Returned last night from a boat jaunt up the majestic Chao Phrya river. The idea was that we would go north-ish from Bangkok on Monday and make a triumpant entrance into the canals of Ayuthaya, the ancient capital of Siam, on Tuesday morning. However, recent flooding in central Thailand (caused by a typhoon in Vietnam, apparently - Thais are always happy to blame the Vietnamese, it's a safe bet) meant that the river level was too high, and we couldn't get under the Rama VIII bridge until about 10.30 on Monday night. For a Londoncentric analogy, that's like spending 12 hours to get from Tower Bridge to Hammersmith.
Still, the converted rice barge itself was very luxurious, and the crew were wonderful, filling us with chow (possibly to keep the boat as low in the water as possible). And it's not as if we were paying. Will link to the article when it comes out, early December.
While I was away, it appears that the UK Music Hall of Fame has had another bout of inductions: George Martin (well overdue); Led Zeppelin; James Brown; Brian Wilson; Bon Jovi; Prince; Rod Stewart; Dusty Springfield. It does raise the question of what these virtual institutions are actually... hang on... Bon Jovi??? I would have thought there were some British cheese-rock bands with ever-smiling singers who could just as well taken BJ's place. Like the Rubettes, maybe. Or Racey.
Still, if you want rock stardom of a more erudite stripe, the mighty Everett True (blah blah, Kurt 'n' Courtney, rhubarb, first Creation single, blah blah Melody Maker, etc etc) is touring the bookshops of Britain from next Monday, talking about his Nirvana tome, and probably other stuff as well. Pungent and fruity, with an undertone of simmering resentment at the corporate lameness of the modern music press, Mr True comes highly recommended. Schedule: Mon 20, 6 pm, Borders, Bristol; Wed 22, 6 pm, Borders, London Charing X Road; Thu 23, 6pm, Borders, Brighton Churchill Sq; Fri 24, 6.30pm, Manchester Library (with John Robb); Sat 25, 5pm, Forest Café, Edinburgh; Sun 26, 11 am (not a very rock 'n' roll hour - Ed.), Hitherto/Tinderbox, Glasgow. More details on the Plan B site.
PS: My CiF spiel on the Dandy reprint non-controversy; and from the always entertaining London Review of Breakfasts, a cogently argued, if ultimately wrong-headed defence of Starbucks. (Go here for my thoughts on the matter.)