Monday, October 01, 2012
HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY TO A DEAR FRIEND
In a small back to back terrace house in Armley a suburb of Leeds on the 1st of October 1962, a midwife in a bubble car trundled along to the sound of Telstar by the Tornados - the #1 smash in the hit parade exactly half-a-century ago - to be present at the birth on a red leather sofa of someone who was to become a Yorkshire legend in own lunchtime.....
Dear readers....please join me in wishing occasional contributor Dick Van Dyke many many many happy returns on his 50th birthday today.
Over the past few days I've mentioned how the help and support of a lot of people has been crucial in keeping TVV going for this length of time.....and DVD is one of those hereoes. He's delighted us with the occasional piece but more often he's dropped by and left very witty and sharp comments on postings as well as being the bloke who came up with the description of the blog....I've a fair idea what industrial cleavage is and I'm proud TVV has it in spades.
What readers won't know is the DVD and myself have the occasional flurry of e-mail exchanges over the years, and is one of around half-a-dozen folk whose words of encouragement and contributions have been particularly helpful in seeing this blog through dark and difficult times....so I thought it only fit and proper to pay respect to him today.....
Incidentally, he has no idea that I even knew it was his birthday far less that this was all being posted....**
As far as I can tell, DVD's first contribution to TVV was away back on 4 December 2008 which was the first time he left a comment under that name, but I'm certain he had posted anonymously a few times beforehand. Since then he has often been the Les Dawson of TVV:-
"I pulled into a Burger King Drive-Thru the other day, and the young girl leaning over to serve me had Liza Radley on her name badge. I gawped and said, "Do you creep across summer lawns at midnight?" "Christ " she retorted, "Not another fuckin' Jam fan"
"Judgement as poor as the 1 legged man joining the arse-kicking contest"
"Me head's been a bit like a baby's pram - full o shite n broken biscuits"
And his most recent contribution just yesterday:-
"Your glass is always half full; which will be handy when you drop your teeth in it on a night"
At times he's been our resident philosopher:-
On love and romance
"Methinks young ctelblog is being a tad disingenuous. Well, perhaps not, but this stuff meant a great deal yo me 'half a lifetime' ago. For months, I'd climb into my midnight scratcher - under the influence of beer and some bird's stale Charlie perfume - and put this on the stereo. Long Hot Summer seeped into the sub-consciousness and rested gently in the soul - rather than the stomach where the late-nite curry lay in turmoil.
I'd grown up with The Jam, but rightly or wrongly they were no more. The youth and sweat and blood and drugs and passion began to fade. We were so very fuckin' cosmopolitan now with our poncey cappuccinos, baguettes and 5% continental lagers. Ha!
'Paris Match' became THE song for the future Mrs Van Dyke and I. Tracey Thorn's perfect pitch was the match that started that particular fire. I think that you either got The Style Council or you didn't. Much of it later on was misdirected and mistaken. "Like our lives...Just like our lives"!!
On hangovers and having to go to work
Oh JC, I know it so well, The 'will I puke on the bus/train or even the footwell of the car?' journey in. Shall I call in sick? Nah, can't do that. Loads to do. Stand up for standards. Can't even face a coffee or the 'Shit mate - you look rough' comments.
Sip of water. Belch. Cold Sweat, nausea, shakes, pounding head. Loosen the tie off in Trap 3...squits or vomit or perhaps the impressive synchronised double? Only one cure....time. Will I ever feel better? Will lunch time ever come? Will you ever learn?
On being far away from home on a business trip
I really don't like being away on business these days. I much prefer my own bed, own loo, own fridge, own shed, own wife...
The post-work early evening feeling of lying an a strange squidgy hotel bed looking at the ceiling contemplating dinner and an overpriced lager. Chubby balding reps sit in non-splendid isolation within the lilac flowered wallpaper backdrop of the hotel restaurant. They read at the table to lessen the loneliness.
They have a lovely family at home, yet, there they sit like 'Billy No Mates' nudging a non-homemade roast spud around the plate with a dry white and simmering, melancholy heartburn.
They really shouldn't have the Cheescake; but sod it, it's on expenses and that Eastern European waitress has a fine arse in those over-tight black trousers.
Channel-hopping with a warm 300 mils bottle of Heineken can't stop the sighs - as you glance at your mobile phone...again. I really need to iron that white shirt for the morning. I wish that twat next door would turn his noise down, Half a tub of Pringles. HOW much?
I'd use the gym facilities, but I've forgotten my trainers and I'll look a complete canoute in Clash t-shirt, white shorts, white socks and black leather shoes.
I need another pillow. Shall I call down for one, or will some body odour ridden Doris pitch up with it in 3 hours hovering at the door for a tip? Fuck it, I'll put my trousers back on and get it meself from Reception.
"Newspaper? Early morning call, sir?"
"I suppose a cup o' tea and a blow job is out of the question luv" I hear myself replying in my head.
Early night, Panorama Deutsche on Channel 9.
'Love you, miss you, see you soon, put the bin out' calls at four euros a minute.
That last contribution above was a comment left on this post over at The Ghost Of Electricity and I later lifted it word for word as a TVV piece as I thought it was genius......
It was a fantastic day a wee while later when after many requests DVD made his first lengthy contribution to TVV back in June 2009. For all of those who have endured school reunions. This is a half-hour comedy show in the making:-
DVD was a military man, joining the RAF at the age of 16 and he certainly got around a bit as this comment from March 2008 testifies:-
"Ha - that reminds me....Darts on teh radio - that's commentary on a real darts match (not the 'quack quack oops' quiz) - was the highlight of Falklands Radio in the early 80s.
Live from Stanley "And he's still going for double1"
God how we drank. - to escape from the cold and the penguins and the banal backwardness of it all."
It was his military days which inspired a two-part further side-splitting and dramatic tale on TVV in 2010:-
What I've highlighted and linked to only scratches the surface. DVD has been a star on these pages over the years and I hope he continues to be for a a long while yet. It's an ambition of mine to get down to Leeds sometime in the not too distant future and buy him a pint or two just to say thanks.
In the meantime, here's a bunch of tunes i think he likes for his special birthday:-
mp3 : The Jam - When You're Young
mp3 : The Style Council (feat. Tracey Thorn) - The Paris Match
mp3 : The Who - My Generation
mp3 : The Pogues - I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day
mp3 : Squeeze - Up The Junction
mp3 : Gene - Town Called Malice
mp3 : The Specials - Friday Night, Saturday Morning
And now to what I know is one of his favourite records of all time :-
mp3 : The Jam - Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
*Big thanks to another occasional TVV contributor, Red and Ginger, for the tip-off.