Thursday, 21 June 2018

Am I writing a BEST SELLER ?

Tonight is the night....The Milton Keynes Inspirational Awards Gala Dinner.  

Of course I am nervous. I want to win the two awards I have been nominated for as well as standing on the stage to represent my good friend Ben Heslop who as been nominated as Milton Keynes Upcoming Entrepreneur. 

Do you think my ego could cope with winning all three ?

Ben has given me is acceptance speech to deliver. I haven't written an acceptance speech for my own awards. That could be tempting destiny too much.

When I posted these two pictures on Facebook they attracted SIXTY likes and comments. WOW !  If I got sixty votes in the contest then perhaps I may win.

I am not planning to write a blog tomorrow. It will be late when I get come from the dinner then very early I Maureen and I will be driving to Bristol to spend a long weekend with our granddaughters. This time away will let me think how we move on and start LET'S INSPIRE. Anyway more of that next week.

Yesterday our friends at Radio CRMK recorded an interview wit friends at Shearings Coaches, Europe's largest coach  operator, chatting about Coach Rebekah.

TUNE IN TODAY CLICK HERE, I will be live on air round about half past ten talking about this lovely company and Coach Rebekah. When we know if  LET'S INSPIRE has the MK Inspiration Award behind it, if I have been named Milton Keynes Inspirational Man, I have some ideas as to how we can thank Searings for their kindness.

When I mention Searings on the blog I tend to play Fiddlers Dram and that Bangor song. Maureen says that this is more appropriate. I am not sure. What do you think Searings ?

I have been writing  loads for my next book. In a bit I will check my bank account to see that my publisher as paid in the current royalties for my writing which are due today. Not  a fortune I hasten to explain but I write for fun, not for profit. Just as well as my sales are tiny. 

Anyway have been spending every spare moment workin on my latest book. In three days I have written 4,201 words and have been sharing the story as it develops here on the blog.


AND CLICK HERE FOR THE NEXT BIT I am a bit naughty !
I called the text on this blog entry NAKED SNOWBALL FIGHT but there was no snow, no fighting and certainly no nudity ! 

ONLY if you read that bit can you CLICK HERE where the snow, fighting AND nudity do appear.

I have decided I am going to dedicate this book to my dear friend Josh. I went to see Josh and is beautiful wife yesterday evening and told them about the book. 

So here is the bit I wrote yesterday. SORRY about the typos, it is still in DRAFT form. BTW there is MORE blog after the story bit below in blue.

"Secretary ? You don't look like some hot chick with a typewriter, not from where I am sitting."

"No Sir. I am here to help my brother."

"Sir !" He looked about im then smiled kindly at  me.  "Sir ?  I am far too young to be called Sir. I do have a name you know."

Of course I knew. The whole world knew the name of the greatest rock and roll star. Even my dull parents could not claim ignorance were this man was concerned. He was talkin to me !

My dull parents. Christmas moved slowly.  Christmas with Mum and Dad, dull old Mum and Dad. Surely a pop star and his microphone jimin younger brother should not be spending Christmas with Mummy and Daddy.

"You be careful in that America !  It's not a country I would want to trust. You mind out for those red indians.  Why do you have to go there anyway ?" 

"They do not have red indians in Hawaii Mum. It's for work, you know that."

"Funny kind of work if you ask me," Dad said. "Haven't I always said so ? How much are you getting paid ?"

That question was directed to Jimmy but I answered it telling my parents what I would be receiving. That silenced my h but I was not going to leave it there. "Better than sweeping a factory floor !"

Christmas nineteen sixty and the New Year at my dear old parents Birmingham home, stuck as it was in the mindset of World War Two, was a long and drawn out process. It was, however, short compared to the time I felt it took us to complete the complex journey to America. 

A car pulled up to collect us. I could sense pride in my Mother as she saw the uniformed driver open the doors for us. I knew she was hoping the neighbours were watching.  Dad, of course, was at work fixing the wage packets for those who swept the floor at the factory where he worked. Even the factory's managing director did not travel in a car like this. 

We drove towards London Airport. There was the new M1 Motorway which had opened the year before. Riding along its wide carriageway was exciting. 

"Can this car do one hundred miles an hour ?  Can it do the ton ?"

"A Bentley can do anything," our driver said, "and this model is called The Flying Spur."

Jimmy turned is head round to look at me then said, "Let her go."

Jimmy was sitting in the front next to the driver. I was in the back so leaned forward to look at the speedometer. I watched as it climbed quickly to ninety then continually upwards to ninety five, ninety eight, one hundred, one hundred and five, one hundred and ten. I glanced away from the dashboard to look as the countryside sped by. I found myself wondering if the aircraft we would soon board could match the cars speed. 

That Pan Am Boeing 707 probably did go faster than the car yet as magnificent as it was it took forever to reach New York. I got to use my new passport but saw nothing of America other than Idlewild Airport before we had to board another Boeing 747 to Los Angeles

Not a Bentley this time but eventually on the ground a  Cadillac Fleetwood drove us to Paramount Studios in Hollywood. The cast members all had their own rooms in the studio compound. All these years later I still get tired when I recall those flights.  As I write my story I keep speaking of words we use today which had no meaning when I was a teenager, jetlag is another to add to my list. 

"Elvis Aaron Presley's the name," he said.

The two of us were sitting on the terrace of the artists' lounge at Paramount Studio, Hollywood, California.

"It's my real name. Your brother sings under is real name doesn'he ?"


"Not like that Cliff Richard fellow you have in England. He is Harold Webb if I am not mistaken."

I had no idea what is name was. 

"You don't have to look at me like that you know, just because I can sing a bit.  My legs end up in an arse the same as yours do. Although I expect my arse is a bit older than yours is."

"I am sixteen."

"Lucky you, I'm twenty six myself."

I wonder now if those reading this story believe the conversation took place, it did.

"Your brother is quite a star back in England."


"It is good to have him here, havin a limey in the movie will make it more appealing in England."

Good as he was I did not tink Brother Jimmy could do that.

"You don't sing yourself ?"


"Can you mime ?"

I could but I was not about to confess to the king of rock and roll that I would mime  to his songs in front of my bedroom mirror. "Never tried,"  I lied.

"Here's a deal," the great man said. "I can sing and I have no problem remembering the words to a song, I have only to hear it once and I have them permanently in my brain. But when it comes to the words I have to learn for the film, words in between the songs I just can never remember them. I get scared in front of the cameras."

Surely not.  I did not say it aloud but I did think it. Surely not.

"If you will help me to learn my words, you become my stage buddy, and I will fix it for you to be in the movie and sing with your brother. Only you can mime."

My mouth fell open.

"Is it a deal ?"


He took my and and sook it firmly. "Now what kind of beer would you like to drink ?"

"I'm only sixteen, I'm not old enough to drink."

"Listen, if you are old enough to be in an Elvis Presley movie ten you are old enough to have a beer with your new buddy Elvis."

I have drunk many beers in my life and tat one at Paramount Studio was by now way my first but I have never tasted better, before or after. 

I do think that Jimmy was pleased for his little brother Max, I am not sure.  "Eat your heart out Don and Phil," was all he said.

In the story for the movie Elvis Presley played the part
of Chadwick Gates who returned to is home in Hawaii after military service to pick up is surfboard and start is life again.

"You don't have military service in England  any  more  do you ?" Someone asked us the next day.

"Not any more. We used to call it National Service." Jimmy explained. "My Dad did National Service, he was in the army at El Alamein."

"A war hero."  

"I don't think so,"  I explained. "He cleaned Montgomery's boots."

That first day at Paramount Studio we had costume fittings, script sessions, make up tests and everything anyone could come up with.

I would still have to do all the menial duties for my rock and roll star brother but now I was to become a star in my own right. Max Robinson appearing in Blue Hawaii alongside Elvis Presley. Would my name appear in the credits at the end of the movie ?  

"When do we actually go to Hawaii ?"

"In six weeks time."

We worked from early in the morning until late afternoon. How much was there that had to be done for  British pop star and is tone deaf younger brother to be prepared for small parts in a Hollywood movie ?

There were times away from work, special times to relax. The studio thought it would be a good idea and spared no expense to show two British boys some of the sights. We were taken to Tijuana in Mexico, I was not keen on that place. I wanted to go to San Francisco but was told it was far too cold at that time of year. I doubt it would have been any colder than  Birmingham in January.

Elvis avoided joining us on these trips, he could not go anywhere without fans mobbing him. That did happen a bit to Jimmy back home but there were ways to step round his identity and fame.  When Paramount said it was taking us to Arizona and Nevada on a tree day trip Elvis said he wanted to come along with us.

It was in the Nevada Desert, somewhere between Reno and Virginia City our friend climbed on to a rock, held out is arms and said, "There is not a living soul as far as I can see."

Even at the tender age of sixteen with my limited adolescent life experience I did not envy him his fame.

Finally, finally in March we were ready to move from Hollywood to Hawaii where the real work would start.

All of the tracks had been recorded in the Hollywood studio. These would be added to the master film during editing. On the set the set te tracks were played through speakers but the cameras did not pick up the sound.   We all sang along. It did not matter that my voice was off key.  When everything was eventually brought together it looked natural and convincing. 

While I have been typing up my scribbled notes for this story I have been playing the album. Jimmy and I are somewhere in each song but my favorites are:  Blue Hawaii, Rockaula Baby and Aloha Oe.

The next part of the story is firmly in my mind and being to be
scribbled into the notebook before being typed up.

Here is that notebook. When the book becomes a bestseller it may be worth a fortune. If every person who has been reading the draft bits of the story I have been sharing here on the blog when it is published it WOULD be a best seller.

It is now TWO months since I returned home to England from my long weekend in San Francisco. I am getting withdrawal symptoms ! I will be moving the story line from Hawaii to San Francisco in the next part of my writing.

But San Francisco in my story set now in 1961 is not The City By The Bay I know and love. Neither is it the hippy centre of 1967.

You know wat ? That radio programme this morning, I think I will turn up in my hippie tee shirt.

Shearings Coaches if ever you need a tour guide for a trip to San Francisco I am your man.

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