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GUITARS, TRAINS AND AEROPLANES...

Spent Thursday and Friday of last week with the super American guitar designer John Backlund and his wife Teresa who are over in the UK for a short visit.


It was great to meet John who has designed three of the guitars I own, (the Backlund Model 100, the Super 100 DLX, and the Rockerbox.) John is a lovely guy who, it turns out, is into aeroplane designs as well as guitars so it was a great opportunity to take him out to Elvington Air Museum, on Friday, to look at some of the classic aircraft the museum has on display. John was particularly taken with the huge Victor bomber parked outside and said that, if he were to design an aeroplane, it would look very much like the Victor.


The big hangar on the site contained a selection of World War One and Two planes including a massive Halifax bomber. There was also a 'Dragonfly' helicopter whose glass cabin looked like something from one of Frank Hampson's 'Dan Dare' comic strips of the 1950s.


We rounded off the day by taking a walk around York to show John and Teresa the Shambles and the gothic Minster. We attended the evening prayer service at the latter, despite none of us being particularly religious, at least in the orthodox sense.


But before all that, on the previous day, (Thursday,) we took John and Teresa out to Castle Howard where we had lunch before taking a tour of the building. Then back to our place to show John my studio and a little bit of my guitar collection before retiring to the village pub for an evening meal.


On Saturday John and Teresa were travelling to Manchester so that Teresa could participate in the Manchester Marathon on Sunday. Today, (Monday,) they will be in London before flying back to the US tomorrow.


Whilst on the subject of travel, I need to go to the station today to purchase tickets to travel to London on Thursday. I'm scheduled to be at Cherry Red records offices to film an interview about the making of Be Bop Deluxe's 'Futurama' album and to sign some limited edition postcards which will be included with the luxury box set reissue of the album, which will soon be released by the company.


I haven't been to London for a long while, not since being diagnosed with diabetes four years ago, I think. There will be no time for shopping though, it will be just a working day then straight back home on the train. Django the cat will have to be left on his own all day until we return in the evening. That's something that always tends to worry me.


I've kept forgetting to mention, here in the journal, the numerous magazine interviews I've been doing these last two months, mainly for American publications such as Goldmine magazine, Paste magazine and Mix magazine. There have also been features in the UK's Record Collector magazine, Prog Rock and Classic Rock magazines.


The irony, of course, is that these interviews and features centre mostly around music I made well over forty years ago. I guess it's considered my 'commercial' era and is more well known due to the big record company backing the albums received. But truth is, it represents only a tiny fraction of my creative output. And it's sometimes embarrassing that I can't recall much about the making of those albums. I've made so much music over the years and never give the older albums much of a thought, nor do I listen to them. I can't even remember what tracks are on which albums, so little is my interest. But I'm pleased the albums exist and hope that their reissue will possibly point new and older listeners towards my contemporary recordings.


One recent interview that didn't focus on the past was one held for a documentary about Musicvox guitars. I own two Musicvox guitars, (an Mi6 and a 'Space Cadet',) The interview was about my love of quirky, 'out of the box' instruments, of which I have several, including a great selection of Eastwood guitars.


Here in my studio, I've completed the final track for the 'Vulcan Street' album. 17 tracks are now ready for this particular project. I have to take a little time out to listen back to them all and try to assemble a running order though I'm not sure if all 17 will fit on the album, or are worthy of a place on it. I'll be working on this over the next few days, trying out different running orders to see how things flow. Then I must make a final decision on the album's title before creating images for its packaging. There are a few days available at Fairview Studio for the album's mastering this month so I need to get my skates on.


Tomorrow, (Tuesday,) is my regular hospital appointment for that old-time eyeball piercing ritual. A joyous occasion it is not. 😳 Try not to think about it...


A flyer for the potential 'Tales Of Tomorrow' album...


John Backlund, (right,) and myself at Castle Howard.


Me at the air museum with the Victor bomber in the background...


John Backlund and myself at the air museum...


Another flyer for 'The Jewel' album...




© Bill Nelson 2020

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