God, Guns… and Michael Foot…

In the beginning was the Old Grey Whistle Test. And for those of us of a certain age, before the advent of MTV and its bastard offspring, it was a well-spring of knowledge, particularly when we weren’t actually old enough to get to gigs.

Lynyrd Skynyrd @ The NEC, Birmingham: 4 March 2010

Several programmes remain etched in my memory, (even if some of them I’d prefer to forget…) and provided the missing link between the music press review of something, and my buying an album. Which brings us to 1975, Lynyrd Skynyrd live on the OGWT. Three guitarists…impressive when you’re 15 or 16!!!

Lynyrd Skynyrd @ The NEC, Birmingham: 4 March 2010

And then came punk, and foolishly in my “ground zero” approach to music, I sold a lot of vinyl, but not Skynyrd…and until earlier this week, I couldn’t really remember why.

So to the NEC in Birmingham and the “God & Guns” world tour. I don’t buy into the “philosophy” of the title track of the new album, but underpinned by superb musicianship,  common humanity does prevail…

And the Michael Foot link?  Well in the same week that Skynyrd played, Britain lost a politician for whom that common humanity was crucial.  Like Skynyrd, he didn’t always embrace a view that I shared, and yet…

“… he was not in any real sense politically tribal. He had long family connections with the Liberal party – and he remained a liberal in a deep sense that shames many of his Labour successors. He famously admired Tories like Beaverbrook and, as a parliamentarian, Enoch Powell. Though Mr Foot loved the good things of life, he was not in politics to feather his nest or to get a title. He was by calling and temperament a rebel, a troublemaker, a democrat, a republican and a backbencher…”

(The Guardian: Editorial 4 March 2010)

Maybe a slightly tenuous link, but what the hell. Enjoy the photos if you don’t buy the rhetoric.

Oh, and if you’ve got this far, don’t forget that despite my imminent departure to Nepal with VSO, you can still donate on line here. You never know, I may stop writing this nonsense if sufficient donations are received…

Lynyrd Skynyrd @ The NEC, Birmingham: 4 March 2010


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One response to “God, Guns… and Michael Foot…

  • SKiddy

    Sad Old Bastard! (…s) Aren’t we?
    Got the 4-DVD set of OGWT with some fantastic old footage and some rather nifty songs.
    Have fun in Nepal. It’ll give us (half) a reason for not getting in touch. – Now just explain the LAST five or ten years lol.
    Morris, Griffiths, Harris, sort out some sort of get-together while he’s gone ?

    – SKiddy

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