The latest article on my new site AROUND AND AROUND starts a new section on record labels belonging to artists, this one on GRUNT the label for later Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship. (LINKED) Highly illustrated. Written witrh Rob Millis. Do have a browse around the rest of the site- there’s a lot of stuff on there.

Here we go. This is where I’ve been (or as Fairport Convention might have said “What We Did On Our Holidays.”) for the last couple of months. 

I’ve been putting my long and heavily illustrated book on records, music in general and record collecting onto a new site “aroundandaround.com.wordpress.com”. It’s too long to publish, so I’m taking Karen’s advice and giving it away. 

Only about 20% is done … and I’ll be adding the rest regularly for months or years to come. It’s already a large site. Have a look … start where you like but I’ve explained more, with links to a few selected sample pages on the INTRODUCTION (linked here). 

You can also SUBSCRIBE for updates which will be continual … 

The third in the Andrew Davies series, A VERY POLISH PRACTICE. Following the two TV series of ‘A Very Peculiar Practice’ this was a one-off TV film … 90 minutes long. It takes up the story of Dr Dakar (Peter Davison) and Grete Grotowska (Joanna Kanska) four years later in Warsaw. Dr Buzzard is back (David Troughton), now a medical sales rep. Add Alfred Molina as Grete’s gangster ex-boyfriend, and Stephen Peacock as Dr Krapowski, head of the hospital. A very satisfying 90 minute sequel.

Link to my review of SERIES TWO of A VERY PECULIAR PRACTICE. This is the one with Joanna Kanska as Grete Grotowska. While Series One skewered the way medicine was going as well as higher education, the second series has more focus on universities. One of my favourite black comedy series.

All four books in the series have been redesigned so that the page format and design of the print editions is the same as the latest,  Japanese Affairs. Since the series started, the Vellum text design program has been greatly improved and I wanted to carry that back to the others. This means they’re all a little fatter- more white space, not changed text. (Not changed prices either)


Also available from your local amazon store.

Review of the 1986 TV Series A VERY PECULIAR PRACTICE – Series One added (Linked). Starring Peter Davison, David Troughton, Barbara Flynn, Graham Crowther. It was voted 5th Best TV Comedy in a Guardian survey. I’d say it’s the best campus series AND the best medical practice comedy series. I’ve used it to rant a bit about General Practice in the UK and indeed universities. BUT I haven’t described the plot lines or given away the jokes.

The 60s retrospectives continue with BEAT GIRL from 1960 (aka Wild for Kicks in the USA). This was said to be the first all-British film with a full-length soundtrack LP, by John Barry with Adam Faith and Shirley Anne Field. The star is Gillian Hills as the truculent sultry teenager in the world of coffee bars and strip clubs in Soho … a surprisingly edgy place in 1960. It’s an early Swinging Sixties London film in effect with a cameo from Oliver Reed. Adam Faith was a major pop star at the time.

The latest review in the 60s Retrospective series is THE PARTY’S OVER (linked). It was filmed in 1962 for release in 1963, but after the censors demanded 18 minutes be cut, it was shelved. It was directed by Bond film director Guy Hamilton, with script by Marc Behm (who did Help!). John Barry did the soundtrack. It starred Oliver Reed in one of his first lead roles. Then in 1965, Rank Organization sold the savagely edited film off to a distributor and Hamilton demanded his name be taken off. The BFI (British Film Institute) has restored the pre-censorship version. As well as a review of the film, it is interesting that it was refused an X (18) certificate in 1963, but is now a “12.” This time I won’t illustrate it with the dreadful 1965 poster.

I’m stretching my 60s Retrospective film reviews back a tad to include SIX-FIVE SPECIAL from 1958, a direct exploitation based on Britain’s first pop TV show. The outstanding performers are Lonnie Donegan, John Barry Seven and John Dankworth, but there are lots of “earlier” stars on there too. Worth watching, or just look at the photos in the review.

I’ve just added a rant about continuous assessment, (follow the link) which will be how so many kids will have their GCSE and A level results decided this year. I think it horribly unjust so this is a rant against continuous assessment and in favour of exams. It’s a long held and unfashionable view. The comments box is open on the rant.