Sunday 29 January 2023


''It's a diary entry covering one weekend in 1973.'' So said Brian Protheroe of his one and only hit, Pinball, which reached  the dizzy heights of No.22 the following year. Protheroe had just split up with his girlfriend and was crashing at a friend's flat in Covent Garden. Living in London's fashionable West End was obviously not all it was cracked up to be; running out of pale ale, with fleas in the bedroom and flies in the bathroom just adding to his woes. And if all that wasn't bad enough, turns out the cat's just finished off the bread.  

Brian Protheroe - Pinball (1974)

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Pigs preparing for take off

I'm excited, I don't mind telling you. Tomorrow I shall be jumping on the 9:50 to London St. Pancreas to spend some long overdue time in the capital. At 1pm, all being well, I should be
109 metres above the ground standing atop one of Battersea Power Station's iconic chimneys. BPS had been stood empty for many, many years yet has always been a pivotal part of London's ever changing landscape. It's been under construction, on and off, for the best part of 40 years, but is now, seemingly, the latest shiny new slab of real estate with a postcode to die for. And, no, I'm not expecting to see turbines in the grandeur of its once Art Deco Turbine Hall. I'm not quite sure what I will find in the space now occupying same - I shall have to report back. There will be pictures; heaps of pictures. 

Monday 16 January 2023

Peaceful, warm and tired

The Air That I Breathe is one of those songs that every songwriter wishes had fallen into their lap. Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood, however, did write it back in 1971 and Hammond dutifully put it on his 1972 album It Never Rains in Southern California; he never released it as as a single and it's really not hard to see why. Hammond never did it justice and the song languished at the wrong end of Side 2. Until it was picked up the following year by Phil Everly who gave it such a makeover that when the Hollies found it they basically followed Everly's dots and in 1974, complete with a rather lush Alan Parsons arrangement, turned it into the multi-million selling gold disc we know today. And, as you can see from my screengrab below, their second most streamed song on Spotify with a staggering 112 million plays.

Anyway, forget Albert Hammond and the Hollies. Instead, wrap yer ears around Phil's beautiful take on this absolute classic.

Phil Everly - The Air That I Breathe (1973)

Sunday 15 January 2023

Cards on the table

On the back of writing a few words about my dotage I thought I'd just tell you a little story. One of my recent
pre-dotage, if you will, activities has been, occasionally, taking a deck of cards to the pub and playing a few hands. Good beer and a good game of cards I've found, especially when there's just been the two of us, is a really good combo and, as much as I like yakking, abbreviates the need for constant conversation. Anyway, last night we walked into one of our locals in Carrington and, as I'm waiting to be served at the bar, I glance across at a couple who are also playing cards; but not just any old game of cards - they're playing Five Crowns; a very niche game and a game we were introduced to by our friends up in Scotland. We've subsequently introduced it to others who in turn have spread the word. (We played it all over America on the many Amtrak trains we travelled on last year.) But seeing it played in a pub less than a mile from our house was still pretty cool. Long story short, we got chatting and they invited us to play the next game with them. And yes, before you ask, I did win! But they've agreed to a rematch where I'm sure they're hoping to even the score.


February's photo challenge

If you want to join in with next month's photo challenge - I'm asking for photos with a water theme; you can snap an outside tap, a puddle, a lake, a rainstorm - anything H2O related. Send me your photograph to john(at)johnmedd(dot)com or if you are on the BlogCon 23 WhatsApp group then ping them over to me on there. I'll post the images on 1st February.

Saturday 14 January 2023

Tour de Manchester

James is an avid cyclist. Unlike his father; I live at the top of a hill so every journey I'd have to make would involve some serious uphill pedalling on the homeward leg. (I'm not as young as I used to be!) And then there's the traffic. Where James lives there are some pretty cool cycle paths and then there's the dedicated cycle lanes in the city centre. Unless, of course, some cretin in a car decides to park in it. I'll let James describe what happened to him on Wednesday morning cycling to work...

The footage was caught on dashcam by the driver following James. He pulled over to make sure my son was alright*. Thank you, whoever you are.


Kraftwerk - Tour de France (1984) 

* Nothing broken, thankfully. Just a few cuts & bruises.

Monday 9 January 2023


I don't even know when my dotage is supposed to start (it may well have started already without me knowing it) but these are just a few of things I've been keeping on ice for it: opera, ballet, Shakespeare; lobster, The Prisoner, swearing more, poker, winning the Lottery, pink shirts, wearing odd socks and one small discreet tattoo. As I said, it's neither a complete or exhaustive list, but it's enough to be going on with. Oh, and Tangerine Dream - they've been keeping electronic/ambient Krautrock going since the dawn of time and appear to have released more albums (with more band members) than any other group I know; sorry, don't know - hence the dotage thing. I'm sure there are plenty of jumping off points - I'll fettle it (tho; I may need The Swede to guide me thru the choppy German waters). Here's my starter for ten...

Tangerine Dream - A Haze of Patriotic Fervour (2013)

Thursday 5 January 2023

She's Gone

Daryl Franklin Hohl and John William Oates made some astonishing records in the 70s and 80s. I can honestly say, to the best of my knowledge, everyone I know could sing the words to at least one of their records; at least one. Which is why, if you ever rode shotgun with me in my car, unlike the young woman above, I'm sure I wouldn't have to leave you stranded by the roadside.

She's Gone first appeared on their 1973 classic album Abandoned Luncheonette. It bombed when they first released it as a single on Atlantic but three years later when the duo had scored some big hits with their new label, RCA, Atlantic re-released it with a fresh catalogue number and voila it went to Number 7 on the Billboard chart.

Hall & Oates - She's Gone (1976)

Tho' the record had charted a couple of years earlier when this lot released it as a single; it may only have just scraped into the Top 50, but many purists say it's the definitive version.

Tavares - She's Gone (1974)

Sunday 1 January 2023

1 (One)

Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope this is the year we finally get the Tories out of Number 10. I very nearly said cunts out of Number 10 but realised, looking at my watch, we've not yet reached the 9pm watershed.

Talking about numbers, I said a wee while ago that I'd be starting a new photograph feature in '23 - on the first of every month I'll be out and about taking photographs with a theme. Not the most original of features, I grant you, but as I've said on more than one occasion, I leave that sort of stuff to people with bigger brains than me; them's the breaks, I guess. This month, with it being the first of the first, I'm looking for 1s and Ones.

Above is One Thoresby Street, Nottingham. An artistic space since 2008, but looking at the amount of new building works going on around it, I don't know for how much longer.

And below is one I prepared earlier; it's the NG-One nightclub - I love the yellow against the black. So there you have it, something old, something new. If you want to join in I'll give you the theme for February in the comments section (hopefully with more notice than I've given you today - tho' I did send a quick text to the BlogCon 23 WhatsApp group this afternoon).


Postscript 1.1.23

Alyson pinged this beauty over earlier this evening. She said: ''Went into town and got something I'm happy with. Happy 1st. January!'' Thank you, Alyson.