Iggy at Hammersmith

I’ve been (and still am!) busy over the last few months moving house and otherwise making a new life for myself.  Despite this, I did find time to go a see an event that I never thought would happen

– James Williamson & Iggy Pop playing on stage together-

  • for the first time in 30 years
  • since Williamson got hepatitis, simultaneously cured himself of drugs, got fed up with musical rejection and went to pursue a carreer in electronics.
  • Iggy plodded on.
Iggy Pop by Alistair Campbell
The World's Forgotten Boy

I never rejected the music.  It’s always been there at top.  A talisman for me, if you like.  I even got a friend to paint a picture for me which has hung proudly in my house!  Ha Ha.

Anyway, this is the first two tracks (Raw Power immediately followed by Search & Destroy) of the show on the 3rd May, 2010.  And it was loud – really, very loud.  It was like a pure homage for many people there.

It was recorded on my Panasonic Lumix TZ7 which performed very well sonically (i.e. no distortion despite the extreme loudness) and fairly well visually….

The trouble with the video was that I didn’t have time to “prime” the autofocus at it’s maximum zoom to the range of the stage.  Instead, the band shot on stage with no warning and then the autofocus kept getting fooled by all the hands in the air, etc.  Add to that the fact that I nearly got knocked over when “Search & Destroy” kicks off…..

Still, it’s still pretty good, and excellent in HD on full screen played through decent speakers or headphones!  Ab-so-fucking-loot-ly!

Strange Wistful Yearning

When the band finally left the stage, Iggy was last to leave and then popped out for a minute to thank everyone for being there.  I swear that he was almost in tears with the realisation, perhaps, that the end of this life was near and that he’d finally “made it” into some sort of acceptance.

…or something like that.  It’s hard to describe, but it certainly wasn’t a normal cheerio that I’ve seen before.

Dirt

More like the end of all the “Dirt” in his life.  I saw The Ig do this at the Newcastle Mayfair around about 1979 and it was one of the finest things I’ve ever seen – the tears were streaming down my face.

But at the end of that show, Iggy just finished like an old pro.  The end on the 3rd May was different, very much so.

Tough Old Geordie

Gordon Moore's Bonk
Gordon Moore's Bonk

Like a metal mickey, old Geordie Gordon Moore (no, not him of Intel and his ‘law’) has astounded the medical profession with the recent discovery that a big hole in his head has grown back under the protective metal plate that was inserted to fill the gap.  (see the story here: Man grows new skull after horror car crash from the Newcastle Chronicle)

The thing that got me though, is that Gordon seems to be a bit of a disaster merchant, seeking thrills and escaping continuously….

  • He went to Iraq as a tourist when the war was still on!
  • He ran an offy, in Gateshead!
  • He ran a post office, in North Shields!

As if these aren’t dangerous enough, in his early life he crashed his car and got the metal plate in his head for his trouble.

A short while after, he crashed his car again and bent the metal plate in his head!!!

The question that’s bothering me and is the one you should be asking yourself is,

Would I get in a Car with Gordon Moore driving?

After all, he’s alright – but what about if you’re standing next to him?  I tell you, Ozzy Osbourne’s boy, Jack, has got nowt on this guy Gordon Moore.

Colony Holidays and Tubby the Tuba

Colony Holidays

 I’ve just had a hit from someone looking for Colony Holidays…  Sooo I’d better write this down fast!  I’ve been meaning to do it for a while.

Typical ATE Centre (Bredenbury Court, an original Colony Holiday location)
Typical ATE Centre (Bredenbury Court – my first one!)

A few years back I fished around on the web to find out what had happened to the CCHS, Council of Colony Holidays for Schoolchildren.  I wanted my final child to have a crack at it.   I found it had morphed into ATE by getting in touch with Chris in his last tenure of office, but to my eternal chagrin, all my kids have now grown up and missed the benefit of a Colony Holiday like I did, something that I went on half-a-dozen times when I was at school.  The last child never made it and is now too old….

I’ve just read this article in the Telegraph which describes the organisation and all the real fun and confidence that children get from it.  True, my children had their times at our local council’s place, Kilve Court Residential Educational Centres, but when I visited – well it just wasn’t the same.

It lacked the joie and the vivre.  The madcap antics and bizarre quests.  The nutty tunes, most of which I can remember, and the practical tasks and games.

Tubby the Tuba

Chris Green (Tubby the Tuba) - an original from the Council for Colony Holidays for SchoolchildrenChris Green is a genius, and a very hands on genius at that!  He’s now 74-ish I suppose.  The picture is taken on our beloved Malvern Hills back in 2006.

I spent many a time up there on bizarre hunts and quizzes.  In total I went to;

  • Bredenbury Court
  • The Abbey (Little Malvern/Malvern Wells) – 4 weeks at that one, the best year of my life.
  • Ramsey, Isle of Man (forgotten the name)
  • Inverliever Lodge, Argyll

I think I had one other but it’s slipped my mind.

The important thing, I now realise, is the amount of work that Chris Green did.  The centres were dotted all over the country, and usually three or four were on the go concurrently – all summer if need be.  I think at the peak, maybe seven centres were running at the same time.  You could tell this from the catalogue.

Someone once said to me, “Hey.  I bet Chris Green is coming.  He always comes to every camp.  He makes sure of it.”

I said, “Who’s Chris Green?”

He said, “It’s the guy that runs it.  He’s Tubby the Tuba and nobody is supposed to know!!!”

It was at this point I realised that I had indeed seen Tubby the Tuba running over the Malvern Hills to British Camp, hiding (not very well) in bracken and heather around Inverliever Lodge, and yes, even on the Isle of Man.  True, he’d be doing his checks, staff and all, but it was the effort that I noticed at that point.

When I say Tubby the Tuba – it really was the same man, dressed almost head to toe in stiffened gold foil, face hidden, arms poking out the side, hands playing the valves at front, making muffled farty noises as he passed on the next clue.

The ramblers and holidaymakers didn’t know what to say…  it was just sooo funny.  A bit like Gert Frobe in “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines” – but covered in a gold tuba costume, of course!

So hats off to Chris Green and Tubby the Tuba.  A life well spent!

Nutty Tunes

When I get time, I’ll write some ‘lyrics’ out here and try and get the tune out as an mp3 to give a taste of them.  I well remember doing the tongue-twisting ‘Poor Old Man Crossing the Road’, ‘Old Abram Brown’ and others on the platform of New Street Station on the way home with my new found friends.  Then, as the journey lengthened, the party would get smaller and the volume quieter until eventually there was only me in Newcastle.

I’d stop singing then.

It gets a bit daft singing “steam engine with a chimney that sends smoke signals to Ceylon” repetitively on the 403 back to Ashington.

Who’s Street View is Flawed?

Following on from the Google Street View roll-out, two issues have popped up – again;

  1. People’s privacy on the streets vis-a-vis a commercial organisation like Google
  2. People’s privacy on the streets vis-a-vis government organisations like local councils

For the first, the self-appointed guardian “Privacy International” have made an official appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office to shut down the service.  My view is that when you are in a public place, you should behave in a right and proper manner.  It’s your responsibility.  If you behave badly, whose fault is it – yours!

Having a camera photograph you in a fuzzy, non-targeted way is no different to having the hundreds of people who see you as passers-by as you walk down the street.  If you are embarrassed by the photo the surely, you’d be embarrassed by the gaze of your fellows?

So I’m afraid I’m with Google on this one.  Obviously there are exceptions, and Google will react very fast, but as Google said:

“The truth is that this is an empty and entirely predictable publicity stunt by an organisation that is far from impartial when it comes to the issue of Google and privacy” – said a spokesperson.  And that’s it – Privacy International have some very peculiar ideas when it comes to Phorm, for instance.

For the second issue, we find that since 2000, the number of organisations allowed to view detailed CCTV tracking videos and photos, intercept phone calls and emails etc, has ballooned from nine to nearly 800!!!   This is the dreadful RIPA and it’s ramped up fellow fiends against freedom, the imprisonment without trial laws etc. that we are now accustomed to…    …and which I predict in a few years will make this land no longer fit for heroes to live in.

We now find that any Tom,Dick or Harry council clerk with an axe to grind can tap your phone, get you sacked or worse without even leaving their office.  Averaged out across the country, there are about eight such fellows with these rights in each council.

Now remember that these eight will have partners and friends.   Now recall that we have “60,000 individuals trained in ‘terror’ prevention” (vigilantes) and you can see how an expanding miasma of corruption and consequent nepotistic clubmanship could spread across the land, all helped with easy spying technology.

It’s already started.  Read the links below.

This is wholly different to having a street snapshot at one moment in time, which is what Google Street View is.  Don’t get confused by the people who mush all aspects of photography and video into one thing – they’re not.  It’s how you do it and how they are used.

Reading and Links: