Copyright © 2005 Martin Newell
Pepys 0.1 Blogware © Steve Dix
Have we all gone loop de loop? A bit of snow yesterday...the sort of thing that the Americans, Germans and even people in the north of England regard as a normal event between early December and April..and it happens in London. Suddenly,according to the newspapers, many of whom are running front page splashes, and six-page photo-features... millions are 'trapped' (trapped?) at home, the buses don't run, most of the schools close and the trains are in trouble. Office workers get sent home early, those that managed to struggle in anyway... and the whole country slithers to a halt. Not only that, but there's the chance that "IT'S GOING TO LAST ALL WEEK!" The Mail.
I mean, what the thump is going on here? I went striding out yesterday morning in a big heavy coat and my old wellies and it provoked comments: " Wow You're dressed for the weather, then." Well yes, I had toyed with the idea of going out in espadrilles, negligee and an arab strap but the negligee was in the wash and the outfit wouldn't have worked with just a checked gingham Babydoll nightie, would it? Then the news comes on this morning that we've only got 32 million tons of grit left for the roads and that if this weather goes on for another few days, there'll be a crisis. My God, what's happened to my country? The country that sent little Martin Newell and his chums walking over a mile to school in Scotland in winter of 1962, dresssed in shorts, raincoat,wellies and a thin yellow scarf (and that was between five of us). We've become a nation of simpering milksops, throwing sickies, having 'duvet-days' and demanding antibiotics as soon as we get a bit of a runny nose. God help us if we have to go to war again, is what I say. An elderly team of disabled Swiss flower arrangers would probably put up a better fight than us, if the the French decided to come and have a go at us now. Garn!
Johnny Clarke's (surprise)birthday party... and so, round to the restaurant room of the Grey for a bit of buffet and about 20 or so people and sundry daughters and missuses. And for a Monday night in Essex at the beginning of a recesssion, quietly great, all things considered. I brought a guitar in and and managed to play Wow! Look At That Old Man for John, which he likes because it has a strong nod to doo-wop in it and John's an absolute doo-wop nut. Pete was there, whom I used to live with in a big ramshackle house about thirty years ago. Pete ran my homebrew up to festivals a couple of times and it made me enough money to pay for some studio sessions that eventually led to my first solo record deal.
Not too wild really...sort of like a well-behaved kids' party and with Fiona, who's helping me with some demos at the moment, finally doing a bit of singing aided by John. The guys there were a mixture of interesting old buzzards...mechanics, politicos and everybody off to some sort of work in the morning. Lots of jokes about how many times John gets mistaken for Ron Wood.Which he does...I've actually been in the Mezzo in Wardour Street with him when he's been approached by an American businessman who wouldn't take no for an answer. John just gave up and signed 'Ron' .What else could he do?
I told the Brighton story: John and I were on our way to a gig at The Zap in Brighton years ago. The taxi we were in stopped at some lights. Next to us was a B-boy...baseball hat on back to front..dumb expression and blasting out about 300 watts of dancebeat nonsense BOOMCHA BOOMCHA BOOMCHA BOOM . John winds the window down in the cab and shouts at the bonehead: ( joke noo yawk accent) " HEY BUDDY? COULD YA TURN IT UP A BIT? I THINK I STILL GOT ONE EYE-SOCKET LEFT!" The taxi driver's wondering what the hell's going on. The bonhead in the car sees the two weirdos in the back laughing hysterically and looks nonplussed. The lights change and to prove that he's the man, he does that screeching premature ejac. wheelspin thing that young drivers do. And John and I are still laughing at the twat. Then we do the gig.
Happy birthday John... and many more of them.
Good old Johnny Claaarke at Newell's desk