I hate to have to mention it – especially as we have yet to even get as far as Halloween – but the dreaded Christmas is approaching.
The other day I was walking home from the theatre past one of our local hostelries that had a big sign outside saying “It’s never too early! Book your Christmas party now!” Then the local chip wrappings were pushed through the door containing several Christmas catalog inserts that went straight into the bin.
And to add insult to injury, I’m getting emails from grocery stores on a daily basis urging me to book my slot now for Christmas grocery deliveries.
October is, of course, the time of year when the books, DVDs and CDs all come out. You know, those compilation albums of artists like Elvis Presley put together to milk the back catalog for every penny it’s worth. And the endless stream of celeb autobiographies written by people about whom, frankly, you either couldn’t give a fuck or of whom you’ve never heard. And all because they’re the perfect gift for your ageing Mum and Dad – who hate them and sell them on eBay in January…
Anyhow, this year my mate Chas and I couldn’t see any reason not to jump on the bandwagon. For several years now we’ve been collaborating on the Dioclese Christmas Song and – guess what? – there’s enough for an alternative Christmas album just for people who fucking hate the festive season.
It’s guaranteed to offend absolutely everybody who loves Christmas music. Should sell like hot cakes. We uploaded it this morning so watch out for it on Amazon and iTunes etc or stream it on Spotify. Should appear during the coming week with any luck.
After all, everyone else cashes in, so why shouldn’t we?..
A guest post by Chas C
I was saddened on Christmas Eve to hear that Rick Parfitt had died. It didn’t come as a huge surprise as he’d been unwell for a while and wasn’t going to be performing with Quo any more.
I first came across the band before they were well known. I can’t remember the exact year but I had a car so I must have been 17 or 18 at the time which would put around 1968 or 1969? I was on a camping holiday in Cornwall with half a dozen mates. Quo were playing in the local pub in a room out the back. They were in their pre-heavy-rock psychedelic hippy phase.
I met Rick afterwards in the bar. He always liked a drink or two. I won’t say I knew him but I remember exchanging a few words over a pint. He struck me as a nice down to earth bloke.
I was into blues and rock at the time and was playing rhythm guitar in a band. People think it’s easy playing rhythm. Just strum a few chords and off you go. It’s not like that. You’re laying down the backbone of the song and you have to get it right. Rick got it right and he was bloody good at it!
A few years ago when I got back into music again and starting messing around with digital recording software, I recorded a song written by a band called the Tooting Frooties – “Rock and Roll Heart”. I my own version of it in the style of Quo. For the basic twelve bar backing, I sampled a Quo riff.
So here’s my tribute to Rick Parfitt. A song I recorded with me on lead and vocals and Rick on rhythm guitar. I’d like to think he’d have enjoyed it.
RIP Rick. One of the very best rhythm players!
I love this song from Chas C – I think it’s just spot on. Enjoy…
Well, all that bollocks is over for another year. One is tempted to say “Thank Christ for that!” were it not that it would appear rather ironic and hypocritical…
So here’s one from the vaults that sums it all up for me!
And that “Merry Christmas (War is over)” was a load of crap as well!
News today of mass suicides across Britain. “What could have caused this?” we ask.
Could it be the news of the destruction of Palmyra by IS, or maybe the threat by North Korean to engage in nuclear war, or even the thought that Jeremy Corbyn could become Leader of the Opposition? Maybe it’s some kind of mass religious cult thing?
Well, as it happens that last one’s not far off the truth. The cult of One Direction is to blame. The ‘band’ – so called although thy don’t actually play anything – have decided to take a year off. Not split up permanently mind you. Just take a break. Not the end of the world, you would think but apparently it is if you are a 1D fan. Various Twatter and Farcebook posts confirm the imminent death of their many fan who can’t live without them.
It leads me to reflect on my own tender youth and my generation. Where we really like this too or is it something new? I remember once attending a Stones concert in the Odeon, Plymouth – a venue which alone should tell you how long ago it was. I can honestly say I never heard a single note and my ears rang for three days from the girls’ screaming. Do they now do the same at 1D concerts? I don’t know because I’ve never been to one, but I can’t honestly imagine todays kids ripping up seats or dancing in the aisles or throwing their knickers onto the stage. Well, maybe that last one…
The Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who and many others were real bands. Mates who went to school or college together, formed up and learnt their craft on the club and pub circuit. One Direction are different. They were manufactured by cynical manipulators and marketeers to cash in on the music business. Such ‘bands’ have a limited shelf life as they have nothing in common to keep them together other than the money machine. Can you hnestly se 1D headlining Glastonbury in 2046? I don’t blame them taking the money – good luck to them – but it devalues music.
My favourite anecdote about this lot is when they tried to get into a London club and were refused entry by the doorman because they were underdressed. “We’re One Direction!” they bleated. The doorman simply pointed down the road and replied “One Direction? Yep – it’s that way.”
One Direction are dead. Long live the next One Direction…