Monday, August 25, 2014

'You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.'

We've been an obituary - free zone here in Leigh's Mad World Of Guitars for a while, so...

Billy Rath, the bassist in Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers left us last Saturday - his place in rock 'n'roll history is assured thanks to him playing on the legendary 'L.A.M.F' album (the story of which is long and tortuous and has given rise to various different versions being released over the last 30-odd years; the amount of time people have been prepared to spend working on the album is perhaps the best testament to it's greatness - for example you can find two 'fan produced' versions of the record here and here...) and of course his participation in the band's live shows. His death leaves Walter Lure as the only surviving member of the classic Heartbreakers line-up - but 'L.A.M.F.' will be with us forever.

Richard Attenborough died yesterday - his performance as Pinkie in 'Brighton Rock' is rightly hailed as one of his best but I'm not sure that I've ever seen else that's as downright creepy as his portrayal of mass murderer John Christie in '10 Rillington Place'. And where would we be without 'The Great Escape'? Just because we've all seen it so many times, it doesn't mean that it's not a great film. I'm sure it'll be on again at Christmas...

And it seems ages since the sad news of Robin Williams committing suicide. If all he'd done was provide us with the quote that I've stolen to head this blog posting then his loss would be a sad one, but it's always a shame when someone loses their fight. Well, I think that it is anyway.

Meanwhile as I type this it's early on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, and I should be getting ready to go to Ye Olde George in Colnbrook for a 5pm show with The Upper Cut - but I'm not. Our singer Terry has an ear infection (ouch!) and so had to pull out of the gig on Saturday morning - at which point the baton was passed to Big Al Reed and The Blistering Buicks, who were given the gig sometime on Saturday afternoon... until we were told yesterday that the show had been cancelled. Bugger! Oh well - I suppose that you don't miss what you never had? Still Saturday night's show at The Paddington Packet Boat in Cowley went well, with Andy from Back To Zero doing a fine job depping for Dave on drums; he returned for yesterday afternoon's show at Sally B's in Hoddesdon which ended with the club guv'nor taking to the microphone to say that we were the best band that had ever played there. Mind you he then said 'next week we've got a band that I've never heard of' before leaving the stage to general hilarity. I liked him... on the way home most of the band stopped off at The Feathers in Rickmansworth to catch the second set from The Razors, who among other luminaries feature Dave Ruffy on drums. Great was the drinking and cavorting from the assembled multitude, and rightly so as the band sounded great.

Right - since I've got an unexpected afternoon off it's time to finish filling in that tax return that's been annoying me for the last week or so. Oh hang on, I'm still waiting on those bank statements that I ordered last week. Bah! I wonder how easy it is to change bank these days?

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