Yeees! Gerrinthere Andy Murray!

It’s well past two in the morning, and I’ve just watched Andy Murray win the US Open tennis championship, and enjoyed it tremendously.  A fine topping to a terrific evening.  Just what the doctor ordered.  It’s amazing what a few beers in a new place, with some new folk, followed by the success of a fellow Scot, can do for ones mood.

I was roped in this evening to fill in for a missing player in a local pub darts team.  Darts is not completely alien to me, as there is dartboard at home, and I was a member of a team when I lived in Rothesay that won the New Year’s Shield, some 10 years or so.  The match tonight was in a pub called the Revenue, and we lost, with me winning one game and losing another.  They were a great bunch of lads, and I had a highly enjoyable evening.  Following that, we retired to the Fortescue, where I shared a drink with another delightful group, including some lovely ladies, and even a particularly lovely lady.  She even touched my arm, by jings!  And if that wasn’t nice, I don’t know what is….

And from there it was home to watch the final set and a half of the tennis, via an excellent free live stream a friend had pointed me to, while playing Romanza on my guitar, slightly intoxicated.  At 4-2 I knew Andy had won it.  It was great to see a Scottish success story, to alleviate the gloom from Saturday’s Serbian debacle.  And I’m claiming Andy as Scottish, not British, ye ken?  😉

Well done, Andy.  Fred who?

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Tom Waits – Make It Rain – For Guitar.

As I was taking a wee walk around the interwebs this morning I came across this rather brilliant little website – http://www.songsterr.com/

I might just have to misspend the rest of my two days off learning Make it Rain, by Tom Waits now…   😀

http://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/tom-waits-make-it-rain-guitar-tab-s81286t0

A curious song for a heatwave, but there you are 😉

And here is the great man himself  –

How I Became a Black Sheep.

I watched the film ‘Broken Arrow’ on television last night.  Despite the fact I went to see it at the cinema in 1996, I could remember nothing of it.  After watching it again I realized why – it is absolute garbage.  Still, the film did get me thinking.    It started me off on a nostalgia trip to my salad days, and in particular my life in 1996, and how it evolved over the following few years.

In 1996 I was 24 and earning VERY good money with British Gas as a service engineer.   I had a pension, and was also the regular recipient of dividend cheques from a multitude of shares that British Gas kept throwing my way.  I also had a £21,000 mortgage on a little flat on Castlegreen Street in Dumbarton.  Life seemed a complete doddle.

Broken Arrow was released in the UK during April of 1996, and it would have been there or thereabouts that I first saw it.  I remember going to see it with my then girlfriend Fiona, at the UCI multiplex in Clydebank.    I’ll admit now that it wasn’t one of my better ideas for a date.  Whether she had a thing for John Travolta I can’t recall, though I can’t imagine anyone fancying Travolta in that movie.  His girning alone would be enough to give any woman nightmares.

Life seemed so easy in those days.  The only clouds on my horizon were generally the product of my lovelife.  I had no real awareness of the wider world outside my own social circle, and had no thoughts or opinions on anything ‘political’.  My life revolved around work and beer, with increasing forays into dope, and guitar-generated rock and roll.

It was in about 1996 that I started to become a regular concert go-er.  Looking at my collection of ticket stubs, I can see how my musical tastes gradually changed.  In 1996 I was paying to see Bon Jovi, Oasis, Del Amitri, Reef, and Ocean Colour Scene.  By 1997 I was watching the Verve, Skunk Anansie, Live, Primal Scream, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Beck.

The late 90’s went on to become, for me, something akin to a ‘perfect storm’.   I had moved away from Dumbarton to live in Rothesay on the sunny Isle of Bute.   For the first time in my adult life the Labour Party had won election to Government.  My formerly apolitical nature had been eroded by exposure to the music of Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine.  And possibly most significant of all was the new time I found for reading.   I started reading broadsheet newspapers, particularly the Glasgow Herald, and a new work colleague was introducing me to the works of Noam Chomsky, Richard Brautigan, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Waits, and Hunter Thompson.  I developed strong views on nuclear weapons, on the 1998 Gulf War, and the 1999 Kosovo bombing.  Almost despite myself, I was slowly turning into some kind of political black sheep.

And suddenly life seemed not so simple.   I saw in the millenium listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor and Mogwai.

Before long I was resigning from British Gas and getting arrested in front of nuclear submarine bases.

I wish I’d never saw that damn film 😉