Friday, August 27, 2021

Comic Cuts — 27 August 2021

I'm still piecing together the Action project, with most of the week taken up with adding various quotes to the patchwork that I'm slowly quilting. I also took a bit of time out to relive a bit of punk history, watching the utterly dreadful The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) directed by Julian Temple and the utterly fascinating The Filth and the Fury (2000) directed by the selfsame Julian Temple.

I was not a punk. I didn't particularly like everything that circled around the music. I did like a lot of the music that came out of the scene. I bought my first single aged 11. It was a choice between 'Tiger Feet' by Mud and 'Teenage Rampage' by The Sweet and I chose the latter because I loved the choppy, wailing guitar and changing tempo and vocal styles between Steve Priest and Brian Connolly. By comparison, 'Tiger Feet' bumped along like a metronome designed for square dancing. (The Sweet also released a song called Action, so I have been thinking about them a lot this past week.)

Anyway, I liked guitar-led music which could be cranked up, so punk was perfect. I was 14 by the time the Sex Pistols released "Anarchy In The U.K." (November 1976) and, while I didn't buy it, my neighbour, Eddie, did. So I was able to borrow the single, and later borrowed the album (Never Mind The Bollocks) and others by The Damned, X-Ray Specs and The Clash. The only albums I bought were by The Stranglers (No More Heroes, Black & White), who were more melodic. I think even then I was making a slow but steady move into rock and especially prog rock that is still my favourite musical genre.

During my digging, I discovered that the Sex Pistols played Chelmsford Prison in September 1976, only a few weeks before Action was cancelled. The Stranglers had played there six weeks earlier. Not that I was going to live gigs. I think my first live gig was the Hawklords at Ipswich Gaumont in October 1978. My first festival was Knebworth on 4 August 1979 to see Led Zeppelin. Happy days. Nowadays, the only gigs we go to are comedy shows, of which we have a couple lined up — the first in two years! — namely Lou Sanders (much delayed from March 2020) and Simon Evans.

You'll be pleased to hear that the world is safe from AIs and they won't be taking over any time soon. As I mentioned last week, I have been using them to help me transcribe old interviews and radio shows, and the results are mixed. Among my favourite mistakes so far has been "most mobile order Nelli" for Massimo Belardinelli and "than their 2018" for Dan Dare in 2000AD. It really struggles with 2000AD with 2080 being a favourite. 2018 and 2008D crop up quite a lot. These machines are not a threat.

Yesterday I had my regular blood test  (I'm borderline diabetic) and had the usual problem of getting the needle into a vein. The nurse exclaims, "You have thin veins and they're wiggly," to which I replied, "That's why I would have made a terrible heroin addict." Thankfully she laughed. Bizarrely, we then got into a conversation about transcribing interviews, which she hated doing when she was working on her thesis at Uni. Not just me, then. (Also, she has Windows 365 and was aware of the voice tool it included, but hasn't used it.)

I feel very fortunate that my blood test went ahead — although delayed a fortnight due to the nurse being ill — as there is news that tests are being rationed due to a shortage of blood tubes, the plastic sample bottles that are filled and sent to the analyst's laboratory. The shortage is due to increased demand due to Covid testing.

Also this week I finally, finally got around to sorting out some corrections on a couple of Bear Alley book projects, so there will shortly be available the three Andrew Forrester Jun. titles The Private Detective, Secret Service and The Female Detective, and a French language edition of And the Wheels Went Round (Les roues de la fortune). I'm waiting on proofs, but I should have links posted in the next week or so.

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