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Book Review: Road Rash

by Lang Reid

Billed on the cover as an “anti-guide book”, Road Rash (ISBN 974-228-027-4) was written by ex-traveller Ken May and was released last year. It is basically a series of essays done en route, with pithy comments on the actual “being” a tourist backpacker, rather than a description of what to see, how to get there and where the flophouses are located.

The first 80 pages are essays on tourism and its effects on both the tourist and the tourist destination. These are presented in a very matter of fact way, and if judgments are passed, both sides are presented with equal emphasis. It is obvious from the outset that author May is not out to influence his reader in any particular direction.

In his essay on the concept of the “global village” he ranges from people from all over the globe working in harmony together, towards a global peace, and then gets probably closer to the truth with computer geeks all over the world in contact by email as they send pornography around the planet and finally to the cosmic concept that the global planet does exist, but more in the Descartes mode of “I think, therefore I am” - it is a cyberspace village that is whatever you want it to be. A trifle frightening.

The remainder of the book is a series of geographical essays, or rather, essays on tourism with different areas as the global backdrop. These include Thailand (where he bemoans the shocking death toll of Songkran), Japan, Korea, and many sites in India. Thailand is also the backdrop for his first tourist robbery, falling for the old laced whisky ploy. His exploits at living on next to nothing are amusing and plausible. Reading the essay you are sure that this is indeed a first hand report. You only need to follow the meanderings of his Mumbai cockroach to understand that this is real life. The global village opened its doors to cockroaches as well as us.

May opened the book with a discourse on the tourists’ photographic habits, and wonders if they are documenting where they visited, or just take the shot to show unwilling and unappreciative audiences later. He likens his book to a photo album, with serial places and place names and thumbnail sketches. He forgets that a picture is still worth a thousand words, no matter how poorly executed, and I do believe that he could have made a good book even better with some photographs dotted through the pages.

The review copy was made available by Bookazine, with an RRP of 320 baht, and should be available at all major bookstores. It is a deep book, and as such deserves its place on your bookshelf. It does represent true backpacking, and as such is good reading for the prospective rucksack brigades of Doc Marten’ed road warriors, to hopefully stop them getting too bad a case of road rash, as opposed to road rage. It would do everyone a service to remember what author May calls the Tourism Trinity - tourist, tout and tradesman. And yes, Thailand’s tuk-tuk drivers are right in there!

Movie Review: A Guy Thing

By Poppy

This is a movie about true love and marriage - at least that’s what it’s meant to be. Paul Morse (Jason Lee) is your average sort of guy, engaged to be married to Karen (Selma Blair). Karen is from a good family and makes for a nice safe future of married bliss.

After his stag night Paul wakes up to find a beautiful naked stranger in his bed: Becky (Julia Stiles). He has no memory of how she got into his bed but he does know that his fianc้ will turn up at his door at any moment, which means getting Becky out of the way as quickly as possible.

Paul continues to feel guilty and wonders if he should tell Karen, but at the advice of his best friend decides to bury the incident and marry the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, he keeps bumping into the delightful carefree Becky, and his efforts to maintain his straight-laced life become somewhat strained.

This movie was written by Greg Glienna, who wrote and directed “Meet the Parents,” so there are many similarities between the two films. As in “Meet the Parents,” the father-in-law-to-be (James Brolin) is an intimidating man’s man, who has a picture of himself with the president of the United States in his office.

There are some funny moments during the film making the movie watchable, but the script is weak and a little slow. In my opinion I would wait for the video.

Directed by Chris Koch


Jason Lee (I) ... Paul Morse

Julia Stiles ... Becky

Selma Blair ... Karen

James Brolin

Shawn Hatosy

Lochlyn Munro

Julie Hagerty

Diana Scarwid

Michael Teigen ... Lou

Enid-Raye Adams ... Shannon - Maid of Honor

Ron Selmour

Thomas Lennon (III) ... Peter

Fred Ewanuick ... Jeff

Chang Tseng (I) ... Grocer

Colin Foo ... Pharmacist

Mott’s CD review: 

Doctor Of Madness - Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms

by Mott the Dog

**** 4 Stars Rating

When this collection of startling songs was released in 1976, “The Doctors” record company took out a full page advert in the hugely popular British music paper “Sounds” which had a picture of “The Doctors” lead singer and only songwriter at the microphone, with bright blue hair and eyes like reflector laser’s staring straight back at you. Underneath were the words, “Already a lot of people think the “Doctors of Madness” are the most tasteless band ever”. Which is a good start and pretty extreme even for the mid seventies!

The Doctors of Madness were the musical vehicle for the aforementioned Richard “Kid” Strange (who later turned up as Neville parodying himself in the British sit-com comedy “Men Behaving Badly”). Joining him in The Doctors was blonde bombshell of a drummer Peter de Lemma who made no secret of his admiration for the Who’s Keith Moon, the bassist known only as Stoner who used to come on stage in full Frankenstein make up and the wonderfully monickered Urban Blitz who switched between lead guitar and electric violin.

Starting out about a year before Punk Rock really took off, they really got lost between two stools, certainly not part of the so called old wave, but too musical to be part of the new wave; nevertheless, the music was nothing if not original and interesting.

Cutting a swathe through the daze of the mid seventies and virtually stumbling onto the welcoming red carpet of Punk Rock, The Doctors pursued an unremitting musical path to the front door of Richard Strange’s tortured musical soul.

Heavy on period mellotron, and fired by some delicious violin and electric guitar-courtesy of the ubiquitous Urban Blitz, The Doctors album open with a trio of introspective Strange ramblings, of which the doomy “After Glow” sets a standard for some unrelenting soul searching.

The opener segues almost unnoticed into “Mitzis Cure” which is basically more of same, only deeper and darker.

Interestingly, in between the Kid’s rants there are moments when the band’s collective instrumental virtuosity is allowed to breath.

During final song “Mainlines”, clocking in at over 12 minutes, all features of The Doctors music is spotlighted, Strange’s hard-hitting lyrics, the brutal rhythm work of the drummer & bassist respectively, and Urban’s demonic violin comes close to the same controlled aggressive frisson that fired much of Daryl Way’s work with Curved Air in the early seventies. A wonderful slab of mid seventies mayhem.

That said, the good Mr. Strange doesn’t make things easy. At times The Doctors resemble an early Marc Almond dabbling in angst ridden songs from the bed sit. And just as you think you’re getting your head round this, a piece such as “Noises Of The Evening” leads us back into a musical cul-de-sac. “Noises” is a perplexing piece, archetypical of the bands inverted sense of dynamics. Where a song would normally build up and open into a booming chorus or expansive solo with a big outro, Kid as normal does things the opposite way round.

A flighty, funky bass line and some spacey almost psychedelic violin lines eventually implode into Richard’s claustrophobic dark paranoia. What started as a period piece light rocker, quickly descends into the realms of B. movies vampiredom.

The Doctors were always too diverse to make it big time, but they left behind a great legacy.

And to think they were originally managed by Twiggy... Now that is Strange.


Richard “Kid” Strange - Speak, & Buzz Guitar

Urban Blitz - Violin, Stunt Guitar & all Keyboards

Stoner - Horror Bass

Peter De Lemmer - Slap Dash Drums

Track Listing

1. Afterglow

2. Mitzi’s Cure

3. I Think We’re Alone

4. Waiting

5. The Noises Of The Evening

6. Billy Watch Out

7. B Movie Bedtime

8. Mainlines

Bonus Tracks

9. Doctors Of Madness

10. Mitzi’s Cure

11. I Think We’re Alone

12. B Movie Bedtime

13. Marie And Joe

14. Who Cries For Me

To contact Mott the Dog email: [email protected]