Friday, December 31, 2004


Good Health To You

by Glenn Cripes

Happy new year's eve folks. There are years, and there are years. 1967 falls into the latter category. December of that year saw the release of The Rolling Stones 3D cover opus Their Satanic Majesties Request. As was the case in December two years later at Altamont Speedway, the Rolling Stones never started any balls rolling, but the last word belonged to them.

The usual line on Their Satanic Majesties Request is that the Stones were just trying to copy Sgt. Pepper's. This is a simple minded observation because in the sixties all The Rolling Stones ever did was walk in The Beatles' shadow. They just were able to stay a block or so closer to them than the other groups.

Hey, what's Keith's button doing? Is that 'the finger'?

Sing This All Together gets the ball rolling nicely. Donovan with a bit of grease. Great rock and roll sitar riffs going on. The trouble starts early though when they go into free form jam mode. The Rolling Stones are not a jam band, and praise Christ for that. Thankfully it doesn't last too long and before you can say 'what is this shit?' it's on to the second track, Citadel. This tune is the closest the guys get to rocking out on this record. No hall of fame riffs from Keith here, but it doesn't send me to the skip button either. That's Bill Wyman's job which he does with aplomb with his singular songwriting entry in The Rolling Stone's oeuvre In Another Land. As nick would say, 'you have to laugh, right?' don't really have to is kind of funny though.

Up next is one of my personal faves 2000 Man. Nice back to basics guitar work with Charlie seemingly plodding along in the background, but actually being a genius. Mick sings "I am having an affair with a random computer"....dude totally predicted the internet....great, great song. There is no defending the next number, Sing This All Together (See What Happens) unless you want to say that it pre-dates Revolution #9. One of the things about the sixties is that back then you trusted your rock heroes to know more than you did. I just assumed that those guys had better drugs, and I'd 'get it' once I got hooked up with the good stuff. Now we know it was just a crapstiche to close side one. That said, it's really no worse than Going Home, which closed the first side of Aftermath.

That's ok because Side 2 opens with She's A Rainbow. This is one of the great songs of the hippie era. String arrangement by future Zepster J. P. Jones. John and Paul would've knocked over a couple of spastics to have written this one. They tried to duplicate it with songs like All You Need Is Love and Hello Goodbye, but She's A Rainbow hits it with a flower.

She comes in colors! Collect them all!

Next up, the B side to In Another Land (both US picture sleeves pictured) The Lantern. This is the weakest song on the record for me. The tune is annoying, and the lyrics are more crap than usual. Gomper, on the other hand is a flawed masterpiece. It has a great riff. The Stones should really pull this one out and do it live next tour. The problem here, once again, is the going into the 'space-jam' thing and stretching what should have been a two and a half minute song into a five minute mistake. In 1989 the Stones dusted off the next song, 2000 Light Years From Home and it was a highlight of the Steel Wheels tour. In the context of the album, this one acquits itself well but it's really no great shakes. For the final number, The Stones wisely sidestep trying to make a grand finale ala A Day In The Life, and close with the sarky music hall On With The Show. With it's cocktail party sound effects and jaunty melody this one does 'put you in a cab and take you safely to your door'.

Most will write off Satanic Majesties as a period piece. I say it's a period piece that stands the test of time. It's a great ride, with puffy shirts, drugs and wizard dunce hats. It captures the glamour of the era, simultaneously exposing the navel gazing.

I must mention the August '67 45 Dandelion b/w We Love You. This single is the biz. Dandelion shimmers in pop majesty and the flip We Love You menaces in a royal fashion. The Stones did great work in 1967.
Very rare sleeve (from the Cripes collection)

You clowns be careful out there tonight. See you next week.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry we can make that valley before we die

my life is a series of tunnels at the moment, but keep checking in, there'll be good stuff in the new year.

and tomorrow you can be assured of a chuckle when glenn "happy new fucking year, you jerks" cripes signs in for his - now famous - re-writing of the pop music canon.

new year's eve advice

don't kiss just anybody, aids is making a comeback.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


blade on the feather, wind off the trees, swing, swing together with your backs between your knees

god moves in not so mysterious ways

i was flipping through my online bible looking for a christmas tale to tell when i discovered something interesting: god started using that flood punishment very early on in his career. in fact, he decided at one point to drown everybody:

he let one guy in on the secret, though, and told him to build a big ship called an ark, and to get on it with his wife and kids and two of every animal and bird on the earth.

the guy's name was noah. you can see him in the photo above rounding up the animals while he biffs and baffs at his planks.

that ark must have been something, right? two of every animal?

two diplodocuses? they were 20 metres high and 135 metres long. and they were just one of over 700 different types of dinosaur. that makes 1,500 dinosaurs alone on the boat.

and keeping these suckers happy on a cruise for 40 days and 40 nights must have been no joke, right? i can't imagine them being fobbed off with a game of deck quoits.

the moral of the noah story? well, if you do happen to be one of the 80,000 guys drowned in the recent flood then don't feel too bad about it. it could have been worse. you could have been sharing a cabin on the ark with a family of diplodocuses.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


small earthquake in chile. not many dead

manho comments on the big news of the day: #35

earth quakes? i've had a few, but then again...

remember this one?

June20, 1990, Iran: 50,000 dead

and this one?

July 27, 1976, Tangshan, China: 655,000 dead

i remember them. i'm too young to remember the really good ones, though:

January 23, 1556, Shansi, China: 830,000 dead

December 28, 1908, Messina, Italy: 100,000 dead

but as messina is half an hour away from where i live it's still a talking point. in fact it's the anniversary today. happy birthday to all those italians who were trapped under stone blocks for days and had their toes eaten off by rats (it happened to a friend of mine's grandfather).

then there were all the floods in china (god really hates those heathen yellow bastards, right?), where you'd get millions dead. and bangla desh, india, pakistan. millions every year and the story was off the front page after three days.

this one is different because you've got a lot of rich europeans down there holidaying with the poor bastards. that's why it's newsworthy. you've got tv "personalities" telling their, "personal stories of the horror". you've got the tourist industry being hit hard economically. this could stay front page for months (you'll see less and less photos of dead brown babies, though, and more and more of european victims).

this headline in la repubblica amused me:


rough translation? "for thousands of italians the dream of spending new year in the sun is fading". tactful, right? not really, but at least it's honest.

and one thing (from the bbc) made me laugh out loud:

In Thailand, meanwhile, the king's grandson was swept away as he jet-skiied along the coast. His body was washed up on the shore.

here's a photo of a jet ski:

the thing people don't realise about god is that he has this really great sense of humour. you have to laugh, right? the king of thailand's grandson on his jet ski. isn't that already a weird visual idea? then this thirty meter high wave arrives, "out of the blue" (i've seen that phrase used a bit in the last couple of days), and drowns him.

you have to give it to god, right? like, if you put that scene in a jim carrey film it would be considered over the top.

anyway, as i don't believe in god, i should be saying mother nature has a great sense of humour. same thing really. i wanted to round off this little piece with a photo of mother nature from google images, and i found this on the first page:

seems about right. great tits. life goes on.

Monday, December 27, 2004


i'm a "flying fish" sailor just home from hong kong

Sunday, December 26, 2004


the knob rattled and a voice called out

Saturday, December 25, 2004


oh what a beautiful day, i've got a wonderful feeling

you know who i always think about on christmas day? rod steiger. i bet you can't guess why. you probably think it's a "redemption" think, right? rod was always playing those flawed guys who were having their morality tested:

the racist cop whose basic humanity pulls him through, that's christian, right? or what about this guy:

charley malloy, the creep who sells his own brother to the mob. isn't that a "judas" thing? it has to be based on some bible story or other, right? or, remember this role:

sol nazerman, the holocaust survivor who has to live out his days in a new york pawnbroker shop constantly being reminded of his horror. now that's a christmas day story, right?

well, no, it isn't any of those films. and it isn't rod's portrayal of pontius pilate in zeffirelli's, jesus of nazareth. and it isn't any of those symbolic characters rod played: al capone, napoleon, mussolini, the illustrated man (with all humanity tattooed on his body), w c fields (the cynical comedian who died on christmas day). it isn't any of those guys.

the reason i think of rod every christmas day is that when i lived in london, 20 or so years ago, every christmas morning i'd wake up and while i was making breakfast i'd put a record on to get into the christmas spirit. and it was always the same record i wanted to hear: oklahoma.

there's something about that music that makes you feel christmassy. something about the corn being as high as an elephant's eye that makes you feel illogically happy. and rod was in the film:

he plays the baddie. a guy with no redeeming features whatsoever, who falls on his knife and dies at the end of the film and everybody is happy.

"chicks and ducks and geese betta scurry..."

Friday, December 24, 2004


Hey Man--Pull On My Finger

by Glenn Cripes

Merry Christmas Eve! Saint nick wanted me to make this one 'Christmassy', and I'm happy to oblige. First off, best wishes to all you readers dialing up Mr. manho's blog. Tell your friend, and keep coming back.

My favorite Christmas song is Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me by Elvis. I know it's just Don't Be Cruel with a red suit and white beard, but I love it just the same. It encapsulates all that's cool about Elvis. Another one that gets me is the Bing Crosby/David Bowie duet of Little Drummer Boy. I'm a sucker for a 'rum pa pum pum'.

Which brings me to our album of the week, David Bowie's breakthrough to success LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.

The first Bowie record I ever bought was Station To Station. I then started working my way back through his catalog, and the Ziggy album ended up being filed and forgotten. Upon re-listening I remember why--it's just not that good. Side one is complete crap and side two has one good song--Suffragette City, and that's just because of the 'hey man' part. I think Bowie spent more effort on the costumes and lighting than the actual songs.

His previous record Hunky Dory impressed me more. Changes and Kooks blow away any songs on Ziggy. It's just too middle of the 'there' there...or as grandpa Buck 'Pee Pa' Cripes would say, 'All hat and no cattle'......or as my Uncle Clem Cripes (sorry, it's Christmas--my thoughts are with my family) would say, 'all yak and no shack'.

Haha! That's a good line David, but I'd say have time put a 'cigarette' in your mouth instead.

Bowie's stretch of records from Station To Station through Scary Monsters are the ones I enjoy and recommend. If all Bowie ever did were those records with Iggy Pop (Lust For Life especially), his place in the pantheon of the greats would be assured. I'm guessing that Bowie is responsible for that one repeating piano note in Raw Power, and that's cool as hell.

Once again, happy Christmas and sincere best wishes from me, Mrs. Cripes, and all the little Cripeses.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


well father said, see my son, coming home to me

bible stories

ok, it's christmas and even manho has to wind down a bit and show some seasonal spirit, right? so over the next few days i'm going to do some bible stories.

the story of the prodigal son

i guess you all know this one. kid leaves home and lives it up in the big city for a year: sex, drugs, rock and roll, all the things the family hate, basically. anyway, after a year he decides to head back home and he's expecting the worst from his pop (he remembers that leather belt), but when he arrives his poppy is all exaggeratedly pleased to see him:

it's like, hey the kid is back, let's kill the fatted calf and give him all the money that otherwise would have gone to his brothers. well, you can see from the photo that the brothers are not too happy, but what i want to know is, what is it with poppy? why didn't he just say, "fuck you kid, go back to the whores and the cheap jacks"?

a fatted calf

christmas cripes

tomorrow glenn is here and i guess we're all hoping he's got something special for us for christmas, right?

see you guys on christmas day

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


we are all normal (and we want our freedom)

i got this email from mingo, from iowa:

Hey Manho, You have serious brain problems, man. All that dead mules crap and dog shit. Get a life, man. I have one and am very happy with it.

wow, right? mingo got me thinking about insanity so i decided to download some rorschach tests from google images and check out my mental stability. ok, let 'em roll...

shit, what do i see here? well, there's a smiley yellow mouth and what looks like a praying mantis about to bite the penis off her partner after their poignant single act of sex. that's women for ya, right?

ok, an easy one. this is two zebras doing a dosie-do while thinking about running away from home and setting up a zebra free-love commune.

another easy one. a large yellow sperm has escaped from the fallopian tube and is doing a belly dance for the local freemasons friday night cultural discussion group.

three out of four easy. this is a mule contemplating a visit to the dentist because he wants to ravish a drill.

ok, how did i do?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


your trouser cuffs are dirty and your shoes are laced up wrong

i got this email from, ed z, from the the disunited kingdom:

the subject of Lenny and the sixties came up so I say, "Every time the
woman got her Leonard Cohen album out you knew you were set up for the
night" and the room goes quiet then a woman says icily, "It wasn't like

and i thought, yeah, humour isn't the same for everybody, and above all it isn't the same for men and women. lenny even had a piece where he compared men to dogs and women to cats. then i thought, hey, but ed z isn't even talking about lenny bruce, he's talking about lenny cohen. then i thought, yeah , but it's the same thing, if the joke had been about lenny bruce the reaction of the woman would have been the same.

then i started thinking about how gender-based humour is. oscar wilde writing plays where only gay men could get the jokes. and this guy in the 60s:

taking it up one notch: straight guys could understand what was going on but they sure weren't laughing like the gay guys.

orton was the funniest guy around in the 60s. he even wrote a sceenplay for a beatles film. it was never made, epstein freaked when he saw the truth. now that film would have summed everything up. it would have been blow up, but funny. which was what the 60s was. blow up, but funny.

then thinking about joe, i thought about kenneth williams:

who was a friend of orton's and acted in the first production of loot:


then, as usual, i got to thinking about peter cook, who invented the 60s. he was writing for kenneth williams when he - cook - was 17: when the 60s was still the 50s. he gave lennon space, on prime-time television, to demonstrate his comic abilities, rather than just squeezing a song out of him to up the audience. you can even throw lenny bruce into the equation because peter invited lenny over to london in the early 60s to perform at his satire club, the establishment.

seems like wherever you start with comedy you end up with this guy:

what was that i was saying about orton being the funniest guy of the sixties? make that the second funniest.

Monday, December 20, 2004


never give a sucker an even break

crate, from iowa mailed me and asked an interesting question: where do you get your wonderful comedy ideas from for your blog?

well, crate, i steal them all from this guy:

i did a google search for all the major comedians and fields had the least amount of internet space devoted to him, so i thought if i steal all this guy's material nobody will notice. so don't tell anybody, ok crate?

do guys from iowa all have these wacky names?

Sunday, December 19, 2004


and of course henry the horse dances the waltz

that whatever happened to? feature yesterday got me reminiscing about some of the things you never see anymore. remember performing seals?

you have no idea how difficult it was to find a colour photo of these plucky arctic circus animals over at google images. there's obviously some sort of animal lovers gentleman's agreement to hush up the whole episode. you can find photos of princess diana dead in her mercedes, german atrocities against the jews, four-way sex perversions, dogshit, dead mules, but you can't find a photo of a performing seal. go figure (whatever that means).

while searching for the seal snaps i came across this circus poster which has to be the ultimate in political incorrrectness. it's black guys dressed up as clowns and pretending to be performing seals:

that's ok, but a photo of an elephant with a scantily-clad circus chick on its back trotting happily around a sawdust ring is taboo.

who makes the rules over at google images?

Saturday, December 18, 2004


if you should leave me then each little dream will take wings and my life will be through

whatever happened to?

remember him? dicky martin. it only seems like a few weeks ago he was "livin' the vida logo" and you couldn't switch on the tv without seeing him "shake my bum bum". he had all the teenage chicks going crazy for him. he could have had his pick of the spice girls. and then... pfffft. he disappeared.

here's a little something for any dicky fans that visit the blog. i got out my AutoCad 3D Pro design program and bodged up a couple of dickie martin cut-out clothes sets:

they're three dimensional for those of you using state of the art browsing gear. you can see round the back of his pants.

anyway, dicky, wherever you are we all hope you're having a vida mucho caliente with a chick on both arms and a cigar in your gob.

hasta la vista!

Friday, December 17, 2004


Famous Brown Hair Shirt

by Glenn Cripes

I opened my weekly review package from manho this week, and what do I see? Songs of Love and Hate.

Come hang upon my altar...c'mon, it'll be fun!

Leonard Cohen has been like one of those restaurants that I've heard about but never went into. I've stopped by and looked at the menu and caught a whiff of the food and always thought, 'well maybe someday...'. Lots of people I know with good taste rave about him. I've read interviews with him and he seems like a funny, self effacing fellow...I've heard he's a nice I figure now is the time to give Lenny a serious listen.

Warning to readers--I don't f***ing get it.

On first hearing it sounds like Sonny Bono on death row with a children's choir....people voluntarily listen to this?

That voice--don't get me wrong, I actually prefer singing voices that most people find irritating. I like Keith's voice better than Mick's. I think Bob Dylan has one of the 3 best voices in popular music. But this Cohen's one thing using his voice to relay his words, but where does he get off with all the 'la la la la, la la's'? These lyrics puzzle me. He obviously puts a lot of thought into them, but it comes out sounding labored. Great lyrics should somehow enunciate the pent-up words of the soul, but this stuff is exhausting. When I hear a great lyric, I wish I had thought of it. When I hear this stuff, I thank my lucky stars my mind doesn't work that way. When I google Leonard Cohen lyrics my browser quits on me...that's how dense they are.

What rhymes with Rosicrucians? Ah hell with it.....'la lala la la la'...yeah, that works...damn, I'm good!

This stuff infuriates me. It's like being stuck on a barstool next to a professor who can't hold his liquor pissing in your ear. Cohen's metaphors are crap...unless of course you've had Joan of Arc tempt you with a clarinet waving a nazi dagger. Breaking up is hard to do, but it's a day at the beach compared to having to wade through this pedantic horseshit. This stuff is strictly for jerks.

Still, I'm left puzzled. This Cohen guy got lots of puss in his day...lots more than I ever did.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


perche lo fai non rispondermi se non vuoi, pero lo sai che io vedo con gli occhi tuoi

great delusions: #35

i got a phone call from alessio, in florence last night. this is him with his friend marco in a dublin pub a few years ago:

you can see why they've banned smoking in the pubs in ireland, right? anyway, alessio was having a dinner party with a group of italian friends: marco was there, elisabetta, a few other spicks, and they were talking culture (they're a pretty clever bunch of guys, they know their english culture) and one of them brought up the subject of joe strummer:

"what was strummer's politics?" someone asked. nobody knew. "why don't we phone manho? he's sure to know", another greaseball suggested. so i got this phonecall asking me what joe strummer's politics were.

well, i have to admit, i wasn't 100% sure, but i thought, hey, any guy who was in the clash and then took the place of this guy:

in this group:

has to be pretty much of an anarchist, right? you can't really see him voting for tony blair. so i said to alessio, "i'm pretty sure he was an anarchist." alessio didn't seem too convinced. seems like the consensus at the party was that strummer was a nazi.

later on i started thinking about it and decided to do a search and see what i could come up with and i found this in an obituary:

Left-wing singer Billy Bragg said: "Within The Clash, Joe was the political engine of the band, and without Joe there's no political Clash and without The Clash the whole political edge of punk would have been severely dulled."

They were politically aware and became known as champions of left-wing causes. They even called their 1980 album Sandinista, after the left-wing guerrilla movement in Nicaragua.

They were anti-racist and noted for inflammatory, intelligent punk songs such as London Calling, White Riot, White Man In Hammersmith Palais and Tommy Gun.

shit! left wing? and billy fucking bragg (i won't post a photo, check out that dead mule from yesterday) talking about him like he was a mate or something?

what a delusion.

hehehe, you have to laugh at that "left-wing singer billy bragg", though, right?

the moral of the story? even when you've been betrayed by what you thought was maybe some sort of hero (he wasn't really, but you know what i mean) there's always some prat who's so pathetic that just to think about him cheers you up.

cripes is a comin'

(you have to sort of sing this) he's here, he's there, he's every fuckin' where, glenny cripes, glenny cripes...

see you guys on saturday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


when I'm out in the street i walk the way i wanna walk, when i'm out on the street i talk the way i wanna talk

that comment from nad, 12, from liverpool yesterday has really got to me. i thought i was being clever, intellectual, sophisticated, with my recent posts but, you want to know something, she's right. it's time i got back out on the street and did a bit of reporting on real life.

check me out later.

10 pm street life update

what a day! you won't believe this but i got trapped in a piazza again:

seems like there'd been a car accident or something and some kids were angry and were throwing stones at the police. anyway, they blocked the piazza off and, for protection, i crouched down behind a fat woman for a couple of hours until the cops had broken open a few heads, then i carried on with my investigative trip.

the first thing i noticed were the beggars, they're everywhere now:

they're getting younger, too. they just fall asleep on the street and leave a card saying, "PUT ALL YOUR MONEY IN MY SHOE, I NEED IT FOR BEER". some of them even have sleeping bags and thermos flasks containing hot refreshments. it's like a real job or something. and if you think that isn't bad enough some of them also have scraggy dogs:

you think those dogs don't shit on the pavement? the worst thing of all, though, is that a couple of them - the guy above, for example - have guitars and sing bob marley songs.

all in all it was a pretty depressing afternoon. i was walking back home and thinking, ok, all those beggars singing "no woman, no cry" was depressing, but at least you didn't see any dead cats today, when, next thing you know, i take a right into via scroccalaminchia and what do i see?

you guessed right, a dead fucking mule. it gave me a bit of a shock, actually, felt a bit weak afterwards - after all, you don't see a dead mule in the street every day - so i decided to get a rickshaw back home and to hell with the expense.

it's all that brat nad, 14, from liverpool's fault. i should have stayed home as usual and posted something boring. dead beasts of burden may be shocking but they make you appreciate the quiet life in front of the computer, that's for sure.

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