Four pound? Profound!

I’m, once again, going to dedicate this post to streetlighting and yet another musical purchase I’ve made, but hell, when I’m finished with that, and if I can be bothered, I’ll extend it to include some normal life stuff.

So, yesterday (Saturday), I was in York. I was dismayed to find that this fine example of a GEC z5590 burning SON has been replaced…

Trip to York, 24th July 2010. Stunningly warm day! A GEC Z5590 has picked up a little bit of a mowhawk! This would have been mercury originally, but like all of the ones around it, now running a dayburning SON lamp.
Trip to York, 24th July 2010. Stunningly warm day!
A GEC Z5590 has picked up a little bit of a mowhawk!
This would have been mercury originally, but like all of the ones around it, now running a dayburning SON lamp.

It was a fine example, drilled for a photocell, and everything. Ironically, it’s been replaced with a dayburning heritage lantern, with LED arrays as its light output. Shame.

I’m actually posting that news as an experiment to see who actually reads this page. I wonder how many people from work actually know I have a streetlight interest? I’ll hazard a guess at not many of them.

So, er, anyway. Onto the music. I’ve been a fan of Jan Hammer for many years, since I first heard “Crockett’s Theme”. I didn’t know anything about it at the time, and certainly didn’t know it was from Jan Hammer.Anyway, yesterday, I picked up one of his CDs. A CD I probably paid over the odds for, but I’d say it’s worth it, seeing as I’ve been after one of the tracks since I was 11 years old, and that track is “Payback”, the last track on the CD. I’ve never saw a copy of it on CD before, nor have I ever held one in my hand, and never actually owned it!

My love affair for that particular song started in 1991. I had, as I’ve done every year, recorded the grand national, but this year recorded some of the buildup too. The BBC used this particular track to show highlights of the previous two days racing. I’d recorded it, and instantly loved it. Obviously, back then, there was no way of being able to quickly identify a piece of music., and so it sat, rotting (literally) on the tape for years, eventually getting forgotten about.

One night, while flicking through the satellite channels, Miami Vice was starting, and would you believe it? The tune just happened to be featured in it. Naturally, armed with this information, I was able to narrow down my search somewhat, and eventually came across an MP3 of it.

Seems to be a regular story. I hear a song, ignore it for years, hear it in a place I wasn’t expecting, eventually track down on MP3, followed by a CD copy the song.

That, I thought, was the end of it. I had some time to kill while some files copied. I thought I’d listen to the entire CD. that is genuinely a rare occurrence. I normally buy a CD, listen to one track and ignore the rest. This one was Jan Hammer, so I knew, somewhere, there’d be a hidden pot of gold. And I wasn’t wrong.

I seem to have one of those things where my long-term memory is extremely strong. whether it’s a gift, or a curse, I haven’t decided, as it always seems I’m living in the past, but this CD played, and track 8 sparked my attention. It was a track called “The Runner”. Braincells flew into rewind mode. I knew it from an advert, going back as far as the 80s. It instantly reminded me of warm summer evenings, but I had a feeling I’d be the only one who recalled said advert. Off I go to Youtube, and typed in its name.

First result, third comment down…

“Anyone remember this music used in an advert for milk in the 80’s?”

The reply to that comment…

“Yes, they featured Bob Geldof in the late 1980s (about 1987/88). There are a couple of those adverts here on Youtube. Incidentally it was those adverts that brought me here. :-)”

Good lord. A buried memory from more than three quarters of my life ago, resolved in about two minutes. That was four pounds well spent. And now, a slew of youtube videos, that will undoubtedly die over time, and I won’t be bothered to fix them, but hey, they work now at the time of typing!

Here’s “Payback”, the track I bought the CD for…

And here’s “The Runner”….

And here’s advert 1, featuring the music.

Advert 2, the more memorable of the adverts, but with less music…

Polydor 2384 107! I has it!

OK, I haven’t even started the blog, and I’ve already confused at least one of my viewers. What the hell is “Polydor 2384 107”, I hear you cry? You may remember a few months ago, I did one of my “Theme Music Appreciation” posts, where I reviewed a “BBC Themes” album I’d borrowed off Andy The Iridium Fan.

Some of the worst tracks came from another album entitled “Sixteen Small Screen Greats”, with the “Polydor 2384 107” catalogue number. I commented on how I’d like to get my hands on a copy just to hear the rest of the tracks… well, thanks to a case of finding a virtual needle in a haystack, I now have a copy right in front of me.

ATIF recently acquired a large collection of records and CDs, and I was invited over to Iridium Mansion to have a flick through and take what I wanted. The records were located in the attic, which was only partially lit. Now, for most people this would be a problem, but not for ATIF. He came upstairs to the attic, carrying a Phosco P678 streetight. It was plugged into the wall socket, and the CD/record browsing commenced…


The first photo contains streetlights, records, CDs, and a packet of Maynards Wine Gums. All this photo needs, is a pint of beer, a vindaloo and a pair of tits, and I’d had been in heaven.

Very quickly after a short flick through the CDs and records, I found that the original owner of the records and CDs was an avid theme music collector, which means that there was a lot of old 1980s TV theme vinyl in there, and some of them were brilliant. There was a load of the re-recorded variety, but several were the “genuine article”

Aside from the afore-mentioned Ronnie Hazelhurst LP, I pulled out a number of different albums, including “The TV Hits Album”, released on Towerbell Records, volumes 1 and 2. I had downloaded these particular albums (naughty naughty) as horribly compressed and scratched MP3s, so I knew the tracks included were genuine. The vinyl on these, as with all of the records, is mint, so I now have a copy of Su Pollard’s “Starting Together” to call my own… that is, if my record player’s stylus wasn’t running low on sharpness.

Speaking of Stylus, there was one of the theme albums released under the “Stylus” record label. I’ve had ‘bad’ records from this company in the past, where the tracks are either edited down, or re-recorded, so I wasn’t expecting much. I slapped it on the turntable, and played Track 1, the “Cagney And Lacey” theme. It’s a piece of music I like, but have never been able to track down the version used on the programme. I pressed play. The turntable sprang into life. The sax intro plays…. it sounds almost genuine. The main theme kicks in, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It’s the exact version used on the programme, even down to the seldom-noticed xylophone / glockenspiel / whatever percussion instrument it is, barely audible, 40 – 52 seconds into it. Any re-recording would have lost this entirely. There’s also the piano buried back there too, just like every good 80s TV theme.

Er, anyway. there is a reason why the C+L theme is almost impossible to track down on CD… it’s because it was recorded in mono, and it’s 1′ 15″ in length. Every version commercially available on CD is re-recorded, made longer and recorded in stereo. Don’t tamper with the classics, eh?

My plastic-browsing was brought to a temporary, yet abrupt halt, when the streetlight providing our illumination, suddenly went phut, and plunged the entire attic (and the rest of Iridium Mansion) into darkness, with the only illumination coming from the red-hot, yet slowly cooling arc tube. Within seconds, bellows of “ANDREW!” came from downstairs… Now, there could be a couple of things that caused the leccy in his house to trip. His parents seemed to think he was toying with something, but at the time I knew he wasn’t, he was sorting some photos at the time. My opinion wasn’t asked, so I kept out of it. Should it be needed in the future, when the lights went out, ATIF was looking at photos. I was looking at CDs, Neither of us were holding screwdrivers. Bit late now, but still, Awwwwkward.

For the first time ever, my phone came to the rescue. I thought its “flashlight” feature was a jokey gimmick. Honestly, it’s not. It’s not the brightest thing in the world, but my word, it’s worth its weight in LEDs.

The visit to ATIF’s ended as usual, with the obligatory photo of me holding a streetlight. This time, I went for the SOX variant of the GEC Z567x series…

Yes, I’m quite aware my hair needs cutting…

The latest Hartlepool fire

It seems that every week, something in our “wonderful little fishing village” spontaneously combusts, meaning that a plume of smoke can be seen for miles around, and we get a few minutes of notoriety on the local telly.

A few days ago, this indeed happened, but it was over the other side of the town, and I didn’t find out about it until it was much too late. Thankfully, Andy the Iridium Fan caught what just happened to be my favourite image of everything ever…

Yes, it’s a ruined Philips Streetfighter! Well, I say ruined, would you believe, after all that, it still actually worked? Even the photocell functioned correctly! As much as I hate them, this has got to say something about their build quality. Oh, and you can click the image if you want to see the large version.

And, it would appear that my upload speed at home has been upgraded from 768k to 2Mb. Can someone hand me a tissue?