The Inside Story – Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Part 2)

Continuing Michael Darlow’s first-hand account of filming Johnny Cash’s San Quentin concert in 1969. This article first appeared in Now Dig This, the longest-running magazine dedicated to the Big Beat. All words copyright Michael Darlow…

By now a transmission date for our film on the ITV network had been announced – Saturday, 19th April, just […]

The Inside Story – Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Part 1)

I met Michael Darlow through working with a society dedicated to the work of playwright Terence Rattigan as he was one of Rattigan’s biographers. Not only did we get on very well, but also found we shared the same school and service in the RAF (a good few years apart, of course). I knew […]

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    Pilot Officer Prune – Forgotten Comic Strip Hero of the Battle of Britain

Pilot Officer Prune – Forgotten Comic Strip Hero of the Battle of Britain

‘This bloody station’s a right bloody cuss, no bloody pubs and no bloody bus;
Nobody cares for poor old bloody us. Oh, bloody bloody bloody bloody bloody!

For a MidCentury boy like me, brought up on a steady diet of 1950s war movies, Airfix kits, Action Man and War Picture Library comics – all of which […]

By |September 22nd, 2020|Collecting|0 Comments|

A Sojourn in Suffolk

With all that’s happening this year (or, to more accurate, not happening), it was a good job that our holiday ambitions were a good deal more modest than last year’s expedition to New York. Fortunately, before lockdown hit us, we’d made a booking for a week in Southwold, somewhere we’ve been meaning to visit, […]

Sixty Four Pages of Wartime Grit


If sometimes I give the impression that my boyhood was characterised by an obsession with the Second World War, that’s because it’s largely true. I have a theory that, for any boy of the immediate post war generation (the baby boomers as sociologists would categorize us), you could place each one of us firmly […]

More Lockdown Spin-up Reflections

When I last blogged about DJ’ing in the lockdown, we’d just taken our first tentative steps into joining the community of Facebook Live DJs. A couple of months on, and our Wednesday evening sessions have become a regular fixture in our week. So much so that we’ve taken to leaving the decks and mixer […]

A Thing about Dansettes (and the odd Philips)

If I wrote that I’d first lost my heart to a Dansette in my early teens, you might well imagine some schoolboy crush on some baton-twirling cutie. If I added that she was a present from my great-aunt, and was covered in slightly scuffed red and grey leatherette, you’d start to wonder if you’d […]

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    The Rockin’ Round Up 2019 and a Chance to Catch the Astrotones

The Rockin’ Round Up 2019 and a Chance to Catch the Astrotones

It’s a great shame that the Rockin’ Round Up has joined the list of events that have fallen victim to the lockdown. I was planning to post this review of last year’s event, which appeared in Now Dig This, just ahead of this year’s as an appetite whetter. Instead it’ll have to do as […]

Ah the Irony – An Blog about Vintage Typewriters

Vintage typewriters seem to have become all the rage, these days. After years gathering dust amongst the bric a brac on the shelves of bad theme pubs, they’ve joined the ranks of the items of analogue technology much beloved of the hipster crowd (are they still a thing?), and a quick on line search […]

Spinning ‘Em Up in the Lock Down

In the same way that the past few weeks have had such a fundamental impact on so many aspects of our lives, the fraternity of rockin’ DJs has had to adapt to a world where, even if dancing didn’t break all the rules of social distancing (apart from wild boppers who can create a […]