Filed: Music

D is for Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

I can’t imagine that there is any of you who hasn’t heard of Bob Dylan, but what may surprise some is that his first appearance in the UK wasn’t in concert, but as member of the cast of a tv drama.

Madhouse on Castle Street was commissioned by the BBC as one of its Sunday Night Play series. It was a rather odd drama set in a boarding house and was described later by The Times as a ‘strange free-wheeling piece about a man who has said goodbye to the world and simply shut himself up in his room’. Read more ›››

Wearing Black

So much for me being on the ball with my weekly round-up since I completely missed the death of Colin Vearncombe last week who produced perhaps my favourite album of all time.

Vearncombe, aka Black, is best known for his single Wonderful Life first released in 1986 which was a hit around the world when it was re-released in 1987. (Although not in the US for some reason) Read more ›››

Polly Vinyl

When I was having my senior moment the other day, one of the places I looked for my non-existent Eagles compilation was in the cellar. We had a bit of a clear out down there just before Christmas and found all sorts of stuff.

I say we when actually I mean Mrs P – I was conveniently out of the house at the time. Among other things, she moved our overflow bookcase from one wall to another and hidden behind it were various boxes that we must have ‘walled’ in when we first moved here fifteen years ago. Read more ›››

Wrong Band, Right Track

I had one of those senior moments this morning as I listened to the news of Glenn Frey’s death. I’ve never been a great Eagles fan, but I was thinking that they did that really great song that I couldn’t quite bring to mind. They played clips from all their hits: Take it Easy, Desperado, Tequilla Sunrise, Lyin’ Eyes, One of These Nights as so on, but still not the song nagging away at the back of my mind. (Although what’s not to like about Hotel California?) Read more ›››

The Man Who Sold the World

Strange how things coincide. I was only reading about David Bowie’s earliest days in yesterday’s Sunday Times and then this morning the story comes full circle with the news of his death.

It came from extracts from the memoirs of his former landlady and lover, Mary Finnigan, titled Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab published this month. Read more ›››

D is for Tom Dula

Tom Dula

When I was young, Children’s Favourites was essential listening on Saturday morning when Uncle Mac would play the likes of The Deadwood Stage, My Old Man’s a Dustman, The Ugly Duckling and Donald Where’s Your Troosers.

But amid all the jolly discs there lurked one song with an altogether darker history – Lonnie Donegan’s Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley. Read more ›››

X is for Father Xmas

Father Xmas

I usually struggle finding someone whose name beginning with the letter X for ABC Wednesday, but on today of all days who else could I write about but Father Xmas, even if I have taken liberties with his second name.

Actually, the Father Xmas I have in mind is not the Coca Cola swilling, red-coated fellow in his speed of light sleigh, but rather the English Father Xmas who has quite different origins to St Nicholas and Santa Claus. Read more ›››

I Don’t Like Cricket…

Uneeded Floodlights

After the washout that was the fifth day of the third test, summer gave an encore yesterday as the sun shone on the righteous of Lancashire for the England and Australia one day international at Old Trafford.

It hadn’t looked promising when the Headingley match was called off without a ball being bowled on Thursday as the rain fell heavily, but then that’s Yorkshire for you – wet and windy… Read more ›››