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Monthly Archives: February 2012



Stu Who?

Like most people I imagine, my knowledge of the mechanics of government and what goes on behind closed doors in the seat of power, or the arse of administration, comes from watching TV & Films, like The West Wing, The Thick Of It, and Yes Minister.

The figurehead at the forefront of media & public attention, be it Prime Minister or President, has a Cabinet of Ministers who advise and facilitate the actual decision-making process

Plus, there is a cabal of “Party Officials” who are the overall governing authority of the political party in power

And, there is another nefarious cabal of Wealthy Backers, who finance both the party and give support to any who would consider themselves contenders for the party’s leadership, and who in turn exert great power & influence because of this financial sponsorship

Now all this is, of course, the TV & Cinema version of government, but it bears a close resemblance I imagine to the actual scheming, wheeling & dealing that actually goes on in our corridors of power.

So … how come the guy at the top always carries the can, gets the blame, shoulders the responsibility, and is the only one to take all the flak for poor decisions?  Every decision he or she makes has been decided by committee, debated and thrashed out, and endlessly discussed by planners, policy makers and tacticians. Every speech and public pronouncement has been scripted, drafted, rehearsed, edited, and sweated over. Any article or publicly released statement has had more rewrites than the ad-libs on Mock The Weak.


So … how come Alex Salmond’s crawly-bum-lick, sycophantic missive, which slithered like the underbelly of a slug over the pages of Rabid Murdoch’s offensive organ, The Scottish Scum On Sunday, last weekend, is merely seen as a reflection upon Salmond, personally & individually, and not upon the entire administrative and political machine that is the SNP?

Salmond’s views and conduct is not an isolated aberration within the SNP’s policy

Remember, he is the head of a party whose administration and backers decide party policy & action … This is not just the action and statement of one man … Salmond needs and gets their approval, and they support his actions … Right?

So, from my point of view, they’ve shown their true colours here … and I’m not in the least surprised

I know many who’ve spent time deliberating about the SNP’s supposed “leftist” agenda, and then joined the party

So, comrades, is this what you agreed with?

How come the party that you support can possibly justify making such an alliance, and be seen to approve of this festering cancer of international media power and illegal political chicanery, especially at a time when News International’s deplorable behaviour has never been more evident … and they can do this with the political agenda you approved of?

How come?

I’ve said, repeatedly, that compromising political ideals for expediency was a slippery slope … I appear to have told-you-so!!


 Is the SNP possibly now going to be sponsored by The Sun, or vice versa?

Nice way to let your membership know your future plans and intentions … The SNP Sun, with Page Tiree Stunner!

I want a solution to the system we live within but categorically refuse the option of “necessary evils” … I don’t form coalitions with those who are my class enemy, whether it be Murdoch, Capitalism, Fascism, or Nationalism

I’m a socialist, and support that agenda … without compromising its political integrity in any way


I support only those who share that political integrity, and the SNP show no signs of a socialist agenda in my opinion … especially after watching current events

I’m not up for fighting to get my prison cell redecorated … I want out!

A meringue, or am I right?


Back in the mid 70’s, when the progressive rock scene was slowly disappearing up it’s own drug-addled arse, and the fledgling punk scene had still to fully take flight, a truly strange hybrid of prog & punk appeared on the Glasgow music scene in the form of the mighty Chou Pahrot ( pronounced Chow Parrot), a four-piece hailing from the small town of Paisley, just outside Glasgow.

At that time, Chou Pahrot were nothing less than an amazing burst of vitality, musicality, and deafening vibrancy. Their humour, originality and bizarre antics were a welcome change from the po-faced seriousness of their hip contemporaries


MONICA ZARB – (Bob Donaldson)

Everything about them was unique

The band, Monica Zarb (bass & vocals), Fish Feathers McTeeth ( drums & hitting things), Mama Voot ( guitar, vocals and saxophone), and Eggy Beard (violin), and,  eventually, The Amphibian,  were a Zappaesque conglomerate of Beefhartian elements &  influenced by the US band The Residents, whose stage-presence was truly shocking to the uninitiated at that time. Uncompromising, deafeningly loud, agressive, and whimsical in equal measures, with Mama Voots trademark appearance in wedding dress and aged crone face-mask leering through the smoke and flashing lights.

I was a FAN … big style

I helped promote their gigs, here in Cumbernauld, and the band I played with, Flat Out, filled various support slots with them

I also designed posters, badges, their record sleeve … and even made the odd apearance with the band, playing the doppelganger clone of Mama Voot, in dress & mask, at a couple of their more memorable gigs … even resulting in me being hit with a bottle at their final Kelvingrove Bandstand appearance!

FISH FEATHERS McTEETH (Dave Lewis) / EGGY BEARD (Martin McKenna) / MAMA VOOT (Tony O’Neill )


Their impact at that time is indescribable, as they truly were a LIVE phenomenon, and that experience was never even remotely captured on tape.

The recordings of Chou Pahrot, good as they might be, come nowhere even close to the monsterous tsunami of cacophonic noise and the sheer tornado of sound they could create … a sound which could change, in a heartbeat, to the most melodic of riffs … the contrast and relief creating a dynamic tension of beauty that few musicians have ever achieved, in my experience

Chou Pahrot were a child of their time, and a bratty, self-indulgent, nursery-rhyme screaming wee demon he was … but oh how I loved him, and remember fondly those blisteringly sublime moments his tantrums could create!!

Here’s some of the stuff I helped produce, including unseen artwork from the time

This poster was for a gig at the Glasgow Film Theatre – an unlikely double-bill – The Pahrots & The Beatles film, “Yellow Submarine” …. Oh there were a lotta stoners present THAT night, as I remember!! … and as Monica’s demonic form loomed through the dark, and  jumped from the stage in his manic splendour, I sprang from behind him, identically dressed & scared the crap outta the stoned front row!


Here’s a design for a Chou Pahrot badge that never actually materialised … badges were very popular at this time, as badge-making machines were on the go, and soon became standard memorabilia for every fan of every band


Brian Miller was a friend,  artist, writer, designer and director who lived and worked in the town of Cumbernauld for nearly 50 years.

Sadly he passed away last August, but in his honour the Cumbernauld Theatre presented an evening of his work on January 28 2012.

This is a wee film tribute, beautifull put together by his son, Kevin


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