A metaphorical, over-familiar and over-used plaintiff cry I know – but we all know what it means. If I said “where have the last fifty years gone?” then we’re entering completely different territory. The days and weeks race by and before you know it you have another year on the clock. Now, please run with me on this - just for the next few minutes while you read this blog -tempoarily multiply the last twelve months by 50.
Since I took up producing Lanky Beat the pace and tempo of my personal life has exponentially grown out of all proportion – I'm certainly not complaining – in fact - I am just I'm luvvin' it. Some of you say.. "You must spend hours and hours putting all that stuff together," and.. "Where do you find the time to do all that?" Well here's the secret. ‘I'm a retired old fart with nothing better do than indulge the kind of creative pleasures one can only dream about when you have spent the last forty or so years bringing up a family and doing what comes naturally to a working class lad from Hardybutts, Wigan – so there.’
These days, retiring from full-time employment doesn’t really mean ‘retirement’ does it? By that I mean in the old fashioned pipe, slippers and "put't kettle on mother" kind of way. Reaching your sixties these days does in fact mean you’ve reached a kind of rock ‘n roll middle youth. Not like in my parents day however. They were well knackered-out at sixty and 'fit for nowt' as my dad used to say, and they were brought up on the jitterbug and boogie-woogie – and that’s enough knackering-out by just thinking about it!
The 'IT' Factor
The early 1950’s did it for me together with you and another cool x-million or so of ‘us’ post-war generation of baby-boomers. The idea of us teenagers getting out of school uniform, short pants and gymslips and straight into the clothes of our mothers and fathers was soon flushed down the proverbial pan. We were the new hip and fab - not L7, not square. We began to dig it and lo and behold we got on with it. It changed many things back then- and it is still doing it right now? We’ve always done it and health permitting - we always will do it. It was we – The Sixties Children who invented it – and we have always luvved it. This is 'The 'IT' Factor'.
Back in those days it wasn’t a dishonest selfish act or betrayal of our folks to find a new way for ourselves – it was a new found affluence and freedom. We enjoyed doing it and the catalyst for it was our music – rock ‘n roll music. At first we listened to it, and then we found that some of us could make it by playing it ourselves and more importantly - we learned from it. With it we found new inspiration, aspirations, opportunities and the true fulfilment of something which was way beyond our parent’s mindset and ken. Don’t forget. They’d just got out of a world war – which they were almightily grateful for - and for them – to survive in one piece was enough of a reward for their sacrifices - but at the time, for me and you honey-baby-pie, we did what we did, achieved what we could and now look at us. We are here right now, drooling and dribbling fondly about the past fifty years with fading memories
of a wonderful bye-gone age called it.
So now in order to be getting a bit closer to my blog-point, I want to be honest, truthfull ‘Lankyland blunt’ and straight-up with you all. Yes and caring too – but blunt caring. We’ve either kicked-on since from these heady aforementioned days, or instead – we’ve sadly kicked the bucket and left his world behind forever. We only get one chance - this is not a rehearsal. This too is where we’re all going eventually we’ve got to the stage where we’ve got many more years behind us than we have in front – so now – here I am finally getting to my blog's main point..
I feel duty bound to make as much of life at this late stage as I did when I was an ambitious young man with a fire in his belly all those years ago. I still have that fire - it’s still there - but it sits a bit lower down that’s all. The fire rages even more now than it did back then. So, in the last ten years I have taken the time to explore my latent talents – you know. The one’s you never knew I had. I have played my drums virtually every week for the last thirteen years in a reformed 1960’s Shyms band called Something Catchy. I have written three books.. and have another two underway. In addition I am hoping to put Lanky Beat into print this year.. yet another book - more on this later. I have been writing music with a friend and musical partner for the last four years and we are recording original songs for both a pop CD and a musical score for my children’s book; Un-Putdownablespart’s 1 and 2 - more about this later. I also run *five web sites in addition to Lanky Beat. So that’s it.. and his is my it!
I am refusing to wind-down and conform; instead I’m winding-up just like I did all those years ago. And.. on the day after I publish this blog I will be fulfilling a wild musical dream. I am playing a charity gig with several original band members of Leigh’s Beat Boys and Wigan’s Sportsmen. As a bit of a kid, not yet left school, these were the guys that I saw doing it 'first'- in 1960 - well before The Beatles - as they were still almost three light-years away intothe future. I hope by now dear Lanky Beat reader that you catch my humble drift and dig my point? I’ll leave you now with my final-final blog-point below.
Oh Mandela - What a fella.
Nelson Mandela is my hero of mine and amongst the many things he has achieved he recited this poem as part of his inaugural speech on becoming President of the Republic ofSouth Africa..
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not ourdarkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking sothat other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
‘We are all meant to shine, as children do…’
This is my favourite and most the poignant line..
Am I making the most of it while I am still here. Of course I am!Now where did that last twelve months go?”
Bill Hart: 17 February 2011
PS: Oh.. And by the way.. many happy returns Lanky Beat.
~Extract from Marianne Williamson's 1992 book "Return to Love"
This time last year I was holding my proverbial breath.
Embarking on the Mersey Sound Wave guitar project
would be a lifetime one-off dream come true..
That's if.. I could pull it off?
Indeed, the year before that in 2008 did it to me. I had this mad, crazy idea of assembling at least 100 guitars in the artistic shape of a wave formation by suspending them from an above ceiling by thincorded lines. Many forthcoming anniversary celebrations of 50 years of the rock 'n roll revolution out of Liverpoolwas imminent as 2010 approached. So; "something should be done to formally celebrate, commemorate and pay tribute to it!" I mused. So I did this.. and having now done it, it is perhaps only now that I have begun the breath a little more easily.
The M~S~W BOOK
"I love the Guitars.."
Click on book..
The help and the support I received to achieve my Mersey Sound Wave dream was truly staggering and I have many grateful thank you's to pass-on to all the fab people from all walks in the community who became voluntarily involved. Again; a big, big thank you..
"Now the follow up: What are you going to do next Bill?"
"I was asked this question many times. I have no further plans for the Mersey Sound Wave. I could, even now, take it almost anywhere in the world. Several whispers to this effect were quietly heard..Beijing -Hamburg - NewYork - the list looks like a Dior Perfume ad' - but nothing materialised.But that was never going to be a problem. It was always intended to be a 'one-off-special' but, if the right offers and circumstances were ever to come together and in right place, then I could be tempted to dusting it all off and
doing it all over again. Well, we'll wait and see what the new year has in store. For more M~S~W info'click on below..
So there it is for the first half of 2010, in a nutshell, you'll shortly have it all if you just keep on reading my blurb and not quietly nodding off too soon..
Lanky Beat was born last February and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Neither, did I know, how well we would fare in the vast ether that is the internet and the World Wide Web; but now I know as we are definitely established and we're here to stay.
It is absolutely Fab the way you have responded to supporting this new venture of mine and can I say this with true sincerity - I could not have done this without you. Your contributions of sheds-full of band pics, anecdotes, memoribililia and personal stuff to fill these nigh-on sixty Lanky Beat pages has been staggering.. a monumental effort from you all.. "Thank youagain and again - fab, fab, fab!"
In the last three consecutive months we have seen around 2,500 site visits each month. In short, I can confidently declare that these statistics signal a unique and resounding success story for Lanky Beat. Therefore, it's you who did it, not me! So give yourselves a big-big round of applause!
New friendships: These together with old re-acquaintances and re-unions are either happening now or intended to be in New Year 2011 - and all of this it seems -is because of LankyBeat. That certain rock 'n roll spark is still very much alive and kicking as many of you are telling methat you are all fired-up and want to get back into doing it all over again. Just hold on to this for a short while. It will be arranged. Just be cool and watch this space for details coming soon in 2011..
So too, I have had various comments saying that I must be careful not to lose the real purpose and appeal of Lanky Beat in representing the many native bands, venues and people in the otherwise under-reported, but never-the-less, vitally important niche'in which Lankyland
played - and still does - in the history of world pop music and rock 'n roll. Be in no doubt, I can assure you that Lanky Beat's Lankypedia of Bands will always take the number onespot and pride of place with me. It's my baby.. and it will always be the prime mover-and-shaker onthis web site; while I'm in charge! Also, because you are also re-visiting Lanky Beat in greater numbers and on a more regular basis, I will endeavour to produce more special features in an attempt to make your visits here even more enjoyable, entertaining and worthwhile.
Talking of future Lanky Beat special feature's. I'm always on the look-out for suitable new material. As you probably know by now.. a 'feature' doesn’t always have to be totally 'Lanky' to be acceptable. You Lankylander's out there are a broad church so let's use this demographic asset to the full. Just as long as there is a Lanky connection of some sort and, based on the love of rock 'n roll and it's close derivatives, then that it is okay by me.. unless, that is, you tell me differently. So don't hesitate to drop me a line or give me a call. Your constructive comments and suggestions are always welcome.. as long as they are musically relevant, so please get your thinking caps on.. Ta!
Of course, I'm still looking out for new Lankypedia band material too. At a rough guess I have another 150 Lanky bands still yet to come forward with their stuff to add to the 120 or so already here.. so please put the 'feelers' out and get the word out and about, for Lanky Beat in 2011.
There.! I've now got my first ever Lanky Blog done and dusted. So, all that remains for me to say to you all at the end of a great personal 2010 for me is..
'Have a fab New Year, get your drum sticks sharpened and your guitar strings oiled and polished and we'll turn 2011 into a magical rock 'n roll Lankyland paradise.
"Ugg: Slushy stuff I know; but what the hell.. See you next year 2011."
Beat wishes From Christine & Bill Hart
Bill Hart: January 2011.
BILLY SHYMS LANKY BLOG No 3..
YIN & YANG?
"Y ou can be well forgiven in thinking that you're seeing double on Lanky Beat
these day's and that you seem to be looking at two different Lanky Beat web sites at one and the same time?. Well no.. it's not you! - it’s still just the one site - but divided nowadays in to two distinct parts. I'm always looking to improve the 'visitor experience' - so to use modern-day marketing speak - so I thought what I'd do is, 'just do it', and see what reactions I get - then take it forward from there. Well, from what I gather it seems to be working for you okay, I like it.. That is -until you get on to me and tell me differently - of which I always welcome comments in droves!
The reasoning behind why I re-did Lanky Beat this way was to give the bands' Lankypedia Section a brand new independent and re-branded look whilst still retaining the original contents of the 'best of' Features Section. So I found a different colour scheme and logo for each section. I hope this now sits comfortably with your patient browsing and that you don't think you've unknowingly and accidentally hit the TV remote control and suddenly you've switched to a new TV channel.. as sometimes I am want to do when I'm often nodding-off after I've had me tea..?
LANKY BEAT - THE BOOK?
Next up then... Lanky Beat - The Book. I have thought long and hard about producing one of these.. and now I've finally come to a corporate conclusion. There should be one! And I mean just - the ONE. I feel strongly that we are duty bound and socially committed to leaving something of a form of lasting legacy to a future Lankyland rock 'n roll
generation or two. We have made a public history and now it needs to be archived and kept safely somewhere - but with open public access to it - and it has to be done and dusted right now. I don't want to talk grim here - but - we, none of us - know what's waiting for us tomorrow - so to speak? The book is not intended to be on open sale but is intended to accessible for public reference purposes.
In its relatively short life, Lanky Beat has matured enough to capture sufficient essence and ambiance of material to justify a quality publication to pass on to our kids and thereafter.. However but first - and I know it's a drag - there are many vitally important
technical and legal details to be addressed. Viz:
First: The Technical:
- Take Lanky Beat web site materials as the major content in the book - to be called 'Lanky Beat'.
- Personally produce the book via a self-publishing web site called www.blurb.com
- Incur all costs of production and mailing.
- Place one book as a reference document in a public North-West of England Library: Location TBA.
- Invite withdrawals of any copyright materials currently used on Lanky Beat website
from individual owners to withhold their copyright content from the intended printed publication 'Lanky Beat'.
- Accept and act upon such a withdrawal notice before 31: 08: 2011:
- Any such withdrawal notice received after the above date cannot be accepted and will result in materials being published in 'Lanky Beat' - The book.
- A notice to be displayed prominently inside the opening cover of 'Lanky Beat' detailing all the above copyright issues.
GETTING IT ALL TOGETHER - NOW..
In its relatively short life, Lanky Beat has quickly become popular in many different ways. I particularly enjoy it most when hear that old pals - who haven’t seen each other for years - are getting together for a chat and that some are even going that major step further - and planning to hack-it-live again by playing a reunion. I know of at least four bands that are doing this and I'd like to think it was triggered and inspired by the existence of the little ole' web site. I've yet to hear any firm details on their progress but I'll let you all know if and when?
STOP XINGU FLOODING
Clive Kelly is a name which regular Lanky Beat readers will now be familiar with, as the third part of his story is now running as a prequel to his planned book Kelly's Eye. He is truly an extraordinary guy. 'Captain' Clive has lived a fascinating and amazing life and now he wants to tell the world about it - but it's not just about himself he wants to speak - but about the plight's and fight's going on in the Brazilian rainforests as I write and you read.
The Xingu Amerindian Reservation is about the size of FloridaUSA. These precious lands are being exploited at an alarming rate purely for commercial reasons and it appears that the native tribes are expendable in this devastating process. The Governments' main plan is to dam and flood the Xingu River and destroy by 'westernising' these sacred, ancient cultures and traditions, born of thousands years of living peacefully in these world famous, lush and fruitful lands.
Never one to shirk the limelight, Clive plans to collect an outstanding debt to help him
publicise his ecological cause and stop the rot in its tracks. 'The Rolling Stones' he says, 'owe me - as they were paid up-front. For the gig that never was in the early 1960's' at his then rhythm and blues', 'Cubiklub' in Rochdale. He wants to re-recruit them to honour their debt to him and play a major Brazilian festival called SOS Music in Extinction to highlight his 'Stop Xingu Flooding' campaign.
You too can help Clive, Chief Raoni and the Xingu Native Tribes by individual postings on social websites such as Facebook and Twitter. I recommend you check-out and follow Clive Kelly on FB - it's all interesting stuff. As we have recently seen in the national press - these are simple but mightily powerful tools in getting the word out and into the world at large about any topical subject under the sun; but non more important than this one -wot? Thanks in advance.
If I might be so bold these days, I would like to draw your attention to three recent publications produced by me for NEWLiiNE Words & Music UK. www.newliine.com
Happy shopping folks..
Click on Blurb for books from NEWLIiiNE UK..
So there you have it - that's my third Lanky Blog done.. I'll leave you with your kind thoughts about this - and please shape-up and shout-up if you have anything - both positive and negative to say on this or anything else of course. Hey-up!"
My strongest feelings are, and that, we have already reached Lanky Beat's potential or in other words - we've almost arrived at its destination. I don’t say this is any negative way whatsoever.. To the contrary, it’s all wonderful and positive. To explain what I mean and to describe things simply, topically and sporting; it’s been a marathon not a sprint since I launched Lanky Beat some 18 months ago. So now I’m thinking it might just be the right time to take lock, stock and reflect. So let’s look back over our shoulders for a few minutes. Back the to those innocent pre-Lanky Beat days not so long long ago and not in a Galaxy that far far away…
In February 2010 I had stored lots of old pics on the bottom of my computer hard drive of my sixties bands – the Shyms and Tynfoil - and very little else. 'What could I do with them,' I thought. ‘Are they going to remain there - never to be seen by anybody much – forever.' By per-chance or even inevitably, my grandkids might find them long after I have departed this world, then they wouldn’t know what they were, or even more importantly, what they once meant? There and then I decided not to let this happen. I wanted to post them somewhere, where they could be seen easily and publicly and with a bit of luck – by future generations of my kids and everybody else’s kin too. Yes. I’m also sure I can’t be all alone in thinking this. There are too many others like me with a whole rock ‘n roll legacy behind them and still hoarding a shed-full a fading photographs and long distant memories. A web site! That’ll do it. So I did it.. and here we are and that’s history. And this now brings me to my main point.. ‘What next for Lanky Beat?’
Lanky Beat has been a small exciting experiment for me but an extremely important historical rock ‘n roll archive for everybody else. I know. Great. But? A website has its weaknesses and is vulnerable to all sorts cyberspace gremlins and alien invaders notwithstanding the small matter of me paying my annual subs to my website hosts. If I miss a payment – down it comes - gone – infinito – avoir – end-game – done – last orders!. So I’m thinking.. ‘How can I preserve our heritage and heirloom’s so this stuff will be around for many more years to come - if not forever? A book! That’ll do it… so I’ve done it!’
Lankybeat - The Book. It is almost finished and ready to be placed in the archive reference section of a public Lancashire Library. I’ve got my feelers out for Wigan & Leigh and as yet I’m waiting to hear from them about my proposal. Only one book will be published and you will be able to ask to see it and read it, but it will ‘not’ be lent, borrowed or taken away. It will remain with the Library… forever. So there… I think I’ve done it right… If not - I’m sure you’ll let me know! Check-out on Lanky Beat for it’s progress as I hope to get the book placed by the end of September 2011. Also, and to date, I have received no official objections from anybody about themselves or their bands material being included in the book.. So. Fab!
Now back to Lanky Beat - The Website. Now peaked and with 358 listed archive bands. Of these, 282 have either a write-up or pics or both; 76 are unaccounted for as yet. I don’t think we’ll ever get them all but we have got the best part of it.. and this is truly the biggest success story of Lanky Beat. However, ‘peaking’ doesn’t mean we are going down hill or we might have reached the end of the Lanky Beat line; far from it. Lanky Beat has evolved and now it is a well respected community web site serving all in Lankyland and beyond – musicians, friends and families and fans - both here and abroad. We will grow much further and bigger yet, but at a much slower rate than of late.. The whole world has yet to log on to Lanky Beat and what we are all about - Rock 'n roll in Lankyland!
Through the many articles, letters, comments, suggestions and emails I receive each week, you keep telling me that ‘all is well,' great stuff Bill' and ‘keep up the good work’. Well.. with support like that, what else would I do? Lanky Beat has now reached well over five thousand visits in July 2011 for the very first time – 175 a day.. double from a year ago – so if I’m doing something wrong please tell me!
I want to see it, hear it and feel it all over again..
I went to see the popular 70’s band Copper Kettle at Goose Green Labour Club, Wigan recently and what I saw convinced me there and then was, that the rock ‘n roll spark and passion to play is still truly alive and kicking in these guys after all these years. Couple this together with the many 60’s muso’s and fans who have told me that Lanky Beat has inspired and fired them up to start playing and reforming bands again, that I thought there is no reason I can think of in delaying any longer, the formation of Lankykats - or if you like Lankycats. This same week I got another kick-start to this end from a completely unexpected source – Merseycats in Liverpool. They want to link with Lanky Beat and they couldn’t believe it when I said we hadn’t got a regular beat night going - as they have had for the past 22 years or so. So too, the Merseyrats and Cheshirecats (Wirrel) musicians - are also doing it big. So why not us...?
In the last few years I have gotten to know many of these guys and gals in Liverpool and have attended several of their well established weekly sessions. I thought so back then, that something like this ought to be happening in Lankyland. It’s true also that in Lankyland re-unions are happening for some of the bands and gigging is regular, but for others, some individuals like me, just want to belong to a rock ‘n roll style ‘youth club’ catering for age ole’ rockers - again - just like me! Just to play short sets, backing other muso’s and talk-the-talk each week is enough. Somewhere too for fans, friends and families to go for midweek pint and a bop or two without breaking the bank.. and maybe raise some money for a worthy cause while we're doing it?
So, here's the outline plan.
"?Meeting talking points..?"
- Regular midweek club hire: 7: 00 to Midnight. Entrance fee £? per head for all
visitors - including all musicians?
- PA, back-line equipment and drums to be kindly provided by Lankykats musicians?
- Ten minutes maximum change-over time between bands. Plug in and go..
- Sets for visiting bands and scratch bands to be a max of 30 mins’ each. Shorter or longer sets available by negotiation?
- Solo singer’s backed by volunteer muso’s on the night?
- Scratch bands to be encouraged to jam at the end of each night.
- Bring your own axe’s and hammers.. okay.. guitars and drumsticks.
- Ego’s to be left well behind, preferably at home, and certainly well before reaching the clubs front door.
- Primadonna’s to be discouraged, but could be cautiously welcomed, if they promise to behave themselves.
- Anyone breaking Lankykats rules can be ‘yellow carded’. In severe cases of undesirable behaviour – like playing too loud, swearing or singing Barry Manilow songs after the 9-o-clock watershed – A ‘red card’ will be shown.
Open Inaugural Meeting
Thursday 29 September 2011
The Standish Unity Club
See the Blog below for more information..
Bill Hart: September 2011
I and one or two others will be off to a Merseycats night in September and I plan to visit the Merseyrats too. Both have their sessions on Thursdays, so it could be I will visit both on the same night. Look out for more info soon..
I personally can’t think of ever having a happier one than in 2011. Tracking back over and through the past twelve months - it has been an amazing time for me. Let’s start with last February. The 17th saw the first completed year of Lanky Beat on t’internet with a total of 3132 monthly visits. As I write, I can see we are headed to double this number this by the end of the month December to just over 6000. Truly unbelievable figures compared to our first month two years ago when we pulled in just 247. But that’s enough of facts and figures for now..
LANKY BEAT – The Book
Click on book face to read..
What is really important now is you – yes you – your support and your enjoyment derived thereof and being part of the musical entity and concept called Lanky Beat. My mission several years ago was to set out to put musical history straight. We in Lankyland, living outside the major conurbations of Liverpool and Manchester were effectively unknown as ‘nowhere bands living in our nowhere lands’ one might say. Under-reported, underestimated and certainly undervalued in the hitherto global markets of popular 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s rock and roll music. With both major cities on our doorstep we got literally blown away as a valuable musical force. Well not anymore. In just two years have made massive progress in putting thisrecord well and truly straight. Just this month I produced Lanky Beat – The Book based on the material from the website. A copy is now archived as a reference document in The Harris Library and Museum, Preston, with a second one destined for The Wigan Museum. This is for posterity. Future generations will now be able to recall our huge contribution to the most important era of historical musical, social change ever seen – underwritten as it where by the youth of the time and their passionate following of rock ‘n roll music. I didn’t do this - you did… It was you who sent in the stories the pictures; I just cobbled them together. So give yourselves a big pat on the back. You’ve have finally put Lancashire on the musical map - where it always belonged.
So 2011 progressed. How can you top and follow that? Well yes.. we did! And oh boy! Was it to be something spectacularly special: It was Lankykats.
After an exploratory meeting on 29 September in The Standish Unity Club, Lankykats was born. I was a natural birth from an idea conceived as the Lanky Beat website continued it’s rapid growth and unquestionable popularity. The ole’ rock and rollers were coming out of the woodwork fast and in their droves, if only in their minds and hearts at first. But the power of music can never be underestimated. It has always been a part of me ever since at nine years old when I first heard ‘Rock Around the Clock’ by Bill Haley & The Comets in 1955. And so apparently, it is with you also. Then came the ‘swinging sixties’ and with it we changed the established westernised world order forever…
Young people like us suddenly had a power in their hands which was never known by our parents or their’s or even their’s too. It was a working class power and it was funded by an increasing wealth hitherto unknown by earlier generations and we used it to fuel our testosterone youth and focus on having a fab time. The second world war was well over and respectfully behind us. We were now the so-called ‘baby-boomers’ and we just went out there and let it rip…
Fifty years have now gone since the dawn one of the most important sociological peacetime events of the last century and now the circle is almost complete. We are back with it! - when we never went away. We children of the era instigated the mammoth changes back then and we’re still doing it right now.. By forming and bringing together a title called Lankykats as a ‘new’ rock ‘n roll-forever organisation, we are reborn and re-fulfilling a long forgotten basic human need – that of belonging to and being part of a live musical experience.
Sadly, much of modern life it seems, has now slowly turned into an all-consuming spectator sport. 'Shopping' is now the UK's biggest leisure activity. Watching from the sidelines without ever thinking of taking an active part is unfortunately de rigueur and the aimless norm. Getting yourself ‘involved’ and ‘stuck-in’ is a once well used parlance now lost in the mists of good times gone by. However, this collective once-sleeping giant is now thankfully but slowly arising and is manifest to being almost fully awake as time trickles by and we have more years behind us than we have in front. Events are driven in our everyday lives by the appalling drivel constantly being poured out on TV program’s like X-Factor, of the manufactured so-called talents of boy/girl bands, so-called tribute acts, the unbearable celebrity-without-brains-sub-culture and god forbid, Karaoke. “You have got to be joking,” would say an astonished John Lennon if he were alive today. The antidote: Just one hour spent at Lankykats shows off more talent, excitement and entertainment than this other lot could muster in a month of Sundays; and why? Because our music is live and three-dimensional not digitized and flat screened.
Rock and roll is life in itself. It breaths and feels. You can smell, touch and taste it. It conjures up many great times (and the not so great). It aids the memory of all it has ever touched and most important of all - it has bonded and unified millions of us across the invisible divides of countries, cultures and creeds. You and I were there when all this started over half a century ago and we are still here now in our decreasing but still huge numbers. We are getting involved and participating once more and in doing so we are part of the process of actively passing on our musical heritage as a legacy to future generations each time we meet regularly at Lankykats. Many other’s like us are doing the very same all over the region and all over the world. It is a grown-up family returning to its roots.
Finally, through the mediums of Facebook and Twitter etc, we are now accessing each other across the five world continents with consumate ease and share many musical happenings through postings on websites with millions of video’s on Youtube and the like, the like of which we have never experienced before. All this raises the musical bar and now we are in need of wanting and deserving of much more than just the daily offerings of the too often brain-dead and mundane media machine… And now here it is… on your very own doorstep, being held every other Thursday and in the very heart of Lankyland. See you all at Lankykats soon… Wow. What a year…! www.lankykats.com
Bill Hart: January 2012
Billy Shyms Lanky Blog No 6
Yes it’s yonks since my last blog – back in January would you beleive. It’s not like it’s a form of a deliberate act not to have blogged a bit more often or neglect my duties or that I didn’t have time - it just that time marches on like! And we all have lots of that in our lives.
So now it’s October and what’s has been happening of late? Well three haeding come to mind and these are in no particular order 1. Going On. 2. Going Down, and 3. Coming Up in our Lanky Beat World these days? Well – quite a lot I’m chuffed and glad to say.
Lankykats: Growing up and going from strength to strength I’m delighted to say. So much so, we are one year old and celebrate a first anniversary on Thursday 4 October in The Standish Unity Club – Lancashire’s No1 Hotspot. A mega show features five top bands from all over Lankyland. The world famous Dominoes celebrate 55 years with us with TV celebrity Paul Hayes and his Collection, plus The Bedrox, The Bluenotes, Hart~Carney and special feature surprises all in the aid of Wigan & Leigh Hospice. Future events in the planning stage include a Christmas Show and a 2013 Cavern Club session next June after our amazing and successful concert day there recently.
Lanky Beat website steadily grows. So much so that enough new material has arrived that a follow up Lanky Beat Book II is in the works and will be available to purchase on line at www.blurb.com for Christmas. Favourable reviews of Lanky Beat Book I have been published in several publications: Lancashire Life, Lancashire Magazine and the rock monthly R2. So through the activities of Lanky Beat and Lankykats we are gaining much valuable ground being that we have lived in the musical shadows of the River Mersey for donkey’s years.
The Lanky Beat Show: A twice monthly broadcast on WrightingtonHospital Radio is underway with the first show now well under our belts. Thanks to Lankykat Diane Herring; also producer on Radio Lancashire – we a getting air time to spread the word of our work and the charitable and worthy causes for which we aim the represent and raise funds.
Lanky Beat Volume II is making much progress and is nicely on schedule for publication in time for Christmas. From ordering it on line
to delivery to your door is pretty good these days at a week and 10 days. But postage at Chrismas is less reliable so order early - and don't forget all profit proceeds go to Lankykats worthy and charitable causes. I'll let you know when it become available. It's not yet too late to include any new material you might have lurking in the loft or in your granny's old wardrobe.. so dig it of and send it PDQ to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some months ago I entered a writing competition - I've never done anything like that before. I knew, however if I did, it had to be something rock 'n roll. They say your write best about what you know best. I remember in the early days of getting Lanky Beat off the ground and on-line that I had some written stuff secreted away. So I scoured the murky depths of my computers' 'C' Drive and there it was, full of cobwebs and gathering much thick dust. A little tweek here and there - I just can't resist tweeking - and here it is.
Ed Miller www.edmiller.co.ukthe pro' photographer spent a sunny afternoon trying to capture the killer picture of me with bass guitar and green towel by trying to define the story I'd writtten.. The pic destined for the Blurb book is also being used on the 'Enter Page' of Lanky Beat - for those of you who havent already noticed!
Sweat, Spit & Rock 'n Roll
By Bill Hart
The Beat Boys heavy gear was set up in one corner and we the crowd were excitedly accommodated by the other three. The soft drinks bar was further along and through a wide door in another adjoining room. Daylight drifted weakly through one long smoke-stained widow; half of which had been painted brown, preventing a passing entry of unwanted, inquisitive and prying eyes.
"Three guitars and a pair of drum sticks was the first thing I saw."
Next I noticed the clean shaven manly features of older teenager boys. Unannounced, the crowd of mainly teenage girls surged unexpectedly forward pushing we two novices ahead of them and towards the business corner. The group shared the same polished floor wooden floor as we; as there was no proper stage to act as a physical barrier. Suddenly the floor was quickly filled. Three microphone stands, four rather large men and a small, stocky, baby faced drummer filled the one corner.
"They let it rip out loud."
Rocky and I stood up so close-up to the 'Boys', we could see the projectiles of spit leaving the wet mouth of vocalist Alan Parkinson - the 6’3” tall lead singer. Rocky was shorter than me. Now he stood almost face-to-face with bass guitarist Ronnie Carr, who was about his same size, with me a little taller, right behind him. Ronnie sang too; mainly backing vocals between bouts of severe sweating. Soon, out came his trademark; his famous green towel. Up and down the fret board and across his forehead was now a routine; before letting it fly across and behind him to land on the floor and out of sight until next time he needed it; to mop his glistening brow, before the salty drips reached his laughing eyes .
Nation of Storytellers is an initiative launched to uncover and document fascinating stories from across Britain, before they are lost forever.
Nation of Storytellers
Simply tell your story in 300 words or less. You can also upload an image to help bring it to life. Closing date for submissions is 31 May 2012.
A panel of experts will choose the top 20 stories to feature in the Nation of Storytellers book. If your story is chosen a professional writer will help you to get it just right and Ed Miller will take your portrait to be included alongside it. You’ll receive five beautiful hard copies of the final Nation of Storytellers book as well an ebook version, designed by Dean Pavitt. You’ll also receive a Blurb voucher worth £250 to make books of your own.
The Lanky Beat Show: A twice monthly broadcast on WrightingtonHospital Radio is underway with the first show now well under our belts. Thanks to Lankykat Diane Herring; also a producer for Russ Winstanly on Radio Lancashire. The show's content is all Lankyland related and consists of live interviews, local artiste's and band tracks together with many archive memory jogging moments with rocker's and roller's who did it all back then - and with the many who are still doing it right now!
We are getting an air time of two hours every two weeks to spread the good word of our hard work and the charitable and worthy causes for which we aim the represent and raise plenty of funds. A new Lanky Beat Radio Page is now online where you'll be able to stream and catch the shows intoto from there.
Lanky Beat Volume II is making much progress and is nicely on schedule for publication in time for Christmas. From ordering it on line
to delivery to your door is pretty good these days at between a week to 10 days. But postage at Christmas is less reliable so please order early - and don't forget; all profit proceeds go to Lankykats worthy and charitable causes. I'll keep you posted - Sorry! Couldn't resist..
So once again.. there we have it. Blog 6 done.. Alsithi!