Music this past week/My Retirement Party

Had two rare record playing sessions today. I have long decided I need to spend less time on this computer, and set aside some time to play some of my records, CDs and music DVDs more often.

This morning I played some Slim Whitman and vintage Little Richard from LPs, and singles by Jesse James (South’s Gonna Rise Again), Theme From Dixie by Duane Eddy (an album track)  and Ronnie Hawkins’ great long version of  Down In The Valley, which I picked up at a Memphis record sale once.

Tonight I had a great Jerry Lee CD session with three of his greatest albums – Live At The Star Club Hamburg from 1964, the extended version of the first show at Panther Hall, Fort Worth, Texas (with the outrageous full two-part X-rated version of What’d I Say; orgasmic sex live on record!) from 1966 (my penfriend Screamin’ Dee Snoble wrote me that she turned bright red with shock and embarrassment when she first heard this track!)

Of course I had to come right up to date and finish the evening off with Jerry Lee’s fantastic 2006 duets CD Last Man Standing. Stands up well with the earlier vintage recordings.

Earlier in the week I saw Ike Turner at the Jazz Cafe, Camden Town. A lot of my music friends (the so-called Woodies) were at the Hemsby Weekender, but a few of us were there for Ike’s gig including Nick Cobban and Chris de Bruin. I was a little disappointed as once again, as at the Barbican, Ike insisted on letting his latest Tina Turner substitute take over the latter part of his set, and this one wasn’t nearly as good as the previous ones.

What he did play/sing solo was good, but considering he was sitting at the keyboards most of the time I’d like to have heard more piano from Ike. He didn’t do Rocket 88, but did do Johnny B. Goode, playing guitar much better than Chuck Berry does nowadays. Get shot of this latest ‘Tina Turner’ Ike, she’s not much cop. Anyway we paid to see Ike, not some third rate Tina impressionist. Ike’s two sets at Ronnie Scott’s a few years back were the best I’ve seen him.

Friday we had another of the Tales From The Woods jam sessions down at the Caxton Arms, The Highway, in the Shadwell area. Not the easiest place in London to get to. Not a great turnout this week either as Ken and some of the others are in the States for the New Orleans Jazz Festival, etc., and Keith was in Malta, Corliss in Amsterdam. But those who were there had an enjoyable evening.

 Next TFTW gig will be my Retirement Party (coupled with Brian Jessup’s birthday party).  I sent out 33 postal invitations this week asking people to let me know if they are coming. This included most of my relations, George’s relations and various friends not on email. So far I’ve only had 3 replies, two to say they are not coming and one to say he’ll come if I can pay his fare as he’s short of cash. My brother hasn’t said if he’s coming or not, but seems to be away at the moment. However I had already been informed that three of George’s nephews/grand nephews will be coming down for the party.

Well, they’ve all been invited, so just have to see who turns up. None of the people in my team at work have said they are coming. Sylvia, who’s been my work colleague the past 21 years, says she can’t come, even though I told them all to keep the date clear months ago. So far two people from my whole department of nearly 20 people have said they will come. Seems unless you organize something at the workplace, or in a nearby pub, around 5pm on a weekday, few people at work will come to any retirement party.

I believe they are organizing a few drinks on my last day – just hope I can come to my own leaving drinks and won’t be stuck on Reception as usual till 6 or 6.30 pm!

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