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Showing posts from June, 2010

I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan 3: ...and Personal

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"Sorry mate." I was talking to Grant on the phone. Apparently the photos hadn't come out, it had been too dark and he hadn't used a flash bulb. A shame, but never mind. I had discovered a new purpose. Meeting Toyah. After all, how difficult could it be? I just needed to keep my ear to the airwaves listening out for any TV or radio appearances, plus there were the summer gigs coming up... Back in 1982 no-one talked about "stalkers" but even if they had I'd have been shocked and insulted at any suggestion that I was turning into one. I was just going along to public places she'd be and saying hello. Maybe next time I'd actually remember to bring something along to be signed. I discovered that I wasn't alone. The next opportunities to present themselves were the four (count 'em) sell out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon which would be recorded and turned into Warrior Rock , one of the later - and one of the finest - examples of tha

Prehistoric addiction

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Thugg the Caveman and some of the other males from his tribe made their way across the tundra of Ice Age West Midlands.  It had been a hard winter and numbers had decreased significantly. Some had been lost to the cold, some to hunger and still others to the saber-toothed tigers that continued to plague this branch of infant humanity. It was a risky business, this hunter-gathering. If you didn't pay attention constantly it could spell doom for both you and your chances of passing on the genes for not paying attention constantly. Thugg clipped Foot-Watcher around the ear and by means of a series of complex grunts and gestures indicated to him that whilst staring at his own feet might one day become the de rigueur pose for indie musicians many millennia hence, right here and now it was about as much use as a chocolate teapot.  Foot-Watcher looked perplexed - as well he might seeing as neither chocolate nor teapots would be invented for thousands of years - but straightened up and

I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan 2: Up Close...

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There was nothing for it really. In the end I had to admit to my immediate family that I had become a Toyah fan. I imagine it was almost like coming out - in some ways it was coming out. In admitting I liked Toyah I was admitting I liked girls and therefore wasn't the asexual child I had hitherto appeared to be. Still, without doing that it would have been difficult to get to the gigs, and attending gigs was the natural next step. The places in which I first saw Toyah play weren't exactly the ideal introduction to me of the world of gigging.   Hammersmith Odeon and Theatre Royal Drury Lane - great hulking cavernous buildings with nary a chance of an intimate show. At the time I didn't know any better though and any gripes I might have had at the choice of venue were totally eclipsed by one simple fact - for ninety minutes or so I was going to be in the same room as her . As well as 3000 other teenage boys. Not to mention the little girls and their parents. And the

The Man in the Mirror

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It's probably a bit unexpected that I'm writing a blog entry with the same title as a Michael Jackson song, but in my defence I'd just like to point out that the late Mr Jackson doesn't hold a monopoly on the concept of mirrors, or the male inhabitants thereof. However, looking in the mirror these days I begin to understand his desire for plastic surgery. I have always had a curious relationship with mirrors. As a child and early teen I disliked them.  Firstly because they were frightening, especially at night. They reflected and doubled the scary luminous shapes that seemed to make their way into my bedroom no matter how thoroughly I closed the curtains. And what if I had to get up in the night?  In the small hours a mirror was an eerie portal into an unnatural perverse world where I could never be sure that the shape moving in there was only my reflection. And what would happen if I looked into it whilst I was asleep? Far better to cover it up with a blanket.

I Was A Teenage Toyah Fan 1: From Afar

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I was always a bit of a late developer. Whilst all the other boys at school were sneaking porn mags into class under their jumpers, I couldn't quite see the appeal of the airbrushed mannequins contained therein. I disliked the way they prised their nether regions open with gynecological expertise whilst wearing expressions that made them look simultaneously half-asleep and nauseous. My peers said this was because I was a "bender" or a "pervert". But it wasn't. As mentioned in an earlier entry, for some unknown reason I simply found a very different kind of woman attractive . Furthermore, for me it was about fancying the girl to start with.  It was about getting to know them, hanging out with them, talking to them. Maybe getting a snog. Then who knows?  The short cut to views of genitalia offered by these magazines seemed to miss the point completely. It was at the bitter end of the nineteen-seventies.  I'd admired these scary punk girls from afar

Dimensionally Transcendental Confession 13: Eleven minutes late, defective TARDIS at Leadworth

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There remains very little else to tell. In some ways it feels odd that a series of memoir-based blog entries could have started with vague black and white memories and ended up in the present, but on the other hand given the subject matter that's exactly what I should have expected. So... previously... Season Four had ended with a overblown bang and the news that there would be another hiatus in 2009 broken only by five hour-long "specials", guest appearances for the Doctor in two episodes of season three of Sarah Jane Adventures and a week of Torchwood on BBC1. How would the poor fans cope deprived in such a manner? Don't you think he looks tired? It's not as if David Tennant was using the hiatus to put his feet up and relax. Far from it - he took the opportunity to pursue the actors' Holy Grail of playing Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company . I didn't see that even though it was recorded, broadcast and released on DVD and BluRay, but did watc

Evolution of the Sciences

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Even as a young child I was very interested in astronomy. One of the most irritating things about this was when an indulgent adult would patronizingly ask me what I was interested in. "Astronomy." "Really? Astrology? How interesting. What sign are you then?" Even as a five year old I knew the difference between the two. Astronomy was the science of stars, moons, planets, telescopes, galaxies, lunar modules, comets and all the interesting stuff. Astrology was, not to put too fine a point on it, bollocks. And it still is, isn't it? Russell Grant 's star may not be in the ascendant as much any more but there still seems to be a mass market for delusion. Many newspapers still carry horoscopes, including the Metro which is supplied free to the commuters of the UK on a daily basis. Does nobody ever question the fact that the central idea of these predictions requires 5 million other people across the country to share their fate diurnally? Oh but it's