Archive for Books

I’d Like to Know Your Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized, Death, Books with tags , , , on March 9, 2023 by 80smetalman

Thanks to readers of Peaceful Rampage and feedback I have received on Facebook, I have decided to carry on with writing a sequel to “He Was Weird.” Note, I haven’t completely decided to call it “He Was Weird 2” and a friend suggested I call it “He Was Weirder.” For now though, I’ll stick with the title until if and when I come up with a better one. The main obstacle is because this was a recent idea, I haven’t thought the entire story through. Therefore, I will use this post to provide a brief outline for the story.

In chapter one, which has been already written, you can go back and read it, but it’s in three parts, we meet the story’s protagonist, Sean Vandeventer. In the opening paragraphs, we see that he is a victim of bullying with the same lack of support which Mark Leversee had in the first “He Was Weird.” Teachers see him not doing the right thing but somehow miss out the bullying. Since this occurs during the Remembrance Service commemorating the tenth anniversary of Mark’s shooting, Sean begins to see similarities between what Mark went through and what he is going through.

For Sean, life after the service doesn’t really improve. He gets bullied for the rest of the time in junior high school and some in high school. The city of Ramsgate is more worried about another shooting more than what he is suffering. Furthermore, most people embrace the words of a so- called expert who says that all school shooters play the bullying card. As long as there is no threat of a gun being used, the city of Ramsgate is happy to turn a blind eye to any bullying, especially if it’s being carried out by jocks or other ‘popular’ kids.

Later in the story, Sean sets off alarm bells in high school when he declares that he wants to join the Marines after graduation. Because it was an ex-marine who taught Mark how to shoot, the school district has a hostile attitude towards the Marine Corps. Strange but true in the story, no one from Ramsgate has joined the Marines since Mark’s shooting and anyone who does wish to serve their country, is swayed into other branches of the service. However, Sean does join the Marines after graduation.

After graduating boot camp on his first leave, Sean decided to visit his high school in uniform. Like me, he wants to show that he made something of himself. Unlike me, though, two of his bullies start a fight with him and acting in self defense, Sean blinds one bully and breaks the other’s leg. Small town politics ensue and Sean is arrested and charged. The mess not only gets him in trouble with the city, it lands him in hot water with the Marines, especially as the parents of the two bullies sue the Corps. Without going into too much detail, Mark is handed over to military authorities as part of a deal which is that he is not to return to Ramsgate for the remainder of the time in the service.

Sean does his first enlistment without any further complication. He spends most of the time deployed and when he does get leave, he has to stay with his grandparents a few towns away from Ramsgate. However, when he reenlists and because his first enlistment is over, he thinks it’s okay to return to Ramsgate. Unfortunately, he is seen and remembered by someone who informs the local police and Sean is re-arrested. The town’s argument is that Sean is still in the service so the legal decision barring him from the town is still in force.

At the same time, he learns that his little brother is also being bullied and when the bullies learn that Sean can’t go to the town, they increase their torture and spread it to their mother and home. When Sean learns of this, he is livid and what I am thinking is a “Rambo 1, First Blood” type of ending.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

To buy the first “He Was Weird,” go to:

Or email me at:

Another Book to Add to Your Reading List

Posted in Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2021 by 80smetalman

Anthrax bassist Frank Bello has written a book about his time in the band which is called, “Fathers, Brothers and Sons.” His book is truly written from the heart book not only tells about his time with Anthrax, which he has been a full member of since 1985, but also what his life was like before Anthrax, growing up without a father. FFI: click on the link

It’s on my reading list.

Anthrax: I think Frank is on the far left. Bloodstock 2016

They Provoked Us

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 8, 2020 by 80smetalman

Coming from the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl, the Brighton sea front offered nothing new to Jonathan Stevens. However, the sea air gave him a feeling of comfort. It was one of the reasons he volunteered to give a security seminar in the town. The other reason became clear while he sat and finished his lunch. There along the seafront promenade was the same group of hooligans he had been observing for the past two days.

On the two previous days, around fifteen young people congregated in the same spot, drinking, swearing and harassing the more vulnerable passers by. He guessed that they were taking drugs as well but they were certainly being a nuisance in the community. Closer observation verified his reason for watching them. Not only did this gang simply harass the vulnerable, they preyed upon them, shaking them down for ‘protection money’ before allowing them to move on.

A vulnerable looking young man with Downs Syndrome, whom Jonathan recognised from the day before, came walking towards the rabble and Jonathan’s gut feeling told him that they were going to make trouble for this unfortunate person again. Remaining unnoticed, Jonathan momentarily left the seafront and walked towards the main road. Stopping short of the road, he gave a ‘thumbs up’ to apparently no one and stood there. Suddenly, within seconds, about twenty people, all concealed by black hoodies emerged from the cars parked nearby. The entire group walked towards him with one of them going into a trot. When this person got a few feet away, he tossed a spare black hoodie to Jonathan, which he caught and immediately put on.

Instantly arriving back on the seafront, Jonathan and his friends saw the young man being tormented by the gang of youths. A girl pushed him over while the some of the boys crowded around the fallen victim and began taunting him. As one, the rescuers quickened their pace, short of going into a sprint. They were quick enough to hear the self appointed leader badgering the victim. “Come on, I know you have more money, let me have it.”

“What the fuck!” bellowed a lad who had been watching and encouraging his leader. He pointed to the group in black hoodies now advancing on them. But his words had barely escaped his mouth before five of his friends who were closest, swallowed up by the wave of black. They had no chance to resist and were quickly felled by brass knuckled fists.

Fight or flight now gripped the rest of the gang of thugs. Some looked to their leader for help only to see a shorter black hoodie flying though the air with an extended leg. The foot of that leg landed squarely in the middle of the leader’s chest and he went down hard. As if it was a single move, that shorter hoodie was astride the fallen leader delivering brass knuckled blows to his head. The lad moved to help his friend but he never saw the brass knuckles that struck the side of his head. He hit the ground hard and after a futile few second’s effort to get back on his feet, succumbed to unconsciousness.

Certain their leader was no longer able to resist, Jonathan looked up to see the gang’s intended victim looking at him. These people will never bother you again,” he reassured. He then reached into the leader’s pocket and pulled out some loose change. Giving to the vulnerable young man, he said, “I believe this was yours.”

Looking around as he got to his feet, Jonathan could see that all of the vigilantes had done their duty. All of the thugs were lying on the ground, some totally unconscious and none of his group had sustained any injuries. Seeing a job well done, the group scattered in different directions, avoiding the few shocked onlookers. An elderly man nearby began applauding the group and yelled, “That will teach those young bastards!” as they left.

It was only a matter of minutes before Jonathan was walking on his own. Confident no one was noticing, he removed his hoodie and made his way to his car for the long drive back to Wales. All the while, he kept thinking, “Too bad Rochelle wasn’t there to see the event.” Then he realized that it was best for her if she never knew about it.

No One Saw Anything

Posted in Books, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 27, 2020 by 80smetalman

Part 3: No One Saw Anything

Drinks were flowing that evening at the Prince William pub in Birmingham. Simon Clay had consumed his fair share of pints and was now feeling the effects. He couldn’t remember when he last had such a good time. It was probably the evening of the day he was acquitted of rape.

His thoughts instinctively drifted back to the day he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Even though he couldn’t remember much about his celebrations that evening, the trial would forever be etched in his memory. He would also remember that confrontation with the angry black man who had testified against him. Afterwards, his friends feared for Simon’s safety so much, they formed a protective circle around him and escorted him to a nearby pub to begin celebrating his good fortune. The celebrations went on until closing time and Simon got very drunk. While most of the evening was a blur after he arrived at the pub, he did remember blurting out, “The fucking slag wanted it!” at some point in the evening. He also remembered wishing that excellent barrister who got him off was there so he could buy him a drink.

Life for Simon after his ‘ordeal’ was good. Fears about reprisals from lesbian women’s groups or that angry black man or any black rights organization never materialized. Five months on, he felt that he no longer needed to worry. All was well and he could get on with his life without having to look over his shoulder.

While he was feeling very merry, he wasn’t as intoxicated as on the night of his acquittal and was still in charge of his faculties. Still, he wasn’t sure if he was dreaming or it was the effects of the alcohol, but he was sure the pretty young blonde lady sitting at a table next to his was smiling at him. Taking another look, he saw that she was now walking towards him. Watching her come closer, he was definitely sure she was looking at him and she flashed an inviting smile as she went past. The young lady’s tight black mini-skirt and tan tights continued to hold his gaze as she walked away from him. Hope overrode disappointment when he saw that she was simply going to the little girl’s room and vowed inwardly to go talk to her once she returned.

Fortune seemed to be with Simon that evening as not only he but his three mates who were with him had no doubt the mysterious blonde was interested in him. Seeing her return to her seat at the next table, his friend Mick whispered, “You better hit that.”

Needing no encouragement from his friends, Simon was over like a shot to where the young lady sat. Seeing her in her full glory, he realized she was even more stunning that what he first had though. Pulling out an empty chair at the table, he boldly sat down while he introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Simon.”

She watched him sit down and her infectious smile broadened, she returned, “I’m Cynthia.”

They exchanged small talk as each one gained details about the other. Simon became quickly aware that Cynthia’s words were laced with innuendo and allure. He clung onto every one of them. Even when she talked about her job as a nurse at Birmingham City Hospital and about how she loved to play doctors and nurses, she made it all sound very sexy. Simon felt as if he had won the lottery. The more they chatted away, the more he was convinced that this was going to be his night and that she was up for some fun. The only break in the conversation came when he went up to the bar to replenish their drinks. He was so eager to get back to Cynthia that he nearly spilled her half pint of cider.

After some more small talk and with their drinks finished, it was Cynthia who suggested, “Let’s go somewhere more private,” much to his surprise and delight. Hand in hand, they left the pub. Simon was just able to catch a glimpse of Mick signaling a ‘thumbs up’ as they walked past. Leaving the pub, she led him down a main road for a few hundred yards before turning down a narrow alley. All the while, his tingling hormones overrode any sense of where he might be going. The alley led to an open space behind some buildings. Stopping at the edge, Cynthia turned to him and smiled, “We’re alone now.”

Like magnets, lips passionately pressed together. Simon was convinced he was in heaven as he and Cynthia engaged in a bit of tongue wrestling. She didn’t seem to mind his hands slipping from her waist down to her bottom, which he began massaging. Seconds later and more to his surprise and delight, she took his left hand and placed it on her breast before breaking the kiss for a quick breather.

Suddenly, Simon felt someone behind him but before he could react, a cord was wrapped around his neck and dragged him to the ground. The second he hit the ground, a dozen black shapes were upon him, some striking him with brass knuckled fists.

Cynthia left the mob to do its work. As she passed by, one of the hooded shapes handed her a small ruck sack. Moving where she was less likely to be seen, she opened the ruck sack and took out a pair of baggy track suit bottoms which she immediately slipped over her tight mini dress. Next, she produced a pair of high top trainers and ditching her high heels into the sack, put them on. She then pulled a large black hoodie from the sack and once that was adorned, the blonde wig went into the sack in exchange. In just over a minute, Cynthia had transformed back into Rochelle Dibley.

Upon her return, Rochelle could see that the mob had already given the target a good hammering. The man’s face was badly cut up and a steady flow of blood ran from his nose. Taking a glove from the pocket of her hoodie, she put in on and then accepted the brass knuckles one of the mob handed her, though she knew she really didn’t need them. She walked over to the man she had been in the pub with that evening. He was on his knees with four of her comrades holding him tightly. Without hesitation, Cynthia delivered a brass knuckled blow to the man’s jaw which snapped his head back and sideways in one motion, just like she had done to Amazon Glenda and that punk kid on Brighton Sea Front. Seeing the force of Cynthia’s blow on the target, the ones holding him let him drop face forward to the street, confident he wouldn’t be getting up for awhile. Like rats in the night, they all dispersed but not before one of them stuck a piece of paper to his back.

Simon didn’t know how long he’d been out for but when he came to, he wasn’t surprised that his attackers were long gone. It took an immense to get to his feet because each little movement brought excruciating pain. Once upright, he had to wait another few minutes before the strength returned to his legs and the dizziness in his head went away. Only then, did he have the confidence to walk on his own. He went back up the alley where Cynthia, if that was her real name, had led him down and was soon back on the main road. Staggering in the direction of the pub, he found a lamppost, which he used as support while he fumbled to find his mobile phone. Fortunately, his beating hadn’t effected his sight and using the light from the post, he searched his contact list in order to call Mick.

“What did you shag that bird already?” Mick asked light-heartedly when he answered the call.

“It was a trap!” Simon said before spitting out a mouthful of blood. “She had a bunch of people waiting for me in an alley and they duffed me up good. I need picking up.”

“What the fuck!” Mick exclaimed. “Where are you? I’ll come and get you.”

“Just down the road from the pub.”

Ending the call, it suddenly dawned on him to use the selfies app to see how badly he was beaten up. The image on the phone’s screen did not surprise him. His face was cut in several places and there was a large bruise already forming under his right eye. Plus, the pain in his cheekbone was agonizing, even when he wasn’t trying to speak.

“I am a rapist,” called an unfamiliar voice from behind.

Turning around, he saw a young man and woman. The man gestured, “That’s what it says on the back of your coat.” Then seeing Simon’s face, he exclaimed, “Christ, someone got you really good.” It appeared as if the man was going to offer assistance but the girl tugged on his sleeve and they walked off together.

He watched the couple continue down the street for about forty metres. Then remembering what the man had told him, he took off his jacket and looked on the back. Sure enough, the man’s exact words were written on a piece of paper which had been taped to it. It took him,a couple of minutes to remove the well taped on note, his state of inebriation combined with the beating he had taken added to the difficulty.

Mick’s car pulled up beside him. “Oh God, they really did one on you!” he exclaimed.

Paying no heed to his friend’s words, Simon got in the car. It had gone about half a mile when Mick asked, “Do you think this had anything to do with your rape trial? I remember the bitch who accused you and that bird you were with wasn’t her.”

“It probably had something to do with it.”

“Do you think it was that girl who accused you who set it up?”

Simon thought for a second. “Possibly, it’s either her or that coon who testified in court against me.”

Mick responded with, “It wouldn’t surprise me. He did seem disappointed that you got off.” They said nothing further as the car drove home in the night.

Part 2: Home Defences Breached

Posted in Books, Uncategorized with tags on November 17, 2020 by 80smetalman

Seventeen year old Jacob Beech was certainly feeling the effects of the weed as he swayed back and forth to his front door. Maybe that was why the van parked on the road near his home looked unfamiliar. After a short fumble, he took his keys out of his pocket and let himself into his council house. However, when he tried to close the front door, it immediately stopped and swung back open. A group of people stood in the doorway. All Jacob could think was, “I thought I hadn’t seen that van around here before.”

The first of the bodies bulldozed his way past. making room for the others to start pouring in to his house. Before he could register what was going on, two more bodies pinned Jacob up against the wall, allowing the remainder of the group to rush in. A female voice suddenly called out, “Jacob, is that you making all that noise? You better pack that in or so help me!”

After receiving no reply to her question, Jacob’s mother, Angie Beech, stood up. As she did, two shadowy figures burst into the living room and were quickly upon her. Her scream was shortened by a quick slap to her face, which put her down onto her bottom while the second figure stomped out the cigarette which had from her hand. Before she could react further, she was grabbed under her armpits and hoisted back up to her feet. Angie’s struggles quickly proved useless and she watched the remaining invaders swarm into the living room, three of which forcibly brought Jacob in with them.

Mother and son were now forced to watch as one of the invaders produced a steel bar and brought it crashing down on the digital television. After three successful swings, the expensive television shattered into what a million pieces. He turned and inwardly struggled to contain his glee when he was the terrified faces of the two hostages. While this was going on, another intruder snatched up Angie’s mobile phone from off the coffee table while Jacob was quickly searched and his mobile was discovered and taken. The two mobile phones looked as if they had all the latest technology on them and were hurled mercilessly onto the floor. When one didn’t break and the other only breaking in half, several of the invaders joined in the game of mobile phone stomping until both phones were in similar condition to the television set.

The one holding the steel bar looked around for more things to smash up. Seeing two shelves on a nearby wall holding an array of small ornaments and family photos, the armed figure went over and with one mighty downward stroke, split both shelves in two, sending everything on them crashing to the floor. What didn’t shatter upon initial impact, did so after a few stomps from heavy boots. Angie and Jacob could only gasp in horror.

As quickly as they had entered, the hooded home invaders began exiting the house. As the thugs made their departure, one paused and produced a piece of A4 sized paper. He handed it to Angie. While she read the message in large black print, “Now you know what it’s like to have your home broken into,” the remaining invaders made their escape.

Jacob managed to come down from the effects of the weed enough to rush out the door in an attempt to see any of the home invaders or that mysterious van. Unfortunately, the van was already gone and all he could make out was the last couple of invaders disappearing at the end of his close.

The van, now moving very slowly on a road adjacent to the close where it had launched the raid, paused until the last of its passengers had slipped inside. It drove out of the estate and went a further half mile down the road. When the driver and passengers were fully confident they were away from any witnesses or CCTV cameras, the van pulled over. One hooded figure swiftly jumped out and removed the pieces of cardboard which hid the van’s registration number before just as swiftly getting back in. It was only when the van was back on the road did those inside breathe a collective sigh of relief and began removing their hoodies.

No one spoke as the van drove through the streets of Hull that night. They made two stops to let out some of their passengers, who quickly disappeared into the night. On the third stop, four men got out and walked to a nearby car park. They immediately found their car and got in before driving off into the night. It took fifteen minutes for the driver to navigate his way out of the unfamiliar streets of the city. When they were clear of the city, the silence was finally broken.

“You couldn’t have planned that any better,” Gurpreet congratulated a rather pleased looking Phil Baker.

“Aw, come on,” Phil said trying to sound humble. “It was a team effort.”

Looking over to his friend sitting in the passenger seat, Christian added, “True, but your plan worked perfectly and I really enjoyed smashing up those smug white trash people’s television.”

Not wanting to ruin a great night and a job well done, Phil inwardly agreed to accept his friends’ compliments. Besides, the raid was a bigger success than even he would let himself imagine. Therefore, he and his friends basked in the feeling of victory which engulfed the car all the way back to London. Phil was especially exuberant and he believed he had masterminded the perfect revenge plan.

More Stories: No Proof Needed

Posted in Books, Uncategorized with tags on November 13, 2020 by 80smetalman

I haven’t posted any writing in quite awhile and so now that I’ve completed a chapter in my next book, I thought I would share it. Nice of me, I know. The chapter is called “First Strikes,” and it’s broken down into smaller stories. If you remember, the characters in my previous chapters were let down by the law, this is the revenge chapter. So without further ado:

First Strikes

Part 1: No Proof Needed

At this time in the afternoon, the bus usually stopped a little longer to let in the influx of children from nearby Manor Park School, who were going home for the day. Like every other day, the most popular venue was the top level of the red double decker bus. It was here where two large groups splintered off and sat in their groups at opposite ends of the bus, while a few stragglers found empty seats where they could. If any of them noted the fifteen or so hooded figures sitting around the bus in different places, none of them said anything.

Two uneventful stops gave the impression that it was going to be another mundane bus ride home. However, around thirty seconds after the bus was on its way again, a boy from the large group of teens near the front of the bus sauntered up to the very front and had a quick scan to see if anyone was watching. Thinking no one was paying attention to him, he stuck a piece of paper over what was the bus’s camera. Once that was done, the forward group got up and suddenly surrounded a vulnerable looking boy with large black glasses and a hamster like face, sitting on his own. Without warning, the entire group rained slaps upon the boy’s head in between taunts of “Take that, weirdo!” When the victim attempted to slide down in his seat for protection, he was pulled up by his coat and the group continued their assault.

Meanwhile, the rearward group of teens surrounded a young girl who didn’t look as vulnerable. She had straight, auburn hair which slid down to the middle of her back and seemed to highlight her pale blue eyes. They in turn seemed to augment her slender body which gave the impression that she could be a model.

“Hey you bitch, you think you’re so much better than me!” shouted a short, stocky girl with short black hair that would have curled if allowed to grow. Before, the seated young lady had any chance to respond, the aggressor swung her arm and landed a back hand across her target’s face. Again, before the girl had any chance to respond, two boys from the group grabbed her arms. Now helpless, the aggressive female continued her slaps, joined by a second girl who aimed her slaps at the top of her target’s head. With their victim powerless, the two girls continued their onslaught to the laughter of the boys holding her arms.

Both groups continued their beat downs until a boy from the forward group spied a hooded figure removing the piece of paper used to cover the camera lens. “He’s taken the sticker off!” the boy shouted raising the alarm.

The forward gang immediately stopped their assault. “You better put that back or we’ll give you a hiding,” warned the tallest and toughest looking boy in the group. While he was talking, two of his friends suddenly fell forward into him. As he turned around, the two friends were grabbed back and four hooded figures were punching and kicking them. Before the tall boy could help his friends, he was sent flying forward by a well placed kick to the middle of his back. As he tried to recover, he was pulled up by his collar and received a fistful of brass knuckles across his cheekbone. Bewildered by what was going on, the two remaining members of the group, one a girl, both received brass knuckle sandwiches before they could react.

Someone from the aft group spotted what was going on at the front of the bus and shouted out, “Oh my God!” Whereupon the rest of the group, including the two girls, stopped their assault on the young girl to see what was happening. Suddenly, seven more hooded figures surrounded them and brass knuckled fists found their marks on the assailants. The speaking girl was punched several times while the boy holding the victim’s arms, closest to the window was grabbed by two pairs of strong hands and his head smashed against the bus window. Seven hooded figures now rained punches and kicks and in the case of the non-speaking girl, she was grabbed by the hair and her face smashed into the seat. The attack continuing for several minutes before the hooded gang made sure no one was able to get up.

“You need to get off the bus,” was whispered to both of the original intended victims.

“But this isn’t my stop,” the boy victim whined to his saviours.

The female victim also indicated she had five more stops to go but the hooded group was having none of it. A reassuring voice whispered to her, “Don’t worry, we have that sorted.”

At the next stop, the vigilantes took the two youngsters they had rescued and escorted them off the bus. None of the beaten teens dared to do anything to hinder the departure. However, as the last hooded figure made their way to the steps to go down, one brave boy from the beaten hoodlums shouted, “I’m calling the police on you!”

Before the last hooded figure turned to deplane the bus, they responded with a voice which was obviously disguised through a voice distorter, “Go ahead. Now, you’ll think again before you attack any innocent victims on the bus.”

After the bus had departed for its next stop, the hooded group did everything possible to reassure the bewildered teens they had just rescued that all would be well. “They won’t ever bother you again, if they try, we’ll be back,” one of the group promised. Meanwhile, a taxi suddenly appeared from nowhere and stopped and one rescuer indicated, “Here’s the taxi, I called.” Both children were ushered into it and one of the hooded figures handed the driver a twenty pound note with the instruction that he take both children home.

The hooded group watched the taxi drive off and then, without any congratulatory ceremony, splintered off in different directions. In less than a minute, it seemed as if the vigilantes had never been there.

Marcel Richards, known as Denzil Washington to the group because he liked “The Equalizer” movies, had walked half a mile before he was confident that he was on his own. Trying to be as discreet as possible, he scanned the surrounding area looking for surveillance cameras. Seeing none, he continued up the main road before turning into a narrow side road some one hundred feet further. Walking a little ways down that road and positive no one was looking, he removed the hoodie which had concealed his true identity. Tucking it under his arm, he reversed direction and headed back to the main road, all the while, feeling a great sense of justice and satisfaction. He had helped in dispensing justice that had been previously denied. While he walked to the remaining distance which would take him back to the train station to go back to Birmingham, Marcel could only hope that the same type of justice would be meted out in his case.

Book Review: Bruce Dickinson An Autobiography

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2018 by 80smetalman

Welcome to my second ever book review. The first one was three years ago so I figured it was time I do another. Okay, it’s because I write more than I read but this particular book definitely needs a comment or three on. My total reaction to “Bruce Dickinson, An Autobiography” was, “I wish I could write like that.” Bruce has a distinct writing style that definitely entertains as well as it informs. When recounting his life, he doesn’t do the normal David Copperfield crap with dates and list of his life’s events. Instead he gives those accounts through his own eyes in a very amusing way which at times while reading it made me wonder if I should pack up writing.

Iron Maiden

Naturally, I read the book to hear about his life with the great Iron Maiden and yes, there are some wild accounts there. However, his life before and outside of Maiden was just as intense. Reading about his childhood, his father was a bit of a Delboy Trotter, (a character from the famous British sit-com “Only Fools and Horses), in the sense that he was always acquiring and running different businesses, often at the same time. At one point, he owned a hotel but sold used cars from the front of it. I point this out because I think Bruce’s childhood experiences contributed to his eccentricity.

Bruce Dickinson

How he became a pilot was also a very good and interesting read. He started on a twin engine plane and by the end, he was piloting huge passenger jets. Then there is how he started his brand of beer, “The Trooper.” However, the part that I found most interesting was during his solo career. His account of his concert in war torn Sarajevo and all what he and his band had to go through, the check points, the fear of getting fired on, to be able to perform was absolutely mind blowing. Talk about guts but then it was those guts that helped him beat cancer very recently. How he describes what he went through while battling this disease is harrowing and it’s only right that he gets full marks for overcoming it.

Bruce Dickinson’s autobiography is a cracking read from start to finish. He keeps the reader entertained while at the same time giving them insight into his wild and wonderful life. Plus there are a few surprises along the way as long as events that I didn’t know about but not surprised about. I bow to the superior writer here.

Reading the autobiography has further convinced me that Bruce Dickinson deserves a knighthood. Therefore, I call on all British readers to clink the link and sign the petition.

On a different note, though I have retired from festivals, I will still go for single days. This year, it looks as if I must go to Bloodstock on the Sunday because Queensryche are headlining and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider is also on the bill for that day.

Next post: Starship- Knee Deep in the Hoopla

I don’t feel worth to post a link to Rock and Roll Children for this post.

Dodgy Tackle: The Conclusion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 25, 2018 by 80smetalman

A few months later, Andy had settled back into anonymity, glad that his fifteen minutes of fame were well and truly over. He gave little thought to the fact one evening when he met a friend at a pub less than half a mile from White Hart Lane. He and his friend spent several hours in relaxed conversation, downing four pints each over the time. Therefore, he never clocked the five lads sitting in the corner looking over and pointing at him. It was also the reason why he didn’t notice those same men follow him out when he left the pub.

Having gone a few hundred metres and in sight of the tube station, five men caught up to and surrounded him. Seeing he was severely outnumbered, Andy quickly pleaded, “Look, I don’t want any trouble.”

The shortest of the five, who was a good seven inches shorter than Andy, retorted, “Oh you got trouble, mate! We know you’re the guy who fouled Felipe Fonsecca.”

We told you we’d get you,” another one affirmed. “We’re the White Hart Lane Firm.”

Thinking quickly, Andy offered up, “Look, I apologised to Fonsecca and besides, I’ve retired from football.”

That’s not good enough,” the short one snapped. “You thought you’d be a hero to all the birds because they didn’t want him playing after he shagged some slapper who then cried rape.”

Andy realised that whatever he said would not make any difference to this mob. So, he did the only thing possible; he attacked. Picking out the largest of the five, he landed a right cross on the target’s jaw, knocking him back and temporarily stunning him. Unfortunately that would be his only offensive move because unbeknown to him, one of the other four had secretly readied a lead pipe which he viciously clubbed Andy on the back with sending him forward and giving the others time to surround him and unleash a barrage of punched and kicks. After a few minutes and their victim sufficiently weakened, four of the mob grabbed Andy and held him still so the man with the pipe could smash his kneecap. When that was accomplished, the mob left their prey in a heap on the ground, barely conscious.

He was in hospital for three days before the local police came to interview him about the attack. Andy did his best to tell what happened and confessed that the attack was because of his foul on Fonsecca. One officer seemed sympathetic but his partner commented, “I thought you should have been charged for that tackle.” Andy also mentioned the threats he got from the White Hart Lane Firm. The two officers took everything down and informed him that they would be in touch.

Durning his five week stay in hospital, the police only returned twice. The first time, they brought their file of known members of the White Hart Lane Firm, which Andy identified the short guy. The second time was to inform him that the short guy had an alibi. He also learned that the police blocked the redramatisation of his attack on “Crimewatch” on the grounds that Andy’s notoriety may do more harm than good. That meant that when Andy finally did leave the hospital, there seemed little chance of his attackers ever being brought to justice. He now realised that while he never should have fouled Fonsecca the way he did but he didn’t deserve any of this.

Dodgy Tackle: Part 4

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 15, 2018 by 80smetalman

Nobody said a word when Andy stated that he wouldn’t be joining the team in a comisseration piss up. Instead, he went home and spent a quiet evening at home. It was only out of routine that he turned on “Match of the Day” at 10:45 that night. Besides, he wanted to see how his beloved Liverpool fared in their third round cup match. He was completely unprepared for what was to come on the programme.

After Gary Lineker’s normal introduction of “Some cracking goals and exciting games,” he opened with the match he played in that day. “Tiny Epping Forest Utd were hoping for a giant kill against premiership side Tottenham,” Lineker began. “Let’s pick up the action from White Hart Lane.”

The millions watching the late night football programme got to see Fonsecca’s opening charge down the pitch aided by Lineker’s own commentary: “Fonsecca goes tearing down the pitch past the defense and looks like he’s going to put Spurs up in the very first minute but somehow, the Epping Forest keeper makes a miraculous save.”

It was a tremendous save, fair dues to that goalie,” the Scotsman on the commentary team affirmed.

Footage then skipped to later on in the first half with Lineker explaining, “It’s a very good ball in here and if it wasn’t for Spurs’ defender Ian Jones, getting his head on the ball to redirect it, it could have been disasterous for Spurs.”

Guest analyst Michael Owen described the next bit of footage. “Epping Forest get another great ball in, the striker hits it well and we see that Tottenham keeper Ernst Koernig is clearly beaten on the shot and it’s just unlucky that the shot just goes inches wide of the post.”

After a few replays of the closest Epping Forest Utd would come to scoring, Gary Lineker took back over the commentating. “Here’s Fonsecca, he dummies past one player and then we see another Epping Forest player slide in with this dangerous tackle on him.”

Sitting at home, Andy finally got to see his foul in its full glory. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw Fonsecca tumble head over bum and land on the ground writhing in obvious agony. Those few seconds of good feeling were interrupted by the Scotsman who interjected, “This was a gross deliberate foul on Fonsecca. I think this Epping Forest player was deliberately trying to injure Fonsecca here.” The foul was replayed at least eight times and for the first four times, the Scot pointed out, “You can see his leg is at least one foot off the ground and the bottom of his boot connects squarely with Fonsecca’s leg, just above the knee. There’s no doubt in my mind that this was a deliberate foul.”

Watching the remainder of the replays, the rest of the commentary team agreed with him. Michael Owen added after, “I think that with all the controversy surrounding Felipe Fonsecca’s return to football after serving time for rape, the fouler probably thinks he’s going to be some sort of hero.”

The elder statesman on the team, a noted football commentator, stated plainly, “No matter what Fonsecca has done off the pitch, there is no excuse for behaviour like this on it. The football pitch is not the place for vigilante justice.”

Trying to move things along, Gary Lineker commented, “We see the referee here showing the player in question, mid-fielder Andy Treharne, the red card and that sending off set the tone for the rest of the match.”

Andy didn’t know what to think when his picture was displayed to everyone in the country who was watching. He was having his fifteen minutes but wasn’t sure it was in a good way, not as far as the “Match of the Day” commentators were concerned. Andy switched off the television with out waiting for the Liverpool result.

Some unknown force compelled Andy to check his social media when he was wide awake the following Sunday morning. Upon opening his Facebook page, he shocked to see so many people had posted messages on his wall. Many were from ladies congratulating him for doing in the rapist. There were also a good number of men in agreement telling him he had done a great service to football. Of course, there were a few negative comments from angry Spurs supporters. Many called him a dirty player and some of those said he should be banned from football forever. Those didn’t bother him to much until he saw one that really disturbed him. It was from a group calling themselves the ‘White Hart Lane Firm.’ Their post read, “You might have gotten Fonsecca but we will get you. You’re a dead man!”

Thoughts about death threats against him didn’t last long. A knock at the door saw to that. He opened the door to a sight that made his jaw practically hit the ground. His girlfriend, who he hadn’t spoken to in two weeks following a row, was there with her long blonde hair hanging down. Her long brown coat was open to reveal a short, tight, blue dress. All he could do was stare.

Aren’t you going to invite me in?” she asked.

Andy dithered for a further moment before opening the door wider and granting his visitor entry. She wasted no time in revealing her motivation for being there holding up a copy of a Sunday tabloid showing him the back page. The big headline read, “Unknown Vigilante Gets Fonsecca!” Underneath was the picture of his now infamous tackle. “My friend says you’re a hero among women and my father thinks you deserve a knighthood,” she declared.

Oh thanks,” was all he could say. He didn’t need to say anymore. His girlfriend melted into his arms with the promise of reconciliation. It at least took his mind off the previous day’s match for the rest of the Sunday.

Dodgy Tackle: Part 3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 6, 2018 by 80smetalman

Only three of the starting eleven from Epping Forest Utd had ever been inside the ground at White Hart Lane and then only as spectators. They were in danger of being overwhelmed by the huge football ground and the sea of home supporters in blue and white who came to cheer on the home side. Manager Drury pointed to the pitch and reminded his team that it was the same as the one at Epping Forest and identified the small ripple of fans in red and yellow who had come out to see them make history. The manager’s words gave them the reassurance they needed.

In the opening minute of the match, things looked like they were going to go down the predicted route when Fonsecca received a well aimed pass and streaked down the pitch past a spellbound defender. As he closed in on the goal, he kicked the ball with a thunderous strike that all of the 30,000 Tottenham fans were certain was going to end up in the back of the net. Somehow, by some miracle, the Epping Forest goalkeeper took a giant leap and managed to get his fingers on the ball just enough to knock it off its intended path. Any ideas of Spurs scoring on the ensuing corner were quickly dashed as Andy easily headed the kick out of harm’s way.

Tottenham fans were dead certain it would only be a matter of minutes until their team scored. When Andy easily headed the ensuing corner out of harm’s way, their thoughts remained the same. However, Andy and his Epping Forest Utd teammates had other ideas. Andy’s bulky six foot one frame combined with his suprising quickness helped him establish his dominance in mid-field. He seemed to be everywhere, frustrating the Spurs mid-fielders with every kick of the ball. They couldn’t get anything past him and on the one occasion they did, even the least knowledgable football pundit could see that Fonsecca was miles offside.

Twenty-five minutes in, his dominance began shifting the flow of the match Forest’s way. He sent three really good balls into the Tottenham box and only premiership defending prevented catastrophe for Spurs. Then in the thirty-first minute, he sent a perfect fourth ball in that landed right on the foot of the Epping Forest striker. Teammate Jason Blakeborough struck true and his shot whistled past the Tottenham keeper just inches wide of the right post. The miss brought sighs of relief from the 30,000 Tottenham fans and encouraging shouts of “unlucky” from the small band of Epping Forest supporters.

The ensuing goal kick was headed by a Tottenham mid-fielder straight to Fonsecca. In the second the Spanish star took to control the ball, Andy was there to take it off him and pass it to a teammate before he had any time to react. After he made the pass, Andy noticed Fonsecca looking at him with disdain. The Spaniard muttered something to him in his native tongue and though Andy didn’t understand Spanish, the tone in which it was said sounded derogatory.

Ten minutes later, Forest were looking the better side. Instead of going forward, Fonsecca had to drop back as most of the play now was in the Tottenham half of the pitch. He controlled a pass and dribbled past one Forest player. Andy reacted, determined that this rapist wasn’t going to get past him. He slid for the ball and as he slid, something in his mind compelled to raise his extended leg off the ground. He didn’t drop his leg as he homed in on his opponent and with his raised leg, struck Fonsecca just above the knee with the bottom of his boot. Momentum going in opposite directions forced Fonsecca to do a beautiful somersault over the sliding Andy. He landed with a thud and immediately grabbed his injured thigh while flopping around like a dying fish and screaming in agony. Andy simply stood up doing his best to conceal his smug grin.

Spurs medical staffed immediately rushed out onto the pitch to treat their fallen star. They had reached him before the referee had gone to the fouler and after a brief fumble, produced the red card holding it high for all the crowd to see. Andy’s match was over. As he turned to leave the pitch, he couldn’t help not to notice the perplexed and disappointed looks he was getting from his teammates. His team captain looked especially hurt and mouthed “Why?”

Andy smirked, “It was worth it.”

Before leaving the pitch, he took one last good look at Fonsecca who lay on the pitch with the medical team attending to him, still squealing in pain. In his mind, it was those squeals which drowned out the chorus off boos the Spurs fans were giving him as he exited the pitch.

Felipe Fonsecca had to be stretchered off the pitch but unlike Andy, it was to a roaring ovation. The match was never the same when it resumed after Andy’s dismissal. Spurs immediately began exploited the empty space left by Andy and now having one more player on the pitch, began taking the play to Forest. The Portugese sub for Fonsecca ran rings around the Forest defense and two minutes before half time, his shot found the back of the net.

Epping Forest Utd might as well not have come out for the second half because Tottenham totally dominated it. He might not have been Fonsecca, but the Portugese star was a constant thorn in the Forest side, who had no answer in stopping him. He scored two more goals and very late in the game, another Spurs player added a fourth for a 4-0 rout and securing a place in the FA Cup fourth round.

It was probably best for Andy that the rest of the team ignored him on the bus ride home. He was left to his thoughts but the more he thought about his foul and sending off, the more convinced he was that he was right. The FA should have never let that rapist back into the beautiful game, therefore, he did football a favour by putting him out for the rest of the match and quite possibly, the season. On the other hand, he was extremely remorseful that he had let his team down.