The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Friday, 30 November 1990

Vision Thing

8:30pm:
 
‘Black Planet’ – The Sisters Of Mercy

 
O MY GOD, weren’t THE SISTERS OF MERCY fantastic on Monday?  I’ve got all these tunes rolling round my head; tracks from VISION THING which I’m not quite yet fully familiar with.  And no, I don’t even own it yet.  Well, why not?  To be honest, I have in fact had a great deal of opportunity when it comes to buying it, but I wanted to enact a kind of, I dunno, discipline, in a sense.  I knew that if I bought it straight away, the gig wouldn’t be able to take me by surprise.  I also knew it might put me off buying any of the singles (like when Floodland came out and I didn’t bother buying the 12-inch of ‘LUCRETIA’ / ‘TRAIN’, which I regret now; I wish I had because I saw it the other day and it’s about four quid!).  So I will buy the ‘DOCTOR JEEP’ single and put VISION THING on my Christmas list (which also works out cheaper!).
 
I want more.
 
Later:
 
‘Lucretia’ – The Sisters Of Mercy

 
INTERESTING FACT: JAPAN have apparently reformed and are working on a new LP…
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘Home Truths at Badger House…’

Thursday, 29 November 1990

Work Dries Up

11am:
 
‘Enjoy The Silence’ – Depeche Mode

 
I’ve said it before, but do you know who I really miss?  MARY-JANE FERGUSON.  She hasn’t written back to me yet, even though a couple of weeks ago she said she would…
 
Later:
 
10:40pm:
 



 
Went to King’s Lynn.  Saw Johnny.  He came home with me.  Went to The Angel.  Saw Alice.  It seems Johnny and Missy are in a right state, falling out lots. 
 
Might be a summons to court in the post next week for Larry’s court case.  Is that STILL going?!
 
Love The Sisters.
 
Apparently Pip has begun sleeping around a lot and Amy Neat has moved in next door to Missy.
 
I need some cash.  Work dried up at the lorry yard and I have to go on the dole.  But I need to get out more and get into more parties, booze-ups, drug happenings and raves, far, far more than I am doing.
 
I think I’ve finished now. 
 
As you were.
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘Vision Thing…’

Wednesday, 28 November 1990

Merry Handbag

‘Nine While Nine’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
I’ve finally mixed the Berwin/Situation album…
 
It’s now called:
 
It’s A WonderBastFuckCUNTingardful Life
 
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘Work dries up…’

Tuesday, 27 November 1990

Major's Bloody Britain

8.04pm:
 
‘Being Boring’ – Pet Shop Boys

 
Today’s news:
 
Raq and Helen wrote me a letter today, asking me to go and stay with them in Winchester after Xmas.
 
JOHN MAJOR gained 185 Parliamentary votes to become PM today.  Heseltine came second and Hurd came third.  Major actually needed 187 but Heseltine and Hurd conceded.  And though I’ll miss the character – if not the politics (which essentially remain) – of Margaret Thatcher, I guess we must congratulate the NEW PRIME MINISTER – JOHN MAJOR.
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘Merry handbag…’

Monday, 26 November 1990

The Sisters of Mercy, Wembley Arena, 26 Nov 1990

‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ – The Mission

 
First, the mundane stuff…
 
Legs and I set off this morning with our sleeping bags and 6 cans of lager each.  We got into VICTORIA at about 2pm and mooched around the train station drinking our lager.  Two odd things happened here: i) a man approached us asking if we had ten pence to spare.  We said we hadn’t and that we were totally skint (true), so he ended up giving us thirty pence!  Odd…  ii) the police stopped Legs and me and searched us for drugs – even contacting the local station to do a namecheck on me!  Only a few days ago, legs and I were saying we’d like to bring some gear (either acid or blow) to the gig.  I’m glad we didn’t.
 
At Wembley Arena, I was glad to bump into Flash and Tom, having be certain we probably wouldn’t.  Over all, we didn’t spend too much time together – add it all up, it was about 20 minutes.  Flash was great and I was really pleased to see him.  He smokes now (Eldritch-brand cigarettes!) and seems much more laid back than he used to.  Nicer?  I don’t know.  I was just glad he was there and in the fleeting moments we shared, it felt really nice and very much as if we’re still the best of friends – and I do hope we are and will continue to be.  We got straight into being ‘us’ for such a brief meeting, which was lovely.  Brilliant.
 
Later:
 
EXTREMELY LATE:
 
‘This Corrosion (Live)’ – The Sisters Of Mercy

 
THE SISTERS OF MERCY.  WEMBLY ARENA.  FIRST AND LAST AND ALWAYS MINE.  THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, EXCITING THING EVER!  TO TALK ABOUT IT LIMITS IT.  IT WAS JUST SO… ALL-CONSUMING.  SO POWERFUL.  UNBELIEVABLE.  PERFECT.  WILD AND SEXY.  I’VE NEVER FREAKED OUT SO MUCH WITH DANCING LIKE THAT AT A GIG.  OR IN MY LIFE!  OR SUNG ALONG TO ANYTHING QUITE SO LOUDLY.  DIVINE.  HEAVEN.
 
Later:
 
‘Temple Of Love (Live)’ – The Sisters Of Mercy

 
A bit later:
 
Today was gorgeous.  I’ll try not to talk about it too much as far as the concert went, but the SISTERS looked and sounded brilliant.  The set was perfect and the atmosphere was body electric.
 
 
 
As Legs said, you had people like Ash going, ‘Oh, it won’t be the same as ’84 or ‘85’, but only because they saw them when no-one knew who they were and they’re trying to hold on to the coolness of that.  It probably wasn’t the same, no, but who’s to say it wasn’t better?  In 1984, the Sisters were one of many touring bands ‘on the scene’ – today they’re a rare commodity.  These are their first UK dates since 1985.  Having, like many others, believed I’d never get to see them, seeing them tonite with material from every iteration of their career was just brilliant: tension mixed with ecstasy.  Eldritch and his band were just so powerful; you couldn’t really take your eyes off them.  I couldn’t stop dancing.  And normally at a gig I get bored about ¾ of the way in.  Not this time.  That was the Ultimate Gig for me.  And, Christ, what an amazing body of work they have now – and how incredibly well they were performed!  A few years ago, I recall Eldritch saying his band was a ‘studio project’ rather than a ‘live’ one.  To be honest, I actually found myself thinking some of the songs were tonnes better live (eg. ‘LUCRETIA’, ‘1969’, ‘TEMPLE OF LOVE’).  I’d love to hear a live LP from this VISION THING tour.  THE SISTERS OF MERCY project is growing up, maturing – and making Eldritch’s name one to be reckoned with.  They have to be the greatest live band I have ever had the experience of and I’m kind of glad they’re not going to dilute the magic of these Wembley gigs by going on national tour.
 
Flash, too, was overawed by the gig.
 
Fortunately, whilst at the gig, Legs and I met two young-looking Gothettes – Janet and Sandy, who I thought were sisters.  They were from Norwich and kindly offered us a lift back to Wisbech St Mary in the car of a bloke called Jerry, who seemed to be just a mate.  It turned out that Janet and Jerry were married – and Sandy was their daughter!  Anyway, they were AMAZING and kindly dropped legs and I off at my house!

 
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘Major’s Bloody Britain…’

Sunday, 25 November 1990

A Clockwork Orange

5.30pm
 
‘Kashmir’ – Led Zeppelin

 
All recording on the Situation/Berwin LP is complete – just a few inserts to put in and some mixing and post-production to do.  Today, Johnny came over to help me complete it, and the recording was hectic!
 
We’ve recorded these songs:
 
‘White Christmas’, my lyrics, dubbed over the Bing Crosby track.  All about Berwin’s sexual perversions at Christmas.  The vocals are by Berwin and the Berwinettes.
 
‘Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire’, my lyrics, dubbed over the Nat ‘King’ Cole track, 'The Christmas Song'.  An insight into how Berwin and his many pets will spend Christmas Day.  Vocals by Berwin and the Berwinettes.
 
‘Merry Christmas, Everyone’, my lyrics dubbed over the Shakin’ Stevens track.  It’s all about Berwin’s way of spending New Year’s Eve.  It also intro’s with a piss-take of Walking In The Air’ (sampling the Aled Jones track) with Johnny reading from a book based on The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.   The vocals are by Berwin and the Berwinettes.
 
‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’, my lyrics dubbed over a generic Christmas LP track.  All about how Berwin likes a massive scrap at Christmas.   The vocals are by Berwin and the Berwinettes.
 
‘Rocking Around the Xmas Tree’, my lyrics dubbed over the Brenda Lee track, describing Berwin’s Christmas party.  Vocals by Berwin, Johnny Badcock, Salathiel, and the Berwinettes.  Plus a sample of Legs from the other day.
 
Later:
 
LATER
 
‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’ – Pink Floyd

 
Tonite I met Legs at Wisbech and we went down to Duncan’s where Spock, the Commander and Dan Crank were waiting for us.  The occasion this time was a screening of The Prisoner: ‘Arrival’, which actually felt a bit tedious and offensive in places.
 
 
I must say, The Prisoner doesn’t grab me as much as it once did and I’m certainly no longer impressed by Patrick McGoohan.  I don’t like actors or characters or performances that fail to tap into genuine vulnerabilities.  Like Tom Baker as Doctor Who, McGoohan can be something of a strutting cock – something I’ve never admired in real life. 
 
Anyway, it went down pretty well with everyone else, which it ought to on first viewing.  None of the others (except Spock) had ever seen it before.
 
The Prisoner was followed by the main attraction: STANLEY KUBRICK’S A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, which is currently banned and so seeing it tonite was an incredible and rare treat.
 
What did I think of it?
 
Well let’s just say it now has a place on my favourite films list.  Damned good.  Malcolm McDowall gets a grade A in my book.
 
The evening was entertaining and Duncan gave me a paperback edition of DR WHO: 25 GLORIOUS YEARS as he works at the place that binds them and was given several for free.  I’ve already got it in hardback (and now covered in autographs) but I appreciated the gift.  Enjoyed myself.
 
 
Tomorrow?  DESTINY…
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘The Sisters of Mercy, Wembley Arena, 1990…’

Saturday, 24 November 1990

Greetings From Groomstool Falls!

‘Hands Across The Ocean’ – The Mission

 
I have a letter from Maggie
 
She’s been busy at the gallery.  She wishes me and Johnny well with launching the company.  She thinks I’ll be brilliant and she’d love to see FRANKENSTEIN: ‘It sounds fantastic, brilliant and full of emotion – just like you!’  She’s even offered to design posters for us.  She thanks me for my advice about ‘It’, her boyfriend, and, though she feels a bit guilty, she’s told him it’s over and hasn’t seen him since.  She says my letters make her grin from ear to ear: ‘I can hear you saying things as I’m reading them; you have such a wonderful accent’.  She loves our friendship.  She wishes I could be with her so she could reach out and touch me, have me protect her.  I make her feel strong and special.  I make her happy and glad to be alive when everything else is so miserable and difficult for her.  She says that after Christmas we must get together or at least starting talking on the phone as well as letter-writing: ‘You are such a good friend, and it feels good – it warms me right through.’  She also updates me on her arm operation (she was glassed in a pub by a jealous girl and the glass went into her arm, fragments of which stayed there) and the complications caused by her psoriasis (‘like the Singing Detective’).  She then goes on to talk about her love of historical places, books, libraries, pewter and sword and sorcery fiction.  She also loves the song I wrote about her, ‘Dark Angels’ and talks about it at great length.
 
Later:
 
11.05pm
 
‘Some Kind of Stranger’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
Today we have three new recordings for the Situation/Berwin Christmas LP
 
‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ dubbed over a generic Christmas LP recording.  This is Berwin’s somewhat muddled/vague Christmas salute to the end of Thatcherism.  It features a few topical references.  I sang it as Berwin in several over-dubs and it also has samples from Tuesday’s News At Ten (the voices of Alistair Burnett and Margaret Thatcher).  The end of the song features an a capella rendition (which won’t be listed on the LP) of ‘Candle In The Wind’, sung by Berwin (me) but re-worked as a dedication to the ex-Prime Minister.  I wrote all the lyrics, obviously, and though I’m not a Tory, Berwin most assuredly is.
 
‘Ghosts Of Christmas’ which is more of an experimental cut-up thing.  It looks at Christmas as The Situation enjoyed it in 1985 – on the Situation cassette/LP A Merry Wetlands Xmas – which was recorded mostly at my old school.  It is primarily a remix of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, which most of my year were singing in the Biology mobile.  It is placed on the LP to say: ‘Look!  Listen!  This is 6 Christmases later and we’re still doing this shit!’  It segues into some scratchin’ again sampled from The Situation’s own archive (Flash’s track ‘Fuck Off, Flash Gordon’, via Malcolm McLaren), which then segues into the new Berwin rap ‘Berwin Is A 6-Letter Word’ (over a Pop Will Eat Itself track), which, when mixed, will then segue into ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’.  I’ll be crediting ‘Rudolph’ to The Wetlands High School Spiritual Choir.
 
‘Greetings From Groomstool Falls’ will be the Intro to the whole LP.  It is Berwin’s MC/spoken welcome, with an impromptu ad lib of a song.  I wrote all the vocal stuff and performed it as Berwin, but it also features a sample from an early 1980s BBC2 announcer presenting Frank Capra’s movie It’s A Wonderful Life.
 
I spent this afternoon with Legs.  We went to see Ash at his girlfriend’s place (where he’s now living).  Sadly, he wasn’t there, but Ellie – his girlfriend – was, so we had a let’s talk SISTERS afternoon.
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘A Clockwork Orange…’

Friday, 23 November 1990

Fondly, Of Flash and Raquel

10:35pm
 
‘The Damage Done’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
DOCTOR WHO’S 27th BIRTHDAY, 1990.
 
Well, I’ve just been on the ‘phone to Raq and Helen, and it was good.  They must have enjoyed it too because they rang me back almost immediately for another long conversation.  Oh, and hi to Raq’s mate Katie – she seems nice enough.  We talked fondly about Flash and Raq made me realise – as she often does – that Flash has taught me a great deal and that I have taught him much also (if I can be so modest).  We’ve experienced much together.  A kind of vocational rather than academic sharing of stuff.  I’m glad he’s doing well with BERWIN, etc, but I must admit that I do hope he doesn’t leave me behind.  My ideal vision is one of me and him working together in the future as creative partners.  I do think we work very well together and release something in each other that no one else has ever been able to provide.
 
‘A Rock and A Hard Place’ – The Sisters of Mercy

 
I can’t put my SISTERS records down.  Last nite I had an incredible dream about Andrew Eldritch!
 
 
[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character ‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and almost always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on www.25yearstoolate.blogspot.com that precede it]
 
Next time: ‘Greetings from Groomstool Falls…’