Tracks to educate young people with

(posted by quarsan)

Number Ten In A Rut – The Ruts (mp3)

Some records just hit you between the eyes. When I first heard this I wondered if my record player could handle the deep dub bass that drives this track. One aspect of punk was it’s appreciation of reggae, indeed the punk explosion brought reggae into the public eye.

Sure, the Clash played around with it, but it was The Ruts who merged the two to make something new and fresh. This heavy dub bass and screeching punk guitar is topped with the blistering vocals of Malcolm Owen.

Sadly it is another smack track. Malcolm often sang about his struggle with heroin, a battle he lost in the summer of 1980. That was a great loss to us all, for Malcolm wasn’t filled with self pity or posing as the punk Keith Richards. He desperately wanted to stop, he knew he had his precious music, but it wasn’t enough.

After a short career of some of the finest singles to come out of the era, and believe me choosing which one to feature was difficult. So, I went for their debut. It could so easily have been any of the others. But it also showed what was to come, as did the B-Side, H Eyes.

I remember interviews with the other Ruts after his death (and here’s one) where they described their efforts to help him as he slowly dissapeared into himself. Heroin isolates you until, even you, are just not there anymore.

And Malcolm isn’t here anymore and that’s just so damn sad.


Tracks to educate young people with

(posted by quarsan)

Number Nine You Say You Don’t Love Me – Buzzcocks (Audio) (Lyrics)

The Pride of Manchester. In the early days, punk was a Northern thing, and more specifically, a Manchester thing. We used to go down there, or to Liverpool almost every week. We’d save money by hitching and sleeping in train stations or anywhere we could doss down for a couple of hours.

We saw the Buzzcocks so many times, and they never failed to provide a great night out. They were different to the other bands, in that they had great catchy melodies (I nearly chose the wonderous Walking Distance) and a nice line in self depreciating lyrics. They were one of the few groups who weren’t to cool to sing about failed love affairs. To be honest, that was pretty much all they sang about.

One word describes their music: bittersweet. The genius of Pete Shelly was that he could wrap a sad tale of unrequited love in the honey of a tune that stayed in your head. These guys made songs you could whistle. Most people smile when they think of the Buzzcocks.

But there was an aura about them also. You just liked them, they were not aloof or arrogant. They were ordinary, down to earth guys who treated their fans with kindness and courtesy. I tried to start a school magazine so I wrote off a list of questions to New Hormones and got a handwritten reply from Steve Diggle, with long answers. He’d clearly taken an hour or so to do this. That impressed a very young quarsan.

To this day, they remain a group I feel a great deal of affection for. If the world was fair they would be millionaires and they would sing happy love songs. But the world, they and we lived in wasn’t fair, and our love lives weren’t working out. and they sang about that, and they sang about it in a way that helped us get through heartbreak and have the optimism to risk it all over again.

Go to hell…

Posted by Fantastic Amazing John

Yo niggers!

Michael of the Midlands (the troubled diva in question) has been sniping at me for not posting. Well here it is. Why is he of the Midlands you cry? Because all the middle-aged homo-gays live in Blandshire. I’m sure I will when I’m 50 too. Anyway, enough compliments for one day – I’ve got proper stuff to do!

I’m making excuses for not posting more frequently – I’ve been busy. Good things come to those who wait anyway…

Since you’re either somone whose job is so yawnsome you read blogs all day, sat in your office, or you’re somone whose entire life is so boring you read about other people’s boring lives all day long, my narrative should buck you up a little. God has smiled on one of us at least.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in hospital, healing the sick. Really, someone should beatify me…the old men and women on the wards LOVE me!!! The fact that I posess excellent inter-personal skills are a test to my perfect upbringing and pedigree parentage. Mummy and Daddy always taught me to be nice to the poor, elderly and the stupid. Combine these qualities with the fact that I’m a walking Oxford Textbook of Clinical Medicine and Integrated Surgery, and you have an excellent doctor-to-be. Only 4 years and I’m let-loose! They’ll probably turn it into a saint’s day or something.

I saw a fantastic case of pulsatile hepatomegaly (enlarged liver with a pulse) – a sure sign of left ventricular failure. It’s a sign you don’t encounter very often as it develops fairly late on in cardiac failure and the patient has usually died by this time. This old dude didn’t have long left bless him… He couldn’t lift his legs onto the bed from sitting so we helped him and as I took my hands from underneath his legs, they were covered in smelly goo. His legs were so oedematous (swollen from fluid build-up) that the interstitial fluid (tissue fluid) was actually being forced out of his skin and dripping off. I couldn’t wait to Ayeleffe my hands… I felt dirty all day. Not in a good dirty way – like you’ve given a hot guy a blow job in a train station toilet; but in a bad dirty way like the toilet guy wanted to piss on you and now you smell. You see what I mean?

Today I was meant to go and visit my eldery patient but I couldn’t go. We’re doing a community health study on patient’s over 65 yrs, who are taking 4 or more medications. We see him every few weeks and just have a chat and ask some questions about his drugs. Called up to arrange a time to visit but his siter had just died so he was a bit up in the air. I gave him my sympathy ‘cos he’s a nice old guy.

But, every cloud has a silver lining (for me anyway). It meant I could go to the matinee performance of Whistle Down The Wind at the Liverpool Empire. I saw it with friend Emmeline – my crazy drunken friend, and we loved it. We do love our musical theatre. We’re going to a mutual friend’s house party tomorrow night and I’ll be drunk and so will she. When we’re drunk, we resembled Jack and Karen of Will and Grace TV show fame. Except I’m hotter and she has smaller titties. We’re a fab team. I love us!

John’s Tip Of The Day: Take life with a pinch of salt.

Drowning one’s troubles, isn’t one?

(posted by Aunt Cyn)


Oopsy-daisy. Hic. Auntie Cyn has a confesssshion to make.

Auntie Cyn ish an ickle bit tipshy.

You shee, I was cooking a nice meal for that nice German handyman I mentioned before – he’s had a verrrrry hard day being handy, you shee – and I was adding some cooking sherry to the sauce. An ickle drop for the sauce. A glass for Cyn. An ickle drop for the sauce. A big glass for Cyn. Oh dear, bottle’s nearly finished. Better finish bottle. Ooh my dear, I do feel slightly odd.

My German handyman wasn’t impressshed when I came in to sherve the meal, tripped and landed in his lap, spilling the sauce all over his shirt. Oops. I even offered to lick it off. Yesh, ooh dear my head.

BUT BUT BUT – Auntie Cyn has good news too.

I have my first internet crush. Oh yes. Come to me, big boy. I was reading shome of the commentsh on this here weblog earlier, and a rather wonderful chap called PETER said, “I’m almost a hundred”. My kind of age. Then I went to visit his site and it turns out that he’s naked!!! I almost passssshed out at this point, but had a nice strong cup of Breakfast Tea and felt much calmer. But really, Peter, if you fancy shome of this mid-60s auntie who’s seen the world and isn’t shocked by anything (well, almost) then do get in touch . . . mmmm. Be still Cynthia’s beating heart, be still!

Ooh, I’ve jusht dishcovered that I have another bottle of sherry in the larder …

Tracks to educate young people with

(posted by quarsan)

Number Eight : Theme – The Banana Splits (mp3 file)

James Brown is, unquestionably the Godfather of Soul, but who is the Godfather of Punk? Lou Reed? Iggy Pop? Alice Cooper?

Nope. It is the Banana Splits. This wild and untamed theme song is one of the finest punk tracks ever recorded. It is the sound of joyous anarchy. It is a myth that punk was miserable and apathetic, it was the opposite. The punk spirit was saying you can do this too. Sniffing Glue’s famous page showing an E, A and G chord with the instruction “Now form a band” said more about it than any number of learned articles or sullen poses.

The Banana Splits have something with real energy, and something more valuable. You just want to jump about and join in whenever you hear it.

So, listening to Mac’s suggestion that we form a band, let’s try our first track. Listen to the mp3 file above really loudly and sing along:

The Troubled Divas Theme

One Diva, two Diva, three Diva, four
Troubled Divas make a bunch and so do many more.
Over hill and highway the four bloggers go
Comin’ to bring you the Troubled Diva show
Makin’ up a mess of fun, makin’ up a mess of fun
Lots of fun for everyone

Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la

Four Divas, three Divas, two Divas, one
Troubled Divas playin’ in the bright warm sun.
Flippin’ like a pancake, popping like a cork
Auntie, John, quarsan an’ Mac


Two Divas, four Divas, one Diva, three
Postin’ like a bunch on monkeys, commentin’ for free.
Hey there, ev’rybody, won’t you come along and see
How much like Troubled Divas ev’ryone can be


Makin up a mess of fun
Makin up a mess of fun
Happiness for ev’ryone
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la

I’m with the band

[posted by Mac]

With all Quarsan’s talk of music and bands, it got me thinking. The Troubled Diva guest poster’s for week two need to start their own band.

We could be one of those awful Vegas lounge acts and name ourselves The Troubled Divas. We could wear a lot of velvet and say things like “You’re beautiful, people! Don’t ever change!”

Of course, I don’t really know the other guest posters. I can only take a guess at what their roles might be in such an endeavor. I am talentless when it comes to music, so my only options are groupie or the hack who plays the triangle.

Everyone else around here seems much more talented than I. I think Aunt Cyn would be the lead singer and song writer. She’s lived life. She’s seen stuff. She knows things. I imagine her lyrics would be gritty, but her voice would be buttery smooth, much like her excellent jam.

And John, well….John is the young buck among us. The reckless one. The idealist. I see him as the wild drummer type. He would be the guy who destroy the show with his scorching drum solos and then go to his hotel room and trash it due to his unexpressed angst.

That leaves Quarsan. I see him as the guitarist. He’s the guy who holds the band together and carries us all through with his exhaustive devotion to the band. He’s the one with common sense.

Am I wrong?

I have no idea where that came from…I am loopy this morning.

Tracks to educate young people with

(posted by quarsan)

Number Seven : 12XU – Wire (mp3 file)

Lyrics: Saw you in a mag, kissing a man, I’ve got you in a corner (cottage)

It’s got to be said that Wire were smash and grab artistes. They did what they wanted and got out of there asap. Their monumental debut LP Pink Flag has 21 tracks in under 40 mins. But this was no artifice, they gave you the trimmed down essentials and not one second more. Like Hemingway, there is not one wasted word, nothing that wasn’t vital.

Wire were the band that made us want to form a band. And we did. Often derided as being arty, at that time the ultimate put down from the dizzy heights of NME, I just couldn’t see it. I thought they were smart not art.

When we did get our band together, it wasn’t this track but Surgeon’s Girl that we put in the set. Listen to all of Pink Flag and Chairs missing and enjoy.