Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Xmas '03 saw the last 'proper' Festive Fifty, and it was for me, a particularly hard-earned one.
Myself, my ex, my son and a couple of friends, planned to spend Xmas in a cottage in Pembrokeshire, and naturally my first thought was "How am I going to record the Festive 50 ?" What if they didn't have a decent tuner in the cottage ? Of course I'd have to take one with me, but my own, hailing from the glory days of Hi-Fi, was the size & weight of a well-packed trunk, and I just didn't fancy trying to shift the thing.

To save myself the driving, I was to be getting a lift with a mate, so I thought perhaps I could persuade him to take his, which after all, had originally been a gift from me. However, when I arrived at the house I soon realized he was in no mood for de-rigging the hi-fi, and there followed a furious row, which ended with me saying that I would drive there in my own car, fuck-you very much, and take my own sodding tuner.

Of course, it being the season of goodwill to all men, we eventually made up over a few bottles of red, and I managed to rig up the tuner & DAT in my quaint little Pembrokeshire bedroom and record the Fifty in all it's glory. Here's the first CD's worth, nos. 50 - 30.

By a strange coincidence, the cottage turned out to be in a little village where some 25 years earlier, I had spent a disastrous week trying to earn some money picking spuds. To cut a long & rather miserable story short; we crashed the car on the way there, had trouble finding work when we got there, earned piss-all when we did; crashed the car a again, got sacked for telling the farmer that we were working for that we'd witnessed his dog worrying sheep; the car broke down, we spent a week waiting for spares, living off nothing but potatoes; I pulled a muscle in my leg and had to limp for miles before managing to hitch a lift from a dodgy redneck, who offered to find me work, then took me to a pub where no-one spoke English, and I couldn't afford a drink, before taking me only as far as Swansea, where I hoped to borrow money off my girlfriend's junky sister, who of course had none, so I ended up jumping a train home, and was late signing on.

I have a strong suspicion that the only thing that kept me alive whilst waiting for the car bits to arrive, was listening to Peely on the radio.

If someone had told me then, that 25 years later I would be spending Christmas in a holiday cottage nearby, I would have laughed, or more likely wept bitter tears at the irony of it all; back then, holiday cottages were things you set fire to, not spent Christmas in - "Give the anarchist a cigarette", and all that....

FF03 CD1 pt.1
FF03 CD1 pt.2

...and here's disc 2

FF03 CD2 pt.1
FF03 CD2 pt.2

...followed, almost inevitably, as John would say, by disc 3

FF03 CD3

A word about the discs - they run in the proper order (ie. starting at no.50 and ending at that thrilling No.1 spot) and I've edited them so that as far as possible the tracks segue seamlessly, as John would have no doubt done himself; to appreciate the full artistry of the thing, burn the CD's with no gaps between tracks.


Blogger domestic empire said...

I sympathise :(

FM-to-DAT eh? Hmmm looks like we have a proper AudioPhile in the house.

Thanks Rog! :)

2:51 pm  
Blogger JollyRogered said...

Guilty as charged, though sadly I only got round to recording the Festive 50's to DAT in the last few years - before that it was the humble compact cassette, I'm afraid.

8:57 am  
Blogger xoyoxxx said...

What, no Peel? :(

It's good to hear these tracks again, though. Thanks for your efforts.

3:27 pm  
Blogger domestic empire said...

I know this sounds, well a bit arsey, but please tell me you haven't edited our John out of ALL your recordings?

Appreciated none-the-less. Added link to jped ;-)

5:17 pm  
Blogger JollyRogered said...

I have edited JP out of the Festive 50's etc. that I intend to share here, though I still have the originals and could share those too, if there was demand, though it would probably be easier to make torrents of them.
I edited all this stuff originally, simply to fit it onto CD's which I could play in the car on the way to/from work, which is about the only serious listening time I seem to get these days.
Of course in the old days, when it was all on cassette, I listened to it as it was recorderd, complete with John's wonderful comentarires, but when i was thinking about putting stuff up on line, i decided that in the end, it's probably the music that people really interested in; perhaps i made the wrong decision...?

2:20 pm  
Blogger domestic empire said...

Phew it's good to hear you still have the 'masters' so-to-speak.

I can't speak for anyone else but music without John is like night without day, so get 'em online boy ;-p

Let me know if you have any 'gaps' that myself or others may be able to fill (the much dreaded and intricate timing of the tape flip for example!)

I'm sure many of us would only be too pleased in lending support in making yours the definitive festive 50 site :)

Thanks Rog

10:03 pm  
Blogger jeq said...

Thanks for these. CD2 and CD3 seem to have expired - any chance of making them available again?

10:39 am  
Blogger Tom said...

I second the above comment.

9:49 pm  
Blogger DrSativa said...

Is this the version with peelie edited out ? If so do you have the versions with him commenting ? These seem to be the versions that everyone wants these days, so if possible it would be great. although it is academic at the moment as the links have expired :(

ps are you still reading these comments ?

7:42 am  

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