This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily - except after days of stress and nights of excess.
Monday 15th January
This prime slice of pomp-AOR-prog from Dukes Of The Orient - a band featuring my old pal John Payne (ex-Asia, GPS) and keyboardist Erik Norlander (Last in Line, Lana Lane) - is well and truly rocking my world. Shades of Asia's 'Silent Nation'... Bring on the self-titled album, which includes a cameo from the great Guthrie Govan.
Sunday 14th January
It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it. There's yet another obituary to write. I hope I can do 'Fast' Eddie justice. Let's prepare the tools to do the job and turn up the classic first Fastway album to indecent levels.
Saturday 13th January
Back at home and cracking open a few cold tinnies after a nerve wracking yet exhilarating afternoon at Selhurst. In the first half Palace could have scored three or four against high flying Burnley, but after the break things were much more even. In the end Sako's goal claimed those three priceless points.
Roy's men have now lost just one of their last 12 Premier League games, climbing to 12th and leapfrogging Huddersfield and those Unmentionable Scum From The South Coast. I'm smiling like a loony as I type this. There's no way that we are going down - even Hennessey played well. Proud to be an Eagle. COYP!!
Friday 12th January
How nice to have interviewed Eddie Kramer (whose many credits include Zeppelin, Bowie, Hendrix, The Kinks, Kiss, the Stones, Clapton, Frampton, The Nice, Humble Pie, Angel, Anthrax and of course Fastway) yesterday. Gotta admit I was a bit nervous about that one, but what a warm, helpful and enthusiastic fella. You really don't have to become jaded with age. Another of those boxes ticked.
Thursday 11th January
Oh fuck... what Godawful awful news. The unexpected death of 'Fast' Eddie Clarke means that the Three Amigos is no more. Right up until Christmas I had been talking to Eddie, trying to persuade him to do a book. Fast Eddie was a lovely, lovely man, unflinchingly honest - if he thought somebody deserved to be called a c**t then he let them know, and chances are that his character assessment was right on the money. I'm so glad that he took Fastway out on tour again with Saxon and Girlschool in 2016 for what he called "just one last time" and got to see those insane crowd reactions. Yet another immense talent has gone. I will *seriously* miss him, both as a talent and a bloke. RIP 'Fast' Eddie.
Wednesday 10th January
Back in the 1990s when RAW magazine shared a Carnaby Street HQ with Kerrang!, Geoff Barton summoned me to his office and shut the door behind us. I thought, 'Oh shit, which band have I pissed off this time?' There was no need to worry. A batch of these boxed sets had been put together, possibly as part of the K! awards, and a single box was left as over. Did I want it? But keep things schtum as they couldn't give one to everybody on RAW. Naturally, it still lurks in the collection - 'Appetite For Destruction', 'Ace Of Spades', 'Blizzard Of Ozz', 'Introduce Yourself', 'Strangers In The Night', 'Led Zep II', 'Hysteria', 'Destroyer', 'Pump', 'Back In Black', 'Paranoid' and 'Master Of Puppets'... plus a couple of booby prize entries, 'Nevermind' and 'Ten'. Has anyone else still got theirs? Not that I'd consider selling, but I wonder what it's worth...?
Sunday 7th January
I can only add to the wave of sentiment at the loss of Chris Tsangarides, the Grammy-nominated producer best known for his work with acts including Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Y&T, Anvil, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, UFO and Helloween. I first met Chris in my days as a cub reporter in 1983 when he worked on 'Rough Justice' with Spider at London's Battery Studios. I was more than slightly in awe of him for having produced 'Mean Streak' for Y&T earlier that same year. Chris was hairy, gregarious, fun loving and very easy to get on with. Hi-jinks abounded. At the end of the session he hooted with laughter when the band presented him with a black, studded heavy metal cushion. Afterwards our paths crossed often at gigs and various industry events. Chris always found the time to stop and natter. Having made a full recovery he was taken aback by the affection and support after being placed in a medically induced coma for 10 days to combat Legionnaire's disease. Tsangarides was just 61 when pneumonia and heart failure overcame him.
Our final FB message conversation was almost a year ago in the wake of Joey Alves’ passing. Chris had felt awful for Dave Meniketti, aware that all of Y&T's original members had been childhood friends and 'cept for Dave were now gone. “It's getting to be the norm,” he joked. “You wake up and get onto the web to see who else has gone.”
Rest in peace, Chris. You were much loved.
On a far, far brighter note, how amazing to think that my youngest lad Arnie was born 19 years ago today. He's turning into a fine young man. Here are some pix from today's lunch with my dad at the newly renovated Catford Bridge Tavern.
Saturday 6th January
Anyone remember Jesus? No, not *that* Jesus, I'm talking about the unusual fella I used to see at just about every gig I attended back in the day. Here's an interesting update. Glad that he's still this side of the turf. The one time I actually spoke to the enigma known as Jesus was on the underground in the 1980s heading back into the West End following a gig at the Wellington in Shepherd's Bush. I had spotted that he was recording the show on a hand-held tape machine and asked how it had come out. "Oh no!" he exclaimed, realising for the first time that he had left the device back at the venue, shrugging cryptically: "Oh well, it served its purpose". And Jesus promptly got off the Central Line at the next stop.
Friday 5th January
What an astonishing way to begin 2018's concert calendar. The band we had assumed were no more, promoting the album we feared would never be made on a tour that the bookies might have bet against. Yeah, after an absence of six years Black Country Communion took to the stage at Hammersmith, delivering more than two hours of timeless, classic hard rock. Leading from the front, Glenn Hughes had grown his hair out - you ain't seen nuthin' yet, apparently... he's going for the full-on California Jam retro look! - and sang with the pipes of a man half his age. With musical chops to die for and a catalogue of material that sounds as though it was recorded back in the 1970s, BCC have all bases covered. And by golly... now THAT'S how to cover 'Mistreated', lol!! Just wait till the live album/DVD of this show is released... you won't believe your ears and eyes. This was sensational, awe inspiring stuff and it was great to have a catch-up natter to Glenneth at the after-show bash in the balcony, also to chat with Maiden's Adrian Smith, who like myself was blown away by the performance.
Oh, and for any guitar nerds reading this… during the gig, after I posted the live piccie, Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash responded: “Hmmm .... that looks like my old Flying V.” Andy had believed that Joe B now owned said instrument – one of just 98 manufactured. Afterwards, I asked Mr Bonamassa whether this was true. He replied emphatically that it wasn’t so. So now you know!
Thursday 4th January
There are still so many leftovers from the NYE bash. I'm on the all-Hula Hoop diet for the foreseeable future. At least we have a range of flavours... beef, salt and vinegar and... well, about 15 others. #feelingsick
Wednesday 3rd January
Here are the latest additions to the Playlist and YouTube pages.
Tuesday 2nd January
Saints 1 Palace 2. Nights such as this are why I support CPFC. A truly amazing comeback. Following Jimmy Mac's volleyed equaliser, Luka Milivojevic curls one into the net from 25 yards to win the points at St Mary's. What a dream goal. Watching on a stream in my office, Eddie and I went absolutely bonkers! Hodgson is proving to be a superb appointment for the Palace!! The Eagles soar back up to 14th again. COY-fuggin'-P!!
Monday 1st January
Gruuuhhhhhh... You know you've had a successful New Year's Eve party when:
1) You are still disposing of the empties and washing up at 6.50pm.
2) You use the cloak of darkness to dispose of the dead 'uns in the neighbours' recycling bins because yours could have been filled six times over. Easily.
3) There's still enough unclaimed / unconsumed alcohol to replenish Pete Way's mini-bar for a whole week. Well, maybe for a coupla hours anyway... lol.
Here are a few pics from the night/morning/aftermath.
As I type, Bruce Dickinson had just guested on the all-star edition of University Challenge. Very strange seeing him here, but a nice bits of kudos for the metal community which is, of course, generally regarded as a bit on the Neanderthal side... oh, and well done for the autobiography plug in his intro! For one horrible moment I thought he was gonna screw up the Mick Ronson answer!