Hello people, Brummies, Chummies and Mummies and of course you Musicians dipping your toes into the pool of nostalgia.
Being an old romantic, I recently took Mrs Bob out to the Movies or "Gooin to the Picture House" as we still refer to it because it sounds great in a Brummie accent...... "Taking her out? You old softie Bob" I can hear you say, well maybe I am but for the past three months she's been busy digging out the cellar to install an indoor pool like Bonio from U2.
|for the lady in your life|
She's made full use of that wheelbarrow she got for her birthday a few years back too, so money well spent there. To make her task easier I invested in a new Spear and Jackson "ladies spade" in blue to go with her eyes and, on top of that, borrowed a sturdy piece of rope and a plank so she could haul the barrow loads of earth up the steps from the cellar, through the kitchen and up to the neighbours house who want the soil.....it never hurts to help out a neighbour does it?
Being a guitarist means I can't use my own delicate hands and am excused from doing any manual work and I was naturally concerned she might be overdoing it, so in a thoughtful and supportive gesture I repositioned my rather comfy oak chair closer to the kettle, from where I could see the cellar door, to give her encouraging instructions as she emerged from the darkness every so often. You know what, I never knew one person could sweat that much! it must be doing wonders for her health, eliminating the toxins, so I imagine she will be thanking me when she sees how much weight she's lost. However, the real advantage of moving my chair of course is the added bonus that she wouldn't have to pause to make me a cuppa? A ladies spade doesn't hold as much earth as the proper sized one so she has to dig twice as much and it would be unfair of me to break her stride wouldn't it?
So anyway, I hosed her down in the backyard and off we went to the local multiplex to see:
I am the very model of a grumpy old man when exposed to something I don't like and my full arsenal of discouraging words were locked, loaded and ready for use when Mrs Bob and I entered the cupboard sized cinema to watch the film "Yesterday". With its story line revolving around an event where the world, with the exception of the odd person, forgot about The Beatles and their music.
One person who didn't was an Asian singer/songwriter struggling for success.
I had visions of that crappy Mama Mia stuff being thrown at me but have to report that the film was FABBO! Written by the brilliant Richard Curtis of Blackadder fame and with some great acting by the whole cast including a cameo for Ed Sheeran, the film was very funny, entertaining and kind of relived the rise of The Beatles music anew. I laughed out loud in places.
It is great in that it renews your interest and introduces the music of, the best band that ever there was, to a whole new audience who sadly, may never have heard Beatles music if not for this. I loved it, and I think you would too.
Bobs Christmas gift tip Number3.
Its a cracking family film too so check it out or buy it for someone for Christmas. Its perfect for us who still use DVD players.
ERIC CLAPTON IS GOD. No he isn't!
"No he's not, Yes he is, no he's not Jimi Hendrix is better, Jeff Beck is better than both of them" and I won't even go into the amount of note twiddling scale expressway, speed guitarists who some say are better than all of them, "no they're not, yes they are no they're not" say another faction of guitar addicts
ad infinitum. It's healthy for music and diversity and it opens pathways to creativity, however it can negatively downgrade and degrade the music that was the root cause for that creativity in the first place and Eric Clapton finds himself in that invidious situation a lot of the time. On the one hand we have the commercial Clapton with the dreadful Cream debut "Wrapping Paper" or "Wonderful Tonight" which may have been written with great sentiment and love but for me, would have been better if he had just made it a private recording and given it to Patti Harrison as a love token and not inflicted it on the world. It ranks alongside "Lady in Red" for slushy, middle of the road pop sentiment.
The other side of that equation is as Eric Clapton the ballsyiest blues and R n' B guitarist and innovator of guitar style in the 60's that continues as the base of all rock songs. There was no-one to touch him and with the release of the famous John Mayal "Beano" LP he single handedly changed and/or massively improved the playing of a generation of British guitar players who learned all his solos note for note and wore out a few copies of the LP doing it. On that recording he insisted that he played at the volume he played at in the clubs and it was the technicians problem to sort it out, he did every guitarist a favour that day, although the producer has claimed total credit for that sound. The Gibson Les Paul became the 'must have' instrument and 50 watt Marshall amps flew off the shelves. The only person who had done that before in the new age of electric instruments was Hank Marvin with his stratocaster and VOX amp.
I can't think of a British guitarist since then who has had that impact. None.
These two icons of British music were 'Pioneers', laying the foundations for generations to copy and copy they did!
Eric Clapton wasn't just a blues player either.
The depth of the mans quality doesn't shine any brighter that his playing and solo on The Beatles "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Without being given any prior warning was asked by George Harrison who was giving him a lift into London if he would come into the studio then and there and play on the track.
George had a red sunburst Les Paul in the boot of his Rolls that he gave to Eric to use for the session and its sound coupled with the capture of Eric's moment of creative feeling, urgency and immediacy was a spot of magic and don't you forget it.
The style of song George had written wasn't in Clapton's style, written in a descending A minor rundown Harrison wanted the sound of a weeping guitar
and Clapton nailed it straight away. For sure it is one of the most enduring and recognisable pieces of guitar work in The Beatles catalogue and Eric's selection of notes and phrasing truly conveyed a feeling of sadness. As a teen I spent hours lying on my back listening to it at some volume absorbing and copying his touch as he swooped from note to note, truly amazing piece of work. Add that to his reworking of Dylan's "Don't think twice, its Alright" as performed at the Tribute to Bob Dylan Concert which was a moment of listening bliss, his guitar work was immense and the look on Steve Croppers face as he was playing said it all.
I wanted to write about him because he is not getting any younger and is suffering from ailments that don't make playing comfortable. I recall with disgust that BB King was booed in Chicago towards the end of his life, I guess he just didn't know when to stop. Eric has mentioned or threatened to stop touring a couple of times and I'm sure he will pick his moment to bow out gracefully.
We all know this famous picture from the 60's. I went to see him play the same night that this photo came to the press and you know what? I was right at his feet at some club and I could swear there was some spots of black paint on his fingers? Self promotion is the best way forward. Thank you Eric for a million hours of listening pleasure.
My recent 12 string aquisition is still it is case waiting for Christmas morning when I shall free it from its cardbox box.
World mania is alive and well and going strong it would appear to me.
Dangerous Idiot in the good ol" USA walking away from the Kurds
after opening a Trump Tower in Izmir, Turkey. Absolutely no conflict of interest there.
Here in Blighty we have Toffee nosed Dopes or Completely Untrustworthy oppositionists with the Devil and deep blue sea occasionally getting together to extend Brexit and when they do get a chance to talk to each other they are told that they can't talk by part time children's entertainer, Bingo Bongo Bercow, clown extraordinary under a ruling from 1604! I'm glad he didn't have to delve too hard to find that precedent eh?? So the Brexit circus rolls on and now to divert attention from gross incompetency they are going to have another Election. Someone will win and then put their Brexit plan forward which will be rejected by the side that lost the election
.......sleep well tonight it could get worse tomorrow.
Next months Christmas Blog promises to be GREAT!!!!
Lovings and huggings