Howay the lads! This is my second post about Ronnie “Busker” Lambert, an old Geordie through and through. His life before Busker was vividly real, he's still recall with clarity about early life in the tail end of Victorian Gateshead from 1950-55 where he lived in a rat-infested hovel called 17, Wylam Street now occupied by Gateshead Metro Station.
Just down the road from his house was Gateshead's first superstore titled aptly enough, ‘Shepherds of Gateshead' where he first met window dresser Roy Loudlow who played drums in a great blues band called Boomtown Friction. He later went on to Ronnie's then favourite Geordie band, and cock of the north, ‘Holy Island'.
You can read more about his magnificent story and buy his records at www.geordiesongs.com. This is not an advertisement, I know Ronnie as a good mate and fellow Toon Army, so help him and own a piece of his great CD's of all time, packed with pure Geordie's songs and make yourself at ‘Home Newcastle'.
My first record which is enjoying cult-status, hopefully forever. I am so proud when it's played at home games. My old seat-mates (when I ‘had' a season ticket until Dalglish's second season) used to goad me to stand up and mime when it came on.
Hopefully, if this website and albums succeed, I'll be able to get another season ticket, boo-hoo, sniffle, sigh, aa want me Maaaam, Aaarrrgh – haaaa, ‘snot fair, aa want a season ticket.
I wrote this in Keegan's second playing season after watching us thrash Manchester City 5-0 on Beardsley's home debut, and I knew we'd go up that year, 1983-1984. I took the rough demo to Russell Cushing and marketing manager Graham Hogg, and they did cartwheels when they heard it on my mate's ghetto-blaster which I carried in a plasterers hod, then they got me to record it on the very first (and last, so far) NUFC label.
Sadly the blinkered board didn't promote it, choosing to plug the ‘Auf Wiedersein Kev' brochure to expend their marketing skills on, instead of both. A guy in North Shields compiled a video from my song and loads of film footage of every move Kev made in that last season before he retired from playing, and presented an offer to the board to put it inti 500 jukeboxes nationwide.
Guess what his reply was, an injunction to bin the lot, thanks Mr. McKeag and co. Can you remember that last day when they played my songs over and over again when the lads did 96 laps of honour? Everybody was singing Goin' Up and Home Newcastle on their way home, but couldn't buy a copy anywhere. Again sir, I thankyou.
Black and white
Again, I knew we were goin'up to the premiership with the ‘entertainers' so this was easy to write. The anoraks will recognize the borrowed bits from Goin' Up, wey it was my song. Oh what a time that was, with that massive flag, I would have swapped a Beatles ticket for a Toon match then.
I got a phone call at 10-am from a record company in Wallsend, griping about Graham Gould from 10cc who'd written a song called ‘Shearer, Shearer', and could I do one as Gould was a Brummie and was aiming the song at Blackburn or England fans. So I initially refused, but then thought about how dross the song was anyway, and Toon songs was my territory, so by 12am I rang the studio up, raced over and recorded it before closing time that night.
12 points clear at Christmas? Of course we would be champions, wouldn't we? So a couple of local businessmen freinds (Alan Burns who sadly died, and David Walters from National Trust) put up a couple of grand for me to record this. They made their money back, but I made nowt. Grrrrr, Keegan, your boys bottled it to Fergie. I loved recording it at Uncle Sam's studio in the Toon, when the Lighthouse Family were beavering away at their Ocean Road demo.
The lyric says it all, he was sublime, magic, ‘Merci David, nous pensant que te magique'. I got the French teacher at the local computer to say the words into my dictaphone for me to copy as I don't speak much French, she was gorgeous and oo-la-la, her voice. Could've done it in Arabic like, “Shukran David, ahib-biq anna umru kulu”.
Thank you Kevin
At the end of the day, no other player or manager has generated so much passion as Wor Kev, and if Jacky Milburn deserved a statue for services rendered, then so did he. I still think he's got unfinished business here.
Goin up part 2
Very fortunate to have gotten permission from the club, Tyne-Tees TV and radio Newcastle to use the Keegan tapes. We had 6 miles of tape to get half a dozen sentences ‘cos Kevin ‘ummed and erred' for ten minutes before he said a word, every word that is.
I'd dearly hoped to have had this out for the millenium, visions of the fans, 52,000 Geordies chanting it out, but ill health and finance prevented it. It tells the story of how much we've grown in sophistication compared to the caveman image we're often portrayed as.
You can't watch the toon without a bottle or three of Broon. People tell me I'm a couple ‘o songs short of an album, well I was for this one, on footie songs, so my survey said that most fans thought this song to be the perfect filler. Why not ?