The Anonymous Widower

The Pop Group That Saved A City With A Little Help From Their Friends

It is the fiftieth anniversary of the release of one of the best albums of all time; Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I bought the album and still have it somewhere.

But I don’t think most people understand how the Beatles changed a city completely.

Liverpool in the sixties had nasty undercurrents of violence and religious hatred. But  in the five years, I lived in the city, these changed for the better, with the rivalry being transferred to support for your favourite group or football team.

Liverpool acquired a belief that it could take on the world and win.

Now, when I go back regularly, I find a confident, bustling, modern and friendly city, that compares to any in the world.

But what would have happened if the Beatles hadn’t?

April 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Visit To New Brighton

I hadn’t been to New Brighton since C and myself went during Panto Week, to see Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Fortunes at New Brighton Tower Ballroom. Tickets had been sold in aid of Panto Week.

I don’t remember much of the night, except for Gerry Marsden complaining about the piano and walking off.

The Fortunes rescued the night by playing both spots.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Music Across Races And Ages

The Times this morning has a small article which is entitled Chuck Berry To Release New Album At 90.

I was on a bus, when I rode it and showed it to black lady next to me, who must have been in her early twenties, saying that I had seen Chuck Berry in the sixties, at the Regal in Edmonton.

We were both surprised though, that Chuck Berry was still recording at 90!

We chatted for a minute or so, before she got of the bus.

I do think though that certain strands of music will always appeal to a very wide variety of individuals.

 

October 19, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

You Know It’s Glastonbury Time!

Last night on the Overground, an attractive young lady was humping a large rucksack, with a pair of enormous brand-new rubber boots tied to the bottom.

I said “It’s obvious that you’re going to Glastonbury!”

She said “Yes!” And smiled!

I wonder how the sales of boots leap at this time of the year. And do any of them ever get worn again?

June 25, 2015 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment

Lunch With A Swing In Spitalfields

Sometimes on a day when the weather is good, I go for lunch in Leon’s in Spitalfields.

Today there was a free bonus cabaret with every meal! And the brave could dance! Which I’ve never been able to do!

The girls are twins and go by the name of Twin Swing. They probably fall into the “Twice the fun, but double the trouble” category. All my experience with children growing up leads me to the opinion that boys are more difficult, but I’ve met a couple of sets of very naughty girl twins. Boy twins on the other hand seem to behave well, except perhaps for Ronnie and Reggie.

They are appearing at the Waldorf Hotel on the 19th of July as entertainment for the Traditional Afternoon Tea. It’s all reported here in this article in the East Grinstead Courier. The report contains this immortal line.

Lingfield twins Jessica and Emily Evans, both 24

It would be rather unusual for twins to have different ages.

 

June 24, 2015 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

A Brass Band At Spitalfields

It’s good to have read music and this brass band were in Spitalfields.

It reminds me of the time a few years ago, when Ipswich played in Luxembourg and fans were playing musical chairs with a brass band in the main square. Hilarious!

December 6, 2014 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

Only In Liverpool

With all the political correctness these days, you don’t see many adverts like this.

Only In Liverpool

Only In Liverpool

As I will have left Liverpool long before Thursday, I can’t go!

Is there another city in the world, where a large proportion of the population are comedians?

September 22, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Film That Changed My Life!

Last night, I went to the Hackney Picturehouse to see the newly-remastered digital version of Hard Day’s Night.

The film was originally released in July 1964 and I probably saw it that summer or soon afterwards. I remember I spent that summer in London, as I was working at Enfield Rolling Mills, in the Electronics Laboratory, putting little bits of automation on metal processing machinery.

There was a mixed-sex group of us at school, who spent time together and went to parties, plays and events. Some of us may have gone to see the film together after the summer. We did go to see the Beatles in Hammersmith that Christmas, which was a night I’ll never forget.

But whenever and wherever I saw Hard Day’s Night for the first time, it had a tremendous effect on my life.

I often wonder, if I’d not seen the film and the Beatles live, whether I would have ever considered going to Liverpool University. If I hadn’t, I’d have never met C and my life would have been completely different.

Since that first viewing, wherever it was, that film has always been one of my favourites and I’ve seen it many times. But not as many times, as I would have liked, as C never liked to see a film too many times.

So it was an absolute joy to see the film last night.

The cinema was surprisingly full for a Monday night and the audience was generally about fifty upwards, although there were a few children and teenagers there, with a sprinkling of twenty- and thirty-somethings.

The film still has all the power to delight and inspire and I suspect it will be doing so for many years yet.

As I said to a young couple as I left the cinema last night, the film proved to me that we could all have dreams and live them! I certainly have lived my life to the full!

Without the Beatles and a Hard Day’s Night, the world would be a very much poorer place.

I’d probably have gone to a third-rate University and ended up back in Felixstowe in a semi with  a thick ugly wife and 2.4 children. Perish the thought!

If Hard Day’s Night comes to a cinema near you in the next few months, then go and see one of the most significant films of the 1960s, that did a lot to redefine modern cinema.

 

July 8, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

My Musical Taste

As a teenager growing up in North London in the 1960s, I saw a lot of the bands of the time.  I saw the Stones, the Animals, Adam Faith and quite a few others at the Regal Cinema in Edmonton.

We also mounted a school outing in 1974 to see the Beatles, supported by the Yardbird, at Hammersmith Odeon.

At Liverpool in the 1960s, the University always had the best bands and I saw such as the Who, Manfred Mann, John Mayall and many others on Saturday nights at the Mountford Hall in the Student Guild.

At that time, I also went to various concerts in London and saw Eric Clapton with John Mayall at the Manor House, with to say he got paralytic would be a severe understatement. I was also at Cook’s Ferry Inn, when the Animals tried out the possible replacements for Alan Price.

My going to concerts stopped around the late 1960s, as I was married and as our children were born in 1969, 1970 and 1972, we went out less and less.

It was about that time, that I discovered Dory Previn, for whom I have had an admiration ever since. I actually saw her in concert at the Donmar Warehouse  sometime in the 1980s.

It is true to say that Liverpool, the 1960s and Dory Previn defined by musical taste.

I have only ever been to the occasional classical concert over the years, although C and I did go concerts featuring such as Cleo Laine. But she wasn’t a great concert goer either. In her last years, she did listen to classical music in her car.

I have never listened to music, whilst I work, usually I’ll be watching sport on television, or listening to it on the radio. If it’s not sport, it’s either news or a documentary. I make it a point not to watch any drama series these days, although, I’ll go and watch a film or a play.  But I never watch films on television or at home.

Now, I don’t even have a DVD player. And I’m not even sure where the DVDs are!

The only concert I’ve been to, since I moved to London, was to see Kate Dimbleby sing Dory Previn, although I did see the Glasgow Citizens Theatre production of Backbeat.

Where music is concerned, I’m probably a lost cause.

June 21, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is one of the landmarks of Berlin.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

I remember standing here a few years ago with C discussing the merits of one of the most radical reconstructions of a bomb-damaged church. I think we disagreed, in that she disliked it and I liked it.

It is certainly a different approach to that used at Coventry Cathedral.

In some ways though perhaps the approach taken at Liverpool with the church of St. Luke is more honest, as you are showing war in all its horror. It was after all, C’s favourite church.

In some ways that fact, illustrates her attitude to religion.  When I met her, she went to church regularly and had even as a fifteen-year-old a few years earlier, made the decision to change parishes. By the time she died in terrible pain, she had no faith left!

She would be horrified at what is going on in the world in the name of religion.  Surely no-one of a sane mind could approve some of the atrocities perpetrated in the name of gods in the last few years.

Surely now over 70 or so years after the end of the Second World War and over fifty years after he first performed it, Bob Dylan’s, With God On Our Side rings even more true.

April 30, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment