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Topics - Alan

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World Chat / Sex & Drugs and..Pensions
« on: June 27, 2003, 12:03:00 PM »


June 27, 2003

Sex and drugs and . . . pensions
By Grainne Gilmore and Paula Hawkins
THEY are the unsung heroes of rock ’n’ roll — the men and women who tune guitars, set up amplifiers and drive the band from town to town. Save for the occasional homage from songsmiths of a more grateful bent, the common “roadie” rarely merits more than a footnote in the “sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll” histories of many great bands.
But that may all be about to change — at least, if Billy Bragg, the singer-songwriter has his way. At Glastonbury today, Bragg will launch the Roadcrew Provident Syndicate (RPS), a scheme to offer financial advice tailored to the needs of roadies too old to rock, but too young to die.

The venture is intended to improve the lot of roadcrew operatives, many of whom struggle to buy insurance and pensions from mainstream firms. It’s not quite the fame and glory that many of their bosses enjoy, but it’s a start. Bragg says that insurers are unwilling to cover individuals who spend part of their working day dangling from rigging 60ft in the air, while pensions providers shun the craft because of the sporadic nature of employment. As a result, many fall into financial hardship once they hang up their blue suede shoes.

One roadcrew member said: “I know a lot of roadies who have fallen by the wayside due to a lack of financial security.”

RPS, which has chosen for its logo a skull and crossbones, will be run by the GMB union.

For a fee of £2 a month, roadies will have access to a stakeholder pension from Premier Financial Protection, an independent financial adviser owned by GMB.

Bragg said: “Roadies do everything short of playing the guitar. It is important that they have advice and help.”

Although joining the syndicate will mean automatic membership of the GMB, Bragg said the syndicate would not be a union “in the strict sense”.

from Today's Times

Bugs & Tips / Posting Pic's
« on: June 23, 2003, 05:44:59 PM »
I've noticed that recently some members of the Forum have posted pic's in their messages - how do you do that? And, I guess I should ask, is it a good thing in terms of using up space?


TV Chat / Collaborations...
« on: May 10, 2003, 10:47:07 PM »
TV's had a few collaborations over the years; Kid Strange (Back from the Dead), Tom Robinson (Thin Green Line / Gary Gilmore unplugged etc), Attila the Stockbroker (violin on Runaway Train), and of course DTH on Useless. Which do you think was the best collaboration - and have I missed any?

For my money the best is with DTH, well, its a whole album! But I'm a sucker for Attila's contribution as my first sighting of TV solo was with a double bill of them both, and, they joined forces to do Runaway Train, but without the conga!


World Abused / George W's Rationale?
« on: March 30, 2003, 08:49:12 PM »
Very different to our TV but I recommend you visit:

& download 'Gun Control Solutions' which maybe explains why George W called the war - listen to the end of the song 'cause its got a clever twist!


World Chat / Just what the Captain Ordered
« on: February 23, 2003, 09:07:09 PM »
Lead item on the Damned's news page:

"On the same theme Captain would like you to know about TV Smiths downloadable antiwar single (and website) ... Cap: "It really is excellent and very passionate stuff."

Praise indeed!


TV Chat / Video HITS 2002?
« on: February 06, 2003, 10:24:27 PM »
At Blackpool HITS there seemed to be cameras everywhere filming the various bands (although sadly they were not trained on TV..). Does anybody know if this film is available anywhere or whether its ever been broadcast?


TV Live / HITS '03!
« on: January 31, 2003, 08:24:44 PM »
I've just been on the HITS web-site and the level of acts has suddenly improved!

Assuming the bands are listed and day-order;

Friday; The Damned, The Boys (yipee!), 999, Splodge, NY-Rel-X, and the Slits (or one of them at any rate!)
Saturday; Vibrators, Lurkers, Menace, Adicts
Sunday; UK Subs, Anti-Nowhere-League, the Crack - oh and TV AND BAND!!

Of course I may have got the days mixed up, BUT it's lookin' good!


World Chat / The Greatest Punk DVD
« on: January 26, 2003, 10:32:02 PM »
Hey you might be interested in a punk DVD I stumbled across yesterday called 'The Greatest Punk', sadly there's no Adverts on it but amongst the 18 videos included are '999 - Emergency' (excellent!), 'The Stranglers - Peaches', 'Stiff Little Fingers - Gotta Getaway', 'The Buzzcocks - Promises', 'Public Image Limited - Public Image' 'The Ruts - Something that I said', 'Rich Kids' and 'The Vapors - Turning Japanese'.... And excellent value at £7.99 (incl. P & P at - I paid rather more at my local shop as I couldn't wait...


World Chat / Record Collector
« on: December 31, 2002, 01:20:55 PM »
Good to see in January's issue of Record Collector's "punk special" that 'Crossing the Red Sea' is recognised as being one of the Top 10 Punk Era albums at No. 7, and it promotes the new reissue, in a later section, calling it one of the re-issues of 2002. It also has a great pic of the band... this hot on the heals of Gary Gilmore's Eyes mention in the book 'Uncool' covering the Top 500 singles since Anarchy in the UK.

Oh, whilst writing The Members also just scrape into the Top 20 with 'Chelsea NightClub'....

Happy New YEar one and all!


TV Chat / Second time around...
« on: November 03, 2002, 06:55:45 PM »
I saw this today in  the paper, and thought wouldn't it be great if TV came to the Nation's attention once more... Sadly I suspect this is more aimed at 'pap' (going by the article), and I certainly don't consider TV a 'has-been'...........

Pop Idol tycoon to give has-beens a second break
Maurice Chittenden
THE pop entrepreneur behind Pop Idol and the Spice Girls is planning a television series that gives has-been singers one last stab at glory.
Those who could get a chance to rebuild their careers after years in the wilderness include Joe Dolce, whose creation Shaddap You Face regularly tops lists of the worst songs of all time, and Renato Pagliari, who serenaded his singing partner Renee (real name, Hilary Lester) with the classic Save Your Love in the 1980s.

The new programme has been devised by Simon Fuller, whose recent ITV talent show Pop Idol spawned new stars such as Will Young and Gareth Gates.

Ten singers or groups who have had a hit in the distant past will perform in front of the cameras and viewers will choose who is to survive from one week to the next.

The eventual winner will get a recording contract and an almost guaranteed hit worth at least £1m in sales.

“The working title is Second Chance Idol,” said Fuller in an interview last week. “It’s where we go to people who have had a taste of fame but sadly their candle has been snuffed.”

Fuller, who himself breaks into the top 20 in The Sunday Times Pay List today with earnings of £30m this year, is in talks about the show with Fox Television in America, where American Idol, a spin-off of his Pop Idol series in Britain, has been a huge success.

A British version of the Second Chance show could be on the screens as early as next spring. Other former stars being mentioned for the show include Sigue Sigue Sputnik, the shock-horror pop group, and Chesney Hawkes, whose hit The One And Only was written by the 1980s pin-up Nik Kershaw.

A spokesman for Fuller said: “It’s at the concept stage but it is great fun. I am sure audiences would love something like this.”

Scott Grogan of Fox Television in Los Angles said: “I am sure now that this has broken that we will get calls from people wanting to take part.”

Dolce, 55, interrupted a barbecue at his home in Melbourne, Australia, to put together a list of songs he might sing on the show. “I am always interested in creative ideas and this programme sounds great,” he said.

His numbers would include Ode To Diana, written the day after the princess was killed, Marching With Martin Luther King and an alternative version of Shaddap You Face sung in Aborigine.

“People both love and hate Shaddap. It is that controversy which has kept it alive,” he said. “The only other song like Shaddap I would consider would be Pizza Pizza.”

Pagliari, currently performing nightly on a Caribbean cruise ship, was so excited about the show that he broke into song down the telephone.

Lack of chart success has not left him a pauper. He earns up to £5,000 a week on cruises and has an agent based in Monaco.

But he said: “I am very interested. I wouldn’t do Save Your Love because I don’t want to be remembered as Renee and Renato but as Renato. I wouldn’t want to have to find another Renee.

“Now I do a lot of Pavarotti. My version of Nessun Dorma could win it for me.”
Mind you wouldn't it be good if TV became the new Gareth Gates, well, at least in terms of air-play etc!


TV Live / Cornish TV
« on: October 29, 2002, 11:40:20 PM »
The Cornwall gig looks a little eclectic, Ralph singing 'Streets of London', Squeeze, Tim Renwick and TV all on one bill - its a real shame its just a little too far for me!

I'll be interested to read the review of this one!


TV Songs / TV Repeats
« on: October 26, 2002, 10:47:47 AM »
I've never known a singer re-record so many of their own works; Gary Gilmore's eyes being a case in point - the single, the US album version, thw DTH collaboration, the Tom Robinson unplugged version, the Punk Lurex EP, the Useless version, and, have I missed any?! One Chord Wonders does almost as well, and even Thin Green Line is reinvented for the single versus the original album ditty.

I quite enjoy these TV re-runs, but I can't think of many singers who have been so happy to revisit old ground. It can be quite interesting seeing TV's development, comparing the original One Chord Wonders with the more recent Useless version shows considerable change & development for example. And for me the Lords Prayer is so much more impressive on Useless, almost chalk and cheese.

Any one else have any thoughts on this?


« on: October 11, 2002, 06:01:07 PM »
Well he did it - John Otway is in at No.9 in the charts and he's on Top of the Pops on BBC1 this evening; should be worth a watch!


World Chat / Fred where are you?
« on: October 07, 2002, 08:57:15 PM »

You've gone quiet! We need you back; particularly your lyric rewriting skills!


TV Songs / Psycho Babble....
« on: October 05, 2002, 07:32:43 PM »
I was musing today on what do TV’s lyrics tell us about the man himself? Now I like to psycho-analysis others just like the next man, so I thought I’d give it a go, and my startling conclusion is that TV is a modest, water fearing, sexually repressed, money hating, Buddhist. The evidence? Well its all in those songs we all know and love so well….

No doubt on the modesty front One; Chord Wonders, and Useless, do not just suggest a modest disposition but a virtual inferiority complex!

Aqua phobic clearly. TV has a strong fear of water voiced in such ditties as Big Fish, Walk the Plank and of course Drowning Men. So if you invite TV to your home you’d best close down your swimming pool for the evening, advice that a certain Michael Barrymore would have also benefited from.

The Suit and of course Gary Gilmore’s Eyes clearly show that TV has a strong fear of losing control. Both songs have almost a Victorian horror ethic and perhaps serve to probe deep into TV’s sub-conscious. Or maybe not.

Money also features strongly; Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, Empty Wallet, and of course the wonderful Expensive Being Poor all show that TV has a fear of handling money, and the reason is clear on Immortal rich, TV simply does not want to live forever.

Religion, now I’m not convinced that TV is that religious; Lord’s Prayer, and New Church seem to preach a self-help philosophy, BUT on closer inspection Back from the dead and Ghosts suggest a slight belief in reincarnation, a Buddhist approach to life maybe?

Technology brings him concerns, New ways are best, Silicon valley holiday, the world just got smaller again hint that maybe all new developments are not quite what they are made out to be, whilst We want the road, I looked at the sun, and  Strong horse show that TV would just like to adopt the simple life. Definitely a Buddhist.  

A possible fear of aging is prevalent also, Bored Teenagers,and  No Time to be 21,  show a slight reluctance to accept the aging process, whilst Generation Y seems to signal a confused acceptance. And why the fear of aging? Clearly it is because the world is going to end soon – and nastily. Just listen to the beautiful bomb, Runaway train driver, Tomahawk cruise and Thin green line.

Romance, and sex do not feature at all in TV’s lyrics with the possible exception of Love Songs, but even there TV confesses; “how in all this hate and violence, can something stir inside us”. How indeed. In fact when TV suggests I will walk you home shortly after that very song you wonder who would be brave enough?! The conclusion has to be that TV is sexually repressed.

So there you have it some rather alarming conclusions, but I guess the real question is what does this make us for enjoying this music so much?!!

Sorry TV just kidding.


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