More loose ends

Jul 10, 2010

ITEM:    I thought that Marvel Comics (or should we call them the Disney Corporation now ?) had purchased the rights to Marvelman so they could quietly bury a character with a similar sounding name to their own. Yet here we are in 2010 with a 6 issue limited series and a book. Who’d have thunk it ? Only reprints though. Perhaps new material may not be too far away ?  And lets hope that Mick Anglo is receiving some belated financial reward for these characters he created over 50 years ago.

ITEM :    When I said there has only ever been one Honey West comic (by Dell Comics in 1966) I didn’t realise a new series by Moonstone Comics (and written by Trina Robbins) was beginning next month. Watch out for that ocelot Honey. It bites.

ITEM:      One of the useful things about Amazon is pre-ordering stuff and then completely forgetting all about it. A nice surprise in the post this week was Series 2 of  “Chance in a Million”. This time we learn the reason why Tom doesn’t have a job. He constantly wins money on the Premium Bonds. How many Premium Bonds does he have ?? Ten !!  He is even considering cashing in 4 of those as it is the other 6 that win every month. Wish I could be so lucky…………

ITEM:    Back in those far off days when I was young and naive (30th of November 2009 to be precise) I thought it would be a good idea to post a simple/quick music quiz here. I don’t know if it was deemed too easy or too hard. More than 50 people listened to the audio file yet nobody even attempted to answer any of the questions or even ask who it was singing.  Once again my finger hovered over the “delete entire blog” button. Heck, I was even depressed when a mere handful showed the slightest interest in downloading this (to me) classic….. I decided few shared my sense of humour.

But as I am tying up loose ends, at last, here are the answers to the quiz no one did (although they aren’t necessarily in the right order): Two nice girls, Fever in my pocket, Kim Wilde, VU, Three, Maureen Tucker, Ricky Wilde, Guess I’m falling in Love, Marty Wilde, Love and Affection, Sweet Jane. There were no trick questions…..apart from the socks….

ITEM:     The best thing about digital music is the id tags. I’ve too many cassette tapes where I’ve no idea who is singing. Often they are mix tapes given to me by other people years ago. For example, this catchy tune. I know who recorded the song originally but it doesn’t sound like him. It sounds like ______ so I looked up his discography but couldn’t see this song listed. Similarly, last year I puzzled over this. I’m still puzzled now.

ITEM:    Despite saying I don’t like the One from the Heart film, at £2.99 it seemed worth another viewing. In fact it will make an ideal (cheap !!)  birthday present for _______ next week. I was amazed to discover that the DVD box held 2 discs. As well as the film there is Audio commentary by the Director Francis Ford Coppola, 4 Documentaries, 10 deleted scenes, The Tom Waits Score Alternative tracks, 4 found objects (??!!??), 4 rehearsals, 2 Trailers, Photo gallery and 4 Easter Eggs (??!!??).  So if they can do all that for £2.99 don’t you think it’s time they started selling all music CDs for 99p each. It would end piracy at a stroke and re-vitalise the music industry. 

ITEM:     After almost two years of silence the Dorktones have returned !! Their Podcasts are back. (see the right hand column for the link)……. “If it ain’t Dutch it’s not much” was one of their catch-phrases…..hopefully they won’t play quite as much Frank Zappa music this time though. Their own garage rock is worth a listen too.

ITEM:    And talking of Podcasts. The UK band Stackridge always puzzled me. They weren’t funny like the Bonzos, they weren’t particularly heavy rockers or folk or blues. They probably liked not to be fitted into one catagory. They only ever did one song that I liked but that could be my problem, not theirs. Even despite not liking their music I never miss their monthly Podcast. Presented by “Fatty Fudge” it is about as English and as civilised as you can get. Stackridge music is enlivened by music from friends/other bands. A pleasant hour by the fireside with a nice cup of tea is had by all. Lummy Days is here.

ITEM:    A final thought. I wonder if you can still buy these ? I’ve just buried one (along with a few other things) in the garden inside an old cigar tin. Future generations/Time Team 3010 can puzzle as to what they are. (Of course all computer hard drives will have been wiped when the sun goes semi-nova in 2750 !!! …………………….

Chance in a million

Mar 5, 2010

For 3 seasons in the early 1980s this sitcom appeared on the then quite new and edgy Channel Four TV. It then disappeared for the next 25 years.

As there are so many TV shows that are endlessly repeated, I’m always puzzled as to why the ones I like the most are often shown just the once and then seem to disappear without a trace. (eg: See “Making Out”). As “Chance in a million” starred Simon Callow and Brenda Blethyn (then well-respected actors but certainly not the mega-stars they are today) I wondered if they had been responsible for stopping any repeat showings. This turns out not to have been the case. Simon Callow himself wondered what had happened to this show. He would even like to produce a follow-up of what became of the characters 25 years later.

The plot of the original sit-com revolves around Simon as the permanently-bemused Tom Chance, his girlfriend Alison and the endlesss bizarre coincidences that befall them. It’s one of the best sit-coms of the 1980s and if Amazon are as good as their word I’ll be watching Series One tomorrow. Series Two and Three are available later this year.

PS: Having now had a “chance” to view this dvd I find episode 1 falls far short of the others. The slapstick in the restaurant would have been seen in any number of Terry Scott sitcoms in the previous 20 years. Even the Director must have had his doubts as it was extensively re-written between the pilot and the version that was actually transmitted. However by episode 2 we are into the surreal britcom sitcom that I was expecting. The local womens’ cricket team are trying to beat the record for the most female cricketers in a telephone box in their nightdresses. Obviously they ask Tom if they can change clothes in his front room at the same time as Alison’s mother arrives. So obviously Alison’s mother assumes Tom is running a brothel etc etc.

PPS: In one episode a soldier parachutes onto Tom’s roof. This soldier is on a strange quest to aquire 20 unusual items from a list to win a competition. Items include strange things like a Zulu shield and a cricket bat signed by Alec Bedser. Of course, no matter how obscure the item requested, Tom can produce them. The final item needed is a nude photograph of (the then very middle-aged) former Member of Parliament/President of the SDP Shirley Williams. Tom even finds this item by the amazing co-incidence of owning a book about the life of the writer Vera Brittain (who was Shirley’s mother and had included a picture of Shirley as a baby on a bearskin rug in said book). Well it amused me anyway……………