who is and who isn't
at the outset and in my defence, mindful that the latter will be ignored for i shall be found guilty no matter what, look you see, i would like to say that i thought this was too small. surely there was some mistake, i thought. but i went with it, for exactly how many ballrooms can one town have?
the answer to the above is "at least two" as i have discovered. found out, to be sure, by deftly doing all relevant research after the fact.
what's all this then? well, more of my fanatical devotion to the bands i love. or sad, pathetic acts of fandom. we went on another road trip as a family for a holiday (everyone together, sing, holiday roooooOOOooAAAAd) and to a place where i could have a picture taken at a place linked to the iconic ways of The Stone Roses. or so i thought.
as fellow fans need me not to speak, there is a video (now also a DVD) of The Stone Roses live, called Blackpool Live. it is the only official straight concert film of the band as such, for the recent shenanigans at Heaton Park, Made Of Stone, is more "documentary with some vibes" than "concert film". and, for many years, us fans had to clutch to tapes (later discs) of Blackpool Live, for it was all we had of the greatness of the band in a visual sense.
i knew it was recorded in a ballroom in Blackpool. further, i knew that there was a celebrated and famous ballroom in the Blackpool Tower complex. so, i had the above picture taken, figuring i had correctly put all the elements together. alas, no i had not. but we will get to that.
for now, then, another musical icon.
yes, me or if you like moi, who i know most of you cannot stand to look at and yet you still visit this blog, stood next to a superb statue of The King, Elvis Presley. this one is placed in promotion of a show called Kings & Queens, in which, presumably, several singers pay homage to The King, Elvis Presley and other, somewhat lesser recording artists who are nonetheless celebrated despite being lesser.
to further distract from my folly, here is a most splendid work of art which i spotted in a branch of HMV in Blackpool.
sorry about the reflections and that; it was the best quality picture i could take. the note next to it suggested that the artist wished this to be viewed as a Tommy era portrait of The Who. which is a very, very strange thing to do, since it is clearly just after that, the if you will Who's Next era of the band. how do i know this? Townshend never had a beard when the band toured Tommy from 69 - 70. so far as i am aware neither did Entwistle. but they did for Who's Next.
unless the artist means the film version of Tommy, from the mid-70s. but why would you reference that era of the album when you could celebrate the album itself?
see, look, that means it is not just me that makes rock mistakes, to be sure. to distract further from that, let us have a look at something iconic what is not really musical. although it had music in it.
that there is indeed a picture of me with a wax statue / display sort of thing of ET out of ET The Extraterrestrial. whilst i appreciate it says "Sea Life" above my head, i can assure you that this was by the entrance to the Blackpool chapter of Madame Tussaud's, the legendary home of quite accurate wax models of the famous, the infamous and them what some people know and also who agree to pose for a casting.
every now and then something happens, to be sure, which causes you to question all that you hold true in life. my commitment to expressing a belief that The King, Elvis Presley lives to this day was one that became challenged when i ate of His glorious menu.
yes. at an American diner place, called Vegas or similar, i dined upon the penultimate item you can see above, The Elvis Burger.
to be honest, eating just one burger smothered in peanut butter and buried in bacon very nearly got the better of me. as i ebbed further to the end of it the thought did cross my mind to request someone to consider having medial staff on hand, with particular emphasis on heart unclogging. whilst i accept that He is better than us all, if The King, Elvis Presley really did eat a dozen or so of these burgers each day , well. perhaps He has survived to this day in spirit alone.
more of my mistakes? sure. for some reason i was sure that this year, 2017, marked the commencement of the presently "parked" solo career of Ian Brown out of The Stone Roses. this "for some reason" is perhaps the fact that the copyright date on this here copy of his debut solo album, Unfinished Monkey Business, is given as 1997. as point of fact it was only released in early 1998, but never mind.
this year is, then, presumably, the 20th anniversary of the recording of the debut solo album by Ian Brown out of The Stone Roses.
why exactly did i buy this? well, we were in a Poundland in Blackpool (surprise!) and i spotted it. i was getting a trifle bored with the music in the car, and so for £1 decided to buy this. as it is highly unlikely that there will be any sort of official "20th anniversary" special edition of the album, this will have to do then.
perhaps early next year, if i make it that far, i will do a "proper" 20th anniversary look at the solo career of Ian Brown. the "parking" of that, and the alarming decline of Primal Scream post-Mani, are the two biggest costs to the dream of The Stone Roses being as one again. but, for now, this.
more usage of The King, Elvis Presley in furtherance of promoting that show i mentioned earlier in association with the one statue, then. and yes, i am wearing my Heath Ledger as Joker out of The Dark Knight t-shirt; the one that i get funny looks for. well, i suppose i get funny looks whatever i happen to be wearing. but hey, there's a look at my (considerably) better half too, so just ignore my presence.
back to Blackpool and the links to The Stone Roses, then. although not how i have disgraced myself, at least not just yet. instead a return to the art on display in that branch of HMV.
the more i look at this the more unsure i am of whether or not i like it. initially i was impressed. but another look at Reni has a thin face where it should be rounder, whereas Ian Brown has a rounder face than he should. drawing some cheek definition on doesn't help. Mani and John Squire are rather reasonable, though.
it turns out, then, that Blackpool has at least two ballrooms of consequence. the one i wanted to go to, but didn't check, was and as point of fact is the Empress Ballroom, situated in the Winter Gardens complex. this would have been a walk of but a few minutes from where we were, but i did not take such a stroll. so no, i did not end up getting a picture of me outside the ballroom where The Stone Roses played what has come to be considered a legendary gig.
further images of moi with statues in celebration of The King, Elvis Presley? i do not see why not. this one was rather conveniently located in our hotel.
the above image was taken to the great distress of a fellow hotel patron. he was sat in the lounge, reading either the Daily Mail or Daily Express or similar, and looked most disagreeable with the idea of anyone else being in the room. perhaps one day he shall understand how hotels work, or maybe not.
no. as far as i am aware, no, The King, Elvis Presley has not been to Blackpool in person. on a global scale, the only places outside of the USA where He is known to have stood are Scotland and Germany. a persistent legend is that He once went to London in secret, and it is possible that He also went to Wales at the behest of His good friend, Tom "bloody" Jones. but no one can prove anything.
someone who has been to Blackpool, other than The Stone Roses, is Jason "Jase" Donovan, it seems.
whoops. it would seem that we missed being in Blackpool in the presence of Jase, the world's most foremost ambassador for citrus infused shampoo, by a day. bugger. perhaps missing Jase by such a short margin is to be my punishment for not bothering to check on which ballroom exactly i should have attended.
was Jason Donovan at the right ballroom when The Stone Roses played Blackpool in 1989? unlikely. there's no evidence to suggest that he's anything but a big fan of the band, but 1989 was busy for Jase. he was probably off making his own records, or smart films, at the time of the gig. i think he had finished up with Neighbours around then.
yeah, that's another statue of The King, Elvis Presley on display in Blackpool. this one features Him sat atop one of them "waltzer" like rides, wearing smart blue suede shoes as he overlooks the patrons spinning around. as is His way.
why does Blackpool pay such a high level of respect to The King, Elvis Presley? well, why wouldn't you. if the Blackpool approach was copied around the world then the world would be a much better place, for you would barely be able to turn a corner without seeing Him or His likeness, and instantly you would feel better about yourself.
finally, or if you like to conclude, another picture of my disgrace? sure, why not. if you have made it this far then you are welcome to point and laugh or otherwise generally mock my stupidity in going all that way and ending up at the wrong ballroom. a bit, i suppose, like them fans who travel many thousands of miles to attend a game of football in England, only to arrive and discover their team are playing away that weekend.
as the epic gig what The Stone Roses done at the ballroom not featured above drew to a close Ian Brown famously, and inexplicably, asked of the audience "who is and who isn't", just as Reni launched into I Am The Resurrection. this was a question i thought to never be answered. as it turns out, it hasn't. whereas i thought i was "is", it transpires that i am "isn't" in respect of being pictured before the venue.
well, there you go. for the benefit of family, friends and entirely random strangers who are for some reason interested further images of our time away are to follow in future posts. the majority of them, you will be delighted to hear, shall feature the 75% of my family you all like more than the 25% i have come to represent, in number if not mass.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!