Archive for Vigilante

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.

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Magnum- Vigilante

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2020 by 80smetalman

By November 1986, being in England for three months, my introduction to British bands I had not heard of in the USA was in danger of becoming over-saturated. This could be down to the fact I was in London and there were so many rock and metal clubs that I could have gone out any night of the week and discovered a new metal act. Finances prevented that from happening. However, one band which I was introduced to at the time was Magnum.

What I didn’t know was that Magnum had a pretty long history before I had heard of them. They went back as far as 1978 but my first experience of them was their 1986 album, “Vigilante.” It was the title track which really hooked me, I spent quite a few Autumn Fridays night at the metal club headbanging away to it. Ah, great song and great memories!

Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to its great title track. In fact, after a listen or two, I thought that maybe Magnum shouldn’t be called heavy metal and that was even before people started putting metal into categories. Personally, I would class them as straight forward rock or melodic hard rock, possibly in the vein of Night Ranger.

The first three tracks of “Vigilante” are ready for radio commercial rock tunes. In fact, to my surprise, it was the album’s opener, “Lonely Night” that was released as a single. I thought it should have been the title track but remembering how things were back then, it was probably a good call or it would have been if the song had managed to chart, it didn’t. “Sometime Love” or the fourth track, “Midnight (You Won’t Be Sleeping)” would have been better candidates. There is enough of a guitar riff on those tracks that might have enticed more metalheads to by the single. Plus, “Midnight” has a cool sax solo.

Things look up on the second half of the album as things go more hard rock at this point. “Red on the Highway” starts things off very well. This song cooks and leaves me to question why more songs weren’t like this one. This is the first track which actually got my head to bang along with it. A cool guitar solo from Tony Clarkin helps too. The next track, “Holy Rider” is even heavier with some cool riffs. Both of these could be classed as hidden gems.

Here’s my final misgiving about “Vigilante.” The ballad, “When the World Comes Down” should have been the closer. It’s a good ballad but what I like best is that it has that ‘hold your cigarette lighters in the air while singing along’ feel to it. That makes it a great closer. That means, placing the title track after the two rockers would have made that part of the album sound phenomenal and the actual closer track would still be good coming after “Vigilante” but as a penultimate track. That would have set up my choice for closer exceptionally well. That’s just my thought.

Track Listing:

  1. Lonely Night
  2. Need a Lot of Love
  3. Sometime Love
  4. Midnight (You Won’t Be Sleeping)
  5. Red on the Highway
  6. Holy Rider
  7. When the World Comes Down
  8. Vigilante
  9. Back Street Kid
Magnum

Bob Catley- vocals

Tony Clarkin- guitar

Wally Lowe- bass

Mark Stanway- keyboards

Mickey Barker- drums

In one case, it’s a little surprising Magnum didn’t have more success in the US. I think they would have appealed to those who were into more melodic rock like Night Ranger or Survivor. They appeal to me more as I’m mellowing a bit with age but in 1986, as someone looking for the loud power chords, it was just an okay album.

One final note: The cigarette lighters in the air at concerts is definitely an American custom.

Next post: Mama’s Boys- Power and Passion

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com