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Showing posts from April, 2016

A Special Day.

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"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep"  The Tempest; William Shakespeare. Certainly last Saturday (16/ 4) was one for the dreamers. It started so strangely with the weather which might have prompted the Bard to say," we have seen better days." Timon of Athens."


For in heavy rain, at 6:45am, I drove daughter d to the nearby bus stop, only to see snowflakes falling from the sky and the temperature at freezing point. I pondered whether today's match would turn out to be ' A Winter's Tale,' or indeed would it survive the dreaded pitch inspection.
Thankfully due to the vagaries of the English climate, by eleven o'clock the precipitation ceased, the temperature moved up and even the clouds went walk about.

Making sure I had my required red robin coloured warmth on, I boarded the bus and arrived at my favourite watering hole ' The Bay's ' at half past twelve. Daughter d soon arrived back from work and we…

Lean Beef: Spring Bells: Muses

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This is a picture of the Late Captain Beefheart ( Don Van Vliet )
One of the few that I know being unshaven . I was reminded of his iconic album "Trout Mask Replica"
I mention the good Captain , because recently the actual photo of Don with his carp mask and tall hat on has come to light. Owing to a technical fault with my Mac , I cannot show it to you now, but will do so when the problem has been fixed. Released in 1969 " Trout  Mask Replica " is a special album, containing many forms of music and sounds. Indeed so much has been written about, the making; the players; the lyrics, that even after all this dissection, it retains an unique place in Rock history. I haven't checked this, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone has a doctorate through study of this record.
I am re-reading " Riding Some Kind of Unusual Skull Sleigh" by W. C. Bamberger, which looks at the arts of Don Van Vliet. Here he writes about " Pachuco Cadaver " a track fromT…

Records Of The Past: Muses.

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First Record Matters ( 1957- 1969)



I paused.
And thought it started for me with British Steele- Tommy Steele. His ‘Handful of Songs’ propelled me onwards, found me,  a Diana on The 'Last Train To San  Fernando ' and pretty soon I was putting on the style with Lonnie.
I reflected.
 My new number was forty five bringing me a 'Whole Lotta Woman', a' Purple People Eater' and soon succumbed me to chirping crickets full of Holly.' Oh Boy' did I' Rave On.'
I remembered.
'Come On' it's 1962 and  time for the Stones to start rolling with album covers which bore no script and also to bring white blues here, Satisfaction  was  guaranteed with Them Pretty Things howling at wolves and drinking muddy waters and always  prowled  at by geordie Animals.
I recollect.
'Strange Days' ahead. The doors of perception opened And Love and the Byrds flew into the grooves, whilst Jimi Mixed some foxy cocktails into a Purple Haze and we all  Waited for …

Tom Rob Smith: Refuse Matters: Musing

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"The safest way to write a diary was to imagine Stalin reading every word.
 Even exercising this degree of caution there was the risk of a slipped phrase, accidental ambiguity- a misunderstood sentence. "

So starts "Agent 6 " by  Tom Rob Smith. This being the third book in his Russian trilogy which began with "Child 44 "  followed by " The Secret Speech. "








These books have been literary delights, ensuring rapid page turning. The subject matter is grim and stark; namely life under the rule of Stalin and later his successor Khrushchev in communist Russia.
Our 'hero'  Leo Demidov who has periods working for the MGB and KGB has targets to meet. They are the number of state 'traitors ' he has found and denounced. Nobody, including families are safe from being convicted for crimes, which usually meant execution or labour intensive imprisonment in the harsh realities of the Gulags
 Once this fear of exposure was realised, it became endem…