Archives for July 2011

I'm just popping out...

Simon Mayo | 08:05 UK time, Friday, 29 July 2011

...and I may be a while. Well 3 weeks anyway. Holiday beckons. Compulsory family fun is on the way. The children won't argue, the travel plans will work, we won't need the insurance, no one will be ill, I'll read all my books, and no one will tell me I'm no fun. Oh, and no strikes. Or military coups/financial meltdown/outbreaks of bird flu. Is that everything covered? Probably not but it'll do for now.
The blog stays up and running for 10 days apparently. This will need brief holiday mini-blogs from me very now and again so everything can shuffle along nicely. Hope that works.
Busy final Friday with the movie show on 5 Live talking to Bradley Cooper, star of the Hangover films and Limitless and then a summery, holiday -strewn All Request Friday. Even if it's a little on the cloudy side, the temperatures are on the climb apparently and all is set fair. That song idea of yours might be a good one you know. The ARF crown can be yours to treasure for a while, just think of a little belter and pop it down below (meaning post it on the blog rather than any other connotation).
Be nice to Liza and I shall return refreshed, rejuvinated and full of chips on the 22nd.
Have a really rather relaxing and satisfying Friday, see you after 5.

All My Bags Are Packed (as if)

Simon Mayo | 08:06 UK time, Thursday, 28 July 2011

Morning to all and a warm welcome to all new bloggers who have wandered (or maybe walked purposefully) our way recently. You are all welcome. I'm now worried that you might wander somewhere else while I'm away. I will try and find out if the blog can stay open for comments and report back (a rash promise as I'm off next week so there's only one more of these for a while). It would seem a good thing if you could all gather as normal if at all possible. Meetings will be had.
And there I was blathering about line-edits and the Olympics and I forgot to mention the Paul Simon season on Mike Harding last night, complete with cameo from your Drivetime host (YDTH for those who like these things). My brother Jonathan is a BBC producer and he stumbled upon these songs from 1965, the first that Paul did for the BBC. I passed them to Mike and 4 of the songs went out last night. I particularly loved hearing the spoken introduction to Bleaker Street. As Mike said, even though he was playing "I Am A Rock" and "Sounds of Silence" these were not the timeless classics they have become but still fresh and different. Listen back if you missed it, it's worth your time I think.
Nigel promises Barbecue Buffalo today. The BBQ bit I get, the buffalo seems a bit drastic. I'm quite happy with sausage. But we have learned to trust the master and flavour will prevail.
And tunes please for the HOLIDAYS. It's not just me. It's the Prime Minister, its Rebecca and, from today, the good pupils and staff of the Milton Keynes academy-the last educational establishment we found to break-up.This is not the same as the summer songs from last week as they mainly featured rain. Let's capture the I'M NOT WORKING FOR A BIT FEELING with the best holiday tunes ever. Even if you're not having much of one this year.
Have a well-supported and appropriately clothed Thursday, see you after 5

One Day At A Time...

Simon Mayo | 08:38 UK time, Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Here we go, Wednesday already and, I was about to write, it's downhill to the weekend from here. But that's not very helpful really. If you follow that logic, we'l be wishing our lives away all the time. There's always an easier day coming, we think, spend all our days waiting for it and before you know where you are, half your life has gone. So I shall try to make a point of enjoying this Wednesday in all its ordinariness, without thinking too much of Friday, the weekend, my holiday, Christmas and the Olympics. Live in the moment.

(enough psychobabble and on with the day!).

I'm currently struggling with something called a 'line edit' of my novel and my head might explode before it's done. I'd never heard of one before last week but it's a bit like getting an essay back from your English teacher and every line needs looking at. Or in a good section, every other line. For 250 pages. I'm told it marks the beginning of the end but we'll see about that. The nice people at the publishers know what they're doing, I keep telling myself. As F.R. David so memorably said 'Words don't come easy'.
After 6 today Dave Stewart is in to talk about his new album and the Stevie Nicks album he produced. He came in last year to talk about his business book and he clearly has so many ideas before breakfast, the man is a whirlwind.
Oldies today please for the OLYMPIC GAMES, ONE YEAR OUT. You might have noticed the whole shebang starts in 365 days time, so a musical accompianment seems appropriate. So not the running, jumping and swimming but the planning, the construction and the training. And the regeneration, the hullabaloo and the cynics. Whatever you fancy really.
Have an enthusiastic and encouraging Wednesday, see you after 5.

BANG CRASH THUD (repeat to fade)

Simon Mayo | 08:17 UK time, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

And there was I thinking I had the perfect question. With 2 women on the show, I thought, they'll never know anything about Dungeons and Dragons. If truth be told, I know nothing about D&D either but it is, overwhelmingly, a bloke thing. No one will know about the 100 sided dice I thought. However I reckoned without Caroline B having loads of brothers who made her run and get the aforementioned die when it rolled off the table. So then PTP follows suit (part-time Pauline for new arrivals) and the ultimate humiliation-answer guessed by both colleagues-is complete. Must try harder.
Must try harder too on the 'appropriate summer fun for 11 year olds' side of things. While my back was turned, child 3 was taken to see "Transformers" by child 1. Child 3 declared it should have been a 15 and too much 'human action and not enough transforming action'. Cars 2 would have been my suggestion as it doesn't have the leery feel that Transformers does. Then Wife1 takes children 2&3 to see "Much Ado About nothing" with David Tennant and Catherine Tate which you would imagine would be fine but was, so I am told, a little more bawdy than was expected. But great fun and had no robots hitting each other. Child 3 will watch CBeebies today just to balance things up a bit.
The Grammy award winning Raul Malo today ahead of his Cambridge Folk Festival appearance today from 6. The former Mavericks from man has rave reviews for his solo stuff and you can hear why today.
And oldies today on the subject of HEROES and SUPERHEROES. Already this year we have had Thor, the X-Men, the Green Hornet and Green Lantern in the cinema with Captain America due any minute. Superman the musical is on Braodway (just) and a Batman play has opened in Manchester. There is a new history of the superhero too (Grant Morrison's Supergods) so HEROES it is and I'm expecting a bumper crop of top tunes.
Have a pants-on-the-inside kind of Tuesday, see you after 5.

After you. No really...

Simon Mayo | 07:56 UK time, Monday, 25 July 2011

Good morning bloggers all, sunny and cool here. Autumn temperatures and, as noted on the show on Friday, back to school notices appearing in clothes shops. And all before you've taken your holiday. 19 degrees Mr Celcius? Really? Is that the best we can do? Ho hum.
(Incidentally, welcome back Chris, much missed in the last fortnight and welcome for the first time to Vassos Alexander, the new voice of sport on breakfast. Vassos is a top bloke and will be an excellent replacement for Johnny Saunders. He's a champion gum-chewer too and could be regularly viewed holding his sports script in one hand and his recently removed gum in the other. Post-bulletein, the gum was returned whence it came.) We spent the weekend celebrating a 25th birthday, a 10th birthday and a 10th wedding anniversary. This last one was spent on a canal longboat around the Regents Canal in London and a spectacular success it was too (even if I was shouted at by the captain/bloke in charge for jumping off the boat at the bow. Stern only apparently. Who was to know?) So a weekend of parties, despite the news being relentlessly grim. Listening to Paul Gambaccini on Saturday night, he judged his Amy Winehouse thoughts pitch perfect I thought. A terrible tragic waste. If you follow Moby on Twitter you'll have seen him post 2 weeks back about what a state she was in at a festival in Serbia and hoped someone would intervene. Sadly it was not to be. I met her when she came in to the show I was doing on 5 Live when "Back to Black" came out. She sang 2 songs acoustic and blew everyone away; a truly extraordinary voice.
Matt's on holiday now, Rebecca and I go next week (not together should you be wondering) so Caroline Barker is with us this week on sport and part-time Pauline is in today as Rebecca appears to tale a whole day to return from Cornwall.
And the mighty Quo will rock you after 6 as Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi are in. And to repeat what I mentioned last week, some interesting news I think for fans of the 70's line-up in the interview... And oldies today devoted to being SLOW. Cavendish is fast, Hamilton is fast but Sally is SLOW. Sally was nervous about how slow her Silverstone charity drive was going to be, but SLOW gets you there and cautious is wise. SLOW can be a way of life in some parts of the world, SLOW leads to a greater appreciation of food and friends. Especially once you can't go fast anyway. Song thoughts, in your own time.
Have a laid-back and chilled Monday, see you after 5.

Say What?

Simon Mayo | 08:07 UK time, Friday, 22 July 2011

I do believe that's a hint of sun creeping around the curtain. Well done everybody, we shamed it into its appearance after the rain tunes yesterday. There were so many good tunes suggested we could have filled a week's worth of shows with them. Maybe if we get a heatwave sometime in August we can come back and do the weather again. But for now, pass the shades - it's all too much.
Enjoyed the show yesterday, Matt's 'Manchester' accent a highlight. It was certainly closer than mine would have been. As I might have mentioned before, I can do cockney, Cornish (in a roughly South West kind of way), posh and camp. A rough Irish (south), Lancashire, American (roughly Texas/California hybrid) and grizzled European come next and that's about it really. This is the repertoire developed over the many years of reading the bedtime stories and I'm not going to learn anything new now.
Busy old Friday today as the 5 Live show is back after last week's non-appearance. So at last we get to talk Harry Potter 7b, a full week after everyone else. I'm not sure it has effected the box office take by a single penny but I'll feel better once it's all out in the open. Also the Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston chat I mentioned on Wednesday, alongside the usual nonsense.
Then to the All Request Friday juggernaut and your participation is encouraged, welcomed and rather fun. Big bold and brash is what the custom is here. Feel free to suggest sensitive, quiet and meditative but it won't get on.
Have a stable and clear-sighted Friday, see you after 2 and/or 5

Here Comes Summer

Simon Mayo | 08:07 UK time, Thursday, 21 July 2011

Dismal and dank here. Even thought about putting the central heating on last night. Apparently the 5th wet summer in a row and it might be that a new pattern is emerging ( or maybe it isn't). Remember the hazy, crazy days of spring? Maybe you were one of those who said 'well this might be it you know' and now you're feeling just a tiny bit smug. Damp and smug. Call the travel agent.
A ridiculous run of interviews yesterday. Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston for 5 Live on Friday and Status Quo for Drivetime next week. All in 2 hours. I had vision of asking Kevin about Caroline, Quo about being dizzy and blonde and Jennifer about RIchard 111. Actually that might have worked. Kevin and Jennifer star as two of the Horrible Bosses (Colin Farrell being the other) in the movie with Ms Aniston fairly taking the breath away as a foul-mouthed and sex-obsessed dentist. If she wanted to break away from the cute rom-com stuff, she has certainly succeeded. The Quo boys were on good form I think with some interesting news for fans of the classic 70's line-up; you can hear them on Wednesday next week.
Nigel cooks Mexican tonight with chicken and chorizo and other er, ingredients that I have forgotten since last week. And I think we need to return to the WEATHER for the oldies today. As the summer holidays kick in, lets mark the SUMMER OF 2011 with the tunes that seem appropriate to you. Beaches, sun, sand, floods and hot soup. I think it was playing Gaudete last night that finished the summer for me. I drove home wanting a mince pie.
Have a mellifluous and gentle Thursday, see you after 5


Simon Mayo | 09:25 UK time, Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Well here we are again. Trying to access yesterday's comments brings up the familiar 'sorry, there has been a problem' etc. So I have no idea whats been happening and trust yesterday was a lovely time for everybody. I was lost in a sweaty throng of ceramic art connoisseurs who knew what they liked and understood the finer points of glazes, moulds and kiln temperatures. I excelled in smiling, nodding and handing out those little circular red 'sold' stickers. Pizza and fizzy wine followed and barely a thought was paid to the news or what was happening in the outside world. Did I miss anything?
Today we see the last mid-summer middle-aged mosh. Now some bloggers might breathe a sigh of relief, others will be disappointed but its brief run concludes today before Dr Mosh goes on holiday to some sweaty rock tour with some Scandinavian Norse headbangers. Before he goes, he has one last killer selection of guitar led pain relief from 6.
And for tunes today, I'm thinking of the SCHOOL REPORT. Many are being received, many on the way. We all remember the arrival of the (usually brown) envelope with caustic comments and pithy summaries of how we have performed in the required subjects over the term. Most modern reports have to have an encouraging tone and need to be interpreted with help. My teachers never had that problem. Feel free to share your SCHOOL REPORT comments that have lodged in your mind for one reason or other.
Meantime, have relaxed and error-free Wednesday, see you after 5

Day off

Simon Mayo | 08:21 UK time, Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Morning bloggers. Hope you have a good day and enjoy (but not too much) Paddy K. on Drivetime. I'm off for a day of high ceramic art and cheesy nibbles. Children 1&2 will be running the bar, child 3 is the snack carrier and I will be moving effortlessly among the crowd, smiling and swapping quips with the art cognoscenti. Or sitting in the corner reading a book-you guess.
Have an engaging and thought-provoking Tuesday, see you tomorrow.

Full Force Gale

Simon Mayo | 08:04 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

Monday again-hooray! Lat's hear it for Monday! And a damp one here too. Goodness knows how many inches of Latitude mud will return with child2 in a few hours time but the washing machine is primed and ready.
This is a 4 day week for me as tomorrow Paddy Kielty is standing in. This is because Mrs M has a show of (really rather wonderful) ceramic art being launched and it seems wise for me to be in attendance, cheering from the rafters. Anyone who has produced a show of any kind will know how demented it can get as the deadline hurtles toward you. We are knee-deep in glazes, trestle tables, clay, folders and assorted paraphernalia that I know is important but can't quite place. Tomorrow I'll be wearing my best Radio 2 bomber jacket and passing the canapés. Wednesday will be back to normal, assuming I don't break anything.
And what a great place Radio 2 is. Particularly at the moment as the country is engulfed in a strange kind of convulsion. More music is needed. The more everyone talks, the more I want to listen to Van Morrison. You can learn more about life and the things that matter by putting on "Astral Weeks" or "Avalon Sunset". You can listen to endless experts and be none the wiser but listen to "Into the Mystic" and you are a better citizen.
So today we welcome Marcus Sedgwick to Drivetime as his latest novel 'White Crow' is our latest choice for the Radio 2 Book Club. It is modern gothic thriller aimed at teenagers and has been nominated for the Guardian Children's book Prize. You can try it out yourself by reading some of it while you're here, on these pages.
So I think we should do TEENAGERS and all things TEEN today. Teenagers in all their wild, grumpy, unpredictable and loveable ways.
Have a rigorous and enlightened Monday,see you after 5.

A Swoopin' and a Screechin'

Simon Mayo | 09:09 UK time, Friday, 15 July 2011

Competing sounds this morning. New albums arrived yesterday in the post and they are jostling for position. Firstly The Jayhawks 'Mockingbird Time', The Waterboys 'An Appointment with Mr Yeates' (this being WB Yeates so not a topical news reference), Nick Lowe's 'The Old Magic' and Martin Simpson's 'Purpose and Grace'. It might have been Mrs M's birthday yesterday as I mentioned but that was my parcel! And wonderful tunes from all of them, I will report back.

But the sound winning out at the moment comes from outside. The swifts are in full cry again and performing their heroics for all to see. There must be some mighty bug feast up in there because the screeching is drowning out anything I can produce from my CD player. It always resembles an aerial dog fight as they wheel and swoop around each other and the houses. I know I've mentioned them before but it's my favourite thing of the summer and miss them when they go back to southern Africa. And one more thing. Young swifts, I read, can drop their temperature and become torpid if their parents don't provide them with enough food. Remind you of anyone you know?

A quick round of applause for Nigel's Cheese and Onion Pie, a magnificent beast indeed and we have high hopes of his Mexican feast next week.

Marcus Sedgewick on Monday with his book 'White Crow'. Read the extract on these pages and let us know what you think. If you have young teen goths it might be just the ticket.

So the ALL REQUEST FRIDAY is upon us once more and the battle begins. A tip; the winning songs are always walls of sound from the beginning. They don't build or get louder, they start fast and loud and stay that way. Sometimes for 1'58", sometimes for 4'50" but they don't flag and they don't rest until they keel over. Just like the swifts really.

Have a mild-mannered and non-shouty Friday, see you after 5.

Whirlwind. And a pie.

Simon Mayo | 09:21 UK time, Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mrs M's birthday today and what a whirl it is. Cards made, presents wrapped, children reminded. Breakfast in bed (whether wanted or not) needs to be prepared and days at work prepared for. Plus child 2 is off to Latitude so tent and rucksack found and cash handed over ("Really? You need that much?"). Oh and packed lunches. Have I remembered everything? Expecting a few calls asking for assistance...
I'm following your mosh thoughts. Gentler bloggers may be relieved to know there is one more next week before we rest our aching leather clad limbs. I'm loving it because there isn't a rock show on Radio 2 so it gets scattered liberally across the network (though Desmond Carrington yet to meet his quota on this). Whenever AC/DC get some airplay the response is overwhelmingly positve. I'm hoping the inner rocker in all of us (soul fans included) find themselves nodding just a little, even as they run to the hills. As The Maiden boys would have it. (I had a curry with Iron Maiden once after Top of the Pops. Sweet, polite and charming. Nice boys) Nigel with some veggie pie today and oldies please for THE OPEN GOLF at ROYAL ST GEORGE today. It is such a big sporting event that, even though we have only just saluted Rory's win in America, we re-visit the tees, fairways and bunkers for musical inspiration.
Have a calm and organised Thursday, see you after 5.

Radio Faces

Simon Mayo | 08:18 UK time, Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Well all seems quiet. Quiet in the house, quiet on the blog. Maybe we are winding down for the summer, maybe we are reading books, maybe we are just quiet. And getting on a bit.
Enjoyed the show yesterday, everything seemed to work just fine and the appearance of a Python is always an occasion, even if Python haven't really existed for decades. And his claims that the Python's phones were hacked were extraordinary. Picking up your phone and hearing old recorded messages from your children because the system was broken must have been-even for the Pythons-quite surreal.
Top news about David Rodigan and a 10 part series on reggae for Radio 2. I've never met David but have loved his shows for years and you can hear him on Steve's show today. It is fair to say that he is one of many radio people who doesn't look the way he sounds. An Irish man I met once told me I looked different to the way he thought I should. "And how did you think I'd look?" I asked. "I thought you would have a big bushy beard!" he suggested. I am unlikely to be able to oblige on that point.
Dr Mosh returns today from 6 with a selection of summer rocking tunes (hello to the Cambridge Rock festival blogger/bloggers, you are most welcome). I will try to take some photos of The Mosh Lord in action as it really is something else. I think a few rock festival appearances would cement his burgeoning position as the voice of rock. Sorry, THE VOICE OF ROCK.
And songs today please on the subject of WATER. We have been told for years that we should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day but a report in the British Medical Journal says the advice "isn't borne out by any evidence whatsoever". I'm not sure anyone actually did drink that much water anyway but the writer of the report says we should "just relax a bit". Which is good news because we were anyway. But WATER it is and WATER oldies would be very welcome.
Have a welcoming and comfortable Wednesday, see you after 5

A very naughty boy

Simon Mayo | 09:38 UK time, Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Well child1 had many friends over last night to party and then they all went out. I cleared up a bit and went to bed to read a book. At some stage in the last few years, I have become my parents. Loudon Wainwright has a song on his 'Last Man On Earth' album called 'Surviving Twin' in which he laments this moment, although there's inevitably much bitterness with Loudon's relationship with his father. So how great to hear Rufus on yesterday's show talk of his concerts with his father. I have only heard one tune from the 19 disc sampler with father and son together, but it's the old Richard Thompson song 'Down Where the Drunkards Roll' and as Rufus said on the show yesterday, their voices are very different but blend beautifully together. When Child1 emerges (assuming he's back) I might suggest we sing a duet together, just to see what happens.
Top guest today with writer, Python and director Terry Jones in after 6. He wrote some great childrens books many years ago (The Knight and the Squire being one) and he has got excited about a new way of publishing called Unbound. Also there is talk of a new Python film. Well, sort of. It's an animated version of Graham Chapman's memoir 'A Liar's Autobiography: Volume 4' Terry will explain after 6...
And for some tunes today, let's try the SCHOOL SPORTS DAY. Hooray for the egg and spoon! Hey for the Sack and 3-legged race! Boo for the parents race! What could be more fun than cheering on our offspring and consoling them as they trip over their laces and finish 12th. Songs aplenty, we await your wisdom.
Have a relaxed and stressed free Tuesday, see you after 5.

Too much too young.

Simon Mayo | 08:27 UK time, Monday, 11 July 2011

Good morning bloggers, at the start of another lovely week on Drivetime. I hope your weekend was a lovely one. We had a weekend where child1 turned 20 years old. This was a shock of course as I thought he was still 8 and wanted a pirate party. It turned out he was more than happy with a noisy family Italian meal and a trip to the pub with friends which was easier than a pirate party. There was a year when I thought I could do the entertaining for the kid's parties; I was sadly misguided and retired immediately, howls of derisive laughter ringing in my ears. 3 year olds can be so cruel.
When he was born, I was doing breakfast on Radio 1 and remember playing 'Baby Baby' by Amy Grant and 'Born at the Right Time' by Paul Simon. That all seems rather cheesy now but at the time seemed an appropriate way of telling everyone what had been happening. In fact the caesarian section had been a horrible experience as the anaesthetic hadn't worked perfectly but that was for another day...
So today we welcome Rufus Wainwright to the show. He has, extraordinarily, got a 19 disc box set coming out spanning 'his entire career'. Yes that's right-19 discs. You might just imagine The Beatles or The Stones or Dylan to be able to fill 19 discs but a 38 year old? His father Loudon has a retrospective out too-all 3 discs of it. We will find out more from 6.
And songs today please inspired by JOANNA LUMLEY. She hosts tonight's 3 part history of Broadway on Radio 2. Everyone loves Joanna it seems; pin up, model, Avenger (New), campaigner, Patsy in AbFab, Sapphire and Steel and all round national treasure. Your JOANNA LUMLEY tunes welcome, as they occur...
Have a warm-hearted and collaborative Monday, see you after 5.

Wet Friday. Play indoors.

Simon Mayo | 08:15 UK time, Friday, 8 July 2011

Morning from a distinctly damp and cool London. It's classic summer holiday weather. Our family holidays were often in Cornwall and this is the weather that would traditionaly produce some fine surfing followed by a cup-a-soup in the beach hut. Eventually the cool would seep through and we'd have to go and watch "Herbie Rides Again". For years, it was always "Herbie Rides Again". This may well be my imagination but these were summers of fixed choices: more surfing, more fish and chips or more Herbie. And if times were really bad, it would be back to the beach hut for another soup. Heady days.
(Derby in 1841 on July 8th was slightly more interesting. The Times reports it was a day of heavy rain, hail and a storm of frogs and fish. What we would have given for a freak storm like that to rescue us from our beach hut boredom).
So the Family Mayo gathered in Leicester Square last night (there were others too) and relished the final HP film. I was out of the R2 door before Bob's first tune had finished (so will need to catch up later) and walked as fast as my aching limbs would take me through the swaying crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the stars. Hogwarts uniforms, death eaters and assorted wizards jostled with security guys and baffled tourists. After the teary speeches it was on with the hideous 3d glasses and battle commenced.
"It was epic " declared child 3 as we left and that's about right really. I'm talking to a very reluctant Ralph Fiennes on the 5 Live show today. He's great as Voldemort but not a natural promotions man I feel.
After 5 it's the All Request Friday steamroller and that world conquering opening song is all your responsibility (you and the muggles). Pick a blinder. See you after 5.

Man Flu

Simon Mayo | 09:57 UK time, Thursday, 7 July 2011

Blog late, blogger poorly. Assuming show will be fine though can't be sure. Mr Allinson, stand by your phone. It all depends how much throatiness anyone can endure really. Early night here in an attempt to fend off the evil powers of horribleness only partly successful. We shall see.
I can only express disappointment at Nigel's choice of food today. Fondue? Really? Does anyone do the fondue thing anymore? "Come round we're having an evening of melted cheese" doesn't sound that enticing to my ears. But, of course, I have been wrong before with Nigel and am happy to be proved so again.
Also, it'll hardly fill me up as I head off (sickness permitting) to the Harry Potter premiere tonight. If I go as a death eater maybe I'll blend in more. The red carpet will take 10 minutes to walk down apparently and is arranged like Diagonal Alley. Children 1,2 and 3 will make an appearance and I will shuffle in hassled and late. 'Strictly No Admittance after 6.30' is what it says on the invite but I trust the usual speeches will stretch things a bit.
Have an ache-free and non-sweaty Thursday, and leave your songs of magic and wizardry below. See you after 5.

Under attack

Simon Mayo | 08:39 UK time, Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Morning to all, cool and damp here. A 'back-to-school' autumnal feel to things which is a bit rough as the holidays haven't even started (well not here anyway).
Had a race after the show yesterday to get to child 3's end of term show and made it for his bit by the skin of my teeth. As I legged it into the playground, he stepped up to the stage. This wasn't enough however, to prevent the 'so what was my first line then?' style of questioning but a most enjoyable evening of poems and songs was had and we all duly held our phones up to record the moment we were there for.
Earlier I had been to a screening of the new Harry Potter and then to a lunchtime showcase for the singer Jon Fratelli. This was memorable for a selection of well sung songs and for the fact that I sat next to David Jacobs. He greeted the start of a much too loud drum track on one song by leaning over and saying 'Sounds like my sort of music!'.
We go a-moshing later with a variety of well placed rock anthems after 6 and for the oldies today, let's do MOSQUITOES. We answered the 'why some get bitten and not others' question yesterday but apparently the weather at the moment is perfect for the little blighters. Heavy rain and sunny spells means that numbers will be especially high, particularly in Scotland. So that's GNATS, MIDGES, MOSSIES and any other blood thirsty predators that might ruin your holiday.
Have a triumphant and prosperous Wednesday, see you after 5.

The Guitar Man

Simon Mayo | 08:12 UK time, Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Well in all honesty, I might have retuned yesterday. I knew I might struggle a wee bit as I mentioned in the blog yesterday but there's only so much rattle than you can listen too without having to cough and gargle yourself. Early indications are that things are no worse at least. This is a relief as I spend this morning watching the final Harry Potter film, HP7b. As I've written before, my eldest is 19 and his time at school coincided with the first, unheralded, Harry Potter book. He arrived home asking about this new book all his friends were talking about and could I find him one? Well the local bookshop had vaguely heard of it and rummaged around before finding a copy. We were all hooked from the beginning. As the reader-at-bedtime it was a thrill to something so different and mysterious. Plus it fell perfectly in my range of voices: camp, Cornish, cockney, Yorkshire and Lancashire. We all loved the journey and it finishes this summer. Bravo JKR.
And what a legend on the show today! Duane Eddy is in today. A guitar great, a pioneer, he will be in to talk about his return to music making with Richard Hawley. He'll even bring his guitar with him. So many guitarists have been influenced by Duane; Hank Marvin,Jimmy Page and Ry Cooder have all paid tribute. And in his honour, today's songs should be about THE GUITAR and THE GUITARIST in all it's/his/hers glory.
Well have a refreshing and inspiring Tuesday, see you after 5.

Written in pink

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Simon Mayo | 08:41 UK time, Monday, 4 July 2011

Morning to bloggers old and new. Another weekend done and dusted and I hope it was all you wanted it to be. Here, it was sleepovers, twins 1 year old birthday party and a quick Harry Potter movie to get me in the mood for HP7b which I see tomorrow. I will be as excitable as any of the younger readers but in the presence of movie critics, so will feign indifference.

It is quite likely that by the time we reach 5pm, my voice will have become inaudible. I haven't actually spoken to anyone yet but have been rattling along quite happily through the early hours. In actual fact, I will probably only be getting to Bob Harris levels of basso-profondo and could knock off a few voice-overs before lunch.

Failing that, I'll be spending more time with Adele Parks. She is the best-selling author who's latest 'About Last Night' is our Radio 2 Book Club choice. This is, undoubtedly, chick-lit and I have been rather enjoying it. I know it isn't aimed at me-the cover alone in green and pink tells me this- but I have been spending time with Pip, Sophie, Kirsten (and their shopping) and I can report that I am engrossed and fully engaged. I even took Adele with me into my bath...she manages to make you engage with a story even you wouldn't fancy spending more than 5 minutes with any of the people in it. Adele Parks after 6...

And on the tunes, let's do INDEPENDENCE. It's July 4th of course, but let's do INDEPENDENCE in the general sense of freedom and liberation not the American version as that is just freedom from us, which doesn't feel quite right. Maybe I should have adjusted by now. So let's celebrate being un-shackled and set-free with sone fine songs from your archive.

Have a sunny and cheer-filled Monday, see you after 5.

Come On Andy

Simon Mayo | 08:42 UK time, Friday, 1 July 2011

Another Friday and we made it in one piece - have a biscuit to celebrate. A ginger nut will suffice - nothing too fancy. Sports day was survived without the parents' race on the er, running order. That is kept for the junior school sports day apparently. This is harsh but fair. We were far too busy emailing, texting, calling, making deals and queuing for cake. But the shot put, the javelin, the high and long jumps and assorted races all went their way with a degree of competition and a convivial air. I miss the tug-of-war, however, and think it always made for a brilliant final event. It was an Olympic event too and Britain are the reigning champions having won in 1920 and then the sport was dropped. Maybe the tug-of-war could be revived by Radio 2. Drivetime could challenge Breakfast, Steve Wright could challenge Jeremy and so on. The online team would love it. Maybe we should then challenge Woman's Hour and The Shipping Forecast (more work needed here maybe).
Two shows today with some movie chat at 12 (Wimbledon time) for an hour on 5 Live. Transformers 3 in 3D will doubtless get Dr K into a fair old bate. And then the calm and secure waters of the All Request Friday arrive and all is well. Who will claim the crown today? Will it be a blogger or a muggle (as tweeters appear to be referred to these days)? Blast away the detritus of the week with a top opening tune. Of course it will clash with the Andy Murray semi-final but we will keep you informed with Matt on Centre Court.
Have a breezy and cheery Friday, see you at 12 and 5.

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