You wanted the best and you got…. Kiss. I was going to devote this post to King Crimson, just so I could wax lyrical about how under-rated and under the radar Robert Fripp has been for most of his career, considering the part he has played in the music of David Bowie, Daryl Hall and the mighty KC themselves (as in Crimson, not the Sunshine Band, mighty though they also are). I didn’t want to talk about Kiss, and have people think that all I ever listen to in my little flat is Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest and Kiss, even if it’s true. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: K is for Kiss Alive II”
“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).
No-one has written a proper history of Bristol in the second half of the twentieth century, cultural or otherwise, and half a million people are simply crying out for it! Just think: Acker Bilk, Angela Carter, the Arnolfini, Ashton Court Free Festival, Aardman Animations, Alfred the Gorilla… and that’s just the As! Factor in cult movie Radio On (see separate post) People’s Band Magic Muscle, Fred Wedlock, the Keiths Floyd & Christmas, St Paul’s Carnival, the Dockland Settlement, The Young Ones, Fem FM, Bristol Broadsides, Banksy, John Boorman, Tom Stoppard, Richard Long, Crystal Theatre, Matt Lucas & David Walliams, etc etc and I might be on to something. Continue reading “On Brandon Hill: a view of Bristol culture from 1945 to the present”
Radio On came out in 1979, and bravely attempted the impossible: to make an authentic British road movie. It was, incredibly, the British Film Institute’s most expensive film up to that point – a whole eighty grand was lavished on it, although very little of that seems to have been spent on the script. A London DJ, Robert (played by David Beames as the unlikeliest, least charismatic DJ ever, spinning Ian Dury records to an indifferent factory floor) travels to Bristol following his brother’s mysterious death. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Radio On”
Let’s start with one of my guiltiest pleasures, Black Hawk Down, because – like multi-storey car park crime – it’s wrong on so many levels. It’s directed by Ridley Scott, for a start. What has Ridley Scott contributed towards the happiness of man? I mean, apart from Alien and Blade Runner? And the gladiator bits in Gladiator? Apart from that, what has he contributed? Continue reading “Fear of a Black Planet: The Ten Most Racist Films Ever”
Ben Johnson (1918-1996) started out as a stuntman and rodeo rider before making a whole bunch of Westerns with first John Ford and then Sam Peckinpah. It’s his work with the latter on The Wild Bunch, his Oscar-winning performance in The Last Picture Show and his role in the John Milius gangster pic Dillinger that interest me, and should interest you. Continue reading “Archaeology Corner: Ben Johnson”
Back in the 1970s, the greatest decade known to (wo)man or (she)beast, the fantastically unfunny Mike Yarwood commanded audiences Simon Cowell can only dream of with his “impressions” of Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, Brian Clough and Curtis Mayfield. Okay, maybe not the last one. Mike Yarwood never blacked up, as far as I know. His voice wasn’t high enough to reach the notes that Curtis could reach anyway. He never put a dick on his head and impersonated Jim Davidson either (more’s the pity). Continue reading “Every Album I Own: I is for The Impressions”
Oh Hawkwind, how do I love you? Let me count the ways: In Search of Space; Space Ritual; Hall of the Mountain Grill; Warrior on the Edge of Time; Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music; Quark, Strangeness and Charm; Hawklords; PXR5; Hawkwind... that’s nine albums right there. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: H is for Hawkwind (who else?)”