Did the World need a new musical Version of The War of the Worlds By Jeff Wayne?

When I was ten years old, I received a few self recorded tapes from Nana with a musical version of The War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne. She had recorded it from her Vinyl’s for me. She knew I loved to snuggle into my bulk-bed at night and dream of space, the stars and the universe. Travelling through worlds of thoughts and music, colours and emotions in my mind. Different times and spaces, all at once. Where the answer becomes a question and then an answer again…

I listened to it on this old cassette player with one little earplug, and after hearing Richard Burton’s voice I was captivated, gobsmacked, shocked. It was as if someone had put a melody to my dreams and nightmares. How could he know? It crawled under my skin and it was there to stay forever. Unchanged an idolised.

Forever Autumn/Thunder Child (to me one song with a pause) became my Anthem after Danny’s death and to this day musically symbolises who I am. How I think and feel. The soundtrack to my life.  These two songs have so many layers, different tunes, rhythms and sounds, melodies, story lines, narrative sequences all happening at the same time, in the same place. At first they seem to interfere with each other disturbing the harmony, stepping on each others toes, (to many notes, Mozart) but when You listen to it with an open mind, and let yourself be swept away by that rising stomping driving background rhythm uniting them, it starts making sense, they become ONE beautifully versatile and challenging entity. That’s me! Including my ADHD/OCD, in music. You need not know more to understand me, methinks… Nothing less. Nothing more.

I then successively bought the vinyl albums, the CDs, the iTunes download and even a German version with Curt Jürgens on vinyl. Always searching for the better sound. But the scratches and back noises of those, now lost, tapes where never to be outdone. 

It all seemed so typically 1970s, how could You possibly transfer those rhythms, harmonies, voices to the 21.Century without sounding terribly outdated? Like a seventy year old woman squeezing herself into her teenage years pants, will not be looking sexy, but desperately sad.

Then I heard they were indeed going to be doing it again… the War of the Worlds, the next Generation (!) Really? NCC WOTW-A? Will Weaton as Nathaniel? The boldly go where no bacteria has gone before? Hm… Not really! And stepping in Richard Burton’s shoes, Liam Neeson? WOW braver than I thought! But surely even to big for that fabulous artist. So I thought…

It is only after seeing what Gary Barlow did out of the Queen’s Jubilee 2012 (Ace!) I knew I had to give this another shot and give the guy a fair chance. So, I bought the download on iTunes. And have listened to it 3 times since.

And You know what? It works! It really works!

Liam Neeson is respectful to the part but makes it his own! His voice is genuine, warm, clear and not as overly dramatic as Burton’s was. Barlow as his singing voice is excellent, never trying to push himself to the fore. Maverick Sabre is splendid! 1+!

The overall feel is still as deep as the 70 version. But with a 21.Century touch. The slightly dusty arrangements sound fresh and hip. The synthesiser sequences are more ELO than Bontempi Organ and that makes it so smooth to listen to…

But my biggest surprise was Joss Stone. She is a revelation in this one! Guys, honestly the “Spirit of man” has not ever been intoned with that utmost perfection and gut-wrenching feeling before.

To all those who know the old Version, I can honestly recommend it as a respectful and entertaining update. Of course it will never “dock” to the same receptors as the old one, You’ve heard 30 years ago, but we all know nothing ever will anyway. Right?! So, give it a burl.

To those new to it? GO GRAB IT!!!!!!!

So, my conclusion is: Yes, the world needed new version of war of the worlds! Thanks guys.



Top 10 List of BIG Thanks

Spot on!

Prego and the Loon

(I couldn’t resist posting this e-card, LOL!)

A BIG thanks to…

1) ME, yes ME… because I had the strength and courage to leave an abusive situation for myself and my son.
2) My family and friends… without their love and support I couldn’t have gotten through these past few years.
3) Support groups, and more specifically I’d like to thank Al-Anon and my domestic violence women’s group. They accepted me at my deepest, darkest, and depressing moments. These groups provided love and support. They provided an ear to listen, and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
4) Shelters and homeless programs… I would specifically like to thank one that provided me shelter, and helped me get back on my feet. Unfortunately I don’t want to plaster their name in big lights with fearful thoughts that my abuser might come across this website, put the pieces together, and eventually lead back…

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A dying kids last wish: to get postcards from his heroes; Cops, EMS, Firefighters! Can you help?

There is a 6 year old boy from Rustburg, Virginia  in the US, that is dying of terminal cancer and he might not live to see Christmas. His special request is to receive Christmas cards from police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel from around the world.

I would appreciate if you could take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and grant Nathan’s wish by sending him a card. Let’s show our love and support!

Some of you also asked about sending him shirts and other items. So a fan did some leg work, and came back with this information for us.

Heard back on sizes for shirts for Nathan = Size 8 / Small

Brothers and Sisters Sarah & Matthew 10/12 = Med

Tabby 5/6 = XS

Cards can be mailed to:

Nathan Norman
81 Dunivan Drive
Rustburg, Virginia 24588
Original Post by Medneck Central on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Medneck
Thank You guys!!!

About the 666 Park Avenue sacking and why even bother?

Ok, after yesterday’s bad news for all 666 Park Avenue fans. I ask you why do they even bother making new shows? And why do we bother falling in love with them?

It takes such a huge amount of time, effort and passion to come up with something new, getting it all together and making it happen. The right guys working together, getting to know each other, develop the storyline, the chemistry, all the writers, composers, producers, camera people, lighting, sets, actors, decors, logistics and so many others building a team. And just one lousy figure interpreter without foresight to take it all down!

My point? Look at Star Trek TNG. The first season was new. Duh! Bear with me please…

We all had to get used to not having Captain Kirk “JoeCockering” himself through cardboard decors. But hey, the baldly go where no man has gone before right? Then we did get used to it and it got a second season. But alas, the season 2 curse struck. They changed the winning team. (DONT EVER DO THAT!)

Pulasky? As useful as a screen-door on a submarine! But ok, the rest became more and more interesting, not least because they treated the classic show with respect. No Retcon!

And then came season 3. Unexpected to some, because the ratings hadn’t been that sky-high. But someone with a vision (!) and not just dollar signs in his eyes saw the potential and kept it going even after season 2. And it paid out! The longer it went on, the better it got. You could actually feel the actors having fun, enjoying themselves, the characters evolved, the writing got more and more complex, they started experimenting breaking new grounds, discovering the undiscovered land. Over 7 seasons it became what it is today; a classic hit! And we Trekkies still spend thousands of Dollars each year on that franchise and its conventions. Why? Because it respected us! And we respected it back! Got it Networks? Treat the fans with respect and you will be respected and loved back. And love in this business translates ino: viewers aka ratings aka cash aka show stays on the air! Ergo: piss of the fans and you’re killing your show. But that’s another story.

Now why does a remarkable show like 666 Park Avenue get sacked today? Because no one taking decisions in Hollywood or NBC, ABC, FOX, and any other three-letter word, has any vision any more. It’s all about prequels (WE DO NOT WANT AND LIKE PREQUELS. GOT IT??!!), warming up old soups, “retconning” and making cash today or never out of bronzed morons with the IQ of a Pavlova (Nigella fans know what that is).

And because WE the public are sick of constantly being bombarded with new stuff, that wont even last an entire decent 25 episodes long season. Why bother looking into it and getting into the mood, with the hassle of the commercial breaks that last longer than the episode itself? So many of us are recording (!) shows to watch them later. Hassle free. Yes networks, people record and watch later too, and thanks to all of you constantly airing all the really good shows at the same time, we now can watch them when we want and where we want. Because we have evolved! Have you evolved along with us, dear networks and studios? NOPE! Or we buy the show via iTunes, cheaper and better quality than many antennas. And all that does not show up in your weekly over hyped but antiquated ratings! Looking beyond those “figures” has obviously become impossible, to the office sitters and their surroundings. Patience? Alien concept!

Network and studio execs show such a flagrant lack of common sense and disrespect, usually only associated with my favourite mythical creature: the honest politician, towards all the “creatives” and the fans that I am no longer willing to fall in love with a show, until a season two is definitively on its way! I know it’s not 42 either. (42 being the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything else of course)

Sad proof? Human Target almost got axed after Season 1. But we fought like devils for this show and got a second season, unfortunately someone decided to change it all. For the worse. And so even the most fervent fans were alienated to the point of giving up on it for good. That is what I call the season 2 curse. Change something by all means without giving it time to settle. This hits almost all shows IMHO.

There is one exception: Even tho my favourite at the moment Hawaii Five-0 was also struck by that season 2 curse. But at least it had a season 2.

I watched the pilot S01E01 because of the actors, yes all four of them! But then I stopped watching, because I knew this would be too painful once it got sacked, it was just too good to be true. My favourite childhood series rebooted. It had to be bad. With some of my current favourite actors, filmed on location in the only other place on earth I could actually imagine moving to in real life, besides my beloved Switzerland. I was almost certain it would turn out like CSI NY. That is as a Universal Back-lot tour with occasional helicopter shots of Manhattan filmed in different film-material than the rest of the show. Trying to revive the flow and groove that shows like Magnum P.I. a MacGuyver, Stingray and the Professionals gave me? It just HAD to get sacked I thought. They don’t do quality stuff like that any more. Well, apparently Peter Lenkov does! And I was wrong! I will never underestimate that man again! I still waited until this summer to catch up. I mean Season 3 with a real chance for a season 4? Really?! BTW, it does keep getting better and better, S03E05 having been epic. This show is here to stay! (here being my heart) And so I let myself go. I allowed myself to fall in love with this show! I love it with a passion. (Yo CBS, don’t ruin it for me, you hear me?)

So of course I started following what Terry O’Quinn was up to, after all he had never disappointed me in any of his work. I had to watch 666, right? Little did I know… 666 axed.

I mean common, just look at the splendid overall ensemble, the ideas, the execution, the wit! All down the drain… So I’m really asking you why do we even bother???

Living with ADHD and OCD. Or my restless brain syndrome, with an inbuilt brakechute

I was sent to the school shrink at the age of nine. Official reason: She’s just too much! (too helpful, too cheerful, too inattentive, too much antsy feety…)

After an afternoon of tests, the shrink summoned my mother and the teacher and told them: she is the smartest, happiest and sweetest girl I have seen in a long time and if you don’t take that as a gift from God, you’re the ones who need psychiatric help.

And to me she said: be whatever you want, dream of whatever you want, but know this, some people will always find you different, because they are jealous of you. Being able to see everything at once, thinking different thoughts at once, is your chance to become someone really special, but it might leave others envying you. You are very, very smart, you just think in a different time zone. There’s nothing bad about that. Accept that and take it as an opportunity. Because that is who you are and no medication will ever change that.

WOW, sucker punch! Not really what a nine-year old needs right?! All I wanted back then was to fit in. It’s only after a couple of days of thinking in my „spaceship“ (my cabin-bed, the safe heaven), that my Grandpapa took me aside and explained why he had always be so headstrong. And that we where two of a kind.

I realised that this was why my mom looked a me that way. “It” had skipped one generation, and she could not understand us. She also could never forgive us for taking away her fathers love from her and giving it to me. I was then raised by my Grandparents. And what a wonderful childhood that became. The extensive travelling, endless hiking tours, the reading, discussions going on for days, the love, acceptance and human warmth, made me whole and accepting the fact that, we might be getting the cards to play, but we choose the game and how we play it, made me take charge of my destiny.

Growing up in my family and its polyglotism did certainly not help me fit in and rest my mind a bit.

Grandpapa was French, and he only spoke and responded in French to me. His wife, my Grandmother Mimi, had German family and she only spoke and responded in German to me. My other grandmother was British/Canadian and her hubby, my paternal Nonno was Italian. (WWII and its strange ways) After his death Nana emigrated to the lucky country (OZ, to all nonaussies) with my two uncles, leaving my dad to move to Switzerland…. see me coming? Switzerland being the only country truly living its four nationalities heritage is why I never claimed any of my other possible nationalities and Passports. I learned “Swiss” at the age of 7. And some other languages quite easily afterwards. This might have been cool in the “broaden you mind” way. But not for someone with a restless mind anyway. Made me even stranger. Because no one would, now literally, understand me. OK, a 10-year-old correcting its french teacher on the Latin etymology of a word, is rather creepy I reckon.

As for us, we have never been on a family reunion, where we actually finished a sentence in the same language we started it in. Nor an idea. Leaves our guests and other outsiders alienated and/or gobsmacked.

Strangely ADHD with a squirt of OCD runs in all our family tree’s branches, and has been diagnosed in all of them except in the Italian one. Maybe because Italians always talk with their hands and tend to be a bit too loud overbearing fast and excessive in what they do. Its regarded normal there. My Aussie branch, besides the Swissies (yes that’s a word-mix of Swiss and Sissies) take it with most humour I think. Our motto is: “Pick me, and never get bored again. And You’ll always know how many spoons are left in the drawer”.

Not quite as serious as the Canadian part who wants a pill for every ill!

My OZ Friends and Family are the fastest think-lane-shifters. We start discussing the question whether NOT believing in God and still feeling spiritual is contradictory or not and end up categorising TV hunks by their amount of Tattoos in five-0 seconds. (Just trying to find out who might be reading this) Included in our chat is a short side trip over to the life changing question about Deep Purples best song ever. Needless to say, we often end up just spending “family-time” without spouses… before any of us get “the look”. And because we’ve “self medicated” by living high paced lives, using adrenaline like others Ritalin to help us focus, and “sporting” to excess, our joints and knees are all kind of week points. My Doctor diagnosed mine as the ones of a 70 years old farmer! Cheers mate.

But how can I explain to the rest of the world, (not that I expect the world to actually read ANY of this) what it feels like to be a fish talking to a bird, while I’m a cat? Get my drift?

I’m not the typical ADHD combined type (Inattention and Hyperactivity-Impulsiveness) mine was diagnosed as ADHD with occasional OCD. Or as I like to call it a “restless mind in a restless brain syndrome, with an inbuilt brakechute”

But is an occasional OCD an oxymoron or a contradiction in adiecto? On the other hand so is a perfectionistic impulsive… (if you get this, you’re one of us)

Anyway, its like I see something that really catches my attention. Like that great scene with Halle Berry in Catwoman, at the restaurant with the fish in the Aquarium, remember? It’s not just the usual constant surrounding sounds and images bombarding me. Its something worth concentrating on, obsessing about for a while. So my brain goes “Oh, look at that over there (insert any interchangeable item) that’s interesting, you want to do that. Now. Right now. Go for it. You know it. You need it. NOW!!!” And I’m “laser-pointing” all my energy in to this one exclusive thingy. That’s when I drift into this YABA (yes, another bloody acronym) mode. I feel the physical NEED to move. To act. Or to react. The world around seems to slow down. I’m in hyper drive, one thought become crystal clear. Everything else goes blur.

But then the brakechute opens “OYE! OYE! Hold the horses, what are you doing? Do you know what you’re about to do? What if you do it wrong, you’re probably not good enough to master this, you’re gonna screw it up. You’re gonna hurt someone… you better count to three first and breathe deep… one… two… oh, that’s better… much better… three.” And its like a reversed explosion of my energy. Like in those movies where you rewind the blast of the bomb. I “channel” myself back inside. “that felt so good, let’s do it again breathe and count to three. One… oh yes… calming… warming up… two… now a little sequenced finger game… and three… there it is, the cosy worn out coat, put it on… now you’re safe, it’s all ok. And they’re safe because you didn’t screw up” And I/my thoughts/brain/mind slow down, while the world fastens up again…

And occasionally I kind of snap out of it, realising I just said something to someone, or answered a question, without noticing. And I get that look again! The “I don’t get her, but she’s kind of funny” look. And luckily enough its usually the right answer too…

But it feels like one side of me is outside me, the other one inside.

Yet ironically enough, its exactly what helped me become a decent fire-fighter. Because I do not “laser-point” my attention to the hose. When I’m in there with the “boys” I sense what happens around me. Change of wind, water pressure, my boys focus, getting tired, a manometer or “firefly” going off etc. Then I go through procedures (yes I LOVE procedures) in my mind, analysing possible outcomes and react. Hitting some of them by surprise, even now after 24 years.

I just have to continue learning new things. Keep my mind busy and interested. Like making my major as Safety Engineer and HAZMAT specialist, besides the combat medic, which came in very handy, when they started firing people. I did 4 jobs at once.

Ok, I did end up getting sacked after my cancer treatment. But now I’m back as Care-team member and official expert on inquiries. So Carpe Diem and to my sackers I quote Götz von Berlichingen by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe!

What I’m trying to say is: It doesn’t always need medication, sometimes a grandparent backing you, a recruiting Officer looking beyond your sex and other differences is all it takes… And yes military training helped a wee bit too. The tidy beds, rules and rituals there are pure and unadulterated OCD (And that’s my concentration going walkabout again…)

So parents, please: LOVE YOUR KIDS BECAUSE OF THEIR ADHD/OCD and whatever name we’ll find for humanity’s diversity, and not just “even though”… got it???

There are some great books from Thom Hartmann, for those of you who want to read about it from someone smart. Those books changed my perception on this matter, seeing it as the chance it was and not an infirmity. And remembering my shrink as the visionary she was.

But the real reason why I’m coming out tonight is an Australian actor named Alex O’Loughlin, whom I admire deeply not just for being fit as a Mallee bull and one true spunk, but who inspires me to come straight with it. Because hey, if he can do it and still be amazing without folks giving him “the look”, so can I!

Whether his confessions are public relation induced furphy or genuine, I don’t know. But anything’s possible in Hollywood. Even that the truth is being told once in a while. And, I don’t know why, but that guy seems fair dinkum to me…

Oh my constant checking if you really get me? That’s it as well… Wanting to be understood, but doubting I ever will.