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 night....one 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; ".......as 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)