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Category Archives: Itai Itai

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Brian Miller 1935-2011

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Brian Miller, was an artist, writer, lover of culture and enthusiast of life.
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Brian was Cumbernauld’s town artist for most of its early years, and his impact on the town’s civic art, and its colourful uniqueness, was dramatic and powerful.

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His contributions to the culture and arts in Cumbernauld was similarly dramatic (pun intended), as he was one of the small band of enthusiastic fanatics who established The Cottage, now Cumbernauld Theatre, as a venue for drama, music, comedy, and a wealth of community productions.

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No matter what your interest, Brian would be there to lend advice, lend a hand, or even just offer transport or a sympathetic ear – his enthusiasm and support for every single facet of the arts knew no bounds.

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Brian also established himself as an unofficial writer-in-residence for Cumbernauld itself, and his productions, musicals, and plays became the launching pad for the artistic aspirations of a wide-range of local wannabes, over the years …. And that included me

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Brian had supported my work as an artist at The Muirfield Project, and gave us valuable assistance in establishing a screen-printing department there … assistance, without which, we’d have struggled to survive

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He also, surprisingly, offered me a leading role in a play he’d written … all the more surprising as I had no acting experience, and was a mohawk-sporting nutter who fronted a very anarchistic, local band, not exactly renowned for our gentility or love of the establishment

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It was a helluva chance for Brian to take, and one that turned out to be my first step on the ladder of performance arts, and the start of a brand new career.

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Brian kick-started the aspirations of lots of Cumbernauld’s arts and drama community, and was a genuinely, lovely man and a true gentleman in every respect

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On Saturday night, the original Cottage Theatre, and then Studio Theatre of Cumbernauld Theatre, has now been dedicated and renamed The Brian Miller Studio Theatre in Brian’s honour

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And that is just as it should be
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I wrote and performed a tribute for Brian, earlier in the week, at the  Cottage … and this wee poem was part of it.
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MILLER LIGHT

In every village, every job was valued for it’s worth
And people took their occupation’s name as being their own
So, Bakers, Smiths and Cooks soon became a family name
Whilst the Cobblers thought they’d leave that trend alone

But the man who ground the flour and wheat, in windmills, or by rivers
He’d take the coarsest grain the farmer grew
And turn it into something more refined, and by his efforts
Would produce the finest flour-power too

Brian was a Miller, of people and ideas
An auld hippy of that fine, old school persuasion
With a love of words and images, toy robots, and dramatics
Be they Western, Eastern, African, or Asian

It was the source of all that passion
Which he shared with oh so many
In the years he sweetly tended Cumbernauld
Like a gardener, with love and care, and total dedication
Gamely answering that question
”What’s It Called?”

Brian helped define this town, by word and deed, and vision
His enthusiasm shaped a generation
Of artists, playwrights, actors and wee chancers, just like me
His encouragement and help was inspiration

In a world portrayed as selfish, Brian was a giver
Who unselfishly encouraged all he met
I thank him for the arse-kicks that he aimed in my direction
It got me moving, and I’m eternally in his debt

Brian was a Miller, of people and ideas
His legacy in, what some still call, The Cottage
Will shine on in our memory, for many years to come
Like a spotlight of a hundred thousand wattage!!

(Piss-off … let me see you find a better rhyme for Cottage!!)

Brian gave us laughter, in a world of short supply
He gave us colour in a world of black and white
In this town of dark grey concrete, he brightened up our landscape
Illuminated by that Miller Light.

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Stu Who – 2012

An Itai Itai song from the 80’s

This was, I reckon, the first track that was totally a “band composition”, which came from messing about with percussion on upturned paint tins and a couple of acoustic geetars

We were never looking to do pop music, and still sound like no-one else but ourselves 

I like that


ITAI ITAI was:

Stu Who? – Vocals & Guitar
Aln McNiven – Vocals & Guitar
Rab Morrison – Guitar
Craig Stronach – Drums
Kowboy – Drums

Jim Dorman & Peter Litster, our crew, were also major contrubutors to the band, and its performance


This song was recorded in the 80’s, with the original ITAI ITAI, at Barclay Tower Studios in Edinburgh, by the fantastic Tony Pilley … an absolute gem of a man, who taught me a wealth of knowledge on recording and tape-editing during the lengthy process of creating this track.

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Robert Moffat did some stunning guitar over Frank Anson’s bass, with Rab Buchanan on keyboards, while Kowboy’s first ever session produced a blistering rythm track

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I played guitar, a bit of bass, smacked floorboards with Kowboy to get that snare sound, and did all the vocals

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Still one of my favourite recordings

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And a big thanx to Kowboy for persuading me to dig out the recording, and renew acquaintance with some of my old songs

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HAIRCUTS I’VE HAD – 1984


Yes folks … this bald-headed man with a cat sitting on his head is what I looked like back in the day!!


Thanx to Jock Barnson for this piece of excruciating memorabilia

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