A Blog from John

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so... Katy needs a blog.

A Blog. From me. It's my turn.

Let's see. I am. On a break right now.

In LA. It's rainy. (not like England last week, where it was snowy.)

Snowy is the name of Tin Tin's dog. There is a movie being made of Tin Tin finally, starring the kid from 'Billy Elliot'.

Tin Tin is also the alias of Steven Duffy, at least it was for one album and one hit single, 'Kiss Me', but I'll bet you knew that.

'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me' is the title of an album by The Cure.

Good name The Cure. The first song of theirs I remember hearing was called 'Killing an Arab'. I don't remember how it went, but I can remember how 'Killing In The Name of...' by Rage Against the Machine goes...(that was a good one, too...)

The Police had a album named 'Ghost in The Machine', after the book of the same name by Arthur Koestler.

In the early '80's one of my favourite movies was 'Arthur', which starred Dudley Moore. I could watch it over and over. It made me laugh and it made me cry. Now I just think it's pathetic.

'Pathetique' is the title of one of the most melancholy pieces of music ever. Written by the Russian Tchaikovsky. I'm not a fan of his particularly, preferring Prokofiev and Shostakovitch. (as Russian composers go.)

My dog has just walked into the room (well, Zoe's dog actually.) She wants to play...
'Go away Violet, can't you see I'm writing a blog...'

The sounds of children drift across the fence from the house next door, and Violet feels the need to bark, angrily at them. She just can't help herself.

It has stopped raining, and the sun has come out, which makes me feel better, wearing as I am, a yellow sweater.

Today is the 16th of February. It's President's Day in America, Monday in England. I'm in between, basically, seeing as I arrived back in LA Saturday. I'm still heavily jetlagged and upside down. Getting up at 4am, falling asleep around 8.

In England we performed on a Sky Arts show called 'Songbook'. It will be broadcast soon, I hope. I think you'll enjoy it. We made a point of not playing the s.o.s., as it were. Of course they wanted the usual, the hits, you know.. and we gave them some.. but we added some other stuff, like 'Late Bar' which we've not played in years, and 'Skin Trade' which we'd not played since Earls Court, and 'Do You Believe in Shame'. Dom's wife Martha played violin with us on that song (she's a serious musician). She's pregnant with their second child. I couldn't resist quipping to the crowd that we have three Browns on stage with us this evening...

It was the most fun TV concert type thingy we've done in ages... there is a long in depth interview that will be shown alongside the performance. In it we reveal all the secrets of our success... Believe me!

I stayed on in Britain so we could make a start on songwriting for our next album, or whatever it is... I had four days off in between and took a trip to the Midlands to see Aston Villa play Wigan. It wasn't a very exciting game but I love taking part in the experience, of shouting and booing and all of that... It's really, too much fun. Aston Villa are doing well this season so I decided to start supporting them again. It's been about thirty years, but then it's never too late to re-light the fires of youth, is it?

Of course I saw my Dad too, when I was in Birmingham, who actually makes the case that maybe it is. (too late, that is, to relight the fires of youth). He doesn't really leave his house anymore, or his room, or even his chair. He is eight-nine this year. I'm determined that he shall have a party to celebrate his ninetieth birthday, and he seems to think he's going to make it, as he might, but the truth is, you just never know, at that age. Tomorrow could be his last day on earth.

He is a lad though, I love him so much. He's just so funny. He has a great sense of humour, what is known as a 'bit of a wag'. He has a twinkle in his eye, still. No memory though. I can sit with him for an hour and and in that time he will ask 'and how's Gela?' half a dozen times. I answer each time with as much imagination as I can, as if he is asking me for the first time. It's like doing press interviews for a new album.

Back to the West Country and all the snow. Wasn't it great?!! The most snow in EIGHTEEN years... (that's what they said) and I loved it. So did anyone with any sense of fun. Making snowmen, out taking photos, sledding on aluminum baking trays... a good time was had by all, except the government grumps who could only complain about this and that. I thought it was a good thing, all that snow.

Into London on the train for some songwriting with the boys. Now I would love to tell you all about it, what the vibe is, what the new songs sound like, what they are about, but that would be too premature of me. I can tell you we all had a good, good time, and the creative juices were flowing. Dom joined us for the first time, and it was good to have him in the mix. We'll be picking up the strands in a few weeks and moving on to step 2. In the meantime, I'm just going to...

Take it easy friends...
JT

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