Eurovision

I love the Eurovison Song Contest. For a few hours every year, the countries of the EBU gather and entertain us with songs good and bad.

I would love to go to a final. The chances of th UK winning are virtually zero these days, and travel to foreign countries is expensive and not fun on your own. But who knows…

The interval can be a highlight. No-one who saw it will ever forget Riverdance. However, this is one of my favourites.

It is something that makes me well up every time I watch it. I know the UK contribution is rubbish, but the one from Hamburg is great, as is the man on the rock.

Best is Dublin. It’s great when the camera lifts up and there are all those people, even in the windows.

And it’s a real party spirit at the end, with all the audience joining it. Brilliant.

Labels II

Continuing a nostalgic look at prog rock labels, here are a few independents from the late 1960s and 70s:

Original pink label Island records are highly sought. Island started as a reggae label but moved into prog with bands like King Crimson:

Others included the wonderful Kevin Ayers, Dr Strangely Strange, Nick Drake, ELP and Roxy Music.

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Labels I

In the late 1960s into the 70s, and well, even now, I loved progressive rock. Every major record company had their own prog rock label, and it helped to identify them from the others. Here are a few, nostalgia fans:

Harvest was EMI’s label. There is some story that the name came from Barclay James Harvest, one of their artists.

But they had plenty of others, including Deep Purple, Soft Machine, The Move and some band called Pink Floyd or something.

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Spam

I run a website for a teddy bear. No really… It used to do quite well, less so now.

Associated with the site is an e-mail address. The teddy bear has, in recent weeks, started getting an awful lot of spam.

One appears a lot. It is a request to invest in a film being made about Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. Epstein also managed Cilla Black, Billy J Kramer, Gerry and the Pacemkers and others. He shaped much of the Merseybeat music scene.

Epstein had his issues, but there is no doubt he made The Beatles. At the time, the contracts he negotiated with record companies etc seemed OK. Looking back, it is clear Epstein lost a lot of opportunities (merchandising for one) but then, who knew?

Anyway, I haven’t invested in the film for several reasons:

  • the mail is addressed to the bear so I should not read it anyway
  • bear has no money
  • I have little money
  • there have already been great books and at least one good tv documentary about Mr Epstein, and I am sure others are not needed. They will probably say ‘based on a true story’ and mangle the facts anyway

It’s amazing to think that Brian Epstein died aged just 32 in 1967. His death, from a drug overdose, has been well documented as to the events but there have always been questions about exactly why it happened.