Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007


Off to London for a few nights, mum and dad house sitting, for my wife's birthday.
It's cold and promising to stay cold for a few days so fingers crossed it'll be a weekend full of seasonal splendor. Hoping to track down someone selling hot roast chestnuts, not seen much of this in recent years in the old capital. When I was a kid and we got taken to London it was a MUST to get some chestnuts from a street vendor, why is this growing so rare? Hope its not the health and safety fascists doing their bit.
Anyway lets hope for a successful and cheery weekend in the run up to Christmas, fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Pol Pot killed one point seven million Cambodians, died under house arrest, well done there. Stalin killed many millions, died in his bed, aged seventy-two, well done indeed.

And the reason we let them get away with it is they killed their own people. And we're sort of fine with that. Hitler killed people next door.
Oh, stupid man. After a couple of years we won't stand for that, will we?
Eddie Izzard

Friday, December 07, 2007


I found this image on eBay today, its a poster of my guitar hero Joe Walsh.
I had this poster on my wall when I was a teenager, and when I moved into my first pad too, so all in all it must have hung over my bed for about 10-12 years. I'm not even sure if I still have it somewhere up in the attic with my vinyl collection..I'd look if I could get in there amongst all the other stuff. Anyway I bought it for myself, don't think the wife will let me put it up in our marital bedroom, but when I get the attic fixed up properly one day maybe it'll be framed and take pride of place up there.

Funny, I haven't played my guitars for a good few years now, and after a little session revisiting my old Joe Walsh Cd's I fired up the Strat' and Tele' and had a wee burn up. To my surprise I can still play a bit. I used to be pretty good, at one time I was playing daily for 3-4 hours a few years back, then I got hit with depression and it all went by the wayside. I hope maybe one day it'll all fizz back up again, because I have to say, the 2 hours I spent "shredding" the fretboard have got to have been about the most fun I've had in years.
Thanks Joe.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


To Cal
Another year has passed without my most wonderful friend, and I still can't bring myself to say goodbye.

I will see you in the morning fella...just like I always promised.

"He's just my dog.
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds;
my other ears that hear above the winds.
He has told me more than a thousand times over that I am his reason for being -- by the way he rests against my leg, by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile, by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me).
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another person.
With him, I am all powerful.
He has taught me the meaning of devotion is loyalty itself.
With him, I know the secret comfort and a private peace.
He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.
His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.
He has promised to wait for me ... whenever ... wherever ... in case I need him, and I expect I will, as I always have.

Who is he? -- He's just --


Monday, November 19, 2007

Sketches of Spain

Spain?...never been there, though I have it high on my list of places to visit before I die. I love Flamenco music, Cameron de La Isla had one of the most emotive voices I have ever heard, and Paco de Lucia can play a guitar with so much passion it can make you weep.

However I am digressing. I came here to talk about Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain". I bought this album first of all to impress a young lady I was taking out for a day trip to Bath. I wanted to show I was cultured and this was one way I showed it, by buying this album on vinyl. I must have been a re-issue because my LP version didn't have the usual cover and I haven't been able to track that one down for you to see. Anyway, listening to this album the other night it struck me as to why I love it so much, the big band support that Gil Evans orchestrated gives the album the same sort of sound that I remember hearing drifting up the stairs from our front room when I was a kid...not quite Tijuana Brass and Herb Alpert, but definitely a fore runner.
The girl I was trying to impress.....I married her.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

How to Murder Your Wife

I love my wife, she's my complete soul mate. This film appeared on TV this morning, and its just one of those films that rattled my nostalgic cage. Jack Lemmon and terry Thomas, who could ask for more. Its a good old Sunday afternoon by the fire while its blowing and raining outside film.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Well, this old place needs a bit of a dust off, and a fresh lick of paint.

I haven't posted here since the snow back in February I think. Not much of a nostalgic nature seems to haunt me during the summer months...not that you'd call this piss poor excuse for a July "summer". Anyway, maybe I'll be back popping in and out in the next few weeks or so, maybe seems a shame to dump this place the way I have done so many other blogs, simply because this one is more personal and holds my memories for me to save space in my head for all this new 21st century junk.

Anyway, thought I'd post this little gem, an interview with one of my favourite writers, Gunter Grass where he discusses his autobiography, the controversy over his disclosure of SS service in the final stages of the war, and the difficulties in separating fact from fiction when looking back.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Couple of tasty links for you

Had an e mail from the editor of Urban75 ezine no less, who had a couple of Back to the 70's and Cardiff related stories which some viewers might enjoy.

I really liked the Thin Lizzy one, so thank you Mike Slocombe!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bill Hicks

“I was told when I grew up I could be anything I wanted: a fireman, a policeman, a doctor - even Prime Minister, it seemed. And for the first time in the history of mankind, something new, called an astronaut. But like so many kids brought up on a steady diet of Westerns, I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. And in my heart of hearts I still track the remnants of that dream wherever I go, in my endless ride into the setting sun.”

...slight edit courtesy of me

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Unreleased Jimmy Page Guitar Riff

Unreleased Jimmy Page Guitar Riff To Be Retrieved From Secret Vault To Save Rock And Roll

GWYNEDD, WALES—Calling it the planet's last, best hope for saving rock music, the Guardians of the Protectorate of Rock announced Monday that they would take the extraordinary step of unleashing a never-before-heard Jimmy Page riff, hidden for decades in a mythic, impenetrable vault.

"We who believe in the immortality of rock took a vow 30 years ago that we would never release this incredibly powerful force unless we faced a Day of Reckoning—and that day has come," said Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, one of the chosen few who helped forge the Secret Vault to Save Rock and Roll, at a press conference in the Welsh highlands. "Just look at the pop charts, and you shall know I speak the truth."

"Let's give rock and roll its fucking balls back," he added.

The Guardians said recent developments in the music world, such as the unaccountable popularity of the Dixie Chicks and Sufjan Stevens, have created a "perfect storm of lameness" from which rock might never recover. While Iommi refused to say when the vault would be opened, hard rock sources believe it will take place just prior to next month's Fall Out Boy–Honda Civic tour, which many fear will suck the remaining lifeblood from all that still rocks.

"Citizens of Rock, we refuse to stand idly by any longer," ZZ Top founder and Protectorate High Elder Billy Gibbons said. "When a puss like James Blunt is allowed to rule the airwaves, we must respond by exposing this monster riff, and blowing minds into the stratosphere."

The Protectorate, devoted to the preservation of badass jams and blistering guitar solos, was reportedly formed in the 1970s during the rise of adult contemporary music. According to legend, the riff, played only once by Page and recorded on a special cobalt record, contains the raw power, mind-blowing skill, and unbridled passion of all the Guardians combined. Recently translated parchments from the era describe it as a soul-searing power-chord progression faintly resembling a cross between "Smoke On The Water" and "Living Loving Maid," but "basically defying all description."

It is believed that, upon the riff's release, even those who claim that the genre is dead will have no choice but to pump their fists, bang their heads, and bow down to the gods of rock for all eternity.

"May God have mercy on our souls for what we are going to set loose upon the world," proclaimed Queen guitarist Brian May, dressed in druidic robes and bathed in the rising blue smoke of a nearby fog machine. "Will it save rock or destroy mankind? We have no way of knowing—yet we have no other choice."

Members of the Protectorate were each given only partial information about the location of the vault, which they were instructed to open in unison only in the event of a total Rockopalypse. While some believed the vault was buried in Boston, Chicago, Kansas, Europe, or Asia, others claimed it could be found in the Court of the Crimson King.

However, after piecing together clues hidden in Yes album covers and Pink Floyd liner notes, rock historians now believe the riff is locked away deep beneath the Welsh countryside house known as Bron-Yr-Aur, at rock-grid coordinates SH735026. British weather satellites have also photographed an enormous cloud, shaped like a hybrid of an upside-down question mark and cross, forming above these exact coordinates.

The vault's Key, regarded as too staggering a burden for any one man to bear, was divided in two parts, with half entrusted to Eddie Van Halen and half to David Lee Roth, shortly after Roth left the rock supergroup Van Halen. The two men, who have refused to work together for 20 years, recently announced plans for a historic reunion tour.

"Before we shake Heaven and Earth with the vicious power of this riff, we of the High Council of Elders of the Guardians of the Protectorate of Rock ask you: Are you about to rock?" AC/DC guitarist Angus Young said. "If so, we salute you."

When asked to comment on the possible dangers of using the riff, Sir Paul McCartney seemed surprised.

"There's a secret vault to save rock and roll?" McCartney said. "This is the first I've heard of it."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

60 second rant...

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter ... with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and fuck it all up! And talk of about hardship? You couldn't just download porn! You had To steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a Copy of "Hustler" at the local newsagent! Those were your options!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the Phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mum, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Play station video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600 or the Commodore 64! with games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked ass! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

When you went to the cinema there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old tart with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had television, but back then that was only like 3 channels and there was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a Radio Times to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, You spoiled little rat-bastards! And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up. We had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire...imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it Too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!
Regards, The over 30 Crowd

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Not sure if it counts as a googlewhack (too many words), but if you search for the "h&r-genealogy edition 9" this site returns the only hit!

Nothing to do with nostalgia admittedly, just a point of (minute) interest (to me anyway)

Guilty pleasure??

Guilty pleasure my arse!!

I have just received my copy of the re-issue of Electric Light Orchestra's - "Out of the Blue". I now have three copies of this album, the original vinyl (up in the attic somewhere) and 2 cd's. The new one comes with the space ship cut out and make model in the booklet, just like the original, just a pity they didnt include the lyrics on this version.
Anyway does it still stand the test of time??...well yes it does, it doesn't sound too dated considering it first saw the light of day in 1978 nearly 30 years ago!!! There are some cheesy songs in there, but each one could have been a hit single back in the day. It's not very often that an album gets released with so little filler. I'd say that maybe there's one duff cut on the whole set.

I bought this album originally in the face of the punk explosion that had just hit my part of the world, and it took pride of place alongside my Queen, Eagles, Joe Walsh, Clash, Stranglers and Adverts albums. I was never embarrassed or guilty about its inclusion in my collection then, and am not now.

I remember the day I bought it, in fact it was one of the first times I was allowed to go to "town" and went with my cousin Nick. There was this great record store in Cardiff called Sound Advice in Castle Arcade, all dark and mysterious, great logo, and one of the girls who used to serve was a real hotty by my early teenage she didnt wear a bra!!!!! Can't recall what he bought that day, but I know we bought those joke cigarettes with the talcum powder in them that gave off puffs of "smoke" when you blew through them...wasn't long before I graduated to the real thing. As we arrived at my house the miserable old sod next door took a look at the record store bag and mumbled some derogatory comment about "more of that bloody noise" cos the record player had its speakers mounted on the adjoining wall and he'd bare the full brunt when my parents were out...haha!

Old people never "get" kids do they/we??

Friday, February 09, 2007

Snow in Wales (pt 2)

Yep, there's more snow in them there hills!

What a lovely day, woke up to a light frost, by 7.30a.m we had a good shower of the precious white stuff, and now it's still going here and its 11.30a.m, and the forecast says its in well into the middle of the afternoon .

Took some more pics, here you go.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow at last

Yes!! It's finally here...

Bollocks to you Global Warming!!!!!! Haha!!

Nothing quite like snow to get the nostalgia juices flowing. After days of promises we finally got the white stuff here in Wales.

Went to bed excited, woke up at 3 a.m....nothing!! Then 7.00a.m...what do ya know...snow!!!

Its been almost exactly a year since we last had some, and like last year I expect it will be pretty much gone by lunchtime around here, although they forecast more cold weather and freezing conditions. So if you're home and its snowing now...get the fuck out there and make the most of it, for once the world looks clean and nice.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

War of the Worlds

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said.

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one - but still they come!"

Yup...Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. What a magnum Opus...what a palaver!! Richard Burton, Phil Lynott, David Essex and Justin Hayward!!! (I hated the Moody Blues by the way!)
Funnily enough never bought it, but borrowed it of someone in school during the Christmas holidays. I only ever got as far as the first side, and bits of that are in the black hole of memories. I have an Mp3 version of it now, and I've listened to it a few times now, and decided that on the whole it's an overblown piece of fluff really, but then that's what the 70's were all about!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Life on Mars

Ok, so Its really time to mention this amazing TV show, especially as the new series is about to start (as mentioned below)

Life On Mars

This is a great show, first class acting, excellent storylines, humour and genuine thriller story lines. It also has some killer lines, and it is so full of all those great 70's icons, fashions, scenery & cars, all those things that this blog has been about. Set in 1972 it tells the story of DI Sam Tyler, who after an accident ends up in a coma, that sends him back the the 1970's. In the past he teams up cops in his precinct but 30 years ago, and spends his time cracking cases and banging heads with Gene Hunt - a cop straight from The Sweeney book of crime stoppers. With a whole cast of characters and a backdrop of northern grit, the whole lot just stinks of classy research and writing. Don't miss it.

Here is a box....

Just seen the advert promo for the new series of that nostagia maniacs delight, the very wonderful "Life On Mars" and it features a cunning little play on the wonderful old show Camberwick Green "

Take a look at the trailer HERE

Here you this and I dare you not to raise a smile:

Here is a box... (98k sound file)

"Here is a box, a musical box, wound up and ready to play. But this box can hide a secret inside. Can you guess what is in it today ?"

Click on the link above and delve into a box of delights, those old shows from when you were a kid, when kids Tv wasn't about fashion, lots of noise or trying to sell you something!...(God I am turning into an old man!)

see also Trumpton, and Chigley the stuff of legends

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cadbury's Seville Orange

I know more fans are out there, so where do you get this stuff from now??? I've seen re-issues of "Old Jamaica", but this was the top treat chocolate for me. Lumps of candies orange peel in (I think) dark Cadburys chocolate. I e mailed Cadbury's once and they said they have no intention of bringing it back....what a bunch of bastards!!!

I can't even find a picture of the wrapper, and I'm starting to believe I dreamt it all. The closest I have come is some company in Seattle making it, and I know Thorntons do one too, but its not the same dammit!

If you know of any information about this, I'd appreciate some assistance.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Brut 33, Blue Stratos and Denim

The 3 staples of 70's schoolboy hygiene: Brut 33, Denim and Blue Stratos!!

Brut was your first inroads into fragrances for men, the one you first splashed all over...literally all over! Advertised by Henry Cooper at first then, my hero, Barry Sheen (a real ladies man he was too) it was the every day choice for teenage boys in the seventies. Morning regime...alarm goes off, out of bed, into bathroom, brush teeth, spray liberally with Brut, get dressed, breakfast then school.

Denim came along a little bit later in my memory, and became the middle of the road choice, the one for family 'get togethers' where you wanted to appear grown up, but had no one to really impress...also good for after games lessons and that 5 second run through shower. This became a staple gift from aunties across the country as of Christmas '79.

Then came Blue Stratos!.......Blue Stratos was the Daddy of them all:

"Blue Stratos is one of the famous masculine fragrances, a classic which features as a landmark FOUGERE fragrance in the industry 'bible' the H&R Genealogy of masculine fragrances. The Fougere fragrance concept is based upon the interplay between lavender and oak moss. Originally this perfume accord was intended to serve as a contribution to feminine fragrance creations. However, over time it came to be used more and more as an ingredient in masculine creations and is acknowledged to have underwritten many key developments within masculine fragrance, including the Blue Stratos fragrance in 1976"

This was the one you kept for the REALLY SPECIAL saved it for the school Christmas disco, or for when you had double English sat next to that girl in 4R you fancied...or most of all for that crucial first date!

I bought all of these on line last year for a few fragrance nostalgia moments, and in fact I have requested some Brut for my up and coming birthday along with a couple of Bond (Connery) DVDs. They still smell good, and fragrances like no other part of our senses are finely tuned for nostalgia.

Other contenders we all remember are Burley, Old Spice, Hi Karate and even Mandate (hehehe what a hidden meaning that one has!) but none really broke the top three hold on our teenage years. It's time for a return to old values, and its a time for a return to old smells too!


I was a skateboarder...old school, the class of '77!

I have no idea how it all started, but I do remember that summer, and all of a sudden, where I lived, single roller skates were changing hands for astronomical prices and then being hurried off into a thousand garden sheds for the fabrication of a new fangled skateboard!! My first one was in about October of '77, I bought a skate from a double dealing bastard who showed me the goods, took my cash then fucked off to swap the wheels over before completing the deal...what a shit, I was 11 for gods sake!! Anyway, I cut (hacked) a deck from plywood in my dads shed, and hey presto I was doing wheelies and 360's til the sun set.

Come that Christmas and EVERYONE had a skateboard! They were selling them in all the shops, even in petrol stations, and they even opened a proper skateboard shop in Cardiff. I can remember queues around the corner, and it was where we could go and stare at all those bits and pieces we couldnt afford, Kryptonic wheels, Gull wing trucks...oh the bliss and the pain of it. Those wheels were £30 each and that was then!! My first "real" skateboard in total cost no more than about a tenner.

Then it was the helmet, the elbow pads, the knee pads...the gloves, and then it died! Too expensive I always reckoned, the kids were priced out of the market, I could only afford to buy grip tape with my pocket money! There was no way we could climb to the higher echelons of skateboard fashion, I never even met someone who had those fancy pieces on their board, we were street skaters, couldn't afford to be fashion victims in this scene.

I have searched in vain for a picture of the board I had then, white fibreglass with a red logo, clear piss coloured wheels which I loaded with grease to make them smoother, but I could never make it fast enough. Next thing I picked up a guitar and anything vaguely to do with the great outdoors, exercise and fashion disappeared from the horizon for the remainder of my childhood...and come to think of life!

I think my dad might still have that old board stashed away in the garage, might just drag it out for one last "walk the dog" before I die???...then again maybe some things are best left to the past?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Space 1999

Just been watching an episode of Space 1999 on ITV 4...hooray for digital freeview tv!

Think I have mentioned elsewhere in this humble blog about the Space 1999 issue and only getting to see it once in a blue moon here in Wales...or did I dream that? Anyway, it is still looking good, the sets are so very 1970's that you cannot help but feel a nostalgic twinge. It stands up well, the acting is pretty good, and the overall feel is excellent, not as corny or cheesy as the original Star Trek, and right up there with the later space shows like "Buck Rogers" and "Battlestar Galactica" (tho 1999 didn't have anything like Erin Gray - Col. Wilma Deering) A classic still!!!

Find out more here

Useless/useful trivia moment....Catherine Schell who played "beautiful Psychon alien Maya" was also Lady Litton in the brilliant "Return of The Pink Panther" and as Bond girl "Nancy" in the George Lazenby James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (just an excuse to put a pretty lady in my blog for a change)

Monday, January 22, 2007


Sorry about the relatively unseasonal posting here, but I had to add this little gem to the christmas music list. A real slice of soul-lessness from one of my favourite all time bands The Eagles. This one came out just as they were falling apart from their coke fuelled late 70's success/excess. Even the cover says it all. Anyway, I liked the B-side.

Saturday, January 06, 2007