Record Duggie Chop's into, right this moment:

Record Duggie Chop's into, right at this moment: Muswell Hillbillies - The Kinks (1971)

Duggie Chop recommends:

Friday, 11 November 2011

I'm Duggie Chop - and I've franchised myself...

Hi, Duggie Chop here again. Been a while. There's a guy who's building a garage into a room. Or is he making a room out of a garage? Or conjuring up decorations out of cobwebs? Or does he just fancy Sarah Beeny or Kirsty Allslapper or sommat. Dunno ("Oi, Duggie - get to the point!" love from the 'eye in the sky') Yeahman, yeahman. Ok. So, there's this guy and he says: "Duggie, like can I use yer blogspot for a bit. You know. I'm building a room in me garage" I'm like, John parrot-phrasing him there (or wotever the term is, like). He's from Denmark or somewhere. Might even be southern England. Anyway, somewhere miles away. And I'm thinking. Why not? Not as if I've posted anything for about 11 months. What happened back then is I got folded into an envelope. Yeh, right. An envelope - but not the type wot your thinking neither. No. It was like I was trapped in space like nowhere. You know, like the Yellow Submarine and Nowhere Man. Yer know? So me and me mate were both in there. Fishing, through that hole in Ringo's pocket, through the white. (I won't say ice, cos it wasn't. Just white. Like the Blue Peter studio when they used to show people round it from Jim'll Fix It (RIP Sir Jim'll Saveloy OBE). When they showed them around it was like a white face, with a couple of side-burn wearing speccy-four-eyes technicians laughing while manipulating a bit of flex or a camera). So we were in that, 'envelope' like I called it for around 10 months, when this 'Danish' guy or someone from Sussex said about using me blog. His name's Dougie Spread (that's Dougie pronounced 'Doogey', just like a spaz). And I let him have the password. Me and me mate got out of envelope after the guy found us. He was peering through me hole at the time. I thought he was a haddock. By the way, that Pike we had with us cleared off. You just can't get the fish these days. Look - what I'm trying to say is...what I'm having trouble saying is...someone else might be appearing on these pages, talking about his garage. He's paying me and all, so it's not that bad. You just might get bored. So don't blame me! Right! Just complain to this, this Doooogey-spricking-Spread. Or whatever. Anyway. We've (that's me and me mate) have been listening to the Muswell Hillbillies by the Kinks, from 1971. "It's brilliant, Doug" - hey readers, that's me mate talking. You know, this blog is Me and Duggie Chop Talk Music. He's 'me'. He's right and all. It is a brilliant album. It's all, like, woody, like a beefy version of Billy Bragg's last album, but with devastatingly cool lyrics. "It's like someone having a cup of tea in the dust pan of middle America." He's right.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Duggie's dream - Marillion in your bed

This piece is transitional. Duggie has decided to let you into a secret part of his head…this is his recurring dream. After this we’ll get back into the story…the story we left so many of your human months ago.

Duggie: So, in my dream, I wake up and Fish from Marillion is standing over me. His tangly-rat-tail-like hair framing a welder’s face is making me scrunch up my nose. Twitching it to remove an invisible itch. [“Get to the point Dug…” No! It’s my dream, I’ll go where I wanna! “…ok, ok…cool it.” (Don’t forget, he’s a big lad is Duggie, I’m no messing with him, Steve.)]

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the invisble itch…and so I say: “Oi wot’s your game, pal…hey your Fish, aren’t you?”

Fish: Yeah, yeah, man. My friends call me Del [his real name is Derek Dick]

Duggie: What are you doing in my bedroom?

Fish: I’m not here…this is a dream….my dream!

Duggie: No way – this is my dream.

Fish: If that’s the case, where am I?

Duggie: Dunno, pal. None of my footin’ business! I’m the one asleep here.

Fish: Like hell you are! I’m on tour. I crashed out in a dunken stupor [hey Fish, this is fictional, don’t complain, I don’t mean it…Steve]

Duggie: I thought I could smell ale on yer breath. Look, what are we going to do now, I mean your hair is tickling my snozzle..and you’re hanging around in my bed.

Fish: I don’t know, I’ve never met a fellow dreamer in a dream. What can we do?

Duggie: I’ll count to 5 and we’ll both wake up.

(so Duggie counts to 5 and…)

The lights come up, it’s a full stage show. Maillion, 1984: Fugazi and Script for a Jester’s Tear. They’re also testing out the fledgling Kayleigh

Duggie: This is awesome!

Fish winks from the stage: “never could resist the count…”

(just then a tall figure wearing black robes appears, as if from a bat…”No one can resist The Count)

[…and there we leave Duggie. He usually wakes up at this point. Screaming.]

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Duggie’s mate: Tribute to Lennon…08/12/80

I remember sitting at me Nan’s house in the late 1970s watching telly. She made me a cuppa and handed me a copy of the Daily Mail, pointing at the picture of a tramp-like figure, seemingly staggering down a city street somewhere.

I read the caption, it went something like: “Lost Lennon, a has-been in New York.” He was wearing a floppy hat, a long ragged trench coat, baggy trousers and a long, ‘Dr Who’ scarf.

At the time, my only images of the Beatles had been gathered from the front cover of ‘Please, Please, Me’: four young men gazing from an office-block staircase and ‘Help’ with four men dressed in blue skiing outfits making funny shapes to camera.

I’d also seen ‘Hard Days Night’, a black and white flick based on a train and hanging around a posh hotel room.

So the tramp picture didn’t really link up in my mind with The Beatles. It was just the picture of an old geezer (to a 10 year old boy) in a newspaper.

Then one day, a couple of years later, a kid from school that I didn’t know too well cycled past me while I was waiting for the bus home.

“Oi, mate. John Lennon’s been shot!” he said.

I don’t remember responding to him. He was a bit of a dick. But that photo from the paper came back to me and for some reason the fact that he was from The Beatles. It all seemed to tie up together in my mind. From that moment on I was a Beatles fanatic. It made sense.

Thinking back, it’s like John was always alive when I discovered how great The Beatles were. That they weren’t just some old group that me mum put on the record player while she was hovering on a Saturday. But he was dead and it was a long time ago. Doesn’t seem like it, but it was.

Then every morning, our local radio station would play 'Borrowed Time' from the posthumously cobbled together 'Milk and Honey' album. And so, in 1984, Lennon was kind of alive a kind of sub-standard way.

At least we still had The Beatles.

Favourite Beatles song: (changes lots, but at the moment it’s a tie between ‘Flying’ from ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, ‘Good Morning’ from ‘Sgt Peppers’ and ‘Strawberry fields Forever’.

Favourite Lennon song: ‘Mind Games’ (this also regularly changes)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Donovan? or was it a dream?

“Sod Latvian heavy metal!” said this guy. He was standing on top a piano beneath the stairs at this stinking city-centre club in Riga.

Why stinking? For some reason there was a girl – fit, blonde, bit zitty – frying up a huge basket of chips right next to the stage.

Every now and then a cloud of fat-drenched steam engulfed the lead singer, making him shake his head wildly - a disharmonious Paul ‘Macca’ McCartney. He was a shouter, screaming in front of his incongruous Crass-inspired band of hippified long-hairs [purple prose alert, Duggie!]

“It’s the punk rooo-awk what we love!” continued the piano man. He actually said rock like that: rooo-awk, punching the air in time with his words.

“You’re not getting me alive!” blurted the lead singer for no apparent reason: “Punk is f**cked!” [come on! Gotta ‘bleep’ it - kids read this!] They launched into a rendition of ‘Punk is Dead’ from The Feeding of the Five Thousand [that’s the first Crass album from 1978 – true anarchy in the UK, not a fashion statement…]

The Latvians were confusing punk with heavy metal – or vice versa. I was just confused.

Behind the stage-side chip stall, sat a guy selling candy floss. Big pink whirls of spun sugar on a stick. Hmmm, could do with some of that. Need the energy.

Put me in mind of the jazzers of the past: kept playing all night drinking sugared water to keep going. Knackered their teeth, but at least their vibe was intact.

I gestured to the candy floss man and I thought, just for that moment: “I love everything in this god-almighty world, God knows I do!” Then I realised I was only quoting Donovan’s ‘Candy Man’.

I remember meeting Donovan [note to Donovan’s lawyers: this is a work of fiction…will that get me off the hook?] at a festival back in he ‘80s. Seemed like his career looked like it was on the skids. Maybe he was just past it. But I was a total fan.

Managed to catch the great man, stage side. He was wearing an ‘ethnic’ knitted hat and a hand made waistcoat [what? Nothing else, Duggie? – no, Steve, he had other stuff on, I was just trying to keep the prose clean and unclogged… ok, Dug, get on with it!]

“What are you doing in Hounslow?” I asked him.

“Being. Just being. How about you?” said Donovan.

“Being?” I said.

“Oh! You too! Good.” He said, and strummed a pure fresh chord on his really cool resonator guitar.

“No, I meant to ask the question. Being?” I said, realising that I wasn’t making myself clear.

“That’s a question. Being? Like ‘To be or not to be.’ It’s very deep.” Said Donovan. He really is pretty cool.

“Gets to the heart. Of where we. Are.” continued Donovan, looking at a passing aeroplane, way up above us, “He’s not going to Heathrow. Being. Somewhere else? Or here.” [this part used his spoken punctuation – not my fault…]

At this point I picked up a large T-shirt on Don’s merchandise stall. “How much?”

“Ten quid, man” said this long-bearded man, sitting to the side of mine and Don’s conversation. He was reading a thick paperback and smoking a pipe.

Donovan smiled and walked onto the stage. The sun shone.

So, that was the ‘80s, Hounslow free-festival.

“Just a single stick? Hey!” a sweet-smelling hand was waving up and down in front of my face… “Hmmm? No, yes, I’m a large,” In my mind I was still ordering a Donovan t-shirt from that hippy.

“A large what?” said the candy-floss man.

“Oh, ah. Yes. Sorry.” I said, “just the one.”

And I disappeared behind that pink cloud of sugar and sat down, while the band started to thrash out another late ‘70s punk cover and the guy on the piano did a handstand.

[Hmmm. Sweet! love Steve.]

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Duggie's travel report special - Heavy Metal in Latvia

Travel report by Duggie Chop (and Mr Stickleback):

Heavy metal in Latvia is a kind of way of life – even more than the UK (or Germany…) I visited ‘Depo’, a club in Riga, Latvia’a capital and was totally spaced out by the sounds resonating from this basement venue. [Less of the purple prose, Dugg]

(“Nah”, said Mr Stickleback, “I reckon he handled that ok Mr Writerman.”)

[Ok, I’ll let him off…]

Can I continue? Says Duggie Chop to these two invisible critics.

(Mr Stickleback: “Of course!”)

[Steve the writer: “Yes”]

Thanks. As I was saying, at Depo a wild mix of sounds resonated from the basement, on comment I read on the web said: “a musical programme that makes the Glastonbury line-up look like a commercial hit parade” combined with: “Decor consisting solely of broken furniture and black paint, toilets graffitied with sexual obscenities (in various languages).”

Yeah that sums it up. However, on the night I visited, there was no Heavy Metal, just some crap guy playing records…loud [you mean a DJ, Dugg]

I left by the side door, passing a couple of geezers throwing up this spirit drink that you had to keep in the fridge. One of them was leaning against a scantily clad…[censored!] Hey, don’t censor me – I was about to say scantily clad police officer, who had placed his warm winter cloak over the body of a large dog that had just been knocked down by a drunken driver! [blimey, me and my imagination!]

This bloke wearing Viking garb tapped me on the shoulder, “Svieks,” he said (“That’s Latvian for ‘Hello’, informally,” Mr Stickleback) “es esmu Edgars…” Hey, said Duggie at this point. I dunno what yer on about pal, but I’m not liking your Viking garb…

“Piedodiet (“that means ‘sorry’” Mr S) My name is Edgars, I can help you discover what is good about the heavy metal in this town.”

He took me to another bar, a broken down hole full of bearded weirdos and we drunk some strong shots of something and he told me more….

To be continued….

Report from Mr Stickleback:

Being a fish, I can’t frequent human bars, so I had to content myself with exploring the waterways of old Latvia. There’s like 1200 rivers in the place. I was swimming down the Daugava, through the Hydroelectric dams and other Soviet era architecture. Couldn’t understand a word of what the other fish said, except one carp family from the Humber who had decided to winter in Latvia, due to the abundance of a certain type of algae, glowing in the unique pollution of the area.

“snot bad,” they said, devouring another small flotilla of the stuff, “sorta exotic, you know and it’s dead cheap to gerr ‘ere, too”

Dead was a word that immediately can to my mind as I left to make my way towards the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic.

More later. Ta!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Brrrrrrrrrroooogh-fffffffff. Blimey, the dust in here!

[Duggie shakes his head...vigorously, it seems]

"Gerrroffff!" Says his mate, "that's a flamin' snow storm!"

"You saying I've got Dandruff?" says Duggie, and I tell you, he's a large fella.

They start wrestling, like the guys in The Rainbow by Ken Russell (but not naked, too cold for that)

"Hey you two," says the writer, "what do you think you're doing?"

"Ugh?" [they say this collectively]

"Your public are watching..." says the writet.

"But we've been left in this bloody cupboard - along with a load of dancing porcelain figures for months!" says Duggie, spitting out a mouthful of hairy dust and flies.

"...and Duggie's been playing only Tangerine Dream all that time," says his mate.

"What the soundtrack-writing Krautrockers?" says the writer.

"You got it. And he's only using vinyl, Steve didn't give us a CD player when he locked us away..." says Duggie's mate, watching Dug unwrap a Twix, his first in 5 months.

"Mmmmmmmmmn" scrunch, scrunch, "ORRRmmmmmmm" says Duggie, immersed in Twix-dom.

"Alpha Centuri's gotta groove to it, but Zeit. Huh! I had to focus on the crackles on the record, it was weirding me out and no mistake!" said his mate, shaking hands with one of the porcelain dancers.

"Enchanted, my sir," says the dancer, curtsying, "do not say you are leaving us. So soon?"

"So soon," said Duggie's mate, "we've been in here for months!" He quite fancied this dancer, despite her being a 6 inch tall figurine.

"Months! Ha!" she said, "Myself and the troupe have been in here since 1956."

[NOTE: Porcelain timescales have no human comparison]

"mmmScrun...ttt, now!" said twix-ed up Duggie.

"Duggie says," says Duggie's mate, "we're back and here to discuss music and other things. To pick up the thread that we dropped sometime ago. To bodly go, where no piece of psychedelic surrealism has gone before..."

[Oi - none of that splittinglyness of the infinitives...even in a paraphrase]

The writer pseaks: "Until next time viewers...I think it's Lativan Heavy metal then. Bet you can't wait."

["nor can I," says Mr Stickleback]

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Duggie and the cycle ride (that's where he's been...) - Iggy and The Stooges...


I'm back...[sorry? who are you? - "I'm Duggie, Duggie Chop. You know me. I was sitting around like, talking about music with me mate. Loads of people surrounding us, some real, some figments...or fig rolls...or...perhaps I'm just hungry after all this cycling..." Oh, cycling, I wondered where you'd been. Did remember you really!]

Once again, hello!

Back in May, I was all set to take a breather. To return to me and me mate sitting down, fishing, reviewing the records that matter to us - for you, dear reader, when...I pressed play on me iPod and there was The Stooges:"Search and Destroy"off Raw Power[I'm a street-walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm..."yep, that's how it starts"]

So, I kept cycling and the iPod kept shuffling Iggy Pop and Stooges tracks. And I remembered going to see Iggy at the old Hammersmith Odeon back in 1986...totally hyperactive, he didn't stop moving, even when the music had finished, jiggling on and off the stage like a walking epileptic fit...then I was back in the late '60s with 'No Fun' - total boredom in a song, and such and exciting thing to listen to. Inspiration for the punks in the 70s, like the Sex Pistols who covered it.

Oh yeah, and I just remembered, Malcolm [McLaren) copped it while I've been away, no more cash from chaos...and the world has slipped on.

Slipped on into an entirely more boring period, when you can make money but you can't have fun...

"Hey Duggie," said Duggie's mate, cycling just behind Duggie, where d'ya put that tupperware container with last night's Lasagne in it?"

"Bloody Hell, you always muck up my train of thought. I was just going to say that Iggy and the Stooges were the original punks."

His mate thought for a moment, then concentrated once more on the cycle path as he'd neglected to see a small rock under his wheel and had to rescue his handle bars from spinning round, "oh, suuugaaaaaar...woah."

"Are you agreeing? Or what?" said Duggie, pulling the Lasagne box from the deep inside pocket of his mountaineering anorak.

"Um. Yeah, s'pose so. I'd like to include 'Love' as well. Cos they were proto-punks, too."

"Proto-punks? What you swallowed an edition of Mojo or something?"

With that they stopped and set up the camping stove to warm up the Lasagne.

"Let's review one of Iggy's records next," said Duggie.

"Ok, but first we've got to follow-up some of the other stories. I mean, we haven't heard from Nels and Hair Tom for ages, that artist is still in his never-to-open-cafe..."

"And what happened to Sergei the fledgling chip shop owner?"

"And Geoffrey from Rainbow...and the Pike."

["Oi! What about me?" (the voice of Mr Stickleback) "Never ind that bleedin' Pike!"]

The Lasagne started to bubble. Mr Ting was passing with a chip delivery and, as luck would have it, had a surplus ("trouble-makers, you know, they make up addresses and have me running all over the city with unwanted soggy chips!") So furnished Duggie and his mate with a couple of portions to go with their meal.

"Life's great, isn't it?" said Duggie.

The clouds were building-up, filtering the meagre sunshine.

"Life's great," said his mate.