Monday, 29 November 2010

Springsteen vs Stallone: The T-Shirt

Remember that time when we talked about the American dream as exemplified and mirrored in the careers of Bruce Springsteen and Sylvester Stallone? Well we realised that the next logical step for any successful essay is to merchandise it. Also you may recall that we're a band, and bands have t-shirts. Also we're not much to look at. All these facts combined into one obvious course of events: press-gang people we know who can do Photoshop and that sort of thing into designing us a sweet Great Men: Springsteen vs Stallone t-shirt.
Then, on a roll with the exploitation of our friends, we remembered that one of them was handy with a camera and that another one, instead of being a beardy ogre like us, was in fact a pretty girl, so we decided to take some photos of said t-shirts in action. This has the double bonus that maybe a promoter will see one of these photos and think we're a band with a pretty girl that sings, hence book us on the kind of sweet gig from which instrumental beardy ogres are usually precluded, not finding out the truth until it's too late...

As you can imagine we get a lot of fan mail here at GMHQ, so I thought I'd share some completely at random...
Well Little Jeffy, thanks for your continued support over the years, and thanks for asking about the t-shirts. You can buy them now for only £8 over at and I'll tell you what, because it is very nearly the season to be jolly, if you order before the end of 2010 we'll do you a free personalized CD of Great Men demos and stuff to enjoy when the radio isn't playing The Pogues or Phil Spector. If any of our extensive international readership are interested in a t-shirt, do drop us a line and I'm sure we can figure something out - we've already sent one to New Zealand (hi Enthusiastic Tom!).

Finally on a sad but celebratory note, RIP Leslie Nielsen and Irvin Kirshner. True facts: I did my English A-Level coursework based on the linguistic humour exemplified by Nielsen in Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker projects such as Airplane and Police Squad. And I wrote said coursework whilst nestling in the intestines of a Tauntaun.

One of those facts was not true.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Harry Potter and the Newfound Respect For R-Man

Last Saturday I was once again invited to play bass with Ginkinta, supporting The Peacocks at Camden Underworld. I pulled out pretty much all the stops: learned which key the songs were in, put some new strings on my bass, and drew a picture of Peregrine the Easter Bunny on it (I'd recently bought a new 4-pack of Sharpies). I kind of think of playing bass as a bit of a holiday from my usual guitar+machine duties, however I didn't anticipated the amount of ache and pain my hands would be suffering by the end of the set. For this I hold a newfound respect for Regan and all the bass players out there. I will now be endeavouring to practise more bass, or I'll never be Bootsy.

I mentioned the other week that we had a new track underway that was bigger than U2. Well it's still underway and we've now got another one as well which sounds like a cross between Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack to Dirty Harry, and John Carpenter's soundtrack to Halloween. It's tentatively titled Magnum Myers.

Maybe because I've spent too much of my life watching films with cool soundtracks, or maybe because I'm a grown up, I've not read the actual book that the new Harry Potter film is based on. For others of you that may also be contemplating tackling the marathon experience of this film with a similar lack of preparation, here's what to expect:

Scene 1: Voldemort says he needs a new wand.
Scene 2 - Scene 986: Harry and his pals dick about looking for the plot.
Scene 987: Voldemort gets a new wand.

In hindsight it's a mash-up of Cash In The Attic and a Hollyoaks omnibus, set entirely at night.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Sounds of the road

I just emptied a pile of CDs out of my car, and since blogs exist for nothing if not self-indulgent sharing of mundanities, I thought I'd tell you what they were, maybe you'll glean some incredible insight into my life. Or maybe you'll find something new to listen to. Or maybe you'll just kill a minute.

Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
Les Claypool's Frog Brigade - Live Frogs Set 1
Sisters of Mercy - Vision Thing
Neil Young - Living With War
Manic Street Preachers - Generation Terrorists
Soundgarden - Superunknown
Rush - 2112
Gonerfest 2
The Who - Live at Leeds
Big Black - The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape
King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair
Idlewild - Captain
A.R.E. Weapons - Free in the Streets
Queen - On Fire Live At The Bowl
David Bowie - Stage
XTC - Nonsuch
Funkadelic - Ultimate Funkadelic
Built to Spill - Ancient Melodies of the Future

Monday, 8 November 2010

Chocolate Trousers

We started writing a new song last week. It's so massive it may not fit in conventional venues. The good news is that U2 can retire now.

Then this weekend was jam-packed full of awesome. We cruised down on Friday night to check out Ulterior's single launch at Electrowerkz in Islington. There was lots of leather, beer and a hilariously decrepit pool table (true to form, R-man hustled and I was terrible).

After another satisfying fry-up at Delichio's, R-Man headed off for the train with Benn's Brother while H-Town and I went to check out the Zappa happenings (or Zappanings, if you won't) at the Roundhouse. Although we didn't actually have tickets for any of the events, it was awesome just hanging out in the venue - non-stop Frank on the speakers, blown-up album covers everywhere, and some fun interactive stuff to do. Here's me with one of my favourites (the L├Ąther album would have been rock's first quadruple album if the record company had had the udders to release it back in the 70s).

Then we caught Stewart Lee doing some new material for his next TV show. If you know Stewart Lee then you know I can't do justice to repeating any lines here. If you don't know him then you should check him out, an accomplished technical comedian - rivalling classic Harry Hill but with anger instead of silliness.

What's next for Great Men? Other than writing this new material, getting the album mixed and maybe sneaking out a cheeky live EP, we're off for a pint. See you at the Crown in 15.

PS - I apologise to all the regular readers who were looking forward to another photo of us eating in a London cafe.

PPS - Regan shared his Snickers with me in the car but I dropped a bit and it melted on my trousers.

PPPS - That wasn't a euphemism.