Today’s Music to keep me SSSAaaaNNnnEeee in Isolation – Elvis Costello – Armed Forces

Another great wordsmith with an album that was revolutionary.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Armed Forces (1979) – YouTube

Today’s Music to keep me SsSSaAaAANNNnNEeee in Isolation – Still Little Fingers – Inflammable Material.

My favourite Punk Band – a band responsible for my tinnitus. But it was worth it! I do like strong meaningful lyrics. They harnessed Punk to the Irish troubles. Brilliant.

Stiff Little Fingers – Suspect Device – YouTube

Stiff Little Fingers – “Barbed Wire Love” – YouTube

Wasted Life – YouTube

Stiff Little Fingers “Alternative Ulster” – YouTube

Today’s Music to keep me sanEEEEEE in Isolation – the Fall.

The Fall were one of the few bands I really enjoyed going to see. They were brilliant live. They were still performing in small clubs which made it all superb, up-close and exciting. They never lost that. The riffs. The adventure.

Recently, at the last couple of gigs I attended, Mark E was acting strange. In Hull he went and sat behind the speakers so that you could only see the top of the back of his head. In York he disappeared into the dressing room at the back of the stage. I could just see him. He was spawled over the settee. He performed most of the gig from there.

I thought it was all part of the act. But then he went and died!

So few acts I can be bothered to go and see now. Probably half the venues will be closed anyway!

I so miss the Fall.

Today I’ll be reliving those gigs in my head as I play the Fall!!

Today’s Music to keep me SSSSaNNNEE in Isolation – The Stranglers.

The Stranglers came out of the Punk scene, but apart from the attitude I wouldn’t have said they were really Punk at all.

They had an immediate impact with both singles and albums. I loved their dirty sound.

Earlier this year Dave Greenfield sadly died. His organ sound was a huge part of the band’s sound.

Today I will play my Stranglers and enjoy the power of it.


Today’s Music to keep me sANe in Isolation – The Clash.

Today I’m rockin’ the Casbah with a band that came out of Punk but was much more than punk – they had a social/political edge and a big dose of Reggae. My type of band.

I first heard the Clash when their first album came out. I was teaching at the time and running a record club at lunch-time. I’d take my stuff in and they’d bring theirs. We were playing Doors, Roy Harper, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Captain Beefheart and Velvet Underground – then, suddenly, overnight there was a revolution. All the kids cut off their hair, spiked it up, narrowed their trousers and were festooned with razor blades.

One night there was a knock on my front door. A bunch of them had come around with a carrier bag of Punk albums. One of them said: ‘Right, you boring old fart we’ve come round to play you some good stuff!’.

We spent the evening playing Sex Pistols, Stranglers, Damned and Clash. It was quite an education.

So today I’ll think about those great times and play my Clash albums real loud!!

The Chelsea Hotel

In 2010 we went to New York and managed to visit the Chelsea Hotel. The fabled hotel associated with just about everyone.

From poets Dylan Thomas to the Beat poets and writers – Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

From writers like Arthur C Clarke, Herbert Huncke and Tom Wolfe.

From Rock Stars like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Syd Vicious, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithful and Tom Waits.

It resonated for me with all these lives. This was like a bohemian, artistic paradise. It was something special to walk through the corridors and see the art! I loved it.

Breathe in the air!! This is the Chelsea Hotel – art, Rock, poetry and Punk!!

Treasure Trove of hundreds of Peel Sessions!!

This is a superb collection of gems – live sessions with John Peel. I so miss Peelie!!

There’s enough here to last a lifetime – full sessions by Roy Harper, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks, Fall, Kinks, Tom Robinson, Stranglers, Specials, Ruts, Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, Rory Gallagher, P J Harvey, Nirvana, John Cooper Clarke, Fleetwood Mac, Fairport Convention, Elvis Costello, Bob Marley and hundreds more!!!



Quotes – Ian Dury – always one for a succinct comment.

Quotes – Ian Dury – always one for a succinct comment.

All I want for my birthday is another birthday.

Unfortunately Ian, who was suffering from cancer, didn’t get that next birthday. It sends a message to me that we should enjoy every minute that we have! Life is wonderful!