Ok, so I know we are biased here in the Bathroom, but being biased doesnt stop something being true. Band mercandise is shit - FACT. OK, let us qualify that a bit. All MAJOR LABEL official band merch sucks. We all go to gigs and we see them selling official gear for £25/$40 a shirt and it is always junk. Even cool bands are guilty. I went to see Aerosmith this summer and with the exception of their sins of the Ballads Years, they are undoubtedly a cool band, yet their T-shirts are disgusting and bore not relationship to anything to do with the ethos of the band. And even when there is the odd ray of light and a band is selling decent gear, you know it will be ruined by the dicks that buy said T-shirts and then put them on. I am struggling to think of anything less cool than wearing a gig T-shirt of the gig you are attending. Maybe parents dressing in the same clothes as their kids, but it is a close call.
But this doesn't stop at music..... take cars. The other day I saw a brand new and very shiney Subaru Impreza in full rally colours. Fine. Not my kind of thing, but I see the attraction. Then out of this blue beast steps a man wearing a matching Subaru 'Official Rally Team' sweatshirt. OK, maybe he didn't have anything else clean to wear. But then he gras his jacket - yep, you guessed it, an Subaru 'Official Rally Team' annorak. Enough? Nope, sun glasses went on. Yes again, blue Subaru 'Official Rally Team' sunglasses. Yet was this chump finished? Not yet, he still hadn't topped it off with his Subaru 'Official Rally Team' baseball cap. Do you see what I am getting at? If so, then you are welcome to stay and shop. If on the other hand you are thinking "that sounds like a look I want to go for" then please piss off.
Have I finished alienating potential customers? Nearly, but not quite. Next up are football kits. when are replica football kits acceptable:
1) On children
2) On attractive women (but only those special womens skinny fit ones mmmmm....)
3) Possibly retro kits, but only if worn at matches
4) Obscure foriegn clubs and national team kits worn in an indie kid ironic manner
5) errrr... nope, just those 4 times
NEVER EVER EVER AT ANY OTHER TIMES. You may love Stoke City, but you look a cunt walking down the street in their kit emblazoned with the logo of some sub-prime mortgage lender. You also look a twat of imense proportions standing in a beer garden in an ill fitting England shirt. Sorry, but given that Trinny and Susannah are unlikely to pay you a visit, someone needs to tell you. So stop it. There are no ifs or but. Even if you are playing a game of semi-serious football, it is not and has never been OK to wear your club colours. You are not Ryan Giggs so you shouldn't be wearing his shirt. On holiday it is even worse, especially amongst the English. "just showin' national pride. Let 'em know where I am from" You fucking idiot, they know where you are from due to the other subtle clues you have given them. Such as you sitting at the Bull and Bush Real English Pub eating an all-day breakfast and washing it down with a pint of Carling whilst reading the international edition of the Daily Mail. Add to that you shaven head, bulldog tattoo, gold chains, soverign ring, bright-red sunburnt face and unruly beer gut and I think you will find that the last thing you need is any more indicators to your national identity.
Anyway, rant over. Be back later with more musings about the world
Just seen this poster and ...... well, it is bloody genius. No idea what the bands involved are like, but they get my vote.
Shocked by the news that Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea, but not overly disapointed.... even if by saying that it does make me some sort of heratic. So let me explain my stance.....
When Jose arrived all anyone at the Bridge wanted was to win. It didn't matter how, so long as we won the league. We could have won all our games playing 10 men behind the ball and scoring the winner in the 3rd minute of injury time. It genuinely didn't matter. We had had years of playing 'sexy football' but only winning the odd cup. So end of year one and we had another cup, but more importantly, we also had our first league title in 50 years. We had also played some OK football too, so everyone was happy.
We then walked away with the league again the following year, but by now were - with a few notable exceptions - were starting to play some hidious looking football. But hey, we won the league by stuffing Man United at home (I was there and loved it). But in the pub afterwards, what were we doing? Like Jose we were moaning. we were moaning that we wanted to be entertained. You see, in the grander scheme of things, we had proportionatly invested as much in Chelsea as Abramovich and therefore wanted to be, no, NEEDED to be entertained for our £42 match ticket.
Then we get last season. We only win the worst cup final in living memory. We are miles away in the league and are playing the most disgusting brand of football. It was sooooo horrible to watch. We could have lived with losing the league if we had at least been enjoyable to watch. But I am not sure, that with the exception of those new breed Chelsea fans (you know the ones, the ones that have helped achieve the impossible by making us even more hated that Man United), that even winning the league would have been worth it. Now, had that compact, no flair, grind 'em down, use the Drog as a battering ram style had won us the Champions League, then OK, it could have been worth it. But even then.....
Football is a passion, it is a cultural touch stone so ingrained that the Americans, for all their 'Soccertainment' and buying into Brand Beckham will never understand, but it is also entertainment. We do go to games because we love our club, but we also go because we want to and we enjoy it. When Gullit or the dearly loved Vialli were in charge we knew we would never win the league, and we knew that just as we could stick a hatful passed Man United or Liverpool, we were just as likely to get turned over by Charlton or Middlesborough. But we loved it anyway. it was fun. It was the game being played with a smile and was the reason you loved the game as a kid. Of course we hankered for the chance to win meaningful titles, just like every club would, but those magical moments such as beating Barca 3-1 at home, Zola's winner in the CWC Final or the 2-0 FA Cup win against 'Boro, were the ones we loved and wanted to savour. But under Jose they became the expected. Sure, the Champions League epic against Barcelona was added to the list of special moments in Chelsea's history, but it was one of the few times we showed heart and, most crucially, charm.
Jose had charisma and on a personal level had real charm, but the football he created lacked both these qualities. Barcelona won the Champions League playing with a swagger. We tried to do it, but our swagger came out wrong and became arogance and gracelessness. The line is fine, but we still missed it.
Would I trade another 50 years of not winning anything but the odd cup in return for playing the beautiful game? Too right. Just as I would trade England's World Cup win in 66 for Holland's heritage of 2 World Cup final defeats.
Sure, over the next 10 years under Jose we would have won the Champions League and at least another 5 league titles, but at what cost? Permanently taking Man United's crown of England's most hated club? Paying £40 or £50 to go a game knowing as you leave Fulham Broadway station that you are not going to enjoy the game? Having to constantly defend Jose's unwavering gracelessness? Having to watch more games with a 5 man midfield with no wingers and only Frank Lampard with any attacking intentions. Makelele, Essien, Mikel... all great players, but are they the players you love to watch?
Roman may not have bought Chelsea the right to win everything, but has bought them the right to be the most entertaining team in the world. Roman saved Chelsea - fact. If he hadn't come along then we would have done a Leeds - fact. We could have bought in Jose and we would still have imploded, but without Roman there would be nothing. So for all the nonsense about "no one is bigger than the club", I think you will find that Roman Abramovich is. So if he employs someone to do a job, then he has every right to fire them when they don't do.
Just think, during the transfer window we knew at least one of the 'names' was going to make way. So, did he get rid of the hard-working, but struggling and unloved Shevchenko? Did he ditch the waste of space and wages that is Michael Ballack? Or did he ditch Robben, Chelsea's most special and entertaining player since Gianfranco Zola?
So yes, we do all owe Jose a big thank you and when he eventually comes back to the Bridge as an opposing manager, we will give him a massive ovation. But now that he has gone, lets move on and start enjoying our football again.
There is a new face at BathroomWall. Maxine joins as the 4th permanent member of the team as our new screen printer.
The team is now:
Me - owner, tea boy, new ideas, design work and the dark arts of PR and marketing - plus printing when we get stupidly busy
Vanessa - the real boss (ie. the one that looks after the money)
John - order processes and customer service things. He is the one that is great at being nice to people (rather than me being narky with you all)
Maxine - printing and stock control
On top of that we have web guru Matt out in Toronto making sure the site works and Mr T helping get the new affiliates programme up and running
£125 a ticket? Christ, I want them in my front room with an embalmed John Bonham playing drums for that sort of money.
More to the point, what on earth are they doing at the 02 Arena with a capacity of 20,000. At the very least it should be a couple of shows at Earls Court, but in reality, if they gave a shit about anyone then they would go back to Knebworth and play to 100,000.
As for how anyone will get hold of the 102 tickets that will actually be on sale to the fans after the corporates have got their hands on the,, please see the previous post about filthy touting scum.
Good to see Casey from American Heartbreak (if you don't know who AH are then do yourself a favour and go and buy some - they are the greatest band you have never heard of... unless of course you have never heard of the Wildhearts, in which case AH are the second greatest band you have never heard of) wearing a Sleazy Rock N' Roll T-shirt. The ugly dude to the left of the picture is bass legend Michael Butler who also has a couple of the shirts. Anyway, go and buy one too. They may have to go up in price soon, so grab them while you can.
RIP to Hilly Kristal - blue grass fan that accidently discovered a way to make cash from New York punk before becoming the world's greatest T-shirt sales man.
Other than that, there is not much to shout about. The scumbag touts have pretty much ruined Christmas over here at the Bathroom. One member of the family was desperate to see The Foo Fighters, whilst others had their hearts set on seeing Springsteen. Can you get tickets? No. Were any tickets bought by fans wanting to attend the gigs? No. Were they bought by the filth that populate eBay, sponsored by the promotors and venues, selling fans £40 tickets for £150 plus each? Yep. Now, down here in the Bathroom, like a lot of folk, we are not huge fans of the likes of Ticketmaster charging massive booking fees, but surely it is a better option to pay them a fiver in booking and credit card fees than paying the filthy scum touts their 150% mark-up. They claim that all they are doing is a service. Bullshit. They are profiteering cunts to a man. You see, this is what happens 20 years on after your mum and dad voted in right-wing capitalist bastards. Over here, my old man was dumb enough to vote Conservative in the 80's and blight our society with a greed culture borne from the so-called Free Market Economy (a posh term that just meant 'gimme, gimme, gimme and fuck everyone else). Whilst over in the US, they did exactly the same thing by electing that 'unliterate' (copyright George W Bush) B-Movie idiot actor bozo. Now, I am not saying that scum-sucking tout filth were not around pre-80's, but they weren't there in the same way. And now it gets worse as we are legitimising these bastards by allowing the shady 'secondary market' to flourish with venues, promotors and even the previously seriously anti-tout football clubs are wading in by giving license to the likes of Seat Wave and Viagogo. These bastards may claim legitimacy but they are no different to the cockney wankers that hang about outside venues. The goverment (in the UK at least) managed to stop 99% of all football ticket touting, yet claim that there is nothing they can do about other events. Bullshit. But what can we do? First up, you can stop buying tickets you don't need and selling them on eBay. You can stop buying from eBay, Viagogo, Seat Wave etc and don't buy off touts at venues. Stop telling people that obviously know fuck all about music about the latest 'must see gig' as these are the twats buying up most of these inflated price tickets - so next time you see some pinstripe suite wearing city boy shouting into his bluetooth headset at a gig venue, just kick him and spit in his beer. But if you do want tickets, then check fans forums or even better support ethical ticket exchanges like www.scarletmist.com
. I used a ticket exchange last year during the World Cup in Germany and it worked a treat. So power to the people and lets try and get gig going back to being something for the fans.
Bye for now - the next post should be less ranty.
Just listened to the latest Rock and Roll Geek Show ([url]www.rockandrollgeekshow.com[/url] and word is spreading about Sleazy Rock N' Roll and BathroomWall. Presenter Micheal Butler (bass player for the legandary Jet Boy and for the greatest band you have never heard of, American Heartbreak, as well as being ex-Exodus) now has a bunch of shirts and is loving them. So thanks Michael for your support - we REALLY appreciate it.
Please be patient.... we know there are a couple of issues with the music player, namely that none of the tracks are sorted meaning that those wanting Sleazy Rock N' Roll are just as likely to get singer/songwriter stuff and those wanting a few chilled out tunes whilst they surf for T-shirts are getting The Joneses singing 'Tits and Champagne'.
It will be sorted soon.... promise.....
Ah, holidays are a great thing....
It is the first break I have had since we started all this and therefore the first chance I have had to step back and let other people in the company just get on and do things without me interfering. Turns out that they can cope just fine... So well done and thanks to Martin, John and Jo
So what about the holiday? Well, I went back to surfing after a break of nearly 15 years and it has given an extra impetus to get The Organic Surfer moving sooner rather than later. As the name suggests, it is organic T-shirts for surfers - although it will ultimately include goodies for bikers, runners, climbers, boarders and all manner of extreme sports.
The guys at Sennan Surf School http://www.sennensurfingcentre.com/ (in particular the two Daves) also proved excellent sounding boards for what is wanted by today's dedicated and pro-surfers rather than 'the occassionals' (like me and the holiday makers cheering orgasmicly as they stand for the first time) and the 'wouldn't know a surf board from an ironing board, but did see this nice Animal shirt in Debenhams' brigade. So keep an eye out for The Organic Surfer range VERY SOON
Bye for now