25.6.04

Pier's concert hall collapses: "The concert hall on Brighton's crumbling West Pier finally crashed into the sea as storms pounded Sussex yesterday." Time to stop talking about 'restoration' and think of new uses for the remaining structure? A reef perhaps?
My letter to the Argus Letter: No excuse: First published on Thursday 24 June 2004: Letter: No excuse I was outraged by Southern's blanket ban on cyclists using its trains last Sunday. The first I heard of it was a recorded announcement on Friday at London Road station, which stated that no bikes were to be allowed on any train to any destination in the region for most of the day. I was aware of the ban on cycles taking part in the London-to-Brighton ride but why such a widespread ban? The excuse given was that the new 'improved' trains cannot have seats removed but, as any commuter will tell you, the older, more flexible slam-door trains are far from out of service yet. And I did read recently that slam-door trains were to be kept on stand-by in case the city had to be evacuated after a terrorist attack. Why couldn't these be brought back into service for just one day in the year? -Alan (Fred) Pipes, Brighton"

22.6.04

Just been up to Hull for the weekend, for Rick Welton's summer party, on fabulous Hull Trains. Managed to take in some culture on Sunday at Hull Time-Based Arts: Anna Myatt singing concrete poetry etc (highlight for me was Cathy Berberian's 1966 Stripsody) alternating with more spoken word and sound loops from Scott Langthorp mixing and scratching four decks assisted by blobs of Blue-tack. An open-mic session after at the Lamp with Audrey, who introduced us to rude soca, such as 'Ah Fraid Pussy Bite Me', possibly by Mighty Sparrow?
Another letter about Brighton's soapbox anarchist
Letter: Russian was a prince among men: a blue plaque for Kropotkin?

18.6.04

Royal stamp for man of letters: Eric Gill, local lad! His lettering (Gill Sans) will appear on one of a series of stamps being issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

11.6.04

Ray Charles, father of soul music, dies at 73 RIP. One of my first ever singles was 'I Can't Stop Lovin' You' -- not particularly characteristic of Charles, but a lovely song nevertheless. Another 1962 purchase was James Darren's 'Conscience'.

10.6.04

Mort Walker coined various words to describe cartoon effects: words like emanata, plewds, squeans, briffits and lucaflect.
The Nike Swoosh logo was designed in 1971 by student Carolyn Davidson for $35.
The CND logo also known as the peace symbol was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Art. The symbol incorporates the semaphore letters N(uclear) and D(isarmament).
Added Chris Ware pic to my Fred Pipes flattering photos page.
I've posted some pix of Neil Innes and Kevin Ayres in Brighton on my music page.
Went to the 'secret' British Sea Power gig at the Freebutt last night. Nearly didn't get in -- the doorperson couldn't find my name on the list, even after two searches -- then the other doorperson spotted it! Caught the end of Morton Valence (quite good), and saw all of Beaver County (guitarist kept whinging about the amount of talking and threatened to do only one number!). I was near the front, but when BSP came on, lots of tall young men pushed to the front and started moshing vigorously! So I retired to the back, eventually standing on a chair vacated by Lisa Wolfe. No twigs, no merchandise, no encore, but a loud, exciting and dynamic set in this tiny venue.

9.6.04

I can heartily and thoroughly recommend Paul Stapleton's comic book 'i must rise above these divs + defects'. I read it cover to cover this morning -- not because it's short, but because it's very unputdownable and also very funny. Available at Pussy and various comic shops. Paul is lead singer in Anal Beard amongst other things... Comic books -- the highest possible art form!
An excellent idea for the West Pier to be reborn as a Peace Pier -- hopefully incorporating a reef underwater?

Ballpoints, Chris Ware and Seth

Went up to London yesterday on the hottest day of the year (30 degrees C?) and the transit of Venus. Took a 52 bus to Notting Hill and saw the Ballpoint exhibition at Pentagram -- if you ever feel like moaning about the cost of art materials, just pick up a (free) ballpoint and be inspired by these guys! Then took a few buses via Paddington and Oxford Street for a couple of sub-two quid pints of Samuel Smiths with Nick at The Chandos near Trafalgar Square - also had some revolting chip-style snacks called 'spiral fries' full of fat and salt and probably not much potato! It's salads for me for the next few days, to make up! Then over to the ICA for a Chris Ware and Seth talk, a launch of a special cartoon issue (no 13) of McSweeney's and a couple of lovely Seth books: 'Clyde Fans: Part One' (not about Glasgow!) and 'Bannock, Beans & Black Tea'. Chris did a slide show from his Powerbook of the layout and content of McSweeneys and Seth spoke from the lectern with a little 'dinger' to indicate that Chris change to the next 'slide'. Paul Gambaccini moderated but seemed to be obsessed with how miserable cartoonists seemed to be -- 'the Leonard Cohens of art'. Saw an enlightening French film on Ware, which he seemed to hate! Afterwards queued outside in The Mall to get my Quimby the Mouse book signed (the bookshop had closed!) and asked him various techie questions. He asked me if I was a cartoonist and I replied 'illustrator'. I should have added that I'm too damn lazy to be a cartoonist!

8.6.04

6.6.04

Looking forward to the Vivian Stanshall prog on BBC Four on Friday. here are some clips.

5.6.04

According to Andy Roberts - News & Information it seems that Andy and Neil Innes have fallen out: "It's a great dissapointment that we have to report that Andy Roberts will not be part of any future Rutles performances." Come on guys! Let's make up and be friendly!