Sunday, 27 October 2013


I've mentioned my crush on Slash before and my love for Guns n' Roses. Obviously I am reading Slash's autobiography. Its tagline is: "It seems excessive but that doesn't mean it didn't happen." Yeah, yeah you might think, all rock n' roll biographies claim to be wild and over the top. However, this one is absolutely hilarious. A four-day heroin and coke binge at a golf resort which culminates with Slash running round the course naked. David Bowie telling him his hallucinations mean he's in a dark place man. Axl Rose telling Slash's grandmother to fuck off when she wants to watch her afternoon telly. Threesomes. Snakes and an earthquake! It's a wonder they ever managed to get a band together and make any music at all.

I am nearly at the end of this momentous book and I can heartily recommend it. There's never a dull moment and Slash sounds like a very cool guy. He just picked the guitar up and that was that. No formal lessons. Reading about his life so far makes mine feel extremely dull and yet again my alternative life of being a rock chick in LA seems like it could have been a viable option. Not that I want to be a heroin addict, high functioning alcoholic and get involved with Axl Rose. Rose sounds like a total nightmare, it would be interesting to read his side of the story but what is interesting is that Slash never says anything really bad about him. He just calmly says what happened and you think WTF?

Anyway, it's made me rediscover Guns n' Roses (not that I needed to as such) and I really do believe they were the greatest over the top rock band. They burned brightly and faded fast but they gave us some proper rock that still makes me want to jump about and behave irresponsibly. Read this book, you won't regret it. Slash forever man.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Grange Hill

We're in the third year of this blog and I've not talked about Grange Hill. Shame on me.

Just looking at this photo transports me back to a time when everyone fancied Tucker Jenkins.

We all though Trisha Yates was dead cool.

Roland! Zammo! And the other one!

I watched Grange Hill avidly for years. I was still watching it when I was doing my A' levels. It was simply marvellous entertainment.

Mr Baxter!

Mrs McLusky. Firm but fair.

I was proper scared of Gripper.

It's bothering me that I can't remember the name of the kid next to Roland - Stewart? Anyone?

Proper school drama with London non-posh kids, Grange Hill was magnificent. The day I saw an actual place called Grange Hill on the tube map is one I'll never forget. I still think there should be a real Albert Square as well. Grange Hill explored bullying, school romance, death and of course, drugs! Just say no.

It also had epic opening credits.

All in all, it was perfection. I could happily watch an episode right now.

Friday, 18 October 2013

New York City playlist

Well hello there my friends. Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I entered a world in which I was trying to obtain a US visa and what with that and a trip to Spain, my life has been a little busy. I needed a visa because I am moving to New York City for six months. Much excitement as I am a little bit in love with New York. OK, I am a lot in love with New York, more specifically Manhattan. Show me someone who doesn't skip with excitement at the smell of a pretzel stand and I'll show you a fool.

In one short week I shall be flying west and as with all major life events, I plan to theme it with an appropriate playlist. I thought I'd share my initial thoughts on this with you.

First up, my all-time favourite Randy Crawford and Streetlife. This song pretty much hums in my head as I power walk around Manhattan. I think it's the introduction that makes it so appealing.

I am an 80s kid so there is always a place for Fame. I love the old cab and cassette player in this. Baby look at me...

Oh Madonna, I will always love you for Into The Groove. I am planning a tribute visit to Battery Park. Goddammit, I still want to be her in this video.

Rapture by Blondie. I don't actually think any playlist is complete without this. Added bonus - it has a very Manhattan vibe. Also, if I can't be Madonna, can I be Debbie please?

It Had To Be You. From one of the best New York films ever made. Sing it Harry.

Only Barbra is allowed to sing this. Apologies for the subtitles! 2.13 gets me every time.

Across 110th Street. I adore this song. Another great opening.

And possibly my favourite New York song from Billy Joel. I love the lyrics to this, so evocative.

Christopher Cross gave us this masterpiece. Well, Burt Bacharach did of course. Maybe now I will understand what it means to be caught between the moon and New York City?

I could do this all night so it's time to close this one out with the bible of songs for us working girls. Sing it Carly! I'll try and avoid having a Melanie Griffith hair do while I am there but no promises...

Tell me your New York songs.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

ET, phone home

I recently watched Super 8, JJ Abrams homage to ET and Spielberg generally. It's quite a good film, the first hour is very good and then it gets stupid. Is it anywhere nearly as good as ET? Of course not! Nothing is as good as ET, a film to soften the hardest of hearts. How can you not cry when watching this? I start welling up when ET first lifts the bikes up into the air and I don't really stop until the closing credits. And I am not someone who cries much when watching films. I've been called Stoney Heart by some of my closest friends. Like I say, ET will touch cynics.

What I love about ET is that it is told completely from a child's point of view, the camera angle is famously at a child's height. The children aren't made to seem ridiculous nor are they precocious. Well, Elliot is kind of annoying actually but the old brother Greg is great. The actor who plays Greg has done no acting work since 1992. I call that a crying shame. Gertie is of course played by Drew Barrymore and I don't think there is a cuter kid in film history.

She's adorable. And she's great in this. Everyone is great in this. The slightly harassed mother, the policeman who hints at romance towards her, Erika Eleniak, the boys who help them rescue ET. It's simply a wonderful film, directed by Spielberg at the top of his game and was a mega-hit. I can remember being taken to see this by my dad at Leicester Square and being so excited. And if I recall, he was a little damp about the eyes afterwards.

Thank goodness a sequel was never made. It stays perfect and a masterpiece.

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