I know a Girl Called Elsa / She’s into Alka Seltzer
Public transport...its quite a thing isn’t it. Well actually in most of the world it is.
I’ve caught the local train in
The first time was with my Grandmother back in 1967. I have no real memory of it…
The second time was last year when my ten year old daughter said to me last year “Dad…what’s a train ride like?”. I felt very guilty. She had of course caught a train quite a few times in Sydney when I took her there at age four, Australia having superb public transport in most cities; but she had no memory of it either.
So we trekked down to the new palace under the old Britomart car park (wasn’t that a shitty old building and deserving of smashing….unlike the wonderful and iconic building in Jean Batten Place that the BNZ wants to bowl for a corporate headquarters… didn’t Auckland learn anything from its Tizard endorsed gutting in the Eighties...I guess not, and the fact they would even consider it says more ugly things about the BNZ than I would think they’d like to say). I’d been there a couple of time earlier for a look…curiosity y’know, as to what we paid for, and to muse as to how much we almost spent and how much so many people walked away with. It really didn’t impress. It’s kind of like the Auckland Casino...when you’ve seen a real one its hard to get excited about something like that. But, hey, it’s a start and god knows we need one in
So we went to Newmarket, past my old flat in Parnell where
Then we went
The trains were dirty, uncomfortable and about half full and I think Isabella lost interest until I took her to Singapore and showed her a real public transport system….fast, clean, efficient and regular...everything Auckland’s system is not. And it actually goes places….
I love public transport and use it when I can. I like all subway stations (apart from the one in the
That’s one of those records that seems to revisit me every few years. I never quite leave it. Quite a combination that lot…I think The Edge is one of those wasted talents. His earlier stuff (I mean his contributions to the first couple of U2 albums) had its moments and I guess the fact that he could contribute to a record like this (although maybe their mutual label, Island, when it used to be an adventurous indie, advised him it was a good credibility move..these things happen in A&R) means something. But to me U2 stopped being vaguely interesting, became an ever increasing self parody about album three and stifled the previously intriguing and astounding Brian Eno. I’ve always liked Jah Wobble too. I like the way that a completely untrained and musically illiterate bass player could revolutionise popular music in such a way...and he did…anyone who thinks that the first two PIL albums didn’t change the musical landscape forever, in so many different ways and so many different genres……………
Sadly we seem to have come to a place where people like this are no longer allowed by larger record companies (big indies like Island and Virgin…majors ceased allowing things like this many years back and have never done so in US) to make records like this. Richard Branson may be your classic offensive upper class English twat, but, all credit, he did allow so many acts to indulge their whims and without that you would never have had records like Metal Box or the first Human League album or all those Front Line albums or all those heinous Gong & Henry Cow records for that matter. Then again, it was a time when Joy Division and, indeed, The Screaming Meemees (thank you) banged their way to number one in the pop charts without a moments airplay. I guess the torch, as the majors gobbled up and neutered any large indies has been passed to the thousands of struggling little labels who continue to push the envelope. Just go and look at the releases on a site like Piccadilly and tell me music isn’t alive and well. It inspires.
Yeah, so as I said, I like public transport. Here in Bali we have these cute little bus type things called Bemos…a couple of thousand Rupiah and you get taken places…efficiently, regularly, but not comfortably, what with the roads, the motorbikes and the fact these things are not designed for a six foot bulé. But you can’t have it all….
Tunes today: Gangstarr-Take it Personal…fifteen years on / Oasis-Guess God Thinks I’m Abel…a great song…what Oasis really meant really hit me in a pub in Burnham near Slough in 96..I was pissed as a newt and for the last hour before we got tossed out EVERY bloody song on the juke was Oasis & every bloody person in that pub, young and old, knew every bloody word / The Casuals- Jesamine..big cheesy song for me when I was a young teen and I found it again on Paul Weller’s wonderful Under The Influence collection. There are so many things I’d want to thank Paul Weller for and this just adds to the list…..so…/ The Jam-Liza Radley