Music and Concerts

The sun sets on another day.

Back in summer Hawklad asked if he could have something to aim for this year. Something fun. Anything other than a potential return to the classroom. So we agreed to take a punt on some concert tickets for December. Back in July, December seemed a long term goal. Now with weeks to go, it’s unremittingly approaching with pace….

There is still time but that concert still seems like a mighty step too far. He is still struggling. Still struggles to touch alien surfaces. Close contact with people is wracked with anxieties. He still can’t venture into shops, even for just a few moments. Inside with a thousand other people, very hemmed in, doesn’t seem practical or achievable yet.

But we always live in hope.

Tomorrow is a new day, yes it is (sorry borrowed that line from WWE wrestling….)

But we are lucky. We still have the open spaces of the Yorkshire countryside. We still have a quiet garden. Today we took our mind of that fast approaching target by thinking about a musical challenge we have seen others do online. So here goes Hawklad’s take on the questions.

First Concert – Hollywood Vampires (Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry), The Darkness, The Dammed

Last Concert – The Darkness

Best Concert – Iron Maiden

Worst Concert – some bloke painting pictures on stage before Kiss…..

Loudest Concert – Kiss

Seen the most – Alice Cooper, The Darkness

Most surprising concert – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Next concert – The Darkness ???????

Wish I had seen them – David Bowie during the Ziggy Days

Top of wish list (can still see them) – Journey

Hawklad got two positive things from me. His eyelashes and his taste in music….. Ok time for his Gnarly Old Dad to have a go…..

First Concert – Whitesnake, Samson

Last Concert – The Darkness

Best Concert – can’t choose Tin Machine (David Bowie), Whitesnake (City Hall, Newcastle), Iron Maiden, Rory Gallagher, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Scorpions (supporting Deep Purple at Knebworth)

Worst Concert – Meatloaf with a broken leg, that bad he got bottled off stage. To be fair seen him twice more and he was really good.

Loudest Concert – Motörhead

Seen the most – Whitesnake

Most surprising concert – Tina Turner…. Ok that’s a big bad fib…. I took Hawklad’s Mum to see Ronan Keating (twice), whisper it, he was not bad at all.

Next Concert – The Darkness ???????

Wish I had seen them – Led Zeppelin or Leonard Cohen

Can still see them – AC/DC

Schools out for Summer

The school gates close for just under seven weeks and Hawklad wanted a celebratory car ride. To mark his freedom from school work, exams and having to get up before midday (😂😂) he came up with his own music playlist for the car ride.

So here’s Hawklads End of School playlist.

He had to sneak one song in just to wind up his old Dad….. But I will settle for 15 out of 16 good ones. So in the words of the Mr Alice Cooper

School’s out for Summer!!!

Music

Sometimes all you can do is shake your head and sigh.

I was searching online for some new noise reduction earplugs for Hawklad. He needs these in settings with lots of background noise, like school classrooms and dinner halls. It’s not really about loud noise, just lots of competing sounds. His old ones are too small for him now. Problem is that he struggles with the feel of most of those you can get hold of.

So I did a search on if any particular brands of earplugs had been used successfully. See if any of the review sites had any tips. And here’s where I sighed.

The search brought up this little gem of a question on Quora.

“Why do people with Aspergers not like music……”

There are no words.

Well I bought a few earplugs which Hawklad can use when hopefully he sees the following bands in the next year or so.

The Darkness, Hollywood Vampires, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Ozzy….

And for no particular reason here are Hawklad’s favourite songs that he listens to virtually every day.

David Bowie – Space Oddity

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

ELO – Mr Blue Sky

Alice Cooper – Poison

Iron Maiden – Can I Play With Madness

Kiss – I was made for loving you

Europe – Final Countdown

Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out For a Hero

AC/DC – TNT

Frozen – Let It Go

And his most favourite

Alter Bridge – Metalingus

Yes music. Lots of people love music.

Jim

On the 3rd July 1971 we lost Jim Morrison. The Doors frontman died 50 years ago in Paris. Such a talent taken way too soon.

Fast forward a few years and I’m sat in an A Level exam. Facing a dreaded French comprehension question. The exam wasn’t going well. I was failing. I was tempted to put my pen down and walk. But a quick glance at the French text changed my mind. The text was a French newspaper report. All about Jim Morrison, The Doors and the circumstances surrounding his death. Unbelievably I didn’t need to read the French text to answer the questions. Just a few minutes later the questions were answered perfectly. Unbelievably I passed. Passed because of Jim Morrison.

So today I’m going to listen to my L. A. Woman LP. Listening to Jim Morrison.

T minus

Hawklad has been looking for a marker in the sand. Something to aim for which is solid. To him all the attempts to build bridges back into the wider world has to lead to something.

Yes school could be that. A return to the classroom. But he’s still not convinced that it’s right for him. Is he better off learning outside the school system. Plus it’s not a definite marker. It can be delayed. If the bridges aren’t ready say at the start of September, then maybe October might work.

Well now we have a solid marker.

A concert.

One of his favourite bands, The Darkness are playing some gigs in December. So we have bought tickets to see them in quite a small standing only venue. A definite date which is far enough away to allow for steady progress. A true test of his progress. We can leave it to the last minute to decide if he’s ready. We can even get to the venue and Hawklad can see what it feels like. If he’s uncomfortable then we can just grab a pizza and come home. He’s seen them twice already so it won’t be a disaster if he doesn’t manage it this time.

T minus 6 months and counting

Tubular Bells

Time marching on sometimes takes my breath away. The helpful iPad flashes up a message each day telling me what happened this week in years gone by.

Today it informed me that in this week Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield was released. Released in 1973……

1973 for pity sake. I can vaguely remember my older brother playing this on his hifi. Has it been out that long….. But here’s the thing. I like listening to the music but I’ve never owned it. Always had to listen to it on the radio or when others have played it.

Maybe when our own personal lockdown eases I will venture out into the second hand stores. The charity shops to see if I can find an original copy. Own it for the first time. That would be nice. Would feel kind of right.

In life some things seem just right. Very occasionally perfect. Those things give me direction. Give me hope. They always make me smile.

Mad Dogs and

What’s the definition of a mad dog. Definitely one that has worked out how to climb onto the kitchen work tops, pinches a box of tea bags and then sprints around the garden scattering tea everywhere. Definitely top canine entertainment for the mad one.

After that mad 10 minutes then there could only be one record I played as I sat down to do some work. Yes a bit one music perfection in the form of one of Yorkshire’s finest. Joe Cocker is sadly missed.

This is one if my oldest records. I accidentally pinched it from one of my older siblings. They never noticed all those years ago, so I’m probably safe now. My kind sibling bought it in 1970. I kind of acquired it around 10 years later….

They don’t make them like this anymore. Gatefold with full size poster.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun…..

Well we have a mad dog. We have an Englishman. Still waiting for the sun sadly……

Vinyl Tours

Music has always been important to me. Even from a really young age I would love listening to my much older siblings playing their records. My first ever record was a single my sister bought me. It was a classic. Wait for it…..

Pinky and Perky singing Yellow Submarine and Those Magnificent Men in a Flying Machine. 😂😂😂😂😂

After that I slowly started building up a reasonable collection. Normally acquiring the occasional record from my siblings. I wasn’t picky, quite happy with their castoffs. By the time I was at college it was a hefty rock and metal collection. But then disaster. A house move left no available space, so some records were given away and the rest stored in my mums garden shed. A bad storm and flood destroyed much of the remaining records. A few survived.

Since then it’s been a slow rebuilding exercise. So let’s see what I can find in the metal cases now…. not taking any risks this time.

A newish record is first out of the case. Tin Machine. This one makes me smile. Back in 1991 I was going out with a girl from Newcastle and we had tickets to see the Moody Blues in a few weeks time. I was pottering around in the city one afternoon when I came across a queue outside a small concert hall/night club. Bizarrely many people in the queue had David Bowie shirts on. A polite enquiry revealed that Bowie’s current band was going to play this small venue on the same day as the Moody Blues concert. You didn’t get the chance to see Bowie everyday of the week and certainly not in a little venue like that. So I joined the queue and luckily got two tickets. We never did see the Moody Blues… Funny thing was the girl I was with was a massive Bowie fan so I kept the tickets secret. She only clicked on when we arrived at the Mayfair and I showed her the tickets. And yes Bowie was mesmerising.

The next record out of the case is an old one. It came from Hawklads Granny. She was having a clear out and wanted rid of her handful of records.

You know it’s a few years old when it comes with the following helpful label….

The thing about this box set is that it’s never been played. After all these decades. Never played. I think Hawklads granny bought it to get the music sheet booklet that came with it. She played the cello. Maybe it’s never going to be played.

And then the last one out of the case tonight is bizarrely the newest record in my collection. I’ve actually bought vinyl this year. Now virtually all of my records are rock and metal. A couple of classical records like the one above have been passed onto me. I’ve only ever bought rock or metal. Until now…..

Yes I have to come clean. I’ve bought a Taylor Swift record. That’s my metal head credentials blown out of the window. So can you keep a secret…..

Singing

A lovely day to spend time in our garden. If you take the time there is always things to see. Always things to fill the heart. All things to be thankful for. A time to think and smile. Time to hum and sing a little. Sing a bit of KISS.

Rock and Roll All Nite……

“Dad please stop….”

Don’t you like my singing

Is that what it is”

My voice is a thing of beauty

No it’s not Dad. It’s like 2 nuclear bombs going off in my eat drums at the same time.”

Distinctive then

More like painful”

My voice has been passed down the generations. Millions of years of evolution has honed it to what it is now.

A weapon Dad. That’s what it is. So yes millions of years of evolution. Survival of the fittest. That type of weapon is going to guarantee survival.”

Back then

Hawklad is a cheeky one. Every time we watch something on TV that refers to a historical incident he always asks ‘you were there Dad so what was it really like….”. Last night he said it when the programme mention the American Civil War. What was it like Dad….

Every so often he catches me off guard with a different line of attack.

Dad has your musical tastes changed with age. What are your favourite 5 bands now…”

Ok that would be

Whitesnake

Pink Floyd

Shinedown

Iron maiden

Blue Oyster Cult.

Ok Dad what were your 5 favourite bands when you were young…”

I think they were

Whitesnake

Blue Oyster Cult

Iron Maiden

Black Sabbath

Scorpions

So they hadn’t changed too much.

Was that pre CD times Dad

Yes it was, not invented yet.

Not much point inventing CDs back then when you were a kid as they hadn’t discovered electricity yet. Are you sure it wasn’t Beethoven you were listening to back in the medieval times.”