Ian Edmundson UNTRUTHS

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Ian's 2021 blog archive:

1st January:
I'm not going to make this blog into a tortuous route march for myself, like I did last year, by posting an entry every day. I'm going to dip in and add to each month's entry when I feel like it. January 2021 starts with me thinking I should be tired from last night's gig, instead of just being tired. Oh well. No point in being miserable about it. Onward and upward. I'll just have to wait the bloody virus out and then carry on with whatever is happening. We start the year with the North West mainly in Tier 4 restrictions and a full lockdown hanging over us, as infection rates are climbing seriously and it's scary. It's also scary how many people just think this is inconvenient. People are dying. That knocks your 'inconvenient' into a cocked hat, doesn't it??? Some people need to get a grip.

Current reading:   FAB an intimate boigraphy of Paul McCartney.
Current watching: The Sopranos season 3.

Gap

7th January:
Well we had the interesting scenes in the Senate in Washington and they just show the type of moral disintegration that occurs when you get a media personality squeezed into a top political job. It's utterly shameful. A number of my friends in the USA are muttering darkly about Amendment 25 which allows an incapable President to be removed from office, but apparently, the voting wouldn't work out because of the weighting of Trump yes men and dogsbodies in the Senate. I fear for what the President will try to do in his remaining time in office.

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16th January:
I found out the other day that someone I that am quite close to has been in hospital with covid and was (much to my immense relief) released yesterday evening. I think we are now paying for the Christmas get togethers that so many had longed for, for so long. I know why people cracked and did it and to be honest, I don't totally blame them. The problem is that everyone thinks that if they mix with other people that everyone else is taking the same care as they may be taking. That's not always the case. I am so relieved that my friend is out of hospital. He said that he felt really terrible while he was in there. Bless our NHS staff who are dealing with all this, putting themselves at risk every day.

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20th January:
So farewell then, Donald Trump. Not big enough balls to attend your leaving bash at work. Cissy.

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21st January:
What is it with gas central heating boilers? Ours seems to decide to conk out every winter and today it went again, showing no gas to the boiler. The gas engineer came out and there's a supply to the boiler. I've managed to get someone quite local to come look at it this evening, but Lynda is thinking that maybe a new boiler may be the way forward.

Photos for college taken today:

Strats

Strats

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24th January:
We ordered a new boiler on the 22nd and it's being fitted tomorrow. It's bloody cold right now, but we have some electric heaters to keep ourselves warm with and a kettle for hot water. It could be a lot worse. At least we could afford a new boiler.

Current watching - The Sopranos (season five)
Current reading - They just seem a little weird by Doug Brod.

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25th January:
Up at the ungodly hour of 07:30am for the first time in a couple of years (without going straight back to bed). The gas engineers came and put the new boiler in and by 1pm, we had heating again. I took the opportunity to chuck myself in the bath asap. I have never been so glad to see a steamed-up bathroom in my life. I think the stress of the last few days got to Lynda a bit. She retired to bed very early with chest pains and wouldn't let me call anyone. She won't go near a hospital, as she's terrified of covid.

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27th January:
A nice long walk for Tom and myself. I refer to this route as 'The Marathon'. It is too far for Oscar, who starts to put his brakes on if he feels we have walked for too long. He doesn't want his little legs worn out, but Tom will walk forever.

The marathon - walkies 27.1.21.

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3rd February
What's new?

I've been working on a lot of updates and additions to the Slade discography book,THE NOIZE. Since my big-time fall-out with a couple of people in the Slade world, late last year (stemming from a private row with a single person, which was sorted out pretty soon afterwards, and which only a couple of people know the actual facts about and also - annoyingly - which an amount of utter science fiction is being generated about), I have been doing a good job of keeping off Slade related areas of social media, only popping into the odd group for the sake of an odd bit of research for the book - though some of those people really don't seem to know anything much at all and endlessly repeat ancient disproved myths - I resist the temptation to post and correct them.

Some of the utter poison that circulates in groups about what is effectively a "dead pop group" amazes me. There is a lot of mental illness and quite a few damaged people populating Slade areas of the net. One person in particular, with a bad history on Slade pages, causes stinks in other groups about old bands (I've seen him also written about on Sparks and Shelley Preston pages, as well as on Slade pages) and is getting barred from everywhere. I sank to the level of a couple of these type of people, and afterwards, I looked very hard at myself, changed a number of things and am now enjoying being away from it all.

I have even taken to avoiding Slade's music, as it acts as a trigger to mild anxiety and brings certain things back to mind. I have recently obtained various Slade and Slade-related music that is really rare or isn't actually out there (including some side-band rehearsal tapes I recently found on an unplayed cassette that I've had for years, with unreleased songs) and I can't even bring myself to listen to it for inclusion in the book, which is a bit awkward. I will have to make myself do it at some point. Talking to the band members is off the menu for me, too. Chris has taken over doing the interviews. I just don't want to be any part of that whole Slade thing at the moment.

I have another project or two on the go - one being a book of my general concert photos that will most likely appear later in the year. There's my Who book, which is looking more likely to happen. I have bought some more expensive reference materials for that, so I'd better set a date to dig in and properly get on with it.

Lynda had the covid jab administered in Bolton last Sunday and I am due to have it done this Saturday.

Gap

9th February:
The Thin Lizzy 'Rock Legends' box set turned up yesterday evening. I did a quick (and rather basic) unboxing video today. It really is quite a substantial box set. I was initially put off by the steep price tag, missed the limited number of copies signed by Scott Gorham, and when I started to think it was maybe a good idea, it had sold out everywhere. He who hesitates is lost. I was tipped off that Amazon had found some copies and that the price had dropped, so I got on with it.

The day after the covid jab, I was absolutely tired out, a bit nauseous, but it's still better than the alternative. I expected my shoulder to hurt and it still does.

I set off walking Tom today and it started snowing and it was also freezing cold - much colder than I thought when I set off and Tom didn't have a coat on - so I abandoned the walk a quarter of the way along and we returned home.

Walkies 8.2.2021

Current watching: The Sopranos season 6.

Gap

10th February:
So Trump is going to get what he deserves. There was hardly any way the Senate could let him get away with it. The demolition of him starts now.

Three shots from experiments with side lighting with the fab new gadget that Lynda got me from Amazon.

Ian

Ian

Ian

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16th February:
Having a nostalgic moment... The bass I started learning to play on.

Avon EB0 bass

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22nd February:
I'm getting a bit pissed off with those people who are wailing inanely that the vaccine is a government tool for social control and  who are also comparing it to Thalidomide. It insults the intelligence of the world and of all of the scientists who have created vaccines which aim to alter our receptors to fend off the virus. Stupid people. You can block them on Facebook, but not in real life.

I finished Season 6 of the Sopranos yesterday and now there's no more. Bereft.

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27th February:
A long walk with Tom - We usually do this at least once a week.

Map

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1st March:
My Slade forum has been playing up for a couple of weeks and I have been plaguing PlusNet to do something about it and nothing much has happened. People can't get into it. Sometimes I can't even get into it for a few days. Everyone expects me to be able to sort out what they need to do on their computers with cookies, browser history etc. I am begiining to resign myself to the fact that it's just totally borked and will never work again, so I may as well just delete it. I am actually beginning to fail to care about it. Then I decide to ring PlusNet support to ask what the fudge is going on.

I actually get someone who knows what I am talking about and she does a server refresh while I am on the line and she waits quite patiently while I try things and get onto the forum with my third admin user account and sort passwords out for the first two. I don't close the support ticket down as there are still some (less frequent) garbled text issues that need to be cleared up. In the evening I go through a number of emails from people who can't access the forum and lose out to someone on a rare pre-Slade EP from the early 1960's. If I had won it, I doubt I would have looked at it twice, never mind played it.

I took Oscar down to my mate Dave's house again and we walked our dogs around his block a couple of times. We are socialising Lily, his dog, a little and getting her used to other dogs. Oscar has exactly the right temperament. he loves everybody and everybody loves him. I bought some microphones from Dave while I was there.

Lynda goes off to bed early again. She was bitten by something the other day and her wrist swelled up and she kept feeling rather wobbly. I offered to get her a doctor, but she won't go near anyone. Not a doctor, a hospital, nobody. She isolates properly. She's felt rubbish for a few days.

I take a number of bookings for the band from July onwards and idly wonder if we will actually get to do them, or whether any relaxation will take us back into a further national lockdown that Boris says won't happen. He may have no choice. All this 'roadmap to recovery' bollocks makes me laugh. People won't behave. The British can be so loutish, ignorant and stupid when they set their minds to it. We just want to see our grandchildren again. They just want to go out and get pissed. It's pointless blaming the Government for people acting like nothing's happening. I am surrounded by people who have had covid, despite best efforts to avoid it. A couple have died. There are lots of idiots don't think anything is wrong until it happens to them. Lynda and I live like hermits.

I write this blog after midnight on March 2nd.

Current reading: Rock'n'roll sweepstakes: Ian Hunter - the authorised biography.
Current viewing: Anything that happens to be on TV. I am not currently focused enough to do box sets.

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2nd March:
I wake up to my phone buzzing and texts and messages that the Slade forum is gone. Kaput. I get up, have a coffee and investigate. No sign via phone, PC or FTP program. Hmmm. PlusNet's web portal still lets me see the files, so I pinch a backup of the forum and of the relevant database. I ring PlusNet support and get someone who is totally willing to help, but again - quite understandably - has no idea that they have ever offered webspace, because they don't do that now. They promise to get the right team to contact me.

I check out alternative webhosts and now I have to decide whether I actually bother to carry on with the forum or not. Traffic is down from what it was. There are a few proper nuisances I want to avoid. It's something else to do. But I don't really have lots to do at the moment. It is a project. My ordinary website space is currently ok, but for how long?

The Who discography book really needs me to start having full days on it, but I am still daunted at how much has been released that I didn't know about (mainly world-wide, so I DO have a valid excuse) and people show off their collections on Facebook and I don't want my Who book to be a joke, because it has missed loads of stuff out. It will either start coming together properly - or it won't.

Gap

4th March:
Our college classes have been conducted via Zoom for some weeks and I've almost quit the course. We are doing next week by Zoom, and then hopefully we are back in class again.

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7th March:
This is a rare photograph of me armed with a screwdriver. I do not use dangerous power tools as a rule, although I did get quite animated with a powered saw, which saw an end to our beloved old shed, on Friday and Saturday. It has now been replaced by this children's playhouse.
I am not responsible for the colour scheme. I would have painted it green.

Shedbuilding

I think I did myself some proper damage moving the old shed on Friday. it was really heavy and I dismantled it, got parts in the car and took them to the tip. I had a double hernia fixed when I was very young and it hurts in the very same place when I get up or sit down. Fingers crossed that the pain settles down.

Gap

8th March:
Up at a sensible time. Onto Yodel (I've no idea why anyone uses them, they are consistently rubbish) about a parcel they failed to deliver though we were in on Friday. We now have to wait another 4 days for it to come from Middleton to us. What a joke. We could cancel that order, re-order and get a second parcel faster.

I also got new web hosting sorted for the next year and once I had sorted my access out, I moved my websites over and tweaked them all to make them work properly on the new servers.

Tomorrow I will be having a go at restoring the Slade Forum. I will either end up with the old forum restored, with seven years of posts saved, or a new one with no posts.

Gap

11th March:
Well, I've left posting on here for a short while. The last thing I posted was that I was preparing to have a go at restoring The Slade Forum to its former glory. I spent a lot of the day on trying to rebuild it from what I had managed to download, but basically, the version of the database that I had was totally screwed, so I eventually gave up and lost all the membership records and their access and all of their posts, going back about 8 years. I stopped stressing about it, bit the bullet and restarted with a brand new forum. People are joining. Members are coming back and some are saying 'Why does my login not work?' which means I have to email them and tell them.

It looks rather empty at the moment, but I am more than certain that we can fill it up again.

The Slade Forum 2021

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16th March:
We ordered a new TV from Amazon on the 10th and Hermes have got it, so it may not arrive until the 22nd. I have just spent going on for £500 and I don't expect service like that - apparently it is sat in their Liverpool depot, so I don't see why the lazy fuckers can't even be bothered to deliver it. Hermes are trying to overtake Yodel for shitness.

The Who discography book needs me to spend some more time on it.

Some recent photos for college:

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

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17th March 2021:
So the new TV we ordered on the 10th hasn't arrived. Lynda was getting really annoyed about this and started off contacting Amazon. She got some poor bloke who admitted he was in India. I ended up taking over, demanding a refund that he said he couldn't process. It turned out that after talking to his supervisor and mentioning that I had mentioned breach of promise over the original March 13th delivery date, he COULD process a refund and did so.

Now I just have to find a new TV somewhere that I can buy and take away.

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18th March:
Back in college. People. Bliss.

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19th March:
Happy birthday Mum. Miss you xx.

Me and my mum

I sorted out the TV shite. Same TV. Argos. Click now - collect anytime today.
Done, dusted. Setup and working before mid afternoon and I only got up at 11am.

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21st March:
Annoyances: Mine wants to tell me everything he is annoyed about in SladeWorld. I don't inhabit SladeWorld and consequently do not give an ounce of a fuck about what he is bothered about - none of which involves me.

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22nd March:
Three trips to the tip in two days and it's had really frightening queues to get in. Harrumph. I confirmed with Amazon that, even though the TV still hasn't arrived, that I will not be responsible for any costs of return postage... if it ever does turn up.

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23rd March:
Up at 8am and straight off to the tip. I only had to queue for about 20 minutes to get in.

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28th March:
Well the last few days have been interesting. College on Thursday - a portraits session. Hopefully a couple of nice shots will appear for use on this website, if I haven't broken people's cameras in the process. On Friday, I followed some helpful hints and managed to restore the entire original Slade forum, going back to 2013, intact and (touch wood) working properly. I've had a couple of migraines this week and I think I am getting sensitive to coffee again, which is a nuisance.

Gap

31st March:
I am extremely saddened to hear that former Slade guitarist Steve Makin has passed away. He was an inspiring musician who first taught Dave Hill guitar and then was invited to join the band. In his time with them, he took the remains of Slade (sans Holder and Lea) to a level of musical virtuosity that they would never ever reach again. At one point, my old band Bad Habits supported them and Steve approached me to tell me that their bassist was leaving the group and asked if I was interested in trying out for them? The money didn't add up, so I stayed in work. Steve left the band after being left out of sessions for the rather drab Slade II album. He was probably far too good for them. I'm so sad to hear that he's gone.

Gap

2nd April:
It's been nice to see my daughter and grand-daughter this week. A bit of normality at last. It's cheered Lynda up no end. We've also managed to do some parts of the long walk that I take Tom on. We've driven to the Blackleach Country Park in the car and have walked part of that, and also driven to Ashton's Fields and Amblecote Fields. That way, Oscar gets to do the parts of the walk too. With Lynda's heart condition, she can't do the whole walk now - at one time, she would have done it twice round and left me in her wake. Today, I set off to do it and had to give up about halfway around. I came over all exhausted, like I have done sometimes since my cancer operation. It was quite disturbing, as I just felt like lying down - but I had to get home. I was quite close to Walkden. From there, it is quite a walk, whichever way I come back.

Walkies 2.4.2021

I made it back, of course, but the walk was a bit like torture. I just felt like lying down. I couldn't crash out anywhere, as it's not safe - and I had Tom with me. The missing part of the walk is in red, above.

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6th April:
Late night self-portrait as experiment with light and camera tethering software. I think I'm getting the hang of it at last.

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

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8th April:
I'm here in my studio room, working on some new songs for the band's set, for when we return. We are going to be rehearsing again next week, which cheers me up no end. I do worry about how well my muscle memory is going to work, but I'm sure it will all be ok. I might need the odd cheat sheet for the words to some of our old songs. Shit-getting-together time.

Could I recite our set list to you, if you asked me? No. But then again, I never could. And I wouldn't anyway. I never show people the set list either, as I've had the annoying know it all type read the set list before now and then proceed to shout out what was coming next...

I'm still doing a few hours writing every morining, working on the Who discography book, but this morning's sesh was quite a short writing one, as I got up a little later than usual, despite an early night last night, and I felt a bit rubbish.

It's far more disciplined an exercise than it's been so far and I'm quite enjoying digging into research on their releases, but also quite shocked at how the back catalogue has been reissued so many times.

Lynda's not feeling too good today - she's shivering and feels a bit sick. She was like this the other week too.

I hope it's not going to be a recurring thing for her, as she's not very good at being ill. Her heart has been playing her up as well, which is a bit worrying. She's also stressed out about a few things.

Ian Edmundson

Ian Edmundson

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9th April:
My son Paul's birthday and I didn't get to see him. These restrictions are so hard. And life gets in the way, anyway.

 

Up late again, as I felt quite bad this morning. I was up at 6.30am to see what it was that the cats had knocked over and I felt fine, so I should maybe have stayed up then.

After ignoring their pre-sale, I cracked today and booked myself a ticket for Del Amitri at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester in September. It's the most sterile venue I've been to, apart from the Royal Northern College Of Music, and I was prepared not to be able to go to see them (as we are playing when they are in Blackpool), but I HAD to. I got row 3 centre, so hopefully the atmosphere will be there.

I ordered The Who Sell Out as a 5CD / 2x7" singles / book / memorabilia type superdeluxe box-set-to-end-all-boxsets the other day. Now I have to track down a copy of the My Generation, Live At Leeds, Quadrophenia and Tommy sets.

Lynda disappeared to bed very early again. She's really not well.

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13th April:
Anyone who actually lurks on here and reads any of this guff may have spotted my page about my encounters with prostate cancer. I spoke to urology this morning about my latest PSA test results (I have a test every 6 months) and they told me my PSA reading was 0.03. 6 months ago it was 0.02. 12 months ago it was 0.01. It's going up, but very very slowly.

They want to see me again in 12 months, not 6.
That usually means that they are happy enough with this result and I'm quite relieved.

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19th April:

Current Listening: Katrina and The Waves: Pet The Tiger (1991)
Current reading: Rick Springfield: Late, Late At Night (Autobiography, 2011).
Current viewing: The Good Doctor, New Amsterdam, American Horror Story (season 1).

Rick Springfield

I'm currently in one of my 'down periods' about writing the Who discography book. It just seems like too much of an uphill task to me to keep on doing it, sometimes. I keep seeing people posting items from their collections and it makes the task seem even more uncontrollably massive when I see some ancient variation on 'Who's Next' from Taiwan on some obscure coloured vinyl in a new sleeve. I feel like if I don't have this sort of stuff in the book, it will just get laughed at. I will be writing for hardened Who Completits and I am not one, like I used to be. I don't have Who knowledge like I have Slade knowledge. There. I admit it.

I did do some quite disciplined writing sessions, then Lynda got a bit ill. I have also been a bit under the weather and am often exhausted, which has also stopped me doing the long dog walks that I enjoy so much with Tom. I will either pick up the writing again, or just decide to abandon it. I hate having loose ends like that, though.

The band managed to get in a room together last Wednesday, for the very first time this year, and it was interesting to see how well we remembered what we did (that may seem a bit past tense, but everything that we all did before is past tense, until normaility is restored, whenever that finally happens). We did ok on the whole with the old stuff - I have problems remembering some of the lyrics until I have done them a number of times, but I am good at preparing for that eventuality and I'm not above having a cheat sheet to prompt me when needed. We also made reasonable stabs at a few new songs. Well, they aren't really new songs, but they are new to us. We are a cover band and we play songs we like. Going back to some of the old stuff after all the time off is almost a a bit of a downer, but we need to get tight with that material to get gigging again and then we can add new stuff in. It will all find its own level as we go along.

There are a few old songs that we'd like to play less and new stuff is always interesting for a while. It's really good to be at it again, anyway.

Noise annoys.

I keep getting sent screengrabs of posts from a tiny part of Facebook (about a dead pop group) that I am not allowed into anymore. It's quite funny to see the utter ridiculousness that is going on in there. The place keeps confusingly changing its name in some sort of bizarre power struggle. A power struggle is what acually got me kicked out, apart from mentioning a book in there, which was within the rules (and I know, I wrote those rules). Once upon a time, two of us were made admins, as an existing admin wasn't coping with the unruly and naughty members. We were brought in to clean the group up a bit and to get some basic rules agreed which we did. When those rules were accepted by 98%, but were unpopular with a few beligerent members, the other admins turned on us for causing that conflict. We both got kicked out and the rules went out of the window. Our time had been totally wasted.

After getting kicked out, I ended up viewing the page occasionally and making the odd post under a pseudonym login and I got myself in a spot of bother over that. Since I got kicked out, and exposed for the heinous crime of using the pseudonym login (there are a few others on there also using them that I remember), to insult someone who had wound me up, it has become a bit of a blood sport to blame me for events in the past that I was nothing to do with (not quite going back to Christ's crucifixion), which were cooked up by an alcoholic nutjob whose speciality is lording it over people in that type of group. These invented actions were an attempt to get him out of bother with someone else he was constantly at war with. That worked to a degree, then his enemy seemed to wake up and shrug his ludicrous accusations against me off. The mortals in the group appear to be entirely in his thrall, so abnormality is restored there once again.

Taking the drunken pop at the guy I insulted cost me a few 'friends' and caused me a bit of bother. The insult was something that I regretted very much shortly afterwards, as it wasn't really deserved, but the people who grumble on about me as being some comic book style evil mastermind / arch villain don't know exactly what I was retaliating to. I had spoken to the guy and had actually managed to clear the air, but he didn't go back out there and say to people that the matter was private, fairly trivial, and was now resolved, anyway. I waved my handbag at him and it was over and done.

He's dead now (which absolutely floored me, as part of my beef was about his posting about him breaking covid regulations), so I will not talk about someone who can't respond, as he has a family who do not need to have their grief increased, over trivial spats like the one that we had.

I am so very glad to be totally removed now from all of that foolishness, though the sight of some of the stuff that's posted does give me the odd uncontrollable belly-laugh, as well as a slight amount of stress from just looking at it.

Most people use pseudonyms on forums etc.
Using a pseudonym now? Lead me not into temptation. No chance.
I have totally learned my lesson. I see too much through my informants, anyway.

Of course, some people just want to perpetuate the angst. Theirs not mine.
Stress away, folks. I have given up caring.

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April 21st:
A Wednesday spent not doing very much. At all. Up around 10am, which seems to be my average rising time (I'm usually up between 9.30 and 10.30am). I feel like I'm turning into a vegetating lazy bugger these days. The weather was quite reasonable and today was my chance to take Tom out for another long walk - I managed the first big one for a couple of weeks on Monday. That was enjoyable. Yesterday I took Tom and Oscar on the shorter walk and as I walked through a group of youths near our local lodge, one with a Manc accent asked me for a cigarette. I told him I don't use them. "Nice dogs" was his next remark. I kept walking and just replied "lovely". He then asked me what I was staring at. I hadn't made any eye contact since he asked me for the fag and I didn't reply. I just kept walking. Too many people are having dogs stolen by scrotes and when I got home, I warned Lynda about walking the dogs that way without me. I felt slightly threatened.

Today I failed to take Tom out on the long walk, despite the weather being good enough. I went to have a lie down on the bed with a book during the afternoon. I'm still reading the Rick Springfield autobiography, in which he has mainly worn his dick to a point and had crabs rather a lot. By the time I was exhausted from reading more of the accounts of all the rampant Aussie's shagging, it was a bit late to take Tom. College tomorrow, which I am not looking forward to, as we are supposed to be photographing some students and I am not really in the mood for photographing them, or even talking to them. My mate from work Mike contacted me about going for a couple of beers at lunchtime and it clashes with college. I actually felt like ducking out of the class.

I ordered another book about The Who's music, as a writing aid. Am I wasting money? Someone in a Facebook group asked about a Who discography book that's long out of print. I resisted the temptatation to say that I am on the case with a new one. I want it to be a really good book, like the Slade one is. Not a joke of a book. The Who book will massively outsell the Slade one, so I want it to be really good. Not am embarrassment.

I did some work on the update to the Slade book, slotting in a few 1987 images that Chris sent me. I'd never seen them before.

After an evening of chilling out watching TV (including a couple of episodes of Harrow, which I've watched before, don't remember, and am quite enjoying), I still feel like bottling out of college tomorrow. If I even miss it the once, I will end up dumping the course and I paid a lot out for it.

I really wish I hadn't done this college course this year, for a few reasons. I felt a bit out of place on the first year of it. It's been so disjointed, as we can't go out on trips and we've had so many Zoom sessions instead of classes. There are a couple of small annoyances about it, besides the actual struggles with classes running. But I have committed to it, so I am going to do it. I have to do a project - involving 12 photos for a calendar on a theme. I have decided on music gear and I do have some ideas, but I don't have a lot of enthusiasm for the actual task and I think it's going to get a bit last minute. Oh well.

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April 25th :
Going through a few things and found a recent photo I'd posted, following Les McKeown's very sad and very untimely passing. We were at The Big Breakfast in London. We had a good chat on the day, and I sat to eat an actual breakfast with him and his family. He was a lovely man, who had a troubled life at times and, to use the very tired but true old chiche, he was taken far too soon.

It's five years ago today that I had my cancerous prostate gland out (read more here). I could quite easily have been gone myself by now, if Lynda hadn't nagged me into getting checked out. While I wouldn't exactly say I am on a health kick at present, I am walking a lot more, drinking a hell of a lot less, leaving stressful things alone and I feel a lot better in myself. My second covid jab (AZ) is today. I have to go into Manchester for it, but my GP surgery wasn't getting on with it (at least not until I had booked the appointment in Manchester - then I was deluged with text messages to go online and to get a local jab booked). Never mind, it's lovely weather for a drive out.

Ian Edmundson Les McKeown

My second anti-covid jab (AZ) went fine. No ill effects at all, about 9 hours later. While I was in Manchester, I had a walk round Oldham Street and went round Affleck's Palace. Nice to do something normal. Everyone wore masks indoors and was sensible.

Took Tom out for a walk when I got home, rather than going for a nap, as I felt tired. A nice chat with my son Paul. An evening of TV: Harrow and Chicago Med, among others.

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May 1st:

Since my last blog, a few things have happened. The most important is that my old mate Pete died. He wasn't old enough, which is more the pity.

Pete was my friend and I am going to miss him. For some years, he was the Union Branch Secretary in my office. I’d held that post for a few years before him and so I knew just how difficult it could be. Pete supported all of the other reps including myself in our work. The office became known as one of the hardest-run in DWP and Pete always did the job (and it was a hard job, not the slacking off from our real work that some managers thought it was) with an ease and good humour that was his gift and Pete was one of the few people who could go toe to toe with managers and come away from what was sometimes effectively a two hour row, with them still liking him. That was a rare gift for a Union Rep.

The members that he represented liked him immensely too. He won some startling victories for people who had – allegedly - done silly things, because he knew the guidance far, far better than their managers did and he could use the guidance properly to positively defend members, where some managers just used it as a big stick, didn’t really understand it and were clumsy with it. He really was one of the good guys and I know for a fact that it was the way he will be remembered by the people that he worked with.

We defended our members against some fairly and pointless evil management schemes, and plotted schemes of our own to mitigate and lessen the damage that management intended to do. We made a difference. That was one thing that I felt good about when I left DWP. Pete succumbed after a fight with cancer. I say a fight, because he had two rounds with it and was determined to beat it. Unfortunately, the best wishes of everyone else and his own determination were not sufficient to fight it off.

On a lesser note, I met my mate Mike (another TU rep in the same office) for a pint on Friday. We sat outside a local bar and had a couple of pints. The first time for ages.

My son Paul and I did the long walk (as I call it) with Tom yesterday. It's good exercise. It was really good to see him and to share the walk with him.

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May 10th:
Pete's funeral on Friday was really hard. A few of us went for a drink afterwards and it was tempting to have a couple more drinks, but I am all about applying a proper amount of self-discipline and moderation to my life these days, so that notion went out of the window.

Earlier in the day, I'd been to hospital with my mate Dave, then I went into Manchester to try out a Hiwatt bass rig that remains unsold and which I have lusted after for some long time. It must be 2017, that I first saw it. A new Maxwatt 300 amp plus 4x10 and 1x15 cabs. I sent a mate a pic in 2018 to tip him off, but he didn't bite. I had a disasterous excursion away from my regular Hartkes into Blackstar, which didn't go well. I was reluctant to change over but before covid struck, I started to think a spare rig might be useful. The shop was closed since early last year. It wasn't in their online store.

After a few attempts to get to the shop to try the rig, I managed to get there and (ringing to check the shop was open), the rig was still there. I played through it with an active Jazz bass and it sounded great. I haggled for a deal, but it was already reduced as far as it would go. I was sorting out purchase of the head and the 4x10. Someone came along to lift the head down and he said how heavy it was. I picked it up and it was REALLY heavy. Oh... I asked what the 4x10 cab weighed. Two guys got it down onto the floor. I could only lift it 3" off the floor. Damn. If I couldn't get it in the car, what use would it be? I left the shop dejected and cash unspent. Damn.

The group managed to rehearse again (for the third time and they have all been in lockdown) yesterday and, to celebrate the fact, I took what turned out to be an almost startlingly identical photo to the last time (19th April). We managed to remember how some more of the songs went and to also forget a few bits. We'll soon be in front of an audience again, so we need to get our act together just a little bit. I'd say we're about 85% 'match fit' for gigging at present.

The Three - all in the same room.

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May 17th:
An odd week. It's chucked it down for the majority of the time, so dog walking for Tom has been few and far between. I managed the long walk yesterday, while there was a two hour gap in the clouds.

Tom's walk, May 16th

A good friend of ours, who works as a carer, has come down with covid, despite having had two vaccinations. It's not as bad as it could have been, but she sounds rough. She is now testing negative for covid, which is a relief.

No further band rehearsals, as pubs are opening, so we can't get the space to use.

I managed to locate a copy of the Quadrophenia Super Deluxe box set on Ebay at a sensible price and that turned up this afternoon. It is a thing of really rare beauty. I'm watching a My Generation Super Deluxe box set at present. I am slowly but surely putting a WHO discography book together. I mined some of the Sky Arts documentary on The Who Sell Out for quotes the other night. It is amazing how little they actually talked about Sell Out during the show. It wasn't a lot of help.

We are taking our Slade book THE NOIZE off sale at the end of June. The first edition has done its work and there will be a much revised and updated second edition on November 1st.

* I managed to win the copy of the 5CD and DVD My Generation box set at the best price I've ever seen it go for, but you know that karma means that something really crap will happen shortly to balance things out.

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May 22nd:
A friend of ours passed away yesterday. We are obviously extremely saddened by this. Our sincere sympathies go to Anthea's husband Paul at this very sad time. The world is a much less genteel and caring place with her loss. We were looking forward to the world opening up a little again, so we could get together for the first time in a long time.

The Who's My Generation 5CD box set turned up from Germany the other day. Absolutely perfect condition - still sealed. Now I need the Tommy and Live At Leeds boxes. I am not prepared to pay utterly silly money for them, however.

Be Bop Deluxe have announced a 15CD and 1 DVD set. I have gritted my teeth and have ordered that. It's obviously going to sell out and I really don't want to miss it.

This evening, Europe demonstrated their absolute hatred of the UK by not giving us a single vote. We should have abstained from voting, or even from entering. We could have sent all four Beatles with a brand new song and the Europeans would have shat on us. No, I didn't watch it. I'd rather sit in a bath full of cold beans.

Fuck You back twice as hard.

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May 24th:

A couple of pictures from Friday when Rachel and I took April to the museum in Bolton. It's lovely to see a child's wonder and excitement at seeing new things.

April

April

On Sunday, the jam night returned and it was a great night, as could have been predicted.

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May 29th:
One of my college course project images.

Microphone

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June 1st 2021
We're just out the other side of the Bank Hoiliday weekend. I am wondering whether the infection rates are going to spike or not. Lynda is slightly suspicious of me for having a bit of a cold. How did I get that, if I'm not too close to other people? I think I'd still come down with colds if I was the last man on Earth and totally alone.

We've done two jam nights now and some people are acting like nothing has happened at all at them. I am doing my best to keep a safe distance from most people. Better safe than sorry, I always say.

I did an excessively long walk with Tom the other day and added about 40 minutes to the walk, because of a huge detour that I unexpectedly ended up having to take. The outer extremity on the right is what we walked, whereas the red line shows our usual route home. If I had managed to keep at the side of the motorway to join the two lines (where I have put a dotted line), it would have cut the huge walk along Manchester Rd, Kearsley right out. It left me exhausted with a jam night to go to not long afterwards. I will try that short cut out another time.

The Longest Walk

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June 6th:
The last few days have been a bit non, really. Not much happened. Brightened up with a visit from Rachel and April, who was in her lovely Chatty-Kathy mode.

Last night my band played our first gig this year (and our first full gig since February 2020). There were (of course) a few utter howlers, but we did warn the audience that we'd be a bit rusty - and we were! But we went down really well and will be back. It was nice to have some of our supporters come along to see us at our first gig. I don't think that any of us were nervous at all, though I had the odd tremor when I forgot some words. Trying to think of the first verse of You Give Love A Bad Name while singing the second instead isn't an experience I want to continually repeat. I'll be glad when they are back in my memory properly. Mucking up the intro to ShangALang is pretty unforgiveable.

The Jam Night was a good chance to go through those songs. We didn't do them all, as they weren't nthe best songs to open jam night up with, managed a couple during the evening, but we'll catch them up. I'll do a bit of work on them. Muscle memory will come back in.

I was watching an item on eBay towards the end of jam night and managed to snag a sealed copy of this. It was expensive, but it's really rare and I grit my teeth and bid for it at the last few seconds. I paid for it when I got home and put some of my gig money in the bank to pay for it.

The Who Tommy Super Deluxe Edition

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June 14th:
We nervously await the extension of covid restrictions this evening, but who cares? There's nothing much we can do about it. It amazes me that some people are saying 'screw safety, we have to make money'. But then again, I don't own a business. I do stand to lose half a dozen gigs, but so what?

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June 16th:
After the recent Boris announcement, our gig schedule has been a bit decimated, right up until the back end of July, when hopefully we are back to normality. Pub landlords are living on fresh air and having to muck about cancelling everything. It is a bad situation, but with the virus being like it is, I guess we have to understand it. I am getting towards the end of my gigging career, so I want to do what I can in the next year or two. Getting the band to be the quite powerful unit that it has been over the last couple of years, and then having it taken away has been really hard. It will take us a few gigs to get back up to speed with what we play.

My growing boredom with the whole Slade thing - the group members and their respective record companies are little or no use - has made me look at the future of the slayed.co.uk and sladeforum.co.uk domain names. I need to move on and away from it all. The Slade forum domain expires  on July 26th, so I will renew it for just one year. When the forum goes, I won't need to pay out £70 a year for web hosting. Slayed.co.uk expires in May 2025 and that will be the end of it. I will be glad when this last edition of THE NOIZE - the Slade discography book is out in November.

My own band website expires In July and I will renew that for 2 years and see what happens after that.
This website will be kept on, but I won't need to host it at a cost to myself.

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June 21st:
It's getting near to the end of the month. That is when I clear out that month's images on my Facebook timeline. I like to keep my Facebook page fairly clear and not just a cluttered mess full of photos of meals and guitars. It looks a bit like I don't have anything much of a life and just that's the way I like it. I reclaim some privacy. If anybody actually wants to know what I've been up to, they have to read my page at the time. When I'm dead and gone, ther Internet will not be full of my crap.

I came off Twitter a while ago, as the temptation on there is to bitch and it's far too easy to fall into that. I don't have announcements to make, except for the group Twitter page, which feeds onto the main website page.

The end of the month sees THE NOIZE - The Slade Discography unpublished in paperback. It will return as a second edition in November. We put out an appeal for decent scans of the 'different' foreign releases that use new artwork (not the regular covers from the USA etc that are just the ordinary cover with a different catalogue number). The appeal has seen a couple of responses, but nobody seems to have the time to actually scan or photograph their items. When the second edition comes out, they will probably moan that those items aren't in there, but they didn't send them. I don't want to just pillage Discogs for images.

Last night's jam night was fun to do. We now do a longer session: running from 7 to 10.30 and the pace hardly drops all of the way through. It's a really good night.

Last night I used my Warwick Steamer Chrome Tone bass and my Ibanez 5-string bass.

The Warwick has had a sale agreed for over a year and the buyer has been stuck abroad since before 'Brexit' and it sounded just great last night - so I am actually veering towards keeping it. I don't know now if it's even going to go.

Everybody that I spoke to asked me why I would think of selling it. It's only because I was asked if I would sell it.

The 5-string doesn't get used, because I get lost when playing it - and that's because I don't play it enough. I'm going to persevere more with it.

Warwick Streamer Chrome Tone bass

Warwick Streamer Chrome Tone bass

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June 30th:
The last day of publishing for the first edition of THE NOIZE. I managed to do a good day's writing session on my WHO discography on Monday, but work remains sporadic, as I had a migraine yesterday and left the computer alone, as a result. My head is muzzy today after a bad night's sleep. I've managed to get a copy of The Who's Live At Leeds SuperDeluxe box set from a Discogs seller in Spain. I got it for quite a bit less than they usually go for, so I hope it's worth it. I contacted an American seller a few days ago, but the postage and insurance was about $100, which was just farcical. He's now taking reduced offers for his copy. Too late, mate.

Looking at the Covid situation at present, I can see the lockdown being extended for another month, at the very very least, which is quite depressing. Rescheduled gigs will go again. Our jam night is keeping the band together and in good spirits, but it's hard, as we need to play regularly to tighten things up. We also need to be safe, so I am not going to sit around worrying about it.

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July 5th:

We did the jam night last night (7pm - 10.30pm) and did two half our spots that went really well. We were told that some people have been saying that it running until 10.30pm is a bit late for them, as they have early starts for work, etc. We do listen, so we've agreed with the owner that the start time should be moved forward to 6.30pm from 7pm.

Having a professionally clean and tidy stage ready in good time for us starting has always been my priority. Either Graham (travelling from Leyland) or myself arrive first, very early on. I live the nearest to the venue and it takes me 20 minutes to get there and 15 minutes to load in. It takes over an hour to set up the stage for the jam night. The venue stops serving food at 5pm. Fortunately, the stage area is all cleared in advance for us nowadays, ready for when we turn up. Our guitarist, Ian, has to travel from St Helens and so he usually turns up with about 30-40 minutes to go, slots in his gear and the last part of the PA (a bass bin) and off we go.

It's always been pretty much of a panic (for me) for us to be ready sometimes and - as part of my 'new, improved more agreeable me' regime - I have said to myself that I am not going to let anything bother me anymore, so no more panic attacks for me if we are running late, or if the stage is untidy. I've done my bit and that's all I can do. There's no point in getting stressed or thinking much about anything. I just say 'yes of course' to everything. It makes such a difference. JFDI. If people film the jam night and the stage looks like Steptoe's yard, it's not going to be MY side of the stage.

The funny thing last night was that the top PA speaker on my side wasn't switched on because of the mad rush to get things moving, as the setup was finished at the very last minute. Some vocals couldn't be heard. That's what happens when you're so rushed. I just seem to take too much on and, fuck it, other people can do the work instead.

Next weekend, the football (dependent on if England are still playing in the European competition) may mean that we have a 4pm start. Now THAT's going to be fun. I have just made a note of the world cup match times and dates for next December.

I took Tom on the long walk again today and walked back through the main shopping street in Farnworth. One of the shops was full of people without masks on. I just don't believe it - Bolton is one of the hotspots for Covid.... Oh, hang on, so that's why...

We are doing an outdoor gig next Saturday - a one hour spot at an all day event - as a warm up before the gigs that we have got booked. I am still nervous about how many more gigs will get cancelled in the near future.

My Who Live At Leeds box set is now in the UK, according to UPS. Hooray. It should arrive tomorrow (6th).

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July 6th:
Looking at yesterday's blog and waking up to the news that restrictions are about to be fully lifted... I think people still need to be cautious, but the British are generally stupid, with memories like goldfish, unless someone in their family has had severe covid or died from it. I worry that it's just going to go mad again (you read it here first) and The Government are going to say we got what we asked for. The legal obligation to waer facemasks going basically means that facemasks are going to be binned asap.

I am glad they have got a second person charged for the assault on Prof Chris Whitty last month. It's absolutely disgusting and a little typical of the nature of this Yob country that this honourable man gets attacked, after defending us from a killer virus. I hope they throw the key away, instead of just slapping the bastards wrists.

The Live At Leeds box is a thing of beauty.

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July 9th:
The band have taken a gig on Saturday. The word we got was that they didn't want a rock band as such, and we are on with two rather effeminate-sounding acoustic acts, so I cobbled together a rather toned-down set list. The other two harrumphed at it and made grumbling noises. I've just said 'you come up with a list of songs then and I'll play them'. The answer = a resounding silence. I've also given our drummer the password to the group's jam night YouTube channel, as he puts videos on Vimeo and they won't embed in the band's website properly. He's still using Vimeo. He's having problems with getting into Youtube from his browser.

Ideally, I would be in a band with another two of me, except I am crap on the drums. The temptation to retire before I am 65 is getting more tempting. I'm getting tired. I take too much work on and I don't want to end up having a heart attack in some absolute pisshole in Chorley and going out that way. I have set my provisional final gig date as New Year's Eve, Dec 31st, 2023. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

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July 11th:
We played what was our second gig in quite a while last night. Quite enjoyable on the whole. The guy who was on before us played a fairly unbeatable set, but we tried to 'follow that'. We went down quite well. Thanks to Peter Fisher for the photos.

The Three  The Three  The Three

Well... we can stop worrying about the Euro competition now.
<sarcasm> Well done, Italy - we never stood a chance against this... </sarcasm>

Dirty bastard Italians.

The Jam Night tonight was quite good. So here's a bit of it. Video shot by Lynne.

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July 14th:
Two days have just gone by with me not doing very much of anything at all. My lower back is really painful still from Friday. I've no idea what I did, but the lifting involved in the gig on Saturday and the jam night hasn't helped much.

I've done a bit of web work, some of it to keep up my Slade pages, which I have less and less enthusiasm for, these days. The other pages and Facebook groups are very competitive, ignoring some necessary record company embargoes which keep information back until a date of their choosing - based on release dates and other important matters. They are squabbling about it and some people are getting pretty nasty about getting stuff up first. Who cares really? One of the main FB pages is demanding exclusives even before the band members own pages. Farcical. Needless to say, they don't get them. My site, www.slayed.co.uk has a quarter of a million genuine hits, not fake likes paid for by a record company.

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July 19th:
Another full gig on Saturday. One of our favourite places, playing to a bike club. They aren't getting a full house there yet (they will), but the audience were very attentive and we were made very welcome. The performance wasn't that ragged, which was good. Back in December.

The Three

Sunday was our regular jam night. It was distinguished by me starting a migraine as soon as we started playing. No tablets with me, so I played with my eyes shut for about 40 minutes until the visual disturbances went away. We played some stuff we haven't had a go at for ages and also a few requests. We had talked between us in a sort of distant way about doing The Beatles' Come Together, but we never got round to trying it. We ploughed through it and it sounded like we had been playing it forever immediately. That's going into the set. Bed late.

Monday morning got written off by another migraine. This time I had the Zapains ready. I put some in with my band gear for when we are out gigging.

The weather at the moment is just SCORCHIO. Too hot to walk the dogs until late evening.

A bookshelves pic, taken for an online forum:

Ian Edmundson
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July 22nd:
The hot weather is getting really oppressive. You have to wonder if we are going to keep getting lots more of this, going forward. The eight cats and our two dogs are really unhappy. I'm not able to walk Tom during the day in this heat. I can only take the dogs out when it's late evening and the temperature is properly cooling down. I've seen a couple of people walking dogs during the sweltering day and I feel like shouting at them. The 'New Improved Me' doesn't get into arguments, though.

I spent yesterday afternoon in A&E, after a slight argument with a mini chainsaw, while gardening. It recoiled off a branch and the safety guard had been pushed up. My left hand was a couple of feet away, but it touched my thumb, during the recoil. I still have my thumb, fortunately. It was just a flesh wound. My thumb doesn't hurt at all, but it is sterastripped up and bandaged, so I have to be careful, or I will end up back at A&E having it reapplied. The people in A&E were lovely. It will be wrapped up for ten days. That's going to be fun, but much better than a lost thumb.

Three gigs this weekend. The carrying of gear is going to be interesting.

I met my friend Mike for a couple of beers at lunchtime. When I got home, the water supply was disrupted because they are attending to a burst water main close by. I rang United Ultilities in the evening because their website says it is sorted, but it certainly isn't. At 6.30pm, they were attacking the road with a little digger. Lynda's pancreatitis is kicking off, so she's throwing up and is practically knocked over by it all. It looks like it's killing her, but she won't let me ring anyone. She will not go to hospital, after her last escapade there. The water came back on late in the evening.

Ian Edmundson

How I feel right now.

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July 26th:
Another weekend's gigging over and done with. Great Harwood on the Friday. We played well, but I was dog-tired and I think my lack of energy slowed the band down. I tried harder on the Saturday in Southport, despite still feeling rather exhausted on the way there and, with a great crowd behind us, we sailed fairly effortlessly through the gig.

The Three

I felt more rested for the jam night on Sunday. We had a really good crowd and unfortunately, we couldn't get quite everyone up who wanted to play. I woke up this morning feeling a bit tired, but it was a good weekend. I think I am going to start to try to get some siestas / afternoon naps in like Graham does. I did it for a while after my operation and it kept me feeling a lot more energised.

My damaged thumb didn't get in the way of playing, but I nearly pulled my bandage off, while breaking the gear down last night. Some gaffa tape around the bandage on my injured digit will hopefully hold the bandage in place for the next week or so.

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August 3rd:
I'm writing this at 00.30. My sleep cycle is really disrupted. I usually get to bed at about 2am, meaning I get up late in the morning. I don't think that lynda approves.

Thumb update: It appeared to have healed fairly well, when I removed the bandage and replaced it with a plaster and some checker tape to keep it covered. I will keep that on until Friday or so and see how it is doing then.

The car's been in to be looked at, because some lights have been coming on. They came back on straight after it was looked at last time at the same place. It's turning into a saga. I changed my last car (also a Vauxhall Zafira) because of the same problem. I can't afford to change it again right now. I think I am going to have to religiously put mt gig money towards a new car. It's back in on Wednesday and it looks like I'm going to be about £350 down.

The last weekend was fun. We were playing at The Polished Knob in Todmorden on Friday. we did a fine set and the crowd were pleased with us and a good bunch of girls danced around a lot while we were on. We were one of the first bands to be back on there, so it's still a novelty for people to be able to go out and watch bands. I hope that the punters don't turn apathetic again. Saturday night at The Hulton Arms was an odd one. For some really odd reason that I still can't get my head around, we ended up setting up in a tiny corner, instead of the usual proper stage area. The offer to move was made, but it was a bit late. I had chased cables round for the PA. But The New Improved Me doesn't let these things get on top of me.  Well, to be honest, I DID grumble a little. Apart from that, it was still nonetheless a fun gig. Sunday was our jam night. A very early evening meal and out at 5pm to get set up for the 6.30 start. We ended up starting 15 minutes late, with everyone staring at us. But The New Improved Me doesn't let these things get on top of me.

Monday was mainly spent recovering from the weekend's exertions. I managed a siesta in the late afternoon. I must get back to doing the long walk with Tom, now the weather is getting more reasonable.

I went to the tip with a load of bushes this morning and combined that with a trip to B&Q to get a replacement wheel for my 4x10 bass cab. I ended up buying 4 new wheels and a spare, as they didn't have the right size wheel.

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August 9th:
I've been working on and off on the updated version of the Slade book, THE NOIZE. Even though I have little or no enthusiasm for Slade or their music at present (it's going on for a year now since I actually played a Slade track), I am working to get the book finished and over and done with, so I can dive into the book about The Who, with no more distractions.

Yesterday I was talking to my co-author Chris about the book, as we do and I said something about wishing I had managed to do a certain version of the cover. What I had always thought would be a technical nightmare to sort out only took me a couple of hours from start to finish, including sourcing images and sending quite a lot of versions to Chris for his comments. So we have now two cracking versions of the cover - one for the hardback (November 1st) and one for the paperback (December 1st).

The car went in on Wednesday, wasn't ready on Thursday, as they had ordered the wrong part, so I got it back for over the weekend. I felt unwell on the Thursday and didn't go out to lunch. Friday involved running my mate Dave to a medical appointment and gigging in the evening.

Gigs: It peed down all weekend. On Friday we were near Rochdale and with us playing out of a box into the pub, it wasn't very conducive to a good sound. There was a much better turnout there than we usually have. I was really tired. Saturday was our local gig and we didn't really play that well. Both Graham and I were very tired and there were lots of mistakes. We had friends round at ours and they missed some of the first half of the gig. Sunday was our jam night and we played fairly ok at that and we had a bit more energy. Issues with volumes. After the jam night it was pointed out to me that I had a flat tyre, so I pulled the car round the corner from the pub and pumped the tyre up to about 60% and so this morning, I went out earlyish and got the slow puncture fixed. Better than paying for a new tyre.

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12th August:
I'd been messaging a couple of venues about return gigs for the band. One venue has had its bookings taken over by some woman whose replies read as very aggressive when I get them. She seems to have her own clique of bands and doesn't want us from the look of it. Everyone raved about our gig there just before the lockdowns started.

Another of our local venues appears to be having problems in that the manager's partner wants to DJ instead of having bands on, so she's gone radio silent on me. That's a huge loss to the Atherton area and it will be seen as a huge mistake for years to come.

My throat's really raw and tickly at the moment. Lynda made me do a Covid test. It was negative, like I knew it would be. I'm either allergic to something (all the hedges on our local park, across the road from me, were cut the other day), have a cold, or I over-sang last weekend. It could be a mix of all three.

DAFT KIDS MAKING DAFT PHONE CALLS (St James' School content)
The other day, some kids decided to mess me about.

So... on Tuesday afternoon I got a call from two kids. They said they had found a pet ID disc with my phone number and postcode on it. They then said my pet was dead and rang off. Being very alarmed (almost in shock), I counted my cats and dogs. All present and correct. That was a huge relief to me, but for a short time I was really upset.

The thing they forgot was that I had their number. So I texted them back. I told them my brother is a Policeman and I'd get him onto it.

I waited a moment, then I texted them once again and said wait for a call, they will be following this up.

They texted back, basically saying don't involve the Police.

I texted back asking what they had found and where they had found it.
Mentioning my brother again.

They rang me back and said they had found a pet tag (with no pet attached to it), near St James' School. Please don't involve the Police Mister, we're only young and my mate did it and he ran off.

I told them what they had done wasn't big or clever and not to do anything like this to anyone else and to put the pet tag in a bin. I reminded them that I have their number.

I won't be telling my Policeman brother about this, because I don't actually have a brother. Kids are such suckers...

Most of phone number is in the image. Check your kids, folks, you may have an idiot. This is now on Nextdoor and on Facebook. I hope their parents see it.

Some people have sprung to my defence and have asked me for their full number, but I'm not prepared to set a load of angry adults on a couple of daft kids..... though I quite felt like it at the time.

Cretinous kids.

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14th / 15th August:
I've been struggling with my voice and have been ill for a few days. I slept from 11pm Friday evening to 2pm Saturday.

Our first gig of the weekend was at a new venue and I really didn't want to cancel with short notice. Number 39 in Darwen is a funky little bar that has a bit of a Jazz Club atmopsphere to it. We played well, at a sensible volume. The man from the club next door said we were very well balanced and he'd have to book us. He pays £180 (1970's money) max, so he's got no chance. At the end of the gig, my throat felt a bit raw again. It was a nice early dart and I was home before midnight. We will be playing at the same venue for the Darwen Live event in October. Two Covid home tests say my illness is not Covid.

The Three

The jam night on Sunday was an ordeal by comparison. I felt giddy and sick and obliged to play, rather than cancel and let the venue down. Typical of my luck, I seemed to be the only bassist in and did 3 hours playing before we switched off at 10pm. We were then told we should be playing until 10.30. I didn't know who I was at that point, I was so ill. I got home well before 11pm and collapsed into bed.

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20th August:
I went for a full Covid test yesterday, as it seems very likely that I have now got it. I have only told people about this development because gig work needed to be covered or cancelled. There is no responsible way to carry on and play through with Covid. It just can't happen. The mucky throat and bad cold that was bothering me last weekend didn't show up as Covid on two tests, then they did show as being Covid on a third. I awaited the full test results with interest. And of course the main test came back positive.

I feel like I've got a nasty cold and my throat tickles annoyingly and I have had some cracking coughing fits. I have been keeping a distance from Lynda, apart from being in the same bed. If she's going to get it, it's too late to avoid it now, but I am working on the principle that keeping a bit of space between us is healthier.

If you are a lurker reader and reading this, don't worry about me. I have felt a lot worse than this. This just means I have to isolate for a short while. My taste and smell haven't been affected (yet) and I am hoping they won't be.

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24th August:
Well, as I said, it WAS covid. Lots of sleep. Manky throat still, but I am over the worst of it and hoping to be able to play next Sunday.

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30th August:
I'm able to leave the house now legally, following my bout of covid. I have had a number of phone calls from NHS staffers to see how I'm doing. I still have some congestion on my chest and a slightly tickly throat. I could have done the jam night yesterday, but they'd asked a dep to help out and I did say that it was ok if they had, as I could use the week to get my voice right, instead of blowing my pipes out.

I took Tom on part of the long walk yesterday, about an hour's worth, and that was enough for me.

I've spent quite a lot of time working on the second edition of THE NOIZE book recently. I'm tired of messing with it now. Various people we have been hoping for input from are not joining in very much. The details of the BMG re-releases (hopefully the last) should be with us soon. I don't want the book to go out without those. I want to get it out. Chris says we should stick to November 1st for the hardback, as that's what we've said. He's more sensible than me, so I will bow to his superior intellect, with a slight pre-order window built-in to allow for printing and delivery for Nov 1st.

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4th September:
My second short-run vinyl project is being pressed today. I'm quite pleased that I have managed to get it turned around so quickly. I have to arrange for picture sleeves to be printed for it.

My Covid cough is just about gone now, which is a good job, as we are back out gigging this evening.

I was worried about how the gig would go, seeing as my throat has been so rough and that I am also pretty tired a lot of the time. We played quite well. Graham said that from behind the drums we sounded great. I had my bass sound exactly how I wanted it at a sensible volume (new strings on a USA Fender Precision Bass) and there were no volume wars or anything.

The Three

This Is My Kingdom Now

I got to bed a bit after 1am and had a bit of a read.

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5th September:
Sunday morning written off, as I hadn't set my alarm and I caught some sleep up, apart from being woken up at 8.30am by Edward, who had got into a drawer under our bed. God knows how he got in there. After that I got back in bed and that was that. I had a bit of a headache, so some shut-eye was a good idea. Perhaps a couple of tablets would have been good, too, but that would have involved looking for them. I don't fight it when I am tired. I will just shut my eyes and zonk out. I don't run to a timetable that often, so I sleep when I have to. Being a night owl and not getting to bed until around 2am doesn't help. I am going to have to work on getting earlier nights during the week.

9th September:
Quite gratifying that this other short-run vinyl project looks excellent and came together easily. The discs look great. Just waiting for the sleeves to be delivered. Rachel and April came to visit yesterday. Relieved that I am Covid free and all that appears to have happened is a lingering tiredness. I have been cramming last-minute extras into the Slade discography book, THE NOIZE. Now on 293 pages.

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14th September:
The weekend was going so well. A nice gig in Bury on Saturday, but at the jam night on Friday, complaints that the guitar wasn't loud enough from people who were sat on my side of the stage. The bass was balanced with the drums, which is what I can hear the most - even BETWEEN gigs, as my ears are screwed to be honest and I have tinnitus going on - and the guitar wasn't set loud enough, but it was ME who had to turn down. After a few words about this, we are going to have to do a soundcheck at every gig. If we agree a sound level and stick to it, there shouldn't be any argument.

I have booked about half a dozen gigs now for next year. Graham congratulated me in Bury on Saturday on getting all this year's bookings - I know how to fill a diary up. Venues are being slow about next year, though and I'm not looking forward to contacting all of the venues repeatedly.

Our gig on the 25th was set to be at a local venue, as agreed with the landlord of a chain of pubs. I have a text message saying we are there and that we are booked in. I put a poster on the venue's Faceache page and they said we are at another venue. I contact the landlord and he says we are at the other venue. Talking to landlords is like juggling cats.

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25th September:
The last week has been a bit of a trial in places. My car battery died and I was very lucky to have some kind help removing the old one, as the plate that held it in place wouldn't budge. I was mortified that I had to let my friend down who I was taking to the hospital, but he's got himself another appointment next week, so we will do that. I managed to meet Mike on Tuesday and also go out for a meal on Friday evening.

It was an occasion, so I dressed for it.

Out, out.

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29th September:
Happy birthday to Lynda today. Happy birthday to my granddaughter April (3 on the 27th).

The so-called fuel crisis lurches on. People queuing for petrol with jerry cans and full tanks, gassing all of their cars up instead of just the ones they use - creating a problem. We Brits know how to excel at being selfish when there is supposedly any form of crisis in the air. Panic buying.

Saturday's gig gave way partway through to a Sky live broadcast of the boxing, which I was quite taken aback by, but I guess that is what the punters wanted. Sorry to the people who came to see us. It wasn't our choice. It seems that the pub had to pay £190 to show the Sky broadcast of the fight, so they had to keep the sound on, rather than have us clattering away. Video from the last jam night has practically no bass on it, so I guess the balance was right for some.

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4th October:
Well, the last week has been good on the whole. Grand-daughter April turned 3 on Sept 27th. Lynda's birthday was the 29th. Hospital trips and I had to get an unexpected blood test. I met my old mate Gary and he had been diagnosed with something serious, which was NOT good (his news, not mine) and he was trying to be chipper about it. People with serious illnesses do well to adopt an attitude of gallows humour about all this stuff.

The weekend was a local gig and the jam night. We soundchecked and got a balance sorted, which we stuck to. I wore earplugs and could hear my bass really well and all the whoosh was cut out of what I could hear. I had trouble hearing what my voice sounded like, but I could hear everything else perfectly. The same at the jam night. Result. The stress of trying to hear my own voice while singing makes me mess things up and that is unpleasant in its own way.

Today my latest Urology PSA test result came back at 0.09 which they are pleased with, but I am not quite as pleased as they are. Every six months it creeps up.  This month it leapt up. I spoke to them about a couple of things while I had them on the line and a couple of unpleasant things now need to happen.

I took Tom for the long walk while I chewed this information over.

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12th October:
Funniest comedy moment of the month was when we were doing Purple Rain at one of the gigs. This random woman looked at me and mouthed something at me and pointed to my mic. I shook my head back in a firm 'no' type way, as these days you don't get people up on your mics, but she still steamed onto the mic and it must have been hysterical watching her trying to dodge round me as I kept moving round to stay between her and my mic. Has one of us got Covid? I'm sure the other wouldn't want to find out.

It came to starting the third verse and we were still playing cat and mouse round the mic. Could I remember what to sing? Ha! Nope, my memory had gone. Pure comedy. I came back in several bars late and blathered something quite indecipherable, but Prince wouldn't have recognised it. It's always that song that sets them off on some quest to show their vocal talents and wanting to invade the stage. She was removed and put in restraints.

Second magical comedy moment at another gig: We did the rather inevitable false ending before the inevitable calls for the inevitable encore: "Thangyewangoodnite!"..... and one of the young girls behind the bar ignored the crowd's inevitable shouts for more and immediately (I mean within two seconds) turned their piped muzak up. Oh well...

The others in the band didn't like the distance to a party gig that I had been offered and I had to go back and say no to the friend who offered the gig. We are old men and want to be in bed before 2am.

After a long series of discussions about my bass sound and someone recoiling in horror from the notion of using my amp as it was set at the jam night (and putting all the bottom end back in that I am made to trim out), I just feel embarrassed.

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17th October:
Well.... The work on the second edition of the Slade discography book continues. Things are turning up just in time to be added. I'm doing my best to keep it to 298 pages.

This weekend's gigs went reasonably smoothly, at one I was told that our sound has 'no punch' to it. I know why that is. We were asked to turn it up, but the sound becomes a soup on stage and everything becomes my fault, so I'd rather not. The Con Club gig tonight went without major volume discussions, but there's tonight's jam to do yet.

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27th October:
I haven't blogged for a short while.

As I've said above, I've been busy getting the Slade book up to a massive 300 fact-packed pages, proof reading it repeatedly and finally getting it published.

The Fontana label style front cover was something that I very much wanted to do as a special thing for the 2019 Convention edition, but at that time, I didn't have the knowledge to perform some of the photoshop techniques required to perfect the artwork on it. I got it as good as I wanted this time, and it was great fun, batting ideas across to Chris and getting notes and suggestions back on things to do.

I came up with another 'similar' design, but I decided to keep that for the second edition - it will be used for the paperback version. A couple of 2019 proofs exist with that cover. It is still under wraps at present. I don't trust anyone but my co-author Chris and another friend with sight of it at present, as it will remain secret until the book is published.

There is a quick reveal of it in the book, but I am not mentioning it now where people will spot it and start shouting about it. There are a number of what we gleefully call 'Easter Eggs' in the book.

The band has been reasonably busy, and all of the proceeds are now going into the fund for a new car. This week it had a service and MOT and it was lucky that I took it in to be checked, as it was in need of some expensive attention.

THE NOIZE THE SLADE DISCOGRAPHY SECOND EDITION

I will never ever buy a Vauxhall again, as they have problems with sensors and so on, which mere mortals in garages seem unable to put right.

Lynda has had her first Covid booster jab and was under the weather following that. I keep getting colds and missed out on my flu jab the other weekend.

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4th November:
Today I had my booster jab. Hopefully, I won't feel too bad afterwards. My wife came with me while I had the jab and then we went round a local supermarket together for the second time since the lockdowns started. The first time was a bit of a disaster, as she thought the outside world was all bodies piled up in doorways, etc. No panic attacks this time. She quite enjoyed getting out and about and picking things from the shelves rather than doing online shopping.

The Slade book is out at last. The second edition of THE NOIZE is selling slowly, but we knew it would do that, as a lot of people already have the first edition. The font has got smaller and the page count has gone up to 300 from 205. There's masses of extra information and releases in there, as well as some comments and Slade group member input, which we were quite pleased about.

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6th November:
I took the weekend off from gigging, to keep the dogs calm while all of the fireworks were going off. I just did the jam night on Sunday. The jab made me feel a little bit ill for a couple of days. I couldn't have done Friday's gig, as I just felt too rough.

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November 11th:
Another gig cancellation at short notice. Landlords baffle me. You get yourself in the diary so far in advance and you get cancelled with a week's notice. How many diaries do these places have? We don't mess up bookings. At a venue we were supposed to be playing at the end of October, I'd written the dates in the diary myself before the lockdowns started. we were the first in the diary, but still got chopped. Perhaps some other bands are cheaper. Landlords have it tough these days and perhaps the lure of saving money by getting an inferior solo act with backing tapes is too much to resist. Not that musicians don't have it tough, of course. My bandmates would rather I didn't mention double bookings, because then WE become the band who complain about the venues. I must think 'VANILLA' before I post anywhere in future. Happy clappy showbiz, etc. Smiley smile. This kind of let down by venues, plus the dark nights and increasingly rotten weather to move a carfull of gear around in, makes me think that retirement from showbiz is not a long way off. I will miss it when it goes.

I had a camera inserted where I didn't want one, last Thursday. It was interesting to look around the inside of my bladder, hopefully for the only time in my life. There were obvious signs of damage from my radiotherapy. Disconcerting to see, but better than the alternative. Nothing sinister was spotted.

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November 16th:
More gigs done, a couple more booked.

THE NOIZE The Slade discography - the hardback second edition is selling slowly but surely, which is nice. Here's Jim Lea, reading his copy yesterday in Wolverhampton... It's a thing of beauty.

JIM LEA: Cum On Read The Noize.

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November 22nd:
Our gig on Friday was irritatingly pulled with a week's notice because of a double booking by the venue (or maybe just another band being cheaper, who knows?) so we had a curry instead of me going out. Saturday was the Polished Knob in Todmorden and we had the crowd dancing all the way through the second half. I find it quite funny when they decide to sit down and the=n have to get up again, when we play something else they love. Sunday was the jam night. I wasn't lookinmg forward to it very much, as it was getting cold and dark and wet and I am getting a bit old for carting a big car's worth of gear in and out of places. Then I remember that this is paying our heating bill, so I shut up and get on with it.

My copy of my Slade book was showing as undeliverable, so I contacted Amazon Customer Services, who did me a refund. The notes said it was damaged and being returned to seller. Then the next day it arrived in perfect condition. So now I have to sort THAT out.... at my leisure.  The book is showing as not being deliverable in time for Christmas if ordered now, which is absolutely infuriating. Hardbacks are new to Amazon, so their printing facility is probably not coping with the demand and is getting backed up. A pain.

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November 24th:
We've now made the paperback of THE NOIZE second edition available early, because of the ridiculous delays with delivery of the hardback. Amazon have lowered the hardback price, which means the paperback is more expensive at present. Hopefully, they will slash the paperback price shortly. It's all frustrating, because it works against authors. If we had known that this was going to happen, we would have gone with the paperback early and then have saved the hardback for next year.

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December 3rd:
A weekend off from gigging, apart from the jam night on Sunday. A good job really, as my throat has been pretty wrecked for a week now. It feels a bit closed up and it really hurts when I swallow.

My mate is in hospital having had a quite unfair amount of his body weight removed. The surgeon who removed my prostate gland was on the team for his 12 hour operation. My mate is very much in my thoughts at the moment and I am beginning to regret that we hadn't been in touch as much as we could have in recent times. I can't go to see him in hospital as he is in early recovery from a major op and besides, I would be stupid to go with such a bad throat. He's got a copy of my book to read while he's in hospital.

The group are looking at where we want to play next year. Some places are pretty tightfisted when it comes to paying bands. They won't get us back. We are also going to drop the places where we are always playing to a few people. We have a good gig to announce, but can't do that yet. This has meant us rearranging another gig that we have just taken. I don't like to mess venues about, but we were already pencilled in and the second venue sounded quite amenable to us moving the date a little.

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December 6th:
My voice was breaking up straight away at the jam night last night. It was a good night, all in all, slightly ruined at the end by one of the regulars complaining to me about what had happened to their jam night? At the end of the evening, a bunch of players had all got together (for the first time) and were steaming through a bunch of songs. This got up someone's nose, as the regular jam night ritual wasn't being followed. I got a bit narked at being complained at for something that happened when I wasn't even on the stage.

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December 14th:
Well, my throat has been shocking over the last week. I've had a middle-of-the-night coughing fit with a spot or two of blood. Not great. I got through the weekend's gigs, with Zapains and cold water. I spoke to the grumbler about the jam night situation.

Work will commence in serious earnest on the Who discography book on January 3rd. The Slade book is selling slowly but surely this month, after a good brisk trade in November. I have done some quite good alternative cover designs for later in the year.

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December 17th:
I'm naturally concerned that over the next couple of weeks my voice is going to be strong enough to get through the Christmas and New Year work that we have lined up. This morning I woke up with my left ear not working at all - possibly something to do with my bath last night. I couldn't clear the wax out, so my ear is totally blocked. All I can hear is the high-pitched whistle of my tinnitus in that ear, blasting away in splendid isolation. I've made an appointment to get it sorted tomorrow afternoon. I'm not at all looking forward to someone mucking about in my ear (or it costing £45 for someone to do it), but when I put my finger over my right ear and was totally deaf, it absolutely terrified me, so I am happy to pay to get the problem resolved, rather than live in fear of deafness.

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December 20th:
I got both of my ears un-waxed on the 18th. I was a bit worried about what I would find when I turned up to have them done. I needn't have worried, as the office was very business-like indeed and the audiologist knew exactly what he was doing and indeed showed me exactly what needed to be done. I felt a lot better as a result on the process of havibng both of my ears cleaned out.

The gig on Saturday evening was near Oldham in a bike club clubhouse in a former mill. It's normally a wonderful venue, but this time, the power was out along one wall and the place was freezing cold. My hands were really cold all the time when I was playing and I could see my breath. I'd have asked for a coffee, but I was scared of starting a migraine off. The crowd seemed to be putting up with a band being on and clapped occasionally and I wondered why we were there. It's a good job Lynda didn't come with me, as I would have ended up driving her home.

The jam night on Sunday went pretty much as normal, and we tried to get people to dress festive, as it was the last one before Christmas. I wore a Christmas tie that is MANY years old.

We both did covid tests the other day, both negative, but Lynda appears to be coming down with the bad cold that I had the other week, which was wrecking my voice. I am paranoid of getting it back from her, with Christmnas Eve and New Year's Eve gigs to do. Visits to various relatives are sorted out. We are supposed to be going out for a meal on the 25th.

I spent a fair amount of today doing a test new version of a front page for the Slade site, only to find it doesn't like being viewed on a phone. It worked properly after a bit of tweaking.

I counted up the different versions of our book THE NOIZE that I have...

Every conceivable variation of THE NOIZE.

1  First edition paperback proof (3 copies exist, different graphic design on title pic)
2  First edition paperback
3  2019 convention edition unused cover proof (Polydor design, 2-3 copies exist)
4  2019 convention edition (approx 80 copies exist)
5  2019 convention edition Blue label print (approx 20 copies exist)
6  First edition hardback
7  Second edition NB2 hardback (early bird copies)
8  Second edition paperback (Polydor design)
9  Second edition hardback NOIZE NB2 hardback.

http://linktr.ee/TheNoizeBook

THE NOIZE

The 2019 Convention edition NEARLY had this cover, but we decided to keep it back, just in case we ever did a second edition. So only a couple of proof copies exist. As you all now know, we returned to the design.

THE NOIZE unissued proof design

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Boxing Day 2021:
We went to my step-daughters house for a pre-Christmas gathering and it was the best contact we'd had so far with her young son  - he was much chatty than he's ever been and was playing with his grandma for ages. When he started to get a little tired, we were ushered out of the house without much ceremony.

Christmas Eve saw the band playing at a Conservative Club in Blackpool. We soundchecked and I was playing bass at about bedroom volume in a large venue, Graham was just tapping his drums all the way through the first spot and our guitarist Ian muttered about the sound being a bit gutless. Well, he doesn't want it very loud - we have to match our sound to the guitar volume, instead of to the drums like everyone else - and I don't want to argue about my volume anymore. I'm fed up of doing that. It can't go on.. We went down well enough with the crowd and the elderly compere came along after 40 minutes of our second spot, taking up his position behind the DJ booth next to me, glaring at me occasionally and he started looking a little like he was going to take us off. We clattered through a couple more songs: Shangalang and Tell Him, before announcing our final song as Merry Xmas Everybody. Off we went and he seemed quite pleased to be able to pipe out Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie over their rather inadequate and muffled PA system. Home at 1.15am.

Blackpool Rocks

A peaceful enough Christmas day this year. We went out for a meal in the evening early with a friend and her family and it was all very nice. Just the right amount of food. The restaurant felt safe enough and a good time was had by all.

Today saw me up at 10.30am and I just tooled around the house all day, did a lot of reading.

The 27th will see us do the last jam night of the year. If that goes without incident, we will be doing New Year's Eve at a local pub in Bolton. Boris Johnson may be introducing further restrictions because of the recent spread and high numbers of Covid infections. We will have to see if the New Year schedule gets decimated again. If it does, that solves a problem or two for me.

I'm currently enjoying an autobiography by the former Black Crowes drummer, about his band that didn't get on, because one of them was persistently and stupidly difficult. I could write that book. Well, actually I already did, but I could write another. It always astonishes me when people who play in bands start being obnoxious to the others. They are doing something that other people would love to do. It is meant to be about fun and profit, but then these people start getting delusions of importance and it all being about them. When they are in a pub band - especially a covers band - then these people just need to be laughed at. When they are fortunate enough to be in a pro band and do this, then they really are in the wrong job, if they want to throw their talent away on little tantrums and ego trips.

The Black Crowes had two brothers who were capable of fighting like cat and dog, until they wore out the rest of the band, who were all dealing with various booze and drug addictions, and the two brothers even started to try to take the lion's share of the income for themselves from the other members. It goes to show that the two brothers have done little (or nothing) of any consequence or commericial impact since the band folded. You reap what you sow. Van Halen did similar things to the non-VH-family members. Twats.

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December 30th:
I finished the Black Crowes drummer's book last night. What a divided and contrary pair of people the Robinson brothers were. Assholes. The world seems to be a much better place without that group.

The jam night on the 27th ran fairly nicely - the last one of the year. I was talking to a lady who regularly attends on the way out and she seemed quite touched that I was talking to her. During the jam itself, I often just sit behind my amp when other people are onstage, as I am making sure I don't go home with covid. I must come across as rather stand-offish, which isn't my intention. I will work on that a little.

I did get extremely grumpy when we were packing up, as there were three people working on Graham's kit and they were walking all over the small space where I was trying to break my gear down. I put my gear across their path and formed a wall with it to keep them away from my bit of the stage, so I had a chance to pack up and that seemed to cause a bit of friction. Other people's gear was placed on top of our cabling in front of the stage when I was trying to pick it all up and I started to lose my rag. Don't people look where they are putting their stuff? A bit of a meltdown. I hate the jam night setup and breakdown for a number of reasons.

I contacted a venue in Sandbach regarding gigging there and was mortified that they only pay £50 per man for bands. That's bad 1970's money. They won't be getting us, that's for sure. I bet their beer isn't still 37p per pint.

Other venues are really slow or useless at responding.

Rachel and family and my son Paul came round to ours for a while on the 28th. A lovely time.

THE NOIZE sold reasonably well in December - especially considering that it is a second edition of a book that a lot of people already have. People are noticing the extra work that has gone into the second edition. Everything that could be improved has been edited and expanded. All proceeds from the books and from gigs and web work go into the car fund. Though, that said, there's a small leak in our roof, so I need to get that sorted asap.

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December 31st:
I've rung someone who's said he will pop round on New Year's Day to price the roof job up. It's a fairly simple and quick job (hopefully), but I am still expecting to have to fork out a bit of cash for it to be done. Worse things happen. Lynda is very upset and has taken to our bed. The problem has firmly taken up a centre position in my head, so my mind keeps cycling through it all... and it is making me feel a little ill. That's what happens when anxiety strikes me. My stomach goes. I won't feel right until it's fixed now.

People were setting fireworks off in the early evening, upsetting our dogs. Tom went into bark mode and Oscar willingly joined in. At the point when I was going out, Lynda wasn't feeling very good at all and I was on the verge of canceling the evening, but that wasn't really an option. I set off before 8 and the dogs were apparently barking on and off up to 10pm.

The New Year's Eve gig was rescued by some loyal supporters that we have, who had thankfully bought tickets to come down to see us. We are so grateful to them for their support. The landlord had put a tribute act on at his other nearby pub, which is now pitched as being more of a music venue and they sold 160 tickets for that, so once again, we were put up against rather stiff competition. We were asked to start at 9pm - a bit unusual for a New Year's Eve. We ended up doing a number of short sets, including one that finished at approximately 12.58 to let the TV bring the new year in. We then played for a further 20 minutes or so. Five sets in all. We had some fun and did a couple of things we don't usually do - Wishing Well for a punter who has begged us to play it before. The last time we played that song (apart from helping others with it at the jam night) was about three years ago! We even played Freebird for our supporters to take us to midnight. We NEVER play that song.

I was home just a little after 1am, which was not bad, considering that I came offstage at 12.25am. We had a sit down and hit the hay at about 1.30am.

And that was it for 2021.
A mixed year, all in all.
I hope the new year is better for everyone.

New Year's resolutions:

Drink less, especially at home.
Get myself off crisps and fattening rubbish.
Engage brain before putting mouth in gear.
Don't sweat and argue about the small stuff.
Try to be a bit more present in my relationship - spending less time on the computer.
Do the Who book (that involves the computer, but it's work).
Get back into the long walks with Tom as soon as it gets warmer.

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© Ian Edmundson, 2021