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Scot Devine "scot" (london)

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Thats the Way It Is
Thats the Way It Is

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A whopper of a live album from rock and roll's Burger King, 4 Aug 2002
This review is from: Thats the Way It Is (Audio CD)
This CD of mainly live material encapsulates the euphoria and tradegy of the most famous artist the world will ever know.
His voice is at its peak, but so is his waistline. The raw, honest emotion he infuses every note with contrasts heavily with pretentious circus suit of lights he wears for the Vegas crowds. And, more ironically, for an album that pitches itself as 'live' only four songs are actually live - the remaining 8 are from Memphis recording sessions. The album is still a jewel, nevertheless.
Listening to the CD, it is outrageous to think that the legendary hulk of burning love, his voice creamy and velvet, started his glamourous showbiz life in one-room family shack in the deep, red-neck South. Rather than the custom-made Gibson guitars he was to later strum, Elvis started out singing along to his a makeshift guitar made from a fruit box and string.
And the image of the dirty blond-haired, greasy, acne-pocked teenager who was an outcast at school, is entirely at odds with the black-haired, love-soul-rock God Elvis gyrating on the Las Vegas Hilton stage where four of the songs on the album were recorded.
From a shack with no electricity to performing in front of the likes of Sammy Davis Junior and Cary Grant in the 24-hour neon playground of Las Vegas, in the space of thirty years, seems nothing less than miraculous.
And it's a great outing. The singer who spawned an official religion and millions of impersonators nails one gorgeous song after another with a voice so lush and a passion so raw that your hairs will literally stiffen on your neck. Beauties like 'You've Lost That Lovin Feeling' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' are both in here.
But if you're expecting the scrawny Elvis with the quivering lip and shaky leg - the Sun Records Elvis who quaked the Establishment and kick-started the world's rock and roll obsession - you'll be dissapointed. This is the finished article.
An article sculpted by his conniving Memphis Mafia leeches, greedy business managers and record labels, corrupt doctors (who allegedly hooked him on addictive combinations of prescription drugs), weight problems and the all-too-familiar pressures of fame. This is the vulnerable side of the King we barely knew. Perhaps we were too spellbound to acknowledge his pressures and peccadillos. But by the toime of recording this CD, Elvis had come to exist solely as a stage character, a parody.
Either way, in spite of this, or maybe thanks to it, the King of rock and roll still sounds wonderful on this outing, and his voice makes you feel as good as it ever did.
If you are a fan, it is essential. If not, even so it still is essential listening, if only to hear the familiar sweet honey voice most of us know so well, of a badly tortured soul we barely knew at all.


1933 Was A Bad Year
1933 Was A Bad Year
by John Fante
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best one-hour read around, 3 Aug 2002
This review is from: 1933 Was A Bad Year (Paperback)
He was practically the only writer Bukowski enjoyed; his son has become a powerhouse writer too; and John Fante was responsible for some of the 20th Century's most important novels. Why? Because his writing captures a rare mixture of simplicity, honesty, humour, masculinity and emotion, and were written with all the wonder of a child expressing its first steps in the world.
1933 was a bad year is - in typical Fante style - an emotional book. But it is funny - hilarious.
But you must read this little jewel quickly - an hour to two hours max - to let the humour penetrate fully. You won't be dissappointed, I promise.
Any slower and you will be too caught up in your own wonder at the sheer beauty of Fante's writing. The Italian-American authour is literally that bewildering.
The novel - more of a novella - is about a great character. Teenager, ginger-haired, freckly, tall and spindly, impossibly poor, highly unattractive to women.
But he has the best baseball arm in town. A real beauty that can hurl a ball as fast as a cannonball and twist it and corkscrew it - oh the things he can do with that arm!
That swinger is not only the dream ticket to big league baseball - and its trappings of wealth, fame, and fine female company - it is the key toescaping the invititable entry into his poverty-ridden father's failing bricklaying profession. The horror at bthe thought of it!
Fante easily helps us feel what his main character is feeling. So we dream his dream with him but - equally - in our role as voyeur, fear that he is being set up for a fall.
1933 is the year he decides to follow his dream. And Fante's explosive book sets out five key stages in that year: the dilema, the dream, the doubt, the set-up, and the decision.
And what a gem each stage is. The emotion, honesty and humour crammed into each one makes this my favourite recent read...


Slap Shot [VHS]
Slap Shot [VHS]
VHS
Offered by EWARDS SPECIALS
Price: 3.70

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ice cool Newman should win some scalps for this one, 3 Aug 2002
This review is from: Slap Shot [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A laugh out loud tale of naked protests, team fights, and blood thirsty goons.
Whoever says this film is strictly for ice hockey fans needs to cool off in the sin bin.
The movie is more in the tradition of the likes of Brassed Off and The Full Monty (there is even an on-ice strip show of sorts during the film's finale) than a sports buff's movie.
Of course, ice hockey fans will love it, but so will cult film enthusiasts, Newman fans, and your typical lads and ladettes.
The movie's lead, ice-cool Newman, is on familiar territory as an anti-hero. His Chiefs player-coach is a boozed up loser with an estranged wife, a mid-life crisis and and a team full of misfits.
To exacerbate Newman's problems, the main factory in town goes bust. With the townfolk struggling to put food on their tables, Newmans gate receipts will plummet. The team will soon face ruin. And without a single hint of tealent between them, the players futures look grim at best.
With the debtors zeroing in, the Chiefs manager gives in to the inevitable - he puts the rink up for sale to big business to turn it into a shopping centre. But steel-eyed Newman rumbles him. With the Chiefs his and his team's only hope of a sufferable future, he has to get his skates on (sorry!) to solve the mounting crisis, and get the fans back in - whether they can afford it or not.
Rumbling a plan is one thing, but making money out of the league's least-liked team is another entirely.
But Newman has an inspiration - and this time it's not eating eggs cool-hand Luke style. He gets his team to pander to the ice hockey crowd's instatiable thirst for blood.
And to inspire his Chiefs to brutalise some scalps, he hires the most feared players in the league: the lank-haired, bespectacled Hanson brothers, whose casually violent schtick is nothing less than hilarious.
The immature agressors beat up vending machines, trash hotel rooms, crunch opponents, and slam referees even before games start - they even knock out the organ player!
Hell, it's carried outn with such humour and aplomb that it is a side-splitting ride. Of course, as with all films where humour or action is the main point of interest, the links to the action are dull. But with action as bloody, gritty and funny as in Slapshot, the lulls are well worthwile.
Anway. Do they win through in the end, or does Newman's Stone Ageplan force a retreat to the caves? The only way to find out how the visual feast unfolds is to experience itn yourself. So what the puck are you waiting for?


Factotum
Factotum
by Charles Bukowski
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.23

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The writing alone will jerk you up and slam you down - hard!, 7 Nov 2001
This review is from: Factotum (Paperback)
Bukowski's language is among the most powerful you will ever read. Bukowski pounds. His sentences are compact, his grammar tough. His stories always raw-honest. Entirely original. They hit you hard like a charging rhino. Whether they are woven into a novel or not. They are always charged with emotion. Buy this. Buy all Bukoswki. You will never read anything like him. But be prepared to hit the bottle mid-read. He can drink. And he wants you to drink too.


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