Thursday, 31 May 2018

Words and Music

At the end of yesterday's page I suggested that if life is more fun if you are silly then the same could well apply in death.

I pondered the thought that I should change my will to request being sent to eternity wearing a ballet dancer's costume, a bit like the late Rudolf Nureyev seen here on the left.

Need to work on the body I am thinking.

I was chatting yesterday about some significant music in my life and invited readers to share their special tunes with us all today.

Maggie asked me to play this....

Gary sent me an email full of his special songs. He told me that the record he started his music collection off with was The Dave Clark Five and Bits And Pieces.

I think my brother had a copy of that.

Yesterday evening I sat down to watch the DVD Ring of Bright Water.  Years ago I had read the book, a great story, but I found the video production boring. Characters were not properly developed, the producer simply spoon fed the viewer without allowing his mind to explore the events.

Writing has been a hobby of mine for the past fifty years, as I watched the story on the DVD I pondered becoming a recluse in some remote location as was the central character in Ring Of Bright Water, shutting out the world and writing.

Debbie asked me to play anything by The Bay City Rollers..

Their music was always bright, lively and impossible not to
dance to.

It was impossible not to like The Bay City Rollers but for we lads, I was just about a lad when they were around, it was not quite cool to admit it. We used to call them the Bay Sh*tty Rollers.

Simon posted a comment about their Scottish heritage. How many people remember the way we wore tartan scarves tied to our wrists in the style of The Bay City Rollers ?

Nobody has purchased a copy of my latest book THE BRIDGE HOUSE.  With the ebook priced at £1.49 and the paperback at a staggering £18.72 I am not surprised. 

After spending fifteen months writing this book it is going to be a flop. 

Modesty will not stop me saying the story is good and could have made this a best seller BUT I included fifty photographs, several in colour, to support the text and that sent the price through the roof !

More music.....

I knew when I was writing yesterday's blog page that Gary's favourite band was Queen and Freddie his favourite male singer. So here's a bit more of the greatest band of all time...

Yesterday my phone rang. It was a LEONITE, a dear friend, just calling to wish me well and share the love of his family at
this particularly difficult time of my life. I am not going to embarrass the caller by giving his name but that time on the phne was so special. THANK YOU.

During the conversation we talked about school, me as the teacher and he as the pupil. HAPPY DAYS.

My own schoolboy days...YEARS...were not happy. They were miserable and I hated them. I do not think that any of my former students have ever read my schoolboy autobiography. THANK GOODNESS. If you have £1.99 to spare you can check it out in ebook format.

Some more music. Another request from yesterday's page...

If none of my former students have read my schoolboy autobiography I do know some have read my TEENAGE AUTOBIOGRAPHY. That will cost you £1.99 if you want to have a read.

I made a promise to my former students that I would not write a third autobiography, stories from my years as a teacher.

Sorry friends I am breaking that promise !

I have brainstormed forty two memories and am writing the anecdotes for each. They are random memories, I am taking them in a random order. 

Can I share a couple with you ?
February 1988. I was putting the final touches to the biggest event in my career thus far. The following day I was taking fourteen teenagers to Sacramento, California on a student exchange. I had only even flown once before in my life, the prospect of an eleven hour flight to San Francisco was scaring me silly.  By making some final preparations during the lunch hour I was keeping my mind busy.

Into my office came Bruce, that’s his real name, the school’s headmaster.

“As soon as registration is over I want you to take the entire school out on to the field and stand everyone in lines to spell the words  R E D     N O S E     D A Y. There is a helicopter flying over in an hour to take pictures for the newspapers.

RED NOSE DAY ?  I had heard of some silly idea and even more silly television station had come up with but taking some students half way round the world with me being scared stiff of flying it was of no consequence to me.

In my career headmasters, more than one of them, have come up with daft ideas. Each headmaster and each daft idea was unceremoniously dumped on me. How the hell was I supposed to get one thousand pupils and their unsupportive teachers who would no doubt this this was my daft idea to cooperate and forma picture a press cameraman could snap from a helicopter ?

“Once registration has started I will set off the fire bell. That will evacuate everyone from the building then it’s over to you.”

Please do not ask me how we did it. The pupils thought I was crazy. The Obscene Publications Act prevents me from writing what the other teachers were saying about it all and blaming me. We did it though. The picture appeared on the front page of one newspaper. I flew to San Francisco the next day, that is another story. Or should I say memory ?

Anyone remember that ?

So many people remember me from my years at Leon School but my career began many years earlier. If it had not been for this incident it could have ended almost as quickly as it had began.
“I will cane any boy who Mr Ashford gives the name to me. I will not ask any questions just cane the boy.”

Silence descended on my classroom as the Headmaster stormed out every bit as angry as he was when he had burst through the door demanding what was happening.

“They will not listen to me,” I said pathetically.

I was not yet nineteen years old trying to teach music notation and playing a recorded to boys just a few years younger than I was myself. I would have willing caned everyone of them myself, given each six of the best, but only the headmaster had that authority.

had seen an advert in our local newspaper for someone, it suggested the position would suit a sixth form leaver, to become an assistant teacher in charge of PE and games at a boys independent preparatory school.  The position was aimed at someone who wanted to take up teaching as a career, a gap year before going to teacher training college. I must have taken leave of my senses and applied. The headmaster must have taken leave of his senses and appointed me.

PE and Games were not a problem, the boys liked them but Music NO.  The headmaster had fallen out with the Music teacher and she walked out. Knowing of my love of Music he changed the timetable and put me in charge. The boys did not like Music and did not particularly like me. I was doomed.

Chetwynd House Preparatory School, that was its correct name, was for boys aged 7 to 14 years whose parents could afford the fees. Some were being prepared for the eleven plus examination to local grammar school while others were being tutored for the common entrance examination, taken at thirteen plus for public school. English and Maths were important, Latin had a role in common entrance but Music had no significance in anything at all. Everyone knew that.

My lessons were riots. I tried to teach the boys how to read music and how to play the notes on a descant recorder but amidst football chants, rugby songs, paper aircraft taking off and landing I had no hope. I knew that it was only a matter of time before I was sacked and had to crawl back to the department store to beg for my old job back.

“I will cane any boy who Mr Robinson gives the name to me. I will not ask any questions just cane the boy.”

Nobody was caned. I did not give a single name to the headmaster. The threat which every boy knew the headmaster would carry out without hesitation gave me space. Space to show those young adolescents that I was not so bad after all. It even showed them that Music was something to be enjoyed and not endured. By Christmas 1969 this, now 19 year old unqualified assistant teacher, had a recorder ensemble playing carols in the daily assemblies.

This was the number one hit when that little incident happened.

As you can see Google has started to screw up the page formatting so I'll leave it there for today.

Life is more fun if you are silly so why not death ?

Hi there friends.

Did you miss yesterday's music blog ?  CLICK HERE

Today I want to chat about the music in my life and talk a bit about my life in general. As you read and listen tell me about your favourite songs. Drop me an email or hit me with a message on Facebook.


* What was the very first single you spent your pocket money on ?
* What was the first album you owned ?
* Who is your favourite female singer ?
*Who is your favourite male singer ?
*What is your all time favourite song.
*Of all forms of music which you like the best ?

So what was the very first single you spent your pocket money on ?

Mine was very boring !

I had six shillings and nine pence in my nine year old hand, that is about 33p in modern coinage. My mother took me on the bus to the record department in Lewis's store in central Birmingham to make my rite of passage and start my record collection. I was undecided if I should by RUBBER BALL by Bobby Vee...

Or HATS OFF TO LARRY by Dell Shannon....

GREAT sons, both of them, I do not know why but suddenly I changed my mind and started my record collection off with something oh so boring !  AFRICAN WALTZ by Johnny Dankworth.

It did not even make it into the charts ! A quick check, there is a copy for sale on e bay at £3.50. I do not think I will bother.

Dankworth and his internationally famous wife Cleo lived just along the road from where my wife Maureen grew up. My late father in law and the late Johnny knew each other well.

Cleo still lives there. Before my father in law passed away Meals On Wheels would visit is home then drive up to Cleo with her lunch.

My first album was ADAM ....Adam Faith. Now that is something I repurchased from ebay.

I did not buy that from the city centre department store but from Stones Newsagent over the road from where my Nan lived.

Stones features in my newly published novel The Bridge House. Check it out...go
on be a devil CLICK HERE.

I can honestly say that I like all of the tracks on the album but before I play my favourite why not tell me your first single and album ?

Drop me an email or hit me with a message on Facebook.

So this my favourite frack from my first album.

Josh and I did not start work clearing out my garage yesterday to set up a temporary studio for Radio Love International. The rain meant we could not take things out and store them in the garden while we worked to repair the roof.  Better luck today.

Once we start our test broadcasts this is something I will most certainly play. And here it is played on original vinyl.

When I was a randy teenager I had the HOTS for Sandi Shaw, I think it may have had something to do with the fact that she always sang bare footed !

Something more from my teenage heartthrob and, yes, I do have this song on vinyl.


Coming to my favourite male singer, I had to think a bit before saying to myself YOU IDIOT !  It is, of course, Freddie Mercury. I was not a great fan of Freddie and Queen when he was alive but since is death I listen quite a bit to the greatest rock star of all time.

This is my favourite Freddie Mercury song.

In my writing I am fascinated by time travel.

Freddie and The Great Pretender feature in a short story. If you have 99p to speculate you can read it on Kindle... CLICK HERE   In the story it is not Freddie who is The Great Pretender but myself in the role of the story teller. Freddie exposes how shallow the life of the writer is and tells him to stop pretending and get a proper life ! If I am honest it is not one of my best  pieces of work but I really did enjoy writing it.

Another song from the amazing Freddie Mercury.

Yesterday I had a beautiful telephone call from Shearings Holidays. They are going to name one of their coaches

REBEKAH after my beautiful daughter. They called to invite Maureen and I to a naming ceremony on Tuesday 12th June. That is going to be a very special day.

Beck used to put up with me always playing music but she was not a fan of my writing ! She would say when we were in the car Dad I do not mind if you play your music. When she was in hospital she would say Dad stop sending me copies of your e books, I do not read them !  Sunshine Smile Day was held on Saturday 19th May, the anniversary of Beck's death. It was a truly fantastic, happy day.

Next Wednesday is the anniversary of her funeral. These days between 19th May and 6th June are very painful and I do know I am not being my usual self. Please forgive me.

What is your favourite song ? Anyone and everyone who knows me knows that mine is Bridge Over Troubled Water.

I have always tried to live my life like a Bridge Over Troubled Water, these past few days I know my bridge as been a bit shaky but it will soon be back to being as firm and solid as my personal favourite bridge.  I do not think anyone has written a song about The Golden Gate Bridge.

Feeling low I have wondered if I should withdraw from The Milton Keynes Inspiration Awards. I have been nominated as The Most Inspirational Father and The Most Inspirational
Man in Milton Keynes. The way I have been feeling I do not see how I could inspire anyone but to withdraw would be to disrespect those who have nominated me and those who have voted for me.

No I am NOT going to withdraw. If I can win those titles, particularly The Most Inspirational Man, I can use them to inspire so much good within others to do great things in our city. I have to win.  Would you vote for me ?  CLICK HERE.

What is your favourite genre of music ?  For me it is The Ballet.

The Nutcracker is my favourite.

Bridge Over Troubled Water is going to be played at my funeral. I think I may change my will and ask for a piece of ballet music to be played as well.

I have had an idea. I could have it in my will that I am to be dressed in ballet costume as I am put into my wooden box.

Well life is more fun if you are silly so why not death ?

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Spread The Love

David edits our daily music blog and includes within the edit what the rest of our team has been doing.

So David, why have so many days gone by over the past week and a half without music being played.

The biblical character Solomon lost all of his strength when his hair was cut off. I wonder if the same has happened to me.

Let's have some music.

As editor of Radio Love International's music blog I get to select the music we play. Today I have dipped into YouTube and picked out a series of songs I personally like but have never been played before on our blog.

That was Bob Lind and The Elusive Butterfly. Can't say I have seen any butterflies in my garden this year. Not so far. Anyway that song made it to number five in the charts WAY back in March 1966..

Friends could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that post Sunshine Smile Day and a few days without a music blog everything has gone into anticlimax. NOT SO.

A lot has been happening both within our management team and with our lovely supporters.

Let me tell you all about that but first another piece of music.  This time from 1965. Everyone's Gone To The Moon by Jonathan King.

It was a blow, no way we can pretend otherwise, when Asda Supermarket's head office failed to support its store management and allow them to give us a studio within the store's office area.

We have been exploring a number of options and have put back our launch as an internet station until mid September. However, today David and Josh will start work converting David's garage into a temporary studio.

We will take some pictures today and share them on tomorrow's music blog. Josh says he will wear some "old" clothes to start cleaning the garage today. Does that mean he will not be wearing the San Francisco shirt he currently lives and dies in ?

Josh you are only allowed to celebrate San Francisco if you grow your hair and become a hippie. A bit like David seen here with his long hair in Hippie Park, San Francisco.

Right more music.....

Where are you going for your holiday this summer ? Guantanamera by any chance ?

Radio Love International sponsor Ben is that where you went for your stag do ? Judging from the pics you posted on
Facebook you had a good time and were even a good boy in Guantawhereeverit is on Earth !

Ben and his company Heslop Removals provided the sound stage at our recent Sunshine Smile Day Roadshow then managed it to give everyone an amazing day of music.

Music stopped for a brief moment while Radio Love International Chairman Rachel introduced Milton Keynes Mayor Martin who jointly with Radio Love Director Josh received a cheque from Asda Supermarkets for Ronald McDonald House.

It is possible that when David had his hair cut on the stage he lost not only his strength but his marbles. 

Some more music then we'll tell you the tale.

After the event we carefully packed up all the toys and other gifts which were left over, printed a photobook from both the roadshow and Radio Love International's recent trip to The
City By The Bay. We also took the shirt signed by our friends at Sheffield Wednesday and MOST IMPORTANTLY the £200 cheque from Asda was carefully placed inside David's diary.  Everything was then taken to Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham.

The Geriatric DJ was about thirty miles south of Birmingham when he realised the cheque was still inside his diary. Thank you Royal Mail for coming to our rescue.

What is The Geriatric DJ saying up there on the stage ?

Let's have some more music.

Let's take a look at Radio Love International's YouTube video with our balloons of love.

Has anyone told David he can not sing !

When Josh and David have set up the temporary studio in David's garage we plan, over the summer, some test broadcasts into YouTube ahead of our web team, led by Patrick, building the full broadcast website.

More music.

Everything we do here at Radio Love International is about Love. When David was up there on the stage he kept saying... happy, smiling people THIS WAY....sad, miserable old gits the exit is over there.    Life is like that do you not think ?  At least it should be !

LEONITES do you remember when a newly formed boy band with the unlikely name of Wet Wet Wet played at the school.

Radio Love Internationals boss, Chairman Rachel is next week taking David back to Leon School to chat with the Principal and see how the Leonites and Radio Love International can elp to inspire the present day students.

That is exciting is it not ?

More music please.............


On Sunday David, aka The Geriatric DJ, and Josh, aka The Eternal Teenaer, met with a member of Milton Keynes Council's cabinet to chat about how we can help to inspire people to resolve our city's rough sleeping problem.

Radio Love International is not, of course, confined to the city of Milton Keynes where we are based. This music blog will
probably have readers and listeners in ten countries round the world.

Josh is writing a book. He has written about five thousand words so far, a good start. When finished it is certain the book will be a great inspiration towards helping resolve our rough sleeping problem.

Did you know that Chairman Rachel, seen here supervising David's Sponsored Haircut, is a budding poet ?

Perhaps we should give up the idea of a radio station and start a book publishing house. 

More music...................

David's book THE BRIDGE HOUSE was published yesterday. He has been working on this for more than a year. All profits from sales will be donated to Ronald McDonald House.

While writing the book David illustrated it throughout. There are about 50 pictures, some in colour, wich have pushed the cover price to a silly level, even the e book is EXPENSIVE so sales will be low.

Rachel and Josh, in your writing do not include pictures !

Listening to music here on Radio Love International is FREE.

We all hope you have enjoyed today's music selection. We will be back tomorrow with more.

Until then Spread The Love............