Monday, 26 September 2016

September Deadbeats

Quite apt really, as Vinny Bee slides into the autumn of his life, or as we say in Scotland, winter, so Deadbeat routinely slowed down, even when we were in our energetic youth.

Nowadays that means I wander off on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or as my pals will tell you the tinto tapas tour of northern Spain.

For some its a deeply religious experience and for others, like me, its just a fantastic way to live your life. Moving in a long unending chain towards Santiago you pass through vineyards, cereal fields, walk amongst the sunflowers, meet a delegation from the UN, eat, drink and generally make merry. If you're a fat boy like me you lose a stone on the way, whats not to like. So before I switch channels to blog a quick reminisce on September Deadbeats.

Issue 2 was photocopied in September 1982 and featured Paul McLaughlin formerly of the Prats who had released "Party Girl" under the AHAB banner. He'd been sitting having coffee that morning so seemed the obvious choice for the cover once the pictures were developed. I quickly learned that colour didn't work with photocopiers, black and white wasn't to clever either, so it was excellent to find 30 years on that I still had a copy of the picture so I could slam it on this blog. I discovered Aztec Camera in issue 2. Clearly everyone else knew about them, "We could Send letters" had been out for some time. I absolutely loved Pillar to Post particularly what I heard in my bones as a hint of northern soul to add to the jangly guitars, so much so  I reviewed it as 'Pillar to Pillar', clearly in a hurry to get back on the dance floor in my room.... and happily by issue 5 we'd interview Roddy Frame, oh.... and Stu the roadie.

Issue 18 with the Screaming Nobodies also appeared in September but not every September did.

Issue 26 was put out in July to last August and September in 1984 when I was doing my resits. I used this technique in 1985 when issues regularly became irregular. I knew we wouldn't have time to put out any issues and it was the early warning alarm bells as Issue 27 stumbled out in October 1984 with the Wild Indians adorning the cover. Only one more issue that year would see Twisted Nerve finally buy me enough drink to make the cover of issue 28. Colin Moxley looking good like he still does! By this time the local music scene, certainly Dundee, Glasgow, Perth and Edinburgh had become a village for us and my ability to drink it in clearly impacted on production!

Issue 32 with Dundee's Plastic Surgery also squeezed September into the cover and lasted October and November before the Alarm took over the mantle of the Dying Deadbeat. I wax lyrical on the end and if you click on the above link for 1984-1986 you'll get the full story.

September is a great time to reflect and I'll be doing more of that than ever this year. My Mum's memory has failed her to such a degree this week has all been about care packages. It is sad to see a woman who once contributed so much to society now on the receiving end, but its also joyous to remember how the print machine was also used to print the 'busy person's cook book', a collated set of recipes she sold to raise money for some cause. A more polished version called Dear Francesca by a different author became a great bestseller some years later but I do wonder how many 'busy person's cook books' are still circulating! She certainly had it published before lean in 15's Tom was born, or Jamie's avocado had been peeled. My Mum's shop, the Picnic Basket opposite the Pear Tree in Edinburgh is still there. She acquired the premises around 1984 and I think it had been a bookshop. She started by selling the usual rolls but quickly its became clear that the Brie, Date and Apple were flying off the shelves at £1 faster than the cheese at 25p. Along with the home baking she had great fun and her 5 kids got the leftovers, yum yum!

I'll take those happy thoughts with me as I stumble along the Camino from Burgos on Friday.