Several years ago, I wrote some poetry on a course I attended. Nothing serious, just having a bash. I’ve posted some of them before. This time, I thought I would share with you a limerick, which I hope will both amuse and entertain. And don’t worry, this composition is family friendly.
As a note of explanation, the village of Hawarden is situated near where I live, in North Wales. The name is pronounced “harden”, to rhyme with “garden”. It’s a nice place. Here is my poetic tribute:
Python Lee Jackson – “In a Broken Dream” / “Boogie Woogie Joe”
Boom! What a great collection. My favourite Who song, Thin Lizzy’s best (?), BTO and Free. That Knack song is, of course, a classic – as is the Cheap Trick track. All were from a record fair (remember those?) if I recall correctly.
That Faith No More song is their very worst, by an otherwise spectacular band. I’m no Phil Collins fan really, but that track is pretty good, admit it. Throw in Flying Lizards and The Beach Boys and you’ve got a helluva playlist. And if you don’t love “Camouflage” there must be something wrong with you.
The Chris Cornell was a Record Store Day special which I picked up from VOD records in Mold. Great shop who also organised the record fair I mentioned above. Check them out here.
Here we go with the first Singles Night of 2021! The Virtual Hot Tub is ecstatic with anticipation for the return of these playlists.
What’s it all about? Well, I’m glad you asked. The singles in question are 45rpm vinyl singles, which I have accumulated over time from various sources. The plan: listen to the records, side A then side B, one after the other without skipping any in the pile. Whilst drinking booze.
Let’s see how I got on this time…
The Temptations – “Psychedelic Shack” / “That’s the Way Love Is”
Queen – “Killer Queen” / “Flick of the Wrist”
Buzzcocks – “I Don’t Mind” / “Autonomy”
The Clash – “Bankrobber” / “Rockers Galore… UK Tour”
The Clash – “Complete Control” / “City of the Dead”
The Damned – “History of the World Part 1” / “I Believe the Impossible” / “Sugar & Spite”
Skids – “Sweet Suburbia” / “Open Sound”
The Beach Boys – “Mona” / “Rock and Roll Music” / “Sail on Sailor” / “Marcella”
ABBA – “Head Over Heels” / “The Visitors”
Bananarama – “Cheers Then” / “Girl About Town”
The Belle Stars – “Sign of the Times” / “Madness”
Chicory Tip – “Son of My Father” / “Pride Comes Before a Fall”
John Farnham – “You’re the Voice” / “Going, Going, Gone”
Stevie Wonder – “My Cherie Amour” / “Don’t Know Why I Love You”
Bardo – “One Step Further” / “Lady of the Night”
The Motors – “Love and Loneliness” / “Time for Make-Up”
Hot Chocolate – “So You Win Again” / “A Part of Being with You”
Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” / “Screw You”
Blondie – “The Tide is High” / “Susie and Jeffrey”
Slade – “We’ll Bring the House Down” / “Hold on to Your Hats”
Twenty – count ’em – twenty great tracks. Well, mostly. A solid offering from the world of punk rock in that collection, with the Buzzcocks, Clash, Damned and Skids singles all being salvaged from a local charity shop. Lucky day.
I had a great night spinning these discs, there are some really awesome records to add to the collection there. Time for more soon. Stay tuned!
Well, that was a mad old year, wasn’t it? 2020 was more like a bizarre disaster movie than the regular fun ride that we’re used to. A pandemic made hermits of us all; working from home became the new normal for many and travel and events ceased to exist. A year from hell for most of us, though it’s far from over yet.
Here at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub, we’ve aimed to soldier on and bring you the very best in blogging entertainment. Be it music, skateboards, toys or tat, whatever nonsense I could investigate was delivered with all the expected wit and style.
As is customary at this time, let’s take a look back at the top ten most popular blog posts of last year. Calling it “The Best of 2020” seems somewhat incongruous, but let’s roll with it for traditions sake.
There was a distinct lack of live music in 2020 (Obviously), but quite a few album reviews for my old pals at Ever Metal. This review of Swedish doom metal band Firebreather’s album was the most read at the Virtual Hot Tub.
Yes, the most popular was this food blog, which benefitted from a genuine traditional recipe, and an idea to recreate a Greek holiday vibe with ingredients from the local supermarket.
As travel wasn’t happening this year for most of us, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Greek recipe blog came out on top. It was written as an ode to holidays and Mediterranean sunshine, something that wasn’t a possibility for many last year. I hope you found some nostalgic comfort from this post.
Usually my annual Top 10 has featured a load of comic con events – or similar – at the top of the list. Those events didn’t happen this year, so the Top 10 has a very different flavour. Who knows what 2021 will bring us?
Whatever the strange pan-dimensional cross flux of crazy brings us next, I’d like to thank you all for reading my blog. Please remember to pop by Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub as soon as you can!
Hit singles! All time classic songs! Novelty throw-away rubbish! From the cool to the crap, it’s all to be found at Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub on a Singles Night.
You see, what I do is, listen to a pile of old 7 inch singles that have been languishing in my “not played yet” pile. They could have come from anywhere: genuine gems that I’ve tracked down; record fair lucky finds; or – more likely – junk I find in charity shops.
Pour yourself a drink and check this list out. Do you own any of these on vinyl? What are your favourites? What should be consigned to a fiery pit and melted down?
Kim Wilde – “You Came” / “Stone”
Louis Armstrong – “All the Time in the World” / “Pretty Little MIssy”
The Hollies – “The Air That I Breathe” / “No More Riders”
Duran Duran – “The Wild Boys” / “(I’m Looking for) Cracks in the Pavement (1984)”
Bananarama – “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” / “Push!”
The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations” / “Heroes and Villains”
Justin Hayward – “Forever Autumn” / “The Fighting Machine”
The Buggles – “Video Killed the Radio Star” / “Kid Dynamo”
ABBA – “Angeleyes” / “Voulez-Vous”
The Creatures – “Miss the Girl” / “Hot Springs in the Snow”
Blondie – “Rapture” / “Walk Like Me”
Bobby Patrick Band – “Dallas Theme” / “The Waltons Theme”
The Beatles – “The Ballad of John and Yoko” / “Old Brown Shoe”
Goombay Dance Band – “Seven Tears” / “Mama Coco”
Lionel Richie – “All Night Long (All Night)” / “Wandering Stranger”
Donna Summer – “Dim All the Lights” / “There Will Always Be a You”
Jermaine Stewart – “We Don’t Have to…” / “Brilliance”
Allan Sherman – “Mexican Hat Dance” / “Won’t You Come Home Disraeli?”
Earth, Wind and Fire – “Let’s Groove” / “Let’s Groove (Instrumental)”
Pointer Sisters – “I’m so Excited” / “What a Surprise”
Some classics indeed. Another great night of a couple of small drinkies and spinning wax: I recommend it to anyone.
It’s not all crazy fun and games here at the Virtual Hot Tub. No sir. Sometimes, I like to exercise my intellectual side, provide warm nourishment for my creativity. It’s a good balance to the exciting rock’n’roll existence I lead most days.
So here I present a Haiku I wrote a while back, on a course, which is appropriate for this time of year. Enjoy.
Join me once again, relaxing in the waters of the Virtual Hot Tub, for Singles Night. No, this is not a dating event: rather, it’s just me, spinning a stack of – as yet – unplayed 7 inch vinyl. Combined with reasonably heavy drinking.
You see, there’s a load of 45 rpm records that I own and need to play. So I play ’em, one after the other, side a then B. No skipping discs allowed.
Here’s the playlist from the latest evening of tunes:
Hawkwind – “Silver Machine” / “Seven By Seven”
Diana Ross – “My Old Piano” / “Where Did We Go Wrong”
Slade – “My Friend Stan” / “My Town”
Paul Paray & Detroit Symphony Orchestra – ” The Ride of the Valkyries” / “Lohengrin (Prelude to Act I)”
Barry White – “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” / “Standing in the Shadows of Love”
Tracey Ullman – “Breakaway” / “Dancing in the Dark”
Toto Coelo – “I Eat Cannibals Part 1” / “I Eat Cannibals Part 2”
Carly Simon – “You’re So Vain” / “Anticipation”
The Beach Boys – “Lady Lynda” / “Full Sail”
The Cars – “Drive” / “Stranger Eyes”
Duran Duran – “My Own Way” / “Like an Angel”
Sinitta – “So Macho!” / “Cruising”
Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Private Eyes” / “Tell Me What You Want”
Cockney Rebel – “Mr Soft” / “Such a Dream”
Paul Hardcastle – “The Wizard (Part 1)” / “The Wizard (Part 2)”
Roxy Music – “Dance Away” / “Cry Cry Cry”
Robert Palmer – “Some Guys Have All the Luck” / “Too Good to be True”
Emerson Lake & Palmer – “Fanfare for the Common Man” / “Brain Salad Surgery”
Bangles – “Eternal Flame” / “What I Meant to Say”
Kim Wilde & Junior – “Another Step (Closer to You)” / “Hold Back”
Mud – “Tiger Feet” / “Mr Bagatelle”
Status Quo – “Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like” / “Enough is Enough”
Sister Sledge – “Lost in Music” / “Thinking of You”
Sarah Brightman & Hot Gossip – “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” / “Do, Do, Do”
BOOM! There you go – a right random collection of singles, varying from the classic to the down right cheesy. Kicking off with the amazing Hawkwind track “Silver Machine”, as sung by my old mate Lemmy – I picked that up at a record fair ‘cos I had to have it in my collection.
I loved The Cars and Roxy songs, sheer class. Plus you’ve got a harem of some of my favourite pop ladies with Kim Wilde, Susanna Hoffs and Sinitta all present and correct. By the way, the Sarah Brightman song was a favourite of mine when I was 5 years old, thanks to the rip-off Star Wars noises etc!
And what can I say about “Ride of the Valkyries” on 7 inch vinyl? Only “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
See you soon for another Singles Night at the Virtual Hot Tub!
STYLE. Some of us have it, some of us don’t. Some of us get it, some of us won’t. Whether you’re born with STYLE or whether you’re working hard to acquire it, Platinum Al is here to help. In this long-promised, much anticipated, new ongoing feature, I will share with you the secrets of STYLE.
Buckle up, compadre – this is gonna be a wild ride…
In this first STYLE instalment, let’s take a look at a classic male garment that’s sadly no longer seen as regularly as it should be. Once an absolute essential for everyone from International Playboy to game show host, this forgotten wardrobe requirement is overdue a reappraisal.
The Safari Jacket: easily identified by the pockets – usually four; accompanied by epaulets and often a belt. These features were originally military in design, with the aim being to hold supplies. Lightweight and comfy, yet also practical and smart, it offers the ideal jacket for the adventurer in warmer weather.
The greatest exponent of this style is the late Sir Roger Moore. As secret agent James Bond, 007, Moore was seen in numerous films not just in the de rigueur dinner suit but also several different Safari suits. When you factor in his appearances in The Saint and The Persuaders, we have one of the legendary purveyors of this look. No one is more stylish than Bond!
Roger Moore was my inspiration for adopting the Safari jacket, but let’s not forget many other stars who wore these garments. Christopher Lee; Clark Gable; Clint Eastwood; Francis Ford Coppola; Richard Attenborough; Sid James and others in Carry On Up The Jungle.
Though the jacket is inherently macho in its Hemingway bravado, we’re not celebrating the hunter with this look so much as paying homage to those heroes of 70s and 80s film and TV.
My personal collection of Safari jackets, seen here, include beige numbers (short and long sleeved versions) and light blue.
I often team these jackets up with a light shirt – Hawaiian for that extra Tiki vibe – though plain works fine. As these photos attest, I have even gone bare chested underneath said garment in warmer climes (not something I would recommend style wise). Alternatively, try adding a cravat for that final touch of class.
The Safari jacket: whether it’s cocktails or action – this is the summer jacket for you.
Time to relax and enjoy more of the joys of vinyl! Yes, it’s another Singles Night at the Virtual Hot Tub, where I spend an evening playing through my stack of 7 inch records. No skipping, no choosing anything out of order – just A then B side and make the most of it.
With the aid of some alcoholic beverages, of course!
In this edition, there’s another eclectic mix of songs from artists of various genres – including some absolute bangers. Let’s go!
Madness – “One Step Beyond” / “Mistakes”
Bad Company – “Rock’n’Roll Fantasy” / ” Crazy Circles”
Rick James – “Dance Wit Me (Part 1)” / “Dance Wit Me (Part 2)”
INXS – “Taste It” / “Light the Planet”
ZZ Top – “Legs” / “Bad Girl”
Landscape – “Einstein A Go-Go” / “New Religion”
Billy Idol – “Mony Mony” / “Shakin’ All Over (Live)”
Fine Young Cannibals – “Johnny Come Home” / “Good Times and Bad”
James Brown – “Living in America” / Vince DiCola – “Farewell”
The Sweet – “Teenage Rampage” / “Own Up, Take a Look at Yourself”
Sham 69 – “Hersham Boys” / “I Don’t Wanna” / “Tell us the Truth”
Judas Priest – “Take On the World” / “Starbreaker”
Madam X – “High in High School” / “Metal in my Veins”
Wings – “Live and Let Die” / “I Lie Around”
The Beach Boys – “Do It Again” / “Wake the World”
The Joan Collins Fan Club – “Leader of the Pack” / “Jacques”
Elton John – “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” / “Jack Rabbit” / “Whenever You’re Ready (We’ll Go Steady Again”
Lee Marvin – “Wand’rin’ Star” / Clint Eastwood – “I Talk to the Trees”
Suzi Quatro – “Can the Can” / “Ain’t You Somethin’ Honey”
Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus” / “Jane B.”
Bee Gees – “Tragedy” / “Until”
And there you have it! A great collection of tunes and a fun night. My favourite Bond theme, plus a load of class artists including The Beach Boys, Elton John, Billy Idol, Bad Company, Madness, James Brown and more.
No idea who Madam X are, that was a 20p find and I bought it on the strength of the cover. Turned out to be dodgy 80s metal, unsurprisingly. It was quite good.
Bonus points to any reader who can tell me: who was the Joan Collins Fan Club?
Stay tuned for more Singles Nights soon – I’ve still got a heck of a lot of vinyl to play through…
NB: The Fine Young Cannibals track was inside an Alarm sleeve. I thought I’d picked up “Spirit of ’76” for 20p in a charity shop, but no such luck: it was FYC instead. Such are the perils I encounter. On a happy note though, the FYC tune was a belter.
Hey folks! How’s isolation going? These are strange times indeed. I hope all of you are safe and well.
I don’t know about you, but spinning wax is a great way to spend a long evening whilst in lockdown. As regular readers will know, I often play through my stack of recently acquired 7 inch vinyl as a way to unwind. With a few wee drinkie-poohs, of course.
What happens with Singles Night is this: I have a pile of records, all 7″ singles, that I haven’t played yet. I play them all in order, A side then B side. Then I list them here, in case anyone out there is as sad as me and thinks that lists like this are fascinating.
Here we go with the latest batch:
Jane’s Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing” / “Had a Dad (Demo)”
Boney M – “Ma Baker” / “Still I’m Sad”
Madness – “The Return of the Las Palmas 7” / “That’s the Way to do it”
Bon Jovi – “Livin’ on a Prayer” / “Wild in the Streets”
Rainbow – “Since You Been Gone” / “Bad Girl”
The Zombies – “She’s Not There” / “You Make Me Feel Good”
Ace Frehley – “New York Groove” / “Snow Blind”
Slade – “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” / “Man Who Speaks Evil”
Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” / “One of My Turns”
AC/DC – “Whole Lotta Rosie” / “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to be”
Toyah – “Be Proud Be Loud (Be Heard)” / “Laughing with the Fools”
Thin Lizzy – “China Town (Live)” / “Got to Give it up (Live)”
The Beatles – “We Can Work it Out” / “Day Tripper”
Generation X – “Your Generation” / “Day by Day”
Ash – “Angel Interceptor” / “Eternal” / “Give Me Some Truth”
Marc Bolan & T-Rex – “Teenage Dream” / “Satisfaction Pony”
Well that was one of the best – and rockingest – Singles Nights ever. I doubt we’ll see that amount of awesome rock again in a hurry. Don’t forget, readers – I don’t choose the songs to play, it’s just whatever’s next in the pile.
Jane’s Addiction are one of my favourite bands ever. Plus there were classic tracks from Rainbow, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Thin Lizzy. My favourite U2 song and one of my favourite Beatles songs. Some punk, some new wave, and a more recent tune from Ash.
A special mention to Slade’s “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”, which was UK Number 1 when I was born.
A great selection. I’ll see you soon for another Singles Night!