Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Zimbo or Zimno? by MouthoftheMersey

Viewing the Pet Shop Boys breakthrough hit “West End Girls” recently (professional obligation – don’t ask), I spotted amidst the sea of shoulder pads and glare of Neil Tennant’s lip gloss a strange gathering filmed from the back seat of a taxi as it sped through Trafalgar Square. To a bunch of twenty-something students, it meant nothing, but I was catapulted back to the 80s and those long waits for night buses. The noise and the colour was always there of course - the 24 hour Anti-Apartheid protest went on outside the South African Embassy 365 days per year. A faint glow of pride surfaced in my heart as I recalled my steadfast refusal to bank with Barclays or buy the evil “Cape” oranges, and I thought about telling the class about those far-off days… but didn’t.

Few would deny that the sporting boycott played its part in bringing an end to apartheid and that a heavy price was paid by cricketers who were very good (Clive Rice, Vincent van der Bijl, Garth le Roux, Ken McEwan amongst many, many others) and cricketers who were great (Eddie Barlow, Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Mike Proctor). Even the staunchest opponent of that hideous SA regime winces at the denial of seeing the 1970 team reach its potential. How good were they? They beat the Australians by margins of 170 runs, an innings and 129 runs, 307 runs and 323 runs – handy, I suggest.

Fast forward 37 years and another team from Africa are playing cricket “representing” a hideous regime, but this time the country is Zimbabwe and nobody is seriously advocating a worldwide sporting boycott. But no cricket fan is at ease knowing the state of that nation and the impact politics has made on the very fine cricketers denied their right to play for their country. The issues were covered in Andy Bull’s article and blog at
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/03/15/dont_look_now_theres_cricket_t.html - as fine a piece of journalism, never mind “citizen journalism”, as I have read in a long time.

So should we play with Mugabe’s representatives on the sporting field? I, not without hesitation, say yes. I don’t know what the future holds for Zimbabwe, but I know that sooner or later, it’ll look a bit like this cricket team – black and white working together for the common good of Zimbabwe, under a young leader doing his or her best in adversity. I’m seeking advice on a destination for a small charitable donation to support (directly) grassroots cricket in Zimbabwe – I’ll post the advice in the comments here. After all, what’s worth knowing that cricket doesn’t teach?

One day I look forward to the feeling I had on June 24 1995. I sat amongst my fellow Putney Cricket Club 3rd XI players half-watching the preliminaries for the Rugby World Cup Final on TV, wondering whether it was worth starting our match and missing the big game. Suddenly there was a whisper, “Is Mandela wearing Pienaar’s shirt? “. People stood up, someone may have clapped, I had the beginnings of a tear in my eye. I thought of those cricketers and wondered whether they considered their sacrifice worth it – I hoped they did. It’s a different route this time, but the destination is the same. I want to help Zimbo to get there. Who’s with me?

118 comments:

Zephirine said...

Heartfelt and well written, MotM.

It would be good to find some way of supporting young cricketers inside Zimbabwe, but sadly I suspect any young Zimbabweans who are good at sport will hope it can get them a way out of the country, for the time being at least. But let's give positive help if we can.

mimi said...

What an excellent piece of writing. I started reading and had memories of Neil Tennant (don't ask) and nights in Trafalgar Square wondering whether the N3 night bus was a work of fiction, before giving up and walking home, then suddenly you get serious. I too remember the anti-apartheid protests "Barclays is a Piggy Bank" scrawled on Oxford college walls (along with the rather funnier, People Before Cars, Homes Before Carparks to which someone had added Leg Before Wicket), but in all seriousness, this is one of the best pieces I've seen up here. There is a link on one of the GU cricket blogs today to Peter Roebuck's charity. Worth a look, but I'm afraid I can't search the link.
Finally, and sorry for such a long post, but I absolutely love the resonance of the title to the wonderful Echo and the Bunnymen and timely as we must be closing on an anniversary of Pete de Freitas's death sometime soon.

MotM said...

Touched and moved by the kind words.

I'm holding off posting the link suggested on the blog as Andy Bull has kindly agreed to get back to me with a suggestion if he can find one. I'm definitely going with that one if Andy comes up empty (as he might - it's not easy) and will post as often as possible.

hannibalbrooks said...

mimi

I never met Pete De Freitas but worshipped him and the Bunnymen in my camo-gear attire from afar during the early 80s (before the third album 'Porcupine'). But tomorrow, I shall be painting Liverpool city centre an appropriate shade of red with my best mate, Andy, who was very good friends back in the day with all of the Bunnymen crew and a fellow motorcycle enthusiast like Pete. I shall make sure that we sink a few on Pete's behalf.

MOTM

Great piece but DID the sporting boycott of SA really have any positive effect? Surely it was the political and financial pressure and maybe even Jim Kerr that was responsible. London night buses in the 80s ... oh happy days and nights!

mimi said...

Hannibal: Pete was an unlikely addition to the emerging Bunnymen, being a public-school Goring boy, but was a superb drummer and brought that extra sound that the band needed - despite Will's amazing guitar, they needed that bit extra. His life was lived at a hectic pace, and his exploits on the bike were a constant worry. In some ways, it was a matter of time that there would be terrible news one night. And so it was.

bluedaddy said...

Let's hope Jim Kerr was partly responsible for something positive. He's got plenty more to answer for.
Saying that I was a fan of their early stuff.
The 80s eh? Weirdest decade ever.

bluedaddy said...

Classic Bluedaddy there.
Not only do I ignore the serious subject matter at hand, I decide that in all human history, the 1980s was the weirdest decade...
when everyone knows that the 1420s were mad as fuck.

mimi said...

The 1420s, Bluedaddy. I seem to recall that it was the 1470s that were the really bonkers years of the 15th century. In those days, they couldn't even find a nail and for the sake of a nail, the crown was lost.
Open the door now for a full on Yorks/Lancaster fight!

marcela said...

brilliant - hadn't read it at first because i never do follow cricket!

but it's very interesting, as is andy bull's piece which i have now also read following the links here.

a similar moral dilemma emerged regarding argentina in 1978. having thought about it all in various ways over the years, and talked to a lot of people about it too, rather like a rubik's cube which is never quite finished... i think there is an argument for the media attention a big sporting event can bring. if in turn this leads to something, even better.

in argentina, one good thing that came out of, for example, holland taking part in the competition rather than boycotting it, was the fact that the dutch press broadcast some of the political turmoil to the world.

also, sometimes not consuming produce because we don't like the governments leads to a worsening of living conditions for those who depend on them for their livelihoods. it's not an easy one and i'm sure greengrass would strongly disagree with me. but it's part and parcel of the consequences of our actions.

really tricky issues, really well dealt with here.

as for london night buses, is the reason why all you lot last took them in the 80s because you've moved out of london since?

mimi said...

Marcela: lovely to meet you again here on Pseuds, but you do have me caught and bowled on Night Buses!
I left London in 2001 and very seldom revisit. Being a rural person now, I do find big cities a bit scary. Actually I find Edinburgh too big to visit - much to the ultimate destruction of my relationship!
Zimbo, zimbo, zimbo. I am aching now to find my copy of the right album - it's the one with them walking on the beach. I am just so annoyed that I don't have my vinyl lined up in the shelf in alphabetical order and I can't find the bloody thing!

hannibalbrooks said...

BD

I think that it's fair to say that the 80s were the weirdest decade for alot of people of our age :o)

I used to love Simple Minds. I still like Someone, Somewhere in Summertime and used to think that Sweat In Bullet was the best thing that I'd ever heard. A funky Joy Division who could play their instruments better but never had Tony Wilson behind them ... and then lost the plot after New Gold Dream sometime in 1983. That's when I stopped saying Jim Kerr and started saying Juan Kerr ... but he's a thoroughly decent chap by all accounts.

Marcela

High rent prices had more to do with me leaving The Smoke. Record shops didn't pay too well. I never had to travel that far on a night bus from the West End because I only lived in Chelsea most of the time and on a pleasant summer's night it wasn't too far to walk.

hannibalbrooks said...

Mimi

Its on Heaven Up Here but the best version is the live version on the Shine So Hard EP. I was there in Buxton, Derbyshire on a day as cold as it has been today when they recorded it ... I was one of the many Liverpool Bunnymen freaks.
There is a video of that concert too :o)

hannibalbrooks said...

mimi

look at what I found on YouTube

Zimbo (All My Colours) live in Sefton Park in Liverpool in 1982.

I'm in the crowd near the front somewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOY43T63Wiw

mimi said...

HB: you're going to have me searching through all my illegal tapes of the Bunnymen concerts. I can't tell you how many I went to back in the day. Shine So Hard lurks somewhere in my vinyl, but as I said earlier, my collection is in shoddy shape and it's hard to find what I need.
New Gold Dream played at full volume (when the neighbours are out) still stirs the soul, but it was the death knell of Simple Minds.
Joy Division, well that's a hard place to go.
Huge influence but also bad outcome.
Ah the music of the 80s. Don't quite see how the subsequent years will ever match it for me.
Aussie music anyone??

MotM said...

Bunnymen - Sure I was a fan and saw McCulloch and the guys at Liverpool University in '80 I guess - heaven up there. My brothers (aged 14 and 16 - different days then) went to the Buxton gig, but I turned it down. (I also turned down Joy Division - supporting SLF - Magazine and the Buzzcocks). The Teardrop Explodes were better though.

After Moon, I just sort of expected the de Freitas incident - I thought it was what drummers did and I'm inclined to think that now. Had he lived, he'd still be youngish and beautiful - sad, sad, sad.

I think the sporting boycott hurt and I think it made even the most boorish Boer wonder why the world wouldn't play ball with them - it's not a weapon to use often nor would it work on every society, but I think it hurt them. But I am genuinely sad for BA Richards etc.

Argentina 1978 - I remember my father saying "Look at those thugs" when the camera panned to the Junta. Having been brought up to respect authority, I recall the realisation that not every person in power was there as a result of talent or election. And Kempes, Luque and Passarella were our heroes, so we knew that there was another Argentina beyond those stone faces.

Night buses - I get them now, but it's on the way to train stations and airports with kids, not swigging cheap red wine. Years ago I wanted to write a play based on the top deck of a night bus - what aspect of life isn't found there?

Great Blog guys - I never expected this!

MotM said...

Hannibal - If you were at Erics when Edwyn Collins broke a guitar string and the band played a sensational version of Funkytown before abandoning the gig, we're in the Twilight Zone!

hannibalbrooks said...

MotM

No but I was at both the Bunnymen and Teardrop gigs at the Uni in 1980. I saw The Skids at either Eric's or it might have been called Brady's by then, at a special Saturday afternoon gig for underaged rockers like myself. I liked Orange Juice though, what's not to like about 'Rip It Up'? I sampled it and made a house music track out of it a few years ago.

mimi said...

Mouth: you invoke Edwyn Collins! Ah, tis not to be borne. The exquisiteness of his voice, in the small confines of the old Hammersmith venue, up above the Post Office, what was it called? It was like being inside a turned inside out Wedgewood jug. And the final gig there was The Butthole Surfers. Yes, I remember, it was called the Clarendon.
Oh I am being forced into memories I thought were long gone by all you lot!!

hannibalbrooks said...

The thing about the Buxton gig was that we didn't know were the gig would be because it was advertised as a 'mystery tour'. You just bought your ticket and met up outside Probe to get on the coach very early one Sunday morning around February or March 1981.

I've found some footage from the gig on YouTube ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06TIDkqd380

I bought my copy of Crocodiles from Probe and was served by Pete Burns. He slipped in the free limited edition single with Do It Clean and Books on that you were supposed to get with it, but winked at me and put in a copy of The Puppet too. I think he fancied me, in fact he made it clear that he did. I shat myself, but smiled and could wait to get home to listen to the records.

mimi said...

HB: I've checked out your yourtube links. And I thank you sir. What a treat - I'm not one who searches Youtube for these things. Didn't spot you, but hey, can't be a winner all the time!
I have to say that I havent been playing the Bunnymen much recently, but its a joy to revisit.
By the way, did you know that Sefton Park Glasshouse is the only place in the UK growing bananas?
Guess you can only buy the fruit in Liverpool, but it's a great thing. The glasshouses, I think were designed by the chappy, Paxham, who did Allie Pallie and Crystal Palace, is that right? Someone will no doubt provide full details.

MotM said...

Hannibal - I missed Jobbo the Yobbo too and the Ruts who attracted about 30 to the Empire, but I did catch an early U2 and a spectacular double-drummered up Adam and the Ants.

I bought a few records from Probe, but never had the eye from Pete B. We still have all that vinyl somewhere, but between three of us, we all think the other two have the stuff.

Liverpool University was very good in those days - the Cure I remember, but a lot of it's blurred. Were you at Deeside Leisure Centre for Ian Dury and the Blockheads when I believe the ice melted?

Best Gig? I thought Dexy's at the Old Vic in the Searching for the Young Soul Rebels period were fantastic and the Clash at the Lyceum were good.

mimi said...

Guys: just found Shine So Hard. And it is GOOD. Memories of the Lyceum: I was there for the close-down gig when the Ramones played. AAhg I'm getting all musically sentimental. Butthole Surfers at the Clarendon - that was another end of era. Can't remember who we had to close Bay 63(under the M40 flyover at Ladbroke Grove, if you recall) but it might have been Laibach, or possibly The Young Gods.

pipita said...

Thats very nicely written mouth. Have to agree with marcela's argentina 78 example. You may not believe this but Im actually going to see the Pet Shop Boys on friday night here in Baires. Me wife's a big fan. Me?? when it comes to the 80's Im a fervent durannie.Okay, dont raise your eyebrows like that......

Zeph said...

Mimi: Joseph Paxton. Great man.

MotM said...

Pipita - it's my suspicions, not my eyebrows!

When my kids ask me what the 80s were like, I'll play them the PSBs' Rent (and the video) and toss them a copy of Mart's Money.

DD? Play the B-side of Planet Earth. It's the closest they got to Roxy apart from the suits.

"I smell like I sound
I'm lost and I'm found
And I'm hungry like the wolf"

Yeah.

MotM said...

Six hours ago, I wrote a piece describing my anguish at the dilemma of playing sports with the representatives of despots or boycotting them and my desire to do something tangible to help. Now I'm quoting Duran Duran.

Maybe those moderators have a point after all - but our little corner is a big enough tent... er... well you know.

mimi said...

Zeph: thank you. Of course it was Paxton. I feel a fool now. As though I had forgotten who built the Clifton Suspension Bridge, or the engineer of the GWR - that'll be IK Brunel then! Living here I might as well forget the great Thomas Telford.
Hey ho.
What a pretty little woman of a fool. Just what they're looking for to descry us for. Sorry to let the sisterhood down.

pipita said...

Mouth

Sure thing, obvious Roxy influences there. Duran's Rio is almost a carbon copy of Roxy's Prairie Rose.

martin said...

Motm

I saw The Ruts at The Warehouse, which is now the 147 snooker club on Fleet Street in 1982, supported by my mates' band, Frankie Goes To Hollywood .... talking of big 80s bands. My band used to share our rehearsal room with Frankie and we all used each other's equipment.

Mimi

I love the greenhouse in Sefton Park, my friend did a fantastic painting of it that I have a print of ... somewhere. I was so pleased when they restored it, it's yet another reason to love George Melly.

mimi said...

HB: it may not be the finest live Bunnymen moment, but listening to Ocean Rain, I am almost in tears. No correct that, I am in tears. Until I lay my hands on Heaven Up Here, this is fine tunes.
Screaming from beneath the waves seems to be what most of us do day in and day out.

hannibalbrooks said...

Roxy, Japan and the Duranies shared the same producer for some tracks, John Singer.

mimi said...

I'd heard George Melly had a hand in the restoration. ~What facts we learn here that we never find over at the other place!

hannibalbrooks said...

mimi

I wore out my first copy of Heaven Up Here in the Summer of 1981. I haven't listened to it for about twenty years but I can still hear the albums opening sound effects that sound like waves splashing against a pier, heard from under the pier.

BlueinBetis said...

Great piece Mouth. I agree that boycotts are dangerous ground, economic ones especially. Look what happened in Iraq post '92. Sporting boycotts are a different breed, in South Africa's case it was a help, since it kept the issues to the fore, but it was not the major reason for the South African regime to crumble, that has to come from within the affected arena. I think that the sporting boycott of South Africa gave some encouragement to those who were fighting for an end to Apartheid, that they were not alone in what they wanted for their country.

That said Mandela doesn't mention it at all in his biography that I can remember, so maybe this is just my conjecture. I'd like to think it helped, maybe that's good enough, it certainly didn't harm.

After all that though, Zimbabwe is a different time and place. So the question is, is it right for Zimbabwe to play cricket at the World Cup, well why exactly would you stop them? They have a government that is immoral, corrupt and bleeding the populace dry. Yes, but then I have a feeling the World Cup would become a very tiny affair if all Nations with that crime were banned. Dunno mate. I'll agree with you and say "no" but just because the "yes" would evoke difficulties in justification, and it needs justification.

Zimbabwe's issues have to be solved by Zimbabwe, with outside help, but Mugabe must be removed, or brought to heel by Zimbabweans, not by outsiders. No intervention ever works if run by people outside, since the people outside haven't a clue what the day to day issues inside are.

On a lighter note, Echo and the Bunnymen were great, but I was too young to see them live. I did see The Smiths, and they still sound great today. Johnny Marr does stuff with a guitar that is out of this world. And best live venue, has to be the Town and Country Club in Kentish Town. Saw, through eyes blurred by too much Thunderbird, the Wedding Present there. Doing old stuff, and stuff from the Ukrainian folk music disc, two sets, three hours, quality.

Pipita and Marcela will help me here, I'm sure. "Pet Shop Boys" in Spanish is los chicos de la tienda de los animales domesticos it can be "shortened" to Los chicos de la tienda de mascotas, but then I'm not sure that a Boa Constrictor or an Iguana would count as a "mascota" surely a "mascota" is something cute and furry, not a six foot long Boa Constrictor, which is covered by the "animale domestico." Would you expect your bog standard pet shop boy to sell a Boa Constrictor, of course you'd probably have to order it, since it's not the sort of thing you would have under the counter. Although maybe out the back, next to the iguanas.

Thank you, again Mouth. An excellent piece of writing, that truly sparks debate and thought.

BlueinBetis said...

Pipita,
Duran Duran, Girls on film was a great video, but musically, well, no. You're going to say you liked Spandau Ballet next. or Kajagoogoo.

hannibalbrooks said...

Kentish Town & Country Club was the site of my musical epiphany, my musical Road To Damascus. I saw Bobby Byrd and The JBs (James Brown's band, he was doing porridge) there in the Second Summer of Love in July or August 1988, and it was indeed a summer of love. It changed my life and it's the reason why I became a DJ. I also got dragged along there to see Then Jerico in 1987 by a girl I was dating, the reason I remember it is because it was the night of the famous hurricane that Michael Fish told everyone wasn't going to happen. The week after the JBs gig i saw Curtis Mayfield twice in one week, at Dingwalls and at Ronnie Scott's.

BlueinBetis said...

Sorry HB,
going to make you feel old now. I was at home that night, because I had just been suspended from school. For smoking, I was 14 or 15. A tree fell on our house, and I was gutted because I had a new computer game arrive via post the next morning and the power was off all morning, then my mum came home and told me I wasn't allowed to play on the computer.
I had to go and buy her fags instead.

pipita said...

Mouth

Indeed, youve done the great GG turning your own blog into a massive off-topic debate
Hannibal
So you were chums with Frankie goes to Hollywood, Interesting. The durans were especially copying david Sylvian's hair style
Blue
Just referred to as "los pet shop" here
Blue
Come off it...Only other band formed in the 80's which I took any interest in were the Smiths. Saw Morrissey play here two years ago.

BlueinBetis said...

Kajagoogoo, I just like writing it. Sorry Pipita.

hannibalbrooks said...

pipita

To this day, Nick Rhodes only ever seems to where the white canvas shoes that were David Sylvian's fashion trademark. I really liked Japan but mostly because their bass player, Mick Karn, was just unbelieveable. I was a bass player too in those days.

But ATTENTION ... bluedaddy's first piece has been posted up ... check it out ... it's excellent.

marcela said...

kajagoogoo - what a crap band. Almost as crap as Duran Duran. Almost.

i'm not even going to try and join in an eighties pop music thread but couldn't resist saying this:

T&C - walked by the other day and it's simply not the same place anymore.
Day of the hurricane - I was in Liverpool!

Funny old world.

mimi said...

I don't care how uncool this is, or how old I make any of you feel, but I am sticking on Simple Minds Sparkle in the Rain, and sod you all if you don't go searching your vinyl for this! We need your loving so badly... slip away ...

tony ellis said...

I don't want to sound paranoid, but could I have just been the first person to be censored or banned on pseuds' corner? I wrote about mouth's piece - very positively, I might add, and it hasn't come up. Was it the bit about 80's music leaving me cold? I did say it was probably my age...

MotM said...

Tony - Blogger does that sometimes and it's a pain to type again.

Japan? Liked 'em even if they did look absurd. Loved that Forbidden Colours song from the film.

mimi said...

Tony: welcome here, maybe you failed to sign in with your name, it's easily done. Of course not enjoying the memories of 80s music will leave you out in the cold!! But only for these last few chats in which we all reveal ourselves as rather older than we'd like to pretend that we are.
It's a not being part of the current youth culture thing. Me, I'm well into new bands like the Killers, which immediately reveals that I'm a 70s, 80s revivalist.
Hey what the hell, i just enjoy my music!

Zeph said...

Ah, the hurricane... I had to go out early the next morning and there was hardly any traffic, the air in London was fresh and damp and clean and smelled of crushed leaves...
How many topics have we gone off now?

hannibalbrooks said...

Marcela

You were in Liverpool on the night of the hurricane!?

What were you doing in Liverpool on a Thursday night?

I know that the hurricane didn't effect Liverpool. My mum phoned me the next morning to see if I was OK and I'd slept right through it.

I didn't have a clue what she was on about and had started to think that she was on some form of medication or ...'Mum?... an 'urricane? .. Mum? .. What are you talking about love? .. until I pulled back the net curtain and looked outside ... 'Jaheesus Christ!!'

tony ellis said...

Hello mimi, no, it's not the name thing: I just had another one disappeared. If you get onto Bob Dylan or Edgar Broughton, let me know...

mimi said...

Zeph: that night of the hurricane: ach weel, scuse my now native scots.
It was a birthday night and I walked home unaware of what was about to happen.
So weird to wake up and find I couldn't even get a bus to work cos of trees down.
Almost as weird as the day after Locherbie when I went to work and wondered why the flag was at half mast. Utter horror to find that one of my close colleagues who I'd had dinner with the night before was on the plane. These things happen, it is a strange world we live in.

hannibalbrooks said...

Sorry Tony. We are on topic though for those that say that we are not. Part of the piece is also about a certain period in time that we can relate to because we are the same age as Mouth. He even uses up precious words to point out lip gloss on a lad, how period 80s is that?!

Mouth hits the nail on the head when he says how absurd Japan looked but they were a decent band and that says alot about the 80s and most people's recollections of the decade.

Simon Nappier-Bell managed Japan and when they spilt, he made Wham! into what they became. Mick Karn couldn't half play that bass though. Notice his shaved Bowiesque lack of eyebrows in the video, which reminds me, you chaps should all have a look at John Moore on the MusicBlog, it's brilliant sometimes and is so today and I've decided not to post anything on sport blog for now. You'll know me when you get there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU6iIBHGFB0&mode=related&search=

tony ellis said...

Hannibal, nice to see you here... I think you've been negatively affected by your GU multiple bans (if you've kept a log you should write a history sometime) - there really isn't any need to apologise to me for off-topicness. If I were to follow that rule, I'd be limited by my lack of knowledge to the kind of 'this article is crap/brilliant' that so exemplifies much of gu's commenters. As far as 80's music is concerned, I'd love to be able to join in and will ask my grandson to fill in the gaps for me...

mimi said...

HB: mostly songs from our past make us remember a lot, and sometimes shiver a bit. I mostly do 80s and 90s. Those are my professional music eras. Put a record on from those times and I'm gone, legs as weak as sugar strands. Here's one
Hey Honey, what you trying to say...
Making love on the edge of a knife
and the world comes tumbling down and it's hard for me to say ....
and if there's one thing I couldn't do, sacrifice myself to you...
The sun grows cold and the sky gets black..... a scream in the head ..hey hey...
Under the April Skies .....

marcela said...

yes. i was in liverpool on the night of the hurricane. i was staying with a friend who lived there at the time. i got several calls very early in the morning from london mates wishing to share the excitement. a bit later on, one of the flatmates entered the room and said "guess what?". and from underneath the duvets, in a dark room, we both bellowed in a sleepy voice: "there's been a hurricane in london!!". the flatmate couldn't believe we already knew. my friend said: "the phone's been bleedin' ringing since 6 o'clock with people keeping marcela informed!".

how news breaks! not always easy to escape the grapevine...

bedtime for me, now.

down with mugabe, but play on?

hannibalbrooks said...

Mimi

Is that April Skies by The Jesus and Mary Chain?

Did you already know about John Moore's blog?

I believe he was in the Mary Chain at one point.

pipita said...

Hannibal

Ive been cut off internet for three hours...Yes indeed Rhodes still looks a carbon copy of sylvian, and I remember reading somewhere that John Taylor was very much influenced by Mick Karn's bass playing, apart from that Chic bass dynamo, forgot his name. Ive barely heard Japan, I'll check out that clip. Thanks
Marcela
Thats a very uncool and dismissive remark about the duran's, even completely diverse musicians such as Beck and J.Davies from Korn are acknowledging them these days

Ebren said...

Not guilty, not guilty!

I've deleted no one.

I once asked someone to delete something, and have banned Pope Jean Paul II from posting on the greounds that he is dead.

But apart from that - nothing.

offside said...

musicalement, les années 80, c'était de la merde. mostly.

marcela said...

OiT
d'accord, absolutement!

hannibalbrooks said...

Marcela et Offside

Mais vous etes faux, un mot ....

Prince

Merci

reemgear said...

"musicalement, les années 80, c'était de la merde. mostly."
--------
Goldman? Desireless? Rita Mitsuko? Partenaire particulier? Telephone?

Toyah Wilcox?

I'll? Get? My? Coat?

hannibalbrooks said...

Bands and artists who did great stuff in the 80s that still sounds good today... off the top of my head

Prince, Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, The Stone Roses, The Smiths, The Eurythmics, Public Enemy, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, Mantronix, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, INXS, Sly & Robbie, Madness, The Specials, Soul II Soul, Mica Paris, The Happy Mondays, The Christians, Wendy & Lisa, The Waterboys, Luther Vandross, Guns & Roses, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Japan, Fashion, The Sugar Cubes, The Wedding Present, REM, The Pixies, The Jam, Fine Yound Cannibals, The Sugarhill Gang, The Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Yello, Kraftwerk, Neneh Cherry and Miles Davis.

pipita said...

Hannibal

Bravo mon ami, PRINCE complete genius...In spite of the fact his enthusiasm has been diminished to nothing in the last decade. Anyone read what Miles Davis had to say about him??

MotM said...

Good list Hannibal.

I'd throw ABC and the Tom Tom Club at that and maybe Tracey Thorn. Leonard Cohen?

Did you read "The End"?

hannibalbrooks said...

Pipita

I'm a hueooowge fan of both Prince and Miles.

The Clash, U2, Simple Minds and Scritti Politti did good stuff in the 80s too.

hannibalbrooks said...

Mouth

Yes I read The End a few times but not religiously.

ABC ... hhhmm?

EBTG/Tracy Thorn - Yes

Tom Tom Club were really just Talking Heads without DB, Genius of Love is a classic.

pipita said...

Hannibal

Me too. Only saw him twice, but when still at his peak, Wembley Arena 1990 River PLate 1991. In this last one he was amazing in spite of the fact that he got pissed of for some reason and left the stage after an hour and a half with no encores. His versions of Nothing Compares to U(at exactly the same time it was a hit with S O'connor), Kiss and Purple Rain that night were priceless, a true maestro

BlueinBetis said...

Hannibal,

Who are "Wendy & Lisa"?
Pepsi and Shirlie, Mel and Kim I've heard of, but Wendy & Lisa, sounds like two girls from the fourth year.

andrewm said...

BiB, allow another Prince fanatic to tell you that Wendy & Lisa were key personnel in Prince & the Revolution for 5 years and went on to release three albums as a duet. They now work on various musical projects together, and played the Brit awards music ceremony with the purple one a couple of years ago.

They're f'ing ace, basically.

pipita said...

Ahhh, Wendy and Lisa, is that from the Purple Rain period. One of them actually played guitar. Its all fuzzy now, was that before Miko Weaver came in, or were they all playing with Prince at the same time?? HB, andy enlight me here please

offside said...

I said "mostly".

I was talking about the general "feel" of that decade of horrendous haircuts, preposterous shoulderpads and excruciating synthetiser sounds.

There was really interesting stuff happening on the Jazz scene with fusion, jazz-rock and daring formations too numerous to list.

Miles Davis doesn't count. He spanned four decades and the sound of his horn makes Prince's voice sound like he caught his cojones in the piano.

Michael Jackson, par contre, c'est vraiment de la merde.

andrewm said...

Pipita, the Purple Rain line-up had Brown Mark on bass and Bobby Z on drums, with Lisa and also Dr. Fink on keys and Wendy on guitar. Sheila E joined two albums later, on Parade, then the Revolution basically broke up although Sheila E and Dr. Fink still played live with Prince. I think Miko joined when the Revolution split.

pipita said...

Offside

Yeah, cojones in the piano, but quoting the gigantic Miles on Prince from his autobiography "that mother f****r could stretch out a song like few others man" Apparently the purple one had actually recorded a piece for Miles that he eventually didnt make use of for some reason

offside said...

mmmmmh, I wonder if it would make you Prince fanatics jealous if I told you that one night, at the Nice Jazz Festival in 94, Sheila E gave me the key to her hotel room?

reemgear said...

Michael Jackson, par contre, c'est vraiment de la merde.
-------------
Now, I have to confess to buying - and enjoying - Off The Wall...

The Smiths.
The Chameleons.
Pixies (best live band in the late 80's).
Happy Mondays - before they went crap.
Jane's Addiction.

I'm sure that there are lots of bands associated with the 90's that did their best stuff in the late 80's.

This is very off topic - what's the penalty?
Am I to be shot?

offside said...

reemgear,

the penalty is to be tied down and forced to listen to a "worst of 80's" compilation mixed by HB. Until you confess.

andrewm said...

offside, were you a porter and she wanted you to make the bed while she was out because the maid hadn't done it?

pipita said...

Andy

Ta for the info. Im pretty convinced Miko was on the Purple Rain, Parade and Sign of the Times albums.

Offside

Wowwee, are you serious???????Mind you, if that drum solo Sheilae performed in Sign of the Times was for real, Id think twice before accepting those keys

andrewm said...

Pipita, you're probably right. I'm fanatical about the music but I'm no expert on line-ups. You should check out W & L though, especially the first album.

bluedaddy said...

Offside, Is 'key to her hotel room' a euphemism? I used to have a serious crush on that woman, so you can mark me down as jealous.

As for Mikey, you couldnt be more wrong, but we've been here before. His early stuff is so good to dance to that even him hanging babies over a balcony and being a Grade A loon cant make me forget just how great he once was.

Great blog.

For the hurricane I was in Florida. Oh the irony!

At a Guilty Pleasures gig I will happily let loose to many a secret love, but the Durannies were never one of them. They monumentally suck.

mimi said...

Reem: Pixies, stonking in the 80s and not so dusty these days. Sonic Youth anyone? And anything that Henry Rollins turned his creative hand to.

offside said...

bluedaddy,

real hotel (Le Méridien, on the Promenade des Anglais, real room (#412), real key (one of those e-card thingies), real good looking up close (those eyes!).

andrewm said...

Was I the only one who liked the Go-Betweens?

Prefab Sprout too.

A bit of early Aztec Camera.

The Replacements - oh my sweet lord.

Sorry, I've lost all of you now haven't I?

offside said...

andrew,

we're so off-topic that I don't even know what thread I'm posting on most of the time.

marcela said...

offside -
did you take the key?

offside said...

Marcela,

of course I did. Wouldn't you?

marcela said...

in 1994... i think, probably, yes.

bluedaddy said...

Lots of girlie boys there AndyM, many of whom I liked. Loved Scritti Politti. I hated Morissey because when The Smiths broke I was wearing exactly the same hair and clothes as him, even though I'd never seen him. (Bloody great music though, saw them a few times - and he is brilliant, most of the time).

It was a fluxy kind of time where you wanted to pick and choose from across the board, but there was still an overhang from punk purism that hated pop and tried to say 'you cant like all those bands and all those different strands of music at the same time'. This is ironic as punk originally seemed to suggest the exact opposite.

I used to run a club night in Preston with a very diverse little crew. We started off on a monday night in a small venue. Within a few months we were like gods, packing the biggest venue in the town on Fridays and Saturdays. We played anything and everything: northern soul, Bunnymen, Rolf Harris (?), punk, Bowie, JB, Velvets etc. It was rocking. Then the club owners sacked us all, played the same records in the same order every night. It went on for a while but soon died a death. Good while it lasted though.

mimi said...

andrewm: Go-Betweens - good shout. Sadly they're not all with us anymore, but no great surprise as with many of those Aussie bands of the 80s, their rider contained more than just the beers and vodkas. The Triffids were pretty good too.

pipita said...

Offside

Yeah, I bet you did, no gambeta on that one

Andym

I'll check em out. Saw Maceo Parker here a few years ago, he starred for the Revolution as well

andrewm said...

Mimi - the Triffids, wonderful band. Born Sandy Devotional is exceptional.

mimi said...

andrewm: Lonely Stretch morphing into Rock My Soul, still one of my favourite ever songs.
Happily found my copy of Heaven Up Here in the end last night. Not so sure the neighbours were as pleased!

offside said...

pipita,

no gambeta but she does have amazing legs.

MotM said...

I nearly titled this Zimbaboui or Zimbabnon. On such trifles do blogs turn...

Anyone want to give a shout to Sugar Puffs salesman John Cooper Clarke? "Like a sucked and spat out smartie, you're no use to anyone".

A bit uneven of course, but there's a very good version of the utterly compelling Beasley street (misspelled as Beaseley street) on youtube. My brother used to cycle through Bootle to work in 81 and played this on his walkman - said it was like have a live action video in front of you. He was right.

mimi said...

Mouth: John Cooper Clarke, eh? Puts me in mind of John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett. And there was another I associate with that ilk, Frank something I think his name was - wore a large false head and did stuff with The Residents.

MotM said...

mimi - you're thinking of Frank Sidebottom (and, of course, Little Frank) who can still be found flogging the deadest of horses on Channel 200 and something on Sky.

Never in the class of the Bard of Salford.

pipita said...

offside

Yeah, you bastardo, Ive seen them

Mouth
there's a Beasley street here in Baires aswell, believe it or not, its pronounced bee-aas-ley, not precisely in the in the most trendy area of town

mimi said...

Mouth: Frank Sidebottom, of course. Thanks for that, it was beginning to niggle!

bluedaddy said...

Anyone ever see Ted Chippington?

"I was walking down the road the other day, this chap walked up to me and said 'Do you want to buy some LSD, mate?' I said 'No thanks, mate, We've gone decimal now. You know, pounds, shillings and pence - no use to me any more.'

mimi said...

I do BlueD, I do. Herring and Lee - anyone remember them - used to reference him all the time.

Zephirine said...

er...just to go back to the original topic (are we allowed to do that here?) - Andy Bull namechecked the charity on OBO but for anyone who missed it, the best address seems to be
http://www.lbwtrust.com.au/
- you can make donations there.

offside said...

Zeph,

While it's not a banning offense, going back to the original topic is definitely frowned upon.

Look.

I'm frowning.

MotM said...

Zeph - Thanks.

Once at a better computer, I'll do a posting and I'll blog at GU if they've sorted the techie stuff.

Let's press when we can without being boring!

hannibalbrooks said...

Frank Sidebottom is a big Altringham fan 'The Alty!! clap clap clap The Alty!! I used to like Frank but had an even softer spot for John Shuttleworth and his Bontempi organ. In a former life he was Jilted John of 'Gordon is a moron' fame.

Pipita

I've read Miles' autobiography a couple of times, it's just superb. MotM used the opening line from it in one of his pieces on here 'The best feeling I ever had with my clothes on ...'

I've got the video of Miles and Prince jamming together in Paisley Park, Prince's home and recording studio.

I still like Aztec Camera, Roddy Frame is great.

Off The Wall by Michael Jackson is a stunning album. I never make the mistake letting my opinion of the artists actions cloud my opinion of their work. If you start doing that then whether you realise it or not, you are being a hypocrite.

offside said...

HB,

I still think Céline (nazi sympathiser) was a great writer, I listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd (racists) and I love paintings by Gauguin (paedophile).

So my "appreciation" of Michael Jackson has nothing to do with what you're saying.

Oh, and I just love to tease bluedaddy.

hannibalbrooks said...

offside

I'll blame it on the boogie then ;o)

Keep up with The Force, dont stop, don't stop 'til you get enough.

mimi said...

Can't pick and choose the arts you love because of dubious political views or personal habits of artists.
Imagine life without Wagner!!
Ha.

MotM said...

I can live without Wagner, but not Brian Wilson and Phil Spector.

MotM said...

Anyone doubting MJ as a performer should youtube "Let me show you the way to go" from American Bandstand in about '77. Then youtube "Can you feel it" and see the psychosis descending.

I'm with mimi though - there's the art and the artist and it's nice if both are beautiful, but just the former is fine.

offside said...

Wagner is overrated. I know he scored loads in the Bundesliga but the defending is very poor over there. He wouldn't do well in England.

hannibalbrooks said...

mimi

We sank a few on Pete De Freitas's behalf last night as promised. Andy furnished me with the details of how the accident occured; a little old lady backing out of her drive without looking apparently. Andy also revealed that the bike that Pete was riding, a Ducatti, belonged to a friend of ours called Simon, who used to help manage the Bunnymen.

bluedaddy said...

I'm a big Wagner fan. His later work was a bit forced but he was excellent in Hart to Hart.

"When they met, it was moider"

hannibalbrooks said...

Very good BD

.. and his thinly disguised portrayal of Chet Baker in All The Fine Young Cannibals is probably his best work ever :o)

I'm off for now... got tunes that I need to be spinning.

hannibalbrooks said...

Very good BD

.. and his thinly disguised portrayal of Chet Baker in All The Fine Young Cannibals is probably his best work ever :o)

I'm off for now... got tunes that I need to be spinning.

hannibalbrooks said...

There seems to be an echo in here by the way ... probably all this talk of The Bunnymen.

bluedaddy said...

Now Kurt Wagner, that's more my line nowadays. You can't beat a bit o Lambsie

mimi said...

Kurt Wagner: now why does that make me think of Van der Valk and that extremely irritating theme tune by The Simon Park Orchestra that will now be in my head for days!!

hannibalbrooks said...

I've been playing 'Give It' by X-Press 2 featuring Kurt Wagner quite regularly at gigs for the last two years, I just adore it.

Even if house isn't your cup of tea, you might still quite like this because its mostly orchestral and Kurt's voice is great. It isn't the kind of 'house' track that you are meant to dance to.

This is the only version of it on YouTube by Lambchop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVPzH6t3dYY

The original track would grace anybody' record collection.

bluedaddy said...

Ta for the clip Brooksie - brilliant.

I reckon in 30 years time Lambchop will be being discovered by kids and they will be thrilled by their diversity and warmth.

Tweet it, digg it