Saturday, March 31, 2007

Motorblog Hawkwind - Do Not Panic: Was the title of a BBCTV4 documentary televised last evening at 9pm. Only by chance did I happen to come across it at around 30 seconds past 9, I thumbed the Sky+ button immediately - the red light was on all the way through - but when I looked this morning it told me the recording had failed! Drat and double-drat!!
It featured a potted history of Hawkwind.
Interviews with Nik Turner, Terry Ollis, Huw Lloyd-Langton, Michael Moorcock, Douglas Smith, and of course, our very own Mr. Lemmy Kilmister, amongst others. Quite a good doc, and Lemmy must have bagged a good 5 or 6 minutes, and great as it was, I couldn't help wondering why the only ever permanent member of Hawkwind, in Dave Brock, was not interviewed?
Wonder if it'll be released on DVD?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Motorblog Tea Again: Mentioned tea drinking back in September 2006. Then, during my stay at Southampton hospital late last December, around 2am the nurses brought in a tray of tea cups; and they'd brewed up in a tea pot. Although a confirmed coffee drinker, I suddenly fancied a cup of tea made in a pot, and after making it obvious I was awake, I blagged a cuppa. It was glorious.
Back at home, I began drinking tea again. As a fan of quiz shows, 'The Weakest Link' being one such, we always catch the tail-end of 'Ready Steady Cook' when we sit down to watch it. Host, Ainsley Herriott, happened to say something about tea, and added: "Darjeeling is the champagne of teas!"
In Asda a few weeks back, Jane and I remembered this and went to the tea section. They had some Darjeeling tea bags, and after my encounter in hospital, Jane had bought us a tea pot and we had been using it with the PG Tips. But I must say, after drinking Darjeeling, I have to agree with Ainsley, as none of the other teas are even in the running. Give Darjeeling a try, and you won't go back to 'the usual stuff.'
Motorblog More Head Cat and Motorhead Dates: The Head Cat play 2 more dates. May 14th at The Albany Pub, Chicago, Illinois, and May 18th at The Rockin' '50's Fest 3 at the Oneida Casino, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Motorhead have added: June 29th - Kaliakra Stadium, Kavarna, Bulgaria - June 30th - Rock Am Hartsfeldsee Tent Festival, Dischingen, Germany - July 20th - Metalcamp '07, Tolmin, Slovenia - July 28th - Race & Rock Fetival, Seinajoki, Finland.
Another festival date is rumoured for Brazil in April, more news on that when I get it.
Motorblog Typically My Sense of Humour: What is the difference between brussel sprouts and bogies?
Kids don't eat brussel sprouts.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Motorblog The £Million Netherworld: Have you noticed when we owe the Bank money they snatch it straight out of our account and into theirs? Yet when we pay something off our credit card bill, it takes 3 days to travel from our account to the credit card account, even if the credit card is with our own Bank!
It's clever.
In the first instance, if you don't pay something off your card early or on time, you get slammed with another charge; and the Bank makes extra money. Yet even when you pay on time, it takes that 3 days to travel - where?
This is the electronic age and everything happens faster, except for those 3 days on your credit card payment.
Those 3 days are a netherworld called 'Stocks & Shares' into which the Banks collect all the available money from this ongoing 3 day period, and they invest it, and make £millions.
Of course, we should be grateful rather than annoyed; if they didn't do this we would be charged even more.
Years ago with the Fan Club account, we were stung heavily as they charged something like 7 pence for every cheque and postal order they dealt with; and a lot of cheques and PO's went through in 12 months, so they made quite a bit. Then they said "If the account has the word 'club' in it, the Banking is for free- no charges!"
Well, like most clubs, be it the local pigeon-fancier's club or whatever, generally, the balance stays in there, and much like the '3 day' logic above, the Banks can make a tidy packet on this 'idle money' sitting in 'club accounts.'
And they are right, and it did us a favour.
Generally, with the Fan Club, funds are only withdrawn every March, July and November, when I have to pay for the fanzines to be printed, the envelopes to mail them out in, and, of course, the stamps. Other than this, funds go in, but they stay there, and the Bank thought, "Ah, we can make a few (£million) quid here, so, to be kind to our unwitting benefactor's, we will declare any 'Club' accounts charge-free!
So there you go. Close your current account, start a new one with 'Club' in it and you have free banking!
But of course, our Banks learned the '3-day trick' from our Governement, whom, in the instance of yesterday's (and every) Budget, get up to similar scams. When booze, cigarettes, road fund tax and petrol/diesel prices are increased in the Budget, they go up at 6am that evening; yet, like yesterday, when he cut the income tax, it won't happen until April...April 2008!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Motorblog Record Collector Back Issues: The two 'Record Collector' Back Issues mentioned within this site are still available from This will take you through to the Home Page, where the 'Back Issues' facility will click you through after entering 'Motorhead' within the 'Search' box. You can fill in your payment details, and before too long those precious Motorhead back issues will be yours!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Motorblog "Welcome To The Bear Trap": Lemmy spoke those words at Hammersmith Odeon sometime around 1988 to 1989 when I introduced a female friend and fairly new Motorhead fan. They were well chosen. Once you get into Motorhead you cannot get out, and who, indeed, would want to? "Not I, for sure."
Then, in 1990, Castle Communications, (now The Sanctuary Group), invited me choose some tracks for a Motorhead compilation album. They were my favourites at the time, and most, if not all, have stayed that way. But there are no Motorhead tracks I dislike, honestly; although I found 'Serial Killer' odd at the time of release I've grown to like it; and if it wasn't there and we knew about it we'd want to hear it, so it is, and we can, and that's great.
Castle liked the 'Bear Trap' title, but the sleeve artwork they came up with wasn't quite right somehow, but the comment by Lemmy had stuck and I had no other ideas at the time.
Recently, I found 2 reviews for the album; Kerrang! and RAW liked it, in fact some of the tracks taught the reviewer's something about Motorhead, and I'm pleased they had the balls to admit it. Over the weekend, Sarmad has added the reviews to this site. The copy from RAW is almost illegible, but were working on it, but my thanks to him posting them.

Later that same year, 'From The Vaults,' a 'rarities' compilation for Sequel Records, who were licensing the tracks from Castle, came along. It was easy to think of the 'From The Vaults' title with the tracks they needed for the album in mind, but with the miserable and uninspiring 'Bear Trap' sleeve art as a living nightmare, something better needed to happen for this one.
Aware of their artistic talents, I suggested Chris Harris and Neil Harvey, whom had both drawn for the Motorheadbangers' Fan Club in the early years, and the guy's were more than happy to get their 15 minutes by providing the sleeve artwork illustrations.
It turned out great, but it's not onsite just yet.
So if you happen to see either or both in a used record shop or on EBay, now you know story behind them; and I also had the honour of writing the sleeve notes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Motorblog Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts UK Autumn Tour: November 6th Sheffield Hallam AM Arena, 7th Glasgow SECC, 9th Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, 10th Birmingham NEC, 11th Nottingham Arena, 13th Brighton Centre, 14th Bournemouth BIC, 16th Cardiff CIA, 17th London Wembley Arena and 18th Manchester MEN Arena.
Contact to book tickets.
Motorblog It Does What It Says It Will On The Can: At one point I couldn't imagine having a website. Then Sarmad created one and I responded positively. The 'Home Page' portrait, though proud of it some 30 months ago has now become, for me, somewhat jaded - a bit like looking in the mirror when you get up - yuk! (Well, that's what I think when I look in the mirror when I get up, anyway).
Our front garden has come under flood for as long as I can recall, and with a view to moving on at some point, (this is a half-acre plot and although it's down mainly to lawn my health no longer permits easy upkeep); I have made it a priority to get something done about it. The water, you see, arrives in our front garden from 5 or 6 adjacent properties, (these things must be declared these days when a property is sold), and a couple of weeks ago whilst shopping at Asda, I bought one of those 'throw-away cameras' to photograph 'the lake' as and when it rained.
And the weekend before last, it did; in torrents.
So we took pictures, and I wrote an explanatory letter to the local Council asking what we can perhaps do about it between us?
But there are 27 shots on the film, and we've only used 8!
We took pictures of Pickles, our almost 19 year-old cat; and after about 6 shots she was as bored with the idea as we were.
"Oh, take some of me then!" I told Jane, "I need to change the Home Page photo on the website, that one is annoying me now!"
She did so, and some were with the cat (again).
And although our good friend George Chin would laugh at the efforts, they're not bad for a £2-30 camera.
Sarmad will be uploading them onto the site shortly to appear as a 'slide-show.' The pictures might frighten a few young kids, but they're just a bit of fun and a change from 'the norm.'
(Who you calling Norm? My name's Alan!)
Motorblog The Date Has Been Set: for July 1st; the day England (and Wales, presumably), follows Scotland and Ireland into the illegalities of smoking in public places.
Although N/S myself now out of gratitude and common sense following my operation, (and smoking nor drinking were the cause, I had a faulty heart valve from birth), rather than doing so because they are telling me to, (and I still don't object to a whiff of 'passive' now and again); I'm wondering why there have been no demonstrations against this removal of a liberty won by our father's in two World Wars, perhaps in Trafalgar Square? Smokers are simply going along with this ruling/Law. Nicotine is, without question, the most addictive drug known to humanity, yet England put up, and still does, more of a fight to stop fox hunting than they have the right to smoke where they want to.
Our local news TV programme last evening featured a pub landlady offering her customer's the opportunity to join her in giving up smoking. Wise move, dearie; there are going to be hundreds if not thousands of pubs closing down following the July 1st ban. For smokers, there is nothing better than a pint and a fag. The two went well together for the landlords as well, drinking makes you smoke more as the booze washes the taste from your mouth, so they were selling ciggies out of the machines as an added bonus.
The pub's will close because, and I expect EBay could back me up on this with extra sales of their 'Breweryana' figures, folks are converting their garage into a pub of their own, in which they can smoke and drink to their heart's content. In fact, I know a bloke who is actually doing this in readyness for the ban - and EBay were taking a lot of his (willingly paid) money for optics, bar towels, horse-brasses and so on, to 'furnish' his garage/pub. It will create a great deal of unemployment in the pub trade, (who also employ chefs/table waiting staff and have come to rely on the now lucrative pub grub trade), and the only folks who'll make some dosh are the 'Offies' and the supermarkets, who will be selling canned and bottled booze, and the fags, by the truckload.
And if the garage is big enough, there will be space for darts and a pool table, so sod the pub!
Live music venues will also suffer, although a great deal of those went N/S year's ago; and if the 'garage' can accomodate a Juke Box, it'll be sod the live music venues, too!.
So maybe this is the reason there have been no 'demos' or riots from the potentially non-smoking public as of July 1st?
No, they're not wimps, they're simply converting the garage into a pub and saying 'F**k 'em!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Motorblog A Stick and a Piece of String with a Worm at One End and a Fool at the Other: This came up on The Weakest Link this evening, and someone will no doubt tell me its author as I've forgotten. It describes my son-in-law admirably; a man whom fishes but can't stand eating fish. Ideal, I guess, in today's world where they have to throw them back!