My second book is a radical deconstruction of the Brit Abroad genre (see, for example, A Year In Provence, Driving Over Lemons) (on second thoughts, don’t!) Spanish travelogue, potted history (both regional and national) and treatise on the nature of mortality rolled into one, it includes predictable digressions on cinema (Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, Nic Roeg) & literature (Javier Cercas, Peter Dickinson, Tintin) Islamic & Christian peregrination, wild swimming in Scotland, celebrity speed freaks and the death of David Bowie. Continue reading “In Extremadura, out now!”
“68½: Movies, Manson & Me” is the first book by PlanktonProduktions, available as a free download from Smashwords, on Amazon Kindle (for 99p) and as a paperback, exclusively from Plankton Produktions (click on Buy above). A mind-bending journey through the outer reaches of the late 60s and 70s, the drugs, the movies, the murders, it’s equal parts autobiography, paean to the cinema of the time, DIY guide for aspiring screen-writers, and inquiry into the nature of truth and memory. “A true genre-buster,” says Nick Gilbert (no relation).
I recently watched downbeat 1970s gangster movie The Friends of Eddie Coyle for the first time, and while it’s by no means a great film, or even a good one, it does feature another great turn from the wonderful Peter Boyle, here playing a Boston Irish barman/mobster with a contract on his fellow criminal Robert Mitchum.
Geoff Nicholson’s book The Lost Art of Walking covers all aspects of perambulation, including the many musical references to using our feet. Among others, Nicholson name-checks Johnny Cash (I Walk The Line) Patsy Cline (Walkin’ After Midnight) Nancy & Lee (Boots) Aerosmith (Walk This Way) and even Yoko Ono (Walking on Thin Ice) all of which I love, yet he makes no mention of Pere Ubu, who dedicated an entire album to The Art of Walking. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: P is for Pere Ubu”
I’m a big Western fan, and I like nothing more than a strange, or off-beat, or left-field Western. And let’s be clear here that by “Western” I mean a film set in the (Wild) West of what we now call the USA, sometime in the 19th century, so no Proposition or Once Upon a Time in the Midlands okay? Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Incredibly Strange Westerns”
We have a tradition in my house where, every January 1st, I play the three “classic” NEU! albums (Neu!, Neu! 2 and Neu! ’75) one after the other. Okay, so we didn’t have that tradition until 3 days ago but I think I’ll be doing it again next year, so Happy NEU Year everyone! Continue reading “Every Album I Own: N is for NEU!”
I only possess one Magic Muscle album (Laughs and Thrills) and it’s not even very good – a scrappy compilation of early live tracks cobbled together from different gigs – but then again, Magic Muscle were essentially a live band, and, more than that, a way of life. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: M is for Magic Muscle”
Here’s a question they’ll probably never ask on Have I Got News For You. What do Rolling Stones sidekick David Litvinoff, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and TV show Little Britain have in common? The answer is… Llanddewi Brefi, a tiny village in Ceredigion, Wales. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Bloody L!”
… and for Lady Marmalade, although that’s only the tip of the iceberg which is the Labelle canon. Formed in the early 60s as the Blue Belles, or Bluebelles, Labelle rose to fame with a Busby Babes-style front four of Patti Labelle (formerly Patricia Holt), Cindy Birdsong, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, singing perfectly acceptable but unremarkable bubblegum pop-soul. In 1967, Birdsong left to join the Supremes, which is probably where she belonged, and the remaining trio changed their name, their look and their musical style radically, to become the freaked-out funk/soul/disco/rock hybrid we know and love. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: L is for (Patti) Labelle”