Author Paul Rance's website

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Memories of George Best - at Luton and Dunstable

George Best was a boyhood hero of mine. Yes, I got angry with him over some of his behaviour, but I loved him all the same - and there's very few famous people I can say that about.

Most football crazy young boys (or girl in one of my ex's case) of my, now mid-40s, generation wanted to play like George, and look like George - even if we didn't support Manchester United.

I saw him play in a friendly for Manchester United at my club, Luton Town, in 1971, and he put in one of the best two or three performances I have ever seen, and it was just a friendly. I saw him play for Dunstable Town in 1974, and remember having to back away, with a friend of mine, Colin McCaig, as George needed room to take a corner. I remember feeling a mixture of sadness that this wasn't the stage he deserved, and delight at seeing him at least playing again. The opponents that day were a hotchpotch Manchester United side. They went 2-0 up, but eventually Dunstable won 3-2. Jeff Astle was also in the Dunstable side that day, and they were managed by Barry Fry. So, all very surreal, which was the story of George's life.

The last time I saw him play was a couple of years later, when George was in that star-studded Fulham side of the mid-'70s, which included two of the very few players who had a similar charisma and talent to George - Bobby Moore and Rodney Marsh. Fulham were at Luton, and won 2-0, and there was a famous photograph of young Luton starlet Ricky Hill dribbling past George, who ended up on his backside. Almost an analogy of where George's career was at. I should have seen George at Craven Cottage, playing for Fulham at home to Luton in the return fixture, but Bestie didn't show. By this time it wasn't unexpected. People excuse geniuses, because they are different. Genius is a curse and a blessing. A curse for those close to George, but a blessing for the rest of us.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Live 8 Blog (late!) U2, Who, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Macca, Robbie, Kaiser Chiefs

Worrying about our missing cat, Suki, meant I was never going to enjoy Live 8 as much as Live Aid.

Live 8 was good. Not as good as Live Aid, as not such a good line-up, but that's not what it's about really. Madonna upset a lot of people (my Mother included) with her puerile swearing, and the cruel pheasant shooter also, according to the tabloids, upset Pink Floyd, because she overran her rehearsal time, and they ended up having little time to rehearse. I switched off when she was on, but wasn't disappointed with any of the acts I wanted to see. Though the BBC cutting into REM in full flow, with a meaningless interview, was a major cock-up. U2 were hot - sort of a given. Worked well with Macca. Thought Pete Townshend's guitar playing was blindingly good. Hope I have that much verve at his age. McCartney's still in good voice, and Pink Floyd were very accomplished considering their lack of rehearsing. Wish Kaiser Chiefs had been on the London bill. My favourite band at the moment (though I forget their name sometimes!). Just something about them. Their music and dress sense is a successful amalgam I think. Robbie Williams probably stole the show. I quite like him, but not to the extent I've bought any of his stuff, but he's a great showman.

Paul McCartney Live 8 Review Pink Floyd Live 8 Review REM Live 8 Review U2 Live 8 Review The Who Live 8 Review

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Troubled Times

Haven't felt like blogging for a time. Felt kind of crushed by personal concerns, and things going on in the world - London bombings, hurricanes Katrina and Stan, Asian earthquake, and, yesterday, the 2,000th American to die in Iraq. Well, it's nice to know we're safe in the hands of those good ol' Christians Bush and Blair. And you wonder why religion is dying in the Western world?...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hay Fever Blues

Pulled up some grass last Thursday, and saw the pollen floating towards me, so I knew I was in trouble. If you suffer from hay fever always keep those shades on.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Doctor Who - Blog

So, we come up to the final episode of this relaunched institution of a series. Overall, I think it's been good.

Christopher Ecccleston has had his critics as the Doctor, but I think, in his role, he's combined wit and intellect, with humour and compassion. Billie Piper has been a bit of a revelation as Rose, and has proved she's more than just an adolescent boy's pin-up.

The Daleks, naturally, and the Slitheen have been the best monsters of the series. The special effects have mostly been good, and there's been a fine array of guest stars, including Simon Callow, Zoe Wannamaker, and Richard Wilson. Some of the stories could have been stronger, though. The World War Two two-parter didn't do it for me.

But, though it's gotten more cruder, with fart jokes and mild swearing, it looks like the series is in safe hands.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Pink Floyd reform for LIVE 8

Roger Waters reckons many people will be cynical about their reasons
for reforming, but I'm not. The Floyd have always done things they
wanted to, and I haven't always agreed with some of those things...
This time I'm all for it. Forget your differences and help a great cause -
it's a good reason for reforming.

Pink Floyd LIVE 8 review by Paul Rance

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Leslie Nielsen, Wrongfully Accused, 1998 - Funniest Film Joke...Ever?!

Only caught the last 40 minutes of this film, with Leslie Nielsen in typical 'Airplane'/'Naked Gun' form...He sees 'Login' and 'Password' on a computer screen, so, to sign in, he types in 'Login' and 'Password'!!!!
Wrongfully Accused DVD available at

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Damon Albarn questions LIVE 8

Britpop's most-respected spokesperson (for me, anyway) has criticised the lack of black acts at LIVE 8. He's right, of course. The concerts are a good thing, but there's not enough black and ethnic artists at the London gig, and, with Africa in mind, that seems strange. Maybe it's something to do with timing, and some acts having other engagements. The whole thing has been put together very quickly, hopefully not too quickly.

Spiritual People?

We don't live in very 'spiritual times', but what is a spiritual person anyway? Someone who believes in God, but is actually unkind to people and animals? Someone who talks about being spiritual, but is emotionally cold to other people's problems? The only spirituality that really counts is kindness, and trying to make the world a better place.

H.F.E. - Honours For Egomaniacs

That time of the year again, when you get all those previously anti-establishment types falling over each other scrambling to pick up their MBEs, CBEs, and OBEs. The 'BE' in these awards stands for British Empire...Delusion is a wonderful thing.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Anne Bancroft - more than just Mrs. Robinson

Anne Bancroft, who died recently of cancer, aged 73, got a little fed-up with being mainly remembered as Mrs. Robinson, the seducer of a startled Dustin Hoffman in 'The Graduate', and immortalised by the Simon & Garfunkel song.

Ms. Bancroft won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1962, playing Helen Keller's teacher in 'The Miracle Worker'. She was Oscar nominated on four other occassions - for 'The Graduate', 'The Pumpkin Eater', 'The Turning Point', and 'Agnes Of God'. Gifted, sexy, and attractive, Ms. Bancroft was an inspiration to her zany genius of a husband, Mel Brooks. Indeed inspiring him to put his hit musical, 'The Producers', on the stage - for real!

Read my film reviews and actor/actress bios here.

Jeff & Tim Buckley

Jeff Buckley is recognised by many as a major talent, but his dad Tim wasn't bad either. Listening to Tim's soap opera of a song, 'Sweet Surrender', from his 'Greetings From L.A.' album, on a balmy evening last night, it says (if any song can) all you need to know about the twists and turns of love.

My Jeff Buckley brief bio and stuff
Tim Buckley CDs

Big Brother - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Caught 'em sleeping last night. Make it stop....

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Animal Welfare, Environmental, Humanitarian Links

A list of animal welfare and humanitarian websites from around the world.

Bikini Fashion

I have some 'previous' as a bikini fashion designer (non-leather, of course). Here's one of my efforts, and I hope you girls adopt this look for the summer. Wearing bikinis is especially healthy walking about in town and city centres (I don't get out to the beach much), but slap on the sun block, of course. I think I'll run a competition...The best adaptation of my bikini illustration will win a copy of the highly acclaimed Peace & Freedom Press (another one of my projects) poetry, prose, and art paperback anthology, 'Reigning Cats & Dogs', which is about...cats and dogs. Email your photos to:, and I'll try and put the best ones online. Remember, this is about adaptation, so all shapes and sizes are welcome to have a go. 

Big Brother and Celebrity Love Island...Whatever

Accidentally caught a glimpse of these two highly entertaining shows. In 'Big Brother', someone was eating a sandwich, so that was spellbinding. Caught a few seconds, again by accident, of 'Celebrity Love Island', and the lovely Abi Tittus was looking smouldering...and no doubt thinking £$£$£$.

Hoodie Hoodie Glum Glum

Yes, these hooded youths 'terrorising' society. Well, the kids didn't create an uncaring society. I think we're a product of where we come from. If you come out of a harsh environment, an environment without love and compassion, then you're not likely to display those emotions to anyone else. I've ticked of youths when they've acted like yobs, and they've just look stunned. No-one's taught 'em respect. If you ignore problems, then they'll sneak up on ya...

Vegetarian Women

Vegetarian women are great, because the only meat you know they're, let's not go there!

Potty Time

Camilla Parker-Bowles (a woman the strange Prince Charles fancied over Princess Diana) recently said that she thought a dog killing a fox was no more cruel than pulling apart pastry. With a face like hers, I supposed you're always going to have a sick view of the world.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Not everyone has a bloody mobile phone, Bob! Are we disillusioned with the Geldofs, Bonos, and Ures after 20 years? Not really, but they are more like politicians now. Maybe it's necessary, and if it saves more lives, then of course it's right. Though Bono praising Blair up was nauseating. Say that in Iraq, Bono....

Monday, June 06, 2005

Not quite Patrick Stewart yet...

Met a couple recently, who we first met on holiday when I was 12, J & P. Hadn't seen them since 1972, though Mother had. Wife J told my Mother that I'm "such a handsome young man", but they did have a pot at my losing my hair. I'm hardly Patrick Stewart, though!....Apart from when I shave my head to pretend I'm not balding, but am doing it is a fashion statement. That's why most men shave their heads, girls.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Language, Timothy

One thing that REALLY bugs me is the amount of foul language on blogs. Especially from women. If it's an attempt to upset the right wing wackos who faint at the word 'sex', then, yeah, I can understand that, but it just makes me lose a bit of respect. It's acting like an immature teenager trying to impress one's peers. I also understand that a lot of people use blogs to get things off their chests, because they feel too cowed to say things in real life, by a society which slaps down anyone too different. I've been a vegetarian since 1980, I am very aware of that reality! But, we should all be our own censors, and, if you have to use foul language, at least have the decency to put a warning up - a child may be visiting your blog.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Steptoe & Son Still Rocks

Watched Steptoe yesterday. 'Come Dancing' was hilarious. Those were the days when writers came up with genuinely funny lines, though it still seemed a bit risqué for the early '70s.
Steptoe And Son page

Thursday, June 02, 2005

So Tired, but not in a Spike Jones way

Had about 5 hours sleep on Tuesday. Last night I cobbled together 7, worrying about an ex-girlfriend. Women do your head in - mostly in a nice way - more than all the booze and drugs man has ever invented. Anyway, feel a bit livelier now. Enjoy my art, and mouse drawings, and take 'em free, gratis.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Celebrities helping shark charities...

I have a pathological hatred of 'reality' TV, but celebrities as sharkfood...that I'd watch. Get a cast of celebs, and put 'em in a pool of sharks. The public can bet on the first one who is eaten. The last one to be eaten is the winner, and a nice fat cheque goes to a shark charity. Nice to see a reality show do something good for a change, and twofold. Help a good cause, and rid the world of useless, vacuous, talentless celebs, so we're talking about a helluva lot of shark food, then! Who watches 'Big Brother' anyway? You're even duller than me! Was joking about the shark idea by the way...Piranhas, NOW you're talking!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tackling the Green Stuff

Did some weeding of the drive. In the nude as usual, but always somebody about.

Bob Geldof Kicking Behind Again

...And quite right, too! LIVE AID was 20 years ago, but have we really progressed?

U2, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Boris Karloff, Soho, Sleeping Rough, Big-Bosomed Swedes, Pigeons

Wembley Stadium, June 1987.

A hectic week. Go to two concerts in 6 days - U2 and David Bowie. I arrive for the U2 concert expecting the gig to start at two o'clock, forgetting about support acts, so I'm thinking I'm gonna be stranded in London for the night. Go to the toilets, and there's a queue of young women waiting to use the cubicle. Kinda, performing, with females watching. I turn round and say, "What are you all looking at?"...Yeah, an embarrassing moment. I hear a Lou Reed record of 'Walk on the Wild Side', only it's not a record, it's Lou live. So, a surprise. U2 were good in those days. 'Help' has me blubbering. Nice atmos. Lose a binocular lens. Leave the stadium, and walk through Neasden trying about a dozen payphones, to call home, all knackered. Find some strange shop owner, use his phone, chuck him some money and scarper. Thought Boris Karloff had died...Walk to the centre of London, and find my coach ticket has gone, and I've no money to buy a replacement. I nod off on a park bench, thought I'd try this sleeping rough lark. Buy a red pencil in the morning and get away with a passable forged ticket. Home.

Bowie is next up. Walking through London it's chucking it down. My London A-Z is pulped. Bloke says: "There can't be much more to come from up there." Obviously not a prophet, with global warming and all that just about to make it big time. At the concert, get booted in the back of the leg by a drunken Australian, and Bowie does his 'Let's Dance' period, so no enjoy, really. Fancy another night on the tiles. Walk through Soho, out of curiosity, and get more than I bargained for. Some girl about 16 asks me: "Do you want a gel?" Not sure what a gel is, then the penny drops. I politely decline. Sad experience. Anyway, I'm off to Central London, fancy Green Park this time. Settle down okay, but see some bloke spying on me. A few minutes later a police van comes whizzing into the park, and a copper and WPC come out. Pleasant enough, ask me if I've got any tattoos, say I can't stay there, etcetera, what with Buckingham Palace being close by, and possible intruders. I find I've lost a tenner. The park bench beckons. Two big-bosomed Swedish girls say 'hello', and I end up back at their flat to fix their plumbing. I wake up finding myself tied up, with a satsuma in my mouth, in some grotty hotel. My last memory is of an old pigeon on my shoulder looking for food, and Ken Livingstone wants to ban 'em. Shame!

Whaplode Drove Girl - Girls in low-slung trousers

I love the female bottom, but I am still recovering from the sight of two inches (at least) of butt cleavage, whilst on the Whaplode Drove to Spalding bus a few months ago. The girl was only about 16, and, okay, it was a nice peach, but, there is a time and a place. I have been on medication ever since to help me get over the trauma...

Monday, May 30, 2005


Hello. A bit of rain today, but got out there for a bit. Tried to get Apricot Columbus down from a tree, but she came down of her own accord.

Got up this morning

Did some stuff. Planted some foxgloves and tomatoes. Don't suppose they'll come up. They rarely do.