Monday, January 29, 2007

Andi Sex Gang

I've never seen this picture of me before -

I just took a copy of it from my friend Andi Sex Gang's website, which has been revamped recently. (Andi is here on myspace) The photo was taken while I was reading at one of his album launches, a few years ago. That was a great event, probably the most entertaining launch I've ever attended. It was organised by another friend, Kate Schermerhorn from California, who you can also visit on myspace.

I've been friends with Andi Sex Gang for a really long time. We've occupied the same region of South London for many years. I even have a copy of his pre-Sexgang single tucked away in my record collection. His first band was called Panic Button, and I can remember their single being played at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, during the intermission. Which was fitting really, as Andi always liked the old Ritzy, being a connoisseur of film.

Two enthusiasms I share with Andi are ancient Greece, and Marc Bolan. Both of which have inspired me at times, and I'd guess they've both inspired Andi too.

I greatly admire Andi for his indomitable attitude and spirit. I've known him to have some tough times but I've never known him to lose heart. I'm delighted to see he has a lot of new product available, and is doing well. (Andi, incidentally, has a good claim to be the originator of Goth.)

Here's another picture of me reading at that launch -

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


After my recent blog about missing an album from the 70's I had lots of helpful suggestions about where to find it. Not only that, someone actually sent me MP3s of the two tracks I missed most. I was surprised at this, and grateful.

Am now wondering about new career of writing blogs asking people to send me stuff. I can see some possibilities here.

I watched parts of Flesh and Heat, two Andy Warhol films. Although investigation reveals that they weren't actually directed by Warhol, but by Paul Morrissey. I found them to be some of the dullest, most boring films I've ever attempted to sit through. Why anyone likes them is beyond me. Possibly I'm missing something. After all, I'm not a fan of art-house cinema. My favourite movies are Clueless and Ghost World, and I hold Miss Congeniality in high regard.

Flesh and Heat both star Joe Dallesandro. I can see he was an attractive guy, and he spends a lot of time wandering around naked on screen, but is this enough? I mean, would I be prepared to sit through a really tedious film just because it was full of attractive naked women?

* yes of course *

Well, there you have it. I rest my case.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Good Fairies in Transylvania / agoraphobia

The Good Fairies of New York will be published in Romania next year, so the fairies will soon be fluttering their way over Transylvania. I'm pleased at this, though I doubt it will earn me any money. It seems like a long time since I actually earned any money. Did I mention my career hadn't gone well in recent years?

* yes, several times. *

Well, I just thought I'd mention it again. It is my blog after all, and I'm entitled to complain about stuff.

Not unconnected to career not going well, I once more failed in a bus journey, being defeated by agoraphobia. This definitely has the upper hand at the moment. Ho Hum.

Agoraphobia didn't exactly prevent me from writing - in fact you might think it would give me a lot of time for it - but the attendant anxiety did, and the OCD, which seemed to come with it. I did mean to write something in these blogs about OCD, but so far I haven't got round to it. It's a strange condition though, and difficult to explain. Fortunately, I've found it more susceptible to therapy and self-help than the agoraphobia, so it's a good deal better than it used to be.

Also fortunately, I don't suffer from depression. In fact, I'm a reasonably optimistic person. I'm sure the re-emergence of The Good Fairies, and the upcoming appearance of Lonely Werewolf Girl, will greatly improve things, leading to fame, money, and a sordid affair with Angelina Jolie, carried out in motel rooms while Brad is away in Africa, adopting more children.

Mention of Transylvania reminds me that Buffy actually met Dracula one time. Not one of my favourite episodes, but not as bad as I feared it might be. A few days ago I came across Buffy on Sky, and, once more, was unable to resist watching, though it was again an episode I've seen many times. The Prom. Ah. The Buffy prom was so great, I couldn't do it justice here.

Here's a moment that never fails to bring a tear to my eye, as Jonathan presents Buffy with the Class Protector Award.

Unanswered questions from this episode - who was Jonathan's date? How did he find someone to take to the prom?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Heavy Jelly

It was with some distress that I realised I couldn't find my elderly cassette copy of Nice Enough To Eat, an album released by Island Records in 1971. A sampler, as it was called then, featuring tracks from various bands.

This is a severe loss, not only because of the fab version of Gungamai by Quintessence, but also because I really felt like listening to I Keep Singing That Same Old Song by Heavy Jelly. Heavy Jelly were really - as almost none of you will be interested to hear - Skip Bifferty, recording under a false name, for contractual reasons. Which is quite a well-known story to anyone with a dull and pedantic interest in early 70's and late 60's obscure British prog rock / psychedelia. And I have never been one to shy away from dull and pedantic interests.

Dammit I really want to hear that Heavy Jelly song. Not surprisingly, there is no sign of this obscurity on iTunes, or Youtube. I will now have to tear the house apart, looking for this old cassette.

Nice Enough To Eat

Side one

1. Cajun Woman – Fairport Convention
2. At the Crossroads – Mott the Hoople
3. Better By You, Better Than Me – Spooky Tooth
4. We Used To Know – Jethro Tull
5. Woman – Free
6. I Keep Singing That Same Old Song – Heavy Jelly

Side two

1 Sing Me A Song That I Know – Blodwyn Pig
2. Forty Thousand Headmen – Traffic
3. Time Has Told Me – Nick Drake
4. 21st Century Schizoid Man – King Crimson
5. Gungamai – Quintessence
6. Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal – Dr. Strangely Strange

Aarrgghh there are a lot of good songs there, I must find it again.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lonely Werewolf Girl

Here's the cover of my new book, which will be released in Britain on the 7th June this year.

Lonely Werewolf Girl

Lonely Werewolf Girl

Lonely Werewolf Girl

ISBN 978-0-9554984-0-4

Cover drawn by Simon Fraser

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Three Hundred Spartans

I'm interested to see that Warner are making a new film about the Spartans at Thermopylae. I'd be excited if I thought there was any chance of them making a good film, but I suppose the chances of a good Hollywood film about Greek history are quite low.

The Spartans' heroic resistance against Xerxes and the Persian invasion in 480 BC was the subject of a previous film - 300 Spartans, in 1962 - which wasn't too bad but suffered from being low budget. I expect the new film will have a huge budget, but I fear it will be hopelessly inaccurate. Who knows though, perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. Maybe it will be a great movie. Will hope for the best.

The Spartans were heroic in the face of overwhelming odds, but so were the Athenians. Shortly after Thermopylae the Athenian navy, under the brilliant leadership of Themistocles, destroyed the Persian fleet at the battle of Salamis, which sent Xerxes fleeing for home. Salamis could be said to be the battle which saved western civilisation. (Yes it could. Don't argue.) Soon afterwards, the Greeks defeated the Persians at Platea and Mycale, thereby ending the threat from Persia.

Hmm. I could make a really good film about all this. Well, if I could make films that is, which I can't, obviously. So I'll just have to stick to complaining about other people's.

Continuing on the theme of high culture, Desperate Housewives starts its new series on Channel 4 tonight. I'm looking forward to this. Season two wasn't so good really, but I'm hoping for a return to form.

* which desperate housewife would you most like a date with? *

Hmmm. It's a difficult choice. Gabrielle is the most attractive, but I think Edie Britt would definitely be the most fun to be with.

"Edie, I've got this filthy and perverted story coming up in the January edition of Skin Two, and I thought you might like to... eh... maybe act out a few highlights... well... eh... OK, never mind. Sorry for bothering you... "