"because I said so..." / 2017

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July 26th 2017:
Following my post about venue stupidity on July 5th, I am getting a bit astonished at how many music venues are run by utterly stupid people in this day and age. Last Friday's gig was cancelled because the landlady wants to go down the disco and karaoke road. We only found out we were cancelled the night before because someone else saw our post about the gig. She rang me and told me the tale.

We were supposed to be doing a jam next Sunday and handed our own regular jam night over to some friends, so we could do the other jam night for a change. Now we find that we have been double-booked by the other jam night venue!

A pub that have had us in the diary for a year decided they would have two diaries running and tried to cancel us. (at least I managed to sort that one out). I really do wonder at how thick these people are.

July 20th 2017:
When you realise that music is basically the ONLY thing you have in your life that you like....

July 17th 2017:
A nice busy weekend with four shows. The first was at The Hare And Hounds in Uppermill, near Oldham. A pretty good crowd.

The next show was a one hour slot at the LukeFest event at Kearsley Social Club in Kearsley. The day is dedicated to young Luke Whittaker who tragically passed away aged only 14, not long ago. The event raises funds for the music department of his school, as he was a keen and very gifted drummer. His parents are friends of ours and we were really pleased to be able to perform on the day.

We had to be careful with stops between songs at the end of the show, as when we stopped, the DJ kept trying to start playing music, even though we still had 15 minutes to go. DJ's tend to do that to bands - some of them live to tell the tale. We went down very well, among all of the bands who performed - many of whom were Luke's classmates.

The band that followed us were so keen to get onstage and start playing that they were coming on and setting up their gear while we were still dismantling ours. They are kids and have a lot to learn.

A good day.
More information at The Luke Whittaker memorial page.

Thanks to Lynda for the footage.

Following that, we drove over to The Lever Bridge in Darcy Lever, Bolton and did an enjoyable full show and got a return booking in December. We are now just about fully booked up for the year, so December was about as early as we could get.

Many thanks to Andy Worthington for the footage.

Sunday was the jam night that we do every week at Bar One Ten, Tyldesley. A nice evening, playing with lots of different people and also trying out a few new things for the band's shows.

July 12th 2017:
The band were filming in Leeds yesterday for a forthcoming TV show. We were put up the night before at the rather nice Holiday Inn, as we had to be on set at 7.15 am. I got a call from the hotel desk at 6.30am (15 minutes before I had set my alarm to go off). I grumpily staggered downstairs, not quite knowing who I was, due to only hitting the hay after midnight, as the hotel had rather a nice bar.

The filming took place at The Brudenell Social Club, a well-known Leeds music venue with a great stage and lighting. The cast and crew were excellent and from what we saw, people should be quite impressed with the show. There are a few recognisable big names in there. A lot of hanging around and repetitive tasks, due to everything being done with multiple takes. I think we will mainly be in the background in a couple of scenes. We did one song live and we nailed the recording of it in one take, even though it's not a regular feature in our set. Looking forward to seeing the show when it comes out. More details when we are allowed to give them out, later in the year. Ian and Graham are doing some further scenes next week, but I am not available for both of the days that they would need me for. Oh well.

In other news, my shoulder operation is on August 11th.

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

July 5th 2017:
Perhaps slightly more ridiculous (if possible) than the venue landlord who tried to haggle to get us cheaper than the venue he came to watch us at (in front of the landlady of that venue) is the landlady of a venue who booked us for a Saturday in July with no idea of how she was actually going to pay the band and then turned round and who cancelled us apologetically with two weeks notice.

Now, to give the new landlady her due credit, she had shown good taste and was very keen on booking us for her new pub in Leigh, after we had played at her mate's venue in Bolton. However, to leave it until two weeks before the gig to cancel us when she must have known for some time that she couldn't find our fee is pretty damned inexcusable. We did fill the date again the same day, but it could have been a night off.

Another new landlady / bar manager at another venue, in Atherton, managed to double book us once this year and once in 2018, because she has had TWO DIARIES OPEN. FFS. Wouldn't it be nice if someone who is new in the licensed trade had the slightest bit of wits about them?

July 1st 2017:
This evening my band played a pretty good show at a nice town centre venue in Bolton. After the show, a landlord approached us and asked us if we could play at his venue for a cheaper fee than we had just played at the venue where we had rocked 'til they dropped. In front of the landlady, too... We said what we did this evening was our minimum fee and next year everywhere would be paying a fee that is ten pounds more than that as our minimum fee. The guy didn't seem to get it and just muttered about getting us cheaper.

I personally take about £1200 worth of bulky professional standard bass amplification on stage and usually two or three basses, amounting to about £3000 on stage, not to mention monitors, stands, effects etc. It all needs transporting. That's hard work. Our drummer carts a full PA system with two 1100w speakers, two bass bins and a mixing desk and a huge bag of connection cables, as well as his sizeable excellent quality Yamaha drum kit. Our guitarist has a cavalcade of guitars and a killer amp and a set of lights to transport - and he drives to our shows from St Helens. While I type this, he is still on his way home from the gig. We all invest and we all do an amount of work. While our work is certainly pleasurable, it is definitely WORK and it definitely has a value.

We go out for an hourly rate that pays us a sensible, but not greedy amount (we do like to work and so we do not charge over the odds) and which also pays for the basic upkeep and replacement of our equipment. And food. We are quite a long way from being the most expensive band on the circuit.

Of course, he is quite certainly at liberty to get a cheaper band in, as I said, but if he wants us, there is a set fee which we are not going to go below. We aren't greedy and we're not silly. We are also not a charity, we do this to earn a living, as indeed I imagine he does with his pub. I doubt he would take that kindly to a reduced offer on a pint of lager. If you choose to pay peanuts, then you choose to get monkeys. 1970 was a distinct historical period and the rate bands were paid back then is also a piece of history. A piece of history which will not repeat itself.

22nd June 2017:
Current listening
- Stranded In Reality (Ian Hunter) / We're all alright (Cheap Trick)
Current reading - Sweet dreams are made of this (Dave Stewart of Eurythmics)

Ian Hunter's show in Liverpool the other night was exemplary. He's 78 and still cranking it out like a good 'un. Unbelievable. I wonder if I will still even know how to pick a guitar up at that age? Also creating the best new music of any artist at the moment, along with Justin Currie.

5th June 2017:
In the wake of the recent shocking and vile terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the press are accentuating the famous British 'stiff upper lip' and our determination to do our best to carry on unaffected. It's a tough act, knowing that some fools who have no regard for their own lives, or those of others who have no Earthly reason to quarrel with them, are ready to launch senseless attacks, at any random moment.

It is a slightly comforting thought that while these buffoons carry out their senseless acts, they are disowned by their own religious leaders and at the same time, blow themselves to tiny pieces or get shot dead within 8 minutes of the alarm going off. Their numbers are going down.

The press and politicians are quite fond of saying that the terrorists cannot win. The simple fact is that they DON'T ever win. They just cause some damage and then they die. They don't even get to see the results and aftermath of their foolishness. They merely serve to make a number of people racist and to be really wary and suspicious of the religion that they commit murder in the name of. The religion itself may be totally innocent and abhor such acts. They only bring us towards an inevitable conflict that they can never win.

We are better than them because we do not act inappropriately.

And we are not going to hide in our houses, either.

We need the next Government to resource our Police services and the Security services properly on a nationwide basis - not just in London, which is all that they seem to care about.

Current listening - This is my kingdom now (Justin Currie).
Current reading - Sweet dreams are made of this (Dave Stewart of Eurythmics)

31st May 2017:
In other news, I have an appointment with a surgeon regarding my problem right shoulder in July.

Justin Currie played at at Hangar 34 in Liverpool tonight. I was fortunate enough to be there.
What an excellent show - It was the best show I have seen by him so far.

Justin Currie of Del Amitri

25th May 2017:
I was getting quite cheerful about the 'undetectable' readings re my prostate cancer (even to the extent of getting some 'One Year Clear' guitar picks made), so it stands to reason that I should get a 'detectable' reading this last review - albeit a tiny 0.08 reading. I have to go back in July to see what that next reading will be and then decide upon a course of action to deal with it as necessary. This could involve me having a course of radiotherapy, which I dread the very thought of. However, the alternative is far worse. I do love the NHS.

15th May 2017:
Current listening - This is my kingdom now (Justin Currie).
Current reading - I am Brian Wilson (Brian Wilson).

I have been working on The Book. I have cleared about 150 pages without having to change any names yet.

6th May 2017:
The next month or so looks good on the gig front. Both playing and attending. May and June have Justin Currie, Ian Hunter and Cheap Trick coming around. Can't wait. Justin and Cheap Trick both have new albums out, too.

24th April 2017:
Someone asked me yesterday where I'm up to with my book. Good question.

It's sort of on the back burner at the moment. I have written nearly all of it and I am going to have to re-read it before going any further. I have said exactly what has happened to me in certain bands I have been in and I am sure that some of them will not be pleased when I say approximately what a shower of bastards some of them were. I am going to have to change some names for dramatic purposes to avoid getting done for slander, libel or some other form of general evil naughtiness. I AM going to tell the tales and I am sure if I said exactly what I thought with the relevant real names attached, there would be trouble.

5th April 2017:
Just slightly amused at the very idea of a musician I used to know who has been carefully airbrushing quite a large part of his music career away on his personal website and asking me to take any mentions of his name off mine. He wasn't always professionally dead boring, but appears to be striving hard to look like he's never had any fun in his life....

The Still Stones gig in Burnley last weekend went OK. A lot of work for a one-off, but the gig was worth doing for the fun of it and the mental exercise and stimulation of playing unfamiliar songs with some different musicians. I do like to be kept on my toes.

Last week I got a nice letter from Jim Lea of Slade. I had put a question to him regarding his prostate cancer via The Slade Forum Q&A and he wrote a personal reply to me that went into far greater detail on the subject than the reply for the website. The letter will not be going on the internet.

26th March 2017:
Never throw your old diaries away. I was unable to chart several years worth of live gigs for this site. In 1993 I was fairly busy with a good little band called GO CRAZY and all I have to show some of the gig dates from that time is this photo with some posters in the background. I have managed to pull some other dates together from cassettes from varioius years.

Gibson SGII guitar and posters

25th March 2017:
I have been troubled for years by a numb space between my shoulder blades, back pain and now sore shoulders. I had a steroid injection in my right shoulder in January and it appears to have done no good at all. My right arm is now beginning to hurt all of the time and it is getting properly on my wick.

19th March 2017:
So farewell then, Chuck Berry. Rock music pretty much owes you everything.

28th February 2017:
The band's diary is filling up very nicely....

Current viewing: Sleepy Hollow Season Three DVD.
Current reading:
Bruce Springsteen's autobiography.

18th February 2017:

The THREE are having a bit of down-time this month, as Ian T has a number of gigs in place with his side-band AIM. We are still doing the thriving jam nights every Sunday at Bar One Ten, so we stand a bit of a chance of recognising each other if we pass on the street. We are getting new people coming down to the jam night and it's going very well. The jam night Facebook page is here.

I am nerving myself to start work on learning a list of songs to learn for a gig at Lane Ends in Burnley on April 1st, when Ian T and myself are meant to be playing with Still Stones. This is very much a one-off, done as a favour, for me and I will be really glad when it's over and done with. It will be a good night, as the songs are great, but I have my own band to keep going.

I got my third review result back the other day, after much wrangling with the Royal Bolton Hospital. Another 'undetectable' PSA result, which means there is still no sign of any residual prostate cancer. I am always relieved when I get these letters, as I take nothing for granted, as far as that goes. I have ten years of checks to go through. I don't mind.

My books are still available online at the fabulous Ian Edmundson Blurb Bookshop and on amazon.com and are selling, slowly but surely, but sadly not keeping me in the luxurious and grandiose style to which I have become accustomed. Interestingly, some Slade fans will get all moist and giggly at the thought of hilarious t-shirts of "Noddy Holder as Doctor Who" and get all worried about the Omnibus book on Slade, that is now on its second author and which keeps getting its publication date pushed back a year. But even Dave Hill's own autobiography was a hard sell as far as so-called fans are concerned and therefore actual exclusive photos of Slade live don't seem to interest the knuckledragging European Slade fans, who will pay stupid prices for Slade beermats from eBay, but who also have trouble remembering who was actually in the original line-up, or what records they released, apart from the Christmas hit. Thankfully, the books that I have put out are print-on-demand, so I don't have a house full of them.

Once again, I am having a grumble about gig hunting with people who say they will get back to you and then don't. I know that they are busy and that talking to bands is just a tiny tiny tiny part of their job. But it IS a part of their job. We've played at some places and gone down fabulously well, according to all concerned and then you message or text the landlord and he'll 'be right back to you'. Then, of course, he doesn't. If somebody contacts me, I don't fob them off, or employ staff to act as a barrier between them and me. The number of times I have heard "Oh, he's in the shower". The pubs would stink of soap, as you walked in. Other bands say it's exactly the same for them. It's not just us, by a long way.

I have also been entertained by a landlady (somewhere to the North of my home, in a place I will only refer to as La La Land), who asked what our band's 'bottom line' as regards payment was and then tried to undercut it quite significantly to £150.00. She "doesn't do the internet" to advertise her venue, as she has a morbid fear of computers, so neither NWB not Facebook are in her repertoire. She wanted a stack of posters to put in local shops and for us to bring a following with us. She didn't get us to turn out, as we could not agree terms. Apparently she screwed over a band I know of, who would not have deserved the treatment they got.

Looking forward to going to see Justin Currie in Liverpool on May 31st.

Current reading: Bruce Springsteen's autobiography
Current viewing: Apple Tree Yard (BBC), Cheap Trick at Red Rocks, Colorado (unofficial DVD).

9th February 2017:

I bought this Fender Stratocaster today (9th Feb 2017). I have always wanted one, but - seeing as I am primarily a bassist - I have just never bought one. The nearest I ever got was the nice red Tokai, which I got as a clever trade in the late 80's - which I assure you is CLOSE to the real thing.

When I first started off playing, my dream guitar was on display in my local guitar shop. A white Fender Strat with a maple neck and a trem arm. Each of those features, including the white colour, was a custom option at that point and was 10% extra above the usual cost of the guitar, pushing it up to an astronomical £424 in 1975. That price was WAY beyond what I could afford, (or deserved according to my laughable lack of ability) at that point.

42 years later, I have sprung for the HSS model with the Humbucker, which is ferocious. I tried it out in PMT in Manchester this morning and paid £536.00 for it, plus my customary checker strap.

Did I need it? No. But I am just about at the point where I should really stop buying guitars now (48 altogether) and decided I deserved it.

Fender Stratocaster

January 30th 2017:

Ok, folks, I'll be the very first to say that I have been more than a bit quiet on the blogging front, but to be fair, I have been a little bit busy.

After having my winter cough and cold and scary partial voice loss and going totally deaf in one ear during the last week (which fortunately got better in time for the weekend), The Three played in Little Hulton and Tyldesley at the weekend. Next weekend we have a 'four on the trot' run of gigs. We don't mess about. When we do it, we do it large.

And Super Challenge Freecell doesn't play itself.

In other news our lovely dog, Oscar, pictured below with Smudge, appears to have started on a rather expensive residency at the locals vets, as he has had problems with stuff in his ears. It seems to be an allergy based infection that may have travelled with him from Romania.

That should eat up the proceeds from the four gigs... but oh well. he's well worth it. I just wish he would stop absolutely terrorizing our cat Tilly. I guess at least he does leave the other 5 pretty much alone.

Current listening:
Ian Hunter and The Rant Band
Fingers crossed (2016).

Current TV: Homeland

Current reading:
Campbell Devine -
All the Young Dudes: Mott the Hoople and Ian Hunter: The Official Biography

Mini-tour of everywhere.

Oscar and Smudge

Oscar and Smudge (left)

January 22nd 2017:
Extremely sad news. Peter Overend Watts from Mott The Hoople has passed away. My abiding memory of him is from the end of the Manchester Apollo show in 2014, when he kept the crowd singing and ordered them to come down to the front.

January 15th 2017:
Last night The THREE played a show at The Victoria in Accrington. We had to keep the volume down a little, which didn't really bother us that much. We aim to please. Nice to see some of my supporters from the old band come to watch us. That was really very much appreciated indeed. I really thought that I had lost them all. We will hopefully be going back there soon.

January 5th 2017:
To repeat the answer to an earlier question that I keep being asked and am tired of answering:
YES. Wizdom do, for some reason I really don't understand, still have me in their events photos on Facebook, but I do not play with them now. They are still just using my photo and trading on my having been in the band, without my approval. I left the band last year.

January 1st 2017:
00:38 - Welcome to the first blog entry of the new year. It's going to be a nice short one, as I am trying to keep our dog Oscar calm, with all the fireworks going off in the streets nearby, which are sending him a bit daft and setting him off barking, This is weirding the cats out and I am unfortunately unable to sit with them as normal to keep them calm.

I hope this year is going to be a significant improvement for us all on the appalling 2016. I think we should all give ourselves a careful pat on the back for surviving the year. Have a great year, everyone.

Current listening:
Duran Duran 'Liberty' (1990)
Crowded House 'Time On Earth' (2016 deluxe reissue)

Current TV:
Bates Motel Season Four (DVD)
The Wire Season Three (DVD box set Seasons 1-5)

Current reading:
Richard Balls 'Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story' (2014)

Blog 2016