Saturday, March 22, 2014

Scrambled Eggs

Now here's a bit of an obvious one for Beatle Nuts such as myself. Good old Wimpole Street, the rather smart abode where Macca rested his head on a beautiful flaxen haired maiden (at least to start with ?) for a few years in the mid sixties. And of course, this is where he famously knocked out Yesterday...and the story goes the song started its life as 'Scambled Eggs, Baby I really love your legs' or words to that effect. God knows we all know that.

Anyhow, this is that mansion and here is the door - one two three four. Let's look through the square window.

His room was at the top - up there ...see ? But maybe not quite...I think I read he had the room on the other side and had a view over Browning Mews at the back. So here is the back.

Workmen eyed me with extreme wariness as I snapped away. Funny (not really) but no matter how I try to make small talk with those doing a bloody decent proper job, I never seem to quite hit it off. Think about that later.

Here is the Mews - oh for God's sake.

Now the reason for my extra-curricular visit to the greatest metropolis of all this week was to get the yearly corporate medical check up - except this year it was the absolute Full Monty. Three hours of prodding, probing and 'other' examinations which do not bare describing. The conclusion was favourable and the good doctor told me I was in reasonable shape for a man of my age..."I am not a man of my age !" I protested a little too much. Now their expert conclusion may have been just a little optimistic as, if I am really honest, I may have been a little parsimonious with the truth regarding the levels of quaffing and it may just be the case that a few phantom salads found their was into my four day diet diary - perhaps in place of a couple of pasty(s)(s) and chips(s)(s)(s). Interestingly (yeah right) the doctor advised that I should vary my breakfast of toast, toast and more toast with the occasional scrambled egg. Funny you should say that, Doc.

Stumbled across the Rough Trade record shop on the way to the pub ....I mean wholefood shop, Doc. I seem to recall my punk mates (were they my mates ? I like to think so but then again, there was that incident when they threatened to set light to my kaftan....) telling me about Rough Trade being a cool place where they sold bootlegs   -- but only to cool people they added rather pointedly. Happy days

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

John and Yoko at Rochester Cathedral 

Little did I know as an 'orrible teenager hanging around the The King's Head on Rochester High Street that but a few years earlier J and Y had been in attendance at the Cathedral ? Then again, how would I have known, does (or did) it make a blind bit of difference and what the hell does it matter. The answer is matters because I am a hopeless obsessive and I need to feed the madness with these tit-bits of trivia. And that's all.

24 Chapel Street

Favourite book in hand, a swift quaff (or three) at the very decent Horse and Groom just around the corner - a very pleasant hour filled. I meant to carve off  a bit of those railings but left the hack saw in my other jacket. Note to self : What the hell are you doing ? Stop this madness ! (the drink, that is)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Given my near obsessions (ok - full on scary obsession) with all things sixties, I can't believe I have not seen Performance. I do recall seeing snippets of the underground, avant garde film aired as part of a series of cult classics in the late seventies but that's about all.

So yet one more tumbleweed moment occurred yesterday afternoon as the kids arrived home unexpectedly early (unfair I think - but best not to press that one). Unfortunately, they walked into the TV room just as Anita Pallenberg strutted her not inconsiderable stuff in a no-clothes type situation. My attempts at explaining the nakedness on the avant garde and, anyway, the sixties was all about letting-it-all-hang-out...well it just did not impress. The eldest of the Briligs, always the least sympathetic, asked sarcastically whether I had any other 'avant garde' films I watched alone..bloody cheek. For Christ's sake ! Can't I have a few hours to myself ? Can't I ? The DVD case revealed the price paid - which also raised eyebrows given my previous promises to the clan that my obsession would be curbed.

Whilst the film was released in 1970, it was actually filmed in 1968. I wonder what JL made of it ? Now I don't think my loyalty to all things Lennon can be questioned but..but...whilst he was messing around with Grapefruit books and sitting in white bags old Jagger was making an incredible cult movie. No wonder Johnny Boy got frustrated with Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da and the 'granny music'.

Yoko in Folkestone ?

What strange parallel universe have I just dropped into ? Weird as it seems, Yoko is to exhibit at the Folkestone Triennial arts jamboree this summer. But the bit that really surprised me was that this is not her first time in the land of my youth...apparently she was there back in...wait for it ...wait for it....1966 !

This obviously needs a little more investigation. Was this exhibition BI or AI (before or after Indica Gallery of course). If AI is there the remotest chance ....No !!! Of course not ! But on a very personal level (what else is there) I find it intriguing that, as my old Nan strolled along the Folkestone Leas - walking past the Metropole Arts Centre - with her four year old grandson in tow, Yoko was just inside the door pinning notes on the ceiling advising bewildered old Folkstonians to 'breath'.

Folkestone is a funny place - more funny peculiar rather than funny ha-ha. Its former delusions of grandeur long ago swept far away. It has had many attempts at regeneration without a great deal of success.

I hope it goes well for Yoko and dear ol' Folkestone. Maybe I'll try my luck and ask her about the BI AI situation should there be some kind of Q&A session. Or maybe not.

I starting to think about a book, "Beatles in Kent" ? We know there was the Knole Park SFF video, the West Malling MMT filming, the pictures of the Fabs cavorting around the Margate Hotel swimming pool, JOKO at Rochester cathedral....ok maybe not a book, more of a pamphlet....or perhaps just a flyer....

Breaking news....the kids say they have just discovered a picture of young Brilig outside the Metropole Arts Centre !  Very funny.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Abbey Road - I'm Coming !!!

Early birthday present - visit to Abbey Road on 3-May 11:00 am ! Ken Scott will be there ! Five exclamations marks and counting...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

George V and all that

The other week I had a couple of hours to spare in London and so I settled down for a beer or three at one of my favourite pubs (just a few doors up from the Beatle Shop in Baker street - so predictable)  and through the marvels of modern telephony I trawled the information superhighway in search of any Beatle happenings in the vicinity. Having been within a few hundred yards of Macca and his impromptu Covent Garden gig last year and only a tube stop away from the Abbey-Road-Recreation-Thing not so long back yet missing them both, I thought I'd get myself fully connected through the Twittersphere and ! Quick move it ! A Harry Benson exhibition at the Mallet Gallery in Mayfair but closing in one hour. 

Hot footing it to the heart of Mayfair, I was initially a little apprehensive as the building looked more like a dammed fine sumptuous town house and not entirely welcoming. However, I ventured in and got chatting with a very pleasant American lady at the desk. She informed me that Harry Benson had been hanging around the exhibition all week but had just left for a flight to Texas ten minutes earlier...and that he had been chatting with visitors and regaling them with stories from his Beatles past ! What ?! Just missed it by ten minutes. Ho hum ho hum ho hum. 

The exhibition was really impressive. The most iconic shot, of course, is the pillow fight in the George V hotel in Paris (iconic for Beatle freaks that is; the wider non-care-in-the-community types might argue that the assassinated Bobby Kennedy shot is somehow more important).

But look at this picture of ol' Johnny Boy. Knackered and depressed after nearly messing it up with his Jesus comment.

I was most impressed with the Mallet Gallery. I love it that such places exist in the heart of London and that they are there to be discovered on a wet afternoon.

Now, as it happens, I was at the George V earlier this week......when I say 'at' the hotel  I guess I had better clarify. I was not exactly 'at' as in 'staying/sleeping/eating/nicking the towels'. I really mean I was standing outside its sumptuous entrance snapping away to the point where I was clearly raising the interest of the not-so-friendly-looking gendarme. I moved on. 

<ALLONS-Y !> - nothing to see here as the good doctor (no. 10) has been heard to remark. (Mon Dieu ! Beatles and Dr Who - pass me my anorak kids ! What do you mean which one ?!.....its the blue one with the Yellow Submarine badge of course ..)