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 December.....so 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