Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Brush with the Fuzz - an occasional series - No. 3

First, I just want to set the record straight on something that has been bugging me for a few years. The first Glastonbury festival was not in 1971. It was in 1970. It was also at Michael Eavis's farm in Pilton but somehow the whole event has been swept under the carpet in festival folklore.
My friend Jo had gone a couple of days before with a large quantity of dope. Me and another friend Desmond were in Aylesbury on the friday night without any dope at all, and we so so wanted to get to the festival. It was late and we were walking back from the pub to Des's house. On the forecourt of this garage was an old mini van - I walked up to it and opened the door, and unbelievably the keys were in the ignition. We jumped in and I started the engine and away we went.
After sometime Des climbed in the back to have a sleep and I just carried on driving towards my goal. I was driving through Bath and feeling pretty pleased at the progress we had made so far. About two in the morning disaster struck - we got pulled over by the cops. I slid the window open (remember those windows) and Mr Plod asked me all sorts of questions - where I was going, how long I had owned the vehicle, my name and address - I answered the whole lot, lying through my teeth to every one - came up with a brilliant false name and address in Dunstable without so much as a hesitation.
All the time this was going on Des was hidden in the back under a blanket - I really didn't want them to find him - he was the most disreputable looking character and for sure his appearance would have guaranteed a drug search. Yet again the gods were with me and Plod carried on his way. I drove on a few miles, woke Des up and decided we needed to abandon the mini and get lost pretty quickly ourselves. We got to Shepton Mallet, found a car park, dumped the van and ran. Looking back in hindsight I have to say we panicked unnecessarily there - the chances of that cop checking to see if I'd been telling the truth were pretty slim really.
So we got to the festival and found Jo and this time it was a disaster - the dope was duff.
Again just for the record, the stage was a load of boards on bales of straw. Topping the bill were Quintescence - just one of the many fantastic bands around at the time. Absolutely fucking brilliant.
I spent the weekend with a beautiful girl called Mony who I had met a few months before down in St Ives. At the time she was with another guy, so I was pretty chuffed to find her on her own at Glastonbury. You know those split seconds in life when it could go either way - guess they're every moment if you think about it - but that moment I said goodbye to Mony, can't believe I did that, even to this day.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bad Acid Trips - an occasional series - No.1

It was a beautiful 1968 summers evening and I was working at CBS records sorting out the returns from the shops. Many of these records were faulty and it was our job to play them and see if the supposed fault was in fact true. Often it was no more than an excuse for people to return records they had bought but didn't want to keep. We kept a log of all the returns and then had to throw them in a skip outside.
Well, as you can imagine throwing away Bob Dylan records in perfect order was not an easy task, and it didn't take us long to work out that our meagre wage could be very greatly enhanced by a little bit of what these days we would call recycling. I won't go into the details except to say that just for those few short weeks I had more money than I knew what to do with - just wads of it in every pocket.
We spent the evenings at a couple of pubs in the centre of town. We had what was known in those days 'quite a cool scene' going at those pubs, and there was always a lot of excitement. Loads of drink, loads of dope, and loads of girls - for me as a young guy it was like being in heaven. Anyway to cut a long story short, that night I was well away and we were all outside sitting on the pavement having a great time. My mate Jo came up to me and slipped me a tab of acid, and said, 'bout time you tried one of these Tom'. Well, dropping acid wasn't really in my plans but he caught me with my defenses right down and I popped it on the spot.
Do you know, my only recollection of that first trip was sitting on the pavement looking down at this huge shiny black boot about the size of a football. I looked up to see a policeman's cute little red face under an enormous helmet with a huge silver badge on it. He was looking down at me and he politely asked me to move into the side to make a bit more room for people to walk by. I clearly remember thinking 'Oh shit, this could be bad. I have no idea what is going on at all, and I'm pretty sure I need to stay just here right now'.
What seemed like forever passed by and finally he walked on his way - thank the lord, the gods were with me that night.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll (especially sex)

So did you hear about the two antique dealers who got washed up on a desert island with a chippendale cabinet, They got very rich over the years selling it back and forward to each other over and over, making a profit on each deal they did.

Last night my wife and I were invited out to dinner with a few old friends - of course I really didn't want to go, being the miserable unsociable git that I have become over the last 50 or so years on the planet, but actually I really enjoyed the whole evening. I do have to be a little careful at events like this cos I have this thing where if I drink too much wine I get very loud, and start to say a few things without thinking too much about the consequences. See normally I am a very quiet guy who considers his words and weighs up exactly what each situation can take in the way of humour, politics, religion or whatever. There are only a few people who really ever hear what I truly think about things - I've got few enough friends as it is.
Anyway, one interesting discussion centred around my inability to understand how wealth is created. I have thought about this for a long time (like for years), even to the point where I have actively sought out and questioned people who call themselves economists, but to date I still don't understand how it happens. It could just be that I am simply not smart enough to get this I guess.
But thinking about those two guys with the Chippendale cabinet - that is kind of the situation we are in isn't it. We have these resources that we buy and sell, and wealth gets created, but I just can't understand where it comes from. See if someone in our local hippy town comes up with some new fad, like emotional whatever techniques, and some other guy goes and buys it for £60 an hour, he's got to get that £60 from somewhere, so he has to sell something he does to get his money, but those people that buy whatever he is selling have to sell something themselves to get their money, and so on and so on. So the original guys new idea is creating wealth, but that money to buy it off him has to come from somewhere. So I reckon someone somewhere has to be losing out badly. Wealth can't come from nowhere. My hunch is it coming from explotitation of the third world - I bet the profit is coming from exploitation of labour, just like Karl Marx said all those years ago.
Just tell me if I'm wrong, one of you clever fuckers out there.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sweet Baby Jesus - some highlights of my life

Do you know, and this is God's honest truth right, once I was making love to a woman and that's what she cried out. That brought a smile to my smug little face.
But on a more serious note, I once hit a six into the river at Lustleigh cricket ground - now that was satisfying cos I hated those bastards. That was not the only good thing that happened to me as far as the glorious game was concerned. I was once top scorer in a house match at my goddam awful grammar school that I went to. I hated the games teacher and he hated me so it was very satisfying to walk off the field top scorer and 'not out' and look him in the eye and smile. What a sweet day.
One day when I was at Home Park with my two boys, the officials were drawing out the half time lottery, and my son quietly said to me, 'Dad, we've won'. Picking up that cash after the match and sharing it between me and all my kids was fun.
Seriously now, and this is an important highlight here, so concentrate ok, working out that how you feel can be more about what is happening inside you rather than what's going on in the crazy outside world. Boy, that made a big difference to my life I'll tell you.
And finally, and I can't say getting married to my wife was the happiest day of my life, but as she is standing here looking over my shoulder at what I type, I'd better just say, it was one of the best days and I love her.
See ya.