Three Covers One Band

Clue One. The three bands covered: The Paragons/The Nerves/Randy and the Rainbows.

Clue Two. My experiences of seeing them live: in 1982, when I was still at school, my mum—who I get my thing for music from—got us tickets to see this band, only for them to spilt up on the tour before playing the gig. They were my top band at the time; I was totally gutted.

In 1991, I was going to spend a weekend at the Hells Angels’ Kent Custom Bike Show. It turned out that on the same Saturday night, the lead singer of the band was appearing as a solo artist at Wembley, London, on a bill that included the likes of INXS, Jesus Jones and the Hothouse Flowers. Continue reading

The Shop next to the Tower on the Top of the Hill

rocky biggs 1280px-Croydon_Transmitter_IIA poem written in November 2020, prompted by what exactly I can’t remember; there is truth to a degree in the words, and while this matters not to the reader, a need to expand on the actual facts took hold, from which followed a jaunt across the tobacco industry, teachers always being a-holes, a picture of my favourite gate, cheap snacks, Big Foot, how I used to live in the Lord of the Rings, laughing at my mum (sorry, mum), a real size but pretend Canadian Parliament, the world’s first dinosaur statues, and London’s most popular gorilla.

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Elephant and Castle, Stick It up Your Arsehole!

A Life of Crime vs. The Free Market Supplemental

‘The Elephant and Castle shopping centre, once a symbol of hope and regeneration could be on its last legs…’ started a BBC article published while I was in the throes of finishing the A Life of Crime… series.

If hearing a similar statement when living nearby—permanently 1984 to 86 and then again 1988 to 99—I would’ve partied hard like it was the latter year.

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Banned from the Pubs

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events (continued from: Geezers and Goldfish Bowls):

Gotta wonder what kinda image ‘workingmen’s club’ conjures for anyone without a clue.

Almost unique to the U.K. (apart from a couple in Australia and Ireland; at least according to Wikipedia [though citation needed apparently]) they’re private clubs with committees, rules and membership.

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Geezers and Goldfish Bowls

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events (continued from: Songs T Taught Me and the Mystery of Charlie Chaplin):

Spaces always look smaller when empty; something in this case helped big time by the stage being hidden behind a curtain. The area once full of merry drinkers now occupied by a solitary pool table, five ‘chaps‘ drinking and smoking round it.

It’d become one of those pubs where unless you knew someone already there, everyone there would assume you undercover plod worthy of a good stabbingup. The fact one of us was a loud Aussie doing nothing to allay suspicions; on the contrary, what better way for a rozzer to hide than appearing to be from a different country.


Last thing to do: turn tail and leave.


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Songs T Taught Me and the Mystery of Charlie Chaplin

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events (continued from: Horses for Courses):

In Croydon my attempts to give socks away were met with outright resistance:

‘He don’t like the ones with elastic at the top’

‘Too thick; will make his feet sweat’

Replying, ‘how about for another much loved and cared for family member, such as a cherished grandchild?’ did nothing to entice the taking of free socks.

There was nothing for it but the songs T had taught me:

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Horses for Courses

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events:

“What you reckon?”

T looked at me across the table of the ‘workingmen’s café’ he’d chosen to meet in for ‘a bit of breakfast’.

He’d been running up and down Oxford Street selling out of a suitcase; just he hadn’t been running fast enough. A three person operation (seller/fake excited buyer/lookout), T had decided he had enough winning charm not to need the second—granted, I’d give him that—and enough cunning and sly to outwit plod: wrong; numerous times too.

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Welcome to Weston: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Quicksand and Curses

Weston-super-Mare is located on the South West coast of England, twenty-two miles from Bristol. Once a glorious Victorian seaside resort, more recently host to Banksy’s Dismaland, it has unique ways and customs found nowhere else in the West Country region, regardless of how dark and deep into it one is willing to go. (Weston—as it is more commonly abbreviated to—indicated by the red marker below)

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