CASBAH RECORDS

Counter Culture : Part 7

Hi there pop pickers and autuminal greetings to one and all. It didn't seem that long ago that we were all fretting about whether summer had been cancelled this year! But here we are after a long hot spell in the outfield eyeing up a stroll back to the pavillion for a well desearved cream tea.

You'll forgive the cricketing metaphor but it is always most gratifying to get one over on our commonwealth chums. And we did that with a certain amount of aplomb I have to say.

It's been a vintage summer for many other reasons. The Stones were at their Rockin' an Rollin' best at Glastonbury and Hyde Park. Great to see them back in action and enjoying themselves. Here at at Casbah HQ we had a great in store performance from French beat combo, the Travellers who rocked the joint in splendid fashion.

A big thank you to them once again. And the proms were superb as usual. I love a bit of the old Ludvig Van myself. Particularly No.9, No.9, No.9...........!!

Back at Casbah mansions we've been revelling in many top draw new releases. Great new albums from Queens Of The Stoneage, Babyshambles, Crocodiles, The Dirtbombs, The Julie Ruin to name but five. Also gracing our shelves are some superb new box sets from the likes of Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, The Clash and Scott Walker.

All guaranteed to wet the appetite of even the most jaded of pallets.

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Whilst on the subject of Casbah we've decided to get rid of the Beehive logo on the front of the shop. As we and Retrobates Vintage have built up a strong identity over the past five years it seems logical to have our own names above our respective shop spaces. Nothing will change inside just look out out for a new paint job and a new colour scheme soon.

Back in August the BFI organized a gothic horror season of films to be shown on a big screen in the impressive grounds of the British Museum. I was lucky enough to get along to the first ever public showing of the restored version of Hammer's 1958 classic Dracula. As a massive Hammer fan I was in my element all evening The setting was superb, very atmospheric and many fans had come dressed for the occasion in black and red. Including yours truly! The new print was stunning with some of the original cuts put back in. Here's a taster, (no pun intended). Maybe next time they could go for a bit of folk-horror with 'Blood On Satan's Claw' or 'The wicker Man'.

Who was it that sang, 'I Wish It Could Be 1965' again? Not a question that would fox any student of the 1980's garage/surf revival. It was of course the mighty Barracudas!

Mighty in word and mighty in deeds though they were as I listen to Jeremy Gluck's impassioned vocal extoling the virtues of the Sunset Strip, Shindig, Bubblegum and 'Pushin' Too Hard' I can't help thinking that had I been the author of this tune I might well have selected 1972 as my halcyon year.

Though as I am probably more aware than most of the fabness of the 60's I was just a babe with a plastic beatles guitar and an extensive Action Man collection.

By 1972 however,callow youth though I was I'd bought my first record with my own cash, and started a keen interest in fashion, films, football and everything else grown ups do!

I suppose everyone has that nostalga for their early teens when everything seems possible and to quote TV legend Arthur Daley, "The World Is Your Lobster". I'm sure there will be those that get all misty-eyed about the punk scene in 77, 1980's new romantics and acid house and all that! But I can make a good argument for my choice.

Let's face it life was a lot less complicated in 1972 ! Only three channels to worry about, only two political parties to vote for and do I follow Slade or do I stick with T.Rex. One couldn't do both and keep face in the classroom. In other areas of interest to me everything seemed pretty sorted. Arsenal football club were still great and largly consisted of players from not just the british Isles but from the good old smoke it'self! We had great films like 'Clockwork Orange', 'Get Carter' and 'Dracula AD72' to try and get into see and as for the sounds, well what can i say, Bowie, Mott, Roxy, Floyd, Yes, zep, Genesis all in their pomp!

Above all else music was fun back then. Every time I think of Wizzard on T.O.T.P'S it brings a huge smile to my face.

Fashion? The foppish frippery of the 60's was still in vogue but with the added attraction of satin,sequins and glitter. A good look! Pan's People, 'Ace of Wands', Charlie George, 'Lift off with Ayshea', 'Sugar Me' 'U.F.O' platform shoes, 'Cobblers to the World', 'All The young Dudes', Magpie, 'Get It On' marvelous! Game over, case solved!

Or is it? Wait just there! Even sad old misty-eyed fossil that I am realizes that there was a yan to the yin! Racism, unemployment, football violence, sexism, homophobia. All everyday realities for most people. But if your going to champion a particular year or era it's pretty futile in this kind of forum to enter into a debate on social/political and economic grounds. The world moves on and people's attitudes evolve, normally in a more civilized direction. Pop culture moves on as well but not aways for the better! That's my point. When I argue the case for 1972 it's based on the pop culture of the day. When Bowie, Peter Gabriel and Mick Jagger pass on it's going to really mean something. It's going to touch our soul deep down and make us ponder on our own mortality. A little bit of us will go with them. We invested a lot of love in those days. Are people going to feel the same way about todays stars in forty years time? I doubt it! Anyway there it all is. No one's right no one's wrong! But let me leave you with Pan's people and a thought, 'I wish It Could Be 1972 again'!