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Ian Edmundson UNTRUTHS

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2024

Jan 1st: Well, I woke up early and was finally up and about at 9.30am, despite the very late hour I got in at last night. My band gear was brought into the house and packed away before 10am. My throat's still a bit croaky from last night's exertions. There was a lot of singing going on. I'm still processing some of the horrible shit that went on last night. Childish moody sulking behaviour. And, apart from the antics of the blind cameraman, there was some unexpected hostility from someone I know who actually threatened to smash my phone because I had the temerity to show someone else a photograph. What's dark and nasty inside tends to come out when you'e drunk and I don't simply shrug that off. The midnight best wishes and lack of them were quite telling.

An amount of this afternoon was spent watching the end of LOST s6. I must admit to getting quite emotional at the fates of the main characters. It is not the easiest watch on TV. After wiping myself out with that, it was a couple of beers and freecell on the computer and mercilessly emptying some desk drawers for a therapeutic chuck-out.

It being winter, the weather is rubbish and it's gone dark and very cold early, so no dog walk today, though I have promised myself to try to get Tom out more often for a decent longer walk.

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Jan 2nd: Up around 10.30. Utterly tired. A bit of a non-day. Spent a lot of it on the computer doing chores. Some time was spent cleaning up my Facebook page. I fell asleep after our evening meal a couple of times while watching TV - Manhattan, COBRA, Traces, Coronation Street. We went to bed at 2am and I couldn't get comfortable, or to sleep, so I went in the back room until 5.30am. I probably got to sleep at around 6am.

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Jan 3rd: Up at around 11am, feeling like the walking dead. I don't do very well when I haven't had enough sleep. A bit of me is thinking of rearranging my studio room. It would be a lot of effort and  I might not like the new layout, so I keep chickening out. Lynda isn't too good today. She called me downstairs to turn a tap off in the kitchen as she needed to sit down. She was out of breath through standing up. A friend of ours called round and we had a nice enough afternoon. I spent some of the day doing computer web admin and such.

We aren't doing the Lytham Music Festival this year. I suspect the compere has something to do with that. He insisted on stopping us early the last two times we played, so he could natter to the audience. That didn't go down well at all with us or with them.

I was told a while since that we aren't doing the Bent And Bongs beer festival this year either. Looking at what they have booked, I think it's down to money. We went down really well every time we did it.

In the evening I fell asleep at one point watching TV. Lynda went to bed at about 9pm. A gig came in and I ended up doing the event, website and poster image, etc,so I ended up getting to bed at 1.30am as I wasn't tired enough to go back to sleep. I was still awake at going on for 5am again, because one of our cats (Vincent) insisted on sleeping between our pillows. I'm slightly allergic to him and I felt my throat closing and my nose blocking up. Dreading getting up tomorrow. I'm supposed to be meeting Mike at 1pm.

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Jan 4th: Well, it must have been 6am when I got to sleep and as if by magic, I have a number of cats creating havoc around me and Lynda having a bad turn, which fortunately seems to have passed, at 9.25am. I'm supposed to be at a funeral in Hindley at 10am, but I don't feel safe to drive to that. I'm hopefully going to be ok to meet Mike later. Booking #100 for this year came in, so I did the admin on that. At this moment in time - 11.22am - I feel horrible. I did meet Mike at 1.30pm and we went to The Vaults for a pint and a chat. I kept myself busy and ddn't nod off until mid-evening. I ended up getting to bed at around going on for 2am.

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Jan 5th: I woke up at 7.30am and had a couple of minutes before going back to bed until my alarm went off at 10am. Lynda was still in bed, so I stayed put awhile, then got up and fed the pets. Our drummer Graham rang me for a chat about band stuff. It's not exactly Happy Valley or a pleasant place to be at present. I can't go into it all in public, but.... We have the recordings to finish. I have done all of the prep work, but just waiting on the songs to be ready to record. It's not me holding things up. The first pair of studio recordings are not complete yet. All the parts are down, but the guy at the studio insisted on us recording multiple parts, which he can then manipulate and re-tune and put exactly on the beat. The track has the kitchen sink thrown at it. Besides the band, there are additional keyboards (those are not a problem) various overdubs. Getting all of that down was time consuming, needlessly and hideously expensive and also not how we work at all and we would have used a different studio had we known. I have asked Graham for a couple of drum tracks, so I can get a couple of his songs together and finished for the album we are doing. Graham agrees with me that it doesn't need to involve all of the band. I work quicker when I don't have to show people songs and I like the end result. Chris has started sending me stuff for our next book.

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Jan 8th: Up after 10am this morning. I took Tom for a decent length walk while I dropped Lynda's prescription off. There is talk going on about changing our setlist. I started it. I am bored sick with just going out and playing the same songs all of the time. I have asked the other two guys to change the setlist around and to add and subtract some stuff and send it back to me. We will see if we get any response. Saturday's gig was at a club in Radcliffe near Bolton. A very nice venue indeed and we always enjoy playing there. We play a more 60's oriented set of songs at that show. The jam night on Sunday was tiring and I really didn't enjoy it that much. It's just Groundhog Day as a rule these days. The announcement that we will get the first two jams of next year off filled me with absolute delight.

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Jan 9th: Tuesday: I woke up at 6am, feeling rather hot and dehydrated, as I was covered in cats and dogs. I went to the bathrom and drank some water and cleaned my teeth and such. Feeling fully refreshed and, worse still, fully awake I spent the next few hours in the studio room clearing all of the documents on my computer onto a flash drive, as my C drive was looking rather full. I wet to meet Mike at lunch, and then  got a couple of photos printed for my friend's wife. The GP surgery rang me about recent blood tests and cheerfully tried to point me at statins. I've had those before and did not get on with them at all. I will make some meaningful dietary adjustments instead. I have all but given up crisps (one packet this year so far) and intend to look at everything else that is my intake. I was falling asleep in the evening and got to bed at about midnight for a read. I'm still ploughing my way through a rather thick book about The Beatles called Can't Buy Me Love.

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Jan 10th: I woke up at 10am and Lynda was still in bed. I decided when she got up to have 15 minutes as I had the bed to myself when the animals followed her downstairs to mug her for food. Mistake. I was alarmed to wake up at 1pm. I flew out of bed and started whirling around like a dervish. I got a few things done and got a migraine. Three Zapains got rid of that. I then went round to see Sue with the couple of photos of Dave. We had a nice couple of hours. When I got home Lynda showed me a TV show about a couple of people who were struggling as I have with sabotaging an otherwise good diet by filling up with crap and as a result they are grazing on more junk food and disturbing their sleep etc. I am determined to make a number of changes (as above) which should make a real difference to me. Graham has booked us into the studio for two late afternoon mixing sessions on the 17th and 24th to finish off the two songs which I wrote with him that the band has recorded. The evening was a run of TV and bed at around midnight. I ended up going downstairs to sleep again as I was covered in cats and dogs, and I'm feeling like I'm getting a cold again. I went back to bed after being uncomfortable downstairs at about 5.30am.

Jan 11th: I was awake again at around 9am and despite feeling a lot like like death warmed up. I ended up getting up and washing my hair. I kept myself awake with very strong  coffee and set off for Graham's house in Leyland to rehearse the two new songs for the studio. I had hoped to be there for the agreed time of 11am, but my phone sat nav took me slightly round the houses, so it was 11.15 when  I got there. I hate being late for anything. Graham and I set about doing some work on the arrangements for the songs. Our guitarist sent a text asking what time he was supposed to be there and then followed up by saying he would be there at 1.30pm. Graham and I were not  very impressed at all. I left a little before he was due to land, being far too tired to deal with any more of this foolishness today. I had shown that I knew the songs properly and had put my suggestions in to make the arrangement work. It would have just been nice to get all of us in the same room at the same time.

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Jan 12th / 13th 14th: My cold is getting worse and worse and my throat is itching and I'm struggling. We got through our two gigs just fine, though. Graham had written out a new setlist which included a number of songs we haven't played for a while and we actually played with some fire in our bellies. Graham gave me some alternative lyrics to our Christmas song on Thursday and I went over them and amended them slightly on Saturday and gave them back to Graham to approve.  Sunday saw me waking up at noon with a hideous throat. I must have spent as much time lying soaking in a hot bath this weekend as I have onstage, in attempts to get rid of the cold. On Sunday evening, my voice was a bit shot, but we got through the jam, including a run through the Christmas song with its new lyrics. I was a bit put out by some of the stage-hogging behaviour from some of the people onstage. I do love it when some people play songs that other people normally do. HOW DARE THEY???!!  Their faces! Righteous indignation at their song being STOLEN - YES, STOLEN!!! in such a dreadful way. There ought to be a law. the only people at the jam who played something of their own was us. That makes a change from the last 8 years.

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15th / 16th / 17th: I wasn't feeling up to much on Monday, so the day was spent recuperating from this bloody cold. I did an amount of book work. There's an amount of original writing required for 'Slade In Flame At Fifty' so I got on with that, conferring with Chris over messenger and video chat as we worked out various things for the book. It's not exactly my favourite book to work on, but I'm DOING IT with a rather grim determination. A couple of gigs in Fleetwood have been cancelled, as the venue have stopped hosting live music. Always very very sad to hear that, but it was a ball ache for us to get there. I will try to fill the dates.

I met Mike for lunch on Tuesday. It had snowed overnight and none of us were every impressed about this turn of events. The roads were ok,  when I got away from our house. Bolton town centre was a lot quieter than usual, judging from from what I saw. A bit of a ghost town when I went to meet Mike for lunch in The Vaults. We had a good catch up. Some gigs have come in over the last few days and it's been good to put them in the diary, on the website, do poster images and Facebook events for each of them. An evening of TV and the like. Manhattan is proving to be excellent.

Bed very late at 3am as I simply wasn't tired. I woke up at 6.20am with one of the cats refusing to stop lieing on my arm and so I ended up going downstairs and getting myself a coffee. I am sat at the computer typing this at 07.26 with Edward and Vincent sat on my desk an windowsill, staring bleakly out of the back window at the snow. They seem to hate it too. I didn't go back to bed or back to sleep. Our shopping delivery arrived between noon and 1pm.

At 3pm, I was back at the recording studio and we got the mix of I Hate Christmas finished off in a couple of hours. It sounds really good. There are two different vocal versions and an instrumental mix (no vocals or sleighbells) which is a bit less lo-fi and that's because it is only really for reference. Later in the evening I was nodding off in front of the TV. I will sleep tonight.

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Jan 18th: A fairly quiet day. Our guitarist's father has passed away. There are really no words at all that can can make things better when you lose a parent. Reading the very sad news took me back to losing my parents. It's terrible. Our condenser pipe from our boiler has frozen, so we have no hot water and central heating. The pipe out from our bath has also frozen. Minor problems that will resolve themselves in a day or two. I took a hot water bottle to bed.

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Jan 19th: Up late. Another day of not venturing out of the house. There's still snow and I hate the cold. Good news - the central heating is back on. I spent a couple of hours in my happy place, a warm bath, with a book. Still reading that Beatles book. We're up to Sgt Pepper and the loss of Brian Epstein, so not a long way to go now.

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Jan 20th: Up late again. I caught up with some much needed sleep. Sorting out my application for a photo driving license. I want it as valid photo ID. They like you to have some valid photo ID to get one. My passport is no longer vaild (it expired during covid and I currently have no intention of renewing it), so I can't use that. Luckily, I have got a written statement from a currently established Civil Servant to back me up, plus a P60 and a short copy birth certificate. Now I just need to get a passport-sized photo taken.

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Jan 21st: Saturday night's gig at Hogarths in Bolton went down really well and I'm quite hopeful of a couple of return bookings this year. Thanks to all who came.

Hogarths

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Jan 22nd: The jam night was - to be honest - sparsely attended on the musician front, but we got through it quite well, considering . A couple of things happened that make me realise that my decision to put an end date on all of this is exactly the right one. I took my 5-string Ibanez bass out for the first time in ages and I thought it sounded great, but I tripped up playing it a number of times due to the extra string. I got there in the end. A thought-provoking discussion on assisted suicide on Radio 4 as I drove home, It's defiinitely one of my future options - don't be surprised, I've got cancer - so I listened with a fair degree of interest. Listen here.

Our bins (which were not emptied on Friday, so I have left them out) blew over shortly after I got back and I cut one of my fingers on a can and I bled like a stuck pig. Brilliant. Current listening (music to bleed out to): Hymn by Ultravox.

Ow

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22 and 23 Jan: Monday went by in a blur of nothingness, except for a trip oiut to see Rachel and April at their house, which was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. I went to meet Mike in town at lunchtime on Tuesday. I got my photo driving licence card application signed and sent off with some passport photos taken. I looked pretty crap in the photos. The evening was just TV and then bed at a more sensible time.

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24th Jan: Graham rang me early in the morning to say the studio mixing session booked for this afternoon has been put back a week. I messaged Paul at the studio afterwards. I got up late and then I did a new version of a cover for the potential next 'N BETWEENS CD single and 45 sleeve. We are still wondering whether we will get to release it or not. I'm hopeful.

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25th Jan: Up at a fairly reasonable time. I had a coffee and waited for Lynda's shopping list to be ready. I quite like supermarkets. I like getting out of the house and doing something. If you stay in all the time you just vegetate. We spent an amount of time, while I was in our local Tesco, on messenger video chat, locating some of the things on the list on the shelves, as this was one of her more obscure shopping lists. There were some of those what I call 'exotic' items on there. I spent an amount of time in the afternoon doing some book work. At about 8.30pm, I started falling asleep while the TV was on and for a change I gave in and went to bed. Lynda came up at about 12.30am and I was back awake. I had a read for a while (still on that Beatles book - they have just released the terribly disjointed and fragmented White Album) then I went into the back bedroom to do this and listen to some music. It's 02.51 now and I am thinking of going back to bed. It's too hot with 2 dogs and x number of cats deciding they have to be within two inches of me or on top of me. In case you're wondering, yes I do go back and amend the odd past diary entry. I reserve the right to correct myself when I am wrong and to be able to change my mind and also (quite importantly) to calm down after someone or something has annoyed me and to try to not make matters worse. I am psyching myself up to go see our local pub landlord and talk about some gigs for the band. With how things have been recently I haven't felt like it. I also don't want to just go in there when I want to book gigs. 3am. Time to go back to bed.

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26th Jan: Up quite late after anorher disturbed night. A day of doing not very much. I've got the weekend to deal with and I am saving my energy for that. I put a couple of book adverts together.

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27th Jan: Once again, up late. Lynda doesn't like me having my phone alarm set, in case she's having a lie-in, so I am sleeping well past the time I'd normally get up. Then she's not impressed that I am lying in bed. I keep thinking about what it's going to be like when I step back from things next year. I'm heartily sick of carrying gear around, but that is what my life consists of at the moment. I'm looking forward to not having to speak to a pub landlord again unless I am buying a drink. The evening's gig in Southport wasn't all it could have been. The other two band members couldn't find their setlists, so I was calling the songs out and they either weren't listening or simply weren't that interested. That made the whole gig rather disjointed and awkward. The onstage sound was appalling. Just a trebly wall of sound mess and I was scared of even turning my bass up at all.The audience had worn themselves out through a day's karaoke and decided to bugger off while we were playing. The old biker crowd were great, but they don't come in any more, despite the place changing hands. I video'd the gig and it's not great, but the footage is usable. We don't play as well as we should have.

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28th Jan: I did get up rather late again today, but it was a late enough night when I got in. I spent an amount of the day sorting out the video I'd managed to get from last night's gig. I'm going to put as much of the footage as possible on the website. Some songs do have mistakes, but they are not represented on the video page. The jam night was interesting. I have held back from doing backing vocals after recent comments about them. One of the guests was aghast that I wouldn't do backing vocals for him. I don't need all of the needless aggro that goes with it. Took a gig in Crewe for the end of March during the jam night. Bed late. I did a couple more video edits, and when I got to bed I had cats and dogs all over me and after I finished reading, they mad a particular point of not letting me go to sleep. The upshot is that at 3.25am, here i am editing videos nobody will even watch for the website. Finally got to bed after 5am.

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29th Jan : Up at 11.30am. Absolutely knackered. Crappy weather kept me in the house all day. Put some more videos up on the band website. Watched the first disc of the 3 DVD Beatles Get Back set that I got quite cheap from Amazon. At the end of the first disc, George Harrison has left the band and the others don't seem to care. TV in the evening, during which I had a large toffee vodka and I fell asleep for a bit. Bed very late again. No point in going to bed until I am really tired enough to sleep through the cats and dogs mobbing me.

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30th Jan: Plans for the day were abandoned and rescheduled for Thursday.

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31st Jan:
Graham and I were in the studio getting full mixes and instrumental mixes of another song we recorded there. We have arranged a quick rehearsal get-together for tomorrow, so I had to rearrange some existing plans to accommodate that.

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1st Feb:
Up earlier than normal. A band was rehearsal set for noon. Graham was rather delayed by some severe traffic hold-ups on the M61, but Ian and I got some stuff done, ready for when he turned up. Both of the songs we are due to record have changed shape a bit. We got them looking a whole lot better for going in to record them.

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2nd Feb: I went into town to meet Mike. We had arranged a 1.30pm meet which i was on time for, but he had texted me that morning to being it forward to 1pm. I didn't see that. We ended up having half an hour before he went back to work. I went straight off to do one of Lynda's obscure shopping lists at Tesco and it took me over an hour and a video call to find 99% of it. Dog walk on return. We watched the Ray Charles film in the evening from Sky Movies. We actually have it on DVD, but I had forgotten about that..What a fantastic film. Bed rather late, after 2am. I go to bed when I am tired.

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3rd Feb: Up late. My alarm doesn't go off at the weekend. Did an amount of web page work. Current listening - 'My Aim Is True' by Elvis Costello. A good gig in the evening at the Swan in Whalley. We are set up in a corner with a barrier in front of us (piled up tables etc), but the crowd are usually good. They serve Neck Oil and I just had to indulge in a pint of that. We finished just after 11, so I was home a bit after 12. Taxis stopped me getting my car onto my drive and I nearly lost it with a one taxi driver. I was behind him, indicating to turn onto my drive and he didn't move. Fortunately for him, some people came and got into his taxi and he eventually shifted..

Elvis Costello

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4th Feb: Our jam night was rather different this week. We had some invited guests and instead of us doing our opening spot, we ended up being accompanied by the guests at the start which meant we couldn't do what we usually do, which was a good opening spot, playing stuff  that we have no trouble with, or rehearsing the odd thing. We ended up getting them to join in on our setlist instead and of course we don't play the songs how other people do. No matter - A jolly night was had by all. I was struggling throughout as I appear to have strained something in my groin, causing a bit of swelling, and I was in quite severe pain by the time I went home. Lynda started talking to me about getting doctors appointments and I said I would see how it went over the next day or two.

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5th Feb: The swelling has - fortunately - gone down a bit this morning. I was very careful unloading all the PA and bass gear out of the car.  Listening to a few things. The Band On The Run (underdubbed version). I don't know why Macca has bothered to put the underdubbed version out. He's not exactly stuck for cash. It's ttally inferior to the finished version. Anniversary or not. It's The Emperor's New Clothes.... A bit pointless - anniversary or not. I just notice what ISN'T there. Not a first world problem. I'm listening to The Last Dinner Party' s debut album at the moment. It's unbearably mannered and affected - reminiscent of the style of the far superior Emilie Autumn, Florence and The Machine. It's been put together in a way that reminds me of the way Katie Melua was handled by Mike Batt. I just can't get very excited about them at all. They will be huge because people are being told they MUST like them. They will be in Arenas next year and will fill to reach the first three rows with any personality. They have less intrinsic value than the early Sugababes. Both albums leave me more than a bit cold. All well and good that a lot of people will buy them and love them. I must do some book work this week. Migraine this morning. Shopping expedition this afternoon. I am still boycotting buying any or all of Brewdog's beers because they will not pay their workers a living wage.

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6th Feb: Alarm at 10.30am. Up and about and off into town to meet Mike. A nice chat.

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7th Feb: A very productive day. Up at a sensible time and I got stuck into some serious book work. I managed to put together a 155-page book from scratch, from emails and illustrations, as well as designing its cover and uploading it for publishing. In the evening, our friends Ryan and Paula came around and a lovely evening was had by all.

Ian Edmundson

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8th Feb: I did an amount of book advertising work, plus some accounting work. A Slade disc that I ordered from Belgium arrived. There's another Belgian 45 disc I am short of, so I ordered that while I was in the site adding some feedback.

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9th Feb: Tonight's gig came in a couple of weeks ago and was a welcome party for the new landlady at a pub near Bury, Lancs. The place was absolutely heaving when I arrived a little before 8pm. I was a bit dropped on to see the rather tiny space that we had been left to set up in, but I've learned to count to ten, calm down and just get set up on a postage stamp-sized stage before now, so that's what we did.  We had a great crowd - but only about a third of the crowd in the pub could see us, though everyone could hear us - and it was far too hot, with a rammed pub and punters a couple of feet away - but our set went down really well and we will be back (and we can set up at the other end of the room next time).

The Three

The Three

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10th Feb: Awake and up quite early. Lynda was shocked to see me making a coffee at 9.15am. Not as shocked as me, though. I managed to get Lynda on a couple of laps round the park with the dogs. The evening's gig was in Lowton and the crowd enjoyed it. There are some serious bugs in our set - I might start dropping some songs myself as I am not very happy about what goes on in them - and when you get people chipping songs out of the setlist it just makes it rather disjointed. Bed very late.

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11th Feb:  Lynda shouted me and woke me up at a little after 10am to get up and feed the cats, after which I promptly went back to bed. I slept until about 1pm. She's not doing very well at the moment. I'm sort of banished from the front room most of the time as I have no beginnings of any interest at all in watching Love Island Allstars and such rubbish.

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13th Feb: Blood test and met Mike. Shopping. TV. Confirmed a support slot gig for later in the year

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14th Feb: Lynda's Valentine's day present hasn't been dispatched yet, which is slightly annoying. It is supposed to be on a two-day delivery, so should be due today.. The local venue I chased for most of last year regarding bookings (I finally got 4 bookings there for this year on October 25th last year) says (via messenger) that they have double booked us. We were in the diary before the other band as I stood next to the landlord when he wrote us down in the diary. Why is it that when a venue messes up their diary we lose out? Stress I can do without.

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19th Feb: The last few days.... Lynda hasn't been doing very well at all. She's constantly getting very very tired out. I have unpublished and am currently republishing all of our Slade books, so as to make them more affordable. I have bought a new sound card to aid recording music at home. My PC didn't have a mic input. Bizarre. Stupid of me not to check when I bought it. Smudge went missing the other morning and didn't respond to our calls. I walked round the nearby streets and called at a house where I know she goes into their back garden. She emerged from her hiding place on the bookshelf behind the sofa in the front room in the early afternoon, ate a little and then went back there to have another sleep. The jam night last night was all that the band did this weekend. Saturday night TV.... Pffft. Awake at 8am this morning. Got up and got on with some work. Lynda's Valentines Day present (a jigsaw with Oscar on it) finally came this lunchtime. I spent some of this morning scratching my head at our printer to get some posters done, as it did one poster then gave up on connecting, even though there's a nice new-ish USB cable in place.. I finally managed to set up a wireless network connection - let's see how long THAT works for.

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22nd Feb: Rainy, miserable Bolton. Not much to do. I met Mike on Tuesday and sorted out the potential double-booking afterwards by calling in at the pub concerned. They haven't replied to my messages bout the double booking because they are too busy. I smiled sweetly - I didn't say anything at all about the mess that was the diary and the number of random scraps of paper with bands and dates written on them and we got a replacement date. The venue's diary was a nightmare. I did some recording yesterday. I need to finish the vocals off on that new song (written with Graham) today. I am having trouble re-publishing two of our Slade books. It's total nonsense. Amazon keep rejecting them because they have a record on the front and people might not be able to tell that it is a book. It's sold fairly well as a book previously and nobody ever thought they were getting anything but a book. I am now repeatedly jumping through hoops, re-doing the covers and amending manuscripts and extending the book title to include the word 'book' so that if there is ONE stupid person who doesn't work for Amazon, they won't be dischuffed. I'm quite bored with doing it now and have looked at another way of getting the books printed.

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24th Feb: Yesterday I managed to get the two Slade On 45 books published by Amazon. My request to speak to a supervisor obviously did some good, as a supervisor would have slapped their operative around the head for messing me about, so the books finally got published after too much hanging about. Once the two books were fully live, I updated the covers for both books and this morning I uploaded the Kindle ebook editions. I have ordered author copies for myself with the new artwork.

Slade On 45

Slade on 45

Some dog-walking. The weather is gloomy and there's not much else to do now. I will crack on with adding more content to 'Slade In Flame At Fifty' next week.

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Feb 26th: Last night's jam night was a total nightmare. The power went out on the stage repeatedly. This happened when a bunch of youngsters were playing and every time I walked near the stage they asked me if the power was back on. Nothing was lit up and nothing was working, so no. As usual, it was on my shoulders to sort it out,, though after a while, the landlady joined in. Stress. We have to lay on extensions to make the stage have any power at all and it's really just not good enough. It eventually got sorted out, but I'm not too happy about the state of the power supply to the stage.

I was also not happy when I got collared in the toilets by one of our regulars, who feels that the youngsters who get up to play and who are helping to fill the venue are ruining the jam night and that some people might stop coming. I wonder if that was some sort of threat?  I told him that it's a jam night and we do not choose who plays, we just provide the gear and that all are welcome. He sometimes posts on Facebook that he is appearing at the jam night, in a way that suggests that it is HIS featured event. He once (a long time ago) introduced the jam night house band in a way that suggested that we are his regular backing band, which we are certainly absolutely NOT. He really needs to have a conversation with the landlady in person if he wants to sift out a large number of her customers. We will see what happens then.

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March 1st: Mainly uneventful since I last wrote anything.

I ordered a new long mains 4 way extension cable with circuit breaker for the jam nights, so we will now have 3 power source cables to the stage. Hopefully that will sort out any supply problems

I have booked rather expensive seats for Cheap Trick who are appearing in Liverpool with Journey on November 11th. A Burnley venue has got back to me after an approach regarding playing there. That part of the world is a bit of a gray area for us, because of the travel distance. They asked what our going rate is and then they replied that if we'd do an intro gig for 1/5 less, they'd see if they could book us again. I refrained from simply telling them to bugger off, or asking if they were taking 1/5 off their beer prices. I said our guitarist has to drive from St Helens near Liverpool and we do not do introductory price gigs. So we won't be playing there.

All of the NOIZE books have now republished at reduced prices. The last one to be republished is Slade: Six years On The Road. It will be available in paperback only.

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March 2nd: We've just had two weekends of not gigging (except for the weekly Sunday jam night that we host). The pub in Bolton that we played at made us set up in an inadequate little alcove last time, but this time they moved a few tables and let us set up in the spot we are used to. It's amazing how quickly some rust creeps in, even though we're usually out all the time. Our guitarist flubbed a line of lyrics in Purple haze and just came out with something phonetic to keep the tune going. It was hilarious. We always laugh at our own mistakes. I played part of a bass line in the wrong key partway though one song, as my mind was totally elsewhere. I gave my bass a stern look as if it was the bass' fault and some people laughed at that. Graham was doing extended big drum endings on some songs, as he had really missed playing while on holiday (though he did get up with the hotel band at least once). A nice, relaxed evening and not too far from my house.

The Three

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8th March: I got my Oncologist phone call,while I was in Liverpool yesterday, when I went to meet author Suzan Holder with my friend Mark at a World Book Day event., so she actually got the news before my wife and children did.

Getting the old band back together?

The good news is that my elevated PSA has gone down from the 0.32 it was at three months ago to 0.21 when I had my blood tested the other week. It is still above the 'recurrence' level of 0.20 that I was originally told about - that's quite an issue for people with no prostate gland. If it goes down again I will be quite pleased. They said below 1.0 is a good result. I did ask about having a further sensitive scan, but I might not get one.

I've been sent another appointment for Sept 5th. I have left a message to query that, as I should still be on quarterly reviews. Some shopping this afternoon, dropped a couple of books off to a friend's house and some posters to a local venue.

The band who are on before us tonight want to speak to me. I have texted Graham to ask if it's ok for them to use his drum kit (as I assume that is what they will want to know). I did ask the lad who's organising the event about this a little while ago and he didn't respond about that. I'm going to set off to be there a little earlier than usual, to make sure my gear goes exactly where I want it on the stage and to get the PA set up.

So... I got there bright and early at about 7.20pm, before the others. The band who were on before us had set up and had taken all of the stage, all of the mains points, etc, were in use. Another PA was in place which we couldn't use. It was total confusion. I did a lot of counting to ten and calming down. I already had a headache.

The stage..

I managed to get my bass rig in place and get power laid on to it. I was subjected to a bunch of Oasis riffs at death metal volume while I put our PA in place. There was no helpful moving out of the way while I struggled manfully to do the setup of our gear. I just smiled sweetly throughout. No point in grumbling. Graham had to negotiate something with the other drummer about what was going on with the kit. It wasn't as hard for our guitarist. He just plopped his amp somewhere in a gap and made the best of it. When we got to play, there were some issues with the sound initially and we started without vocals. That's what happens when you're tuning basses, wiring the last bits of the power together and fixing snare drum mic levels all at the same time and at the last minute and have no opportunity to get the sound right. I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. It was VERY VERY LOUD on stage and I was much much louder than I like to be. It was all uncomfortable. I just smiled sweetly throughout. We did a 90-minute set and had some dancers up and went down really well. The other band were very complimentary about us afterwards, which was very nice of them. When it came to being paid, the organiser said they didn't know if it was a bank transfer or what, so someone ended up nipping off to the speedbank. This meant we had to hang around for ages. I just smiled sweetly throughout. Fortunately, I was home in 20 minutes once we got out of the club.

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11th March:

A catch-up: Saturday saw my son Paul pop round for a quick visit and we walked the dogs a bit.- Oscar did not appreciate the extra ong trek and kept putting his brakes on. The evening saw us doing a very enjoyable 70th birthday party in St Helens. It was at a social club that we used to play a few times a year and they've completely stopped doing bands now, instead choosing to have functions which make a guaranteed profit for them on room hire, the bar and not paying out money to an act to perform. Businesses have to do the right thing to keep their doors open these days. I don't blame them at all. The gig went quite well, except when our drummer Graham heckled me at the end because he couldn't tell what I was saying to the crowd, because of how the PA was set up and the room sound. He won't have that problem again. In future, he can do the talking between songs and shouting song names out to see whether our guitarist wants to play them or not. I'm done. If I want to be heckled, I will rely on some prat in the audience to do it, not someone in the band. I am beginning to get bored with dealing with various people and carrying and setting up all the gear around that we have to use.

The Three

The Three

On Sunday morning I woke up a couple of times feeling dog rough and just kept going back to sleep to avoid it. I got up at almost 1pm and trhe reason I was feeling so bad was that my right ear had stopped working completely. If I put my hand over my left ear, I could hardly hear anything at all with my right ear. This didn't bode well at all for the jam night and yes, it just went exactly as I was worried about it going - I really struggled with a few things. One of the regulars was told my ears weren't working properly, but he insisted on having a rather long conversation about nothing with me, during which I must have nodded and ahh'd in the right places, because he just kept on going. I heard practically none of it. I was looking at getting my ears de-waxed the next day, dependent on how my hearing was. It made playing difficult - it was difficult anyway, because some people seem to have learned songs from records that skip as they had interruptions in bars and just leapt a few notes out of place. Bizzarre. Towards the very end of the night, my right ear cleared up. I rejoiced at getting my hering back, but what I had to listen to gave me no joy at all.

Monday: I got up a little later this morning, about 10.30am. Lynda was really struggling, so I did some running around to get things done. She's short of breath, hardly able to move and having chest pains. She won't let me call an ambulance because she doesn't want to spend ten hours on a corridor. I'm resigned to all of this going very badly indeed.

I went a did a bit of work in the back garden, replacing some small concrete fence panel sections that were odd ones out with some offcut UPVC pieces that match the rest of the fence. It's taken me a little while to get around it it, but now it is done.

I got a call from the Urology team about my next review appointment. I'm on quarterly reviews. They now think it's going to be 6 months until my next appointment. She's going to check with my Oncologist tomorrow and get back to me. She mentioned that in 5 years I will be referred back to my GP.  I reminded them that I have a spreading cancer that is currently in the recurrence level, so they may be being a wee bit previous saying that to me. I was obviously talking to a box ticker. The trouble with people's health conditions is that they don't always fit with the hospital's usual schedule.

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12th March: What a load of fuss about nothing. You don't see a single photo in a magazine without a model being photoshopped. We all do things to images to make ourselves look better and the Royal family are no exception.

The Three

It's total hypocrisy for any news outlet or magazine to criticise her in any way for amending a photograph very slightly, if at all, when they have been guilty of micro-managing and amending and idealising the images of women for decades. I have no idea at all why she felt the slightest need to apologise.

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13th March: So... yesterday, I took a gig booking for April from a local venue and they also offered us New Year's Eve, dependent on what price we came back with. Awaiting responses for New Year's Eve booking. Quite pleased to have got a zoom interview agreed with a very well-known actor, who will currently be very much in demand, lined up. This is for a writing project.

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14th March: I've had band responses re the venue for NYE. I've put a price to them, though our guitarist thinks the place is 'too small' to host a New Year's Eve event for some reason. We will see what comes back to us.

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18th March: A few days without me blogging about my miserable life. No biggie - you've missed absolutely nothing. Saturday was a gig down the road from our drummer's place in Leyland. Always a nice relaxed gig. Lovely bar staff, decent crowd, though it was a wee bit thinner this particular evening. Still, a good time was had by all.

The jam on Sunday featured a rushed setup, but we got there in the end. We rehearsed one of the two new songs that still need recording. I asked Graham to send me the lyrics and then from his photos, I ended up typing them out. We are going in to demo the songs, using my gear on Wedneday. I haven't used my gear to record live before, so I had to do a wiring diagram.

Today saw me get up a bit after 10am, as I woke up at 6.15 and stayed awake until about 8.30am. Then I got some more sleep. I managed to get an appointment to get my ears looked at. The wax that came out does NOT explain my hearing loss on the 11th. I have been advised to get in touch with my GP to be put in touch with the ENT department at the hospital. I still have a lingering continual headache that I am putting up with. Oh well, I will try to get an appointment in the morning.

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20th March: Recording today - I had to transplant my recording setup and try to use it the best I could in a venue and it wasn't easy, but on first listens, the results are a decent enough demo standard. I think we could have got the recordings better than we did with a couple of re-works and overdubs, but the guys weren't into getting a final result, just something to listen to. I could have recorded us on my phone and got that....

The Three

The Three

The Three

The Three

 

 

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21st March: Up at about 10am. I mixed the recordings from yesterday. They sound quite reasonable to me. We have the three new songs demo'd for recording at some point in the not too distant future. The songs are Cold cold heart, Cruisin' and When things go wrong.

Went into town to meet Mike and did some shopping on the way home. I rang my GP, as this ever-present headache is beginning to wear me down a bit and get me rather worried. I'm getting a call back next Tuesday.

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22nd March: Up at 10.15 or thereabouts. I remixed one of the song demos as our guitarist thought we couldn't concentrate on the backing track if his voice was too loud. I took it down in the mix a bit and circulated the new mp3. I thought the original mix was just fine. But I obviously hear everything a different way to him.  I took Tom out for a good walk and dropped Lynda's prescription off. I also managed to arrange a dentist's appointment for next Wednesday afternoon. I saw a message trying to book us for a gig tonight near Blackpool. Our guitarist knocked the gig back as he's out tonight and the travel is too far for him. Graham suggested getting another guitarist in to do it, but on top of this absolutely horrible headache, trying to cobble something of a setlist together at such short notice is beyond me. An option for future dates, maybe, though. Our first choice of guitarist has said he's open to the idea. There's another guitarist we could call on as well. I had a sleep from 3pm to about 6pm.

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26th March: A few things have happened in the last few days.

Our local Saturday gig was a bit of a wash-out. Some people couldn't come, because of an accident to one of those attending. We lost the crowd in the room we were playing in, in the second half, but had to play on as the rest of the pub was listening. The landlord was ecstatic, which was nice.

Monday's Zoom meeting was cancelled at the very last minute as the interviewee had a medical emergency. He was most apologetic and we have rescheduled.

I met Mike today for lunch and cleared my head of a number of things that are issues at present.

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27th March: The main event of the day was going to the dentist to have some money extracted. My teeth are fine, fortunately. Other issues that I have been annoyed by are about to be dealt with.

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28th March: The headaches I have been having haven't stopped, so I saw my GP at 9.20am, followed by getting some blood taken for testing.  I'm being referred to the Neurology Dept at the hospital and hopefully will be seen in early April. I've been prescribed some strong tablets to try to counter any inflammation. Let's see if they arrive at the pharmacy before my head explodes.

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29th March: It was nice to see my son Paul during the day. We went to the local landlord's leaving bash briefly, before we had to set off for Crewe for an early-stage-time gig, stopping in at his place in Sandbach on the way.  The other guys mustn't have go the memo about the early stage time (8.30) as they turned up after 8. Graham turned up with a puncture. Paul very kindly changed his wheel for him. We ended up on stage half an hour late, but it couldn't be helped. We had horrific sound problems in the first half, but went down well with some very attractive dancers, one of whom tried to get me to agree to us playing a gig with another band she knows at some point. I gave her a card and asked her to email me. It all depends on us being guaranteed an agreed fee, as we don't do shows with any risk to the fee. We took another booking at the venue in October. Due to the 11pm finish, I was home at a fairly sensible time.

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30th March: Up very early in the morning. I had a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon before setting off for the evening's gig in Burnley. The venue was one of the smallest I've ever played and we didn't have much room to set up. Nor did we have that much of a crowd. Our drummer Graham was unwell and just about got through the gig. We played for those who weren't there and did a fairly good job of it, despite a very cramped stage area. Again, I got home really early, because of the early start / early finish.

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31st March: Up early yet again. Lots on my mind and I can't sleep. I did a solid few hours work on the 'Slade In Flame at 50' book. Graham rang me at 4pm to say he wasn't well enough to do the jam night, so I rang Ryan who was pleased enough to help us out and to stand in for Graham.  Lots of players were away, but we still had a really good night. I managed to get off the stage.

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1st April:  Awake early (6.30am) for a while, but I got back to sleep and ended up getting up towards noon. Graham rang. He's going to be in hospital for a couple of days. I messaged our first reserve Ryan and he's happy to cover if he needs to.

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5th April: It's been a bit of an up and down week. Mike was off on Tuesday, so we didn't meet up. I got a hospital appointment for next week to see a neurologist and get my head scanned. Opticians appointments - slight misting in my eyes, and I need a further test later in the month. I missed a funeral on Wednesday, as St Helens Rd in Bolton was totally gridlocked heading out of town and ambulances were involved. I ended up heading back into Farnworth to collect a prescription and to have a quiet pint in The Bridgewater instead.

The Slade In Flame book is now well over 300 pages and I have been kindly sent more stuff to put in it.

Graham's out of hospital yesterday and has said he will be fit to play tonight. I was woken up at 6am by one of our cats throwing up on me. As a result of this trauma, I was awake until 8am. I'd only got to bed in the early hours, so after I went back to sleep, I stopped my alarm at 10am and slept on until after noon. I came downstairs and one of our elderly cats was having difficulty getting back out of next door's back garden / rubbish tip. The fun never stops.

The evening's gig was eventful in that the power went off before we started as the mains that had been newly laid-on to that part of the pub failed. Fortunately I carry extensions and gaffa tape. A good night was had and we are booked there for New Year's Eve.

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6th April: Our gig in Heywood went ok. Graham was particularly pleased by it all. The crowd were mainly rubbish. Just a couple of people paid attention to us. We've missed out a couple of years at this venue because of this and I had hoped that it would be better this time. It wasn't. We got a girl up with us singing Proud Mary, with us busking it. The playing was ok.

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7th April: A venue in Leigh has cancelled all bands there on Fridays, so our gig next Friday has gone. Short notice, but it happens. My throat is beginning to pack up, as I have got a cold. Hopefully I will be ok for next weekend. The jam night was sparsely populated on the muso front, but we always have a good night. My entertainment consisted of watching the competitive jammer, who believes that certain songs are his alone, who gives very pointed glares at anyone daring to play them. I was on stage all evening with no break, as there were no bassists in. I earn my money.

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8th April: Apart from a walking the dogs during a break in the rain, the day was (as most days are) mainly book work. It's quite funny that I had thought that we might abandon the Slade In Flame At 50 book, due to lack of content - we are now up to 350 pages. I am looking to release the book with pre-ordered early signed copies at The Slade Convention in September, then a general release in November. Coughing fits all day and a very runny nose.

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9th April: Happy birthday to my son Paul. I was awake very early, but went back to sleep til nearly noon. I don't feel at all well at the moment. I went to Leigh Infirmary in the afternoon. The parking pay machines are off, so I saved some dosh, after scrabbling round to locate some coins before setting off. The Neurologist was lovely and has asked for scans to be booked. Can't wait... An evening of TV.

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10th April: Lynda had managed to book an online shopping slot, as she decided to save me going out to Tesco if it could be avoided while I am so unwell. I'd set my alarm for 9.45, as the shopping was due between 10 and 11. I was wide awake at 7am, because of my itchy throat and runny (but blocked) nose. This wouldn't be so bad if I had got to sleep before 3am. Hopefully I will get an early night tonight.

The shopping turned up and I got it in the house. Later on, I went back to be and had a couple of hours catch-up sleep. I woke to find a message saying Saturday night's gig was double-booked by the venue. I ended up letting the gig go, as I felt unwell and the other band are being advertised. Graham rang and was asking me for an mp3 of the song we were going to record with a click track separate to the actual track. Stereo, consisting of two tracks, doesn't allow for a third track to be added for him to play along with. Well, how did we record last time when he had a click, then? That was on my 24 track recorder, not a stereo mix. I sent him an mp3 and he said it didn't have vocals on it. I listened to it from the email I sent and it does have vocals on it. God knows what's happeneing at Graham's end.

Bed around midnight and I slept like the dead.

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11th April: Up late. I decided to try to sleep the illness away. The Venue we were booked at on Saturday rang, offering to sort other dates later this year. Nice of them. I sent a text and FB message back with our available dates. Nearly 1pm and no uncontrollable coughing fit - yet.

Pleased to find out that Chief Womble Mike Batt likes my altered images of a Spaeks album cover on Twitter / X or whatever it's called.

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14th April: A couple of days off from blogging - or doing anything much, really. I have spent a lot of time in bed, trying to get myself feeling better than I was.

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