Saturday, 15 February 2020

The Saturday List #252 - The five most disappointing cancellations of my life

I've  just seen  that the Hadley FC tie against Walthamstow this afternoon has been cancelled. I'm a Hadley season Ticket holder and this has been the first game for ages at home that I've been able to go to, due to a mixture of most games recently being away, and those at home being  when I've had other arrangements. It got me  thinking of  events that I had tickets for, that were cancelled. You know the feeling, you get your tickets, you look forward to the event, then bang. It's gone.

I thought I'd put a list of these together.

1. The Plasmatics live at Hammersmith Odeon, 8th August 1980.
The Plasmatics were an outrageous band, lead by porn star Wendy O'Williams. Their stage show involved blowing up a car and chopping up guitars with a chain saw. Ms O'Williams was famously raunchy. Back in 1980, there were no videos or youtube clips, so the only way to see such a show was to turn up. I duly bought tickets, made the long schlepp from Mill Hill to Hammersmith, only to find the Council had banned  the show (no mobile phones then). It was infuriating. Maybe this was where I developed a dislike of Councils. I'd sort of forgotten about the Plasmatics, but found this clip. The band seemingly disappeared without trace. It seems I missed quite a show. Seeing the likes of the Madonna and Lady Gaga shows, maybe MS O'Willaims was just a little bit too far ahead of the times.

These days, gig cancellations are a pain, but you don't have the fun of the hour and a half journey to be disappointed.

2. Stand stoned starkers festival in Hampstead.
As most rock musicians will know, the holy grail for new acts is to be booked for a Festival, such as Glastonbury or Reading. Imagine my delight when my Band, the False Dots were booked to play a festival in Hampstead. The date was the 18th July, and it had been organised by Nik Turner of Hawkwind. What we didn't know as that the stand  stoned starkers festival was one where all of the audience would strip naked and smoke joints. We turned up to find that the Police had other ideas. A mini riot and a stand off ensued, only broken when someone had an epileptic fit and an ambulance was called.  We stood around for a couple of hours like lemons, then went to the pub.

3. The Railway Touring Company Steam train to York.
Three years ago, I arranged a special birthday treat for my wife, we were going on a day trip to York on a luxury train pulled by a steam engine. The trip involved a champagne breakfast and a five course dinner. My daughter was at York Uni so we'd see her. Sadly, when we arrived at Kings Cross to get the train, there were  lots of very sad people, all dressed up with nowhere to go. The train had broken down and so we had to go home. A very big anti climax, that was all my fault!

4. Amy Winehouse's unplugged album.
In mid July 2011, I was in studio reception at Mill Hill Music Complex. The phone rang and it was Amy Winehouse. Amy was a long standing customer of ours. She'd rehearsed and recorded demos at the studio. At the time, we'd not seen her for a while. Her life had become very turbulent. She said that she wanted to book a months worth of studio time. She felt that her music had got too overblown and overproduced and she wanted to record a very stripped back album in an unplugged style, to reconnect with her musical roots. She wanted to do it her way  and the project was top secret. We weren't to tell anyone. We booked it under a pseudonym, so that no one would see the diary and get word out. I was going to France for a week on the  22nd. I was with a charity group and had no access to the internet or papers. When I got on the plane home, I learned she'd passed away. Tippex'ing out her booking was genuinely one of the saddest moments of my life. Who knows what we would have been  treated to if she'd seen her project out. Amy was always lovely around the studio. I feel so sad at her loss to this day.

5. Auntie Audreys Golden Wedding Party.
My mothers youngest sister Audrey is my last surviving Auntie. She is lovely and lived in Mill Hill for many years, being well known as a cashier in Lloyds Bank and active in the local Church. Her husband Michael was my Godfather. Mike was a lovely bloke. He'd been stricken with dementia, but on a good day was still good company. Audrey and Michael were planning their 60th wedding anniversary party for November 2018. It was going to be a big family party, with people coming from far and wide. Sadly Michael died somewhat unexpectedly on the 9th of October. I wrote an obituary for him for the blog and got a  dedication for him on the Family Favourites slot on the Robert Elms Show. It was horrible crossing that off the calendar.

What are the cancelleations that have upset you the most.

1 comment:

CalvinCasino said...

I would say for the most disappointing cancellation in my life is not going to my father’s home country Nigeria. Cancelled 6 times between 2016 and last year. Nowadays I do not think of going to Nigeria any time soon.

Couldn’t think of anything else other than not visiting to Nigeria.