I realised over the weekend that despite all the crap that 2016 has thrown at us all, some nice things have happened, and I would loke to share one of them with you. In 1957 my late parents were living in Nigeria. During the War, my Father had learned to play guitar from a shipmate during the Battle of the Atlantic, and so for their tenth wedding anniversary, my Mother gave him a Hofner nylon stringed guitar that she had bought in a music shop in Lagos. Two years later I was born, and a few years after that the family moved to Hong Kong, eventually returning to Blighty in 1971. Three years after that, using the same guitar (with which in the interim he had used to accompany himself singing songs to my little brother and I when we were small) to give me my first guitar lessons.
I played it off and on for a few years, revelling in its classic tones, but when I left home finally in 1981 it stayed with my Dad. A quarter of a Century later I came back to the family home to nurse my Father through his final illness. After he died I came across his guitar in an obscure cupboard. It was covered in dust, one of the machine heads was broken and it had various other bits of damage.
A couple of years ago I made contact again with Martin Dowding, an old schoolfriend of mine, and in conversation one evening it turned out that he repaired guitars. It took a year or so for the penny to drop, but about six months ago I gave my Dad's battered and unplayable guitar to him, and asked him if there was anything he could do with it. Last Friday he brought it back, if not quite as good as new (it still bears the battlescars of having been lugged around the dying embers of the British Empire) completely repaired and in as playable a condition as it was back when I started to play on it back in 1974.
Some stories do have happy endings. Thank You Martin.
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Gonzo Weekly #167
Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Erik Norlander, Daisy Flowers, Ambrosia, Suede, David Bowie, Villagers, Skunk Anansie, Nigel Kennedy, Black, Colin Vearncombe, George Harrison, Mr Biffo, Roy Weard, Dogwatch, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Hawkwind, and Yes fans had better look out!
Paul Kantner who died on thursday is on the front cover together with a tribute to him inside. Jon interviews Erik Norlander, Doug interviews Ambrosia, John goes to see Nigel Kennedy, and Lee says goodbye to Colin Vearncombe. There are radio shows from Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, and Mack Moloney, the latest installment of the saga of Xtul, and columns from all sorts of folk including Roy Weard, A J Smitrovich, Mr Biffo and the irrepressable Corinna. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons ouyside zoos(OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who have escaped from captivity, but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
This issue features:
David Bowie, Suede, Villagers, Skunk Anansie, P J Harvey, Pet Shop Boys, Elvis Presley, Handel, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Brian Wilson, Mick Jagger, Wild Man Fischer, Steve Ignorant, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Paul Kantner, Colin Vearncombe, James Stewart "Jimmy" Bain, Alex Wishart, The Pirates, Freddie King, Denny Laine, The Selecter, Galahad, Rick Wakeman, Erik Norlander, Ambrosia, Nigel Kennedy, John Brodie-Good, Black, Lee Walker, Roy Weard, A J Smitrovich, My Dad's LPs, Mr Biffo, Yes, Jon Anderson, Billy Sherwood, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, Hawkwind, Xtul, George Harrison, Beatles, ABBA, The Monkees, Neil Nixon, Marc Bolan and T. Rex, Bucovina
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 166 (Spirits Burning)
Issue 165 (David Bowie)
Issue 164 (Free Festivals)
Issue 163 (Lemmy)
Issue 161-2 (The Christmas Double Feature)
Issue 160 (Frank Zappa)
Issue 159 (Jon Anderson and Matt Malley)
Issue 158 (Billy Sherwood)
Issue 157 (Drones for Daevid)
Issue 156 (Rick and Emmie)
Issue 155 (Pink Fairies)
Issue 154 (Steve Ignorant)
Issue 153 (Martin Barre)
Issue 152 (4th Eden)
Issue 151 (Corky Laing)
Issue 150 (Roger Dean)
Issue 149 (Tony Palmer in Space)
Issue 148 (Wally Hope)
Issue 147 (Thom the World Poet cover)
Issue 146 (Bee and Flower cover)
Issue 145 (Dave Brock cover)
Issue 144 (Percy Jones cover)
Issue 143 (Billy Sherwood cover)
Issue 142 (Daevid Allen and Spirits Burning cover)
Issue 141 (Rick Wakeman cover)
Issue 140 (Jaki Windmill cover)
Issue 139 (Raz cover)
Issue 138 (Galahad cover)
Issue 137 (Chris Squire cover)
Issue 136 (Neil Nixon cover)
Issue 135 (FNP cover)
All issues from #70 can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. The first 69 issues are archived there as well. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
You can download the magazine in pdf form HERE:
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you, too, want to unleash the power of your inner rock journalist, and want to join a rapidly growing band of likewise minded weirdos please email me at email@example.com The more the merrier really.
* The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at email@example.com. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...
* The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.co.uk
* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!
* Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 56 who - together with an infantile orange cat named after a song by Frank Zappa, and two small kittens, one totally coincidentally named after one of the Manson Family, purely because she squeaks, puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the infantile orange cat, and the adventurous kittens?