When I was a record producer.

So it was summer 1987 and I was 13. The whole world was mine for the taking. Liverpool still won leagues for fun and the only decision in life was what did I want to be when I grow up. Well this summer I had decided I was gonna hit the music biz. Not as a performer though I was gonna be a big time record producer. So how would I get on the ladder that would send me all the way to receiving a brit award ? There was only one choice. I needed an artist to produce and write songs for. So there was only one choice. The younger brother of one of my best mates. I could take him under my wing (Not in a Johnathan King type of way) but I could guide him to the top and have huge success like Wham or Frankie Goes To Hollywood. So there he was, Ian Wignell. He must have been the tender age of nine and here we were co-writing our own album with me on production. After several arduous sessions in the studio (Ok it was really about an hour in his back living room with my latest cassette recorder bought from Dixons) it was a wrap. The first album was in the bag and to be released on cassette. So being and hands on man I decided to do the cover artwork myself, created with my finest felt tips I had received the christmas before. It was self promotion all the way for my new star in the making. No 80’s powerhouse like Paul Morley behind us. No Stock Aitken and Waterman remixes or production we were out on our own. So the album was titled “Highway 64” which was also the first single released. Mixed by me again with snippets of Genesis instrumentals added for the twelve inch version. The front cover proudly boasts production and copyright Faytape 1987. Im assuming Faytape was to be the next big record label on the block. The cover (see below) had added sleeve notes “This is Ian Wignell’s first tape. I hope you enjoy this tape” A very welcoming message from a wide eyed 13 year old crafted in my finest double writing which I have long since forgotten. Next up was “Neil Fay has written all these songs. If you have any promising songs see Neil Fay and you might be successful” All the innocence and yet ambition I had. First up I co-wrote the songs so already being a great record producer by shafting the artist. Next on the cassette sleeve was a warning “If you are offended by any of the material please tell Neil Fay”  What kind of stuff was I pumping out mid 1980 ? and if you were offended what was I gonna do when you contact me ? Was I after Mike Read to ban our single to propel us up the charts. Next up the tease “Ian’s next tape will be coming soon. The title remains a close secret” Nothing like keeping the smash hits, number one magazine and the old NME and Melody Maker hanging on for the follow up album details eh. Then the final bit on the sleeve was the cost of this tape is 10p a day or 50p a week. Now being a small independent record label we could only afford well errr one copy of the album. To be honest me and Ian are still waiting for the official sales figures to come in and the royalties. None of which Ian will see after my costs have been deducted. As for the second album title being made made public im sad to report that me and Ian fell out and never made another album together. But the interest generated on Facebook, Twitter and this blog made me go in the loft and find this piece of Liverpool’s musical history. Me and Ian some 24 years later have now patched things up and will be doing some promotional material around the re-release of “Highway 64” and the dreams we had those many years ago have been awoken. So here’s the track listing and original album artwork. How innocent was I as a 13 year old.

Side 1

1. In The Admiral (Wignell/Fay)

2.Bin Man (Fay)

3.American Fever (Fay)

4.Johnny Eins Crap At Football (Wignell/Fay)

5.Cauliflower (Fay)

Side 2

1.True Love (Fay)

2.Highway 64 (Fay) *im sure Wignell co-wrote this.

3.Down At Night (Fay)

So whilst writing this blog Elizabeth came up to me and picked up the cassette and asked whats this daddy. I explained that you put it into a special machine and the cogs spin around and the brown tape in the bottom moves and music comes out. She asked if we had such a machine and I replied ” I think we have one in the loft” The look on her face when she picked the cassette up was one like she had picked up a bit of rock from an alien planet and my description of how such primitive technology worked didn’t help. Yet upstairs in the loft when looking for the “Highway 64” album I had to look through over 400 cassettes of mine. So I will dig out my old cassette player and show Elizabeth how we really lived it up back in pre ipod days.


Fay x x


Bobby Davro RIP youtube’s finest clip

So I have finally sweated the last of the Polish beer out of me after a cultural trip to Wroclaw in Poland. So post trip and post ale blues were wiped away today in what I am calling the greatest clip on you tube. This was posted on Twitter by Trevor Lock ( twitter link here ) The clip (posted below) shows the great Bobby Davro in a stock getting his pants pulled down. To add to the magic his pants are being pulled down by Lionel ” Film. three words” Blair , Jim “Bullseye” Bowen (sadly recovering from a few strokes last week) and Keith “Cheggers” Chegwin. The aforementioned (possibly the biggest word I have blogged) superstars of 80’s TV leave Davro in the stocks. The rest you must see for yourself.

Now I challenge you not to watch that at least five more times if you havent already. First up is out the three Lionel whips his pants down. Terrible assumption that he would do such a thing based on him being a male dancer and indeed on research Lionel is happily married with kids and grandkids. So apologies there but Elton John did get married once ! Poor old Jim Bowen doesnt know what to do though I expect him to cut to a commercial break and count some money out and dish out another bendy bully. Lionel has one finger in the air looking at the audience. Is this in give us a clue style indicating one word “ouch”  Cheggers is first on the scene and after hauling Davro back up he then remembers that first aid course he went on and is hoping that Davro hasnt broke his neck as he remembered he shouldnt of moved him or is he thinking that with Lionel Blair about and a man with his pants down and face down in some stocks might prove to much of a temptation for Lionel. Anyway I declare this the best clip I have ever seen on youtube and to think it might have been Bobby Davro RIP. Please post any better clips you have seen in the comments section.

So Colonel Gaddafi is in the news this week, rambling on just a bit and blaming the anti Gadaffi movement on youngsters taking hallucinogenic drugs. When I were a lad when we had hallucinogenic drugs we didnt go about starting revolutions we just went to the 051 or Cream. Gaddafi was broadcasting from what looked like a Kirkby high rise flat which had been left to rot by the local housing association. It was, so legend goes bombed by the Americans. Speaking of which he had a giant ornament outside his crib which was a giant golden arm with a USA fighter plane caught in the clasp of the golden hand. That’s a might bit of bling he’s got on the go. How about one of them in Trafalgar Square with a Nazi and Argentine in the clasp of our golden hand. No didnt think that would work and it would cost to much to create and install. Mind you we have all got our own golden fist of the government up are arses at the moment getting a good shafting.

Peace and visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (New longest word in my blog)

Fay x x

A cultural review of Wroclaw.

So this is the third in the growing “A cultural review” series following on from a cultural review from Riga and a cultural review of Benllech it was time to hit Liverpool airport and at a more sensible time this years first bevvy was around 10:30 am. So first the cultural bit. Wrocław[ˈvrɔt​͡swaf]( listen) (GermanBreslau(Ltspkr.png listen),CzechVratislav) is the chief city in south-western Poland, situated on the River Oder (PolishOdra). Wrocław is the former capital of Silesia and today, capital of Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Over the centuries, the city has been either part of PolandBohemiaAustriaPrussia orGermany. According to official population figures for June 2009, its population is 632,240, making it the fourth largest city in Poland. Wrocław is now a unique European city of mixed heritage, with architecture influenced by BohemianAustrian and Prussian traditions, such as Silesian Gothic and its Baroque style of court builders of Habsburg Austria (Fischer von Erlach). Wrocław has a number of notable buildings by German modernist architects including the famous Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia or Jahrhunderthalle) (1911–1913) designed by Max Berg. In July 1997, the city was heavily affected by a flood of the River Oder, the worst flooding in post-war Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. Around ⅓ of the city’s area stood under water.[21] An earlier equally devastating flood of the river took place in 1903.[22]

So now all thats out of the way we can get onto the sex drugs and rock and roll. After a few scoops in the airport and also an expensive one on the plane just over two hours later it was a quick taxi to the hotel (A taxi that cost half as much on the way back, soft arse tourists) The apartments were located on the 6th floor of a new building and I managed to end up in the pensioners room with my father in law Dave (89) and Eddie (94) The first booze we hit was a sports bar and we were spolied with an excellent pint of Tyskie and I grabbed a pic (see below) and a few Combat 18 looking type characters came in so we left. So onto the main square in what was a chilly Polish evening. We found a boozer that was showing the Arsenal V Barca game although I didnt watch too much as I was engrossed in the finger through beer mat challenge. The task in hand was to place a beer mat on your pint glass and then spear a finger through the beer mat. Not as easy as it sounds and “Freddie” managed to inflict serious injury to his thumb whilst attempting this and is looking at another 4 to 6 months off work. Dave failed on his attempt on the below video but did get the record of spearing three beermats with his Shaolin Monk style tactics. It was Mcdonalds after Mcdonalds again for my food intake and my handy Polish translator of a plain hamburger was not needed as it was very easy to get a plain burger and it was actually better than many attempts I have had at the drive through on the Speke retail park. So I needed to text my translator in a different way. I had a second phrase to try out. So I showed the phrase to the Polish barman “Gdzie jext sex shop dla Eddie. Che sie masturbaja” The look on the barman’s face was priceless as he burst out into laughter. At least I know my translator works.

So onto a few more bars and we spent the last few hours in Cafe Manana where despite his bad thumb “Freddie” kept the locals amused with a belter rendition of “Oops up side your head” on the Polish dancefloor but was ultimately outshone when the whole place erupted to Bob Marley’s “Could you be loved’ At least things had moved on from earlier in the night when Tony was adamant that Bungle was in the wombles and recorded a b-side which was the Jam’s ” Going underground” It was soon established that it was indeed “Bungo” and not the more famous Bungle of Rainbow fame. So around 2.30am it was time to bail home in a cab with the pensioners who had been asleep for a few hours in Cafe Manana and they could then send me asleep with a few tales from World War one.

Day two (Thursday) and after breakfast it was an attempt by the map master Alan to find the war museum as we attempted a bit of culture before the pubs opened. After what seemed like several hours and several miles we gave up. On checking google earth on my return we were actually very close to finding it so Alan deserved more credit than he got but the lure of the first pint was too much and what a first pint it was. It wasnt just the after effects of a 14 hour session the day before but it was the worst pint of the trip. So day two was spent finding as many new bars as we could and the big decisions of the day seemed to be was it to be Eddies sausage or Alan’s ham shank as we eat in a nice place with a lovely pyramid fish tank.  Later on the conversation got more high brow as we were discussing was the giant bird in the pub a cock or a hen and the conundrum of what would you do if it laid an egg on you was thrown out there but we didnt get past much further than the cock or hen question. So we found a pub for the Liverpool game and for the second year running whilst away the match was shite and the beer wasnt much better running out of everything we asked for. So with a limited memory from post match onwards I have a hazy memory of being charged for popcorn in a boozer and I remember calling in the sports bar on the way home and killing one last Tyskie it was onto bed with the elders talking about world war two this time !

So day 3 and Friday on what is normally just home with a belter of a headache this year it was a early evening flight and a chance for a few more scoops. As if by magic all pubs we had previously walked past jumped out at us and we had a few in the main square. Bungo, sorry Tony enjoyed a nice ice cream in one bar and then we had a few in a cuban bar before finding our last pub in Worclaw where you had to walk through a shop selling tourist shite but it was a decent if small boozer. The bar maid spoke very good English and had a laugh with us and was kind enough to give us a taste of some Zywiec beer which was about 10% in strength and tasted like treacle toffee. So it was onto the airport for a few more beers and back home with another cultural review in the bank. So Feb trips away now read 2008 Gdansk, 2009 Belfast, 2010 Riga and 2011 Wroclaw. Thanks again to the group of teachers I gegg in with for the trip (The name of the school is withheld to protect the guilty) and hopefully and glaring gaps in the story will be filled in on the comments section below. So im writing this drinking a few cans of Tyskie to wean myself off Polish grog and the last question that remains is left or right below from the cafe Manana.

Peace (and deffo left )

Fay x x

The Brit Awards 2011.

So tonight is the Brit Awards. When I was younger I was always glued to this being into music but as I got older I realised what a bag of shite it is. Me being a musical nerd it all started with around 300 cassette tapes made by me all individually numbered and some with home made covers made by me. A popular series was the “Now thats what Fay calls music volumes” dont know where I got that idea from and the “Music trip” series. All of which were hastily taped from the radio one chart show. Also home made albums consisting of my fave bands made up with a selection of b-sides and 12″ mixes (Ask your parents kids) My fall into musical nerdiness didnt stop there at one point I was keeping my top ten singles and albums hastily jotted down once a week into an exercise book I have robbed from school ! All this leads up to the creme de la creme of musical sadness but what has now become something I am proud to celebrate (who gives a fuck) it is indeed my own Brit awards. After pushing to boat out with the “Now thats what Fay calls music” name my Brit awards were called, wait for it “The music awards” Started in 1988 and now proudly in its 23rd year I can now announce the albums that are nominated for the various awards for 2010. The album doesnt have to technically be out in the year involved but when I discover it. So with the finding of Spotify and thus increasing the amount of music I listen to here is the 2010 shortlist which contains a record amount of albums.

Jesse Dee Bittersweet Batch
Massive Attack Heligoland
Fun Lovin Criminals Classic Fantastic
Faithless The Dance
Mumford and Sons Sigh No More
Sheryl Crow 100 Miles from Memphis
Seal Seal 6 – Commitment
Imelda May Mayhem
Jamiroquai Rock Dust Light Star
Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer
Solomon Burke and De Dijk Hold On Tight
Solomon Burke Nothings Impossible
Johnny Cash American VI
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears Tell em what your name is
Darden Smith Ojo
Norah Jones Featuring
Dr John and the lower 911 Tribal
Plan B The Defamation Of Strickland Banks
Underworld Barking

So its time to open up the golden envelope and here to present my “music awards” is Roy Walker of catchphrase fame and Rusty Lee from TVAM cook fame ( I had a very low budget for this years presenters) And the winner is …………………………

1988 Raintown-DEACON BLUE The christians-THE CHRISTIANS
1989 When the world knows your name-DEACON BLUE Checkmate-ROGER CHRISTIAN
1990 Colour-THE CHRISTIANS In the blood-LONDONBEAT
1991 Fellow hoodlems-DEACON BLUE Seal-SEAL
1992 Happy in hell-THE CHRISTIANS Volume 3 just right-SOUL II SOUL
1993 Whatever you say,say nothing-DEACON BLUE Happy in hell-THE CHRISTIANS
1995 Tuesday night music club-SHERYL CROW Seal (2) – SEAL
1996 Sheryl crow-SHERYL CROW Whats the story morning glory-OASIS
1997 Time for change-SOUL II SOUL Your cool mystery-GARRY CHRISTIAN
1998 The globe sessions-SHERYL CROW 5-LENNY KRAVITZ
1999 On how life is-MACY GRAY Beacoup fish-UNDERWORLD
2000 Sunset over london-JOOLS HOLLAND R/B’S ORCHESTRA The marshall mathers lp-EMINEM
2002 The Eminem Show-EMINEM Roland Gift-ROLAND GIFT
2003 Don’t give up on me-SOLOMON BURKE Prodigal Sons-THE CHRISTIANS
2004 How does it feel-GARRY CHRISTIAN Feels like Home-NORAH JONES
2005 Wildflower-SHERYL CROW Make do with what you got-SOLOMON BURKE
2006 Fundamental-PET SHOP BOYS Nashville-SOLOMON BURKE
2007 Dog House Music-SEASICK STEVE Overtones-JUST JACK
2008 Chronicles Of A Modern Life-HENRY PRIESTMAN I Started Out With Nothing And Still Got Most Of It Left-SEASICK STEVE
2009 Yes – PET SHOP BOYS All Night Cinema – JUST JACK
2010 Bittersweet Batch- JESSE DEE Tell Em What Your Name Is-  BLACK JOE LEWIS AND THE HONEYBEARS

So there you have it, nerd central. Off to get some street cred back and im off to Wroclaw in Poland for a three day piss up. Hope the lads im going with dont read this !

Peace and RIP Solomon Burke.

Fay x x

1st birthday, 66th birthday and Valentines day.

So Saturday was a late afternoon bevvy with the lads. Well I say the lads but only two of them made it out. It gets hard to sort a drink out now with all of us as we get older and some of the lads turn into Lord Lucan. So I got the train into town to meet up and what used to be a daily commute to work for the council became a nostalgic trip down memory lane as I now work for myself and I remembered the good old council days. The endless hours of iphone snooker, sneaking out to the shop and in my younger days a good old few pints on a Friday 2 hour lunch to come back at 2pm and then have a snooze until clocking off time at 3:30. Now them bastards are wasting my council tax money. I know what goes on. Better not give too many of my secrets away as you never know I might end up back there one day if Faymondo Benefits Limited goes tits up. So I was all set for a session on the ale and with my now advancing years reaching 37 part of getting ready to go out now consists of a trim of the old ears. With some grey now poking through my hair as well its a race to see of the grey can make it out in time before my hair goes. With a beer gut on the go despite all the trips to the gym and footy I play I am all set and ready to slouch into my 40’s and head towards heart attack central. So on the train I was met with the adverts for x-factor live 2011 and Ghost the musical. I decided that it would be more interesting to read the passenger safety instructions. So first stop was Rileys for a game of darts. Using a handy darts scorer on my iphone I was promptly murdered 10-1 by my arch nemesis John Wignell. Good job it was just for fun and I am still our darts champion for 2010. With being a nerd and checking in on four square I can look back on where I had been for the evening. Next up Dr Duncans for some real ale, nope we were sinners and bought 3 bottles of Pernoni ! It was then onto Mathew Street to catch a few bands in Flanagans and The Cavern pub. It was 50 years ago this week that The Beatles played their first gig at The Cavern. After the demolishing of the overhead railway knocking that down is a close second. Im convinced the lead singer of the band in The Cavern pub was miming his guitar but a good show none the less. So numerous pubs later which included The Lennon Bar, The Grapes and O’Neills I was hit by a wave of drunkenness and decided it was time for The Lobster Pot and an early (ish) train home which made sunday morning much more tolerable. A decent practice session for the three days on the grog in Poland starting at around 11am at Liverpool Airport on Wednesday.

Sunday was to be birthday day and a party for my nephew Ethan who is 1 and for my old man who is 66 going on 86 ! My dad seems to be adding years on for fun and is racing towards 70 and a quick check an my age and im hurtling towards 40. Although my mind is nearer 80 as I bought my dad the same book for his birthday as I did for christmas. He’s turning into my nan with the conundrum of what the hell do I buy him for presents. I played it safe with slippers, a top and numerous chocolate buttons and liquorice allsorts oh and a book he has !  So with birthday cards a plenty its valentines day tomorrow. I have got a card for her and also a present, a suitcase, shut the door on the way out love. The old ones are the best eh ! So rounding the weekend off with a beer and a blog and pretending to be young and hip by listening to The Streets new album on Spotify. So a special Brits blog next week to be followed by a another episode of this blogs popular “A cultural review”  with the venue this time being Wroclaw.


Fay x x

Valentines plan scuppered.

So whats been going on in the world of Fay, well not much. I had a few scoops for the match around at a mates and played Buzz quiz on the PS3 where Moses beat me in one game. Now being ultra competitive I wasnt too happy with this but soon won my title back. Another six day week in the bag and indeed another one this week in preparation for a few days off from Next Wednesday as I go on the piss in Wroclaw in Poland. News just in as well that the first of our gang of lads reached 40 so another piss up has been arranged for May and this time the destination is Fuengirola in Spain. So two trips in a few months. This is gonna cost me a fortune in flowers and cards for Mrs Fay not to mention a handsome present on each occasion.

This was on the BBC web site today. A mother has been given an official police caution for leaving her 14-year-old son in charge of his three-year-old brother. So at what age can children be left at home alone without parental supervision? A mother-of-three from the Thames Valley area has been cautioned by police after leaving her 14-year-old son at home with his little brother. Sources quoted in the Sunday Times are reported as saying the mother, in her 40s, was away for 30 minutes, the time passed without “incident” and the toddler was never in any danger. Oh dear that puts a spanner in the works as I was gonna offer a friends 15 year old lad some extra pocket money on Valentines night as I whisked Mrs Fay off her feet and wined her, dined her and sixty got the train home with her. Oh well might as well ring out the last of my Sky Sports subscription before it expires and watch Fulham V Chelsea on Monday night football. Who said romance is dead ? At least the lucky ladies of Richard Keys and Andy Gray wont have to put up with an excuse from them this Valentines night. *** I started this blog on my lunch today and by the time I finished work Keys and Gray had landed a new job on Talk Sport. They start on Valentines day but can still make it out in the evening that is unless the join fellow dogger, sorry I mean lady beater, sorry I mean station host Stan Collymore takes them for a good old lads night out. Im sure the discussion would be high brow and Germaine Greer could come along as well to join in the discussion and share experiences of being “smashed”, beaten up and her fave dogging sites.

Finally Feb 4th would have been my late mums birthday. She never got to see my youngest daughter Charlotte so I was explaining to her that it was nana’s birthday today and that she never got to see nana as she is in heaven. Charlotte replied ” awwww she’s dead, does that means she has to stay in hospital forever” well it brought a smile to my day. RIP Lilian May Fay x x


Fay x x

Footys day of madness RIP for Sky Sports

So I dont like to blog about sport too much, easy subject and too many arguments are caused by it.  Yesterday in case you missed it was transfer deadline day. The day the world of footy officially went mad. First up Torres leaving Liverpool. Now as mentioned on previous blogs I fall more and more out of love with footy as the seasons go by (and no its not because Liverpool have got shitter and shitter over the last few seasons) So Torres leaving neither shocked me or left me in a state of heartbreak as some members of certain Liverpool FC forums seemed to be suffering from. Just a cool £50m for Liverpool which was promptly spent by them on two new players Luis Suarez (£22.7 million) and Andy Carroll (£35 million) Considering Carroll has just scored 42 goals in his career, thats a pretty big fee at the best of times. Due to this mega inflation not seen since Zimbabwe this century and in Germany pre second world war days I was valued at just £2.99 by my agent. Not too bad a price considering im 37 and have had a dodgy knee. By the close of the transfer window (cheesily covered on Sky Sports news by the chimes of big ben as if it was a hogmanay) my value has risen to £6.74. But I didnt manage to seal a contract with a club and will be playing tonight at Bluecoat School in front of the scouts (boy scouts) The only transfer I was involved in was I decided to go to the Wok Express chippy instead of the Ko Sing. I might add here this is just a loan as I couldnt be arsed driving the extra 5 mins to the Ko Sing for my tea last night. So with over £200 million spent in the transfer window I came across this tweet on Twitter “Chelsea to splash £50m on Torres. Liverpool council has to save *just* £91m and 1,500 people will lose their jobs.” Sorts of puts the madness in a bit of perspective. So whats the reason for this. Well the beast that spawned all this is of course the Premier League which in turn is fed by the money from Sky who then pass this onto the muppets who pay for Sky Sports and now also ESPN AKA Neil George Fay. So this morning and with all the economic gloom about I noticed that my Sky bill was a whopping £74.25 a month. So first to go Sky Sports and ESPN. Next will be HD and multi room once I can. That will save me £50 a month. No longer will I contribute to the madness that has engulfed footy. (Give it a few months an im sure to of caved in.) So in 31 days I will be what I used to call a Sky Sports mingebag who will be sending heavily hinted texts to friends and family when there is a sporting event to get the invite. Or I will just get an internet feed on my laptop for free. Thankfully I am 37 and have not put the name of Torres on my footy kit but theres a lesson to be learned there me thinks. So the countdown to no Sky Sports is well and truly on. Oh yeah anybody doing anything for the Liverpool V Man Utd match on Sunday March 6th, im free as it goes ! At least I wont have to listen to Jim White babbling bollocks for hours on deadline day.

So if you go to www.police.uk you can see a new crime-mapping website for England and Wales. Just one hitch it is experiencing a “temporary problem” as millions of people log on every hour, the Home Office has said. I myself have been trying all day and alas no joy. Visitors to www.police.uk, which cost £300,000 to develop, will be able to find out which crimes have taken place on or near their street within the past month and which officers are responsible for their area. Information on crime is broken down into six categories – burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, other crime and anti-social behaviour. Sex crimes have been included in the “other” category, along with crimes such as theft and shoplifting, to help prevent victims from being identified. So I am desperate for a nose at this to see if my theft of pack of space raiders and a cream egg from my local news-agent is on there as well as my shameful crime of being caught masturbating outside Sayers front window is on there. Im assuming that comes under “other crime” So if theres anything interesting to report I will if I can get on the dam site.


Fay x x

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