Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jeweler, you've failed !

Ok, maybe not quite the thing to do in these troubled times but I am an innocent abroad ! I caused some quizzical faces from the well-heeled onlookers of Bond Street as I snapped away outside Asprey Jewellers but then noticed I seemed to be attracting more concerned looks from the staff within. What exactly is that middle-aged, slightly unkempt looking (kids' words not mine) chap with a camera and anorak doing ? Moving on swiftly, I was drawn once more like a moth to the flame of No 3. I think in the last few months the graffiti count is up big time. Looking down into the basement I pondered on the issue around the Beatles Studio and Magic Alex's promises of wanderment and the musical nirvanah of a 72 track recorder. I have always had a bit of a fascination with this Uber-Hanger-On. The fact that he somehow kept the arch cynic Lennon on board with his promises is peculiar. However, I recall my own interest when reading as a teenager back in the 70's that MA had promised endlessly flashing boxes and telephome answering machines. Some interesting words from George Martin's autobiography (see ealier entry) on Magic Alex :-

"Of all the army of hangers-on, the one I recall most vividly, because he impinged on my work and my musical relationship with the boys, was Magic Alex. I can never remember his real name, but he was a Greek who had ingratiated himself with John Lennon, and who was so preposterous that it would have been funny had he not caused so much embarressment with me in the recording studio.."

I've Got Sunshine in a Bag

Pursuing something of a trivial theme if I may for just one more blog entry,further to the 'cakes' of previous entry, here is an interesting (you gotta be kidding !) insight into the mind of a 40 something Beatle fan well past his sell-but date. The above snap is a Sgt Pepper cushion of the highest quality ! whatever next ?! Well, you can get the whole 3-piece suite ensemble in the same pyscedelic style should you be that way inclined (I am ! I am !) A very, very well received birthday present from my sometimes-disparing-always-curious-increasingly-worried family. Interestingly (again, you gotta...) my camera, having a whizz-bang-cutting-edge facility of face recognition, would only focus on the Macca Mug. No mattter how hard I tried to nudge it in the direction of the Dr. O'Boggie visog it refused the invitation. I could practically hear the scathing sarcasm of the be-spectacled one.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beatle Cakes (and Books)

Rain again sweeps the Borrowgroves and greyness abounds. So to cheer ourselves up (ok ! Just me of course !) a hunt around the musty, dusty, crusty (enough of this) bookshops and charity outlets (of which there are scores) in olde Worlde Wells of the Tunbridge persausion. A few good finds although not sure about parting with six squids for Lennon Remembers. Most of this can be found on the intraweb but I have an obsession and I need to feed so it was straight into the brown bag. Next up was the memoires as of 1979 of George Martin. A fairy substantial first edition hard back for a reasonable £3.49 - a bargain indeed.

Now I knew about the memories of Lennon as recounted to the Rolling Stones interviewer back in approx 1971 and some kind of surpressed memory from my formative years caused me apprehension as I turned its somewhat sepia'd pages. Please don't say it ! Damm - yep he said it. Words to the affect that he hated the whole damn thing - including Paul. Oh woeful day - and its still raining.

Quick, what did the admirable Mr Martin have to say about things whilst he was this side of 100 years old. Well, quite a lot actually but not so keen to hear about his successes with the likes of Bernard Cribbins and the joys of Right Said Fred. But its getting interesting...

So kids, let's make some cakes. I've got the mix, the icing and the templates. What do you mean you don't normally have templates. You gotta have templates if you're gonna get the images right. Kids ! Come back ! We will have fun.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Minor Health & Safety Incident at Kentish Beatle Site

A rainy, rainy day in West Kent. Ho-hum, let's cheer ourselves up (or myself up, not sure about the rest of the family unit) with a trip (again) around the local places of Beatle interest. I was much encouraged this morning by discovering that, back in 2007, a local historian had conducted a Magical Mystery Tour of Sevenoaks taking in places of great interest (to those of a certain inclination). Ok, 4 years late but at least I had discovered that somemone out there had a notion of the whereabouts of the mysterious 'Antique Shop' - historic site of the Mr. Kite poster purchase, and also the restaurant where the Fabs may have eaten during their time in the town filming the SFF and Penny Lane videos.

I must say that the youngest of the clan is by far the most supportive of the idiot father - all others quickly finding excuses for not joining in with Beatle Fun. I just don't understand them. As I reflect on the past several years, I can see the stages during which I have been viewed as - Funny Dad (age 4-8) Quirky Dad (age 9ish-10), He-Can't-Help It Dad (11ish-11.5ish) and then into the less happy state of Irritating Dad (age 11.5ish-12) and then the untold misery of 'Down-Right-Annoying Dad and no, I won't bring my boyfriend along coz it ain't fun.'

So, with camera in hand along with notes made from the historian's site and, of course, with the Beatles London book (second best gift ever received) we set off from the Borrowgroves heading towards the famous Tree one more time.

After many false starts over the past couple of years and much tree action around the Birdhouse, could this be the stump of that SFF tree ? Oh no ! Two tree stumps within 50 yards of each other and both quite consistent with the rough sketch in Beatles Book. Can someone please help ?! See the panoramic views - surely we can compare and contrast with the video - a busy night ahead.

Let's call this Stump 1..

..and introducing Stump 2

Stump 1 ?

....Stump 1 with child

Stump 2 with child

Stump 2 gets her vote

A panorama around Stump 2 - or is it Stump 1 - Oh Hells Bells I can't remember which is which !

Another panoramic view around the other Stump...enough of Stumps already..I'm getting bored of this.

And in pulling a very small piece of the dead bark from the stump of the tree - 1 or 2 - who the hell cares now (for goodnesssake it is just a stump - hardly environmentally unfriendly), I cut my knuckle. My daughter had not been keen from the start and when hopping around the tree in pain I knew she was trying to recall her Wow-Word-of-the-Month; "It starts with K" I winced trying not to say a few wow words myself. "Karma !" she said proudly, "Serves you right for damaging a tree." Karma in an instant. It look like it may leave a small scar...uhmmm.

The Birdhouse yet again. Selling eggs, I thought about going in and asking a few questions "Isn't this where The Beatles stopped for refreshments ?" Maybe another day

The arch, again.

And we found the pond ! The Beatles Feast etc.

And so back to the High Street. Here at number 48 is the site of the restaurant where the Fabs are reported to have eaten. It is now a solicitors.

And could this really be where JL bought the Mr Kite poster ? Could it be true ? It is number 44a The High Street. My sources say 'yes' but confirmation needed.

And this is the pub included in the 2007 tour - was it that they drank there or was it just the starting point for the tour ? Bit embarrasing if simply the latter.

Enough already of Beamish thoughts - thanks to the small one who still regards me as Quirky Dad.