
A chorus of boos for Peter Gabriel please. According to the Sunday Mirror, the singer has chosen to pass on a moneyspinning Genesis reunion tour that's being planned for next year. Seems that his schedule is fully booked until 2008 (ain't it funny how many benefit gigs there are for unemployed, orphaned, refugee, lesbian blue whales these days?), though Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, guitarist Steve Hackett and Tony Banks are all anxious to get things moving in the next 12 months. I guess we'll have to wait and see if they can hang around and wait for Pete.
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Sunday 1st October
Although we've benefitted from a couple of them this season, last minute goals don't half sting when they go against you. Just as it seemed that Palace were coasting towards a fine 1-0 away victory at Peter Taylor's former club, Hull City, yesterday, Gabor Kiraly fluffed a cross and allowed the home side to notch an injury time equaliser. Bugger! Incredibly, we still moved up one place to fourth in the table - three points would've put us second. Bah!
Michael Turner's 90th minute exploits might've ruined my afternoon, but the morning was pretty cool. Attended a record fair in Olympia and came home clutching 20-odd more vinyl treasures. Preview are one of those bands that AOR anoraks still bang on about, and their Keith Olsen-produced, self-titled debut (released in 1983) was worth the mere quid it cost. Among the rest of my haul were three albums by the band Charlie (whose ranks included future Bad Company producer Terry Thomas - not to be confused with the gap-toothed comedian), Rare Earth's eponymous debut, a couple of Mahavishnu Orchestra albums I didn't have (1973's 'Birds Of Fire' and 'Visions From The Emerald Beyond', issued two years later), 'Branded Bad' by American Tears (featuring Mark Mangold of Touch/Drive, She Said on keys), the Andy Fraser Band's 'Andy Fraser Band' LP from 1975, Peter Hammill's 'Skin' and pair of classic Horslips albums. That'll keep me busy for a while!