4th of July: In Praise of America

Hello, just tuning in to wish everyone tuning in from the States a happy 4th July. American folk are my highest ranking visitors by number – 408 of you – so far, so thankyou whoever you are for visiting here.

I have been very slow to realise the importance of America on my miniscule existence. The recently departed Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 was important listening in my youth. Two stateside musicians (David Gamson and Fred Maher) guided Green Gartside’s Scritti Politti to their most accomplished work in Cupid and Psyche ’85. All Music Guide, based in Ann Arbor, was the first professional company to hire me and my one remaining friend from my university days hails from Chicago. American’s were also the most polite people during my stay in Oxford. Why are we Brits not as friendly?

I should also thank those from the States who have provided cultural stimulus to me through the years. These range from Hall & Oates and of course the much mentioned Peter Kingsbery in the music kingdom to Jack Kerouac and Bill Bryson in the literary one and Mark Rothko and Edward Hopper in the visual field. Not forgetting the many films that come from the 50 states that have encroached my enjoyment factor (many spoofs you may be surprised to learn courtesy of Mel Brooks, John Hughes and Woody Allen).

Even some of its interpretations of my native tongue have entered my vernacular ‘it/that sucks’ being a fave of the moment, although I can’t accept Mom (sorry guys).

Strangely, I have only visited America twice, both to LA Disneyland in the seventies (see the LAX poem below). Little did I know that August 7th 1978 would be the last I saw of it – to date, anyway. New York, San Francisco and so many others await. It really is high time I got back to you US of A, though it could be a while yet.

So to my friends in America or those from the States elsewhere, have a good one.


This was not named after America’s day of independence, however its ethereal mist makes it one of my favourite U2 pieces none the less. It also works well following the rainy day blog.

In Memory of Howard Hughes, John Hughes and Casey Kasem.



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