The silly season is now upon us. Christmas is just a few weeks away and people are frantically shopping for gifts for their loved ones. I wonder how many pairs of socks and toasters will be given this Christmas?? Fortunately, I am well and truly catered for in this regard (note to family and friends!!).
Here in Sydney things are hotting up. Or I should say becoming more humid! The season of body odour (aka Summer) has hit this part of Australia. If you don't believe me then catch a train or bus and you will soon have a whiff of un-deodorised armpits heading for your direction.
Still, as I mentioned earlier, it is the silly season and also the time for miracles of one nature or another. Indeed, one happened only recently. For the first time in 17 years Guns N Roses have released an album of original material - most definitely a miracle of the highest order.
Axl Rose and his merry band of musicians finally released "The Chinese Democracy" for all and sunder to hear. All hail Saint Axl for this gift to the masses. Now before anyone says it's only been 15 years since a studio album, and not 17 years - you are correct. However, the 'Spaghetti Incident' released in 1993 was an album of cover versions. The last 'true' album was the sort of double 'Use Your Illusion 1 & 2' which spawned the classic 'November Rain' in 1991.
I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy of ' Chinese Democracy' having pre-ordered it a month or so ago. Part of me was still thinking "oh well, that's money down the drain. There is no way the album will ever be released". Every day I rushed to the letter box to see if it had arrived. Sadly, all I received was bills, bills and adverts for pizzas and kebabs!
I checked my emails and found out that the CD was on back order and had been delayed. I translated that to mean that Axl Rose had decided to re-record all the songs again for the 99th time. Then yesterday I went to the letter box to find that the CD had arrived. I was ecstatic - hallelujah! At last some new Gunners music. I soon played the CD and can assure you all that it is very good. Not as angry as the old songs of days past but still pretty awesome.
Listening to the CD got me thinking about what was happening in the world in 1991. After all, seventeen years is a very long time between drinks (unless you are a Buddhist Monk). So I picked up the magnifying glass, did some research and came up with the following facts:
- Boris Yeltsin was elected president of Russia.
- The first Gulf War ends.
- 'Another day in Paradise' by Phil Collins was the record of the year.
- Steffi Graf won the ladies title at Wimbledon.
- 'Silence of the Lambs' was the big movie of the year.
- Australia beat England 12-6 to win the Rugby World Cup.
- Azerbaijan gained independence.
- The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union.
- Leeds United won the English football Division 1championship. (nb: 17 years later they are knocked out of the FA Cup by Histon Town - a non-league part time club in round 2).
- The great Paul Keating becomes Prime Minister of Australia.
Digital television was still a long way off in 1991, as was DVDs. If you wanted to watch a movie at home then VHS was your format.
Given the above lets hope that it's not another 17 years before the next Guns N Roses album! Otherwise any tour they do to promote it will be at nursing homes rather than stadiums!