Barbara Thompson, Jon Hiseman; Sun rise; ghost towns; Lightning Seeds;   Leave a comment

Last week I was complaining after being ill for a day or so.   Last night I watched a moving documentary on BBC with saxophonist Barbara Thompson and her husband Jon Hiseman.

Barbara is perhaps best known for Fanaid Grove, which is used as the theme for A Touch of Frost.  What is not so widely known, at least until last night or within certain musical circles, is that Barbara suffers from MS and has been for many years.  It is only through drugs that she is able to remain playing, controlling her fingers.

Her supportive husband Jon is also a respected musician, one of the world’s finest drummers, having worked with Georgie Fame and John Mayall before forming Colosseum, (members included Gary Moore and Don Airey).  With the reformed Colosseum Jon played one night for me around 2005.  Barbara came with him.  They were lovely people and even though she wasn’t having a particularly good day health wise you wouldn’t have known it.  Truly inspirational and next time I complain about a headache I’ll think of Barbara, still playing, and other like her.  Truly inspirational.

After a week off, it’s hard to get back into a routine, especially one that requires getting up before seven, but this morning we did just that, caught the beautiful sunrise – I could hear Rolf Harris in the marshes singing “Sun arise, early in the morning!’ (he wrote that, covered by Alice Cooper years ago on the Love it to Death album.

Busy week ahead, last furlong of recording with Tim over the next few weeks.  Also have to proof read a new story and then we seriously start looking into funding for Trick, the film.

Courtney has her first two clients (of her own) in Nashville doing the publicity for them, two bands, one pop, the other indie, both with releases due very soon so that’s good.  Yesterday Nashville had snow.  I love this photo of Broadway, downtown Nashville, from last year.

Broadway is one of the few places that you have to pay to park in Nashville.  I got a parking ticket just before Christmas in Kent.   A friend of mine has just closed his shop in Kent after many years, blaming parking costs as one of the main reasons trade went down so badly.

Towns are becoming ghost towns, empty shops, 99p stores or charity shops and yet councils seem oblivious to the fact that paying to park is one of the factors that is killing the high street, as they lose out to out of town shopping centres.  You have to question someone’s motive for becoming a councillor, a thankless task in many ways, unpaid except for expenses.  Two mayors I have dealt with in small towns have both been disgraced in regard to financial matters, while others attempt to impose their own personal beliefs and desires on their town, no matter what the cost is to the town and shop keepers and business owners.  Vision is needed if small towns are to survive.  It’s hard enough to keep a business running today with ever increasing overheads and competition from the internet and they need all the help they can get to attract customers, and free parking would go a long way towards that, but that would probably mean a cut in councillor’s personal individual expenses!

To be fair, councils have suffered – ten years ago my local council at the time had an arts department with a manager and three staff; the department doesn’t even exist anymore, all four people made redundant and responsibility for the arts in that area passed on to someone in another department, buildings!

Where is the incentive to start a new business today, financially, and also with all the red tape, employee rights, but no employer rights etc?  There was a crazy story a few weeks ago of a councillor who had to apologise for patting a council worker on her shoulder to thank her for a job well done.  She complained, saying she was scared to go into work and her claim was upheld!  The councillor was just being friendly and supportive.  The world is totally losing the plot, this ‘sue you, sue me’ culture.  People see the dollar signs in their eyes and any opportunity to grab some money, money that they simply do not deserve.

It is frightening just how fast our towns have changed in thirty years, and even more frightening to wonder where they’ll be in another thirty years.

I’ll jump down now from my soap box.  Here’s a bail video for Barbara Thompson’s Fanaid Grove,  as featured on A Touch of Frost:

Never start a sentence with and, so I didn’t but here’s a video I heard for the first time in ages over the weekend and in my little mind is as close to a perfect pop song as you can get, the Lightning Seeds, and Lucky You, with a great montage video starring Liverpool who look likely to win the FA Cup, eh Taylor?



Posted February 20, 2012 by Jon Johanson in Uncategorized

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