What Is The Dream? To Live Like They Do In The Movies?

This is Kosmo Vinyl. According to Wikipedia his occupation is ‘talent manager’. He joined The Clash’s team in 1979/80, when Bernie Rhodes stepped back in to manage the band. Kosmo was spokesman, road manager, fixer, mouthpiece and all round aide-de-camp to the Strummer, Jones, Simonon and Headon as they went about breaking into the USA. He introduced them on stage and is heard on the Live At Shea Stadium album, supporting the Who in 1982. Before working with The Clash he was involved with Ian Dury and The Jam.

Kosmo contributed a vocal performance to the song Red Angel Dragnet, on Combat Rock. Paul Simonon takes the lead vocal on Red Angel Dragnet, speaking/shouting about a trip through New York City at night. Kosmo adds some lines from Taxi Driver, that famous psychotic stuff from Travis Bickle about how ‘some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets’. Paul’s descent into late night madness, over a jerky, funky backing, then goes free association (presumably with input or written wholesale by Strummer), loads of memorable lines about champagne on ice, Alcatraz, woman afraid to walk through the park at night, the Guardian Angels, the dream of living like they do in the movies, hands up for Hollywood, saving the girl, who shot the shot that shot the cop that made him drop? Silly stuff but highly enjoyable. This version is from the Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg bootleg, a rougher mix with organ to the fore, slightly different vocals and ending, and without Glyn Johns’ later FM sheen.

Red Angel Dragnet (Early version)

Kosmo (real name Mark Dunk) married an American and has lived in the States ever since. His current occupation is managing a large New York apartment block. A West Ham United fan in exile, 3474 miles from Upton Park, he spent the 2011/12 football season producing a pop-art influenced collage of the result of every game the Hammers played that season and then posting them on his blog Is Saitch Yer Daddy? He’s been at it ever since. They were exhibited in London last year- something I only found out about a couple of weeks ago while looking for something else on the net. Here are a couple, the first one with my team beating his 1-0 at Old Trafford. No guarantees that will happen this season.

Upon Westminster Bridge

Upon Westminster Bridge is a poem by William Wordsworth. In said poem he did not ponder a difficult decision to be made regarding Motley Crue. Nigel Blackwell did, in the Half Man Half Biscuit song of the same name. In the HMHB song we also get a new version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas sandwiched in…

‘Spoiling Good Friday my ex-love sent to me
Twelve drummers singing
Eleven chairmen dancing
Ten mascots whinging
Nine stewards flapping
Eight christening invites
Seven cows a-barking
Six vicars strumming
Nick fucking Knowles
Four boring words
Carphone Warehouse and Matalan
And a pulled up at Bangor-on-Dee’

Nick fucking Knowles. Merry Christmas.

The song has many, many other delights- dry stone wallcharts, Ken Hom wok sets, iron age hill forts, low cost school trips, Ladbrokes and the return to earth of Jesus Christ and the resulting use of No Need For Nails. It is almost the quintessential Half Man Half Biscuit Song.

Upon Westminster Bridge

The other alternative version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas familiar in this household is The Twelve Days Of Cantona (the only modern footballer that really mattered).

Are you a farmer?

At this time of year, during duller passages of play, a romp through the whole song is always entertaining at the match. ‘On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an Eric Cantona’ and so on…

‘Five Cantonaaaaaaas
Four Cantonas
Three Cantonas
Two Cantonas
And an Eric Cantona’

Dull is the game that goes all the way up to twelve.

I finish work for the Christmas holidays today. Halle-fucking-lujah.

Brain Machine

 In recent years Primal Scream have taken to playing the two versions of Come Together together live, Come Together coming together. Opening with the Weatherall remix and then going into the Farley one.

There was a lesser known third remix of Come Together by Hypnotone (a Creation dance act who made the ace Dream Beam single), released as a white label and on the 1991 Keeping the Faith compilation. The Hypnotone remix is far noisier and ravier, more chaotic with distorted synths and shouty vocal samples. Love it. What Bobby and the band need to do now is work this version into the live show and stretch Come Together out even further, three comings together for the price of one.

Come Together (Hypnotone Brain Machine Remix)

In a handy piece of internet synchronicity Daniel Avery has just remixed the song for BT Sport, who are showing matches live from the new football season (irritatingly called the EPL by some numpties, otherwise known as ‘the greatest league ever in the history of football’). There’s a 25 second clip below which obviously is of little use to man or dog but longer and different versions apparently do exist.

Diego

I love this picture of Diego Maradona in his Boca Juniors shirt and carpet slippers. I saw Diego Maradona play once. In the 1983-4 season United drew Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winner’s Cup. Away in the first leg United came home two-nil  down, centre back Graham Hogg diverting the ball into his own net right at the end of the game. Two weeks later Barca came to Old Trafford for a match that still stands out for me as the best game I’ve ever attended. We didn’t have much hope of going through. Two-nil down,a Barca away goal would finish us. As well as Maradona, then ascending to ‘best player in the world’ status, they had mop-haired midfield maestro Bernd Schuster in their side as well. Old Trafford was crammed to the rafters, Maradona barely got a kick and Frank Stapleton and Bryan Robson scored the three goals that sent us through to the semis (a tie against Juventus, who had a team containing Boniek, Platini and Rossi amongst others. Another amazing night at the football, from when European nights were a rarity rather than an expectation). Robson left the pitch on the shoulders of the thousands of fans who poured onto the pitch at the final whistle. Not me, as my brother frequently reminds me. I didn’t want to get clobbered by a copper. At the Juventus game a copper threatened to break my arm if I tried to walk down a certain gangway again. Friendly chaps the GMP.

None of which has anything to do with this song I found recently. It’s one of those deeply clubby chuggers, Love From Outer Space style jobs. Very good. May wear the carpet out if played late at night in subdued lighting through some decent speakers. Headman featuring Scott Fraser and Douglas McCarthy remixed by Hardway Bros.

SAF

I was 16 years old when Alex Ferguson arrived at Manchester United. I’m 43 in eleven days time. He’s managed the club I support all my adult life. What’s more I was a regular at Old Trafford throughout the Ron Atkinson years and Ferguson’s early days and remember what it was like before we were ‘the biggest football club in the world’ TM. It seems inconceivable that he won’t be there. But then again, let’s not get carried away- no one’s died, it’s only a game. Nothing lasts forever.

What digs at me though is that without him there (and soon the last of the old guard- Giggs, Scholes- will be gone too) is that within three years United will be just another rich, big club playing the Euromoneyball, three year cycle, managerial-merry-go-round, the same as all the rest. I know some of you won’t give a fuck either way. I know that for some of you there are less rewarding ways to spend money watching football (hello Airdrie, hello York City). Although maybe that isn’t less rewarding- I dunno. Yes, we have been spoilt. Yes, it is all over now. Let’s see what happens next.

NB Please, please, please, don’t let it be Mourinho. 

B Is For Black Affair

Steve Mason’s 2009 side project Black Affair was an 80s electro inspired project, which was great in small doses but wore a bit over the course of an entire lp. Still, in a field of his own is Steve Mason- most people wouldn’t record let alone release an album like this, so far removed from what he’s known for. This was one of the highlights.

Sweet

In a slightly belated tribute to United’s 20th league title our picture shows Bobby Charlton, presumably in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster or an early anniversary of, with a cracking quiff. Bobby was present as a player for United’s 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th league titles and he’s still there, although he doesn’t make the netting bulge anymore. The Premier League is a million miles from this picture. Yesterday’s post-Beta Band group The Aliens had a song called Bobby’s Song which I should’ve posted instead really.

Shepherd Rod

I’ve neglected the reggae and dub side of things recently so here’s some Lee Perry for Saturday morning, from the outstanding Voodooism compilation that came out in the mid 90s, an album with twenty first class tracks. There’s a Lee Perry-Orb album out at the moment which didn’t get a great review (at least the one I read). Has anyone heard it?

Shepherd Rod

The English football season starts in earnest today with the kick-off of the ‘greatest league in the world’. I’ve never felt so underwhelmed by the start of a season and United’s recent signing of Robin Van Persie made me do nothing other than shrug. Maybe that’ll change when we play Everton on Monday night but I’ve really enjoyed not having any Premier League football for the last couple of months.