I am risen, Lazarus-like, from a couple of weeks in flu-ravaged purgatory, a desperate condition accompanied by much attendant chest-rattling coughing and colourful spluttering. So apologies for my recent absence here. What passes for normal service will hopefully resume next week, with a return to the daily blogs as advertised at the top of this page.


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HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO

March 5 to 11, 1997

The Notorious B.I.G. is shot dead as he sits in a car outside the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles. Police confirm they are investigating links between the killing and the slaying of Tupac Shakur in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas six months earlier, fuelling tabloid stories of a feud between the East Coast and West Coast rap communities. Biggie's demise comes just days after Death Row Records president Marion 'Suge' Knight receives a nine-year sentence for parole violations.


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More on Joe Strummer and The 101’ers

Following my somewhat nostalgic post about calling in at the Elgin and being reminded of many great nights there watching Joe Strummer and The 101’ers in their short-lived scruffy pomp, I’ve received the following email from reader Peter Cabret.


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What I’ve been playing most recently has been Neon Bible, the second album from The Arcade Fire, the follow-up to Funeral and possibly one of the most keenly-anticipated albums of the year, for which great things are predicted and will probably happen.


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Thanks to everyone who wrote in to identify the clip of Dylan playing “Mr Tambourine Man” that I posted.


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Someone’s put up large printed signs all down Stockwell Road and around Brixton Academy, large black letters on a bright orange background, their authorship unknown but their message starkly clear.


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You’ll have to excuse me if I sound as hoarse as a hacksaw this morning and seem more than a little rough around the edges, but I am in slow recovery from an extraordinary night in the company of The Hold Steady, who for today at least are officially the best rock’n’roll band on the planet.


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This is just a quick postcript to my last blog, about Joe Strummer and The 101'ers.


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I found myself last night for the first time in decades in Ladbroke Grove, an old stomping ground, not much-visited since I lived around there for a year of largely wild times that ended badly in 1977 with a recuperative fortnight in intensive care.


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THE NEVER-ENDING SAGA OF THE NEVER-ENDING TOUR

Just some thoughts on the comments about Bob Dylan’s 1987 Wembley show, posted below by Steve, who was at that show, didn’t recognise a single song Bob played and is baffled when people describe Dylan as a genius for trashing his back catalogue ‘for his own amusement’. Steve, as he says, just doesn’t get it.


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Editor's Letter

Dave Edmunds at 70! Happy birthday, boyo!


First of all, there was the somewhat staggering recent news that Captain Sensible was about to turn 60. Then a few weeks ago, Nick Lowe was 65. And today, it turns out, Dave Edmunds, Nick’s former best mate and partner in Rockpile...