Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy etc...
Flotsum (om ?)
Jetsum (om..etc)
And so it was that I made the annual pilgrimage to jolly London yesterday to brave the slings and agonies of the sales, the purpose of which each year is to spruce up the Brilig wardrobe for a few more seasons - hiding the increasingly obvious and embarrassing  ineptitude with a dammed fine suit ! Gone, gone, gone are the old battlegrounds of Lily & Skinner (I loved that place, well maybe slight exaggeration), Burberry in Haymaket (not that I ever actually bought anything there but that's not the point) and the fantastic art deco (and Beatle connected) DAK (it's a pitiful small shop opposite it's previous cathedral to sartorial elegance - but wait was that Simpsons ? See page 86 of fave book)  replaced by the crushingly predictable but nevertheless affordable TW Lewin and Charles Twit (Thwitt ? Twitter ? Twitter ? What the hell some stupid public school name).

Now, back in my day. I was in the business of technology; cutting edge, thrusting (ermm..) etc. etc. And so I find my inability to turn the above pic (see flotsum/om) round 90 degrees depressing in the extreme. Also having received a really fab smart phone for Christmas and being introduced to a billion 'apps' by the bright and eager offspring within a nanosecond of un- peeling the said pressie, I wonder why one of these 'apps' can't tell me where to go in London when I forget fave Beatle book... and the way I keep saying 'apps' makes me want to vomit. Why ? Well ... I just don't know. Leave me alone !

Enough Humbug already....Above  F/J recently bought on ebay - Why ? How the hell do I know ? "They were there !" was not a very impressive response when questioned by the kids who still need those bloody school shoes ...and some Christmas presents. The look on their faces when they extracted the Santa IOU's from their stockings was one I have tried to drown out with cheap port for the past 4 days.

Stoke City drew with Southampton yesterday 3-3 - great match. I have supported Stoke City since the age of 5 entirely due to Gordon Banks.  A friend sent me the attached signed photo of Banks doing the greatest save ever against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup. What a present ! Who says I am a Beatle Bore - well, everybody really.....

Happy New Year to all.

Friday, October 26, 2012

High as a Kite

Well at least that would be some excuse for the madness (madness I tell you !) of a middle aged idiot wasting his entire, precious Saturday morning in dusty old second hand bookshops and local libraries pawing over ancient, unloved tomes in search of a picture of an antique shop that once existed at the higher end of Sevenoaks town.  Kent in Colour - yours for a very reasonable one £1.50 - original price 2/6. 

Yes, yes ! The awning over the shop that was about to possess the circus poster. Judging by the attire of those shoppers I am guessing just seven more years before ...ting-a-long "Hi Ya (scouse accent). How much is that poster in the window ?""For you Mr Lennon a very reasonable ...." How much did he pay....  I'm getting closer ! Also see the Top-of-the-Hill restaurant next door but one.

Let me take you down 'cause...

At the tail end of 1970 I was nine years old. A Beatle freak such as I (me ? think it's I) might be expected to have a veritable closet load of memories from those formative years and this might then lead to some simple explanation of my anal retentiveness when it comes to fave subject. But no ! I recall very few Fab Facts from my youth. Que'ce que c'est que ca ? I hear your chorus cries ? I dunno captain ! I just canna' explain it. But there are just a few dim and distant memories...I recall my mother coming home from her Monday night bingo with my nan and proclaiming her win of 20 squids by throwing the notes in the air and exclaiming 'We Won !' to which I recall inquiring, "Are we as rich as the Beatles ?". "No.."said my nan, "They earn a hundred pound a week !". I'm guessing that to be about 1965. And then on to 1969 (or 1970) when lining up for assembly one of the kids told us all that a Geeeeerman was going to join the Beatles and so we all started to sing, "Ve all lieben in a yellow submarinee" - German accent hard to transcribe and I doubt we said 'lieben' - we were all plebs of the first order.

Enough of this guff. Look what I found (OK - bought but don't tell the family) on the intraweb. Which of the Fabs is the worst likeness ?? My God look at poor old Ringo ! I tittered at the words in the border - "Swami, how I love ya How I love ya my dear old Swami " Ho, ho, ho. This is MAD from 1968 - bloody obvious.

And then a very reasonably priced ST magazine from 1988 containing Yoko's response to the Albert Goldman book. Never read that one and not sure I would want to.

Look at JL with his best mate. I read somewhere that Yoko said not a day went by without JL talking about Stuart Sutcliffe. Really sticks in my mind and now I'm thinking about the Backbeat show I saw in London last year...stop thinking about it ! Too sad, too sad..

Hey ! Hey We're the Beatles ! Why did Ted Heath hail them as the savior of the corduroy industry ?  This is from the ST Magazine dated 29-Dec-1963. A very reasonable tenner on ebay - but shsssshhh ! The eldest needs new school shoes and I've told her she'll have to get a paper-round. She just does not get this whole priorities thing....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Magical Mystery Ivory Cutlery

Back in the day - the day being the year - the year being 1977, I recall the musical split in the 4th year views on music in our little ol' forgotten grammar school for boys by the sea.. We had the the would-be punks; the rebels without a pause who snuck out of woodwork early on a Tuesday afternoon to make the 999 gig at the  Electric Ballroom that evening, returning to Folkestone on the 5am train and sleeping through maths the next day smelling of..well just smelling really but sometimes of alcohol those lucky, daring sods. We had the would-be hippies who grew their hair long - as long as the demon headmaster would allow - who rode their Puch Maxi mopes in convey fashion to Canterbury University to watch Gong or whatever was the Canterbury prog rock thing of the time smelling of ....well just smelling really but sometimes of dope those lucky, hairy bastards. You know what's coming.... well I was a team-of-one...frowned upon by all others; tolerated...just. The.....boy who liked the Beatles smelling of ...oh Christ knows but nothing at all interesting the poor sod. Enough sharing already. Anyway, back in the ....done that.....whatever clan we were in, we all had good ol' Radio Caroline (who sometimes did a Roadshow in our sleepy hollow) and we had John Peel (who obviously favoured clan 1 in '77). But John Peel played this funny fellow reading out his funny poetry. Life in Scottish Living Room was a memorable surreal moment back then and much remarked upon the next day. Little did I know that he was a favourite of the Fabs and appointed to the role of Buster Bloodvessel in MMT.

Just caught up with my Virgin Box and watched MMT and the making-of said Beatle indulgence. Funny how it all comes back. Funny how very bad parents re-live out their youth  through their poor tolerant kids. I don't always like myself.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mr Kite - Sevenoaks High Street

Been there, seen it, done it. Several times in fact (witness many previous pointless posts on this subject). However, being of unsound mind and even unsounder body, and of course, registering highly on the obsessive/compulsive scale, I keep going there, seeing it and doing it again and again - and no-one knows why !! Why ! Why ! Why ! Well, because its there and its on the doorstep of Casa Brilig. Ain't that a good enough reason ? A question that does not beg an answer. Here is said shop about a year ago

And here is a Frith photo of the antique shop where John Lennon bought the Mr Kite poster during the Beatles' visit to the fabulous Knole Park for the making of there SFF video. See the big clumsy arrow ? That is where it was !

Mein Gott Willy !! Look, you can just about see the flotsum and jetsum left outside the shop that must have drawn said Fab into the parlour.

Oh my God ! Look you can see the poster ! 

 Wouldn't that be good - to see the poster hanging on the wall just waiting for good ol' Johnny L to come and buy.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Antrobus Hotel

The Antrobus Hotel - again. I did not get to stay in the Beatles Suite but had breakfast (alone of course) at a table close to the wall where.....see the join ? Enough already, I have kids for God's sake.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brian Jones and Winnie the Pooh

One of my favorite weird Fab tracks is 'You Know My Name (Look up the Number)' on which the Fabs' favorite Stone, Brain Jones, played the sax. Yes, yes, tell us something new. (note to self : stop talking to self. Note back to self : who are you talking to ?). Well, little did I know but said Stone died at Cotchford Farm which (wait for it, wait for it...) is but a throw of a stone (oh God, stop it) from the House of Brilig ! Being of a shy nature (I not E) I have yet to venture up this muddy path...but will at some point. Winnie the Pooh lived in that farm house. I also read somewhere that George Harrison visited the place - could a Beatle  really have been in such close proximity to Casa Brilig. I am ridiculously interested in that possible scenario....

Seven Dials

For a man of style and elegance, I was surprised by the naffness of this building; the location of Brian Epstein's business in the early 1960's. For th record, 13 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, Covent Garden. The plaque was revealed by our Cilla in Sep 2010. Interesting.. depending on your position on the scale that dare not speak its name.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mad's Day Out

‘There’s trouble at mill !’ The North beckoned last week. Herr Brilig was instructed to head an uncomfortably long round the Un-Magic Roundabout and up the Devil’s Own Highway to take notes and report back. Now, having spent a ridiculous portion of my adult life stuck on the sodding M25 and M1 behind jack-knifed mega-trucks, or dumb sheep or…(I’m sure there are other things) I decided to do myself a favour and ‘let the train take the strain’. Yes, it so long since I last did so that that was the advert. Anyhow, having observed whatever I was supposed to have observed I headed back on a ‘125’ which chugged along at something more like ‘25’ but finally pulled in to dear old St Pancras on Friday afternoon. St Pancras, erm….what happened there ? Something Beatle-y ? No damn Wi-fi on train at least for the plebs in the cheap seats and, of course, never remember the Beatles’ London book. Ah-ha ! Yes – it’s coming back to me ! The Mad Day Out leg in a park…with a church…and sitting on a bench smiling stupidly ! 
A bit of srtoll from the exit of the station but really worth the effort. A very tranquil spot a once there, suddenly very familiar objects – the church entrance, the water fountain and the bench.

I thought this may have been the spot where the local crowds mingled with the Fabs but a quick check on Kenwood Lennon indicates that it actually 180 degrees wrong - never mind.
 And here is the bench ......wait a doggone minute !!! What does it say there ....
Well I never ! I feel less of a freak when I see things like this. Someone out there is even more of a nut than I am - and God bless them.

Ah yes - and here is the front cover of the first Beatle book I bought as a young-un, probably about 12 years old. Little did I suspect that this interest was to turn into an obsession in middle years and that at three score years and minus ten - I would be sniffing around an obscure spot in central London (on my own) taking photos and wanting to tell the innocent idlers that 'THIS IS WHERE THE BEATLES SAT IN 1968. DID YOU KNOW THAT ? DID YOU KNOW THAT'. (I do need help and I know it)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

There are places I don't remember..

Having failed to convince the kids to sell their Summer Time Ball tickets for £900 a piece, I left them at Wembley Stadium - broken leg and wheelchair and all (they have to learn to survive) - and caught the first Jubilee Line back to St John's Wood. Very busy around the Abbey Road crossing

A skip at the studio - quickly emptied contents, assessed each piece, nothing to report.
Then on to Cavendish Road.    Apparently Billy Fury lived at No. 1 - no many people know that. 

Then it was all downhill. Most of the Beatle sites I chose to visit were covered up. First, the Apple Shop in Baker Street
Then the original Apple offices in Wimpole Street - the building does not seem to exist at all any more.
The Richard Frazer Gallery in Duke Street

Then how about this ? What is going on at No. 3 ?

Even the Devonshire Arms close to the old EMI building was closed - dang !

The walk from the back of the EMI offices to the taxi...

A bit of retail therapy at the Beatles' Shop in Baker Street - liked the look of the Yellow Submarine pinball machine but could not quite stretch to the £5000 asking price.

So not a great day and I had to fight way down Wembley Way with wheelchair and kids screaming stupid Justin Bieberlake and Jazzy J tunes in my ear at midnight - all too much.

So here's a quiz - what is the Beatle significance of these two pics ? Answers on a postcard to the I Hate Justin Bieberlake Fan club address

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shakespeare Day in London

Ok - it started out as a Shakespeare Day out in grand olde Londinium and yes we did 'do' the Globe but that only took a few minutes (cough, cough) and so we had the whole of the day before us and I just happened to have packed the Beatles London book in the Yellow Submarine rucksack ( I'm sharing too much). So we made a BeaLine for the Abbey Road Cafe and thence onto the studios. Worth noting that extreme caution is required these days as drivers get terribly upset by the hordes messing around. The young Brilig became increasing emotional (very strange) when I forced her to cross the road for the hundredth time then pushed her through the Studio Gates as, through the tears, she protested 'The sign says 'Strictly Private' Daddy !!' I reassured her that it was quite unlikely she would get arrested as I positioned myself back behind the railing to get the long distance shot - well it was no use us both getting into trouble.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sgt Pepper Party - Chapel Street

Twas here almost exactly 45 years ago (19th May) that Epstein hosted a party to launch the Sgt Pepper album. Fascinating ? Absolutely ! Took a few snaps half expecting the Belgravia private police force descend on me at any moment but seemed to get away with it.

Is this the drawing room... with the mantle ? and the LP ? and the second meeting of Macca and the American photographer ?

Stay away from the balcony John

A very pleasant pub just down the side alley called the Horse and Groom - a candidate for Pubs Where They Supped ? Just how many times did they visit Eppy at this address ?