News Chronicles

18th August 2019

18th August 2019

Lord Zarquon came over on Monday evening and I forgot to discuss the Instrumental Legends album. Hopefully he will read this blog and remember that he needs to sort out the album cover! (Editor note As well as all the other jobs he has arranging, mixing, mastering, writing and playing keyboard parts, Bass guitar parts and generally sorting out and making good the huge amount of material Sir Ian keeps producing ha ha!!!)

We somehow ended up talking about other things for ages, mainly about an old friend who has an incredible musical talent yet seems content to keep it in a room in his house and strangle it himself with both hands. Also talked about care in the community or lack of it.

We have however started to make some real progress with the History Book Part Two album with the songs Driverless Cars and Knights of a King completed. I've written and partly recorded loads of songs for this album and as usual probably too many!!

Had a very interesting evening on Tuesday which was quite enjoyable despite seeing Torquay United lose at Plainmoor to Maidenhead United. This was the second home fixture of the new season but I missed the first one because I was at a wedding. I thought Torquay looked very good and the scoreline flattered the away side so I am not disheartened, it was just one of those games. I normally go to Plainmoor with my disabled friend Jerry Brimicombe as his carer but is wheelchair is out of action at the moment so I went on my own. However I bumped into Andy Perry who I haven't seen for ages and sat with him and he said we can sit with another friend who was there.... the one and only Steve Honeywill. Now one day I will tell you about how many times Steve and myself have shared and laughed so much about our private jokes. The Legendary Ten Seconds is one of them. Steve his quite a character. I will never forget the journey down to Plymouth to see the Cure gig and meeting Steve for the first time.

Now then I must tell you about Andy Perry. He used to write articles about bands for a Sherborne based fanzine called Feeding the Fish and his Dad used to own the Livermead House Hotel in Torquay. He witnessed the 2-2 draw at Plainmoor in 1977 against Cambridge United when Torquay United entered the Guinness book of records for scoring the fastest own goal. What most people don't know is that Torquay managed to score all four goals in this game. We talked about this on Wednesday evening and about the book he wrote with John Lydon. I've seen it a few times in HMV and I really must get around to reading it. Here is a link to the book on John Lydon's website:-

http://www.johnlydon.com/project/anger-is-an-energy/

11th August 2019

11th August 2019

I've been rehearsing some of my songs with Phil Swann once a week on a fairly regular basis so far this summer. To be honest if it wasn't for Phil's enthusiasm for my tunes I wouldn't be considering playing gigs again. Last year I was rehearsing about twice a week but after the disappointment of the arrangements at Bosworth last August (and only doing a couple of gigs that year) I decided to just concentrate on writing and recording songs. So since last August until this summer I haven't been rehearsing any of my songs. This may help to explain why three Legendary Ten Seconds' albums have been released during this period of time. There's another one we've actually finished as well which Lord Zarquon has called Instrumental Legends but I think he's forgotten that it needs an album cover. The intention was to create the artwork using a collage of photos so I must discuss this the next time I see Lord Zarquon. * Editors note "Yes you must ha ha Lord Z"

4th August 2019

4th August 2019


I have had a very busy weekend. On Friday evening we celebrated a birthday with a meal at the Premier Inn over looking Abbey Sands in Torquay. Saturday was spent attending the wedding of my niece starting off at the lovely church in Ipplepen and then onto Torre Abbey gardens and the Spanish Barn. Sunday morning I went to Holy Angels church in Chelston to witness a baptism. When we got home from the baptism I recorded my stepson singing some nice harmony vocals to go with the really nice guitar parts that Phil Swann has recorded for my song about the battle of Blenheim. 

Here is a link to an informative article about the Spanish Barn:-

http://wearesouthdevon.com/torre-abbey-1588-starvation-massacre-ghosts/

28th July 2019

28th July 2019

Last Saturday I visited Coldridge in Devon for the fifth time in the last two years. On the face of it this place is rather insignificant. I must admit I'd never heard of the village until I came across something on the internet written by John Ashdown-Hill. He mentioned a church in Devon which has a stained glass window of Edward V. This was news to me and I was curious because Mr Ashdown-Hill didn't say whereabouts in Devon that the church is located. Since reading about it I have now found out that there is an image of this uncrowned King in St Matthew's church in Coldridge. If you visit this church then you will find it in the chapel of Sir John Evans.

Edward V stained glass

I've now become acquainted with John Dike who lives in Coldridge and he gave a presentation last week at St Matthew's church to the Devon & Cornwall branch of the Richard III Society which I attended with my wife. I've recorded two songs about the mystery surrounding the tomb of Sir John Evans and the stained glass window of Edward V. One song written with my wife and the other with John Dike. This mystery may be linked to the mystery surrounding the missing Princes of Edward IV and John Dike has become involved with Philippa Langley's missing Princes project. John is planning to undertake an investigation outside one of the windows in the church to see if he can find any fragments of broken stained glass which may provide some clues in respect of the original glass in the windows in the church. John went to Crediton library very recently and found an interesting description of the Coldridge church written in the early 1900's. This included a comment along the lines of

"why would you find a portrait of Edward V in this remote place in Devon!"

So people have obviously been puzzled about this for quite some time. The reason must surely be linked to the fact that one of the sons from the first marriage of the Queen of Edward IV owned the deer park and manor in Coldridge.

21st July 2019

21st July 2019

It was the Tewkesbury medieval festival last week and I had an email from Pam Benstead of the Worcestershire branch of the Richard III Society to tell me that some of the Legendary Ten Seconds CDs were sold at her stall. This included the first CD sale of the Devon Roses album. I also received an email from the person who purchased it. Him and his partner liked the songs so much they had also purchased it via itunes.


14th July 2019

14th July 2019

I had a very good holiday in Kent with my wife Elaine, son Tom and also Sasha. 

We went to lots of interesting places that I hadn't visited before, Ightham Mote, Bodiam castle and Dover castle were the most interesting ones. We were staying in Sevenoaks and on the first night we went to a pub and there was a good band playing called Dead Man's corner. The musicianship was excellent and so was the style of music. They started off with a psychedelic 60's style surf instrumental that they had composed which was probably the best live tune I've heard in ages and finished the first set with an amazing version of a Dick Dale instrumental called Nitro. Two other songs really stood out, one was a version of Then I've got Everything which was recorded by Johnny Kid and the Pirates and the other was Wondrous Place by Billy Fury. I'd never heard of these songs before and when I got back to Torquay I checked them out. The Johnny Kid and the Pirates one is excellent. Here is a link to it:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThR9YhsGnI0

I wasn't so impressed by the Billy Fury recording but I found two other artists who have done it better:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNZ4IBOuv8w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODVWDD_KLDI

I'm in the middle of reading another book, it's one I read about 38 years ago called Way Station by Clifford Simak and it's reminded me that I composed my first ever song which was called Shadow Love based around part of the story in the book. I vaguely remember playing the song on my guitar to my cousin Robert at our Nan's house in Exeter and I think he was quite impressed that I'd written a song. I never recorded the song and I now have no record of the lyrics or the tune.

Last year I wanted to write a song about the battle of Blenheim and I went back to a book about this battle by Charles Spencer. It's a very good read and I decided to check it out again as I thought it would give me the inspiration for a song. I read it again and enjoyed reading it but unfortunately there was no song idea forthcoming. This week I started composing another song. I quickly realised that the new tune idea ought to be ideal for a song about the battle of Blenheim and the words came to me


WE MARCHED EVERY DAY AND CAMPED EVERY NIGHT

THE SIZE OF OUR ARMY WAS A SPLENDID SIGHT

FROM THE LOW COUNTRIES ALONG THE RHINE

A GRIM DESTINATION IN THIS WARTIME


JOHN CHURCHILL OUR DUKE HAD A BOLD PLAN

TO STOP THE FRENCH FOR HIS QUEEN ANNE

WITH SUCH SKILL OVER MANY A MILE

HIS CLEVER DECEPTION STILL MAKES ME SMILE


THE REASON FOR FIGHTING WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD

AS I HELD MY MUSKET OF METAL AND WOOD

OF SPANISH SUCCESSION I HEARD IT SAID

IT MAKES NO REAL SENSE WHEN YOU COUNT UP THE DEAD


AND SO TO THE BATTLE THE CANNONS ROARED

THE STEEL OF THE BAYONETS THE CLASH OF THE SWORD

AT BLENHEIM THE FRENCH MADE A FATAL MISTAKE

THAT VILLAGE THE ENGLISH THEY MUST NOT TAKE


THE REASON FOR FIGHTING WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD

AS I HELD MY MUSKET OF METAL AND WOOD

OF SPANISH SUCCESSION I HEARD IT SAID

IT MAKES NO REAL SENSE WHEN YOU COUNT UP THE DEAD


THE NEWS OF DEFEAT HURT KING LOUIS' PRIDE

THE SUN KING'S BRIGHTNESS HAD SURELY DIED

IN ENGLAND THE VICTORY GREATLY ACCLAIMED

WHILST THE FRENCH GENERALS FELT SO ASHAMED


THE REASON FOR FIGHTING WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD

AS I HELD MY MUSKET OF METAL AND WOOD

OF SPANISH SUCCESSION I HEARD IT SAID

IT MAKES NO REAL SENSE WHEN YOU COUNT UP THE DEAD

7th July 2019

7th July 2019

Just got back from a very interesting holiday in Kent. I had no guitar, internet or TV so I read two books and went to lots of interesting places. I mentioned one of the books in my blog last week. Well I can't recommend it to fans of Richard III, he seemed to be a true hero until half way through the book you find out that he is really a villain. The section where Hastings gets executed was most upsetting. There is a long list of the fairly well known fictional crimes of Richard III as detailed in this novel called Queen of Silks by Vanora Bennet:-

Involved in the murder of the son of Henry VI after the battle of Tewkesbury.

Yes he did kill Henry VI in the tower of London

Yes he did kill his brother the Duke of Clarence

Makes up a plot that he was going to be ambushed and killed by the Woodvilles so that he can use this as an excuse to arrest Lord Rivers near Stony Stratford.

Makes up a plot of treason so that he can execute his friend Lord Hastings

Poisons his wife so that he can try to arrange a marriage with his niece 

But despite all of this he didn't murder the Princes in the tower! 

30th June 2019

30th June 2019


I've started recording a new instrumental idea which I am calling 'History Book Part Two in Em'. I should really stop coming up with ideas that seem to fit into a folk rock pseudo medieval/Tudor style as I've done that too much. What I really need are ones for my science fiction concept album! Having said that my stepson has been a great help this week as he brought his electronic drum kit to my house and we spent one afternoon recording him playing drums, bass and electric guitar for my 'Man who Evolved' science fiction song. Earlier in the week we recorded him playing drums for a few instrumental tunes composed by Graham Moores.

In my spare time at home I've spent quite a few hours promoting the Mortimer comedy song via the internet. Last Saturday I attended a meeting of the Devon and Cornwall branch of the Richard III Society to hear a talk given by Philip Hume of the Mortimer History Society and this included him playing the comedy song which made everyone laugh when Boycie starts talking about used cars in between the confusion of the Rogers, Hughs, Ralphs and Edmunds.

Lord Z and myself have also been busy finalising the release of the Devon Roses album. I have had confirmation that my submission to CD Baby for the digital distribution has been accepted, I've made a master CD of the audio and the artwork has been submitted for approval before it gets printed.

I'm off to Kent for a week now and I needed to find a book to read while I am there on holiday. We were in Dartmouth yesterday and I found a second hand bookshop but nothing caught my eye. I've got a few Ricardian novels that I haven't got around to reading because I feel like I've read too many and most of them always inevitably end with Henry VII winning the battle of Bosworth. One of them is about Elizabeth Lambert and her sister so I started reading it last night and I'm now on page 46 and I'm rather enjoying it. I was afraid that it was going to have too much romance in it but that doesn't seem to be the case so far. In the book written by Vanora Bennett, I've just realised that Elizabeth Lambert is called Jane Shore which isn't correct and I wonder if the author mentions this in the historical notes at the end of the book? It feels quite interesting to be reading this novel having only recently finished recording a song about Elizabeth Lambert.

23rd June 2019

Since my last blog post I've been particularly busy with recording various bits for some of my songs. Here is a bit of a list:-


  1. New comedy song about myself which Elaine has told me I am not allowed to perform in public. It made Jules laugh when I played it to her and she agreed to sing a few silly bits on it. I have also recorded Ashley Dyer playing trumpet and Rowan Curle singing a very nice harmony vocal. I now want to put together an album of my comedy songs.
  2. A song for the De Cobham 15th century reenactment group. Phil Swann has recorded some very good Irish Bouzouki for this song and I have recorded a short electric guitar solo for it.
  3. The Knights of a King is another Ricardian song which I wrote several years ago and started to record but then felt it was a bit lame after I started recording it so it never progressed. I nearly forgot about this song until I found details of it while I was in the process of trying to tidy up the files on one of my computers. Phil Swann has recorded some great slide guitar for the song and I have recorded Ashley Dyer playing trumpet and my step daughter is singing a nice backing vocal.
  4. Ricardian Dream was written about 5 years ago and I have been recording the song on and off ever since then. I recently recorded Jules Jones singing a backing vocal part to it and I've just recorded a new version of my singing for it.
  5. Driftwood is a song that was mainly written by Elaine when we used to play in a band called Just a Shadow ( 1988 – 1989 ). The song started off as a keyboard idea played by Jerry Brimicombe. He only really had just a very tiny intro for a song. I've got a recording of the song somewhere on a cassette which dates back to the 1990's and I thought it would be a nice idea to record a new version. I've recorded some acoustic guitar and Elaine singing.

16th June 2019

16th June 2019

I was given an Amazon gift voucher of £10 as a birthday present at the beginning of the month. I've spent a couple of weeks every night on the internet trawling through the vast amount of digital music on the Amazon website trying to decide which songs to purchase with the money. At one point I remembered two fantastic songs recorded by Denny Laine in the late 1960's that were on an album of obscure tracks on Decca records called Lost and Found. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find them and at one point my hopes were raised only to quickly realise it wasn't an original recording I had found from 1967 but a much newer version with boring modern keyboard sounds on it. Just to make sure I wasn't imagining it I found the 1960's versions on you tube, lovely acoustic guitar playing and orchestration. As far as I'm aware you can't buy the songs as mp3 downloads from you tube.

About 10 years ago I sold most of my records because they were taking up so much space and I didn't have a record player. I kept some of my most treasured ones like my Quicksilver Messenger Service LPs and from the money I got from the ones I sold I used the funds to buy CDs or purchase mp3 downloads. There were some songs that I particularly liked which were on obscure B sides that I owned ( 'Shame' by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich is one of them ) and so I borrowed a record player from my stepson and connected it to my computer and digitised the songs into mp3 format. Remembering that I had done this and the fact that my stepdaughter bought me a record player a few years ago I thought that there was a chance that I might still have the precious Lost and Found Decca album which included those rare Denny Laine songs. So I went through the few remaining albums that I still own, that are located in various places in my house but unfortunately I can't find it. I can't believe that I could have been so stupid to not keep that album without at least checking to see if I could get those 2 songs on CD or on the internet. Surely not? What is so annoying is that the recordings of these songs do not deserve to be so obscure. The songs were on a single, 'Say you don't mind' was the brilliant A side and on the B side was the equally catchy and memorable 'Ask the people'. How on earth was this not a hit single? Probably due to the complete incompetence of the record label I would imagine. It's such a shame that you can't easily purchase these fantastic recordings on CD and the Denny Laine version is much better than the one recorded by Colin Blunstone. To cheer myself up here are the links to the songs on you tube:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1wDvhnMnck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQDX6DRXaS4

Also found a very interesting interview with Denny Laine here:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45luNBpBO1s

If anyone reading this can help me get the 1960's mp3 recordings of these songs by Denny Laine then I would love to hear from you.

Having got that whinge out of my system I am very pleased to announce that Georgie Harman of Red Fox Illustrations has finished the album cover for the Devon Roses album 

and we've also finished recording the songs! So now we move onto the recording of History Book Part Two, Lord Z has got my latest offering called 'Gallants Bower' and he says he likes it. I've written lots of other songs that we haven't finished recording and I just hope he like these other ones as well


© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2019 - Version 7.0.2 August 2019