Mick Ralphs family have announced that, following the end of the recent Bad Company tour, Mick has suffered a stroke. He is recovering in hospital, but no further information is forthcoming. Mick was Mott’s guitarist at my first ever live gig, in 1971. I was at the first night of the first Bad Company tour and Ralpher has always been one of my heroes. He was also responsible for the Greatest Guitar Solo Ever Recorded, on Mott’s David Bowie produced version of Sweet Jane which, as all right thinking people know, is the only version you need. Get well soon, Mick.
A wonderful tale.
Vintage TV, Sky 369, 10.30pm tonight. Neil McCormick’s generally excellent Needle Time show features Shawn Colvin.
What does it sound like?:
When Rod Stewart asked producer David Mackay if there were any unused demos of Frankie Miller songs, Frankie’s wife turned up 2 black bags full of cassettes and dats of songs, all with Frankie’s vocal on. Mackay realised straight away that he could put backing tracks to the songs, and release them as they were, and Frankie’s tiny band of devoted fans would buy it. However, if he could get some well known singers to duet with Frankie’s voice, the album would get wider exposure and, hopefully, help to pay for Frankie’s 24 hour a day care. 2 1/2 years later, we have this album.
In August 1994, Frankie was in New York. He had formed a band with Joe Walsh, Nicky Hopkins and Ian Wallace and he was in town to write with Joe. Frankie and Annette, his wife, went to see The Eagles Hell Freezes Over gig and went back to the hotel. Overnight, Frankie suffered a massive brain haemorrhage. He was in a coma for 5 months. Eventually he had to learn to walk and talk again, and he still needs constant care. Over the years, friends like Joe, Rod and » Continue Reading.
Keith Carlock, Steely Dan’s wonderful drummer, tweeted this photo, this afternoon. So, you rock up at the beautiful Beacon Theatre, with your Dan ticket in your hand, floating on air. You look up at the billing on the marquee. ‘Special Guest…’
You faint dead away.
*clicks link on iPad to interesting looking article/story/interview from local paper/national paper/music mag/news site* *goes and makes cup of tea while link loads* *drinks tea while the nine photos, three videos and moving banner adverts on the page stutter, falter and, finally, fail to load* *finishes tea whilst final video, crucial to the piece, crashes the page* *gives up*
Dear entertainment and media sites, if you can’t be bothered to fund your website and servers to fundamentally WORK, then I can’t be bothered to wait for you. I’ll get my news and entertainment (and spend my money) elsewhere.
This is a terrific read. Journalist Jim Waterson has put together a minute by minute timeline of 9/11, from the view of the people around George W Bush.
After I’d finished reading it, I went back and re-read several passages, substituting “The President” with “Donald Trump.” It is almost as scary as what actually happened.
It was raining. Not heavily, just that light rain that can fall on an English summer, that makes everything glisten and the air smell of cut grass. I was looking out of my bedroom window at the little cul-de-sac that we lived in. It was a weekday, early summer, 1977 and I had a lieu-day off work. It was 10am, and a day off stretched out before me. And it was raining. Which was perfect. It matched my mood, bringing it’s grey clouds into my world and, potentially, turning them black. And it was own fault, which just added to the heap of misery. Of all the things I could be doing on my day off, I had agreed to drive two people to Hampton Court for a day out, and then pick them up later. ‘What a nice thing to do,’ you might be thinking. Wrong. The two people were a bloke I had never met and his new girlfriend, the same girlfriend who had dumped me just ten days earlier. After two and a half years together.
“What the fuck are you doing, agreeing to drive her about?” My brother knew exactly how to get right to the » Continue Reading.
After my big news of last week http://theafterword.co.uk/ok-thanks/ several people asked to be kept updated from my full post CT scan consultation. So, here is the news…
Update from yesterday:
Mostly good news. My lungs are in fairly good nick. There is some inflammation, where he thinks the lungs when into ‘aggressive defensive’ mode, fighting off the virus, but the damage does not look permanent. The lymph nodes are fine but he can see they’ve taken a battering. There is no evidence of any pneumonia left and his original diagnosis of asthma may not turn out to be be permanent.
The chest pain he thinks is linked to four months of constant coughing. It has put strain on some of the muscle connections in the left side of the chest cavity, exacerbated by the fact that I sleep on my left. He says to try a warm-pack, or even some heat cream, to alleviate it. As far as the ongoing cough and breathlessness, he thinks they’ll just take time to go, but will go completely. He has changed my steroid inhaler, easing back from three double puffs to two, and adding another drug to help open the airways.
He says » Continue Reading.
I had a phone call just now: “Mr. Brannigan? It’s Sam, secretary to Dr. Davies.” “Oh, hi.” “As you know, he’s on holiday but he just asked me to call you about your CT scan, and to tell you that it is clear for lung cancer.” Silence. “He says he’ll see you next week, as planned.” Long pause….. “Ok. Thanks.” “You’re welcome. Have a good rest of the day.”
I don’t remember much about the next half hour.
I have been ill for 112 days.
I can remember feeling this virus rise up through my body, from my feet, on the 8th April. The incredibly aggressive strain of influenza turned into pneumonia, a stupidly twisted strain called Pertussis, that gave me whooping cough.
I am 59.
After that, the virus triggered asthma, which I now have for life.
X-rays have revealed two shadows on my lungs.
So, yesterday, I had a full CT scan.
I am awaiting the results.
Life goes on.
Year: 2016 Director: Paul Greengrass
I’ll come clean before I start, I adore the Bourne films. We’ve made sure were at the first night for all of them (except for ‘Legacy’, the one that Matt Damon is not in, which is also a cracking film.) However, unlike a mate of mine, I have no relationship with the books. So, when said mate starts to pick holes in scripts or plots, I can happily stick metaphorical fingers in my ears and ‘la, la, la’ to my hearts content. The newest one in the series finally sees Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass back in harness, each of them having said that the other one would be the only reason they would do another film. Greengrass has co-written the script for this and, to be honest, there is no director currently operating that is better at this kind of tense, fast-moving, action blockbuster. He is a master of his craft. This adventure has all the familiar Bourne hallmarks – a tense plot, strong acting from the great cast, brutal, epic fight sequences and a car chase that is one of the best ever filmed. Tommy Lee Jones plays the grizzled, gnarly CIA Director, » Continue Reading.
The last time I posted a Keith Urban track on here, (Cop Car, seeing as you ask,) I got royally shafted. Blitzed. Mullered. Fecked.
Wounds licked. New album absorbed (loved). Track posted.
3 hours before a big hospital appointment. This vibe sums up my mood. Just trying not to think too much.
I love journalists who write really well about cricket. The current crop contains a few gems, a few good ones and a swathe of also rans. One of the current gems is ex-England captain, Michael Atherton. In today’s Times he writes about the current Pakistan leg spinner, Yasir Shah, drawing comparisons with Shane Warne, the all time master of the leggie’s art. He introduces the reader to the fact that the Old Trafford pitch (the sight of tomorrow’s Test) has always been a friend to a leg spinner, using this example, which I hope my retyping doesn’t contravene any copyright rules:
“Think, obviously, of the Shane Warne fizzer to Mike Gatting in 1993, when England’s Henry VIII lookalike, and thought of as a king of batsmen against spin, was left bemused by the seemingly impossible geometry of Warne’s drift and turn, as the ball moved one way in the air and then another off the pitch. Gatting wandered off looking like a bear who had had his porridge removed from under his nose.”
Firstly, Atherton doesn’t assume that all of his readers are experts, one of the arts of a good sportswriter. Secondly, you can almost see the mischievous twinkle » Continue Reading.
this is currently soothing my brow. Abel Ganz are Scotland’s finest, the whole album is wonderful and, on Day 100 of this bastard illness, this song helps.
David Crosby’s upcoming album, Lighthouse, has been produced and co-written by Michael League from Snarky Puppy. ML also plays guitar and sings backing vocals on it. I was intrigued to see how this would work, when I read it. So today, a friend sent me this track, just released ahead of the album. I have played little else, all day.
I have some beautiful things in my life. My wife, family and friends, for a start. My health which, despite the current set-back, has kept me going this past 59 years. I live in a nice part of the country, with rivers and valleys and green spaces. And I can travel to other nice parts of this beautiful country, or even abroad, because I am lucky enough to have the means to do so.
After a few days that I would rather forget, I was putting together a playlist of music I consider beautiful. This cropped up. Not just the song, but this performance of it. I have loved the song since 1985, when I waited for the HMV store in Woking to open it’s doors, on the day the album (A Capella) was released. No, it is this performance that grabbed me, with the addition of the orchestra (Todd sings all of the backing arrangement on the original,) that, despite the downbeat lyric, makes this a thing of beauty for me.
So, what else ya got? What music would you describe as a thing of beauty.
Due to illness I have 2 x Priority Entry tickets (£85 ea) available for £50 ea.
I bunked into a gig. They were stunning. I have loved Johnny Lyon ever since, which has been not easy to do.
Two of my favourite singers. From a couple of nights ago, in Holland.
I got no place to go.
John Miles gets a bad rap.
I have no idea why. This is one of the best songs about growing up that I know.
Sometimes, I just need a blanket. I just need to take that corner and to pull it up under my chin, up to my neck, to protect me. To save me. To give me sanctuary.
She was my mate’s girlfriend. That’s all there was to it. It wasn’t even worth thinking about. Was it. They’d been going out for nearly two years. When you’re 18, two years is a lifetime. A proper commitment. But she kept looking at me. And smiling.
The gig was hot and sweaty. We had worked our way to the front, gently easing people aside, asking, politely, if we could pass, and found ourselves right below The Singer. ‘We’ were about ten in number. A gang, before we understood what that meant. A band, literally. A bunch of close, close friends, family, brothers. A group that did everything together, went everywhere together. Without knowing it, I was about to rip this group, this band, apart.
My mate couldn’t make it, that night. He had an exam the next day, at college, and had decided that he needed to do some revision. The rest of us went to the gig, arranging to meet him in the pub afterwards. The gig was at the local Uni. We got into the Student Bar, as usual, even though none of us were Uni students. It’s not what you know….. The bar had that sweet smell » Continue Reading.