Thursday, 20 December 2012

December Deadbeats

Merry Christmas - the Deadbeat party pics arrive

I hope!!

Publishing was always a problem for us....

deadbeat gatherings - the pics

YES !!

It is 20:12 on Dec 20th 2012, that'll be 20/12 for those of the gregorian calendar or the gregarious guys that met at the Oxofrd, cue, the pictures

Aha, are they there?

Well maybe  I'll try again - oh no I've missed my posting, it'll be near 22:12 by the time this hits the web, the world could've ended by the time I finish this.....

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

November Deadbeats gather at the Ox

What a superb night, Here's the pictures - ooops - forgot to take any - thankfully Hilary brought her camera and I'll update this page in December, with the odd picture, suffice to say I've been needing to rest my over worked liver again......

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

October Deadbeats the new term has started

Whether I'd just got back from a Parisien excursion or just warming up for going back to uni, or preparing for life without it once I'd run out of interest and St Andrews had run out of patience, October was a great month. I'd long been distracted by the drink and October 82 was the start of the longest pub crawl of my life. I think it lasted until I was 42 whereupon the doc asked me how often I drank.  When I explained it was a daily occurence, she enquired "what was a daily occurence", and I said drinking of course. I think it started when we did the interview with Stu the roadie of Aztec Camera. It was all "Sex'n'drugs'n'Sauasage Rolls" and I couldn't disagree. When Roddy Frame joined us around midnight in the Hotel in Dundee the interview was rocking and rolling and Deadbeat really had begun to make some sense. Issue 5 had a ring to it, this wasn't just a summer ruse to get into the hoochie coochie club and some gigs, this could be the ultimate Groupies passport back stage. Interviewing was a great excuse to go up to speak to people after gigs, and as I explained to my doctor a certain amount of fortitude was required.

Issue 5 - sex'n'drugs'sauasage rolls - back in the days when I had thumbs. I came home that night and was so out of my face when rolling a joint that I ruminated on why the thumb was the most important digit in the hand. It was like discussing chess pieces and what they could do, and for me the thumb was king. You could never roll a joint again was how it started and by the end I think I was bordering on bestaility, but htankfully I couldnt spell it, a bit like most things in the early days of Deadbeat. We had a thing with Rhythm, we kept missing a letter and prior to computers that meant tippex or snopake (other typo correction products may exist). It difficult to explain to my daughter but I can type reasonably fast if not quite as accurately as I would like and nowadays I have a penchant for putting letters in the wrong order. Some form of older age dyslexia, but for me its the type of word and the rythm of the typing. "Like it!", rhythm of the typing. The issue is, I see the 'r' and then, the 'y' catches my eye, I just hit it a bit like text speak,  but the problem is this aint a text. This is supposed to be writing, engaging, dragging you towards the page , but back then I had the 'jakey' problem of doing the typing at 3am.

At 3am the world is different. You type a sentence and half way along the sentence you make a typo. Your mind will ponder this while you type another six words. This is called walking into a room and hearing the door close behind you. You now have a sentence that has filled the line and you mispelt a word by missing out a letter and you need to squeeze it in. Guess what, that's like buying a pint and then pouring the dregs of the last pint in, IT DOESNT FIT! Now at 3am when you're already feeling like superman you know it will fit and so you ponder it and move on, by the morning you're delighted as you recollect somewhat hazily, I must have typed up that review last night when I got in and there's the finished article on the typewriter. Into an envelope it goes for Keith to read when it gets to Edinburgh. Once Keith gets it, he thinks brilliant, I'll put it straight in as I've no time to read it, or he reads it and thinks, 'shit, there's a typo he's no bothered to fix, he must mean it, it must be his humour....', but I digress again back to the docs

25 years later when I was trying to explain to my doctor that I'd always drunk and I'd learned early on that the quickest cure for a hangover was to get some more drink down me, she seemed quite perplexed that I didn't consider this a problem. I explained that as long as I had cash it was no problem, but that there were difficulties when I drank too much as I'd noticed recently that between 6 -8 pints of Mr Tennent's tonic remedy was fine but my days of drinking 12-20 were long gone and I was left quite ill, in fact the last time I'd gone a day without a drink was the last time I'd had 20 pints in a day. When quizzed further as to when I'd last gone a week without a drink, I chuckled and had to work out when we first started the saturday night party circuit where bottles of spirit would be drowned in a soft drink of preference as we sought the out of body experience know locally on the southside as getting nuggets, plastered, just prior to becoming paralytic. She'd clearly heard enough and explained to me my liver count was a tad higher than the average bear and just short of where a certain George Best had been, prior to his cremation that blew up the crematorium like it was some petrochemical plant down south, or mybe that's just a hazy recollection. A sustained period of alcohol withdrawal was recommended and I should return 6 weeks later. This inevitably left me somewhat shaken as I genuinely hadnt gone a day without drink and a large chunk of my social sphere never mind my body relied on my attendance at the pub. I'd always been quite happy nursing my alcoholism on the seriously dependent side rather than the must have at all costs, but I digress. 1983 October was issue 18.... still....

This issue was similar to the one in September, spanning as it did both months, and as I've already described, this was a great issue but suffered from us not presenting it well enough. I know this as I've got loads in the garage which I cant say about number 5. There'll be a few in the Oxford Bar, strewn around the tables, until Harry throws them in the bin but at least after 30 years the ink might finally be dry.

issue 27 - The Wild Indians where are they now..... and will they appear at the OXFORD Bar on Saturday?

Issue 32 was a printing disaster. I rarely started printing until I came home from the pub, which was after I finished work which meant it was past midnight. Whilst I never lost any thumbs or fingers I think it was more luck than judgement. Many's the time the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel was a train and I got out of the way just in time. I had a proper confidence in my own ability when nobody was about, and despite the fact I'd never been given any health and safety guidance, never mind tuition on how to print, it all seemed to work out fine, as long as there wasnt too much dark colour. That was a big Deadbeat problem as we liked the layout of a couple of black stripes with white letraset either side of Hilary's drawing as the front cover.

Issue 32 was a struggle, no doubt about it. Working was getting in the way of Deadbeat and the glorious masterplan of getting a job to get the cash to buy the print machine and try and make a proper living about of doing a fanzine, or growing it into a bigger publication was just turning into an exercise of pissing into the wind followed by eating the yellow snow. I think you'd call that a waste of time that was not even enjoyable but as previously mentioned I may have been pissed at the time and sustenance is everything when you're taking a winters walk back through the meadows. It all happened so quickly but everything was coming crashing down. The rest of the band had left St Andrews a year after me but leave it they had in 1984 so we were now over a year in the other world, no longer shielded by our cocoon or more importantly no longer forced to be together. As Squeeze had sung earlier, it was "when my drinking became a proper stinking". I remember one gig we were doing at the Waterloo Bar around this time and I'd taken a bottle of pernod on stage with me and over the course of the gig I did a Jaysus, and turned Water into Pernod. I had a pint glass of water and put a few drops of Pernod in it at the start of the gig to give it some flavour. As I topped up my pint glass of water and Pernod,  it became Pernod and water, until its full conversion into Pernod. As I explained to the Doc in 2004, that's why I had to give the spirits up, they were far too easy to drink. Billy Connolly had a joke going around at the time about a Zombie.

The Zombie, was a cocktail creation of Connolly's, but it had a resounding resonance for some of us. You drank it and you loved it. You could drink all you liked and chat away as it it never got you drunk as long as you sat on that bar stool. However, and there's always a however, and I'm doing my best to try and tell the joke badly, as I'm sure any attempt to paraphrase Billy would be doomed, but the however was delivered with all of Connolly's comic timing and genius, as you got off the stool to visit the bogs you found that a "Zombie" only got you drunk from the legs up. Visually, he had you, you'd been watching his face, and all of a sudden the legs were going this way and that, and to be honest, that's how I was with spirits, untouchable until I stood, well, fell.....

My Doc always looks at me with an unreserved glee suggesting relief, that I'm not one of her children but she was cheered to know that I'd given up spirits, so now 25 years later, I could have a bash at giving up lager, pregnant pause, for 6 weeks.

As I staggered out the door, I felt like I'd just drunk a Zombie. The relief at being told you didnt need to get pissed every day wasn't quite as beneficial as the Doc might have thought it. I was clearly in disarray. I went immediately over the road to the international bar to contemplate my future. This was not good news and would need much more consideration, it would need a plan.

Like Deadbeat, I decided to plan some time in the new year as the best date to start but I'd have a warm up in December, talking of which, it will soon be I better get this party started..

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

5pm Oxford Bar, Edinburgh Deadbeats gather

November Deadbeats were some of our finest, issue 6 had one of the best covers and I'd tell you more about the issue if I had one but I dont, so you'll have to settle for a picture of the cover

A great drawing of Siouxsie Sioux and one year later was issue 19 with Senor Brandon on the cover - oops Siouxsie upside down, no wonder he rhairs standing on end, if she'd been at the Olympics I'm sure she'd have been a gymnast, but that's another story. Someone on saturday can tell me how to rotate the picture, ...

Friday, 2 November 2012

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

September Deadbeats, November Soirees

After the Anniversary in August, Saturday November 24th - Edinburgh - Oxford Bar is the working venue for the next excuse for a party - time and venue will be confirmed nearer

Another look at a bygone age sees issues 2 and 3 get a rare outing. The photocopier at Wood Mac took a good pasting during 1982 as the 2nd and 3rd issues were cut and pasted together before the advent of a computer.

It is obvious that a shaky hand was in use and as ever with technology we see the evidence today that drunks can utilise the machinery very successfully, albeit too often when it comes to drunken texts and emails, but that could be for another day. As it is my shaky hand was on a camera taking this picture of Stuart Adamson during the gig at Night Moves, the spray on the left and right is that tired old habit of gobbing. Needless to say Stuart was nonplussed and the eejits ejected.

The evidence from 1983 is that we had colour pictures that became black and white blobs once the photocopier took its picture. Surpisingly there are no pictures of arse cheeks in these early deadbeats, back when sitting on the copier was the popular past time at the Christmas party, but maybe there is evidence in issue 6, I dont know as I dont have one.

Notice how 16 year old Paul McLaughlin is one minute smoking a fag, looking like he's borrowed a red jersey from Santa, while the next moment he's adorning the second edition of Deadbeat and morphed into

a  hand holding a fag in his wrong hand as his face crumples in the confusion of how will I lift that cup of coffe without buring my face with the fag, mid you, that's even clearer in the colour copy. 5 minutes later he realised he did have another hand but it wasnt required as the fag was finished and he could use his shooting hand to lift the coffee.

But what else was in these early issue - clearly the typing was all straight except for the almost straight headings. If I'd been allowed to do techie drawing I'd have been fine, but why have I got Siouxsie Sioux - she's clearly in October, even I can read that, but as I've pasted the front and back cover I'm far too lazy to delete them.

But back to issue two and issue 17 and 18 and 26 and 33

issue 17 and how did we end end up putting Colin Moxley on the front of our anniversary edition? Well, it was easy, 2 pints and I was writing a review, 4 pints an interview and an evening session at la Sorbonne saw you get the front cover. Its clear to see we were on a roll, 1000 editions with flexidisc were sold out in no time at all so we turned to the Screaming Nobodies and they responded with issue 18 along with Crucial Xylophone Slaughterhouse 5 and the Dum Dum Boys it wasnt a bad follow up, but it was a bad cover!

To be fair to the cover it looked excellent, until it was printed. Quintessential fanzine fodder, young kid, microphone & boxing gloves - superb, summed up everything about us. We had a voice and we were going to fight the latest load of Thatcher nonsense. If you think about where Spitting image were at the time, Hibs had been hit by the potato blight, the Young Ones, like our manufacturing industry were no more, and Pilton was fast discovering its own plight. The image of the boxing gloves, microphone and a young kid prepared to use it were superb.

It bombed, lucky if we sold 700, so what if society wasnt ready for a fanzine sticking to its grass roots principles we would persevere, we needed to we were getting £20 for a full page ad and I wasnt getting a student grant anymore, one has to put a little by for one's luxuries, clearly before drink and fags were reclassified as the necessities they were. Issue 19 would surely see us cover our costs...

By 1984 the world had definitely changed for me, if not all of us. Issue 26 lasted the whole summer of my final resit of resits. I kind of figured I wasnt getting a degree when after three years masquerading as a student and then another year allegedly working from home and failing the exams in the summer I had three exams still to pass. How many times do I need to be insulted by the examination body. I'd gone to St Andrews on a whim as the guys I was going into 6th year with were all on a different planet from me and so I left in 5th year to cash in on the glory trail that was getting a degree. I started with maths, migrated to Economics and after a crash course in 1st & 2nd year Psychology where the practical question asked me to diagnose someone who was clearly speeding - I thought Psychology's for me, but I needed to pass the other stuff and after starting Deadbeat in 82 it seemed most unlikely I'd pass another exam, a feat I excelled in. At subsequent sittings I failed 2nd year Economics 4 times and Geology and Computing 3 times, but what a good session we'd have every May. I'm sure they only failed me in Economics as I'd explained what Thatcher was doing with creating 3million unemployed as a way of battering the unions. Lets face it, if you're unemployed your not likely to be carrying your card. Unfortunately my tutor agreed in discussion and not when I trotted out the same old tosh in exams, but who gives a toss about that, its 30 years on Vinny, get over it,

Yes issue 26 was a good one - it deserved to be out for the summer. I never saw the June Brides but I was a big for of their music and as the back cover shows there were a few bands to see before the next stage of the revolution......oh and the shameless promotion of our very dodgy single. I remember asking each time I went into the shops how many Deadbeats, Tapes and singles they'd sold. The chuckle factor with the latter was huge when one day somebody in Perth bought one, probably Simon's old man trying to get us up the charts. The usual response was 78 Deadbeats, 6 tapes and what single...oh yeah, there's a box down here, do you want them back...?

 Who could forget the Dancing Bears, but issue 31 didnt go for them on the front cover we went for Crucial Xylophone, they were superb, just the name, CX, naw, its no goan tae work Boab....I remember being down in London for the Men they Couldnt Hang, it was about this time I was clearly struggling to keep doing any form of recreational habit, I've struggled for the last 25 years on alcohol alone, its been tough...........but this issue shows me at the printing helm, a mistake no doubt to think I could turn my hand to printing, I clearly couldnt write, I was too shaky to put the letters in a straight line, I scratched every free LP as I tried to lift the needle onto the vinyl but apart from that, it seemed reasonable to think I could become a printer................ah, I've always said, life is this good always, and I'll drink to that!

issue 33 has gone missing - a bit like Deadbeat - 1986 the beginning of an end - certainly not for hair gel, as the Alarm demonstrate, its not even the beginning of the end of hair gel, but it may be the end of the beginning...

I'll have found some copies by November 24th - you can be sure of that but I got a job and ran out of time to print. Keith and I stumbled along trying to put together a belated closing issue but it never happened. We finally found a good home at the Inch community centre for the massive print machine and I painted the back room of my folks'd never know it'd be a print room!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

countdown to 30 years anniversary

With only 22 hours to go, there's clearly a lot of excitement in the air. My daughter's trying to find out the location so hopefully she's not computer literate....blogs are so old hat, (they dont count as computer literacy), that with me not on facebook and the myriad of social media available to the communication Grumpy old Deadbeat's (G.O.Ds), she clearly thinks it'll be a small party....see you 5pm Friday, its cracker (deadbeat) jack

Thursday, 9 August 2012

august - its the festival and our PARTY!!!!

We meet in the Speigeltent at George Square Friday afternoon and then we go for a tapas,,,or whatever.

Keith & I cant wait, after 30 years of hard work, a bit like the REAL MCHOY we have padalled our DEadbeats and we look forward to the party - 5pm Friday seems a good time to meet so see you there

Sunday, 15 July 2012

July Deadbeats

While my daughter goes off in search of Juliet in Girona, or is it Verona, its certainly Italy, I'm left organising that first anniversary or is it 30th anniversary party. Now that Kieth's confirmed its either Friday evening August 17th or during the day on Saturday 18th, its just a venue we seek.

What a clever plan to try and find a venue during the Festival. So while I'm contemplating my navel, it'll be great to all meet up again, and thanks for all the kind comments Jeremy, once I learn how to respond to comments I'll thank Gary, Evan etc as well, in the meantime I'll concentrate on a venue. The Oxford Bar saw many a Deadbeat glued together and is in the centre of town, how difficult can it be to choose a venue, I'll ask Keith I'm so decisive nowadays, but back to the July Deadbeats.

I think issue 15 is the one with Pavlov Orange and that film maker who once stood with the Mic in hand for the  Skids, arghh, my brain freeze continues, he had a stripey jumper in the issue and his usual mop of fair hair, he wasn't singing 'Into the Valley', but yes. Richard Jobson, phew, I really am struggling today.

Issue 16 with Strawberry Switchblade was the one before Evan and Co put together the flexi disc in issue 17, and was July-August so will definitely qualify for a July Deadbeat. It was the one with the interview from Inverness ice rink when Keith and I went up to see Echo & the bunnymen and then got stranded as the last train was after we returned to the station. We ended up walking through Inverness, and to paraphrase the Prats, 'what a mess' we were. We went to a party somewhere and then were emptied onto the streets when the host turned out to be somebody's child and we were in the wrong place at the wrong time as far as the parents were concerned, aw, how times have changed, now I send my daughter to crash at Keith's in London and he comes home to find she's partying in his flat.....but we made it back from Inverness (not really a mess, just us) and having waited from 3am in the habit of the station dweller, got the 6am and poured ourselves out at Waverley clutching some more returned issues that would fill the back issues no. 14 shelf.

 After another year had passed we had surpisingly done only another 10 deadbeats. Definitely an omen, as by 1985 we'd only managed another 4. Either the drugs weren't helping or we were running on empty.By 2012 all we'd managed was a blog about what we didn't manage.

This issue had the June Brides, a band I really liked. It also had an interview with a band called Dormannu a band I didn't really like, but I felt it compelling to talk everything up so I did. We were running out of white letraset at the time and didnt have a capital "A" for August so made the issue July - Sept and slept for an extra month. It was amazing how simple decisions can be. As you can tell from the printing I'm now the printer and there are a few things I am and most of them were words related to parentage, personal habits and printer wasn't one. Thankfully I've only put the cover and not the page inside it which was frerquently glued to the one before owing to a build up of ink commonly associated with shit printers using shit print machines. Stevie had shown us in previous issues how difficult too much black was and so from that moment on we started taking pictures of bands who wore bright colours.

The ideal solution was to use black and white spread out as in the Happy Hints page, as you can see from the quality, the printing was so easy even a halfwit like me could do it without too much smudging.

So issue 31 is missing. I'll away to the garage and try and find it. Issue 32 was clearly Sept - Oct 1985

Monday, 2 July 2012

Just like June the curtains are closed....

Ah, yes, June, the summer, end of school term, start of oblivion. Summer festivals should clearly have been the thing that got the Deadbeats out of neutral and started hyping and we did, eventually. There was oblivion to do first and when I chat to fellow parents I'm suprised how many forgot how much oblivion they indulged in, I'd go further, I wonder why we have chosen to bin these irrelevant radge moments in our life instead of embracing our stupidity, or the learning process that adolescence is. Keith & I were to be found blindly bumbling around the Hoochie Coochie Club in the summer of 1982 and Allan Campbell's BLAM! was the prompt that made me think, we could do this and by 1984 George Orwell was being lauded louder than the two tribes that seemed to be going to war, and I'm not talking about Brian Blessed's encounter with Picasso, talking of which I as lucky enough to get a good look around the museums in Madrid recently and I will shamelessly stick on a cartoon I so enjoyed from, the gallery that has Guernika

2 months later the first Deadbeat arrived and it was terrible, like all of them to be honest, but with a huge amount of pride I'm delighted to say there were bits we were really proud of. Its superb after all of these years that there is the time to chuckle over it. The Deadbeat years were superb years but like everyone else, its because they were our formative years. I loved them. We had to make value judgements that even now are as stupid as they were then. We were interviewing the Clash in La Sorbonne and then choosing not to publish on the basis that it was the right thing to do. I had met the band in Paris having been given a backstage pass by the tour manager at the top of the Tour'Eiffel, in September 1981, in exchange for a fun sized mars bar, other brands are available. I say the band, as I was stood dumbstruck, there was Joe, Mick, Mick's partner, Topper and Paul, oh and me. There was nobody else, I had my backstage pass, I had no questions, no conversations, just admiration and  a huge appetite so I made my apologies and explained I had really enjoyed the gig, was in awe of them and starving, possessing as I did a permanent hunger.

Back to the Deadbeats. Issue 14 was Tracey. Issue 26 was in July. Who has control over these pictures.

There was a great picture from the gallery which I have reproduced without permission, I hope its ok.

I'd suggest you go to Madrid and see it for real as its really really special close up, one of the good guys on the right of the picture is clearly not chosen for the job.

So time for a cartoon

I thought this was a superb cartoon and for me symbolises the Spanish Civil war as the cartoonists tried to explain to the world further afield what was going on. I think it is such a good cartoon it doesn't need me to add any more words, but I will! There are great ways of describing the good being led by the corrupt or the bad encouraging the perpetuating of others madness.

Just like June the curtains are closed....and all I can sayis this picture reminded me of that moment in Roddy Frame's Aztec Camera classic.......although they are opened occassionally.... you could of course argue that this is Jeremy Thoms at his finest, thank you for the comments Jeremy, once I work out how this correspondence works I'll email you! Keith and I are meeting in August to celebrate 30 years since the first issue, I live on the Southside, he's morningside, so at present its likely to be the Waiting Rooms - I also turn 50 in December which is when I've got a venue to arrange and people like yourselves and the Dancing Bears to book!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

April Deadbeats

As the daffodils fade, the sweet scent of the April Deadbeats were upon us. Easter holidays meant working and earning some dosh to go back to St Andrews with, well it did in 1983 for issue 12, I earnt enough to take Deadbeat to London and put it in Virgin in Oxford Street and Rough Trade. In these days of surfing for downloads its hard to comprehend what a massive step forward the Virgin megastore was. You could trawl through the racks for hours, flicking your fingers, much the same as we glide through the touch sensitive screens of 2012. I'm chuckling as I remind myself that A Flock of Seagulls were releasing 'nightmares' and I'm reliving some as I read the reviews, not least Life Support. Happily Peppermint Pig by Cocteau Twins and Alphaville by the Monochrome Set survive the patchy reviewer's ear, and The Marine Girls, LP "lazy ways" warms us up for the summer of 83. There's a review of U2's gig at Tiffany's in Glasgow and interviews with Friends Again, APB and Pop Wallpaper, other reviews include Club Feet in Dundee where I said it makes Edinburgh's Hoochie Coochie look like Wigan, obviously not everyone was drinking the same stuff as me, but I did like the way the DJ followed "Rip it Up", with "Boredom". 22 Beaches, Wild Indians, Sleep Detectives, Tears for Fears and Fun Boy Three complete the issue.

Issue 24 in April 1984 was another of the great additions to the racks of Ripping Records, Record Shak, Tayside Bar, Groucho, Virgin and the other fine stockists of Deadbeat. Interviews with Dancing Bears, Morrissey, Kirk Brandon Del Amitri, Danse Society, there were loads.

Have I got Scottish music 2, aka Deadbeat's second tape was finally released. The incomparable Dancing Bears with Ritchie Lambert's superb dancing songs a lasting memory for me. He's still gigging down south and last summer somebody sent me a youtube link for a video of a gig at Roslin. If I ever get a Deadbeat reunion organised the Dancing Bears would have to be there. I'm 50 in December, seems like an idea.....if not we could have a Deadbeat Tapes Karaoke.....Jo Doll must be well up for reliving some Circus of Hell, Jeremy Thoms doing some Strawberry Tarts....Martin Stephenson and the Daintees....Hey! Elastica, Josef K, the Cubs,..

Back to April 1984, Morrissey was indeed a charming man. After their gig at Clouds in Edinburgh he gave us a quick brush off but asked us to send some questions through to him. As sceptical as we were, a week later they all returned with answers. Popstars back in the day were so much more friendly. Like Gillian Gilbert in April 1985 after the New Order gig at the Barrowlands. She was absolutely superb and I discovered the tape of the interview in the garage last month. The chuckle factor is huge as I asked one stupid question after another. Thankfully Gillian interpreted them successfully so the answers negated the need for me to print some of the questions, phew!

Paul King adorns the cover of Deadbeat with our new letraset, Deadbeat's experiment was close to the deathknell as we seemed to spend more time printing than publishing. It was an experiment, a bit like the rolls I was making at my mum's roll shop, the picnic basket, opposite the pear tree pub in Edinburgh. As well as selling Deadbeat's I was selling Chicken and Avocado rolls, Brie and Apple, and this experiment was far more successful in 1985 than changing the letraset. The problem with working though was taking its toll on the interviews and the energy to put another issue out. There is however some gems and the Paul King and Gillian Gilbert interviews ensured that an issue needed to be produced. The review of the Crucial Xylophones was also another driving force in getting the issue published. We had also finally completed Deadbeat Tape 3 and The Government, Men Men, Rhythm System, Relations, Pulsebeat Plus, Swirle, Crossfire & Splash me I'm Drowning deserved to get their music out.

Oh and of course, the reviews of the Immaculate Fools at the Dance Factory in Dundee were superb. So good I have to remind you all especially the DJ!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mad March Deadbeats

The most beautiful woman I ever met was Annie Lennox. I'm a teeth man, and when I saw Annie's smile I was smitten, sorry! I was seriously sent sideways when she agreed that we do an interview and it was fantastic. There are places and times that people remember - meeting Annie with Hilary in the hotel opposite the Dance Factory was one of them. Eurythmics had played at the larger Barracuda rather than the usual Dance Factory venue that night and the sound problems that plagued them hadn't been the best but we had happily traipsed behind them to their happy home for the night at the Hilton. Keith had given me loads of really good questions, being a smart boy, he'd seen my past interviews and knew that a little bit of assistance was the minimum required if we were to get a good interview by Deadbeat standards. I on the other hand was smart enough to let Hilary do the talking and the question relating to 'Green' from Scritti Politti was a beezer. I'd never have thought of that. Mine would have been more like - who's that geezer in the background on...., but Keith was a natural and ensured if we did get to chat to Annie it would be worthwhile. Lest  I offend anyone, that first sentence was not completed, The most beautiful woman I ever met was Annie Lennox, obviously except, everybody who might take offence to that!

That's why I kept my mouth shut. Guys have that tendency to think that praise is a good thing. It can be an excellent thing, but not when it means that I've now insulted every other woman I've met and said at best they're number two to Annie, but I was young, stupid and not much has changed.

Issue 11 was written and out the door before we had time to blink. The Higsons issue had gone well, and for Annie's issue we printed over 600. Small quantities by website hits nowadays but the important thing for us was just trying to make sure we sold an issue so we could print another. It was as simple as that. We spent £50 printing it so selling 500 meant we could print another, selling 600 meant we were partying all day each issue....

The end of February 1984 was the end of the Tav, or the old Taverne, in Dundee, as it made way for the motorway that proudly stands there today. Issue 10 was the last it sold, but the 20 copies sold were much appreciated, well the £2 was surely swiftly spent. By March it was no more...

Issue 10 also had an account of our adventure to Paris; " Dieppe opened it arms, legs and banks for our passing francs those for which us tourists are so renowned....." re-reading it now I think I'd also been listening to too much Soft Cell, "...the real story of nightclubbin and excellent cuisine, cheap'n'nasty service for percent 15, Sexual harassement and dirty flics...all the glories ensure a nation's capital ticks" we love a rhyme, although in 1984 much more trouble spelling rhyme...

By March 1984 we were into issue 23 and we'd run out of most back issues.  March was clearly a good month for interviews, or at least the interviews from February that made the March edition. The mailing list had swollen to about 35 names, back issues were running low not least the flexi issue and the New Order one, but room on the shelves was sparse as we had printed 2000 of issue 22 and not sold them. We did however send them to over 50 record companies DJs and the like, and we got tons of records, our own wee mini harvest. We hadn't worked out that you didn't need to review every piece of vinyl sent, but the notes from the archives are hysterical. "sent tape to Karen, New Zealander, just moved to Scraborough from London" why that's relevant then never mind now I've no idea, but they wanted a Deadbeat Tape and we wanted to oblige. We wanted some of the bands to get signed but ifthey didn't then at least they got some airplay in some record company or radio station's back room.

Malcolm Ross was a joy to interview. He had a great corner flat back then near the meadows, in Edinburgh's own "Iron building", on the southside. He had played around Edinburgh all the time I was watching my brother blow his saxophone there seemed Josef K, Fire Engines, Scars and Another Pretty Face gigs every other night, although the memory's waning like my Mum's, although at 79 she's entitled to be wandered.

March 1985 was the same as February, issue 29, it seemed to last forever, probably because we were listening to all the music sent to us! I still chuckle at the cartoon. My Mum was only 52 when she was running the Picnic Basket, in her prime, a whirling dervish as she sliced through the rolls, nowadays she'd take her hand off. What that has to do with the music or Deadbeat is neither here nor there, but at least she had a good birthday the other day and the old man paid for the meal. When she turned 52 we probably had a meal of cheese and pickle wholemeal rolls (traditionally a bad seller in March)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Feb Ded's or a Deadbeat February

With snow on the ground a February issue was rarely a big one although no. 9 would go down as one of our fastest selling covers. We ran out of no. 9's in 1983 within a week of printing them.

I think by February 1984 we'd arrived in Liverpool, London, Norwich, Newcastle and other places south of the border but in 1983 it was only Scotland for issue 9 and we were dumbstruck. Numbed by Guinness and the snowballs we took ourselves off to see Charlie Higson and his troubadours, got an interview, thanked them very much and got another issue out. 10p might not seem a lot but when Guinness was 50p that meant I only had to sell 5 Deadbeats every 20 minutes.

Issue 22 in February 1984 was a different animal - going from being 20 to 21 had taken its toll on the body while Thatcher had taken it out on the economy.  I now needed to sell 7 Deadbeats for a pint of Guinness. I decided 6 Deadbeats for a pint of Tennents represented good value so changed my drink. How are the life changing decisions made. I have purified 2000 pints a year since and will be consuming my 60,000th pint in time for T-in-the-Park this year, the annual get together with fellow micro purifier systems. I often think my body's a temple but years of purifying lager has rendered it somewhat closer to the carcass it looks like from the outside. I even tried a 500 mile walk across Spain drinking tinto de virano to cure myself. Having said that, Tennents drinking's the only thing I've stuck at in my life so to give up now would be churlish, and just think what would happen to the Wellpark Brewery, it might go the same way as Ravenscraig and the other rusty vessels described in issue 22.

Ah, yes, issue 22 February 1984. I'd forgotten about King Kurt and the fun we had amid the mayhem of the Playhouse's nite club.

Shamefully I was plugging Life Support Upstairs at the Waterloo bar, but the truth behind that is we wanted to do a 24 page issue, when I re-read it I think it was more to do with getting £200 for Ads!! I must've been skint after Christmas or it was to buy a tape to tape machine. We'd sent the deadbeat master tape off to get 100 copies made and my local barman was delighted they'd sold out, so after settling my tab, I bought a tape to tape and coined 50p a time when I sold anymore. Liquid Royalties to the bands were paid in full, I'm sure...

Ah, the Dancing Bears, there's a good link to 1985! They were the outstanding Band of the Deadbeat tapes for me. I liked all of them but there was something about the Bears simplicity that worked well.

Issue 29 with Lloyd Cole on the cover straddled feb/march as Deadbeat lurched from one excuse to the next. The truth was being printer was a step too far. We could do the gigs, interview the bands, write them up, collect the demos etc but the couple of days we got off while the printer did his stuff became a week when we were printing. The issue would be printed by me very slowly. Firstly we had gone from 500 to 2500 issues, which meant we were printing 12500 sheets of paper, not 2500. That's a lot of paper. We had to buy the paper, which wasn't always the cheapest around, although now I think about it, we did get a great price for it. As gullible as I was even Deadbeat readers could tell we changed our paper supplier from issue to issue. Sometimes 80g sometimes 90g and then the thinnest 70g paper. 80 gsm - or grams per square meter meant that a standard deadbeat weighed in about 60g, but the bigger issue 22 was 72g. Those on the mailing list were always gutted when we used the heavy paper, like the one in issue 29. The Royal Mail would put a "too heavy cash to pay" stamp on it and leave them a few pennies to pay on the doorstep. You could wallpaper with that issue it was such high quality.

I remember printing the cover page. Every 30 sheets you had to stop the machine because the ink was so thick on the page one would get stuck and rotate around the drum. Pause the print, peel it off, try not to lose a finger, engage, ink up, scrap three pages, print 30 then pause, peel it off, etc. The cover took hours to print. By the time I was on my 8th tin we'd about 700 covers. All night long, to quote Lionel Ritchie, I finished about 4am with 1900 covers. Only another 9 more, hopefully they weren't as ink-centric, I mused as I collapsed into bed.

As you can see from Hiccups and the Deadbeat cartoon, thankfully not all the pages required a gallon of ink. By the end of the week the issue was finally printed and the easy bit of marrying them up, stapling them and going around the shops could begin, collecting the cash and getting wasted in the Tayside Bar, or through at Night Moves, yes I'd succumbed to the charms!

The back pages are the easiest way to jog my memory, and in the case of issue 29, I know exactly where I was in February 1985. I was proving that I couldn't and shouldn't draw while working in my mum's sandwich bar in Nicholson Street opposite the Pear Tree in Edinburgh. I was toiling for a present for her Christmas this year so as tight as I am, I put this in a frame. God bless the parents, she said she loved it and its now on the wall. There's not even a picture of me on that wall. Dont you like it when, even suffering from Alztheimer's she's still able to exercise that inherent parental duty to her 49 year old son, to say how much she loves it. That's parents for you, they never stop believing in you even though many others have tried to show them the light!

I even recognise the black eye. Keith and I were in a taxi coming down dalkeith road and this vespa pulled up alongside at the commie pool. I laughed at some story Keith had just told while looking at the two of them. Next thing the driver was giving it big throttle, the passenger jumped off the back, opened the cab door and lamped me. I've never laughed so much. A case of mistaken identity or just a belting thing to do on a friday, go out and lamp the bourgeous in the black cabs. It was one of the funniest things, made me chuckle all night, although the shiner did shine!

Happy New Year - January Deadbeats

Optimism, that's what January brought 29 years ago, although by the unpublished issue 34 in 1986 I think it was alcoholism that was running the show!

Issue 8 was a belter, I didn't realise that we made note of Chas & Di's first born but there it is in Keith's outstanding review of the year just gone - 1982 - that was the year that was. 1983 was somewhat poisoned by the jingoistic election and the music divided into light and frothy or a greater bit of urban decay.

By 1984 Orwellian thoughts were evident in some of our musical musings The Cocteau Twins were on the front cover of issue 21 and the drunken ramblings of a Vinny who had also just turned 21 demonstrated for all to see, was in need of help from somebody from trainspotting. The Deadbeat tape got 5 stars in the sounds review, I thought all the bands on the tapes were superb but Sunset Gun, the Strawberry Tarts, they were pretty special for different reasons. We were selling 1500 copies every month by now and so attempting to do poll didn't seem like a bad idea, ho ho ho. 3 responses and they were from the guys sitting next to me in La Sorbonne. Probably with the guys from Burlesque - how good is that line, 1984 and SLF the Clash and Burlesque have split up!

but by the time January was complete and by issue 29 and 1985 brought us Lloyd Cole and a new Deadbeat logo - it was rubbish so we ditched it later.