Showing posts from October, 2008

Jeff Beck at Ronnie Scotts

Last week the BBC showed film of Jeff Beck playing at Ronnie Scotts at the end of 2007. Stunning. Breathtaking. Genius. Jeff Beck has for a while been one of the few guitarists I'd say to people was really still out there being inventive, novel, interesting, different. I saw him live backing up Sting some years back but this TV special was absolutely ace. I think a CD is already out and a DVD to come. There's nothing I can find on the net from that show but here is a taster of one of his tunes.

Buying advice

A friend at work is looking to get a Christmas present for one of her family - a Fender Jazz Bass. Good choice! She has a budget of £500 and ask my advice. I offered the following but made me realise that frankly it's bloody confusing as hell isn't it for someone who knows nothing but what they know the other person wants but they want to buy in secret without that person knowing.... No problem – happy to help. Okay firstly an attempt to quickly unravel the mystery around this… Largely there are three main groupings of Fender instruments. American made – these are the “puka” Fenders made in the Californian factories. Generally considered the pinnacle that people aspire to. I’ll explain more about these in a moment… Mexican made – these are still Fenders but generally not considered the real thing. You have to be careful when buying as these are often refered to as Standard series and I’ve seen Mexican Fenders on eBay with “American” in the title. There is a differ


The other day I was looking at a large sign in the window of a church where I regularly attend an AA meeting. It was advertising an “Indoor boot fair”. I looked at the steps up to the door, there is a ramp but small and twisty. The door isn’t that big either. So I turned to a friend and said – “How do they get the cars in for this indoor boot fair then?” He pondered this – “Presumably you empty your boot and take the contents inside”. He offered. “Wouldn’t that be a jumble sale?” I asked. “Would’ve been in our day” was his considered reply. However another person spotted a similar sign and then we had a conversation about boot fairs vs jumble sales. And rightly he pointed out that for a good old fashioned jumble sale you separated out your crap into, clothes, bric-a-brac, etc. and placed it with other similar items. Whereas in a boot sale, indoor or traditional, basically all your crap is on your table and then the next table is another similar assortment of different categ

Then suddenly it was different... after weeks of effort…

(Bit like the quote from the Roger Miller the singer who said something like “It took me 20 years to become an overnight success”). For anyone who’s followed stuff here or elsewhere before there was a here will know I went through a low patch. I’m slowly coming up the other side. I was sharing about that and some other stuff at an AA meeting last night and as ever in that process I began to realise that things are better than they were a while back, I’m moved on and am getting on with stuff better. As ever though my negative default brain process clicks in and almost demands something more tangible to prove to me this improvement. I try to quell that with “This will pass..” “Time takes time”, “Acceptance is the key” etc. thoughts and application of the programme. Then in my inbox this morning is an invite from a Prof at a learned university to step in at the last min as a speaker at an international conference next week. Someone can’t now make it and they know of some work I

Happiness is the Road

The new Marillion album has arrived in it’s jiffy bag. A double CD with two books of photographic art work, lyrics, credits and of course the list of nutters from the Marillion “family” who parted with their hard earned cash some months back to pre-order and hence pay for the production before a note was played. So yes my name is in there. Marillion have pioneered the use of the internet to connect directly to their fans since the 90s and this is the third album they have funded through a direct appeal to the faithful to pay for a special issue of the finished result before they begin to make it. This one is currently only available direct from Marillions on-line store . Like many of their albums after the first listen through I’m thinking… “Hmm need to listen again”. After another few listens (despite my daughters protests) it’s a classic Marillion album. Very much more Marbles than Something Else was. The lyrical concepts are pretty neat as well. It’ll be in the player fo

she's back

After over two weeks and just when we thought there was no possible hope my mother-in-laws cat has reappeared. She'd been less than half a mile away and via the cats protection league she's back home now. The lady who had been feeding her had no idea who she belonged to. a happy ending...

Gig Review – James Blunt

I took Mrs F to see James Blunt at the O2 arena last night. Second time I’ve now been to a gig at the O2, my son took me to see the Metallica fan club show last month there, which I missed a review on as that was during blog hiatus… Just for the record, bloody brilliant, bonkersly loud and all very Metallica. I’m very impressed with the O2 as a venue given there are loads of restaurants in the building, for us it’s only 50 mins drive away and the parking is really close if expensive (£20) but then we can leave the gig and be home in less than an hour from leaving our seats. As opposed to Wembley, Earls Court or Hammersmith where we’ll be lucky if we’re on a train by then. I’d done very well getting tickets in the third row right in front of the stage. Mrs F was very impressed although we were surrounded by a few slightly worrying JB fans who looked like they might stray into psycho stalker territory on occasion. They were having various chats about how to get backstage after the show

Julian Bream

There was a great programme on BBC4 on Friday night showing clips of Julian Bream from the early 60s through to the 90s. Now I remember him being "the man" of the moment when I picked up classical guitar in the mid 1970s. I remember him being this outrageously ostentatious bloke driving old 30s sports cars etc. Also I remember his facial expressions whilst playing. This programme though was a really good sample of his playing - he is a man with great tone. Here is one of the things I found on youtube. Made me think about getting the old classical out more and trying to knuckle down to playing that more... then the Les Paul called and I was seduced by the mistress of rock n roll - well Red Barchetta by Rush mostly... do you think that was a bizarre round the houses reference re the red sportscar of said Mr Breams?

Great Guitar show

If you've not seen yet the BBC is doing a series on the history of the guitar - I think the 1st part is repeated on BBC 4 this evening at 11pm - set your recorders up now! Here's an example of the exclusive video clips off the web site the BBC has set up.

What’s the bloody point?

I was commenting on another bloggers blog about energy and commitment etc. So here we go guys here’s my major issue at the moment my major character defect that is causing me pain. Sometime ago I used to have the energy thing where I used to throw myself in to something with a passion. Nowadays though I find myself begrudgingly struggling into some action with a continual “What’s a bloody point?” question bouncing in my brain. Why is that? Am I just lazy? Fair question to ask. It may just be that but I don’t think that is it. I do “turn up”. I go swimming quiet a bit, I put in the hours in at work, I attend regular meetings for AA and I so service commitments in AA and again I turn up and contribute there. I regular take my kids to events they want to go to, I do my bit about the house and garden. If I was just lazy surely that’d show through in those kind of things or in how I take care of myself physically etc. So whilst I’m prepared to admit to a bit of that I don’t belie

It's been a week now

My mother-in-laws cat, Mitzi, wasn't well last week - a problem with her kidneys that she's had before. So she got some medicine from the vet etc. but then almost immediately and very unlike her the cat went missing. She's old and a rescue cat who'd been poorly treated so she stays pretty much in the house and the garden. Sadly it's been a week now with no sign of her. It's the not knowing that's the worst bit isn't it.

Missing the boy

Son-of-Furtheron has started at university – he is now in his third week. To be honest it’s been a bit traumatic for us. He really struggled with homesickness at the back end of the first week much more than any of us really expected I think. I wasn’t sure what was best to call him each day or give him distance. The calling each day seems best at the moment. He then got “Fresher’s Flu” no doubt due to the stress, a whole load of new folks in one place, diff living conditions etc. However he is on the mend now and really settling in well it looks like, however the weather has been terrible apparently but then he chose Wales! He scored on the accommodation he is in a revamped block and not close to the noisy pub area but away in the trees. But I’m missing him – it’s now me and the two women in my life. There just isn’t someone who gets my humour or encourages me to turn the music up. On Saturday I sat on a bench like some lost bloody tramp for an age whilst the girls tried on

My birthday…

It was my birthday last week – my belly button birthday as we call them in AA. One advantage of being a recovering drunk is that I get two birthdays!!! My AA birthday – i.e. the day I started to get sober (14th May 2004) and my actual birthday which was last Friday. I had the day off work as Mrs F doesn’t work at school on a Friday and we had the day together. We went shopping at Bluewater – we are so bloody predictable!! So now I’m in my late 40s – I have to be according the family as I argued when I was 44 that I was still in my early 40s they then point out the mathematical inconsistency if 46 is not my late 40s… honestly mid 40s suck they seemed to only last a year. :-) At the shopping centre we bumped into an old school chum of mine and his wife. He hasn’t changed in all the years that have separated us meeting as 11 year olds at the bus stop to head to secondary school in Sept 1974. His son has the guitar bug as well and our music likes still so overlap – he was at Ma

Unfettered capitalism

So is the current money and stock market meltdown the precursor to the end of unfettered capitalism? I don't know frankly but I do sit and wonder about it all. a) how can one bank (HBOS) be under so much threat when others aren't? Is HBOS really that badly run? Or is it that people just hate that goon Howard in the tv ads? b) maybe all those building societies that became banks shouldn't have done. In both the case of the Abbey and Halifax I voted against demutualisation - although I never moved my business. I sold my Abbey shares ages back but held onto the Halifax ones. Whatever given both have been taken over and Halifax / HBOS is about to be taken over again I'm not sure that the few hundred quid everyone got as a result of the demutalisation was worth it now? c) How the hell is Iceland in the position it is? About a year ago I wondered where all the Icelandic money was coming from as some Icelandic consortium bought Army and Navy. Now I know - they didn't h

So I'm back

So I'm back in the world of blogging after a while away. I'm going to try to get back to original spirit I had in my old blog before I seemed to lose the point. So the name says it all really - this'll be about guitars, music, life (mine and others), the funny things I see in the world, the things I don't understand in the world (well some of them maybe - if I go for everything in that category we'll never get finished), and things I learn in the world... Welcome to anyone who comes here to read and comment. However I will moderate comments and reserve the right to not publish comments I don't like or don't want published. Simply put this is my blog and my life and that's my choice I simply ask you all to respect it. Bienvenue, Welcome, Wilkommen...