I want to spend a few moments this week talking about motorcycles. I think I'll start with a disclaimer as well; I know absolutely nothing about them. I don't follow motorcycle racing in any form, I don't read motorbike magazines and until yesterday I'd never ridden one.
After Alison got her scooter I decided it would be useful if I at least had a license to ride it so I got that organised it. Since then I've racked up almost 7000km of riding, most of it commuting. The scooter is fun and very easy to ride but at some stage I started looking around at people riding motorcycles. And somehow I got the bug. To cut a long story short we took delivery of a Yamaha 650 cruiser yesterday. I stalled it twice in the lane behind the garage but after that I was fine. I rode to and from work today and although I was a bit nervous at traffic lights it was great. I'm amazed at how comfortable the bike is and just how stable it feels. And the gear changing thing is just coordination. Probably easier than learning to drive a car I think. But then I hated learning to drive. Just for a few moments on the way to work this morning (at 06:30am) I imagined I was in CHiPs (and yes, I know they didn't ride Yamaha bikes) – it was like being a kid again.
Having been involved in an accident on the scooter (where I wasn't at fault) that involved me sliding along a wet road I'm painfully aware that riding is dangerous. But life is for living up to a point. As well as a bike this week, Alison picked up a bus pass for me. That's for days when it rains.
The Cult, along with a few other bands, have perfected the swirly guitar sound that I've been searching for now for a while. I'm almost there with a combination of a new MXR Chorus pedal and an old Yamaha Reverb/Delay unit. Sonic bliss! Here's another band who get it right...
A few weeks ago I played a track by Swedish band Sabaton. I've had a couple of their albums on heavy rotation on the iPhone ever since. This next track caught my ear for a couple of reasons. Firstly I really like the tight guitar riff at the start, and secondly because the lyrics are pretty much all made up of lines from other bands' songs – pretty cool. This YouTube link has the lyrics and a listing of where they come from. This really is wearing your influences on your sleeve!!
DJ Duck has a birthday tomorrow – and it's a big one. Have a great day and here's a song for you....
I've agonised about whether or not to include this next song. It isn't full of bad language, offensive images or even Celine Dion but I'm still unsure about it. Can the singer's voice really sound quite that clichéd? The melody is nothing new, the production is slick (almost too slick) but there's something about it that has me hooked. I think I like the idea behind the song but maybe I'd like it to be a bit less commercial. Anyway, make up your won mind.
On Monday I had to rearrange the garage so that a certain Yamaha Cruiser would fit in. I knew it would take me a while so I took a couple of old cassettes out to listen to. I bought the one that this next track is from in about 1988 I think. It's Hendrix and it was the first time I heard someone really rip through this tune in a way that I really liked. I was talking with the guys in the band and we agreed that anyone who turns up to try out for a group should be able to play this in A.
Right then – don't forget that George, Chris and I have a gig at Beyond Q tomorrow night at 6pm. It's only for an hour or so – don't be late. This song isn't in the show but I have a feeling I might be able to talk them into trying it one day...
Have a great weekend...next week is episode 200. I can guarantee it might be late!