• November 2008
    M T W T F S S
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The Weird, the Wacky,the Wonderful World of Pop and Rock

scotland-richard-and-christineThe Ben Lomond Free Press has a few celebrity commenters. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned Stu Who? and Tom Morton and of course there’s Olympian Kenny Cairns. Mercy me! I forgot Richard Havers! Richard(pictured left with his wife Christine) has been keeping a low profile due to a heavy schedule but he popped (sic) up this week on Radio Scotland’s Radio Cafe discussing his new book, the snappy title of which is above. As well as being an author, Richard has been a music and TV producer (toured with the Beach Boys), an airline pilot and also I believe recorded radio advertising jingles!.

He co-wrote and produced Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey and also (shshsh!) wrote a book with Mike Read.

Anyhoo, as I say Richard was on the wireless on Tuesday and the programme was featured on the Sunday Cafe. Thanks to my pal Smiler for the heads up on this. If you click here then click listen, Richard’s bit is near the end (35 minutes in.)

The book is available through your local bookseller, or from Amazon here

Ryan Adams – When the Stars go Blue

You can always tell when insomnia has struck me. You get half a dozen posts within a few hours!

I’m always a mug for a well crafted pop song and this from Ryan Adams is a favourite at the moment (mainly thanks to Tom Morton playing it a lot). Great dynamics.

On the Buses

Whilst checking out Scott’s blog I found that Reg Varney had passed on at the age of 92. He was a ubiquitous figure on UK TV in the sixties and seventies, both as an actor and sometimes playing piano and singing. By far his best known role was that of Stan Butler in “On the Buses” To be frank about it and particularly from this distance in time, On the Buses was rubbish pretty average fayre. However it spawned one of the great catch phrases of the time coined by the Inspector “Blakey” played by Stephen Lewis (surely the worst actor ever to star in a TV show) i.e. “I’ll get you Butler”. The opening titles from this On the Buses film from the early 70’s will give you a flavour of what passed for comedy in those days.

Two pieces of trivia arise from this. As Scott points out not many people know that Reg Varney, in his role of celebrity opened the first automatic cash dispenser in the UK in 1967. Also, On the Buses
was co-written by Ronald Chesney who is widely regarded as Britain’s finest ever harmonica player. I have two harmonicas which have his name on them and as far as I know, he’s still alive. Chesney apparently realised in the late sixties that there was more money in churning out “comedy” shows than being a moothie virtuoso.

Dumbarton 1 Albion Rovers 1

Couldn’t get to the game. However all the optimism of a few short weeks ago has subsided somewhat. The next game against Cowdenbeath is now crucial.

I imagine Rovers will be quite pleased with a point away from home although my Rovers supporting friend Sam texted last night to say “Better to support a lucky team than no team at all!”

I know my friend Scott at Love and Garbage is a bit busy these days but if you look in Scott, what a result for Annan yesterday! your dad will be chuffed!

VAT the Hell?

I featured the possible reduction in VAT a couple of weeks ago here and made the following comment;

bigrab, on November 11th, 2008 at 5:40 pm Said:

It could be reduced by 2.5% but we’ll see what the government propose.

This could have been quite prophetic as if I’m reading the signs correctly Mr Darling is ready to drop the rate of VAT by that very amount. In the world of economists, chancellors and commentators a headline reduction in VAT will stimulate the economy.

How can they get this so wrong?

Earlier in the year when I predicted the recession (when I may say Darling et al were rubbishing such claims) I also said inflation was set to rocket. I have been correct up to now on that but as companies now vie with each other to retain market share, some prices are already falling.  Have you looked at a garage forecourt recently for example?

The revenue the government receive from VAT is already falling.

This measure will make it fall further, by billions.

This means that at some future stage taxation will have to increase dramatically to pay for this futile measure which will not help the economy one iota.


Although most companies will not (directly) pass on the 2.12% reduction in gross prices that the VAT reduction will bring, some will. This will force others to reduce prices leading to a further downward price-wage spiral.

Falling prices are the last thing an economy needs in a recession.

It results in ‘stagflation’

Nobody wins.

Mark my words.

My Latest Venture

Six bottles for £3. What do you reckon?


Proof that Camouflage Works!