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A song I recorded maybe a decade back, with the help of my son, Kahl, and friends, Paul Dowie on guitar, and Paul Cotton doing the recording

The topic of UFO’s and alien overlords still haunts many, whereas I believe the aliens are definitely amongst us … they’re called Capitalists

ALIENS

Unidentified Flying Objectivity
There’s aliens about, so, watch out
It might be you
It might be me
You look alright, but I still got my doubts
Everybody’s suspect, no one’s innocent
All taking part in an alien experiment
Filling us with chemicals and changing our air
I wonder if you are aware

We are surrounded by aliens
In every town, there’s an alien
Don’t look round
There’s an alien
And there’s no running away

Everybody’s talking ’bout alien visitors
Contemplation of invasion
All they need is good solicitors
Legalising murder and mass starvation
Jobs as policemen and policewomen
They ain’t half funny
And they ain’t half-human
It might get better
It might get worse
When Earth becomes the nigger of the Universe

They don’t have tails
They don’t have tentacles
They wear nice suits and gold-rimmed spectacles
Changing slowly
Changing time
Changing bodies and changing minds
Taking over the population
Effecting a mass mutation
Your resistances will be overcome
Your disbelief at what I’m saying
Is the first symptom

We are surrounded by aliens
In every town, there’s an alien
Don’t look round
There’s an alien
And there’s no running away

Unidentified Flying Objectivity
There’s aliens about
So, WATCH OUT

 

 

My latest wee vid, done whilst trying out new editing software, as a learning exercise … and a long, slow fukken annoying process it was

I did the music on an old steam-driven prog … vox added on the laptop … rather lo-fi, but that’s the way I like it

After lotsa mistakes and hassles, I give up … this’ll have to do

The next one will be better … as I dumped that software and will start afresh

The words are from poem that I wrote, performed over a bit of music that I also wrote, and played, … they just fitted perfectly together somehow

“Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings” sounds like screen directions for a crap, porn film  … but it also has that ring of truth to it … Kids can ask the most naive and simplistic of questions that cut through the bullshit and flim-flam, getting right to the heart of the matter … the real questions which need answering

 

The Funny Farm was a co-operative of new comedians, based in Glasgow, in the 1989-90 period. We were a varied bunch, thrown together by necessity in our need to do-it-ourselves, as there was literally no comedy scene whatsoever at that time in Scotland, outside of the mainstream club comics, and pantomime and summer season vaudevilians.

We set up our own gigs in pubs, clubs, and community centres … did improv comedy and workshop nights, and in the course of a couple of years established ourselves to the extent that Scottish Television recorded an eponymous series of stand-up comedy, based around our members, which I hosted each week, on Friday, late-night

The original Funny Farm members were a lovely bunch of people … keen, funny, and great to have as friends … our enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment spilled onto the stage, and it was a great experience to be involved with such a fine bunch

Here’s a foto of myself, Parrot and Bruce Morton

Here are some really low quality shots, taken from a contact sheet I found, of some of the original gang.


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DAVID COSGROVE / KEVIN KOPFSTEIN

FRED MAC AULEY / GORDON ROBERTSON

BORIS VESTA (LEWIS MACLEOD)

MAY MACREADIE / STEWART MACDONALD

The Funny Farm tv series, was produced by the wonderful Kim Kinnie, whose Comedy Store connections in London allowed the show to feature guest artistes of an astonishing quality and pedigree, such as Bill Hicks, Lee Evans, Jo Brand, Jimmy Tingle, Sean Lock, Nick Revell, Paul Merton, Eddie Izzard, The Comedy Store Players, and practically every good comedian who appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe over the years the show was broadcast

CLICK ON THE DRAWINGS TO ENLARGE

I’d forgotten about these illustrations, done for a wee story I wrote


CROW-1A-nu

 

The first drawing is a view of the Land Of The Celts, where Musky The Wuskie was born

 

The second is an illustration of The Grand Wazoo, indulging in the ceremonial act of, Sky Ski-ing , and was done to accompany a story I wrote about a wee character called Musky The Wusky – who is trying to save his village from the influence of the marauding Pictish hordes.

The long road you see in the 2nd drawing, runs through a 23-mile long canyon, which was eventually flooded, and is now known as Loch Ness

WAZOO-1a-nu

And, here is Musky, leaving home to set off to find his fortune and save the tribes colour fields, where all the world’s colours and hues are grown & harvested.

MUSKY 1 copy (2)

JOBBYLEE

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As I related in an earlier post,…  http://stuwho.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/chou-pahrot/ … the mighty Chou Pahrot were a weird 70′s Glasgow phenomenon that only the truly stoned & deranged could and would appreciate

A cacophony of deranged syncopation and discordant mayhem which would take you to the point of teeth-gritting surrender, and would then suddenly drop off a cliff of feedback and bass to emerge as a beautiful violin melody of exquisite toe-tapping sensibility … and all done with a huge tongue wedged in a Clydesdale horse’s cheek

Their studio recordings were enjoyable diversions but could never even come close to the sonic assault of musical claustrophobia and joyous dementia that their live performances could induce

Here is a hissy, old recording of that experience that is worth the effort … if you dare

Not for the faint-hearted

Chou Pahrot – Live at the STUC Birthday Party, in 197?ish

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http://soundcloud.com/chou-pahrot

Sculptor, Tony Morrow, famous for his Loby Dosser & El Fideldo statue in Woodlands Rd, used to live near me, in Kildrum, here in Cumbernauld.    At that time, he was a fireman, hadn’t yet been to art-school, and was a mate of mine .. with a great sense of humour.

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First time I ever visited his flat, I sat down on the couch, as he went to put the kettle on, and I started to skin-up, a wee  number on his large coffee table

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Situated at the opposite end of the table was a box of Maltesers … but a box which was maybe four or five times bigger than even the biggest, family size, Malteser box
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“That’s some fukkin size of a box of Maltesers, Tony!” I shouted through to Tony in the kitchen
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“I love Maltesers. Have one”  he shouted back

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I lifted the partially opened flap top of the box.

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Inside was one HUGE brown, chocolate Malteser, the size of a volleyball.

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“But don’t eat the last one”  Tony shouted …. “Leave the last one fur me”

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I doubled up, pissing myself laughing

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“That is fukkin genius … You should do stuff like that professionally”  I told him … constantly for the next few years, … and eventually, he did

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Over the years, I saw dozens of people fall for his little trick … he’d made the box and Maltesers, perfect to scale, and it was typical of the daft visual gags he eventually did in his sculptural work

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In the mid 70’s, I played acoustic guitar (badly) and sang (enthusiastically) in a wee four-piece combo called Flat Out, alongside Eddy Cavin, Alan MacMaster, and Keith Shirlaw; and the occasional addition of Jim(my) Jazz (Alexander)

We had a good laugh doing sorta folk/blues/rock, with just a wee touch of The Bonzos too, and even released an EP – FLAT UOT – An Accident Looking For Somewhere To Happen.

Keith did the cover artwork, and although I can’t seem to locate the original B&W cover, I did find this version that Keith and one of my kids coloured in – the cover was intended for that very purpose, at my suggestion, as was the deliberate typo.

I was doing posters for the band and organising gigs too, and produced a poster for a night down at Cumbernauld Theatre, still called The Cottage at this point, and decided on a whim to call the event “An Evening Without Bing Crosby”.  I’d completed the pen and ink drawing that was the poster, given the artwork to someone to print them off, and received the finished posters, which were then distributed around Cumbernauld.

A copy of the poster was sitting on my drawing-board when a mate arrived, looked at it, and giggled furiously: “Wow, that was fast” he exclaimed.

”What was fast?” I asked.

”Being that topical, that quick”

Turned out that the famous crooner and child-beater, Bing Crosby, had died that very day, just as the posters were being put up in shop windows and bus-shelters

In a simpler, less shock-weary time this was considered to be in rather bad taste

 

I was so chuffed, and well-pleasedwith the synchronicity … and began a long tradition of introducing a wee shock element into the band posters I produced from there onwards

 

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Shortly afterwards I produced a poster for the band using the  monkey graphic featured below, with the very fine slogan

FLAT OUT
BETTER BAD THAN BORED

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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

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