Friday, 4 May 2018


Today's music blog is going to be a little bit self indulgent. I have selected some songs I particularly enjoy and would like to share them with my friends and listeners.

Tomorrow polls close for the Milton Keynes Inspirational Awards. I was very touched when Dianne initially nominated me.  Debbie gave me a special collection of vinyl which had belonged to her husband Pete.  Debbie tomorrow we will be playing Pete's music in his memory. Among the discs we will be spinning is this.

I do not know how many people have nominated me for an award. Secretly I hope I have received enough nominations to make it through to the final vote but I doubt very much that I will actually will win.  Honestly that does not matter. The honour is to have been nominated. Thank you Debbie and thank you to all those who so kindly added their support to the nomination.

I have, of course, always known of and liked Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven but do not have a copy on vinyl and
seldom listen to it.

I did not pay a lot of attention to Stairway To Heaven until I was involved in a radio broadcast with our city's mayor, David Hopkins. It was one of his choices of music and made me stop and listen a lot closer to the music and to the words.

Tomorrow, playing music at an event attended by Mayor David and his wife Susan will be two very dear and special friends. You all know Mr and Mrs Josh and know their story. When they nominated me for the award that was extra special.

Josh will patiently sit and listen while I bang on and on about music, music from a time decades before he was even born.

We sometimes sit and talk about society, how society fails its members. We talk about how attitudes and political correctness get in the way of society loving its fellow man. Over a burger and fries in McDonald's yesterday we had such a conversation.

On Friday 22nd July fifty years ago a particularly
arrogant and not very nice teenager sang that song in his final school assembly. He did not wait for the school 'bus, he walked out of the gates, made a very rude gesture and put five years of schooling behind him in order to start adult life.

I often say that my schooling was monochrome, dull and boring from which I learned very little. Dull and monochrome ?  It was an amazing technicolour dreamcoat compared to the school system our children have to endure today. England does not have an education system, it has a failing school system within which education simply is not included. It is not even thought of.

Poor Josh, he has to listen to my endless tales of stories when I was myself a teacher.  With the exception of Josh and his lovely wife Jelena all of my nominations have come from my former students.  It is more than twenty years since I was head of year at Leon School yet so many students are still in contact with me. My Leonites, I bumped into one yesterday and had a lovely reminiscing chat, we got something right didn't we at Leon School. Monochrome ? NO. At Leon School we were technicolor.

I am NOT going to play something from Joseph And His Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Not from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph musical but from their musical Jesus Christ Superstar. That clip comes from the film, the original stage version was ten times better. As a student teacher, strange how I hated school yet I spent my life as a teacher, I was even more arrogant as a student than I had been when I was a pupil. During my three years at college I went down to London many times, to the Palace Theatre and watched Jesus Christ Superstar.

Shortly after the start of Michaelmas Term in 1971 there was freshers day, students these days need a week but we only had a day. I wasn't quite getting into my stride of arrogance at that time, have no fear arrogance came later ! It was not a particularly inspiring day, we had to attend the most boring of all church services which came to a grateful end with the reading of a poem, Desiderata. That means DESIRED THINGS. The words have been special to me throughout my life ever since.  It is in my will that it should be read at my funeral.

I challenge anyone who says that is not the very best version ever of The Great Pretender.

Am I a pretender ? A great pretender ? I think I may well be.

Now here's some twenty first century arrogance for you. If I win Milton Keynes Inspirational Award I will be delighted but honestly there are better candidates than myself.

What I do want to win in the current election to the board of governors at Milton Keynes Hospital.

I could not care if this is being arrogant or not, I do not care. I want to win that election. The voting is now underway, I think it ends on 15th May.

I can not begin to tell you how much I want to be governor of our hospital.  I love our NHS, I love our hospital so much. My family has received so much from the National Health Service over the decades I just want to put something back. YES, I will attend the board meetings no matter how dull and boring they are but what I want to be able to do is to walk into the wards and the clinics, to put my arms round the staff in love and thank them for all they do.

Stuff arrogance if you think that is being arrogant I want so much to win the election.

When I was an arrogant student it was impossible to walk through the halls of residence without hearing Bridge Over Troubled Water playing. Anyone who knows me knows it is my all time favourite song. The words are an beautiful poem, the music is haunting. Together they make the best piece of music ever written.

I have tried since the time I first heard the song to live my life like a bridge over troubled water. This song is in my will be played at my funeral.

Also in my final ever playlist is this.

When it comes to arrogance I think Andre Rieu can actually beat me !

The Radetzky March was written by Johann Strauss Senior for Field Marshall Radetzky. When it was first played the officers started to clap in time to the music. From this a tradition developed for the audience to clap during the performance.

It will be played at the end of my funeral for people to clap. Perhaps one or two will clap to applaud me but most, I guess will clap to say.....


Have a great day. Do not be ashamed to show arrogance as you SPREAD THE LOVE. Sometimes arrogance is good.

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