If the truth got in the way of a good story I would explain apologetically that I got married, ditched the band and fell foul of an aged curse, without the fame. We'd had a great time putting Deadbeat together but I fucked it. I truly fucked it. I thought if I earned some money I could put it into funding an expansion of Deadbeat build a label, but in truth, it meant I was too busy working and I fucked it. I as Vinny Bee will now hand over to my alter ego Fat Al to complete the story...The last 7 issues were great fun but 'real' work got in the way. We were getting older and losing the wisdom of youth. We had been putting the fanzine out every three weeks in the first 2 years and it slowed to a trickle. 1985 &1986 produced more apologies than fanzines.
Highlights included the interview with New Order's Gillian Gilbert after the Barrowlands gig, when Barney and Peter offered fat Al (or skinny Vinny B his alter ego) a seat in a chair with no bottom. Boom Boom the Barrowlands shook as he crashed through it to the floor. How they laughed, how he did too! I was on holiday in Arran listening to a tape of some old band playing some old tosh and suddenly the music stopped and the interview came on. Oh how we laughed. The questions I asked were terrible, but Gillian was superb. She could've been patronising or just taken the piss, but she was superb another example of the kind of person you're glad to have met. Rock'n'roll is full of James Hunts just as motor racing is, but in Rock'n'roll there's some superb people and we met loads of them, I've mentioned Roddy Frame, Annie Lennox, Charlie Higson, Malcolm Ross, even Morrissey before but Gillian's another to add to that list to remind us all how many good people inhabit our world.
Issue 29 has been scanned in full thanks to GG from www.retrodundee.blogspot.com and is below the pics of the covers. Scroll down as I update as Lloyd Cole is now a great show to attend and RATTLESNAKES is still in the top 10 all time album chart.....seriously it is above the banana album....I cant believe it is ....but it is.... I'll add in more shortly once I get home. Issue 29 was printed in my Granny's old kitchen in Marchhall Road. Not many of you know my Granny, largely because she died in 1976 which is why here kiutchen was housing my AB Dick print machine, the one that KB still bears scars on his head as we dropped it taking it out of the van. KB didn't really hang about gymnasiums and when we said are you ok? Can you take the weight, his answer should've been 'no its too heavy'. Instead he uttered, 'yeah, I think so' just before he dropped it. I should've known as it was KB who suggested we stop carrying 100 copies to Virgin and just make it 50 at a time each. I digress though from my Granny's kitchen. Many of you trainspotters will know that my Granny had a very famous Dad, particularly famous if you are of Irish descent for he was the man who got Hibernian into the Scottish League and was responsible for our Cup triumph in 1887. He also did a great job of setting up satellite teams in the west and in Dundee, where United still flourish from his early seedlings. His greatest stupidity was in thinking that he was in charge of this great benevolent mother ship and when he went through to play a great game and raise money for the poor of the east end of Glasgow, he came back with only half a team and you've guessed it Glasgow Celtic were formed that year.
The Hibs team of 1887 that won the Scottish Cup were very charitable and a great money making machine as they raised money for the poor irish throughout Scotland and if only my Granny had told me about her Dad I could've asked her a few questions, alas she didnt. So I didnt get to say things like, 'Do you have any programmes?' 'Did you go to the 1902 cup final?', 'Tell me more about John G McFadden, did he buy you good Christmas presents?'. Instead I have to listen to others tell me about this guy who set up a temperance movement in Edinburgh while running the Catholic bookshop in the cowgate. My Dad told me they stayed in Drummond and by the time of the war my Granny had moved to Roseneath and was running Crawfords by day and a boarding house by night. I figure thats why she didnt have any 1902 memorabilia. A busy old life as her Dad died when she was about 12 and by 20 she was manager of the bakers. I know where I get my eating from, but this temperance was causing me issues. John G McFadden then slipped off this mortal coil after 1902, so he got to see Hibs win the Scottish Cup twice. Most people I know never got to see them winning it at all, although they did see us win the diddy cup. There's a theme running through my folk's families and it involves the early deaths of Dad's. My Dad's dad died when he was only 14 and my Mum's old man too. I guess they were quite old when they married. Certainly John G McFadden sounds like he'd been around the block before he got married to Granny's mum. He was born before Lincoln was shot, but I guess famine and wars were raging and not everyone got married at 16, so if you marry at 40 and you die in your 50's your kids arent going to be that old and Granny was only 12.
So my Granny's kitchen was used to print Deadbeat and that is the link back to February 1985. The price is still 10p as I had it in my head if I supplied the labour to print it then we could save cash, but actually, no, it was a disaster. It was the end of the road. Like 1902 and Hibs, Deadbeat was never the same. I chose darker covers which were a nghtmare to print as you had to go slowly or the ink would dry on the page above and thus most copies you couldn't read hiccups. Out of every disaster there is tragedy and opportunity, and of course, not being able to read hiccups meant I could write any shite I liked, which as you all know is what I did very easily. This particular issue took me a week to print. I would come home from work and be too pissed, or I would come home half cut and print some pages while splattering ink around Granny's kitchen walls. Picasso would not have been happy, my Mum certainly wasnt!
It was still a great social experience being a blogger in 1985 was writing a fanzine. No rules and we set none. Well actually, we did set some. The ink for example. We started to get more savvy about how the fanzine pages were structured so we didnt have ink problems. I absolutely chuckle at why certain bands are on page 7 and others on page 14. It had nothing to do with whether we thought they'd be popular and everything to do with how much ink. Lloyd Cole taught me this and the sting in Rattlesnakes was no more dark covers!
Issues 30 and 31 are hysterical with this hindsight......see below as both Paul King and the guy from Taysiders Crucial Xylophones are given highlights in their hair. A masterstroke from our own Picasso Hilary, who ensured that if we werent going to print as many we could still print them quickly. Alas we just couldn't publish them as quickly. Work got increasingly in the way and every social outing started to need an interview. As I mentioned at the beginning we had lost the wisdom of youth. We started to think too much. Deadbeat was a lovely throwaway 20 minute read on the bus. It was populated with nonsense and occasionally a really good bit. It was a laugh, a breather from the excesses of Thatcherism. A pimple on the bum of the young ones that got scratched. When we appeared on John Peels review we loved it and it was great craic. It fired us on to do another 27 issues, but like the great Marathon bar we decided a makeover was required and we changed the banner with our new letraset. Boys and their toys eh? We ditched it after two issues but we were on fire and not in a good way. Deadbeat was burning and paper and 1980's ink is a highly flamable combo. Good name a band HFC, in fact a football team too! I was working for my Mum in the Picnic Basket opposite the pear tree in Edinburgh, just around the corner from the mosque and I would put ads in and sell Deadbeat in the shop. I think thats when this paralysis set in. I thought loads about what we could do with Deadbeat and as that wisom of youth become a stifled adult, Deadbeat died. It served me really well later in life as I realised acting immediately was fundamental and that certain people have good instincts. Follow your intuition, if a tiger is running towards you run sideaways and away, you can check if there was a carcass behind you while your running. So many times in life you question your intuition and for what reason, to double check what you already knew. Decision making is simple when you stop seeing decisions. Decisive people are rarely conscious that they've made a deicison as its just crossing a road to them. Do it when the road is empty and then you dont have to wait at the green man. That's worthy of another line. Why would you ever walk to a green man just to push a button if the point is to cross the road, just cross it. Mind you that's almost suggesting pointless action is bad so I better rephrase that. If the point is to get exercise then that's ok because that's like me writing this. My daughter might read this when I've gone but will anyone else. So while I'm engaged in this pointless action I would just like to point out that its me that's typing and not you, so its good to type. Typing is excellent for the fingers and there is a certain pride to be taken in spelling things correctly which makes me smile. So issue 30, Gillian and New Order.
My mate Stu saw them in London recently and so I put the picture up 31 years on. Who would've thought it!
The Dancing Bears - so many memories - all of them good! Rhythm System too. If I get this gig in
September 2011 sorted I hope they'll be there
25 years on we'll be full of energy again and by the time the party comes along in 2012 to celebrate 30 years we can all have 50th birthday parties too. Olympics, 50th and a Deadbeat 30th - I better get that milk thistle into me now.