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Well there was a man who lived in a shed
Spent most of his days out of his head
For his shed was rotten let in the rain
Said it was enough to drive any man insane
When it rained
He felt so bad
When it snowed he felt just simply sad

Well there was a girl who lived nearby
Whenever he saw her he could only simply sigh
But she lived in a house so very big and grand
For him it seemed like some very distant land
So when he called her
His shed to mend
She said I’m sorry you’ll just have to find a friend

Well this story is not so very new
But the man is me yes and the girl is you
So leave your house come into my shed
Please stop my world from raining through my head
Please don’t think I’m not your sort
You’ll find that sheds are nicer than you thought

Dolly Parton arrives at the premiere of her latest film, Joyful Noise, at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Beauty by Edward Thomas

What does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease,
No man, woman, or child alive could please
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh
Because I sit and frame an epitaph –
“Here lies all that no one loved of him
And that loved no one.” Then in a trice that whim
Has wearied. But, although I am like a river
At fall of evening while it seems that never
Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while
Cross breezes cut the surface to a file,
This heart, some fraction of me, happily
Floats through the window even now to a tree
Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale,
Not like a pewit that returns to wail
For something it has lost, but like a dove
That slants unswerving to its home and love.
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there.

Seasick Steve was born Steve Wold in Oakland, California. During his early teens he slept rough, took casual work and busked. Later, he worked as a recording engineer and producer. In 2006, he made his own album, Dog House Music, and performed on Jools Holland’s New Year’s Eve television show. This led to bookings on the European festival circuit and, in 2007, a Mojo award for best breakthrough act.

When were you happiest?
Right now – I have a job and I’m doing all right.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing any of my kids. I’ve five sons.

What is your earliest memory?
My daddy playing the boogie-woogie on the piano in Oakland.

Which living person do you most admire?
My wife, Elizabeth.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I’m not the nicest fella if I get angry.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Greed.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Forty years ago in Seattle I tried to tell Lightnin’ Hopkins that he wasn’t changing chords at the right place in a blues song.

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
A 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle. I don’t ride it as much as I used to because I had a heart attack four years ago and I had to change my lifestyle a bit.

What is your favourite smell?
My motorcycle.

What is your most treasured possession?
A little brown guitar. I’ve had it for 40 something years, and it’s more than 100 years old. It doesn’t sound that good, but I can’t get rid of it.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Clint Eastwood.

Where would you like to live?
By the ocean. We rent a house in Norfolk and we have an apartment in Norway, but I don’t really live anywhere. I am moving a lot.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
The spare tyre around my waist.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
I wouldn’t go to a costume party to save my life.

What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
‘I’m going to kill you, you motherfucker,’ down a dark alley.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I’ve got no guilt when it comes to pleasure, none at all.

What is your favourite book?
Guns Of The Gods by Talbot Mundy.

Is it better to give or to receive?
You can’t have one without the other.

What do you owe your parents?
Fuck all, apart from my life.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Me and my wife got married by a justice of the peace and didn’t have the money to pay – $15. This boy I knew paid for it but I didn’t pay him back. I’d like to pay him back now.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?
Life is tough enough without wasting time despising.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I’ve never had a dinner party and I surely don’t dream about it.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
‘It’s all good.’

What is the worst job you’ve done?
Sanding with a grinder inside a fibreglass sewage tank for eight hours a day. I had to take a bath in alcohol to get the fibreglass out of my body.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
That my heart gave out on me.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I would cut out the jail time.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To when the blues started.

How do you relax?
I play the guitar.

How often do you have sex?
Whenever I get a chance.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Ain’t having no funeral.

How would you like to be remembered?
I don’t give a shit.

Where would you most like to be right now?
Right where I am, yes, ma’am.

Specifically, he murders the beautiful David Gates song If. (David Gates was the lead singer of 1970s group Bread.)

I’m glad Telly went to Birmingham, my home town.

But we all remember him as Kojak. Here’s a classic episode.

Telly Savalas 1924-1994: Independent obituary

This post is dedicated to Tess Kincaid @ Willow Manor.

I’m sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites; all I want is the truth now, just gimme some truth now.

(John Lennon, Just Gimme Some Truth)

This week, to celebrate the life of John Lennon on the thirtieth anniversary of his murder by an American nut, I will be making droll comments in a laconic affected Scouse accent, telling people how great Liverpool is but not going near the place, taking LSD, abandoning my first wife, and sitting up in bed with an ugly Japanese bird.

Apart from the last one, these would all do to celebrate the life of John Peel.

Next week, I will be campaigning to have Manchester’s airport named after Mark E. Smith. Perhaps you will join me? Hey, let’s just call it “The Fall”. Wouldn’t you like to land there?

Where were you when John Lennon was shot dead? And didn’t you think “Fuck! Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one bullet. Jesus!”?

Related:

John Lennon declared that he was “not interested in being a dead hero” in an interview given three days before his murder

Bang Bang was written by Sonny Bono and originally recorded by Cher.

Spain 1, Holland 0

Sting is performing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with the one and only Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and preparing for the release of a new album, “Symphonicities,” containing orchestral arrangements of his songs.

Sting, 58, said the appreciation for classical music he cultivated from the piano playing of his hairdresser mother and BBC radio of the 1950s was not something he could readily confess to back in his Police days.

“It was frowned upon,” he said, “and that’s the whole ridiculous premise of rock ’n’ roll becoming this Taliban-esque, closed thing. ‘You can’t do that, you can’t do that.’ What’s the spirit of rock ’n’ roll except freedom – freedom to do whatever you want?”

“I have a feeling that all New Yorkers, no matter what they’re doing, are in their own TV series with their own theme music, and you are merely a guest on their show,” he said. “We’re all celebrities in this town. I find it very comfortable.”

Pretentious arsehole.

Yesterday was Canada Day. Test your knowledge of Canadian history and trivia with this 20-question Canada Day quiz, stolen from the Winnipeg Free Press.

1. Name the Scottish immigrant, skilled lawyer and Father of Confederation who became Canada’s first prime minister.

2. How many provinces and territories are there in Canada?

3. In 1917, two ships collided in a harbour and caused the world’s greatest man-made explosion before Hiroshima. Where did this occur?

4. In 1759, where did General Wolfe and the British defeat French forces for control of Quebec?

5. Who is Canada’s head of state?

6. Who was the founder of the province of Manitoba who was hanged in 1885 for his role in a rebellion?

7. What was the name of the route used by fleeing American slaves to get to Canada?

8. What famous schooner, commemorated on the 10-cent coin, was launched in Nova Scotia in 1921?

9. On June 6, 1944, Canadian troops participated in the invasion of Nazi-occupied France. What was the code name of the Normandy coast beach on which the Canadians landed?

10. Speaking in the House of Commons on June 10, 1942 about a controversial plebiscite, Prime Minister Mackenzie King explained his policy as “not necessarily ______, but ______ if necessary.”

11. Which province is officially bilingual?

12. It was named by an act of Parliament as Canada’s national game.

13. Montreal hosted this international event in 1976.

14. Who is the songwriter who penned “Big Yellow Taxi”?

15. What is Canada’s highest mountain?

16. What is the capital of Canada’s newest territory?

17. What was the name of Canada’s flag before the Maple Leaf?

18. This Canadian won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

19. Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte was taken hostage and murdered in the crisis initiated by which extremist separatist group?

20. This writer of popular Canadian history died in 2004.

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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