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…..

Let’s set the record straight

It’s amazing how dealing with just a couple of work emails can send me heading towards the chocolate jar and thinking fondly of getting marooned on a tropical island with absolutely ZERO internet connectivity.

I needed to relax.

What better way than dig out a bit of vinyl and listen to music. I love music BUT not enough to carefully categorise and sort the LPs into any meaningful order. Preferring the random, hotchpotch approach. So this afternoon I opened one of the storage cases and grabbed 3 records. Let’s see what musical treats came my way.

First off a definite blast from my long hair, rocker past. I think most teenage rocking males of my generation would claim to have at least one Pat Benatar album somewhere in the bedroom.

Then an odd LP. Sometimes you buy because you love the band. Sometimes you buy because of the music. Then other times you buy because it’s a cool looking picture disc.

Then finally arguably my most random records. When I was 12 I jumped on a plane for the first time. Headed for my only trip so far to the Southern Hemisphere. To visit my big sister who had emigrated to South Africa. A month in Pretoria and Johannesburg. A staggeringly beautiful yet scary and incomprehensible Apartheid dominated land. My sister lived in an area which was still to have a functioning television service. So they listened to the radio, played records and at weekends either went to the cinema drive-in or hired a movie reel and played it on the noisy home super 8 projector.

My sister always seemed to play one record back then. IPI TOMBI. A show featuring traditional indigenous South African music. Fast forward many years and I was at a car boot sale in deepest Yorkshire. Guess what I found. Brings back so many memories.

Vinyl

I accept that those big adventures are seemingly just out of reach for the foreseeable future. Maybe for all of 2021. It’s going to feel like a very small, constrained world. To make this work I need to keep finding ways to live within the castle walls. Even little things can and will make such a difference. Even 12 inches of round vinyl.

Yep I’ve finally dusted down the turntable.

Spent a few minutes listening to some LPs.

There is something reassuring about listening to those slightly crackly recordings. Memories start to flood back in. It’s a nice feeling. A little win.

So what was listened to yesterday.

Richard Burtons wonderful voice.

A little bit of early Pink Floyd

My favourite old group

Yes I did feel just that bit better after a bit of old school listening. Need to remember that. Need to find more time during this year. A little thing that does work.

Random memories

Today’s mobile phone, out of focus, wildlife photo. Another bird flying.

Another night and another bizarre dream. An LP (yes vinyl) was being released and I wanted to make sure I got a copy. So I camped out overnight outside a small record shop. During the increasingly wet and cold night the public telephone (just a few paces away) kept ringing. When I picked it up I could hear my partner at the other end, but she couldn’t hear me. Finally the record store opened and I walked in to find that what was the towns only music shop had been turned into a hairdressers…..

The record store in my dream was one from my past. I lived in a small seaside town which had few record store options. We had a Woolworths which was great for a few compilation records and those bizarre records that had the hit songs on but always performed by not the real artists. We had a Boots the chemist which sold a few records but only those from the likes of Sinatra or Shirley Bassey. Boots never allowed you to return records if they were scratched. Thankfully the town also had a little record store. A small ground floor, with an even more cramped first floor attic. The store was next to the towns Bus Station. Tony’s Records was my Saturday Mecca. I would spend hours pouring over album covers, carefully working out which record to buy.

Got so many memories from Tony’s. That time I bought a Mountain Live double LP. It was reduced due to a few minor scratches. Basically every song was unplayable accept one. Thankfully that one song, Nantucket Sleighride lasted 24 minutes. For those of a certain age in the UK, that song was the theme tune to the Sunday political show – Weekend World. I did get to see Mountain play that song live at my first ever music festival at Knebworth.

I remember Peter Cook and Dudley Moore bringing out the Derek and Clive records. Painfully funny but shocking. That bad you had to be over 18 to buy it. Tony’s wouldn’t sell it to me so I asked my mum. Nine the wiser she strolled into the store. The look my mum must have got when she asked if they had a copy of Ad Nauseum.

I bought my first cd from Tony’s. It was Rory Gallagher. Bizarrely I didn’t actually buy my first CD player for another year. I just couldn’t afford one. I just wanted to have one of those circular works of high magic.

That little shop closed down many years ago, but clearly it’s still going in my dreams