‘Today’s Sound’ – learning from rock music (1970)

From Tony Jasper's Today's Sound (Galliard, Great Yarmouth, England 1970) a Christian teaching book. The teacher is encouraged to use rock songs and their lyrics to discuss contemporary morals, behaviour and ways of being. Thus we get some of the lyrics of  Martha and the Vandella's Dancing in the Street, transcribed thus, and followed with topics for discussion:

Cryin out in the world,
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer's here and the time is right
For dancin' in the street.
They'e dancin' in Chicago, down in New Orleans
In New York City
All we need is music, sweet music,
There'll be music everywhere
There'll be swinging and swaying and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh -- it doesn't matter what you wear,
Just as long as you are there.
So come on every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

Dancing in the street….

Describe the aspects of the present youth culture bought out in this song. Live out the song through movement, reduce the world, sing to it, love it, touch it, it's yours.

Take out a tape recorder, a camera, film camera and capture life as it's happening now. Think of ways and communicating the spirit of this song, your experiencings to the Other  generation.

Continue reading

Locked Room Murders – 20 Solutions

From Robert Adey's Locked Room Murders (Ferret Fantasy, London 1979)

Major discussions on the subject of locked room murders are to be found in Carr's The Hollow Man, Rawson's Death from a Top Hat and Holmes' Nine by Nine.

There appear to be some 20 different ways in which a locked room can be breached.

Analysis of solutions

1 Accident.

2 Suicide.

3 Remote control – poison gas or impelled to do so with his own hands.

4 Mechanical and other devices.

5 Animal.

6 Outside the agency made to look like inside agency. E.g. dagger fired through window.

7 Victim killed earlier but made to appear alive later.

8 Presumed dead but not killed until later, e.g., by the first person to enter the room.

9 Victim wounded outside, dies inside.

10 Turning key, bolt, catch, etc, from outside with pliers, string, etc

11 Unhinging and rehinging door or window.

12 Taking out and replacing windowpane.

13 Acrobatic manoeuvre,.

14 Door locked or wedged on outside. Key replaced or bolt thrown after re-entrance.

15 Door locked on outside. Key returned before re-entrance.

16 Other methods of gimmicking doors, windows etc.,

17 Secret passages, sliding panels, etc.,

18 Murderer still in room when entrance forced.

19 Alibi provided while murder committed in an apparently  
guarded area.
20 Other impersonation stunts

  A further mystery is the price and rarity of the much enlarged edition from Crossover Press 1992. A copy on Canadian Amazon (often a home for awesome prices) at $10000 seems to have now vanished...

A Treasure Hunt in London 1973

Samuel Charters was a London based American writer on the Blues and ethnic music. He was also a poet and on Sunday, February 11, 1973 he decided to publicise his latest book of poetry with a treasure hunt around London where people found the various poems. This is a transcription of the leaflet he distributed about the hunt. In the case of Speaker's Corner he writes 'I'll be near fence by Park Lane from 11 to 2. I won't be arguing with anybody and will be wearing poems. If it's really raining I'll leave about 1.' At the end of the day Charters would be at the Holly Bush pub in Hampstead from 7:30 onwards with extra copies of poems. A merry enterprise, one wonders how it went...London has changed a bit since then.


Instructions for the treasure hunt

A Note

Most of these poems were written while I was going from place to another place in London over the last year and a half. Sometimes I finally got there, sometimes I just stood around looking at something else and never got there at all, Sometimes I was just getting out of a pub or just going to a pub. Somewhere early in the time this started I bought a notebook in a stationer's in Camden Town, and the poems were scribbled into it as I went along. Since I wrote the poems in so many parts of London it seemed most natural to publish them by scattering them back across London again, in the places where I'd written them, The place where they were written and the poems themselves, in a way, were too closely bound together to be separated.

Continue reading

Kenny Everett on the Ouija Board

From a paperback called I've Seen a Ghost - True Stories from Show Business by Richard Davis (Granada, London 1979). A series of mostly tall, real ghost stories from British stars of the time -Jon Pertwee, Roy Hudd, Pat Phoenix, Vincent Price, Bob Monkhouse, Rula Lenska etc.. There are the usual actor's superstitions and tales of ghosts seen in old theatres...the one from Kenny Everett could be filed under 'more things in heaven and earth' or Kenny was simply blagging - which seems unlikely as there is no joke or punchline. Also it is worth noting that this was before the time of proper mobile phones...

It happened when we were staying at Pete Asher's house in Surrey, near Rosper. It looks rather like a Chinese house – all made of paper walls and bits of stick. And it was by a lake, an 8 acre lake with two islands on it. All very deserted, it was.

We had a cameraman and his assistant staying with us, and we decided to have a go with the Ouija board.  Well, the cameraman got a message through from his girlfriend; he said "that's odd - she's not dead". And she said by means of the Ouija board that she'd died that day. She'd taken a load of pills and she was in Bicester Mortuary. He couldn't believe this. He thought we were messing around, though I don't think any of us would have been quite as cruel as that. So he rang her dad, and her dad picked up the phone and he was in tears, because she had just taken a load of pills and he had taken her to the mortuary. The cameraman had been with us for two days; the phone hadn't rung and there was no way he could have known.

The other Kate Middletons

There are at least two other well known Kate Middletons. The American (or possibly Australian) Dr. Kate Middleton author of Stress How to De Stress Without Doing Less and several recent works on eating disorders including First Steps Out of Eating Disorders. Also the Ulster poet Kate Middleton author of Into the Wind (1974) married to the Irish artist John Middleton (who drew the cover.) The first has a slight association/ resonance in her medical angles and the second, poet Kate, has a poem which recalls the famous song I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales - written in 1927 by Herbert Farjeon at the height of the popularity of Edward, Prince of Wales.

KM's poem is called I live here too:

I have dined with a man
who danced with a girl
who lived with a man
who died in a fight
on a Derry barricade

I spoke with a man
who drank with a girl
who loved a man
who carried the can
for a guy who planted a bomb

a neighbour of mine
knew one of the girls
who lost her legs
in the Abercorn**

My neighbour's friend
had been to the house
heard the shouts
saw the tears.

** A paramilitary attack that took place in a crowded city centre restaurant and bar (the Abercorn) in Belfast on 4 March 1972. The bomb explosion claimed the lives of two young women and injured over 130 people.