Ian Edmundson   Inanities: 2018
   

January 4th 2018:
A happy new year to those (probably) very few people who bother to read any of my deranged mutterings.

Still alive? Well done - you are doing better than some.

Midge ure signature guitar

Midge Ure photographed by Ian Edmundson

Yesterday I ventured up to the excellent Promenade Music store, way up North in Morecambe, to try and then buy this Vintage Midge Ure signature guitar.

I'd never visited the shop before. They have a huge and stunning stock of instruments of all types. I was quite amazed by the place. As for the MU, it's a Les Paul styled guitar, obviously. After a quick remedial setup in the shop, which worked a treat, I parted with my sheckels for this lovely instrument.

The story behind me going miles and miles for this particular guitar?

It's quite simple. I went to see Ultravox on their reunion tours in 2010 and 2012 and Midge Ure used two Vintage Les Paul type guitars on the latter tour. They sounded unbelievable.He is an absolutely impressive guitarist and as a result of the second show, I convinced myself I needed a Vintage Les Paul type guitar. The signature model wasn't available at that point.

Not too long after the gig, I went to Reidys in Blackburn and all of the Vintage brand guitars they had in stock were nearly unplayable. I was very nearly put off Vintage guitars - for life.

I then went all the way to PMT in Salford and spent comparatively silly money (about 4 times as much as the eventual cost of the Vintage signature model) on my genuine Gibson Les Paul Traditional guitar. It turned out to be a fantastic investment and it really made me take my guitar playing a lot more seriously.

More recently I bought a Radiotone LP goldtop replica guitar at a guitar show and I thought I was 'there' as far as Les Paul guitars went. Then, the inevitable happened... Ian - the guitarist in my band, The Three, turned up at a recent gig with a standard Vintage LP goldtop and handed it to me to try out. It felt great and I started to get the bee in my bonnet again.

This Vintage brand guitar plays wonderfully. The pickups sound great and once I have played it in a bit, I am quite sure that I will use it regularly. It is a convincingly weighty guitar, compared to the standard Vintage LP-type goldtop model, which I also tried at the store (and which Midge Ure also used on the tour). It is fitted with P90 pickups and a Vibrola arm.

It really looks The Business and has a great sound. I have told my long-suffering wife - many times - that each guitar I have gone out and bought was the last one, sometimes even believing it myself. Then the next thing has come along. This brings my guitar and bass total to 50 and I REALLY don't want any more. It's the end of a glorious and expensive era.

In other news: Today, I went for the second injection in my course of hormone treatment, which is aiming to help reduce and defeat my prostate cancer problem. The needle was bloody huge and I was not too brave about it. But it is done now. Back in three months (at the end of March) for another dose of the same.... I will probably be having radiotherapy to nuke the general area at the same time. I'm not happy about the expected side effects, but it's all better than 'the altenative' by a long way.

Also today, this video turned up from July 2014...


Ian Edmundson  

January 8th 2018:
The chest infection that was laying me low last month has just about gone. It has been a bit of a bugger and destroyed our Christmas and New Year, as my good lady also was down and deflated with it. Even now as I type, she is still coughing away.


Ian Edmundson  

January 10th 2018:
Ian and Graham appeared in a couple of scenes in episode 1 of ITV's GIRLFRIENDS at 9pm last Wednesday. It's on again this evening and I'm not sure of any of us are in this episode, but on the 17th, episode 3 is showing and The Three (supplemented for the occasion by cast member Gerard Fletcher) will be doing a song in the show. Watch it if you can. No doubt I will find a way to get some video onto our gorgeous website afterwards. The Production company chose the song from the very bottom of our set list.


Ian Edmundson  

January 17th 2018:
Donald Trump is upsetting various countries by insulting them and causing a world-wide mixture of horror and worry. I am not going to do the same, but there are some venues I have personally decided we will not be returning to this year, or in the future.

Their landlords are either insulting to the intelligence of the bands that play there, too ignorant to respond to messages, or confusing us with other bands when they do condescend to talk to us. They are not 'doing us a massive favour' by booking us. Some offer a fee that is below our minimum. Some are too cheap to even offer the band a drink after we have done two hours work for them and kept their punters in and made their profits go up.

   

One particular venue in Harwood discriminated against us recently by telling us that, because we were unable to play at their October charity event, (Graham had life-saving surgery two days before the event), we would not be able to play at their venue in 2018. We played their 2017 event - the cause that we supported at the event we played was Macmillan - and two of the band are currently affected by cancer.

However, other bands have contacted me stating they didn't play the charity event either and that they still have gigs there. One even offered to pull their gigs there in solidarity with us and in total disgust at the landlady's brazen cheek.I just don't have enough time left to deal with shits like that.

Our episode of GIRLFRIENDS aired tonight. We were not on screen for ages, as we were not central to the plot, but we played our song well and it's one for the CV, as they say.


Ian Edmundson  

January 24th 2018:
A new recording of an old song - Things we said today - here. Recorded to keep my hand in with the recording gear.

 


Ian Edmundson  
February 1st 2018:
I have just started selling some of my guitars. I don't really need the money, or even the extra space in my storage area, BUT.... I just started looking at some of my guitar cases, just wondering what was in them and then, on opening them up, I started to think that a guitar or three may be better employed by someone else who would enjoy it more than me.

I had reached 50 guitars and started to think that some of them wouldn't get played again and so what was the point of keeping them all?

   
A new cover-version song -Ticket to ride - completed today - here. Recorded to keep my hand in with the recording gear.

Ian Edmundson  
February 15th 2018:
I have got the dates and times for my radiotherapy treatment at the Christie in Salford, from March going into April. I am not looking forward very much to the actual treatment, but I have no real choice. The hormone treatment is playing hell with my core temperature and I haven't had a good night's sleep for a while. Still..... I have it to do. No getting out of this.

I recently had this lovely Dean Stage Acoustic guitar fixed and made lovely to play with a really good set-up by Jack's Instrument Services in Manchester.
   

DEan Stage acoustic Ian Edmundson    Vintage Mick Abrahams SG

Facebook is full of keyboard warriors nuts who like to mouth off from the safety of behind their screen. I don't have time for those fools. I'm going to be reducing my activity on there from the beginning of March, apart from doing absolutely necessary band stuff.

Also, on the prior subject of me parting with guitars, I bought the Vintage MIck Abrahams signature SG (above) the other day. It seems to be a nice case of three steps forward, one step back...


Ian Edmundson




 

February 17th 2018:
Ebay has provided... And now the fun starts....

Ian Edmundson


Ian Edmundson







 

February 20th 2018:
I love my job....


Ian Edmundson  

March 6th 2018:
Being as lazy as I am, I haven't been keeping up with my blog here, anything like I should have recently. I will be writing something most days over the next month, as I go through my 20-day course of radiotherapy treatment. Keep your eyes peeled for several inanities.  


Ian Edmundson  

March 12th 2018 to April 25th 2018:

My daily radiotherapy blog, covering this period of my life in excruciatingly boring detail, is here.


Ian Edmundson  

April 26th 2018:

I have ended up going back in and amending a bit of the last day of my Radiotherapy blog. I have tempered my comments about certain people's heavy-use smoking habits. The person concerned thought that some of my blog readers would be able to identify them. My blog is about my thoughts on cancer and I thought that my entry may help others, including them. They have not taken it that way and have asked for it to be removed.

   


We all have a right to do whatever we want to do, though.
That includes others smoking if they want to.
It also includes me trying to look after others.
Or keeping my mouth shut and just letting them get on with it.

My last word on the subject: Cigarettes are not really very good for you. They are not health-improving. We all know that. I am scared of the things now, for myself, and also on behalf of other people because I care about them. If people want to smoke, they can, but they have caused cancer in at least two people that I know of and, while I would not wish it on anyone, I do believe that smoking when dealing with cancer yourself is not the way forward.

I am going to continue my blog back here now, though it will not be in the same irritating detail as it was on the other page. You'll have to guess what time I take my bath in future.


Ian Edmundson

















 

9th May 2018:
Something from the weekend....


Ian Edmundson













 

19th May 2018:
Fame at last?
No.

Fretwank magazine


Ian Edmundson  

24th May 2018:
The guitar in the photo below turned up a few days ago. It is a replica of Prince's purple Cloud guitar, as used on stage by the man himself. Mine is not one of the half dozen that Prince actually owned personally that keep coming up for auction and reaching stupendous prices. Nor is it one of the very small run of authorised Schecter replicas, also very rare.

I happened across an advert for these guitars online. It was relatively inexpensive, so I thought I would take a punt.

The guitar turned up a few weeks after being ordered - from a company in the USA - and was shipped to me quite quickly - from China - and straight out of the box, as you can see, it looks great. Fairly comvincing.

   
Cloud guitar by Sunfield

Looking great is good, but playing it straight out of the box proved just a little bit difficult. I carefully lowered the bridge to get the strings nearer to the pickups and neck and found that some notes choked if I bent the strings.

For that reason, the guitar has gone straight into the very capable hands of my good friends at Jack's Instrument Services in Manchester, where it caused much delight when they saw it.

It needs a fair amount of remedial work, (new bridge support posts and fret leveling) which was an extra expense that I hadn't banked on, BUT as the guitar wasn't that expensive to start with, I took that on the chin.

I ordered a case with it, which didn't arrive. That is now on its way. Their customer service by email is very attentive. I could have bought another case for it here, but it is an awkward size and shape and it doesn't like going in some standard cases.

I will report back when I get it back.
The future is Purple.

I went to see the superb Sparks in Leeds last night with my daughter Rachel and her bump. All fantastic.


Ian Edmundson  

June 1st 2018:
My cancer has been a total pain in the arse. Not enjoyable at all in any way. Unsurprisingly. It has left me feeling quite down about a number of things. Some of the people I have dealt with have been great and some others not so great.

I was operated on at The Christie in Manchester and following a few quarterly reviews, I decided to lighten their caseload a little by having my reviews at Royal Bolton Hospital, which is ten minutes walk from my house. This turned out to be a huge error.



 

I had two phone calls today, as I have requested to go back to the care of The Christie. After over an hour's discussion, I have opted to go under the care of a Urology nurse who has always impressed me, as she is one of the very few people who walks round the place with an air of authority and of knowing exactly what she is doing.


Ian Edmundson

















 

June 2nd 2018:
I love my job.

  


Ian Edmundson  

June 5th 2018:
The Cloud is back and it's great.

Thanks to Jack's Instrument Services for working their magic on it.








 

Prince purple Cloud guitar


Ian Edmundson  

June 18th 2018:
A short while since I have blogged. Sorry. I am a bit lazy in that respect. The band have had a short time off while our guitarist Ian has been on holiday and we have just recommenced  gigging. I have had some awkward problems with reliability with some bass gear recently, which is mortifying  for me and which I am in the process of sorting out. I have not been recording, as I am waiting patiently for some inspiration to hit me. Plus, I have wanted to spend the time off away from my instruments, while I have a chance.


Ian Edmundson  

July 5th 2018:
I have been working on a version of the lovely BLACKBERRY WAY by The Move. I recorded two almost finished versions of it and in the middle of doing the work, I scrapped them both, as the drums were too weak and so I decided that I wouldn't get a decent mix in the end. Here are a couple of photos from the recording of the rhythm guitar on the third version.

Ian Edmundson  Ian Edmundson
























 

The hot weather and some very badly interrupted sleep patterns have currently stopped play on this recording, as I have to conserve my limited energy and more to the point, my limited voice, for band work. I daren't do vocals onto disc if I am singing the same evening.

   
Snippet from the dumped version. Apologies for poor video sound quality.

A couple of new songs coming up for the band, too. I am force-feeding myself repeated plays of  (I just) died in your arms tonight, by The Cutting Crew, a song which I used to play with Ian in Mother's Ruin, back in the 90's. I didn't sing it back then. I am listening to the track while singing and playing bass along with it, so I can get the words into my head.

We are also doing You give love a bad name by Bon Jovi. It's a great tune, but the words are a bit meh, so I have to use a cheat sheet onstage at present, until they sink in. I am pretty terrible at learning new words. I was like this with Highway to Hell by AC/DC for a long time, too.

Photo of stage setup last weekend:

Ian Edmundson

My first PSA test following the radiotherapy was in mid July and the cancer showed as less than 0.01, which equates to undetectable. I am cautiously pleased with this result, but every time I have a PSA test, I know that there could be a small trace reading, which would be a sign of trouble.


Ian Edmundson  

25th July 2018:
The purple Prince Cloud guitar has just gone away to a new home to live a happy future life with a Prince tribute band. I didn't need two Cloud guitars and it has been replaced by a white ESP Cloud guitar and a Fender Precision Bass. Well, that is my job - playing bass... I am still no further on with the version of Blackberry Way, but I have not forgotten about it.

I went to watch Del Amitri at the Apollo in Manchester last Sunday. What a great band. The world REALLY needs a new album from them. It remains to be seen though if they think it is worth doing it.

   

I am currently repeatedly digesting their excellent song 'Kiss this thing goodbye', in an attempt to get the lyrics and bassline up to speed for the band. It will make a really good show closer. That means we will probably stick it in the middle of the first set.

Someone asked why there is a face next to every blog entry?
A human being is talking to you, not a machine.


Ian Edmundson  

31st July 2018:
A few name bands are currently parping on nostalgically about having played this venue or that venue on their short run of dates a few years ago, with  sort of tired "Oh, we have worked so hard for you" air about their pronouncements. Some other name bands seem to get very tired very easily - another band stated that they have (gasp) done thirty shows this year and that they are apparently well and truly knackered.

 

Maybe these name bands should try doing well over 120 shows a year, doing their own driving and carting their own gear around and setting every little stick of it up themselves - as well as playing, then dismantling and carting it back to their car and driving home - and maybe even holding down a day job, to remind them of their extreme good fortune.

The only name band I know who can escape ridicule for saying how many shows they play is Cheap Trick, as they play a huge number of shows every year, all over the USA, and wear their hard work as a badge of honour - no complaints of exhaustion, even though they are (ahem) clocking on a bit,


Ian Edmundson

Friday August 3rd 2018:
It's been a funny old week.

On Tuesday, while out walking my two dogs, I spotted a little girl, quite some way off in the distance, chasing a dog that was running loose a short distance from my house. As I got home, I saw the dog going up our street, with the little girl still in pursuit. When I got home, I let the dogs in and walked down the street with a lead and harness. The girl had stopped the dog and I was not very prepared for what I saw.

 

He had obviously been hit by a car and was limping on his back left leg and bleeding profusely from his mouth. Really bleeding.

He went into the harness without argument and I got him back to our house, rang the local vets (then the RSPCA for a reference number, as the vets needed someone to say they would pay for the treatment) and into our car and straight off to the vets. He was seen very quickly, as an emergency case. The dog was quite placid throughout all of this - He must have been well in a state of shock. The vet looked him over and said it would be antibiotics, then an x-ray. He thought his jaw may be broken.

The dog was not chipped and neutered. The vet sees this a lot. It irritates me. People can get this done free or very cheap. I took a photo that did not really show how bad he looked and put it up on Facebook. It got just over 200 shares and everyone pulled together to find the dog's owner.

It worked. The dog's owner has been in touch with me to thank me (not required) and told me that Harley has had some bandages on his legs, a tooth removed and some stitches in his mouth. I have asked to see the dog again when he's up to it. We look to be getting together at some point next week. Looking forward to seeing him fit and well. He's quite a lucky dog that his injuries were not more serious than they were. He had walked a long way from his home in that state.

Wednesday, I was going to go to the jam night in Hindley in the evening, but fell asleep after our evening meal and only woke up 20 minutes before it started, so I cried off.

Thursday morning saw me wake up with a blinding headache, so I went back to sleep and got up quite late. The day was basically totalled. I did quite an amount of admin work for my band and took some bookings for next year. We have a landlord who has 7 or 8 pubs, who has promised to put us on at all of them. Getting him to respond to my emails is a day's hard work on its own. I am not going to rely on him to come through for us.

Ian Edmundson
Friday August 10th 2018:
I bought another brand new Fender bass yesterday.
I've been thinking a lot of the day about why I have still been buying so many guitars this year.

Did I really want it?
    Yes.
Did I need it?
              No, not really.
 


I think I may be depressed.

A lot has changed in my life since I was diagnosed with cancer. I don't have survivor's guilt about where I am with my cancer, as I am really only my next blood test away from possibly being told again that things are not going well. I worry a lot about that. I'm tired a lot. I don't sleep well. My body has changed and not all is as it was - some things present difficulties to me.

My wife is also rather unwell, which is sometimes really disturbing to me. I don't see my children, or my stepdaughter, anything near as much as I'd like, but they have their lives. One of our cats doesn't seem to like us. Most of the things that gave me joy in my life have gone by the wayside.The bottom has fallen out of a lot of the rest of my life, so I compensate and fill the hole by buying guitars, both as tools and as an investment.

My day job and former purpose in life and that identity has gone. All that I do that actually pleases me now is go out and play bass with my band, or at some jam nights. That is my identity now. I am a professional musician. I am a bass player and the singer in a band. I bring home the bacon and tip up my earnings and keep some spending money. I keep all of my reciepts for the taxman for the annual argument. He is not going to like me this year, with all of these guitars arriving.

The buzz of playing a new guitar or bass in my studio room is - I suppose - the equivalent of what some shoplifters say they get from their criminal acts. Having respect for property after working all fo my adult life for all that I own, I now think shoplifting is irresponsible and reprehensible in my 'old age', so out I go buying the damned things. I do like to haggle and price match wherever I can. I do get some small pleasure from the thrill of the chase, then playing the new shiny thing at home and looking at it on a stand, admiringly and putting it on the website and Facebook and seeing if there is any reaction.

I have thought several times about of going to therapy and talking to someone impartial in some depth about my life, but I think I would bore the analyst to death. I went to RELATE for so-called marriage guidance, some years ago, which I reckon was a farce that only made things worse. Say what you think and get it off your chest and the other person then resents you even more for your honesty, because you are being critical of them and their dishonesty and bad behaviour that is slowly killing you. It didn't help.

This blog entry is not in any way a cry for help. It is me thinking out loud while working through my problems. If my buying guitars to enjoy is a problem, or just not having ever grown up, I don't really know. No-one can tell me, either.

And therapy costs a lot of money with no promise at all of working things out.

I might as well spend the money on guitars.


Ian Edmundson


13th August 2018:

My state of mind?


  Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

19th August 2018:
We played a pub gig last night.

When I arrived at 8 pm, the stage area was (as usual for this venue) totally full of tables and I was prepared for the usual battle of wits with the landlord about getting them moved. I took all my gear in and placed it in a huge mound, between various tables, next to where I was going to set up in the corner. I smiled at the couple sat at the next table, but they just looked at me with big eyes and a look of total dumb incomprehension.

 

When I took the covers off the amps, they seemed to finally get the picture and moved a couple of tables away. The landlord saw me setting up without moving any tables at all and was, for once, shamed into asking if we needed some tables moved. 'All of these that are in the stage area' I said. So, with a look of sadness and bewilderment, he moved all of them a few feet forward, except the ones where the couple were now sat, leaving no room for our guitarist and still not much room for our trio.

Our drummer was at his wife's (significant) birthday bash, so we used a very good stand-in for the night (Steve, who covered for Graham's absence last year, after his operation). When he turned up, the couple looked alarmed, but stayed put. Up went the kit. Then our guitarist arrived. I got his amp into the room and put it right in front of one of the couple sat where he needed to be, on the floor by the blokes foot. They took the hint after a pile of equipment came in and was placed all around them, so they moved once again. It astonishes me how utterly dim some people are.

As to the what I will laughingly refer to as 'the crowd' that night, they sort of looked at us as if we all had two heads for most of the first half. They didn't seem to undertsand what two guts with guitars and a drummer were doing there, or even clap when we finished playing songs. The atmosphere was totally flat and to be honest, I was dreading the second half, until a few people wandered in. Their faces lit up when they saw us and they sat to watch and actually reacted to what we were doing, unlike all the unresponsive in-breds that were there.

The second half was much better, thanks to the handful of people who took us on while we played, but we only have one more gig there this year and to be honest (again), I think it will be our last one. There are far better places to play. I wish we'd gone to Graham's wife's birthday bash instead.


Ian Edmundson

20th August 2018:
We were talking to one of our friends last night about our mutual dear friend Margaret, who had been admitted to hospital when another woman driver (I'm not being sexist, it was just a woman driver) rear-ended her stationary car at high speed and pushed it into the back of another stationary vehicle, destroying the car completely. She had to be cut from the wreckage. The photos I have seen of the car are terrifying. Marg had a broken vertebrae and her future mobility was in question. What a senseless thing to happen. Geoff had been talking to her earlier in the day and she sounded tired but on the up.

 

Sadly, she had some setbacks during the day and her relatives were called to the hospital.

She passed away at 6am this morning, We got a call at 8.20am and I knew what it was about as soon as the phone rang. I straightaway got a migraine attack and later on, when I was at the hospital for an x-ray and appointment with my surgeon concerning my shoulder, I started to feel really violently sick.

We will miss her dreadfully. This is so very sad. She was one of our very closest friends. Sleep tight, Marg.



Geoff, Marg and Lynda outside my favourite pub.


Ian Edmundson

29th August 2018:
This weekend The Three are playing a show on The Great Lawns at Rivington. The show is being put on to thank the absolute heroes of the Fire Brigade for their work putting out the fires in that area, that could be seen and smelled from all over Bolton. They had 34 fire engines on the job at one point.

Over 2000 tickets have been sold and the event is being filmed. Better polish a couple of basses.

  I generally need a couple of projects to keep me busy.

* The band is already approaching 3/4 booked up for next year.
* The band is also doing a side project (GLAMM) which will hopefully take some of our schedule up.
* I am doing two college courses, related to Photoshop, up to July next year.
* I am writing a Slade book with a friend.
* I will be doing a photobook about my guitars.
* I also have songs that need recording.
* My memoir needs looking at again, too.
* My daughter is expecting her own daughter in September.
* And I have dogs to walk.

Ian Edmundson

2nd September 2018:
The Big Thank You gig at Rivington was quite an adventure. The highlight was probably being taken up to the concert site in a trio of jeeps and then coming back down, all squashed together into one. We played well enough on the day and had a crowd exceeding 2000 people. Yes, we DID play 'Fire Brigade'. Obviously, they were not all there just to see us, but everyone seemed to have a great time and we were really pleased to be part of it. We arrived late and exhausted at The Old Three Crowns in Bolton, but played to the smaller crowd there and had another different good time. A good day.


Ian Edmundson
9th September 2018:
Another interesting gig for the band, last night.
We played as support to the excellent QueenEsque in Bolton. I think we did a convincing enough set on the night. We picked some of the strongest numbers from our first set, including the big medley (the Ace up our sleeve) and finished with a couple of 70's glam tunes. We seemed to go down quite well with the crowd, which included a few of our supporters. Thank you for turning up, guys.
 

I sometimes have issues with some tribute bands. They either don't look or sound like the original band and Queen - along with Slade - are surely one of the very hardest to get right. QueenEsque seem to be picking up a lot of festivals and looking at the effort they put into their show, you can see why. Going off what I saw, they sound very creditably close to the real thing. They don't all try to look exactly like the original line-up, but their Freddie is bob-on and even has his own moustache. Their set list was cracking. I really enjoyed them.

We'd happily play with them again.


Ian Edmundson

11th September 2018:
Our beloved Tilly has been missing for six days now and we are at the point of fearing the worst. I held her when she was a few days old and have adored her from the very first second I saw her. I wake up in the night worrying about her and in the morning again worrying about her. I have walked the streets calling her in the early hours, hoping she has only just strayed a little further than round the corner at a neighbours house.

 
Ian Edmundson
18th September 2018:
Tilly is still missing and a dead cat was apparently found down the road on the day that she disappeared, so reluctantly we are doing the math and thinking that it may have been her. I am still looking at people's windows rather than the road, when I drive near our house, in case she is peering out at me. I miss her horribly. Early morning sunshine meant she would chase the reflected sun off my phone. That's my mornings ruined, now.
 

35000 words into the Slade book now and still a lot more to do. It's fun, but tiring.

I am also having fun (if that's the right word), once again, dealing with the licensed trade.

One venue we played at underpaid us earlier this year and they wrote in the diary that they would pay us the balance next time we played, as 'the till had gone upstairs'. On reminding them of this (their mistake), a frost fell over proceedings. Trying to get them to respond over next year's bookings is now an adventure.

Another landlord, who is actually keen to book us for his 7 venues, doesn't have time to look in his diary. I have an impressive email trail back and forth with this chap. It makes comical reading.

I am nearly on a two week break from the band.
I am not going to pick up a diary, a phone, or a guitar, if I can help it.


   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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