I ever mentioned that I have played guitar and sung lead vocals in many
'rock and blues' bands? Well, it's true, my friends! This story begins
really with my interest in such music and continues with the barely believable
tale of dark involvement with a video cassette recorder!
Do you know the film 'Crossroads'?
It is a wonderful piece of light-hearted entertainment for those of us
who enjoy the R & B genre, concerning as it does the curious events
surrounding the rise to fame and mysterious death of the blues legend
Robert Johnson. The film is named after what is generally considered his
greatest composition, immortalised by Eric Clapton among others.
Johnson always promoted the belief that his amazing talents had been bestowed
upon him in a deal with the Dark One at an isolated crossroads in the
Southern USA. The film charts the journey of a young blues-man in a pilgrimage
to the same crossroads, culminating in a guitar contest with the Devil's
champion ( played by Steve Vai! )
I have always enjoyed this film ( not least the music of Vai and Ry Cooder!
) so that when it was shown on TV some time ago, I was very quick to procure
a new high-quality tape and copy it as I watched.
Bob, a friend of mine and best man at my wedding who has sadly sinced
passed away, was a far better guitarist than I and a great fan of the
above mentioned instrumentalists. I was not surprised, therefore, when
he asked to borrow the tape, having been playing a 'gig' on the night
it was shown. Accordingly, I passed him the video one afternoon while
we were birdwatching on the North Coast of Norfolk, abjuring him to phone
in the evening with his opinions of the film.
This he accordingly did, but his response was not at all as expected!
" What," he began " have you done to the tape, and how did you do it?"
I responded that I had no idea what he was talking about.
"Well I won't tell you," he rejoined, " but just wait 'til you have a
look at it!"
The following week I collected the video from Bob and, on arriving home,
duly ran it through the VCR. The film started normally enough, but when
the plot reached the point where the young guitarist first hears about
Johnson's meeting with the Devil, the film seamlessly cut to the guitar
duel which is its denouement! Following the triumphant ending of the final
scene, the action switches to an earlier passage where the young blues-man
first encounters the Devil at the crossroads.
The film continues normally once more, until the guitar duel, instead
of which we see the final credits!
I have shown the video to a friend who is a BBC video editor….. his opinion?
It is impossible that this could have occurred while I was watching….and
taping...in real time! Yet it happened!
photograph below was taken during my recovery from a minor heart operation...minor,
except things went wrong and there was nearly no web-master to write these
You may have read elsewhere how an elderly clairvoyant / healer promised
to look out for me at his healing circle. Some three days after I
left hospital, the wound in my thigh began to haemorrhage: things looked
decidedly 'pear-shaped' once more, and more than once I thought I might
be about to discover what it feels like to become a paranormal phenomenon!
One morning I decided to take some photographs in the garden…..I have
no clear idea of my motivation, save that , for the first time in days,
it was sunny and I hoped the rays might prove beneficial.
As you can see, the wounded region of my upper thigh appears bathed in a
white light: this is NO camera trick - other pictures came out perfectly
All I can say is that I was suddenly aware that my leg had begun to heal:
the haemotoma and thrombosis began to dissipate and a day later the bruising
had unexpectedly vanished!
Was this the power of prayer? Who can say: all I can report is that I was
back to work some three weeks earlier than my surgeon had anticipated!
have a story for you, something that I, my Mother, and my Nan, all saw
It concerns my dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Ben)
The day was 31st August 1997: as we all know that was the day Princess
Diana died. All day long on satellite television, instead of showing adverts
in the allotted slot, they showed a picture of the late Princess of Wales.
As we were about to go to bed (it was about 22.00--22.30hrs) a picture
of the Princess of Wales came on the television. Ben, our dog, sat
up of the couch, looked at the television, and started barking at it.
But the scary bit was when he stopped barking: he jumped from the couch,
trotted straight straight to the television, and started licking the face
of the late Princess: something he usually reserves only for me or for
my mother !!!!!