Thursday, December 14, 2017

a temporal paradox adventure with jacob rees mogg


there are various different ways one can view the passing of each and every day, these days, look you see. it is entirely possible, to be sure, to simply see them as days gone that will not come back. an alternate, however, is to see them as us, here in England and indeed what is left of the UK, moving one day closer to a change in leadership regime.

it is perhaps best to quasi or partially quote that often quite cross but always determined lady based in a position of leadership, if not power, in Scotland. to this end, there is absolutely no rational reason why Theresa May should remain as PM. not only does she not actually want the job - my family and i are living proof that she absolutely hates British people, and possibly all people except one or two Italians what voted for her - she's also no good at it. at all.

as discussed in this earlier post, the link in colour and it mostly concerning tea, there are two likely replacements as leader. neither can be worse, but anyway. one is Comrade Jeremy Corbyn, who will usher in a prosperous, freeing era of new communism and new socialism that will really work this time, honest. the other is Landed Gentry type Jacob Rees Mogg, who shall restore the Empire, Imperialism and a strong sense of class divide.

the pictures you see here of Jacob Rees Mogg, or if you like JRM, as we can get away with calling him for now but when he comes to power such a ghastly term will see people who use it taste the birch, from very early on the initial Sunday of this month that is December 2017. oh yes, long before 10am he is impossibly, and quite dapper, well dressed. this is who he is.

for what reason was JRM on the television? to put forward his views on certain matters. well, matters concerning all this "Brexit" business. he is of course a well known advocate of this, as to him it is very much phase one of his rise to power and inevitable coronation. inevitable, perhaps, if only Theresa May has lost her passion for elections, for another vote would lead to Corbyn coming to power.

many, as point of fact several, of you are quite astute and will have identified the issue with the above image. indeed, to this end, you will already be aware of why this post is called what it is, and exactly why JRM is beautifying this blog once more. 

should you not have observed it, here is a close up to help. although there is quite a substantial clue to the quandary in the title of the post.

yes, quite, a temporal paradox. JRM, as is perhaps, should you excuse the use of the term in the context of such a posh gentleman, "common" across the upper classes, seems to operate on two different plains of reality yet does so concurrently. by this i do indeed mean that the two timepieces on display reflect two very different times.

which one was correct? that is the most pressing question you have, so let me break this narrative, although you could argue it is broken already, to address this concern. neither was accurate, either according to my phone or the time displayed by the BBC during this broadcast. as distressing as this shall be for any members of the landed gentry reading, if anything the digital clock was closer to the time that us commoners accept to be correct, rather than the rather posh, presumably priceless, sort of carriage clock thing.

no, i do not believe that traditional - analogue, i suppose - clock is what they call a carriage clock. there's no handle visible to make it so, but maybe it is hidden. whatever, no doubt that it is made from some posh, expensive wood and the clock face is constructed out of ivory or similar. undoubtedly it is a priceless heirloom.

the digital clock looks like one commoners would have. undoubtedly JRM reluctantly instructed one of his servants to go and purchase it when the last known manufacturer of glass valves for his 1940s wireless had the dumb insolence to go ahead and die. you just know that radio is tuned in to either Radio 3 or Radio 4. when the era of his reign dawns, it is likely that they are the only stations which shall be permitted to continue broadcasting.

during the course of his address to the nation, JRM commented that he regarded Belfast as being "the same thing as Somerset". from this i concluded that JRM has not actually been to Belfast, and lamented where oh where is Auberon Waugh now, when we need him most. yes, before you answer, i do indeed know, sadly, that Auberon is no longer of this world.

i have it on particularly good authority - which is to say i have just thought it up - that, in the corridors of power, regret is spoken of the fact that no one thought to marry JRM off into royalty. it wouldn't have had to be British royalty, just any. that would have immediately nullified, if not neutered, his ability to enter active politics. an opportunity lost, then. either we shall benefit from it or suffer the consequences when he is ordained as our overlord.

some of you will, i would think, be quite surprised to see JRM feature on this blog so frequently. i cannot, alas, offer any assurance that his appearances are now at a point of closure. with his coming to power all but inevitable, probably best to expect more.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

some star wars stamps

hello there

yes, yes. yes, look you see. here we are, then. this is the end of days, to be sure. well, no. it's now December, and for those what have stuck with it, yes, this is the last look at that Star Wars 'concept art' calendar what i picked up at the start of the year.

a start which seems so near and yet so far. it has, on the whole, been a curious year. one that i am not particularly sure i shall lament the passing of, but still all the same be ever aware of the passing of time.

but first, some stamps then. yes, Star Wars stamps. some like what i bought a few years ago off of Royal Mail, around the time that whole Star Wars Episode VII - Mission To Moscow came out. these, then, celebrate the coming of Star Wars Episode VIII - There Is No Police Academy 8; Yet.

they are, as you in your infinite wisdom will no doubt have ascertained, nowhere near as interesting as the ones what came out a couple of years ago. hang on, bear with me, i will search for a link to them. and here it is - the ones what i bought in October 2015, no less. different times.

should you click, or indeed clock, on the link in red and look at them then look at these above, it's quite difficult to see these new ones as anything other than boring. but of course there are reasons for this. one in particular. none of the human, or if you like humanoid, characters feature. well, yes, i suppose the new, presumed "big baddie", Professor Snape or whatever, and here what runs the bar what is based on Carla out of Cheers look a touch human.

why so? maximising revenue, dear reader. Lucasfilm, or if you like now Disney, own the rights to the images of all the non-human designs. except Stormtroopers. so, the less human characters they use in marketing, the less money they have to pay out in terms of royalties an image rights, and the maximum level of profit is achieved. it's a trifle rough on fans, but then this is all a business.

and there we have it, then. the final month of the year brings with it the final look at some concept art images from the first three Star Wars films, if you exclude the class Holiday Special thing. yes, it's a couple of provisional designs for that whole "the siege of Endor" thing, where the humble Ewoks (although i am not certain they were named as such in the actual film) help the illegal people smuggler, his muscle / bodyguard and the fake princess break down the defences of the Empire. out of the end of Return Of The Jedi, since i did not mention.

is it just me, arguably not paying attention, or is there something of a lack of fuss and fanfare about the imminent release of a new Star Wars film? they would appear not to have gone OTT this time. last time, well the time before last allowing for Rogue One or more rightly Renegade Ten, they went ape with advertising. from what i recall Tesco bought in to this branding, shoving stickers of the likes of Rey, Finn et all on every single product they sold. well, except cigarettes, booze and tampons.

anyway, more pictures of the stamps, as you are possibly more interested in that than you are the words i have to write.

perhaps it is that this new Star Wars film, if you like Episode VIII, is supposed to be "a bit darker" than the rest. a shame if it is, really. whilst i appreciate the infamous "fanboy" brigade take it all more seriously than most, we should not pander to them. at heart, Star Wars is meant to be escapist adventures, suitable for the entire family but aimed mostly at the kids of the world.

oh, he is not called Professor Snape, it looks like his name is meant to be Supreme Leader Snoke. how can he be supreme leader if he is not leader of all? looking at the penguin thing next to him, then, i guess there is still some of the whole concept which is designed to sell toys to the kids.

to their credit, i guess, Royal Mail did an amazing job trying to persuade me to buy these new, quite dull stamps. i think 2, maybe 3, postcards landed advertising it, and there was a stage where i was getting an email a day off of them about them. but no, thank you.

for those interested, let me save you the trouble of a google. here's the link to their Star Wars stamp shop section of their general shop. i see you can still buy some of the older, more interesting ones.

anyway, that will do. yes, of course, at some stage we will make our way to the cinema to see this new Star Wars film. or maybe we will just wait for the disc to be released. i am not sure i like the idea of having to take one of them toy lightsabers along to wave about in the cinema.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

decidedly not fanny snow


it's always something of a special delight when a phrase i accidentally coin gets adopted. such was the case, look you see, with the time i used the description "fanny snow".

should you be of a mind to do so, you may see my first usage of it here and then what was maybe my second usage of it, so successful was the first, here

the intention behind that term was to say that whilst we had snow, way back then at the start of 2017, or if you like (2017) by the common agreed Kasabian way of saying it, it wasn't bad. whilst it was distracting and slightly annoying, there was absolutely no need to be a great big fanny about it; one could get out and get on with things despite it. i have taken nothing but pride in the fact that several (well, at least two) friends have adopted this phrasing when discussing snow.

not so, or not so much with this most recent of snow incursion. brave, indeed, would be the person who called what has come now a fanny.

this was very much the proper snow we were warned would come. well, of course, every year the British Press, or if you like the Fourth Estate, predict "the worst winter in decades", knowing that one year they will be right.

much, if not all, of the UK got this snow on the Sunday which has just gone. at least it had at the time of writing this. we, in a very real sense, got off lightly. several parts of the land had to endure this during the day, whereas we only had it fall later in the evening.

as i am led to believe that most, if not all, devices on which one could look at this blog can now play the video i add from time to time, here you go - enjoy a video of the snow falling. should such a thing be a thing that you would enjoy.

having been back home for somewhere just ever so slightly south of four years, yes and no, really. as in yes, i am sort of used to snow again, but also no i am not. it would be with great reluctance, for instance, that i would drive in it. to do so would require a particular emergency situation. so then, yes, this is not fanny snow.

whilst living and walking around in this snow i am reminded of how when i lived in Australia and South Africa i got homesick, but not all that homesick as and when i recalled snow. oh yes, it looks pretty and picturesque and so on. that i will give you, and it. but living in it, or with it, is not quite so pleasurable as you may consider. sure, it can be fun. but also cold. and wet.

indeed, the above is William, resplendent in attire suitable for bed, out in the snow. as soon as it fell, no matter what the hour, we knew there was no way to restrain him or keep him inside. he really does, well and truly, love the snow.

well, it is fun to play in, after all. especially when it is this proper, non-fanny snow what is all crisp (hello, Faye) and fluffy, with the latter being William's description. an accurate one too.

yes, i did share these images with family around the world. i was sure they would be delighted to see the snow, and compare it to how things looked where they were.

to this extent, the above is the reply, or if you like response, i got off of my Dad in New Zealand. he said that whilst they do indeed, as point of fact, get snow in Aotearoa from time to time, now was not such a time. quite a lovely day, instead, they appeared to be having.

more video of the snow? sure, why not. this one, however, was recorded from inside the house. i felt that there was only so much time that i needed to be out in it, and how much was quite short.

usually James isn't the biggest fan or advocate of snow. no. when it comes, for it does come, fanny or non-fanny in nature, he is normally found to be inside as soon as possible and for as long as possible. the chance to be out in it, rather than, say, in bed, proved irresistible in this instance.

that is, indeed, James in the blur. he got all excited and started running about. quite wise, i would say, as that would enable the generation of a gesture of body warmth, but it does not naturally allow one to take a really clear picture.

one of the best things about snow falling on a night is when it all melts away as you sleep, leaving the paths, roads and what have you all lovely and free and clear. sadly, indeed alas, this did not happen in this instance. the non-fanny nature of this snow  meant or means that it has every intention of lingering around for a bit yet.

yes, to finish off, that there above is indeed my (considerably) better half. whereas neither of us had any intention of driving anywhere at all, we thought it prudent, and best, to have the means to do so clear should some form of emergency (touch wood) make doing so unavoidable.

as many of you know, my verk for myself means i am more or less home based anyway these days. we are rather thankful that the ways of modern technology mean that my (considerably) better half can do this too, as and when conditions like this hit. and they do hit.

well, anyway. let me go and make some valiant but perhaps vain attempt to keep warm in all of this.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

videos of glass eye

hello there

much of my immediate family, as well as select friends, look you see, will know that i have a proclivity to watch them "junk" related reality shows off of America. by this i mean, to be sure, things like American Pickers, all variants of Storage Wars, now that i think Storage Hunters, Hardcore Pawn, Pawn Stars and so on. oh yes, also a favourite in the form of Shipping Wars. and Container Wars and Baggage Battles.

i just find them interesting. every now and then they stumble upon an item that would be of general or indeed specific interest to me, but mostly it's something just plain fascinating. recently i saw an episode of one of them, Pawn Stars, that i felt was worth taking some screenshots of to trouble you with.

giving you the details of what episode exactly is tricky. i believe it was called Gone With The Schwinn or something like that. the series / season and episode number would seem to vary depending on what country you are in. anyway, whilst the title refers to some sort of bike, it's a little segment in the episode away from that which caught my interest.

what you can see above, and indeed as clarified below, are "personal property" items which belonged to the late, great Sammy Davis jnr, loving referred to here and beyond, of course, as "Glass Eye" after an edition of Viz called him that when they reckoned he was building a big massive base in a hollowed out volcano in the style of a James Bond villain.

the chance to own a unique item that belonged to someone as prestigious and  revered as Sammy is, surely, quite something. alas, perhaps, at least for the proprietor of the pawn shop out of Pawn Stars, there were no treasures as such.

as those who are familiar with the episode will know, or indeed will those who have read the title of this post and made an assumption, what all of these "personal property" items belonging to Glass Eye turned out to be was his most impressive video (and i think audio) tape collection.

yes, this is probably a little (lot) voyeuristic, maybe, but i found this to be one of the most fascinating things ever. Sammy came from a time when our most celebrated of entertainers, after all, held private lives which were actually private. there was no "twitter" or picture sharing social networks, so the stars could lead a quiet life, the details of which were mostly elusive to us humble, normal people fans.

if i had been asked to have a guess at what Sammy did at home to relax, i would have given an exciting answer. my imagination would have stretched as far to assume he lived in a massive palace, with a bar in each room. yes, lots of showgirls and models coming in and out, but mostly i like to picture him sitting and having a drink, listening to his many excellent records. also, his chums, such as Dean Martin, Mr Sinatra and perhaps even Omar Sharif, popping over for a game of cards or similar.

no, then, it had not dawned on me that Glass Eye would, a little like me, have a massive collection of video tapes. who knew that when not acting in movies, singing in a studio or performing on stage that Sammy quite liked to hit the couch and watch a film or two?

to me it's just interesting, even if only in a curiosity way, to think of a megastar like Sammy Davis jnr or if you like and Pawn Stars seem to jr, doing something everyday and usual like us, the simple common folk, would. i suppose a point of fascination is that Sammy was probably in a position where he could call up any one of the (assuming they were alive at the time) stars of any of the videos he watched and tell them that he appreciated it, or just liked it.

in the above image, for instance, the clearest shot of one of the titles is the first Lethal Weapon film. had it amused him to do so, just after watching the tape i would think Sammy had the power and clout to call his people, tell them that he liked the film, and would very much like to invite Mel and Danny over for a drink. Gary Busey too, i suppose.

quite a smart insight off of this is the position Sammy had in respect of the format wars. many of us, in particular those there at the time, tend to view the 80s exclusively in terms of VHS vs Beta. it is all too easy to overlook that there were other choices. Glass Eye did indeed take one of those alternate choices, for all the tapes on display are in the less popular, but i am led to believe superior quality, format of Video 8.

would i have guessed that Sammy was a Video 8 man? no. my assumption would be that he went for the low cost, reliable and widely available VHS. others in the Rat Pack? my guess would be that Mr Sinatra had a full blown cinema in his palace, and just summoned film studios to either bring him what he wanted screening, or commanded them to make what he wished to show. for quieter moments i suspect he had a Video 8, i suppose, and a VHS and Beta before moving to laserdisc.

Dean Martin is a little bit more tricky to guess at. so long as there were ladies and high grade whisky i doubt very much that he cared for such things as video for home entertainment. at a push i suppose he had a Betamax, bought second hand off of Mr Sinatra at the bequest of Mr Sinatra, for several thousand dollars.

any tapes visible in the shown segments of the video collection of Glass Eye that are notable or of interest? all of them, i guess. i mean, it's kind of interesting to think that Sammy would sit and watch the same films that a lot of us did in the 80s. maybe a special nod, perhaps, to the fact that he had Monty Python & The Holy Grail in his collection. also Silent Rage. with respect to the latter, i wonder if Sammy ever gave thought to calling up Chuck Norris, the star of that film, and inviting him over for some fisticuffs.

in terms of the show, the proprietor of the pawn shop, i think Rick is his name, declined to buy them. he reckoned there was no money to be made. whereas i appreciate that his business model relies on a quite fast turnaround of stock, i am not sure this is the case.

firstly, a quick and decidedly unscientific search suggests these Video 8 tapes have a value in their own right. going on that eBay thing it would appear that the tapes go, whether used or new and sealed, for around $10 a go, with the $ being decidedly American dollars, buddy. with hundreds of tapes, that could - admittedly in the long run - translate into thousands of dollars. someone somewhere, surely, would like the double tape edition of The Last Emperor on Video 8.

going beyond that and there is indeed the provenance. whereas i would have absolutely no practical use whatsoever for an NTSC copy of Raiders Of The Lost Ark on Video 8, i would totes pay around $10 or even maybe $20 to have the copy of it once owned by Sammy Davis jnr on my shelf. no, i don't have all that many friends and even less visitors to show it off to, but i would be content to have it as i would think such to be quite cool.

i would imagine that the "holy grail", of sorts, of owning a video tape what once belonged to a celebrity would be to take over custody of the video of The Exorcist what John Lennon owned. with some certainty i am sure i have covered this before, but one of the great rites of passage for noted British people visiting America in the 70s was to go to New York, visit Lennon in his apartment and watch his video of The Exorcist. the film wasn't so much "banned" in the UK at the time as much as it was simply never released. Warner Bros were advised that the chairman of the BBFC was unlikely to let it be screened, so they never bothered trying to give it a release at the time.

now that i think about this, it is quite awesome. and why not? i mean people collect clothing, costumes and so forth. to me it would be boss, for example, to take over ownership of a video that Kubrick owned. doesn't have to be anything special. or how about Bowie's copy of Dark Side Of The Moon, or whatever it was he listened to. boss, i guess, would be Mr Sinatra's video of The Godfather, unless of course he happened to also sell that to Dean Martin. probably did, for several hundred dollars. thousands if he signed it for him too.

whilst confessing earlier that there is something of a voyeuristic nature to this, i am not sure if it a freaky or disturbing idea. for the most, if not all, part, i am a great believer in keeping your distance from those artists and performers you like and admire. when they are not releasing recordings or doing films they are not "that" artists, as such, and should be left alone. but, in terms of the disposal of the deceased estate of the famous and celebrated, why not take ownership of one of their videos or albums?

this sort of thing is probably not done, of course, for the danger of some "stalker" type figure getting involved and taking ownership. or maybe, as was clearly not the case with the family of Glass Eye, the surviving family of the famous type of person quite wished to keep the tapes themselves, thank you.

yes, indeed no, i am most certainly not going off to hunt down and take ownership of a tape or anything what once belonged to someone famous. i just find the idea of being able to do so unusually interesting and quite fascinating.

anyway, time to get on with things.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2017

random bowie - diamond dogs

Howdy Pop Pickers

Well, then, here we are. Ostensibly episode twelve of this Random Bowie series I started off in January, look you see. A usual start, and the one I am making here, is to say thank you very much indeed to all of you that stop by to read these. Extra special thanks to those of you who comment - it really is great to every now and then hear from some of you.

This edition was, then, nearly not the one I am doing. No. My first thought was to have a go at the last remaining 80s album proper, Never Let Me Down. And then I thought no, that can wait. So here we are, back in the 70s, with Diamond Dogs.

Quick fire, partially fantastic facts to commence? Sure. Diamond Dogs was, indeed is, the 8th studio album by David Bowie, according to the commonly accepted measurement in place for counting and measuring them. It was released in 1974, barely six months (actually seven, I think) after his much vaunted and celebrated covers record, Pin Ups, and just north of a year after his last collection of mostly original songs as an album proper, Aladdin Sane. It was, at least I think it was, the first Bowie album to feature Earl Slick on guitar; a chap who would become a long term, if sometimes on and off, collaborator.

Famously, or if you will infamously, Diamond Dogs was never going to be that. No, it was to be 1984, the soundtrack ('rock opera') to an ambitious stage show Bowie was planning to do based on the novel by George Orwell. Just as famously or infamously, however, the Orwell Estate declined to give permission for this. One cannot but help wonder if there's any regret on behalf of the Estate in this respect, but I dare say that no one has been brave enough to ask.

There is a school of thought, then, that Diamond Dogs is nothing more than the remnants of an abandoned project; one discarded for legal obligations. Many of the songs - most obviously 1984 and Big Brother - were clearly meant for a concept different from the apocalyptic future legend which was cultivated for the record released.

No. That school of thought is not quite right. Rather than seeing (or hearing) Diamond Dogs as a scramble to piece together work, it's more Bowie, perhaps on the cuff, creating a means to release songs that he felt were far too good to be discarded. This, as other episodes have shown, would be something he would do throughout his career. Further, it is hardly without precedent - most of the excellent, arguably their best album outside of Tommy and Quadrophenia, Who's Next by The Who was pieced together from the abandoned "Lifehouse" project.

My least favourite track on Diamond Dogs is the title one. This sentiment existed long before I knew of the origins of the record, or the album entire for that matter. On the "best of" things I had before taking ownership of the record, it was always Diamond Dogs that got the tape fast forwarded, or the needle lifted and placed on the groove of a more pleasant track. Sorry, yes, the imagery and some of the lines are quite iconic and what have you, but the song is just too tinny and noisy for my tastes.

As a curiosity, something which has always stuck with me is a comment that a family friend made to me. This was all many, many years ago. It was someone who had, or at least liked to think they had, a whole load of music trivia in their mind. Well, anyway, he insisted that one of the most famous lines on the record - "this ain't rock and roll, this is genocide!" - was not spoken by Bowie at all. No. According to them, this comes from the voice of no less than Rod Stewart. Well, to me it sound absolutely clear that it very much is David Bowie, and absolutely not the Rod. Perhaps it was a waste of time for me to mention it at all, then, but, well, I kind of like to give you all that I have.

The paragraph before last, where I state my least favourite track, is probably, if not most likely, the only negative thing you shall read here. At least that's about Diamond Dogs proper, as such. For me, the remainder of the album what is not the title track features a very great deal of David Bowie at his devastating and dominating best. When an album this strong does not get spoken of as much or as fondly as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane or even the 'Berlin Trilogy', well, it just shows to go that people are not lying when they say how damned impressive Bowie's 70s output really was.

What makes it so good? Let me try and discuss that here, then. Every now and then I get told off by one or two of you because I don't comment on the music as much as I should. The classic example of that was probably the Ziggy episode, where in some 3000 words I think the actual music barely registered a mention, except for when I noted a couple of examples of musicians "borrowing" the sound and arrangement of Rock N Roll Suicide.

Rock is the way I would describe the sound of Diamond Dogs. Some say that it is essentially another "glam rock" album, with the sound and the production values not being all that far away from Ziggy and Aladdin. I would disagree. Whilst not quite a return to the Led Zeppelin-esque hard rock of The Man Who Sold The World (yes I will do that album eventually), it's wrong to say that it resides in the "comfort zone" of a glam-ish sound that brought him fame and the first coins of fortune.

If anything, the rock sound is more influenced by the America he had come to fall in love with. British artists tasting the American scene and liking what they tasted was nothing new. Exposure to America, and making chums with chaps such as Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, however, clearly had a profound influence on his musical style and direction.

The above was, but of course, most visible (audible) on the next album, the full tilt USA "plastic" soul of Young Americans. A hint of this came in the tour in support of Diamond Dogs, as can be heard on the David Live double album / cd / tape.

Discussing the possible influences on the sound of Diamond Dogs rather takes away from the more innovative moments. Like, for instance, the quasi invention of that now standard of rock, the "power ballad". Prior to this, rock bands had pretty much done flat out rock, and when it came to a token ballad ("for the lady fans", presumably) they went total soft. Here, Bowie unleashed a song that was rock in mind yet ballad at heart in Rock N Roll With Me. Perhaps someone will come along and wave an earlier example from someone at me, but I really don't think anyone did what we now call a "power ballad" quite like this. At least, if they did, nowhere near as good as this song.

What of the gem, the jewel in the crown if you like, of Diamond Dogs? That would undoubtedly be the catchy, hypnotic majesty that is Rebel Rebel. It would be fair to say that this is probably the most well known song from the album other than the titular tune, and ranks as one of Bowie's best known songs of all time. A song he was fond of too, for let us not forget the wonderful rearranged version what he put out and did to open up gigs with on that final tour of his; the Reality one.

And yes, indeed, Rebel Rebel does have a decidedly glam sound to it, despite what I had said earlier. No surprise, really, as it is believed that the creation of this track commenced around the time of the Ziggy Stardust sessions. So, then, no, this song probably wasn't ever going to be part of the 1984 rock opera / musical / stage show Bowie had wanted to do initially. 

The genius of Diamond Dogs is in its darker moments. For me, in my opinion, your view might be different and you are welcome to that, etc, the greatest parts are locked into the desolate, despairing and decidedly bleak aspects of We Are The Dead and the ambitious  Sweet Thing / Candidate / Sweet Thing Reprise opus. Haunting music accompanies some grim lyrics, with the vocals trying to clutch at some form of grim, destined to fail hope.

In terms of the lyrics, yes, Candidate (in this version, more on that later) features, rather famously, Bowie's claim to have experimented with the "cut up" composition approach of William Burroughs. For more on this I strongly advise you watch the magnificent Cracked Actor documentary. It focuses a lot on the tour where David Live was recorded, but has a lovely segment on how Bowie came to write this song. Also, some priceless moments with us, the kids, the fans.

Now that I think of it, once I quoted Candidate to someone. Yes, it was a girl, or a lady. This was all when I was a wanky teenager, just before I went on to being a wanky 20 something, followed by being a wanky 30 something and then of course now find myself being a wanky 40 something. Anyway, when discussing what we were to do at the weekend, I had but of course assumed that everyone in the world was as familiar with Bowie's lyrics as I, said that we should probably "buy some drugs and watch a band, then jump in a river holding hands". Alas, no, she was not quite so familiar with the lyrics as I, and thought this to be a very good idea indeed.

For the record, then, I suspect all we did was watch a band - oddly could have even been a smart group calling themselves The Diamond Dogs down at the Roxy in Jozi. Legally I suspect it would be prudent if not downright wise to deny any and all other lyrical recreations.

What of the core heart of the record, which is to say the songs which were clear cut in their intention to be part of the 1984 concept album / stage show? It is, to me, fair to say that they offered a tantalising glimpse of something what could have been true genius.

It might be that some spoilers occur in this section, with respect to the novel 1984. So, if you have not read it, or seen the superb 1984 film (Hurt and Burton were robbed of Oscars), perhaps skip.

The titular song is an interesting one. With no knowledge I would guess that this was intended as the opening track for the proposed stage production. 1984 seems to take much of its cue from the celebrated Overture from Tommy. The song in itself seems to have been heard by Mr Lloyd Webber and Mr Rice, for Oh What A Circus off of the early stages of Evita seems to be a bit of a nod to it.

Maybe it was the tone and sound of 1984 which prevented the Orwell Estate granting permission for Bowie to do what he wanted. The song is very much of its time. It has a roving, grooving funk to it, with the guitar being as awesome as that heard on Theme From Shaft. Lyrically it is quite overt in drug references; something one would not normally associate with the tale of Winston Smith.

Meanwhile, Big Brother pretty much nails the concept of the book. There are distractions to the song, to be sure - overt sexual and drug references (from "should we powder our noses" to "Lord, I'd take an overdose) are again probably why Bowie didn't get permission to go ahead. But beyond that you get the adoration, acceptance and reliance society in the novel (for the most part) had on Big Brother. Whilst ostensibly you could say 1984 was Winston Smith and a doomed attempt to rebel against the state, at heart it was really him refusing to accept life as it was as had the rest of the population. Bowie gets that spot on with this song.

Another glimpse at what might have been comes in the form of a previously unreleased track from the album, Dodo. This can be heard on the 1990 Sound & Vision series of releases version of the album, as well as, I think, the 30th anniversary Diamond Dogs 2 CD set. Further, over on either version of the Sound & Vision box set you can hear clearly how much Bowie wished to include this song, for there's a variant which sees it mixed in with 1984, much like the Sweet Thing / Candidate one hears on the album proper. The song is a narrative track, speaking of Winston and Julia living in fear of being reported by their neighbours. Also, it's a very good tune indeed. Once heard it leaves you with no wonder why he was so passionate about it. Many of you will know this, of course, but for those that don't there is a recording of the song by no less than Lulu out there. Clearly Bowie wanted the song to be heard, so you should then hear it.

On to touring the album, then.This is recorded mostly, as you can see in the pretty pictures, in the form of the David Live double album; his first "proper" released concert record. Yes, Ziggy Stardust came first, of course, but that was not released until some ten years after it happened. But also no, David Live was not the first tour or performance of sorts in support of Diamond Dogs. That rather came before the record was done, in the famous Midnight Special TV broadcast, also called The 1980 Floor Show, with some clever wording there bypassing the lack of permission from the Orwell Estate to do what he wanted.

If you are of a mind to do so, you can find the whole of that 1980 Floor Show on the internet, most commonly on that there You Tube thing. Other than featuring a prototype version of the 1984 / Dodo mix, a point of interest is that it features pretty much the entirety of the Ziggy Stardust line up performing. They of course would not be used on the Diamond Dogs album.

A look at David Live, then. This is something of a frustrating experience, to be sure. Mostly this comes in the form of virtually all of Diamond Dogs being performed, but not quite in the style one hears on the album. No, by this stage Bowie had gotten his heart and mind set on all thing "plastic soul", it seems. Just as later there would be some mild frustration when the Serious Moonlight tour saw a number of classic songs given an 80s pop makeover, here we get to hear David fiddle with songs so that they sound like this "plastic soul" business. Essentially, then, much of this album - and presumably the tour - was Bowie experimenting live with the sound he'd put down in the studio for Young Americans.

Does the "plastic soul" sound work? For me, not really. As much as it is the first live recording of Bowie to be released officially it's also the least satisfactory to listen to. His flirtation with a love of America stretches all the way to his vocals at times, with in particular Changes sounding like he's really rather keen to take up a residency in a Las Vegas casino. Elsewhere on the recording and the power, the glory and the audacity of The Width Of A Circle, one of my all time favourite Bowie tunes, is gone somewhat, replaced by a more subdued sound. It just lacks the venom and bite it is supposed to have, which is perhaps why (so far as I am aware) the song was never performed by Bowie live again.

Easily the biggest disappointment with David Live is that it is an audio record of the tour. Everything about it, from the photographs in the CD (and tape) release through to the exciting snippets featured in the Cracked Actor documentary say that this show was visually stunning. As in, with regards to a performance, it was loaded with theatricals and light years ahead of what anyone else was doing.

From what I can recall there was another live album released earlier this (2017) year, featuring a set from later in the tour. I'm pretty sure (and yes I suppose I could check) it was one closer to the time of Young Americans as an album being about ready to unleash, for some songs that would be on that record featured. I mention this as I am guessing it means no footage further to what was shown in Cracked Actor exists. This is a great shame; a DVD or similar of a full show would be magnificent.

As an aside, then, is David Live worth your time getting? Yes, if you really like Diamond Dogs I suppose, because this is the most complete covering of it on stage. No, if you are looking for the better of the Bowie live recordings, as all other releases are way better.

Oh yes, the "controversial" album art for Diamond Dogs. When released originally, some black paint or a variant of that "airbrushing" thing were taken to the rear end of the "Bowie dog", lest anyone be upset, back in 1974, about dog genitalia that was supposedly Bowie's, then. Indeed, somewhere, locked away, I have the vinyl issue featuring the edited image. Now, I suspect, this is rare, as without a bat of an eyelid anywhere one will see the uncensored version on all CD issues.

Should for some reason you wish to see the private bits of David Bowie, then you can do so in a real and less imagined way. simply get the Blu Ray, DVD or if is your way VHS of The Man Who Fell To Earth. Towards the end of the film, suitably in a bedroom scene, there's a "blink and you will miss" glimpse. Evidently who did the painting for the Diamond Dogs cover had not seen the real David Bowie to model it all on, otherwise he would have made it substantially bigger.

If this is now the tone of this blog post I would, I guess, be close to running out of things to say.

A standard part of any of these episodes would be whether or not the album is worthy of a purchase. I would say yes, absolutely, but don't be misled by the sounds of either the titular song or Rebel Rebel. The content, style and sound tend to differ somewhat from those two well known tunes.

Which version to get of Diamond Dogs is an interesting question. The early 90s Sound & Vision one comes with two extra tracks; Dodo in its own right and an earlier version of Candidate. In respect of the latter, it's interesting, sexually charged, radically different from what was released and not as good as what was released.

The later, as in late 90s, "digitally remastered at Abbey Road" version is shorn of the extra tracks. It is, however, a better listening experience. Usually I am quite wary of these claims that re-released CDs have a far better sound to them. In this case it is true. I have played both ahead of writing this, and the latter version has a much more clear, crisp (hello, Faye) and richer sound quality.

Pictured here too is CD 2 of the original, I think USA only, 1990 version of the Sound & Vision box set. The CD 2 in the worldwide re-release is the same. It's included as the 1984 / Dodo track is on there, as well as what was in 1990 a quite rare, alternate USA mix of Rebel Rebel. As far as I am aware a 2CD '30th Anniversary' edition of Diamond Dogs features a consolidation of all these tracks, plus one or two extras. If the album proper on that set (I do not have it) features this "digitally remastered at Abbey Road" version of the record, then should chance permit that would be the one to get.

I think the most appropriate way to conclude a look at Diamond Dogs is to say that it is the album which changed things. Sure, Bowie didn't get to do the 1984 production he wished. The album, however, truly cemented him as one of Britain's premier artists. Any lingering doubt about him - thoughts that he might fade away and be disposable as and when the "glam rock" phenomenon faded - were gone. Now he was the subject of BBC documentaries and so forth.

Maybe, then, in the grand scheme of things, Diamond Dogs is the "most important" record in the works of David Bowie. Had he elected to do more of the same, as in far more accessible pop or glam such as Ziggy and Aladdin, perhaps he would have faded into obscurity. Instead, then, he revealed there was a lot more to him than that, and was going to push ahead with music exploration in a way no one else seemed quite brave enough or able to do.

Phew. That's that for this edition, and indeed for episodes of it for the year. Many, many thanks to all of you who have supported these blog posts. Yes, due to the unexpected popular demand, I shall press on with it all, so one will roll around in the first month of the new year. Assuming, for the moment, I make it so far.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

singles chart - dead horse flogged once more.....


no, indeed yes, look you see. i did as point of fact go and do that "day of release" business for the new U2 album. also, we have had snow, to be sure. these are things i would normally write of here, but chance has not been of enough fortune to let me.

that i will, decidedly, cover them is in the hands of time. for now, though, yet again i comment, rant, whine, whinge or make statement on the barbarous way in which the singles chart has been ruined; and ruined for no discernable reason good or bad.

i do wonder if it is only me that cares about this. certainly, the small circle of people i am in contact with on an ad hoc, occasional and rare basis do not mention it. perhaps i should not bother then, but, well, i am here doing it now.

behold, the most recent album chart. well, the top four of it. and by recent i mean recent to when i was writing this, although i trust you to observe that it says 1 December on it. 2017, for the record, or (2017) as per the agreed, defined Kasabian way of stating such.

one of the most interesting aspects of the chart is that Morrissey's album, Low In High School, has seemingly dropped out of the Top 40. it is reassuring to know that the "Smiths phenomenon" still exists. for those unaware, that was a thing in the 80s. so passionate was the fanbase for The Smiths that all fans rushed to buy their latest single or album on day of release. then after that, no one in particular did. so, from a sales only basis, The Smiths regularly struck the top ten on week one of the charts it was eligible for, only to fall out completely the following week.

well done, then, to Mr Noel Gallagher and, ostensibly, his "High Flying Birds" (who i assume are session musicians hired as required mostly for how good they are at saying "yes Noel" and "you are the greatest Noel"), for getting a number one album. this he managed to do without me, and many others, not purchasing it after he told a significant number of fans to "just f*** off and not buy it".

this next bit is the rant, etc, but not a dig or a jibe. i mention it to get to the point. Noel got to number one with this album despite selling some 25,000 copies less than Liam Gallagher did with his debut solo album, As You Were. knowing this, and knowing at least three of the several different ways the Official Chart company now throw together the singles chart on the basis of the album chart, i went and had a look at the singles chart. and was horrified.

yes, in at number 31 and being called a "new entry" despite them saying it has been in the charts for 7 weeks (no, me neither - maybe outside the top 40 but who knows. not The Official Chart Company, anyway) one finds Holy Mountain, the lead single from Noel's album that is 100% genuine, original, creative and real and not, as many of us had accidentally assumed, simply She Bangs covered with different words and a touch of Diamond Dogs thrown in for the smell of it.

with the way that they "work out" the singles chart these days - corrupted entirely by Ed Sheeran earlier this year - Holy Mountain has entered the singles chart due to sales of the album, as well as "streamed" plays. after the Sheeran debacle this counts as a "single" because it was "released" as one before the album.

this is, of course, in a way in which none of the three "allowed" singles by Liam Gallagher did not. despite huge sales, "stream", etc, for some reason the Official Chart people excluded Wall Of Glass, Chinatown and For What It's Worth counting for the singles chart on the basis of album sales.

just make up your minds, Official Chart Company. it's frustrating, and heartbreaking, to have something that you cared deeply about for years - decades as it happens - made a total joke. as things stand, the singles chart seem to not know what it is. there's no level playing field for purchases, plays or "streams", and it would certainly not seem to reflect what people are actually listening to.

the singles chart used to reflect the time they were from for many years to come. that, obviously, just isn't going to happen any more.

hey ho.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

drinking and driving


well, yes, the title might be misleading. except it isn't, to be sure. this post does feature drinking and driving, look you see, but not drinking and driving. from a safety, and indeed legal, perspective these are two things which one should not really do at the same time. this is particularly true when the drinking aspect features an infusion of alcohol in that which is consumed.

none, you may be pleased to learn, of the following feature any of my exploits as such. instead, then, this is all a bringing together of some images, and partial stories, concerning two of the more popular characters that populate this blog from time to time.

perhaps, now that i consider the matter some more, it would have been best to make reference to monuments, or indeed statues, in the title for this post. of the images which appear here a substantial, if not quite a majority, of them shall feature such. there will be, at the least, more images of these than there will of the drinking element. oh well, title is done now, let us move on.

exactly what's going on with statues and monuments in this post is something we shall get to. assuming, of course, that i remember to write that part. for now, though, let us move on to the drinking aspect that the title ostensibly promises. and, indeed, to one of the characters i occasionally report on  that you think to be quite marvellously wonderful. which they are.

Spiros, then. i must say i was quite surprised when he sent me an image of this, what he had been drinking, as neither element featured would be something i would have associated with him.

whilst having no quarrel with the Irish - far from it, as point of fact - i was unaware that Spiros had developed a taste for stout. and it is, after all, a taste one must develop or in other ways nurture. so far as i am aware the person who has loved the stuff from their first taste of it has yet to walk this earth. but, like it he does, he assures me, and offered further proof in respect of.

if we allow for the Spiros approach of all alcohol fundamentally being good alcohol it is at the least peculiar that he is celebrating one which celebrates London black cabs. normally Spiros does not get along with these ever so well; at least not the drivers of them. it is the considered and learned approach of Sprios, the greatest legal mind of his generation, that this much vaunted, fabled "the knowledge" which can drivers charge so much for the benefit of has since been replaced by something called "GPS". pointing this out to cabbies has, and i must say more than once, led to a discussion which resulted in fisticuffs.

since we are on the subject of driving, then, the other character who proves popular here. that would be my brother Richard. many of you Richard enthusiasts will, i know, be wondering what exactly the gearstick on his current vehicle of choice looks like. well, here you go.

yes, indeed, that is a massive human skull like design he has on the go. massive not in the sense of actual ration to a real human skull, for this is smaller. but massive in terms of what people normally would have on top of their gearstick.

many of you shall have ascertained this for yourself, but in terms of "why", well, i would have thought it is obvious. Richard is presently engaged in a project - as ambitious as it is noble - to turn his current vehicle into one massive tribute to the van what Vim Fuego had to drive Bad News around in. no, so far as i am aware Richard has not yet gotten around to having "Alan Metcalf - Painter & Decorator" done as a sign on the side yet, but he has assured me that this will be done.

going on what i have seen in various films and documentaries some of my dear American readers might well be confused, or otherwise at a loss, about this "gearstick" business. if this is so, well, then, let the above image represent or otherwise reflect just how awesome cars with a gearstick in them are.

a statue, then. one of Lenin, i do believe, perched on some sort of bench and looking quite serious. that would be standard, i think, for seldom is it that art such as statues shows off the laughing, carefree or merry side of the man. assuming he had one to show off.

what's this all about, then? well, as ever when it comes to Spiros there is not all that much i can reveal. the gist, or if you like basics, seem to be that a "private consortium", i suppose, has paid Spiros an awful lot of money to locate and source statues of the Soviet era from Russian / Eastern European history. why? sheer curiosity, maybe, or perhaps they believe circumstances are ripe for something of a revival. perhaps we will find out in time.

more of that in a bit, but for now all you Richard enthusiasts are probably hoping for a picture of him to go with how his wheels look. well, let it not be me that is the one to disappoint or let down.

indeed, as you can see, Richard would appear to be cultivating a look which blends The King, Elvis Presley with Walter out of The Big Lebowski, via the conduit of an unshaven Australian cricketer. quite a spectacular image, i trust you agree. no, i could not look this cool, so i shall leave it to him.

but what of Spiros an driving? well, he has to get around to these monuments and statues which have surprisingly been left intact somehow, so driving it is. quite why these Soviet statues have not been smashed or repurposed is something of a mystery, but then perhaps someone knows something about it all that i do not.

anyhow, here you go, some video of Spiros being driven around as he inspects the statues and monuments, checking that they will be compliant with their intended future use and resurgence.

yes, you are right. what you are hearing there is the fine, fine song I Was Made For Loving You by on occasional times popular band Kiss. my understanding is that this song was not homoerotic by accident, but in a very deliberate way. the lyrics ooze and speak of manlove, so it is no surprise to find Spiros has it on the stereo as he goes around his business.

that's how i like to picture Spiros, man, cruising around, resplendent in a sharp waistcoat and wearing a shirt with massive dagger collars, digging some quality vibes as he inspects various relics of the Soviet era.

how do the vibes work in Richard's new wheels of choice? quite well, apparently and with all things generally considered. very well indeed.

my preference is always going to be for a JVC car stereo, but there is no faulting the selection of a Sony. especially not, it would seem, when they have upped their game. a "bongo" setting for the sound system is a most splendid thing, and here on Richard's new stereo you can see it activated.

whilst drinking and driving is generally frowned upon and is mostly illegal, there are few (if any) similar laws that serve to govern against the sound of the bongo in a car. just as this is true for you, i am sure, it is rare to find me driving anywhere without a quality set of bongo drums at hand in the car. nothing is quite so relaxing or as enjoyable as playing the bongos, and to do so during the quieter or more intense aspects of driving is simply wonderful.

back to the sauce, then, and the source of this image is once again Spiros. the focus, i believe, is meant to be at the forefront. i am, however, rather intrigued by the background, to be sure.

that there is indeed more stout what is being consumed by Spiros, although in this instance it has nothing at all, so far as i can tell, to do with London or cab drivers based in that city. no, you are not wrong. the proclivity Spiros now has for stout has seen him go about the world in order to taste or otherwise sample how it is in other nations. he shall not rest until he has found the perfect stout.

behind the stout is what looks to me very much like absinthe. splendid stuff that is, amazing. alas, these days i do not drink much at all, if ever. but if i was presented with an unspecified yet significant amount of free time and a bottle of the stuff, then yes, surely, i would go on a bit of a bender.

a final glance at a statue to finish off with, then, and yes, one more of Lenin. this time, as you will hardly need me to clarify, it would seem to be one of him in that "classic" pose what most of the branding of him has on the go.

just how likely is it that some sort of Soviet Union tribute act will be happening here in England, indeed if not the entire UK? very. Comrade Jeremy Corbyn has made the idea very exciting and appealing to the masses by promising absolutely everything to everyone, free, on the basis that taxing certain coffee sellers and online retailers will pay for it all. our freedom shall be a very small price to pay for such opulence. making this all the more appealing, but of course, is the alternate. the horrid, spiteful and full of hatred Theresa May is hardly a strong argument for the merits of democracy and such, after all.

anyway, that would be about all of that for this. my most earnest of humble hopes - wishes, maybe, aspirations, even - is that this has all been of interest to someone somewhere.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

bush be better, then

hey again

so a follow up, look you see, to the post what i started this veritable month off with.

to recap, to be sure. when faced with the cessation of my 22 year old walkman as a working concern i needed, for verk, to procure a new cassette tape player. in the first instance the selected replacement lasted substantially south of 22 years. some 12 or 14 hours, as point of fact, in total and not south.

having secured an argument and complication free refund for that disaster, off i went to the decidedly Greek named place called Argos to have a go with a different brand.

as one might suspect from a company which has branded itself in a way which invites likeness to Grecian concepts Agros offered a formidable range of cassette players for me to select from. of the two i went with the one which looked more like a walkman. this was because it takes AA (penlight, if you so wish) batteries, and does not require power from the mains. such is important as it cuts down on interference. also, it was cheaper.

the cost of this unit was £17.99, or if you like one penny south of £18. further, if that is how you think one should deal with monetary transactions, the cost was one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine coins minted with a face value of one pence each.

going to the Argos in town was nowhere near as pleasant an experience as it once was. this i suppose is comparable to going to Greece now rather than in Ancient times, although i have not been so i do not know. whereas once Agros was lavish, comfortable and pleasant now it is miserable. they have for some reason abandoned their own premises and have set up in a dark, dingy corner of a chapter of Sainsburys. no seats to sit on as you wait no more, and you have to battle through people buying an assortment of diary produce and sanitary items to get to things like cassette decks.

this bush cassette player has a number of features that i did not want and, frankly, have no need for. but now that i have them, well, who knows. illustrated above is that it acts as a quasi dictaphone of sorts. as in it has a built in microphone what you can record onto tapes through. quite useful for making notes, i suppose, or bootlegging concerts.

once i went through lots of blanks tapes, as my sister and then my Dad had a car what had a tape deck in it. they've since gone on to CD, so i have no use for the blanks i stockpiled. perhaps i shall use the recording function on this Bush deck to make a series of statements then. a bit like, i suppose, Kurtz out of Apocalypse Now, only recordings rather than broadcasts. or maybe i will just record myself saying "the horror...the horror" repeatedly.

although that said, if any of you reading this want a mix tape doing, i love making them. leave a message here, i guess, and we can discuss the matter via that "Google+" thing what this blog is unsolicited-like linked to.

one other feature is the smart telescopic aerial that it has. whereas quite a few walkman-like cassette players come with a radio few have such a feature on them what allows for proper radio signal reception. should some sort of disaster hit, then - by the creation of mankind or from nature - i will be able to secure hearing the transmissions of anyone else left alive. assuming that they have access to an AM (which was once called MW) or FM broadcasting equipment. that and that i would be able to get batteries too, i suppose.

extra features are lovely even when superfluous and not wished for, but what of the business end of this Bush cassette player, then. which is to say, how does it perform with its intended and highly desired purpose, the playing of tapes? very well. i cannot say "x" amount of times better than the other one, that "groove" thing, because the other one didn't play them properly at all.

all i can say is that the tapes play back properly, at the correct and consistently constant speed. does exactly what it is supposed to do, then, for £2.01 south of the one what failed to do this off of Tesco. so whilst Tesco might be the prettier and more comfortable shopping experience, Argos wins this one by selling stuff what actually works.

controversy here i come, then. or am already at, going on the picture above.

to, then, the delicate matter of which cassette to play first on this new Bush cassette player. once again i found myself moving away from my tradition of using Waltzinblack off of The Strangers, mainly as i do not have a tape of them handy. further, though, i have moved away from Intergalactic by Beastie Boys. and yes i can sense you sharpening those knives to stab me with.

frankly, enough. one of the most unpleasant and upsetting things of this year has been the ridiculous onslaught of abuse and attack, with baseless, unfounded accusations being made that i am "not a proper fan" of Intergalactic by Beastie Boys. as far as i am concerned, and i am very comfortable with this, i am as much of a fan of the song, and the splendid video, as i can be. no further shall i indulge presenting a defence of this.

which is how the first thing i tried out on this new deck was the cassette single of Fear, or if you like and should you be pedantic you will, F.E.A.R. by Ian Brown out of The Stone Roses. 

above should be a clip of the tape playing on the deck through the solo speaker the player has on it. with that speaker being yet another feature i did not really want; the whole point of the device is that it should be heard via the headphone port. yes, Apple fans, i know you are confused by that - Google away and see what sort of port a headphone one is, since the Apple deny you its pleasures.

overall i would say that i'm perfectly satisfied with this Bush cassette player. the sound quality is great and the performance is exactly as it should be. this relates, of course, to playing tapes. i have absolutely no idea at this stage what it is like for recording on, or for that matter how the radio does. 

yeah, that's me in an elevator, not so long after i had purchased this Bush cassette player. the picture is included as it showcases the other t-shirt what was first showcased in my partially celebrated "fashion statement" post last month. some of you might for some reason have wanted to see the shirts in action, so there you go.

right, well, i suppose it's best i get on with using this perfectly functional cassette deck, then.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!