Friday Charivaria

As I noted when I started this blog, on Friday we will skip lightly over a number of topics.  Likely subject matter for Monday is eReaders – have a good weekend, and thanks for reading, subscribing and Twitter-feeding Front of Store.

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Every Mistake Imaginable

So, EMI is no longer the property of PE house Terra Firma; ownership has passed to US-owned Citibank.  Who didn’t go into banking in order to wrangle with Pink Floyd about iTunes contracts, so we can expect an onward sale/break-up in due course.

The long and awful disintegration of EMI, and its final exit from any kind of UK ownership, is at least as tragic as Cadbury falling into Kraft’s arms.  Correspondence in The Times has indicated that EMI’s unique archive of recordings and documents is secure (the older material is already held by the group archive trust,, but newer material (ie since 1946) is still, I think, controlled by EMI.

Abbey Road studios also remains an EMI asset, albeit one that Terra Firma considered selling off a couple of years back.  I’m not sure whether the zebra crossing outside doesn’t have better protection from English Heritage, but I would posit that Abbey Road has generated more export dollars, more tax income, and more irreplaceable artistic moments, than any other comparable location – perhaps in the world.  It certainly merits greater protection than John, Paul or Ringo’s childhood homes – I visited Studio 2 many years ago, and the experience (with, of course, a Beatles soundtrack) was akin to Sainte-Chapelle or Sir John Soane’s house – so much to wonder at, in such a small space.

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007 artistes – what’s wrong with this list?

Sir Sean Connery

Sir Roger Moore

Dame Shirley Bassey

Sir Tom Jones

Sir Paul McCartney

John Barry, OBE

Enough has been written about the late, great John Barry this week, so I’ll just pause to acknowledge his fine body of work (much of it recorded at Abbey Road, of course), and ponder who looks after the balance sheets at the Honours Secretariat.  All a bit Hit And Miss, I think.

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Private Passions

Very musical Friday, today.  Tim Waterstone was the guest on Radio 3’s Private Passions last week, and you can still listen to his selections (for another day or two) here:

Elgar’s Where Corals Lie (Janet Baker), Fred Astaire singing The Way You Look Tonight, and the magnificent Tennstedt/LPO recording of Mahler 5 make this well worth your time.  Erudite Michael Berkeley and relaxed Tim W make for a very agreeable and rewarding hour.

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I am reading: A World on Fire – Amanda Foreman (Allen Lane)

I am listening to: The Definitive Collection – The Marvelettes (Tamla)

I am watching: Arctic with Bruce Parry (BBC Two)