Top 10 Live Acts EVER!

The other day, I discovered the Rolling Stones magazine’s top 500 most influential songs of all time. Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about anything with regards to influential music and amazing musicians. But I do know what I like.

Unfortunately, most of the acts I consider to be “the greatest ever” are either dead, part dead (in relation to bands) or split up. And as I’ve only seen a handful of concerts, the chances are I will NEVER get to see my top 5 acts live. To this end, I’m using the 21st Century to share them with you. So here are my top 10 acts who I’d love to have seen in their prime. Some may still be performing, but ageing acts can never quite match the heady heights of their prime. I’m sure people will disagree, so why not comment and give us your top 5 or 10:

No. 10 – Buddy Holly – I was brought up on music from this era. My mum loves the old rock and roll era music and thankfully, she has passed this down to me. Here is a man who was taken from us too early. The impact he had on the music world in such a short time is phenomenal. Just imagine what could have been accomplished if he had lived on? 

No. 9 – Madonna – I’m not a big fan of her new stuff. Just not my cup of tea. But her 80’s music, the Immaculate Collection album…….. WOW! It just collated all her greatest tunes. 

No. 8 – Bob Marley – I have to be in the mood for Bob, but when I am, god I love him!! I imagine his concerts not to be a standing, dancing affair, but everyone sat in a big field, chilling out and smoking things they really shouldn’t! 

No. 7 – The Rolling Stones – I’ve only recently discovered the Stones. I’ve known the most infamous songs for ages, same as pretty much everyone does and can sing a long to a few without even realising who they are. It also helps that the come from the same town as I do (Dartford, Kent)! Don’t know a great deal about them to quote, but I do know I’d have loved to have seen them back in the day. 

No. 6 – Tina Turner – Come on!! You got to love her!! What a voice, she loves to shake it and her songs are so infectious!!! I can honestly say I think Simply The Best was the first proper song I can remember. 

No. 5 – Elvis Presley – Maybe a surprise he isn’t higher, but I think live, there are better. Still the King and love pretty much all of his songs 

No. 4 – Elton John – Yes, Sir Elton is here! Not for his awful Diana tribute song, but for his energetic songs and amazing voice! His songs know how to drag your emotions to whatever destination he wants, be it party anthems, melodic songs, romance……. 

No. 3 – Meat Loaf – I don’t think this particular choice will get a lot of love, but I’m a big Meat fan. The power in his voice combined with the songs of Jim Steinman make for an amazing partnership 

No. 2 – The Beatles – Of Course the Fab Four would be here!! What list of greatest musicians WOULDN’T have them in the top 5?! I don’t think I need to put anymore really….. Run VT 

And the top prize goes to………..

No. 1 – Queen– Where do I start? The music? The lyrics? The power? I love Queen and I think the music they made is pure genius. I cannot think of a bad song they made and without doubt at least 2 or 3 of their songs would be in my top 10 all time fav songs. But the reason they are number 1 in this list if simple….. Freddie Mercury. If you haven’t seen videos of Queen live, you’re missing out. The man was a true performer and captivated everyone and everything when he performed. He didn’t just sing and walk about the stage, he performed! The Live Aid concert was a huge success, but without doubt the Highlight of it was Queens performance. Enjoy. 

Can’t Sleep

Don’t you just hate it when you’re absolutely shattered, but can’t sleep.

It’s so infuriating!!

So I’m thinking of things. So far, lottery win division, an offer for my old job back and San da.

I’ll start with the old job. I left it over a year ago after suffering major stress related depression. It nearly destroyed me and ruined my marriage. Now I’m in a job where I’m VERY happy, feel appreciated and get to spend time with my family (moneys crap though). But I received an email out of the blue today from my old boss asking if I wanted my job back. I’m considering it purely for the money (my wife is only part-time because of our daughter.) Down sides: won’t get to spend much time with the family, won’t be able to train as much if at all, run the risk of depression again.

Other thoughts were just my previous San da fights. Keep running through my mind where I went wrong etc. Hopefully the new mma training I’m starting Monday will solve a few issues.

Then the lottery division. How would I divide up £12,000,00.00? So far, it goes like this:

£2 mil to charity (undecided which ones)
£2 mil into offshore account and live on interest
£1 mill each to my mum and mother-in-law
£1 mil split between my brother, sister and brother-in-law
£500k each to dad and father-in-law
£1.5 mil to rest of family
£500k round the world trip for me, the wife and daughter
£2 mil for house and car etc.

The house wouldn’t be anything too large or grand. Couple of £000k should cover it. Four rooms I suppose. Garden has to be big though.

Christ I need sleep!!!!

Me and Anthropology

One of my favourite television programmes is Tribe. It’s about this guy, Bruce Parry, and he goes off and lives with all these different tribes around the world, learning their cultures, living their lives and generally trying, for a very small time period, to become one of the Trieb. If you’ve read my piece on Hunter-Gathers, you will know this is a dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a bit of investigating. Turns out anthropology is the subject that covers all this sort of thing (study of people, cultures etc) and would be the way forward for me to chase after this aspect of my dream. And, lo and behold, the university of Southampton (my home city) actually runs this course!!! Perfect!!!

Until I read further.

I’d like to think I was naive in thinking that it would be easy to sign up, study and fulfill a dream. But I think I was just deluding myself. Hoping beyond hope that it would say

X amount of A-Levels needed EXCEPT for Dan Wade who, obviously, wants this soooooo much he can join the course with just his accounting background and get some corporate backing for the adventures of a lifetime

Silly me………………….

Of course, like any uni course, certain entry criteria are needed. This one needs 3 A-levels graded ABB and a C in GCSE maths. I got the maths but no A-levels (through choice I may add). It’s not exactly a huge entry level. If I had stayed at college and not got bored, I would easily have hit this target. The knowledge of this frustrates me even more. Fingertips away from this pot of gold and my impatience and lack of attention scupper the whole thing.

So it looks like my dream is being put on hold a little longer. My travelling dream WILL come true, just another road to it seems to have been blocked. For now……..

Too Old To Travel?

I’m still a young, sprightly 26-year-old man, with my whole life ahead of me. But my mind wonders what the future holds.

My wife is currently expecting our first baby. This is a fantastic thing and I am over the moon about it. What better adventure is there than parenthood. Obviously, I’m terrified of balling it up, but on the whole, excitement is the order of the day. But it is going to change my entire life!

I’ve always dreamed of travelling. I went to Bangkok for my 21st birthday with my best friend and had the time of my life. ever since then, my one over-riding dream is to travel and see the world. I then met my wife, who never really shared my passion. True, she’s more than happy to go on holiday to places and I have got her to Thailand and Bali, but it’s never been a major thing for her. So my plans of traversing Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh and India have fallen by the wayside, but I always half expected to be able to talk her round. Then we bought a house, so the money disappeared and the responsibilities appeared. Now, the biggest responsibility is about to make an appearance.

This may sound like I’m moaning and blaming my wife for the circumstances leading to my current position, but I’m not. Far from it. I wouldn’t change things as I love my life. However, I still have to fulfill my dream. Only it looks like this won’t be completed until I’m in my 50’s (barring a lottery win).

So I guess my question is: how old is too old?

Without being prejudice or ageist, does being of an older vintage hold you back when travelling to places? Does it make you less inclined to take risks, go without any little luxuries, take a chance on things that younger people wouldn’t think about?

Again, this all seems very ageist of me and I really don’t mean it to. I just look at my parents. I can’t imagine my mum hiking through jungles to reach some remote village, or travelling through a country on the back of a pick-up on the basis that “Juan the driver said he knew where he was going”. No, she’d want to know the coach was legit, the driver was registered and that the remote village exists and has a nice room for her to freshen up in when she gets there.

This is all well and good, but it is not the dream I have in my mind’s eye. I picture a back-pack, me walking through towns and villages without a clue where I am and trying to communicate with people. Trying new foods, new experiences, new cultures without any form of preconception or any “necessary” requests. And I’m worried my future age will block this dream.

But I’m sure if I truly want it and keep the dream in my mind, I can make it come true.

Let me know about your dreams (travel related or not)

Things in Life to Experience Before I Die

I know it’s a sombre thought, but unfortunately, we must all die. It’s inevitable. However, what we do up til that point is called LIFE and by jove that can be a fun thing!! But of course, that is dependant on how you wish to live it…….

I think my life has been pretty full of good, fun events. I’ve seen many things (the power and beauty of a thunder-storm at sea from a Thai paradise beach), done many things (danced in Brighton with half a million people to one of the greatest DJ’s til the small hours of the morning for free) and experienced a great deal (the feeling of standing and touching a stone or building shaped and raised by people thousands of years ago). But there are still so many things I want to see and do.

So, just to waste a bit of time before I go into another mind numbing meeting, here are a few things I must do before I die (not necessarily in order):

  1. Parachute jump – I’m terrified of heights (well, falling from them anyway) but I have to try this. The rush of the air flying past your face, feeling the adrenaline pumping the moment before you jump……….
  2. Climb a mountain – I’m not talking about Scafell Pike or some other little hill, I’m talking about one of the big boys, a proper expedition type climb.
  3. Go and live with a different society to mine – Now any western country does NOT qualify. I’m from the UK, so going to France or Italy or even Australia doesn’t count. I’m talking about a completely different way of life, a family from Mumbai, a village in Papua New Guinea or a tribe in Brazil. A place where the food is totally alien, the activities are so strange and the views and beliefs confound my mind. How else to experience life?
  4. Take part in the San Fermin Festival, Pamplona, Spain – This festival is infamous for the Running of the Bulls. It’s a crazy idea, but basically, they let a load of bulls run through the streets of this tiny Spanish village and you have to run in front of them (while hitting them with a paper baton if you’re so inclined).
  5. Ride a train through India – I’ve seen it on countless tv programmes and movies, a train rolling through the beautiful Indian countryside, people hanging out of doors, stopping at remote places and having to run after the train when it leaves without you…….. Probably be real cramped and uncomfy, but hey, it’s a small price!
  6. To get a Sak Yant tattoo by a Buddhist monk – Not everyone likes tattoos or agrees with them. I, however, love them. But thats not the reason. The reason being is it’s so much more than just being tattooed. It’s part of a religious, cultural event that has gone unchanged for centuries.
  7. To see my children grow up – This one is a bit mushy, but my wife is carrying my first child and, although I am scared, it is a really exciting point in my life and I pray that I’ll be fit and able to watch him/her grow up, fall in love, succeed and fulfill their own list of Things to Experience.
  8. Do charity work – This is going to sound like a total cop-out, but I don’t seem to find the time in my life to do any sort of charity work. But in the future, I’d like to do some volunteer work in this country and abroad.
  9. Take part in a mega long road trip – I watch Top Gear and I’m always sooooooo jealous of their road trips, I’ve watched the Gumball Rally and would love to get in a nice car and travel across a continent, taking in all the sights and sounds of local life (possibly from London to Singapore or something)
  10. Life – Sounds a bit of a strange thing, but life is THE MOST exciting experience in itself. I can sit here and list all the things I want to do and try, but my biggest one is just to live my life.

Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle

I have just finished reading an article in the December National Geographic magazine entitled “The Hadza”. The journalist had managed to arrange to go and spend some time with the Hadza hunter-gatherer people in Tanzania.

Just reading through the article got my imagination running. What would it be like to live totally off the land? Absolutely no worries other than food or safety. Granted, two VERY big worries, but when you live in a community that looks after each other (and most animals fearing humans) these worries don’t seem too large.

Quite the opposite seems true. If you know where to look for things, when you work together and don’t over do it on the consumtion side, life could work well.

However, the journalist does make some very good cons. Medical help is non-existent past berries and herbs, births would take place in bushes and infant mortality would be pretty high. But this would keep the human population down, thus saving the planet and all the other life forms a lot of pain, social problems would be eradicated, war would not take place, social disease would be minute and wealth (the root of all evil) would be meaningless. Sounds like heaven to me.

According to Jared Diamond, a UCLA professor and writer, turning from hunter-gatherer ti agriculture is nothing less than “the worst mistake in human history”. After Reading how the Hadza live, I agree with him!!! The Hadza don’t fight wars, as they have nothing to fight for. They share their hunts and berries. They have no hierachy at all, therefore no egos to stroke or positions to be envied, men and women have very defined roles, bur neither being more important than the other, no religious rules or Gods to kill for. I’m failing to see a single bad point in this type of living.

This way of life was there at the very beginning of mankind. It is what made us. It has served these people well since the dawn if our species. But unfortunately, I fear it won’t last. Modernity will creep in, arsehole selfish bastards will either force them from their land, change the land so they can’t live on it, or just plain exploit them in some way. Then this amazing people will vanish into modern slavery like the rest of us, but worse as we will look down on them.

I know that I’d never be able to live like this as I don’t have their knowledge and to give up my cushy life would be laughable, however, this doesn’t stop me wishing I’d been born into it or wishing the entire world would leave these people alone to live their perfect lifes in peace.

But, they have survived tens of thousands of years this way. Hopefully they’ll out live us too!