One Of The Banned

Whenever I see something that I think will interest Jim these days I can’t think of any other way to try to get it to him than to just….post it here. As if he would visit here! But…how else am I meant to do it? There’s no point posting anything via SM social media – he’s never there. Those days are gone.

For fear of sounding like the continual scratched record – I miss being able to easily get to share these things with him. Just to highlight something that I’d think would intrigue him and it might have invoked a ‘conversation’ (commas needed, as it would be a written thing rather than an oral dialogue).

Anyway, I digress.

This is from Reason magazine. I was only looking through it for the first time ever today and their main feature in the magazine was looking at books that had been banned. The Master and Margarita was one of the books they covered. I thought the piece might be of interest to Jim, and/or Charlie. It made me wonder whether Charlie ever got my version of Behemoth that I painted for him – and whether he actually kept it if he did?

I may actually have to revisit the book, seeing how much I have been enjoying the religious studies element of my study so far.

Themes For Great Cities – Other Reviews

There have been some other great reviews coming in for Graeme Thomson’s Themes For Great Cities book.

Firstly, Classic Pop magazine gave a glowing review. And recently, both Uncut and Electronic Sound magazines have reviewed it. The Electronic Sound review is succinct yet wonderfully positive. The Uncut review gives the book an 8/10 and its opinion of Graeme Thomson as a writer is wholly positive, but the rest of the review is rather backhanded and quite dismissive and scathing of the band. Almost as if the reviewer wondered why Thomson had bothered to waste his talent and energy in telling the Simple Minds story? Well, that’s how the review read to me anyway.

See what you think…

I still think my own review is the best of the lot of them so far. And I don’t usually plug myself with this much bravado! You can read my review HERE – and don’t forget that I am running a competition to win one of two copies of the book. Check the review post for details! The comp closes on Sunday, January 23rd.

Graeme himself was pretty awed by my review, as you can see below… I admit to being quite stunned by his reaction to it. And very humbled. A few tears were shed.

Santa’s Christmas Day Delivery

Of course Santa seemed to arrive early to Casa Read with the arrival of Graeme Thomson’s Themes For Great Cities (which I am just under halfway through and absolutely ITCHING to review here – but want to complete it first) a few days ago.

But he returned yesterday to deliver these…

All gratefully received. Books of Brilliant Things and BAKLAWA! GET IN!!! (MA BELLEH!!!)

Glasgow 1978-1979 – Virginia Turbett – Cafe Royal Books

I had this arrive in the post this morning. It’s a piece of sobering beauty of the city’s recent past.

Virginia’s association with Glasgow goes far beyond her work of capturing Simple Minds in the early 80s. Her brother was a social worker in the city and so she would visit often. And her work wasn’t solely confined to rock photography, for she also did a lot of editorial work as well.

In visits to the city during 1978 and 1979, Virginia pictorially documented life in Glasgow. Selected photos now showcased in a photobook published by Cafe Royal Books.

These photobooks are available to purchase through the Cafe Royal Books website (link below) for £6.50 each (plus postage).

Cafe Royal Books

Rock Secrets – Jim Kerr and Billy MacKenzie

This book was produced by Virgin Records in 1982, and asked rock and pop stars of the time a standard Q and A. About 40 of them were printed in the book, including one “mystery star” who if you could name and send in a postcard to Virgin with your answer, you could win a cash prize.

I couldn’t work out who it was. I’ll share the relevant pages in the days to come, so you can have a go at solving the puzzle.

I had seen the one of Jim shared on Twitter some months back and I had genuinely thought I’d posted about it here but seemingly hadn’t.

I certainly remember the “lips, hips and quick wit” turn-ons making an impact and me thinking “well, I’ve got one out of three”. Lol. The only thing I have ever liked about myself are my lips.

I think he should have specified that the “hips” need to be slim and not child-bearing.

Quick wit? Yeah, I fucking wish! Yeah, he’s seen how “quick-witted” I am in front of him. Lol. More like “fuck-witted”. Nope! I’m the kind of person who thinks of a great come-back or put down HOURS after the event…or even the next day. No “quick wit” here.

So…decent lips, hips the size of a house and a slow, dumb fuck. Catch of the century! Lol

Oh…those boots! We agree on them, Jim.

“The cafes of Europe”! Hark at you! Mr Glasgow! Lol. I do love the inverted snobbery you’d sometimes exude. oh, why the hell not! Who could blame you? I’d be doing the same.

I would dream of a couple of hours in a tearoom with you. Sipping lapsang souchong and eating finger pieces and the loveliest, airiest scones – seeing as you don’t “do” dairy – what’s in place of the clotted cream, Mr Kerr? I’m having clotted cream on mine…with the most delicious wild Scottish raspberry jam. Cream first!

Yes. I still have such daydreams. My subconscious certainly wouldn’t allow me to have such wonderful imaginings during my sleep. I never dream about you now. Even in my sleep, too much “reality” creeps in.

Anyway…Stuart Holland posted Jim’s Q and A on SMOG and reminded me of it. I then went back to Twitter to hunt down exactly where this thing came from and found the source. Amazingly, someone was actually selling a copy on eBay, so I grabbed it.

I might share one or two others some time, but for now, here are Jim’s and Billy MacKenzie’s…

The Best of 2020?

Of course, the “Best Photographer” award for 2020 COULD go to someone for their work that had to wait 40 years to be seen – Mr Ronald Gurr…and the offering below….

But I jest…at least on offering up the award – but the photo is still just absolutely fabulous!

In response to his post today (his “Best of 2020”), here is…part my response to his choices, and part a broader explanation of mine.

And here is my response to him of my choices that I left in the comments of his post. (With replies to him kept in.)

Best Album : In Memory Of My Feelings – Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler
Best Single : Fools Tomorrow – Warm Digits (with a VERY close runner up being Bitter Tang by Michael Rother)
Best Cover Version : Absolute Beginners – Steve Harley
Most listened to song : New Gold Dream 12” German Mix (HONESTLY! Played usually 3 times over most mornings for the past several months)

Best Book : I haven’t read any new books other than…the obvious – but I really, REALLY want to read Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Best Photographer : Chris Leslie/Disappearing Glasgow – DITTO!
Best Podcast : The MainMan podcast (Mr Francis Gallagher’s a very close second!)

Best Film : Haven’t seen a film all year – apart from one documentary (see Best Docu)
Best Series : Not watched a series, either (how does a man who doesn’t like telly watch a TV series? *confused face*)
Best Documentary : Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm
Best Gig : Oh, Jim! Don’t do this to me!!! Let me pre-empt it by saying Copenhagen was BRAW! And…you know…I’m a very lucky girl for seeing both shows, I know! But I saw Bryan Ferry the week before! And…well, that was amazing too! But…for, venue, setting…uniqueness of the experience, band performance – it has to be Field Music at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (sorry, Jim! It was REALLY close though)

Best Journey: COPENHAGEN!
Best Decision : To go to Copenhagen – ALMOST decided against it.
Best Meal : Cafe Andaluz, Edinburgh
Best Drink : IRN BRU (I’ve got the taste for it now)

Worst Moment : How long you got?
Biggest Disappointment : The halting of the 40 Years+ Tour WITHOUT A DOUBT!
Person I’d Most Like To Have A Drink With : My brother, David. (He’d drink me under the table and I’d love every second of it!)
Person I’d Least Like To Have a Drink With : The EX president.

Biggest Thrill: Seeing Loch Lomond with my own eyes.

That’s it…on the spot, without much time to think. 

Happy New Year, Sir 😘😘

Some Waffling And Some Beauty

Some videos, the book I discuss in one of them, as well as the talk of it being Kerrsday and my favourite photo of the most beautiful man on earth! (Yeah…I know. Whatever. I adore him. Fuck it. I don’t care anymore.)

Also, on another note, I have just discovered that Bowie’s Ouvrez Le Chien live album is only available to stream and as a digital download. Fucknuts!

Anyway…pics and vid INCOMING!

Photo of Jim featured by the wonderful, amazing Virginia Turbett.

All Of The News – In Two Parts

Geez! I’ve had sssoooo much grief today getting a video up on YouTube! So I had to decrease the resolution of it and THEN break it up in to two parts.

Not that ANYONE gives a rat’s arse anyways…but…well, you know. I just do this shit for my own entertainment anyways.

Nearly SIX hours I wasted on this! For only muggins here to watch. Oh, well. Never mind. At least I like my blog. Lol

P.S. I made sure there was a slight overlap between the two clips. Sorry about that. Just thought it best.

An Independent Socialist – A World In Gray

Please do not be fooled by the blurb you see attached to the video! There really isn’t too much talk about the then imminent Scottish Independence referendum. It really is all about the remarkable Alasdair Gray. A man I wish I had been aware of, learned about and began to have some kind of – albeit without any actual personal interaction with – affinity for while he was still living.

There is a sadness I feel that, having moved to this amazing city just a few short weeks before, that Alasdair left us at the end of December in 2019.

Yes, you have to pay to watch the film – documentary – but if you love art, love the murals around Glasgow, have ever read Lanark or 1982 Janine and loved them – see that mural at Hillhead subway station each day (I can’t tell you how many times I have passed it by already and never realised it was there – with great shame) …

Just watch it.

Even as I am still finding my way through Lanark, I take in all the places I recognise. A number of them are local or not very far away. I even found myself reading a letter to a local paper he had submitted about wondering what was to become of Sighthill (the general area, not the cemetery – that wasn’t the topic of Gray’s letter) It is literally just up the road. Just go down to the end of the adjacent street, past the bowling green, round the corner, past the speedway track – up Finlas Street turning into Carlisle Street, until it meets Keppochill Road – and there you are. Sighthill Cemetery. Three weeks ago I didn’t even know it existed! There is NOTHING to mark it out on Google Maps. A few times coming down the A803 from the city centre by car or on public transport I could see there were some graves but I had assumed it was attached to a churchyard – not an actual full cemetery. A cemetery so vast that – as far as I am aware, only the Necropolis is larger (although trying to confirm this with research would indicate Sighthill is larger in acreage so I am a bit confused). Needless to say it is a large expanse and perplexing not to be revealed on a map!

Gray within the pages of Lanark seems to mention a street nearby, Ashfield Street. There is only one Ashfield Street in all of Glasgow. A few Ashfield Roads but no “street”. Only this one. It must be it! And there is talk of Riddrie where he grew up and the area that is now know as Robroyston but was once Garngad – all not terribly far away, further over to the east and north of us on the other side of Bishopbriggs.

But I shall stop waffling and let you watch it! I found it enthralling.