Bob Dylan – 1964 – 50th Anniversary Collection 9lp Vinyl Box Set

Was there going to be another 50th Anniversary limited edition release this year? Was there enough in the vault to justify it???? And so hot on the heels of the Basement tapes.

The answer is yes.

A 9lp Vinyl Set.

16 sides of live recordings (including concerts in London, Philadelphia , San Francisco and San Jose)

And 2 of studio out-takes from June 4, 1964 (well that is what the sleeve says Mr Heylin)

So get down to you local record store quick if you want to grab a copy as it was out today.

P.S. you might need to ask as it might not be on view.





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Travels with Henry …or brrrrrrrr

The frosts have arrived!

The frosts have arrived!

Well Steinbeck travelled with Charley (a poodle) so I thought I would travel with my pet Henry today.

Really the route I took today combined a number of fairly familiar paths to give  some gentle climbing off-road exercise, and keep Henry happy but not overstressed.  While staying in a compact geographical area.  Having said that, when my HRM hit 220 I thought **** , but it was just interference with my phone – as soon as it  was banished to my back-pack my heart rate retuned to normal.

I started in Pycombe and took the path towards Woolstonbury. This was a bit of a mistake as I soon got caught up in Saturday Pony Club horse traffic. So instead of going upto the top of Woolstonbury I turned right towards the South Downs Way. I took this to just past Ditchling Beacon before turning right again, heading for the top of Stanmer Park.  A few paths around Stanmer then back out, up and west  to Pycombe.  [See later piccy  for Route]. It was up, down, up, down, up, down,up, down, up, down, up, down, up and down i.e. not much flat easy peasy stuff today.  Just over 15.5 muddy miles and c 2200 ft of climbing (according to my bike computer – MMR has it several ’00  less – and looking at the profile it misses out a couple of the descents and climbs).

Most of the leaves are now down.

Most of the leaves are now down – but those that remain  glisten in the sun.

It was nice in the sun (but cool in the shadows)

It was nice in the sun – but cool in the shadows

This is now about the 6th ride  on  27.5″ wheels and I am more and more impressed – especially with the traction afforded by the larger diameter wheels and the  Minion DHF 3C EXO TR tyres (what a mouthful) I plumped for – It is like point and go, and a bit more.  They install more confidence and in the end I was taking lines that I wouldn’t have considered before.  And Henry behaved.

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The Vinyl revival – Upcoming treaures for 2014 – Another Update

Check out the new videos on Mr Fremer’s analog

After months of wondering what happened…..they have been announced.

Beach Boys 1 Beach Boys 2

Yes, some of the Analogue Productions Beach Boys albums on 200gm vinyl have got release dates!

The first batch, comprising  the first 5 Beach Boy albums, in mono, are due out before Christmas and then 4 of them are out in Stereo in January (Surfin’ Safari was only released in mono).

Fingers crossed that they will sound excellent – and maybe, just maybe, they will fill in a  few of the gaps later.

What suprised me is that my previous post got more visits than any other of my posts by a long, long margin. there must be plently of demand for these records out across the planet.  Hats off to Brian and the “boys”.

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A trip to the Basement


Not sure if this works but if it does it could save you a 4 hour return drive from the big apple to the Big Pink!

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Up norf with MTB

Deepest Yorkshire

Deepest Yorkshire

Somehow, with one daughter finishing her second year at Uni in the UK and then jetting off to study at the University of Singapore, and the other finishing her PGCE and starting her first teaching job, the summer was gone without a holiday. The upshot is we found ourselves in Yorkshire for a week as September finished.

Apart from 8 hours to drive just over 300 miles on a Friday afternoon – an average of less than 40mph on the UK Motorway network  it was a brilliant week.

I managed to fit in a couple of testing bike rides with a gentle Lancastrian ride sandwiched in the middle.

First up was the man made Red route in Gisburn Forest – hairpin after hairpin bend between trees, berms, mud, slippery roots, rocky climbs, stone slabs, drops, timber trails – all quite different to what I am used to – and quite testing. What was really nice was the chattiness of other riders on the trail – it would have been rather lonely without that. Definitly worth another  visit or two! No photos as I was too busy working out where I was going!

Gisburn forrest

Major ride 2 started in the town of Settle and saw me riding straight up towards the clouds and Malham Tarn and eventually back down into Airton. The intial road was one of those you see on OS maps with two arrows on them – alas they were pointing the wrong way which ment a massive slog – someway up the climb the route took me off road and onto a rocky steep path – I am not sure I really got the hang of riding over the rocks and stones.  As I was climbing slowly and true Yorkshire man passed me and then waited for me at the top.

We had a chat and invited me to join him on the descent – and WOW – I just managed to keep up – exhilerating – having someone in front to lead the way enabled me to concentrate on the immediate route as opposed to wondering where the hell I was headed – rock, deep grass ruts all flew by – MASSIVE GRIN as we came to a stop at the gate.  From then on we rode round the Tarn before Phil? headed of homeward and I continued east and then back down a long descent into Airton.  Brilliant.

The Malham ride

The Malham ride


Not sure if this is Gordale Scar or Malham Cove (lost? never!)

Malahm 2

Riding east from Malham Tarn towards Grassington


Looking back west to where I had come from

Malham 2

The descent across the top of a moor down to Airton




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I’d just like to thank the almighty for days like today


Looking across the River Adur at Shoreham

Looking across the River Adur at Shoreham

What a beautiful day it was today –  these sunny early winter days are some of the best of the year.  And so it was out on the bike,  heading for the hills.

I started at the “Old Toll Bridge” over the Adur – it has held a fond place in my memory since I was a small boy – I remember waiting for a train in my Grandad’s car back when it was still a toll bridge. The Railway has been gone for over 45  years but the house next to it where my mum lived when she was a girl is still there.

The "Old Toll Bridge" - looking west

The “Old Toll Bridge” – looking west – Lancing College can just be seen on the right

And it always feels good to down at the rivers edge. Anyway off over the bridge, over the A27 and onto the mud!   Puddles, slippy mud, dogs stopping dead in front of you … After climbing out past Lancing Ring  I heard a bike coming up behind me and wanting to pass as I was slowing down to assess the route through the mud.  Not for this chap on a cross-cycle, dropped handle bars et al – whiz past he went and promptly went splat!

Looking south approaching Chanctonbury Ring

Looking south approaching Chanctonbury Ring

No speed records today – just enjoying the moment in the winter sun.  The rolling hills looked just the same as the photo’s I took as a teenager.

looking south west  from Chanctonbury Ring

Looking south west from Chanctonbury Ring

My plan was to do the three Rings but once at Chanctonbury it felt good and I just carried on west towards Storrington and Amberley.


Flooded fields around Amberley

Flooded fields around Amberley

The effects of the torrential rain recently can be seen with the flooding of the fields in the Arun Valley. The path took me down to river level where the mud had been churned by cattle, water stood just below path level and cycling though it sapped my energy quicker than you can say.

On the bank of the River Arun

On the bank of the River Arun looking up to the next hill to climb

Looking back down into the Arun Valley

Looking back down into the Arun Valley

By the time I got to the road at the top of Bury Hill I had had it, 17+ miles of glorious off-road paths. I just love the views. After the long downhill descent to the A27 I continued into Littlehampton and jumped on a train back to Shoreham.  All told it was 26miles, not quite 2000ft of climbing, and half a field of mud stuck to my bike – as one traveller on the train pointed out.

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Jackson Browne returns to London

IMG_1823Should I or shouldn’t I go? I was indecisive when Jackson Browne’s mini UK tour was announced, and by the time I made my mind up to try for a ticket  there were only a few seats to choose from. This actually turned out to be pretty lucky, as on Monday night  I found myself  down in the arena area in the Royal Albert Hall for the first time, and with a pretty good view.

I haven’t really listened to JB much over the last 20 or so years [and it is soon 38 years ago since I first saw hime live at the Palace Theatre Manchester (a magical night)].  The exception being his live album with David Lindley “Love is Strange” (wish it was on vinyl)  and the recent CD release of the radio recording “Live at the Main Point 1975″, again with David Lindley. But for a few years in my late teens he could do no wrong.  His first 4 albums, along with his production of  Warren Zevon’s ’76 self titled lp comprise one of the most brilliant consectutive set of albums – PERIOD – up there with Joni Mitchell’s early 8 album run (Songs to a Seagull to Hejira), Dylan’s mid ’60’s run, Ornette Coleman’s first 4 Atlantic Lp’s etc etc. The albums consist of brilliant mellow, heartfelt, introspective and uplifting songs supported by some fantastic musicians.

Anyway back to the now – sitting in the area and looking up and  around the Royal Albert Hall you realise what a vast, weird and magnificant building it is. And if you have a chance to go, take a walk in Hyde Park before hand.

From the first few bars I knew I had made a good choice to attend, and it got better as the band warmed up. Intially I was a bit reticent about the guitarists – I always think of JB  performing best with David Lindley – but by the end I was won over by the whole band.

The concert lasted over 3 hours (including an intermission) and the audience were treated to a fantastic selection of songs from throughout his canon – mixing the personal with his songs crusading for justice and the environment – yes I would have liked a few different songs but not at the expense of any he played.

And his new lp should be out on vinyl any day soon!




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