My Rats – 7th August 2022

My rats, my rats, my little gutter rats
We ran together, we released the bats
Our bondage brigade marched ever on
We instinctively knew who was the clever one
With cider right beside her bag of glue
Hellzapoppin as all the young savages dü
On mattress castles, the princess and the pee
And stinking dogs shit wherever they be
No glamour in this clamour drenched in sweat
We know we grow to be the best ones yet
D. cried about courage, and soon he was dead
If the man doesn’t get you, he’s always in your head
Nuclear ghosts haunted all our youth
Marching in millions seeking some truth
The sham in 69 was still in 79 too
We loved in vain but knew that love was true
And so those glories now dare not be repeated
Angry eyes glared, “ever feel like you’ve been cheated?”
That revolution sparked is now a faded glory
Who now to stop the world with their own story?

People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.

Bertrand Russell

Same Old Song – 12th July 2021

You were a Frankenstein
When I saw you on the screen
I was scared and curious
At the weirdness I had seen
What drew me to it
I don’t really understand
But the thing I knew is
That I wanted to start a band
Your face inspired my generation
Though now you’ll never know
You burned and crashed out
While others took the chance to grow
Ten years or so, later
And others inspired the same
They too destroyed themselves
Cos they couldn’t handle the fame
Exploited to make a buck
It happened again and again
Working hard to get where you were
But it will never be the same
Now little girls chase this dream
To get famous for a minute
As if life was a competition
And everyone has to win it

The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #29 – 14th March 2020

Music from The Radwan Satellite, The Spielbergs, The Ex, Teenage Depression, The Dickies, Prince Francis, Nihilistics, The Ladies, Third Thumb, Mothboxer, Bare Grillz, Sakarin Boonpit, Blondie, Naked Raygun, The Satellites, Ambient Noise and the Sex Pistols.

Gratitude Journal

I am so happy and grateful for these masks that can help me breathe. Coronavirus and high AQI.

14th Mar 2023 – That looks like a pretty fine podcast. Sometimes I go and listen to them myself. I think they’re pretty good. The mix of music represents my madness.
After having Covid last year I decided to stop wearing masks but with the summer burning season here again I’m wearing them intermittently when I’m outside.

Please don’t be waiting for me – 18th April 1989

21st Feb 2022 – How exciting. To be in a band.

A week or two after playing shows around the UK with our new pals from Holland, The Vernon Walters, we were off to Europe somehow, to play there with our local buddies, Corporate Grave. Our drivers, two Welsh hippie punk miscreants who kept us entertained with stories as they figured out which direction we should be headed. I don’t know how any of this happened. I was just the vocalist in the band. Before I knew it as a phrase, I would ‘get in the van.’

I don’t recall where we were picked up from, or any of the journey across the South of England to Dover where we would await the ferry to Calais. We would have picked up Rich and Corporate Grave along the way in Southampton.

We arrived in Dover in the late evening and beer seemed to be an important requirement so we bought a case of 24 cans of Stella. We had probably already spent all the spare money we had. Beer and cigarettes came before food.

We left in darkness, with a bunch of paperwork cleared, the details of which I’m vague on now, but it would have been related to earning money, carrying expensive equipment and those sorts of things. As we were accepted we assumed everything would be in order for the rest of the trip, particularly as Europe had just opened up without much in the way of cross border checking once on the mainland.

New York – 10th September 1983

Let’s all go to the big, big city
With dust and scum, all things pretty
We’ll get a jet and pollute the air
Cos in New York they just don’t care

1st May 2023 – Not sure what I had against New York at the time. I think it was just an example of a city to use and had been used by the Sex Pistols as a song too.
Still living in the countryside I knew that cities were where things were happening and I felt desperately that I wanted to experience it. At the same time, I also knew that the countryside had very few eyes to discover the shenanigans of us bored teenagers.
In the next couple of years, I started to go to London infrequently for gigs and record shopping and always returned home blowing out chunks of black snot.
When I finally did end up in a big city, Sydney, it was the perfect balance between urban and rural. I still feel very lucky to have had that opportunity.

*The Week That Was – 12th January 1981

Record of the week: Damned – There Ain’t No Sanity Clause

12th January 1981
So Bored
By the end of the week I could die of boredom

13th January 1981
OK day, got Flexipop with Sex Pistols

14th January 1981
wasn’t all that good
John Cooper Clarke

15th January 1981
Mum has to pay for the roof of our house which is bust
Estimate 500 pounds

16th January 1981
Quite a good day
New pinball snooker

17th January 1981
Going to Mac’s
Playing snooker loads
Move stuff on walls
Everton 0 v Ipswich 0

18th January 1981
Usual day as Sundays go

This week’s chart-topper is John Lennon – Imagine
Highest new entry: David Bowie – Scary Monsters

Lookin’ For Clues – 29th December 1980

Record of the Week: Lookin’ For Clues – Robert Palmer

Expecting Graeme 10am – he didn’t come – should come tomorrow
Dentist 3.20pm

11th July 2021 – Graeme Gray – it was all his fault. Somewhere in 1979 or 1980 he told me about this outrageously named band the Sex Pistols and their song Friggin’ in the Riggin’, the lyrics of which excited these typically dumb 13-year-old boys. For some reason I feel that it was later that I saw the Sex Pistols video for ‘Pretty Vacant’ on Top of the Pops – but looking back it seems that that was in 1977, so I had already come across them, perhaps not knowing who they were. I do remember though their bass player, whom I commented to my mother, looked like Frankenstein. My mother and I would always watch the horror double bill on Saturday nights, after Match of the Day, so Frankenstein and Dracula were always a clear black and white image in my mind.

Frankenstein on Top of the Pops

These were the clear seeds of my interest in punk rock and it didn’t take long for me to immerse myself in it.

It seems weird to me now that I would invite a friend over on the same day I had to go to the dentist. Time has a different meaning to pre-teens though.

Anyway, later in 1979, Graeme’s parents moved out to the New Forest, to manage the Red Shoot Inn, yet somehow we managed to stay in touch. I felt it was fairly unusual for kids our age to stay in touch by old style phone in those days – if you weren’t within biking distance and attending the same school then it was practically impossible to be friends.

Graeme and I had a few adventures here before I was forbidden by his parents to visit again.

Each week I would write down whatever song/s stuck in my mind from listening to the radio. I’m just reminding myself about this Robert Palmer song as I have no memory of it now. An appealing upbeat jaunty pop number with a bit of a quirky middle section. Goes well along with XTC and Squeeze tunes that would have been popular around this time.

Music was becoming a bigger part of my interest, though as it had been an interest for most people generally as there weren’t really many other options, it was always around and I often looked through my mother’s collection of June Tabor, James Last and Martin Carthy records and fantasising about these people and their lives. I couldn’t stop playing her Lonnie Donegan album and the Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood album, often sitting in my window singing along, hoping that my Nancy Sinatra may hear. I had a fabulous fantasy world in my head, stuck out in the Dorset countryside.

I spent many hours looking into these eyes…

*The Week That Was – 29th December 1980

Record of the week: Lookin’ For Clues – Robert Palmer

29th December 1980
Expecting Graeme 1000
He didn’t come should come tomorrow
Dentist 3.20pm

30th December 1980
Album of the year:
Damned – Black Album/Machine Gun Etiquette
Cockney Rejects – Greatest Hits Vol II
Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables

31st December 1980
Single of the year:
Dead Kennedys – Holiday In Cambodia
The Fall – How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’

1st January 1981
The Damned and PiL are on OGWT
mixed my drinks – all the family have (illegible)

17th July 2021 – The Old Grey Whistle Test was an interesting TV show although at the time I just wanted to see punk music and not all the boring old hippie, prog, jazz shit they would include. Trying to find more information about the show on this date makes me think that they re-ran recordings from 1979 – maybe a New Year special or something like that.

As to the drinking part of this entry….I’m not sure if this would have been drinking allowed by my mother (and with family – Grandparents, visiting relatives, maybe) or perhaps stolen from my grandad’s stash out in the shed, from which I learned to enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale and practice skulling 300ml bottles of various other forms of ale.

2nd January 1981
Bought The Not The Nine O’clock News album
and Sid Vicious Family Album

3rd January 1981
FA Cup Third Round
Ipswich 1 v Villa 0

4th January 1981
Gotta finish school project
but who the hell wants to do that?
ME! I suppose

This week’s chart-topper is:
Anarchy In The UK for the 3rd time
John Peel’s Festive Fifty
Also in Top 10 – Stiff Little Fingers, Dead Kennedys, Clash, Undertones, Joy Division, Jam, Damned

The Diary That Was – 31st December 1979

29th Sep 2022 – And so we are here, at the mysterious back pages of the diary.

Record of the week: The Greedies – Merry Jingle

29th Sep 2022 – Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy and Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols were the Greedies and this song is a fun, romping Christmas song but as with most Christmas songs, won’t hold up at any other time of year. I wonder what it is that makes people think to write a Christmas song? If it’s your last resort maybe it’s time to give up?

29th Sept 2022 – Paul Mariner, Mick Mills, Mick(?) Lambert, Bobby Robson, Trevor Whymark, Roger Osbourne, John Wark, George Burley, Paul Cooper, Kevin Beattie…the other faces are familiar but names stuck somewhere deep in the noggin. I’m going to go search the rest of the names as a reminder.

Frm Fidy tety sx nw cod i sudrtkn

29th Sept 2022 – Any codebreakers got this one? I reckon ‘From Friday Twenty Six…….” – any significance to the missing letters? Children and their warped minds.

Andrew said “I don’t think the FONZ is very interesting.”

29th Sep 2022 – It was all downhill from here.


29th Sept 2022 – Me trying to work out how to spell Leif Garrett, and yes, I had to look it up again just now.

Me —— Them
-8 —— -2
-2 —— -2
-3 —— -6
-4 —— -10

29th Sep 2022 – In my childlike imagination my bedroom was a golf course. Using one of our eating knives as a club and a marble as a ball, I devised a course around the bed, chair, floor, drawers etc.

I remember the knife well, it was one that was least favoured to be used at the table, it was the odd one out in the cutlery drawer. It had a cream handle, some kind of imitation ivory, bakelite maybe? Where the blade joined the handle had a small piece missing that added to its devious charm. The tip of the knife was an industrial semi-circle shape, with no pointed end as with our other knives. It was ugly. So it became my mini golf club and I loved it for that.

Of course, I just played against myself, labelling the scores Me and Them and generally always favouring Me, naturally.

When you chatted up the girl with the great big boobs
I don’t make a fuss, I just kept me cool

29th Sept 2022 – The genesis of getting into writing lyrics and trying to make them outrageous as per my idols. I didn’t yet have the vocabulary and ability but genius (haha!) must start somewhere!

Bed (curtains) 2p
Bricks 102p
Make own tea 2p
Make both teas 5p
Make tea to drink 1p
Collect coal 1p
Collect wood 1p
Extra jobs… 1p
Depending how hard… 2p
It is 3p and so on

29th Sep 2022 – Keeping track of potential earnings. No matter, I would always spend more than I earned, well into my late 20s. Some lessons take a long time.

Kempton 1.30pm 10p stake
1. Be Better 8-1 80p
Kempton 2.00pm
Catechism 7-1

29th Sep 2022 – A minor interest in Maths, betting and odds developing. I soon realised what a con gambling is, though when I say soon, it probably took another ten years as I did usually put some money through the fruit machines of pubs I attended for a while.

29th Sep 2022 – Artistic skills don’t look particularly promising but that never stopped me from trying.

I want Sex Pistols book, LPs and Clash ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’, dartboard

29th Sep 2022 – I ended up with all these except the Clash album which I curiously never owned on vinyl and even now when I listen to it it still sounds fresh and new as many of those songs are not so familiar to me. Weirdly, I think I only ever owned the first album and Sandanista on vinyl and I’m not sure why I missed out on London Calling, which is also a little less familiar to these ears.

Friggin’ in the Riggin’
Friggin’ in the riggin’
(repeat two more times)
Cos there’s fuck all else to do
Stick glass up your arse
(repeat thrice)
Cos there’s fuck all else to do

The captain’s wife is Mable
And when she’s fully able
She’ll give the crew the daily screw
Upon the mess room table
The captain’s name is Dodo
And he’s a lazy bugger
He isn’t fit to shovel shit
From one place to another

29th Sep 2022 – As Graeme Gray introduced me to the Sex Pistols through this song I would ask him to repeat these lyrics for me until I could remember them and write them down. Not accurate as expected but filthy enough to warp the precious minds of eleven and twelve-year-old potential brat-punks.

75m – 11.2

29th Sep 2022 – I was obviously pleased with myself for being a fast runner.

Chorus to Pretty Vacant
We’re so pretty, oh so pretty -ow
– Vacant
And now, we don’t careeeee!

Second verse and chorus to Silly Thing
People here, people there
People around you everywhere
What you gonna say
What you gonna do
Now you’ve missed out once again
But I thought you knew
Oh, you silly thing
You’ve really gone and done it now

More songs
There’s a girl from Birmingham
She’s had an aboushtion
She looks a screaming mess
Screaming mess
Fuck this, fuck that
Fuck that fucking little brat
She don’t want a baby like that
I don’t want a baby like that
She looks a screaming mess
Screaming mess

29th Sep 2022 – More outrageous Sex Pistols lyrics. It’s really hard to comprehend what an impact this band had at the time. For folks like me, it has been a lifelong inspiration and influence that I am proud to be a part of. It all looks old-fashioned and pointless now so I’m forgiving of anything that kids are into these days and forgiving of those who were consumed within their own subcultures that were at pinnacles in the past. We don’t have to understand what they like but we can understand the feelings that it gives them.


29th Sep 2022 – I had an irrational dislike for my grandparents. Being a snotty kid around Victorian/Edwardian grandparents was never going to be easy. I did like them when I was smaller but perhaps they were more forgiving then too. I would soon be driving them crazy with super loud music and friends visiting for drinking parties. I never really reconciled with my granny (as I called her and my mum wished to be called by Hayden) before she passed but I was more sympathetic to my grandad as I got to my late teenage years. I was surprised to find out at one point that they were actually quite liberal and were members of CND. They weren’t quite so impressed when I showed them the lyrics to Crass’s What The Fuck but they did seem to get the sentiment.

This fucking’ little bastard
Was a fuckin’ little burk
He didn’t know what to do
When he went to work

29th Sep 2022 – Prophetic!