Monday, 26 August 2013

Random musings on a Bank Holiday Monday morning

Just a few stray thoughts while I'm having a quiet chill-out morning, ahead of hopefully having a long walk and possibly a picnic this afternoon. ( All dependant on the mercurial British weather, of course... )

I found the above photo of Matt Smith's original 11th Doctor costume fittings here.  Before reaching Smith's favoured bow tie / tweed jacket combo a few different looks were considered. Check out the link for a few more. I'd heard that the BBC were pushing Smith towards a piratical kind of look  -  his pained facial expressions hilariously show his feelings about that. The above look is quite cool, although probably too cool for the "hipster boffin" that is the 11th Doctor, and too similar to David Tennant's style. It will be interesting to see how Peter Capaldi's new look turns out. I just hope he isn't stuck with one "costume" because that can get boring very quickly and the way Matt Smith's outfit subtly changed over three years shows how it can be done well.
Although I can't see the Beeb going for the above look...

Speaking of Mr. Hendrix, I recently saw a musician mate of mine ( well, technically, he's a drummer ha ha ) talking on Facebook about how much he HATED ( the capital letters are his ) Jimi Hendrix... and these guys too...


Each to their own, of course, but I find it quite staggering for someone who loves music ( even a Punk drummer ) to not be able to find something of value in the above artists' music. To a lot of people, I suppose, Hendrix was just seen as the purveyor of noodling, lengthy solos and jams, biting and humping his guitar while wearing outrageous clothes and hats. In reality, he was far, far more than that. A supreme musician ( possibly really a blues or jazz alchemist forced into a rock 'n' roll role ) who was capable of moments of pure beauty and tenderness amongst all the noisy excess, with an unfailingly idiosyncratic, poetic song-writing style. You can read more of my thoughts ( should you wish to ) on James Marshall Hendrix here...

With the Beatles ( see what I did there? ) the problem is often the perceived "nice boy" image that puts people off... as opposed to those nasty, exciting rock 'n' roll rebels the Rolling Stones. Of course, that perception is fundamentally bollocks. The Beatles were genuine working-class rock 'n' rollers who had served their tough apprenticeship in the rough dives of Hamburg, while the Stones were, with the exception of Cheltenham-born Brian Jones, relatively posh, middle-class kids posing as hard men. The Beatles' image had originally been softened by Brian Epstein to gain mainstream acceptance and it seemed to colour people's judgement of the band ever since. Talking of colour...
 As for their music, well...
The Beatles' musical journey took them from the clunky Mersey Beat of Love Me Do, through the scorching rock 'n' roll of I Saw Her Standing There and the game-changing jangle of Ticket To Ride, on through the acid-drenched likes of Strawberry Fields Forever and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, to finish up with the sheer beauty of Abbey Road's "Long Medley"... all in 8 (!!) years. The Stones, in the same time period, went from blues and country rock to, er, blues and country rock...
Anyway, rant over... but if anyone says they HATE the Fab Four it makes me wonder if they've ever really listened to them :-(
On a totally different subject, here's me and my wonderful friend Kevin at the 2013 Frocester Beer Festival a couple of days ago. ( As ever I'm managing to look awkward in front of a camera, and Kev's looking perfectly natural. How does he do it? ) I'd never been to a beer festival before ( well, I tried to get into Frocester with some mates when we were about 17 but we got turned away... ) so it was a whole new experience for me. Kev's had some tough times lately so I went along to give him some support and we had a great afternoon, followed by a good meal in the evening. As I don't really drink nowadays, that pint glass in my hand was really just for show. I walked around for about four hours with the same half-pint sloshing around in the glass... but I would have looked odd without any beer :-)
Alcohol is one of the things ( like coffee, sugary foods, cake etc. ) that I just don't seem to want since I finished my radiotherapy. My dietician told me that I'd basically de-toxed my system during the month or so when I didn't eat anything ( and lost 3 stone in weight! ) and may never want those things again. But, who knows? Maybe next year I may fancy a pint or two and go back to Frocester to do it properly. Watch this space...
Back in the (un)real world of TV, James and I watched the first episode of the Stephen King-adapting Under The Dome last night and were very impressed. Although I couldn't watch it without thinking of The Simpsons MovieI found the show's pilot to be gripping stuff, effectively introducing characters and mysteries and laying bare the unpleasant side of a seemingly normal American small town. The arrival of the unseen dome was skilfully handled with some excellent special effects and convincing, realistic reactions from the characters. Definitely one to watch...

Th-Th-That's all for now, folks. Time to get off my arse and do something :-)

Soundtrack: Marquee Moon by Television

4 comments:

M. D. Jackson said...

Lots of good stuff in this post and not enough time for me to comment on anything properly. I hadn't thought about the working class origins of the members of the Beatles as compared to the relatively posh background of the Stones. It seems obvious once you say it and it really puts a lie to that "good boys/bad boys" dichotomy that is foisted upon them in music documentaries and the like.

And its good to see you recovering from the chemo.

It's be nice to do a proper chin-wag one day. One of the things I'm itching to do is a lot more traveling and heading out your way is certainly one of my goals (time and money allowing, of course, as always)

cerebus660 said...

Hi Mike! Thanks, as ever, for stopping by and for the kind words.

The image and/or class backgrounds of the Beatles /Stones shouldn't make a difference to how their music is appreciated ( especially in these allegedly more enlightened times ) but it still seems to be a stumbling block for some people. And, much as I love the Stones at their late '60s / early '70s peak ( Tumblin' Dice, Give Me Shelter etc. ) they always seem to play variations on the same old stuff, whereas the Fabs were always reaching for something new and different...

Mike, if you ever make it across to the UK ( and specifically to this abandoned backwater of England known as Gloucester ) it would be a pleasure to properly meet you and have a chat. Maybe one day...

Kid said...

Ah, you'll be off to buy your boxed set of Jim Reeves CDs from HMV eh?

cerebus660 said...

Kid, I can remember my Nan liking Jim Reeves... but it wasn't for me - too cutting-edge, I suppose :-)

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