Monday, May 23, 2005

Tempting minors

That's it. I've had enough. It's time to shout from the roof tops, demand action and put a stop to this torment. This torture. This mindless, irritating phenomenom which is the crazy frog ring tone adverts. God! It drives me mad. I want to throw things at the tv when it comes on. That and those bleeding "cute" birds.
Text to 88888 and get three ring tones for £3. Then if you look very carefully at the small print it's not £3 it's £3 every week. By texting that number you are effectively subscribing to the ring tone club which charges £3 every week. That's £12 or £15 pounds a month. And who subscribes to this service? Kids.
Now tell me if I'm wrong but don't companies usually ask for your age before entering into a business contract. You must be over the age of at least 16 if not 18. But the phone company is making contracts every day with kids. Kids who don't understand or even care about responsibility of entering into a contract to pay £3 every week.
The ring tone company recently announced a profit of ten million on the frog ring tone alone. They are encouraging the kids to "join in the fun".
Let's see how much fun they have when someone sues them for extortion of a minor.
The MD of the company on TV blatantly said that they will not withdraw this service because not enough people have complained. Actually he said "not everyone is complaining". How many people does he want to complain before something is done about it?
Meanwhile this noise pollution continues to fill our ears and empty the pockets of unsuspecting children. Or more likely their parents pockets.

On the bright side one mobile phone company has brought out a new phone for technophobes and or old age pensioners. No gimmicks. No internet access, no camera, n0 WAP technology no multimedia features. Just send and receive calls and texts. The buttons are bigger and your phone number is on the screen, because as you know as you get older you cant remember your own number.
I might have to get one.

We've got a gig. Hoorah! Del and I are playing the Wheatsheaf in Peterborough next monday. The landlord is leaving so we're putting on a farewell do for him. Tony is coming and his band, so it's gonna be a mix and match night. No one has a clue what's going to happen. but as usual with Del, Tony and I we just blague it. No rehearsals. We just wing it. And I think that's what's going to happen next Monday and it will be great. I have great confidence in Del and Tony. I need to have because I organised the gig. I can honestly say the happiest days of my life, music wise, has been on stage with Del and Tony. We were good. We had such good fun. We never rehearsed, ever. And every week they'd throw a new song into the set that I'd never played before, sometimes more than one. It's a very steep learning curve when you get thrown in the deep end.
Sandra brought back my mandolin after six months. I've been playing it all weekend. She pointed out that Mondays gig is exactly a year since "Mike Da Hat and Friends" played their one and only gig, supported by the "TM blues band".
Del and I have spent the last few months recording. I'd like to say the results were brilliant. But we've had serious problems with sound quality. For instance we tried our version of "substitute" by The Who. My guitar was pretty good on lead. Dels Bass line was good too. But we had real problems with sound levels. And when I put down the vocal track. I almost died of embarrassment. Quiet then loud then quiet then loud. Appalling.

Wednesday we tried to do justice to Steve Earls "Copperhead Road". A brilliant track. All I will say about that was recording and a bottle of Metaxa doesn't mix well. But we had a lot of fun trying. I daren't listen to it right now.

Meanwhile my friend Richard has sacked his alcoholic guitarist. If you've paid attention you'll know who I mean. He's asked me to stand in so he can finish his album. I haven't a clue what he wants me to play. We'll see. MY main reason for agreeing to play for him is to learn more about the recording process and maybe find out what we're doing wrong.

So that's it for tonight playmates. Pick up a guitar and play it for all it's worth. It's great therapy. Pick out a rythm on your coffee mug with your pen. Feel the music within you. You can do it. Shit! If I can, so can you.

Rock on dudes

Mike Da Hat


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