Monthly Archives: April 2019

All About The Paper

 

That paper does not scare

rather its un-ending size and scope

is my drug of magnitude.

 

There are no latitude lines

which prevent it from completion;

no end of the world for a pen to fall.

 

Instead the bottom-less depth of every tufty crater

is inviting and bawdy.

Fill me, dink me,

with the ink and acrylic you have.

 

That paper has high opinions of itself

– and some similar expectations –

but it cannot be ignored.

Flyer Artwork No. 2

Blister, Basement, Brighton

I’m appalled. In so many ways. I ‘made’ this.

It’s 1991. I’m one of two guys DJing at a midweek indie night in Brighton, East Sussex, England. The other guy plays the rock, I play anything else. That makes the grungers and grebos leave the dancefloor.

I know I played the Prodigy and Public Enemy. Chances are I had Aphex in my carrier bag (as Brighton is where I first bought him). Suspicions are that I rarely played him, such was the angry/unhappy/unsure response from the punters.

But memories are few and far between.

Having dropped out of university, unable to sign on and incapable of doing anything other than lying in a bath full of tepid water, rolling and listening to the Orb‘s ‘A Huge…‘ on an auto-playing Dansette, the £25 this gig paid was a life-line.

I sometimes went dancing with friends. Courtney Love rolled around on the floor of the stage of the Zap Club when Hole supported Mudhoney. I heard Choci, Rev and Harvey every month there when the Tonka sound system came to town. I was 19; a poor, permanently stoned and very pink (from all that bathing) whippet. A fool but a happy one.

The Underground venue was the cellar of a building on Grand Parade, not far from Brighton’s promenade.

If they still make Letraset, perhaps I need to re-invest.

Music: Musing on Diana Ross, vinyl finds and fan clubs

Being a stupid addicted brain-damaged dedicated vinyl record hunter of many years, I’ve often found unexpected items inside records which I’ve bought. Off the top of my head:

A paper wrap of powder. Money. A concert ticket stub for James Brown (at Hammersmith Odeon?). A poem from the giver to the recipient. Autographs. Press clippings. 

This was in my copy of The Wiz, the under-rated soundtrack to the film starting Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Richard Pryor, Nipsey Russell (whose name has been on my mind recently due to an untimely death)… and Diana Ross

IMG-4782

 I’ve long had an un-decided relationship with Ms. Ross. The ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ columns are both heavily weighted (must update piece with said table) but I’ve no issue with her, musically.

Girl group glory, disco queen, Marvin duetter. Yep, yep and yep.

This is a cute find, I think. It’s a visual reminder of record company-endorsed fan clubs who fed record buyers with trivial news, press and daft photos. It’s also a sign of the times that this compliments slip was issued after Motown upped sticks and left Detroit for the West Coast and MoWest in a break from the past (and it’s also from the days when London’s phones were all 01 but that’s neither here nor there).

It’s never happened yet, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wanted to ring an obviously defunct fan club – official or otherwise – in the hope that somehow an aged disciple of [insert name here] was still manning the phones and posting out home-printed, lovingly-written newsletters. After much throat-clearing and splutter on both our parts, perhaps there might be an exchange of affection for [insert name here] on both our parts. Heck, we could even end up re-jolting the club back to life.

Ahem. 

Music is many things. Our childhood, our dreams and us, amongst many other things. Yes, with the mention of MJ above and also thinking of Ross‘ troublesome relationship with her former Supremes colleagues, those wide-eyed thoughts frequently vanish in later life when reality is confronted, but through items like this and other worthless/ invaluable ephemera, an interested party can gain a brief but warm remembrance of the days when Motown ruled the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and the world seemed in theory to be a little closer together on the dance floor. 

‘Traitors’? Hmm…

From Paul Gilroy’s excellent Black Britain book, a timely reminder that hateful language and bitter accusations have long been used within these isles.

On a lighter note, the phrase ‘Afro-Asian Invasion’ is crying out to be used by a 2019 music cat #subversion ….