Annecdotal Evidence

The Ramblings of a Selective Memory

(picture by Simon Gray that wasn't used for the back cover of benny hill's wardrobe cd ...and now hangs on my wall)
Which brings me to my 1st piece of A.E.
The song Benny Hill's Wardrobe was inspired by seeing an old M.F.I wardrobe for sale in a Teddington
second hand shop (pre Charity shop boom)
The Sticker on the wardrobe read ...'Benny hills old wardrobe' ..genuine


( CD of Parish Of Arthritis picture taken from an old childrens book from the 50's)
Entered the lyrics for Radio Active Scuba Diver in a London poetry competition ...didn't win
Did a live radio radio session for a young John Kennedy
when he was working for Thamesmead Radio on the famous estate
where Clockwork Orange was filmed ... A very strange place ...
did a couple of sessions for him when he moved to the lofty heights of XFM


(front cover 1 of a set of 4 postcards found in svendborg Denmark)
The song Barbara, along with others from the 5 Die Lp, was often played by Bob Geldof on his XFM early
evening show, not sure whether it was Bob's championing of the Springs as ''Great songwriters''
or his continual swearing that cut short his career as a DJ
The melody for Barbara was pinched wholesale from Spangle a Wedding Present song (sorry Dave)

(cover art by Alex Abajian)
Simon got the title from this album from an idyllic holiday we had c1996 on the
tiny Greek Island of Halki - many a day was spent debating which of the 2 bakers on
the island was best? (John's or Dimitri's).....a decision was never reached (Kim)

(Three unknown butchers from Kim's Nan's old photo's)
I asked Jan Griffiths to sing a duet with me on flashing my whip
after hearing her singing old war time songs in her kitchen
while delivering her mail ...very pleased I did ...she was great

(Split 7inch single with Esposito Dan Goodwins post Kitchens of Distinction band)
Got a Phone call in the afternoon
GLR  were going to review the single on a roundtable style record review program
I said great go ahead ... slaughter it
And one guest on the show a certain Ms Ronnie Spector did just that
''Very Amateur'' I heard her say as 
I submerged my embarrassed head under my bath water
.. Yes I was having a bath at the time


(Bored waiting for chips by Gary Chatfield of his daughter used for the Firm Family cover)
For The Taming of the Dogs ..Song 4 on this EP
I wondered if I could make a totally different song by using  the drum track from another
I'd heard this type of thing done with reggae and northern soul
and while mixing Attempted Life from That Sentimental Slush it all came clear
I'd had an idea for a song about bad dog owners for a while
so I decided to put the two together
I wonder if anyone noticed?

(One of my crude attempts at a cover for the Slush LP)
Was going to call every song on this album after a film
'Music ... It's A Young Mans Game'
would have been called Carry on Camping
because of the references to Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw.
The only song that ended up keeping a film title was
T'he King And I'
which was really meant to be called 'The Man Who Would Be King'
which, as you all know, is a far superior film 
but The Libertines got to the title before us

(Cover art consisted of photo's I took of paving slabs the gas board had written on in Priory Road Hampton)
The 'Big Sweaty Dad' song from this Ep is one of our most popular
and probably one of our most original
we should have released it as a single (genius of hindsight)
  also features 'Deep Black Water' a duet with Jack Hayter (Hefner)
and the reservoir that's mentioned in the song
is on the Upper Sunbury Road between Hampton and Sunbury


(Cover photo taken throgh the glass window bricks of the flats in Chelsea close Hampton Hill)
Me and Dan were very happy to get 2 thirds of one of our favourite bands
the 'Kitchens Of Distinction' to play on 4 songs on this album
Dan Goodwin/Drums and Julian Swales/Guitar
I thought that this album would have sold millions
if anyone had got the chance to hear it


(Vic Godard brings his organ over to our factory rehearsal space on Port Hampton was a bit Like Fitzcarraldo
forklift over the thames then hoisted in through the second floor window)

Around the time we became The Bitter Springs I'd started working for the Royal Mail
I was flicking through our (Royal Mail) magazine one day
when I saw a picture of Vic Godard
So I rang the office he worked from and, after much persuading
and toing and froing of cassettes between our 2 offices,
I managed to get him to come and sing on 'Boormans Son' and 'The Addison Brothers'
He wasn't very well prepared when we got the studio but it was worth extra headache in the end
I'd got the man that made 'Stop That Girl' and 'What's the Matter Boy?'
To sing and play harmonica on my record
It was the beginning of a great friendship and a very fruitful association
....I'd got the idea for the Addison Brothers song while I was in St Ives in Cornwall
There's a pub on the harbour called The Sloop Inn
and at the bar they had a blackboard
with a list of names of people who were barred from drinking in the pub -
 I adapted one of the names slightly and gave them a new story
(maybe it was the Harrison or Anderson Brothers I can't remember now)
but Addison is the name of the road that Neil (Springs drummer) lived in so I used that !

(One of the mouldy cups of tea I made for the CD art )
Every album the Springs have ever made has been a huge struggle,
but this one was the toughest yet and everything that could go against us did -
that's why I decided to make it a 'warts and all' double CD.
CD2 is sub titled 'The Bitter Springs Destroyed My Life' for that reason
One song on Disc 2 'Free To Kill Again'
is the only song that was finished from an aborted 15 track solo album 'Like Yer Wounds'
(hopefully all the other songs will surface eventually).
There is also a song on Disc 2 which is a loop of a two chord section from Disc1's
'Hail The Lifeboat Man'
(see if you can work out which one it is)
regrettably Dan has now left the band but we welcome Andy Deevey in his place


This song was recorded live at a GLR session
we looped the beginning at the studio to make it sound like a different version
Just in case the BBC objected
probably the best one take live recording we ever did (thus far)

(Great sleeve art from Michael Brandon made just for the single)
The line
'I thought how cheesy can you get, embrace the brothers I've never met'
Is a reference to my 2 half brothers I've not seen or heard of for nearly 40 years

(The title of this song came from a Phrase often spouted by local Hampton legend John Jameson)
As far as I know hairdo at 90 was the only Bitter Springs song played by John Peel
We would have loved to have done a session as Bitter Springs on his show
Really miss him  'Bring me the ghost of John Peel sweet horlicks for the ears'