Saturday, November 22, 2003

Even The President Of The United States Sometimes Must Have To Stand Naked

Yes indeed, I *am* alive and well, thanks for asking, and I can assure you that rumours that ever since Robyn described me as a buxom nurse I haven't been able to stop playing with myself are entirely unfounded.

Last night I went to see the estimable Mr Zimmerman at Birmingham NEC. Although I possess several of his albums I'm not sufficiently au fait with all the great man's back catalogue so I'll steer you in this direction for the full setlist and detailed reviews of the gig. It all started a bit ominously as second song in it was almost as painful to listen to 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' as it evidently was for Bob to croak his way through it. At this point, it seemed wise for Dylan to call a halt to his non-stop globetrotting tour and put his feet up with a year's supply of cherry Soothers before he ever considered singing again.

But to everyone's relief Bob managed to pull it together and if anything this show had a little more oomph to it than last year, and he certainly seemed to have a renewed spring to his step for an old feller. My personal favourite from the show was Can't Wait from the Time Out Of Mind album while nearby purists waxed lyrical about the insertion of lively renditions of the apposite Look Ma, I'm Only Bleeding and Highway 61 Revisited. All in all, it was an entertaining evening, and thanks are due to Gisbourne for driving us all, and also for his expert carpark nudging exit techniques, which ensured we got home in time for the minor matter of a certain rugby match taking place in the Southern Hemisphere this morning.

Well, we've had the past tense, we're in the present tense, and hopefully there will always be a future tense, but I suggest an additional definition of tense: rugby world cup final tense as my nerves were stretched as thin as badly-worn chickenwire until Jonny Wilkinson finally put the Aussies to the sword with a dropkick in the final minute of extra-time. The Aussies fought hard and in the end took defeat graciously but I felt that, despite some slack play in the second half, the better, stronger side won and deservedly became World Champions.

One last thought before we put the rugby to bed with a nice cup of hot cocoa and get back to concentrating on soccer: given that their side contained players like Stirling Mortlock, Elton Flatley (the bastard lovechild of...? [shudders]) and Wendell Sailor, is Australia just a nation full of cruel parents? Hmm?

Meanwhile, what else has been happening in my blogging absence? Well, of course, the Michael Jackson arrest and charges, and if you haven't got to see it yet here's his mugshot. The Wackster's beginning to look more and more like Pee Wee Herman, don't you think? This probably isn't a good thing in his current predicament, methinks.

Also, another week, another rack of dead celebrities. Long-faced On The Buses star Bob Grant has punched his last ticket after gassing himself at the age of 71. Fellow small screen star Gene Anthony Ray (aka Leroy from Fame) has been seriously ill for many years now but has finally succumbed to complications from a stroke, aged 41. Irene Cara, however, is still on course to meet her ambitions to 'live forever' at the time of posting. But, proving that dead celebrities are like Premiership footballers in that they only appear to come in threes, Grammy award-winning film composer Michael Kamen went. He was 55.

And finally, this just in from the gosh-who'd-have-thought-it dept. BRMC open up about their influences to The Guardian, sample quote being: 'the world went from black-and-white to colour the moment I heard Ride'. Maybe then they should lend a copy of the 'Chelsea Girl' ep to whoever designs their compulsively monochromatic record covers?

Right then, that's yer lot for now, I'm off to a fancy-dress party where I get to shake it like a polaroid picture in the name of celebrating Timbo's birthday. Alcoholic poisoning notwithstanding, more updates tomorrow.



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