The last issue - the printer was obviously tired before he'd even started, but the original drawing shows what the cover could've looked like and you'll never guess what that is in the background!!
What was inside was an interview of the Alarm and a hearty rant from Vinny about Precious records not letting him interview the Floor. It did his head in that he had to interview Goodbye Mr Mackenzie or Wet Wet Wet and not the band he wanted to, obviously this was about journalistic freedom, he guffawed! The Mackenzies were great but he hadn't heard them at the time. Baby's Got a Gun and The Heart Industry gigs are published while APB and the Square peg prove how easy it is to get your single out. Tapes were now flooding through the door and piling up and the Holy Joes, Rhythm System, No Tomorrow, This Poison, Curiously Carved Head, The Shamen and the Heart Industry are all reviewed. Dexy's new album is reviewed while the Crows gig is reviewed. The Crows were formed with 2 each from First Priority and Autumn 1904. The Fall at the Hammersmith Palais, Happy Hints page, A short story by Harry Rafferty, gig reviews of Luddy Samms, Paul Haig, The Smiths and Crucial Xylophones conclude this Christmas edition. Issue 33c the free one that never was, had a review of the Daintees and promised interviews but work sleep or drink must've got in the way!
There was a short story I was working on which was to run alongside the idea of a cartoon each issue....it never saw the light of day, until now,
“Do you have an empty wallet?” asked JJ
“Yes I do” replied the Aubergine Kid
“Are you fluent in German?” asked the Clone
“Ich haben zi gut Deutche” replied AK Grimbly
“I think that was a ‘Yes’” said Vinny
“Then may we confer on you the honorary post of Kittymeister. There are only a few duties but they are extremely important.
One. Go to the bar whenever we need a drink.
Two. Give us some money for fags.
Three. Organise and pay our tee off times.
Four. Pay the Van man when he asked.
Five. Tell us to go home if you run out.
Initiation duly complete, AK Grimbly assumed the role. We handed over all our money and went for a pint. AK quickly added it up and advised us all we’d be allowed to have two nights in the caravan, two games of golf, 80 pints of tennents, one Chinese set meal for 4, one chippie, 180 fags, 2 pouches of tobacco, one visit to the bakery at 2am for a dozen rolls and 8 bridies. There was no money in reserve for rizzla papers, petrol or pencils, so anyone with a car who smoked roll ups and marked the scores better have come prepared. Finally owing to budgetary constraints we should use the public facilities as opposed to those in the caravan. This would save on toilet paper.
The decision AK confirmed was also compatible with health and safety, as no bathroom windows would need to be left open whilst they were out.
The members of the group confirmed their appreciation of their financial security, their hygiene and as the bar beckoned they locked the caravan door.
First stop was the pub at Kinky Braes.
The route was simple and etched on all their minds.
Turn left, walk across the gravel path.
Eight paces then cut the corner and walk on the grass.
Nine paces then one on the gravel path.
Open the right hand door.
Open another right hand door and dodge the pool players.
Twenty seven paces then open left side of mouth.
“Good evening, four pintsh of Tennentsh pleashe, he’sh paying”.
The pre fight drinks were almost legendary, largely because they were only 1 or 2 years old, notably that nobody remembered the next day.
Once a year had elapsed there was no hope of reollection, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story. There were always 3 or 4 versions as well, which was useful depending on which of the company you kept.
Part of the evening that always raised the temperature was the handicap committee. Every year before a ball was struck in anger the committee met to decide on the handicaps for the runners. Being as TC & Vince were always top weights, they took on this secretarial role. It was rarely impartial but the handing out of strokes was key to the success of the competition. JJ fresh from divorce was to be given a shot at all holes except the par threes. Last year he’d got a shot per hole but the freedom he was enjoying had improved his eye for detail, although it had little real effect on the golf course.
The Aubergine Kid was a different kettle of fish. He stank most of the time but 2 shots per hole might be a tad too generous. They would have to do it though on the grounds that his last three scores had been 132, 126 and 137. We had thought with these scores he could consider himself half way to being a Professional Golfer, as frequently they would score this after two rounds of golf not one. He beamed with pride at the thought that a Professional Golfer was only twice as good as he. Within a few years he may go for Professional status himself. He had worked out that Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros had been playing for 30 years and he had only played for eight months. Once he’d had twice as long playing he’d surely be in a league of his own. World class. We agreed.
There was more drink to be had and the committee work was concluded for the evening. There were salt and pepper vessels to juggle, pints to swallow and dominoes to be cracked open. There were fourteen year olds with filthy thoughts to avoid and we were starting to feel old. Mid twenty something’s being harassed by fourteen year olds, that was pathetic. Back to juggling the salt and pepper they thought. Back to the Van more like. The last bell rang the scene was set for battle to rage. “May the worst man win” Grimbly cried. We cried with him.
The members of the handicap committee were forced to meet again following JJ’s incredible scoring. He’d taken a five iron at the first and put it to two feet. Off a bare St Andrew lie, this was not golf as we knew it Jim. The normally unreliable putter had been binned and he’d acquired Vince’s in exchange for his cherished “chunkitstraightintothehole”. A hapless piece of metal that even Vinny couldn’t putt with. With one birdie, net eagle, in the bag he’d strode onto the second tee at the
. A hole that now forms part of the driving range was intimidating to say the least. Bounded by the Old Course on the right, the Old Course hotel behind (a feat only TC had managed to date) and a traditional flurry of bunkers either side of the Ally McBeal middle. JJ stood tall. Put the ball 4” of his front foot and hit his traditional off drive over the bowlers head. Still mastering the game of Golf he had failed to notice the ball was stationery in this new game. We tried to explain it in cricketing terms, but as hard as we tried he couldn’t master it. Eden
“Get your front foot to the pitch of the ball” cried Cy
“No, I could never do that at cricket either” was his resigned response.
The ball had got use to his flailing and had started accepting it as well. It galloped down the second fairway as only the springbok can with a cheetah chasing it for comradeship. It ran left around one bunker, right around the next and rolled out 120 yards from the green. For JJ, it was a seven iron from the green. It was only 1 hole and one drive, but the handicap committee was worried.
Cy & Vinny had always taken this onerous task on board. The issuing of
& additional strokes were never easy tasks. There was always someone who wanted to score more than the other. The greatest hacker by far was still AK Grimbly but JJ was a close second. On his day, JJ could surpass even the handicap committee’s combined score. On occasion he could total all three of his fellow pro’s, but the freak, had a mean streak and today we were seeing it. Arnolds
As the others strode onto the tee the nervous fidgeting began. Vinny left his trail as usual, but it was a bit early, even by his bladder’s standards. The call of nature over, he assumed the position. The ball embedded in tee peg, while the tee was dumped in the ground. The practice swing was ignored and the flailing attempt made contact. This was to be a better than average contact and the out of bounds was within reach. Luckily a Japanese tourist was playing the Old Course and socially threw it back.
“Play it as it lies, I believe” he smirked as AK Grimbly assumed the position.
Tee peg, ball. Tee peg ball. He had a Tommy Cooper’esque feel to this game. It worked. Golf swings lampoon all your mannerisms your life values and style, encapsulated into seconds. Tee peg, ball. Club, ball. Tee peg, club, ball. Tee peg, ground. Ball, club. Tee peg, ground, ball, club.
We were ready.
Swing, stop. Swing, stop.
Hips, hands, swing, stop. Swing stop. Swing stop.
Hips, hand, swing, stop. Swing, hips hands stop,
Swing shoulders, hips hands stop, swing shoulders, hips, hands, stop.
SWING SHOULDERS HIPS ARMS HANDS BALL CRUNCH!
The rhythm was building and AK was winding up. A rousing crescendo was rising in his head and he knew it. The palms started sweating, the heart started pumping, this was a shot, a golf shot and a half that was about to be exploded onto this hole, the second hole, on the Eden course, St Andrews. They had never seen it before. This golf ball had never seen it before. The guys had never seen it before.
And still they didn’t. As the ball flew off the tee the sound of laughter was brutally suppressed with the respect of friends, a couple of hands, a baseball cap and a three wood’s head cover. It had to be fair, travelled a good distance in the belief that it was on its way to being the best shot the
had seen, before nose-diving 50 yards ahead, and maybe a bit to the left, into a bunker designed to protect the 17th hole. Eden
“Great strike, shame about the direction” came the well-versed lies.
“Just a fraction out on your timing, but it’s nearly there” was another piece of ill advised support.
The trolley however was on the move. “See you at the green” was heard as the body & bag moved seamlessly across the rough.
“I’m sure I’ll miss him” said TC rhetorically as he teed up. “I need shooting if I don’t” he replied to himself as he took his practice swing. Swing, swipe, ball straight up the middle. Bouncing at the wandering springbok’s ball it galloped on in search of a few more yards. Driving was never an issue for the wee man and the fast running links fairways maximised his weight advantage. But would he get it in the hole. The only problem he’d ever had in his golfing career, was to move the ball closer to the hole in the last 50 yards. The business end as they say. “Drive for show, putt for dough”, a mantra that had destroyed his professional career. On the circuit he’d been known as the pin up boy, but now he was with friends. They’d pin him down using the only part he couldn’t do.
“Get nearer the pin now then”, goaded Vinny
AK thrashed away in the bunker to some minor merriment. The further away you were the more merriment you had. You didn’t like to over-egg the merriment, but AK & bunkers were the finest act never to the grace the
festival. Vinny topped his way up the course having recovered from his bit of good fortune. Blaming his lack of patience on a golf course that was empty, he rushed ingloriously into the valley of sin once more. And then it was JJ. Edinburgh
Off the front foot, 7 iron, swish. Bouncing merrily the ball had the green in its sight. Still twisting and turning but now with the more sublime grace of the cat walk the ball nestled up within 10 feet of the flag.
‘The business end’, thought Cy. ‘I’ll show them this time, I’ll use my putter’. Another mistake golfers make is that they cant do any worse with their putter. TC could. Shanking is supposed to be an art only performed with clubs like a 9 iron, a pitching wedge, a sand iron. Cy’s artistic repertoire however knew no such bounds. With the gentlest of swings he gave the man at point a chance of catching his ball as he putted it up the slope some 50 yards from the green at an angle of 70 degrees.
This resulted in posing him the most interesting of shots for his third as he had somehow positioned his ball behind a bunker on a downhill slope and Vinny was still laughing.
“I’m back in this” was the cry as he topped it for the fourth time onto the putting surface.
All this was to no avail however as JJ calmly stroked away his 10 foot putt into the hole for a one under par, birdie 3. With his stroke still to come off this score of 3, his net score of 2 made him the comfortable winner of the hole.
The others fought a valiant struggle for second place but as nothing but pride was at stake they were just at their normal level of rivalry. This meant that every stroke would be counted and a putt of 30cm was long enough to be counted. Normally conceded with the good grace that your opponent would be able to hole such a short putt, ‘a gimmee' was rarely offered in this company. The ball had to be close enough to the hole that the wind might blow it in before anything became a gimmee.
Happy Hints returned in issue 26 and while Julie interviewed Sisters of Mercy in Glasgow, Vinny raved about June Brides. Local tapes from Accoustic Youth, BTOC, Single File, So you think you're a Cowboy, Plague of Fools, Maxim DaDa and Breakfast ofChampions are reviewed by various people while Mo tells us how good Talking Drums were while playing at La Sorbonne in Edinburgh's Cowgate, oh yes and plugging their next gig at Maestros in Glasgow on 15th July 1984. A flu victim with a runny nose, Pete Shelley was shown little sympathy by Keith and Vinny who needed their scoop. In the early days of the computer age it is very funny what a geek Pete was. Kissing bandits from Glasgow were interviewed by Jon who was passing the Park Lane studios one sunny day when the band were in recording. The Twinsets, Bourgie Bourgie and Lloyd Cole gig at the Caley Palais is given a balanced view while Kitsch and the Nightset's gig at the Hoochie Coochie is compared to Almond and Ball, well there were two of them and one sung and one played Keyboards. Dormannu were interviewed in St Andrews where they had stopped off on their tour promoting the single "Degenerate". Before the Crossword there is just enough time for a review of Red Guitars by Julie and a review of some American fanzines. As Vinny was to say later, we seem to be spending all our time reading and listening to all this shite that people send us, talking of which, Life Support promote their single "About You" on the back cover, although the might've been better off spending their time practising.
The covers of issues 14 with Tracie and 18 with Screaming Nobodies the band with the boxing banter