By Hook or By Cook

Shout out to Business Catalyst 360 who recently published this article about the importance of small details.

Read the full article at By Hook or By Cook

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Main points:

  1. Preparation is key for anything great.
  2. Details matter.
  3. Profit from mistakes.

Dark Times

Brexit – A Gothic Novella is an excellent new book written by Aemelia Taylor-Nehab.  In her own words she describes the scene:

At the beginning of 2016, Prime Minister Cameron is visited by three visions; Politics past, present and future, all warning him not to call the referendum. Feeling the pressure, though haunted, he calls it regardless. He loses the referendum, to the dismay of his old friend Pegasus, the winged-horse; the emblem of liberty. Pegasus and a group of his friends who dwell near the Prime Minister’s home in Oxford, decide to hold seven politicians captive inside Raven Spires at Glasgow University, and hold them to account for their visions of Brexit.  Two years of debate, though, inside the gothic tower of a university in a city that voted heavily to Remain, nor any other events and progress elsewhere in the country or in the European Union, is enough to bring the politicians to a consensus.  Pegasus insists on holding the politicians until the very last moment on 31st October, as the ending remains a mystery until that fateful day.

Brexit – A Gothic Novella reflects on the faulty decision by David Cameron to hold a binary referendum on what academics call a “wicked problem”, solely with the aim of rebuilding the Conservative Party.  Clearly it failed and has taken us into dark times and installed a culture of hostility in the UK.  A beautifully light way of telling a very dark story and this improves its accessibility to remainers and leavers alike.

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Speaking of darkness, I must also make mention of my friend Richard Strange’s new album from The Doctors of Madness “Dark Times“.  Richard “Kid” Strange proves once again that he has his finger firmly on the pulse of our times, just as he had when he founded the band in 1974.  Dark Times repays careful listening:

“Who bully their way onto buses with racist smears”

“Cut price half price coke and MDMA”

Screenshot 2019-10-25 at 12.54.52.pngProduced by John Leckie (Radiohead, Muse, Stone Roses, Pink Floyd), Dark Times, features contributions from Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Sarah Jane Morris (Communards), Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave), Steve ‘Boltz’ Bolton (The Who, Paul Young Band).

Following the dark theme of this post, I leave you with some pieces I did recently – a remake of the Gerry Rafferty song “Brexit Street”, The Beatles “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” reshaped for John Bercow and Mc Cartney’s “Mogg Chorus”.  These are bonus tracks from the Rage Against The Brexit Machine we recently released and which started the week at number 18 on the Amazon pop charts.

NO 18 RATBM

And one lighter piece : A remake of The Beatles’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” to lighten dark times …

Shaking off Brexit apathy

Rage Against The Brexit Machine

28 Anti-Fascist Hits to Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain

“Brexit was won by naked populism … We stand naked to fight populism with pop music. We will fight them on the beaches, with our DJs, dancefloors and decks. Our turntables will turn the tables on Brexit. We shall never surrender”

Peter Cook, “Brexorcist in Chief”, RATBM

RAGE 2019 LOGO

I awakened from my satirical slumbers on 24th June 2016 and have been writing and performing poignant and punchy protest songs against the populist coup formerly known as Brexit ever since.  Along with a cast of insurgents, RATBM were most recently targeted by James Goddard and Tommy Robinson fans in Manchester.

Our latest project is a collaboration album of anti-fascist hits called “Rage Against The Brexit Machine”. Working with NUB Records, Guinness Book of Records’ award winner and maverick music magnates.  Almost a triple album of songs at one hour and 53 minutes long for just £7.99 with all proceeds going towards Brexit insurgency.

PRE ORDER THE ALBUM OF 28 ANTI BREXIT HITS BY CLICKING THE LINKS – all downloads contribute to chart success.  If we chart the album we drive another stake through the Brexit Hydra’s heart … it needs many such stakes !!

iTunes 

Amazon

Google Play

Rage Against The Brexit Machine includes such classics as:

  • The Chas & Dave Cockney Brexit Knees-Up “Bollocks to Brexit”.
  • The punk-metal-trance-funk grind “Nigel Farage’s Garage”.
  • The Bojo Blow Job swing “Take Back Control”, based on the French sex hit “Je T’Aime”.
  • A poignant dance floor groove called “In Limbo”. An epic project taking 3 months, 132 tracks and 20 voices from EU Citizens all over Europe.  In Limbo tells the tales of all “Citizens of Nowhere” left outside alone, hurt and injured by Boris Johnson’s Nazi undertones about “surrender”, “letterboxes” and “humbug” about murders of MP’s.  Where Windrush leads, Brexit follows.
  • The Remainers marching song from our street protests all over the country and as far as Brussels “We’re not Gonna Brexit”, sung by our own “Twisted Sister”, Rachel Ashley.
  • An 18th Century Tory Trance Floor Fascist Groove “Jacob Rees-Moog”.

“Music reaches our heads, hearts and souls in ways that politicians only dream of. The art of protest just found its 21st century voice”

We aim to “Break Brexit Before Brexit Breaks Britain”.

JRM BED I

Pull up a mattress and listen to a couple of bonus tracks:

Garage Bands

I met Garage Band legend Billy Childish the other week at an anti-Brexit street event.  Billy headed Medway Garage Bands TV21, The Pop Rivets and Thee Milkshakes.  Billy was famously involved with artist Tracy Emin for many years and turned down Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.

Billy Childish I

Billy has a self portrait in Rochester which was recently “abused” by Brexit supporters, who wrote “Brexit is Childish” in blood on the picture.  He claims that the attack on the painting has improved it.  In any case, it gave us the chance to discuss Brexit which Billy considers a mistake.  We’ll never know if Childish mutilated the painting himself.  This is the artist’s privilege.  That said, it would have been incredibly hard to mutilate the painting without a very long ladder …

Billy Childish II

I used to play alongside these bands with my own pop art punk bands in the 1980’s. To compete with the surf music style, we employed a spin dryer to help us in our “pop art” 🙂

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Here is some of Billy’s Garage Band music:

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The Brexit Party album

Announcing The Brexit Party Album. The ideal accompaniment to any party to end Brexit … containing 10 anti-Brexit hits and the bonus track “Bollocks to Brexit”.  The Brexit party is the party to end all parties and this album will help you end Brexit bullshit …

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Here’s the first track “We are Donkeys” – a very dark reflection from Nigel Farage on UKIP / The Brexit Party / ERG / BNP / DUP with a confessional style:

We are told that the songs go well with a milkshake …

Shake

And we have just a few hard copies left of our book on changing minds “Let’s talk about BREX .. it” – available for £13.00 inc P&P.

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Bernie Tormé R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that I write this article about my friend Bernie Tormé, songwriter, guitarist and collaborator with Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan, who sadly passed on St Patrick’s Day.  I lost a friend, mentor and music legend.  My family’s hearts go out to Bernie’s wife and family for the good times we have shared together. This article does not dwell on the sadness of Bernie’s passing, instead the greatness of his life.

I first met Mr T at his studio in a chance encounter some 7-8 years ago, whilst recording some music for a friend’s wedding.  Bernie and I spent all day chatting whilst my friend laid down the tracks, as I only had to play bass.  Some while later, I asked Bernie if he would be willing to guest at a Music and Business event I was organising with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.  He was initially reluctant to be involved, thinking that it might involve meeting a load of “suits”, having experienced some of the worst excesses of music industry “management” in his time as a slave to Rock’n’Roll.  However, he agreed in good faith, being a trusting and humble soul.  I “baptised” the occasion by asking Bernie to set light to a guitar in the venue car park.  Once Bernie relaxed into the event, I recall that it was rather hard to extract him from the chatter … and the bar.  See Bloomberg TV for the flaming grilled guitar inferno.  It was a magical night and our friendship was forged.  Mr Tormé even forgave me when The Belfast Telegraph misread the press release I sent to them and mixed up Bernie Tormé with Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s writing partner.  As far as I know Bernie had never collaborated with the originator of crocodile rock and high heel sneakers.

Belfast Telegraph

Having gained Bernie’s confidence that not all business people are dull, he invited me round to his house the week after.  I wondered why and he just said he had something to talk about.  We spent the evening discussing his renaissance in a wide-ranging conversation about music, marketing and money.  For a while, little seemed to happen following our dialogue, but slowly, some of the things we discussed started to come to fruition.  Bernie kindly credited me on his album as making a contribution to his renaissance, alongside pyrotechnics rock icon Arthur Brown, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Ginger Wildheart.  It’s possibly the best feedback I’ve ever had, beating 10 out of 10 on a conference feedback form!

Bernie Torme Quote

Bernie Tormé – The man

Bernie typifies many musicians, in so far as I found him to be a gentle giant.  Unassuming off stage, thoughtful, intelligent and passionate about his art and many other topics from philosophy, history, literature, environmentalism and politics.  Many people think of rock musicians as being extroverts, but I sense Bernie gained a lot of his strength from a more introverted sense of reflection.  After all, all on stage performance is merely theatre and projection.  That said, the rock business is a vicious business and sometimes this means that quieter talents get pushed out of the queue by the narcissists.  Bernie maintained his authenticity throughout his career and he stands out for that quality alone.  His concern for humanity also extended to all God’s creatures.  I recall him insisting that a wasp nest in his garden be left alone despite the anger of the “yellow vests” around the back door of the studio!  This quality of seeing everything in balance seems to be a rare quality.  It reminded me of our own fragility and the need to realise that we are all part of a delicate eco system.

Cats

Bernie Tormé – The music

Bernie Tormé has two sides to his music.  One inspired by his Celtic roots via sublimely beautiful acoustic songs.  The other, pure hard Rawk ‘n’ Roll with the unique flavour of his guitar harmonics.  Rather that writing about it, take a listen to the two distinctly different styles.

For Bernie’s Celtic acoustic feel try Spirit Road. The last song on his last album “Farewell to Arms” is a poignant Celtic drone with an unique mix of harmonium and guitar.  Take a listen at Farewell to Arms.  For pure hard rock listen to Flow and Dublin Cowboy.  Both of these songs feature Bernie’s trademark guitar harmonics and dive-bombing tremolo use, which set him apart from the crowd.

Bernie is also a talented songwriter and lyricist.  I was captured by the song he wrote for Randy Rhoads who died in a plane crash, forcing Bernie to step literally into the dead man’s shoes.  It seems apt here.  Listen to Good Man Down.

For an insight into Bernie’s music, see our conversation via the interview.  I was honoured to have performed with him a few times on stage at his gigs in London and Brighton.

The last thing Bernie and I did together was to discuss helping him write a different kind of biography.  He also kindly recorded and produced several of the tracks we made for our Rage Against The Brexit Machine project.  I recall his extreme levels of patience, tact and diplomacy when working with one of my colleagues from The Bank of England who was not a great musician, singer  nor a great diplomat himself.  I also had the privilege of watching him coach singer Madeleina Kay from a low point of confidence and competence in her voice.  This requires mastery, as you are often trying to achieve fundamental identity level change when you are trying to change someone’s art.

It’s easy to be humble and authentic when you are not in the public eye.  The pressures of fame often bring out the worst in people.  I salute Bernie for maintaining his sense of self in the crazy world of entertainment.  I thank him for teaching me mastery of the art of music and simply for being Bernie Tormé.

Rest in Rock’n’Roll mate.

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Je T’aime

Please download copies of our anti-Brexit “sex anthem” Take Back Control which hit No 29 on Amazon !!!! just below Ariana Grande, The Beach Boys and ahead of Pet Shop Boys, Abba and Busted

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BE PART OF A PHENOMENON TO STOP BREXIT DEAD !!

Please DOWNLOAD, GIFT and SHARE the song x 5 – ALL downloads count towards charting the song so a pint of beer buys five, a cup of coffee three etc.

FACEBOOK just banned an ad we did.  Apparently it’s OK to threaten to hang someone on social media or suggest they kill themselves, but not OK to make suggestive noises in a song !!!!!  Let’s ask Madonna and Taylor Swift for their views on the matter?

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Since they banned a perfectly innocuous film, we have made a PG rated one … 🙂

We plan to get it to the UK Top 40 this week. In doing so we gain the opportunity to mainstream the Brexit lies of May, Boris, Jacob, Gove and Fox via mainstream media.

Be part of a phenomenon to STOP BREXIT …

All links via BUY NOW

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Whilst you are here, and on a much more serious level, read our latest article at Voices for Europe on what the question for a People’s Vote should be – To BREXIT or NOT to BREXIT – what is the question?

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