A Most Unusual, Multi-Media, Transatlantic, Partially On-Air, Pop-Up Gathering by Part of the Old School Clan, 7 May 2016

I had been corresponding with my old school friend Paul Deacon on Facebook for the previous couple of days, sparked by:

As an aside, Paul asked me if Janie and I had listened to his weekly broadcast on The Grand At 101 lately. I had to admit we hadn’t. The show is on Saturday afternoons in Ontario, therefore Saturday evening here. Janie and I are almost always out on a Saturday evening – Ogblog postings passim attest to this fact. It must be more than a year; perhaps even a couple of years since we last tuned in.

However, our Saturday evening plans – feeding friends Kim, Michel and David – had, for practical reasons, been switched to Sunday lunch instead. As it turns out, Sunday 8 May is scheduled to be “sunny, hot, sit in the garden” weather, so the switch was fortuitous in many ways.

In short, we would be around, so I told Paul we’d tune in at least to some of the show. In the course of this correspondence, Paul Hamer (another old school friend) said that he would also tune in “while cooking his risotto”. At the start of the show, Paul Hamer evidenced the fact that he was listening and cooking risotto with this picture:

Paul Hamer Risotto Evidence
Photo courtesy of Paul Hamer

Indeed, Paul Deacon’s posting about his show and all the ensuing Facebook correspondence can be found here.

Once we were listening in, I mischievously sent Paul the following private message, which relates closely to the rag, tag and bobtail records we procured at the Slipped Disc all those years ago:

Ian and Janie messaging in from warm and sunny London. Would you be able to spin a 45 for us today? Ideally a Melodisc classic, such as Jolie La Ville Curepipe by the Alain Permal Mauritius Police Band, Agbogun G’Boro by Tunde Nightingale and his HighLife Boys, Bulgarian Betrothal by the Bulgarian Variety Orchestra or the classic Stop For The Music by The Nutrons. We and your listeners deserve nothing less.

Melodisc was a most unusual label – probably the first truly “Indie” label around – read more about it here.

Of course, I should have known better than to challenge Paul to play an unbelievably obscure 1960s record.

Soon after 20:00 our time, Paul Deacon broadcast a shout-out to Paul Hamer and played some rather unappetising sound effects in honour of Paul Hamer’s jumbo prawn risotto. Paul Hamer’s retort; a photo of said risotto in all its glory – makes better Facebook/Ogblog than it does radio…but it does look very appetising:

Paul Hamer Risotto Full Glory
Photo courtesy of Paul Hamer

I showed Janie the jumbo prawn risotto picture; she suggested I take a picture of the remains of our dinner and upload it. I made an executive decision not to do that. Even if people could imagine that fine meal from the messy carnage of (what had only recently been) a most impressive-looking roast duck…I wouldn’t have wanted to upstage Paul Hamer.

Then a few minutes later Paul Deacon broadcast a shout-out to me and Janie. Much to my embarrassment, he actually played Stop For The Music by The Nutrons as a request for us. “Truly terrible”, was Janie’s verdict on that obscure musical masterpiece.

When Paul (wisely) interrupted the track before the full 125 seconds of noise had completed, he played The Grand at 101 jingle. “Oh, so Paul also has a Room 101 for crappy records then?”, asked Janie. “No”, I replied, “101 is the FM broadcasting frequency of Paul’s radio station”.

To explain, if I put something on a music playlist that Janie really doesn’t like, it doesn’t simply get deleted from that playlist, it gets moved to a playlist named “Janie’s Room 101 Playlist”. The latter playlist would, in extremis, be played continuously on a loop if Janie ever were so badly behaved as to require sending to Room 101 for re-education.

Readers will, I’m sure, be unsurprised to learn that Janie’s Room 101 is more a theoretical construct or “empty threat” than anything approaching reality. She’s stronger than me for a start. Paul Deacon would be a little disappointed by some of the tracks that have ended up in Janie’s Room 101, but there’s no accounting for taste.

Meanwhile, Paul’s radio show. While simultaneously joking with several of us on Facebook, digging out obscure 1960’s Melodisc records…oh, and of course actually broadcasting a show an hour longer than his usual slot to cover for someone…

…Paul Deacon also told us that John Eltham (another old school friend of ours) would be joining him at the studio “any minute”, along with Rich Davies – yet another old school friend, who lives in Ontario near the Deacons.

I was aware that John Eltham was due to visit Paul and Rich this month, as John had mentioned the visit in correspondence with me a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t twigged that the visit was so imminent. Indeed, while the broadcast was still going on, Paul wrote:

He’s here now! Just telling us about Rohan…

…the Rohan reference is to Rohan Candappa. I suppose in particular the “telling” was about a gathering we had a few months ago to see Rohan’s wonderful one-man show, which we now learn will be going to Edinburgh this summer – click here to read about it.

So, I woke up this morning to see these wonderful postings on Paul’s Facebook Area:

Johnny & Pauly On The Grand
Johnny & Pauly On The Grand – Photo courtesy of Christine Deacon (I think) via Paul Deacon
A Grand Quartet
A Grand Quartet – Photo courtesy of the waiter via Paul Deacon

I reflect that this connected world of ours is truly marvellous. We can banter with old friends and listen to radio broadcasts across continents. Face-to-face visits across such distances are now affordable, practical realities also. But by gosh it helps if you can multi-task like Paul Deacon!

 

Visiting The Slipped Disc in Clapham Junction With Paul Deacon, 10 August 1977

I have happy memories of visiting The Slipped Disc in Clapham Junction with Paul Deacon. I was reminded of those record hunts the other day, when circumstances took me to 28 Pembridge Road, which was Record and Tape Exchange in years gone by. I wrote up those 1978 record hunts here.

The Slipped Disc days were earlier. My trawl of my diary yields two diary references to visiting the Slipped Disc with Paul Deacon:

Wednesday 10 August 1977 – went to Slipped Disc with Paul. Bought 72 records for 72p

Then a couple of months later:

Saturday 8 October 1977 – went down to Slipped Disc with Paul. Bridge in evening

I probably need to provide some context to the mention of 72p. Back in 1977, my parents would give me 10p a week pocket money. Grandma Anne would give me 50p in a week when I saw her, but that was expected to be “saving money” for big things. (I’m still not sure what such big things are, which probably explains why I remain reluctant to buy things. Just in case they aren’t big enough.)

I could supplement my 10p a week “frittering money” by:

  • saving a bit from my school fare by walking some of the way;
  • winning at Kalooki against mum and Grandma Anne on a Sunday. On average, I tended to be up a few pence when we played, but of course I’d lose sometimes too;
  • in the summer I could occasionally earn a penny per weed to relieve dad of that particular arduous task.

In short, 72p back then was real money to me. But 72 discs was a real haul too.

Singles wasn’t really my thing, to be honest (more albums, me), but my goodness singles was Paul Deacon’s thing. I’m not sure how formative these Slipped Disc trips were in his astonishing career as a collector, archivist and DJ – Paul might choose to explain that for himself.

I mentioned in my discussion with Paul on the Record and Tape Exchange business, that I planned to write about The Slipped Disc this weekend and Paul said:

I look forward to revisiting the ‘Disc. Here’s a comment online that resonates. He mentions Melodisc. We picked loads between us didn’t we?

Click here for that Disc Deletion/Slipped Disc comment Paul mentions.

Sadly, not all of my Slipped Disc purchases seem to have made it to my log and/or collection. Only 34 Slipped Disc ones are catalogued and that must cover several visits.

I might just have a box of uncatalogued singles somewhere or they might not have made it from the house. I’ll have a look in the flat, but I don’t hold much hope. For example, what became of my copy of Bulgarian Betrothal by…whoever on earth did Bulgarian Betrothal? Most of those that didn’t make it were probably truly awful. Some of those that did make it are a bit embarrassing to be honest, although Hard Work by John Handy had me grooving and syncopating in my chair just now.

The extract linked here as an aside shows the first 40 singles in my collection, numbers 7 to 40 being my Slipped Disc purchases.

The first six deserve a mention, though, not least because the first five will also be Slipped Disc purchases, but those made by my dad some years earlier, when in search of music to use as backing tracks for films. The Wailers record is quite rare, I think. They probably all are. Goodness knows what dad would have paid for those in old money. Probably 1d each. Maybe a ha’penny each.

Record 6 in the collection was the very first record I owned. Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear by the Alan Price Set. Bless.

I’m really hoping that Paul will chime in with some more memories of these visits. I’m also going to send a link to the Clapham Junction nostalgics who hang out together on Facebook to see if we can generate some additional chat about the amazing record shop that was The Slipped Disc.

 

The First 40 Singles in My Collection, An Aside To Slipped Disc Posting, 10 August 1977

Set out neatly in a pdf from my iTunes here…First Forty Singles Landscape

…or quoted as a simple listing from my old Access database below.

001,Genie With The Light Brown,Shadows

001,Little Princess,Shadows

002,Shindig,Shadows

002,It’s Been a Blue Day,Shadows

003,Zero-G,Barry Gray

003,Fireball,Barry Gray

004,Playboy,Wailers

004,Your Love,Wailers

005,Funny,Ken Lazrus

005,Walk Like a Dragon,Byron Lee Orchestra

006,Simon Smith And The Amazing,Alan Price Set

006,Tickle Me,Alan Price Set

007,Our Love,Scrounger

007,So Here I Stay,Scrounger

008,Legalise It,Peter Tosh

008,Brand New, Second Hand,Peter Tosh

009,Stop It I Like It,Patti Boulaye

009,Kiss and Make Up Time,Patti Boulaye

010,Hard Work,John Handy

010,Young Enough To Dream,John Handy

011,Red Alert,Patti Boulaye

011,Without My Man Inside,Patti Boulaye

012,Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) Pt I,Isaac Hayes

012,Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) Pt I,Isaac Hayes

013,I Want More,Can

013,More,Can

014,All I Wanna Do In Life,Marianne Faithful

014,Wrong Road Again,Marianne Faithful

015,Do My Thing Myself,Glass Menagerie

015,Watching The World Pass By,Glass Menagerie

016,Jolie La Ville Curepipe,Alain Permal Mauritius Police Band

016,Danse Dans Mo Les Bras,Alain Permal Mauritius Police Band

017,Wonderful Dream,Anne-Marie David

017,Tu Te Reconnaitras,Anne-Marie David

018,C’est Ma Fete,Richard Anthony

018,Les Beaux Jours,Richard Anthony

018,Le Ciel Est Si Beau Ce Soir,Richard Anthony

018,Son Meilleur Copain,Richard Anthony

019,Le Roi D’Angleterre,Nino Ferrer

019,Il Me Faudra – Natacha,Nino Ferrer

019,Les Petites Jeunes Filles De Bonne Famille,Nino Ferrer

019,Monsieur Machin,Nino Ferrer

020,Slip And Slide,Medicine Head

020,Cajun Kick,Medicine Head

021,Desperate Dan,Lieutenant Pigeon

021,Opus 300,Lieutenant Pigeon

022,Casatschok,Dimitri Dourakine

022,Toi Toi Toi,Dimitri Dourakine

023,The Trouble,Silvers

023,Almost In Love,Silvers

024,What Do You Say About That,Phase 4

024,I’m Gonna Sit Down And Cry,Phase 4

025,Beautiful Sunday,Daniel Boone

025,Truly Julie,Daniel Boone

026,Ding-A-Dong,Teach-In

026,Let Me In,Teach-In

027,Any Dream Will Do,Max Bygraves

027,Close Every Door To Me,Max Bygraves

028,Back Home,England World Cup Squad 1970

028,Cinnamon Stick,England World Cup Squad 1970

029,I Fall To Pieces,Pat Dusky and the Marines

029,This Can Be The Night,Pat Dusky and the Marines

030,Turn On the Sun,Sandra Christy

030,How Can We Doubt,Sandra Christy

031,Agbogun G’Boro,Tunde Nightingale and his HighLife Boys

031,Kole Si Se,Tunde Nightingale and his HighLife Boys

032,Stop For The Music,Nutrons

032,The Very Best Things,Nutrons

033,Spinning Wheel,King Koss

033,Louisiana,King Koss

034,Blacksmith Blues,Birds of a Feather

034,Sing My Song And Pray,Birds of a Feather

035,It’s All Happening,Leapy Lee

035,It’s Great,Leapy Lee

036,Gonna Give Up Smoking And Take,Pipkins

036,Hole In The Middle,Pipkins

037,Wang Dang Doodle,Dr John

037,Big Chief,Dr John

038,Sacramento,Middle of the Road

038,Love Sweet Love,Middle of the Road

039,Goodnight Sweet Prince,Mister Acker Bilk

039,East Coast Trot,Mister Acker Bilk

040,Lucky Five,Russ Conway

040,The Birthday Cakewalk,Russ Conway