I have to laugh sometimes. Not a belly laugh you understand, more a laugh filled with irony and truthful paradoxes.
I said in my last Blog, I am trying to be a writer. I have been writing
poems, short and lengthy stories for a long time. I have even written a
novel. (Awaiting publication).
took me some 5 years to write one of my longer poems "Sharm El Sheik"
and some 7 years for "The Black Man's Song" to reach maturation. My wife
goes for a quick run a couple of Saturdays ago and comes back with a
poem that I would die for.
I think the Creative Pool likes her.
Please join our mailing list if you would like more of our creations as they become available:
Many of you will know that I am trying to be a writer.
you may not be aware of is that for the last year I have been toiling
under the weight of writing a kind of autobiography about my life set
around the music that I love.
get me wrong, I love most music, but I have gotta say that I am
passionate about (in no particular order) Rhythm and Blues, Soul Music
from the 60’s and 70’s, Blues, Jazz, Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae. And a
bit of classical thrown in.
Love Funk, but only when James Brown plays it (You should have been in
Singapore in 1967 and 68 to see Neil dance to “Cold Sweat” and “Papa’s
Got A Brand New Bag” in the dance halls of the RAF bases. It was truly a
sight to remember and is still almost touchable 50 years later).
the book is nearly finished and is being edited as I write. Hopefully
the Editor thinks it is wonderful and amazing and I do not have massive
rewrites to do, mainly because there is another one rattling around in
the brain and I have a collection of poems that I need to be getting on
main reason for this email is to let you know that I have a website
where you can follow my writing and additionally, from time to time I
give away some free books, articles, poems and other interesting stuff
am asking a big favour of my subscribers. I invite you to have a look
at my latest musings and give me some feedback. Be as honest (brutal)
and helpful as you want, but please no rude stuff, I have kids and
grandkids who are encouraged to look at my site.
I would love you to join and subscribe to our site.
ps: See below for a free peak at the new book. Don't forget to subscribe:
Excerpt from: Rhythms Of My Life
mentioned earlier about Neil dancing to James Brown’s music in 60’s
Singapore. Here is a excerpt from my new book: Rhythms Of My Life, which
tells it as it was.
James Brown I feel Good album – 1968
January 1969, the northeast monsoon had taken over dictating the
weather in Singapore and the swimming pools in the Royal Naval Dockyard
recreation area were empty again. By now all the black service men from
the Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Army had met each other, either at
dances in the airbase at Changi and Seletar, the Army base or the Naval
base down at Sembawang. Some nights we would go along to house parties
and have a great time with people from all nationalities. We could not
understand that the same esprit de corps that we found at parties was
not there the next day we turned up for work. By then we had gone
straight back into being looked down on as if we did not belong. As if
our lives were less important than everyone else’s.
was in the dances at RAF Seletar that we heard James Brown being played
loudly and enjoyed by everyone. At the time “Papa’s Got A Brand New
Bag” had been around a while, It was off the album “I feel Good”, but in
England I was not really a great James Brown fan. Yes, I had listened
to the album “Live at The Apollo” like everyone else, but it was only on
the lonely dance floors in Singapore, where we were in our triple ply
mohair suits and our made to measure shirts with the silk handkerchiefs
dancing a dance of their own, that the album made sense to me.
black boys who had called ourselves “The Untouchables” would pursue fun
across Singapore as if our lives depended on it. We would beg the DJ to
keep playing “Night Train”, “Cold Sweat”, and “Papa’s Got A Brand New
Bag”, “I Feel Good” and everything that James Brown had out, so that we
could stay in the groove all night. We would dance. Neil would hold us
all entranced as his small stature gave him the perfect balance to
mesmerise everyone with the way his body translated what was in his mind
and the mind of the musicians on the record.
were times when Neil was so good, everyone else just stopped and
looked. He had a way of flicking his handkerchief to “Papa’s Got A Brand
New Bag” which was simply magical. The handkerchief seems to stay in
the air as if it was suspended, whilst he did a double spin and the
splits, then he would catch it as he was half way back up into the
standing position. Simply breathless. We used to leave RAF Seletar