Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

The Box Hill Record Fair is coming up this Sunday and I have to plan my campaign. That mainly means coming up with a list of items I want to buy. These of course will be ‘irresistible purchases’ as opposed to ‘unnecessary purchases’. Luckily, I always keep such a list handy in my wallet (yes, I’m that anal). I won’t share it all with you, but I will go over the most choice items I’ll be looking out for at the fair. Numero uno will be the album Romany by the Hollies from 1972. I have all their albums, except this one, and it’s a good album (I’ve heard it on Spotify). Obsessions and fandoms can get to a certain point where you have to be a completist, and I am with the Hollies. One of my favourite groups of the Sixties and Seventies. Many of the other items fit the same criteria, and here are some of them:

  • Summer Side of Life – Gordon Lightfoot
  • Where Am I Going – Dusty Springfield
  • Unrepentant Geraldines – Tori Amos
  • MIU – The Beach Boys

There are some singles, or 7″ records, I’m looking for, mainly for the b-sides. I want New Zealand band Mi Sex‘s Only Thinking, Falling In and Out, Shanghaied and Cast Away singles for this reason. I recently finally got hold of their fourth album Where Do They Go, the only one I didn’t have. A very underrated band, in my opinion. A holy grail of singles for me would be You Got the Magic, by John Fogerty. That one and the b-side Evil Thing were the only official songs he released from his abandoned Hoodoo album. Bootlegs of the album do the rounds, and I have a copy, but the sound quality ain’t great. They say Fogerty had the masters destroyed, but I still hold out hope that a studio engineer or someone secretly made a copy and it will be released some day. Mind you, it isn’t a great album, but damn, it’s Fogerty! Then there are some soundtracks, especially The Warriors and Heavy Metal. I read the novel The Warriors by Sol Yurick recently and it took me back to the film. So good. I should write a comparison review of film and book, which may happen (I’ll add it to my to do list). Geezer Butler in his book Into The Void mentions there’s a different, and in his opinion better, version of The Mob Rules by Black Sabbath on the Heavy Metal soundtrack. One of the regular vendors at the fair is a guy called Eddie, who specialises in rare fifties and sixties albums. I’m hoping he’ll have some more rockabilly albums by the German company Buffalo Bop. I especially love the solo female series. I can’t wait for the fair, which is held at Box Hill’s Town Hall, usually in the chandelier-filled ballroom. The only problem I find with it is that items in some stalls can be completely random, no order, like alphabetical. The problem of randomness. I guess they’re meant to have that browsing lucky dip quality that some people like. Not me: I don’t have the time. I will follow this up with my necessary poichases.


I read more of the A Geek In Japan book. Suicide rates are high – highest in the ‘advanced’ world. Some reasons are the Samurai code of honor is still strong in Japan, and the pressure to pass exams, and the shame of failing them. A popular suicide method is to throw yourself in front of a train. One train line, the Chuo line, is especially popular with them because it’s harder for drivers to stop in time. Crime is low in Japan, due to tight gun control laws, severe punishments, and the general Asian code of communities and families first, individuals second. The factoids keep coming.


Watched episode 33 of Urusei Yatsura. The first half was about one of Mendo‘s baby octopuses (octopi?) going missing. It’s eventually found under his pillow. Love the bit at the start where one of Mendo’s retainers (his family is filthy rich) is doing a roll call of the octopuses and gives them all the honorific ‘sama’ (lord or sir). And they are so damn cute! The second half has Ataru being surprisingly gentlemanly towards a ghost girl (a Rumiko specialty) who hasn’t moved on because she wanted to date him. He even wears the warm wool items she knitted for him when she was alive, even though it’s the height of summer. Watching this, Lum is forced to reassess his qualities. It seems he can be selfless towards people who are in pain or need help, but reverts back to type – selfish – when everything’s okay. He does this over and over in the show. You’d think Lum would’ve picked up on this and used it to her advantage (well, sometimes she does).


Gave the StonesHackney Diamonds another listen. Gets better every time, though I detect a dip in quality in the middle. The first five or six songs are so great. Bite My Head Off is so punky, and that riff is relentless! Ballad Dreamy Skies has that classic tasty Beggar’s Banquet sound, all acoustic guitars and country feel. I love it. I really like the sax on second song, Get Close. Keith’s vocal song Tell Me Straight continues to impress with its melody and stark sound. Album highlight, Sweet Sounds of Heaven, with Lady Gaga, really reminds me of Gimme Shelter, as I think it was meant to. I notice the lyrics feature some defensive language, like ‘why are you angry with me?’ and ‘why’d ya bite my head off?’ Mick has a beef. He’s a victim of his accusers, so he runs away for respite to the ‘dreamy skies’, listening to the ‘sweet sounds of heaven’. Album closer Rolling Stone Blues couldn’t be more fitting, and makes a nice call-back to the fine last album, Blue and Lonesome. If they never make another album, this will be a great way to go out.

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