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NORTHERN MONKEYS IS OUT NOW & AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON: CLICK ABOVE TO BUY
07/11/12: On the pitch; Could I firstly apologise for the lack of updates. But due to everyday life and other pressing matters there isn't enough hours in a day, week, month - sorry. Anyway, down at Deepdale during the summer months there was a mass clearout, both on the player front and behind the scenes with backroom staff galore getting the boot - very sad times. Apart from the keeper, Stuckman, not one outfield player from last season's squad ran out for the first home game in a Lilywhite shirt. Also, I, and many others, have come to the conclusion that Mr Hemmings, who we thought would be our savour when he became sole owner of Preston North End, isn't. The local lad 'come good' seemingly only wants to balance the books, reap in his soft loans from our Club and then move on our Club when has done so - allegedly. With that, and other contributing factors, I've all but give up with footy in general.
So, I become involved in a new fanzine, STAND - Against Modern Football. Have a butchers at what I'm on about. The first edition sold out within days and the second edition is now available by clicking below.
Off the Pitch: Don't Judge a Book by its Cover; this quote is a commonly used idiom that can have a questionable metaphorical meaning, indeed. The phrase means 'don't determine the worth of something, or someone, based on its, or their, appearance.' Well, this is also the case with the cover, and contents, of my forthcoming book, Northern Monkeys.
Let's begin with the books' title then, Northern Monkeys: Southerners, have from the time of the existence of man in Great Britain referred to, and perceived, anyone who was born, or resides, past the Watford Gap, to lack any awareness, intelligence and sophistication thus, making them 'Northern Monkeys.' This slur upon Northerners character is laffed at by us Northern Monkeys though. Because, super intelligence and many other bespoke Northern attributes are our elite genes that make-up our essential structure. When we evolved in the cold, damp climates of the grim North while surviving on doorstep, thick-cut bread & beef dripping butties or chips swimming in gravy with pint of bitter in-hand, we adapted to our surrounding quickly and set high standards in everything in life for the rest of the UK, and especially southerners, to follow. Yes, the moulds were well and truly shattered when the Machiachiavellian Northerners were cast.
Northern Monkeys is quite a maxim for a book that's busting its bindings with stories from clued-up, wised-up and ground breaking Monkeys from up North and, even a couple of shandy drinking southern fairies too. The stories inside the book start from the Forties onwards; check the website out for the book by clicking the images above & below.
Yes, Northern Monkeys is a staggeringly wide ranging book that spans the evolution of terrace fashion from its deep roots at the end of the Second World War by youth cults, to chronicles of northern working class hang-outs, music, football and how those who have been touched by this subculture world have emerged and influenced different areas of life and other cultures.
All these stories are told from the original voices of more than 40 upstanding Northerners - and the odd southerner too - ranging from blokes touching seventy years of age, right through the spectrum down to teenagers of today on how they perceive the subcultures/non-cults of 2012.
As well as authentic, nostalgic anecdotes of ordinary madness and sometimes violent Northern life, there are insights on shared historical events from respected authors like Dave Hewitson - The Liverpool Boys are in Town - telling of Cunard Yanks bringing back goods to British shores from around the world and Scouse fixation for being first in, best dressed. Phil Thornton, author of Casuals, reflecting on the development of the Northern scruff look in the mid-1980s. And untold tales of 2-Tone by Ian Hough - Perry Boys & Perry Boys Abroad - as only he can write in his flamboyant ramblings.
A war baby, tells it how it was on growing up in a backwater Northern town in the Fifties and Sixties. Mods, Boot Boys and Hippies reflect on their past, as well as Skinheads, Scooter Boys and Soul Boys too. The Twisted Wheel nightclub is covered by lads who walked the walk, and danced the dance; along with nights out on the floor at Blackpool Mecca, The Golden Torch and Wigan Casino. West Ham terrace legend Cass Pennant has his says with tales of travelling 'op noff' in the Seventies for football and his thoughts on Northern Soul when the south had gone all funky. And a unique take on the rise of the Casual/Dresser movement with a comparison on the North-south divide in dress by chaps from, 'down that south.' The book also touches on the politics of it all - the disruption to everyday life by an economic slump, and even the right wing element of the terraces.
There are accounts from entrepreneurs who have made a decent crust connected to sportswear and its later twists and turns; Liverpool retailer Robert Wade-Smith, Adidas brand guru Gary Aspden and Barry Bown, the boss of JD Sports. Fables of raving and misbehaving and Madchester. Wayfarers tales of travel and mischief. And, much much more from lads who have experienced happenings in bygone eras.
But for all their recognition of violence and disorder at football, the Casuals/Dressers/football lads did change fashion and culture forever. But was it just a Northern thing?
The book is an astonishingly honest anthology of Northern life, chronicling a scene and providing understandings into something that is so much more than just a look, but an obsession and a way of life.
So, by the next time of updating the journal, I'll be on my newly purchased yacht somewhere very warm and sunny - not. No, really, when the book is released I'll let everyone know on the homepage and where you'll be able to purchase Northern Monkeys, if you so wish.
Regards & respect, Bill
DUE TO AN UNKNOWN TECHNICAL PROBLEM THE LAST FEW JOURNAL UPDATES HAVE BEEN DELETED. IN THE MEANTIME A HIGHLY TRAINED TEAM OF 'NORTHERN' MONKEYS HAS BEEN DISPATCHED TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE BUT DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH.
*Due to writing commitments of the new book the journals until further notice will short and sweet*
*A Happy New Year folks. Or is it? Also, sorry for the lack of updates. But due to being useless on the PC/journal/blog front, I'm ever reliant on my main-man who also runs Lancs Lads, VOR. He has been very busy of late in the 'real' world so, once again I can only apologise for the sporadic posts. Let's get down to the last few months low downs then.*
18/02/2011: On the pitch; Manager Fergie junior has been relieved of his duties at Deepdale following a disastrous run in a league - this since my last posting. Apart from the odd result, and the 6-4 fight-back/slaying of Leeds at Elland Rd, the so-called football witnessed was abysmal. Tactically he didn't seem to have a clue when things were - very often - going wrong. He just couldn't cut the mustard. And, I heard he'd lost the respect of certain players - you could tell too. Add to this equation, Sir Red Nose ordering his loaned players back to Old Trafford, and his buddy, Pullis, at Stoke, recalling his loans from us too - both seemed very petulant in their actions to say the least - results went from bad to worse. Also with the sale of a-goal-every-other-game Jon Parkin to Cardiff and others leaving the sinking ship, Deepdale, things look somewhat bleak for PNE. David Unsworth was been given temporary charge, only he wasn't the solution. Enter Tango Man, with his Real Deal David Dickinson tan: the man in question is, Phil Brown. Straight away he began cleaning out the closet; more goings, more comings in. Only at the time of posting he still hasn't a win under his belt since taking up the 'Lilywhites' helm. I do hope the future is bright, and the future is orange - the tone of Brownies complexion, that is. But being bottom of the league at the end of Feb we look doomed, and I'm not holding my breath that we'll pull away from the relegation zone in time to savour Championship football again next season - Division One beckons us! The fat lady will burst into song very shortly, me thinks.
I know that Chairman Mo is going through the club like a dodgy-dose of Church Street Saturday night curry but, at least he has installed a sunbed for the manager to top up his tan after the games at Deepdale (see pic.)
Off the pitch; I've been putting a good few hours in on Northern Monkeys of recent so, I hope to have it out in the latter weeks of summertime - I'm still waiting of a couple of stories from different diverse eras/persons to come in. If I have had any spare time, and a clear head form the copious amounts of ale I sup at weekends, I've rattled together several ramblings for three sites/blogs. If you've time on your hands, nowt better to do or are bored shitless, check 'em out by clicking the banners below;
And with that, I'll round things up. Thanks for being patient and returning to the site, it's very much appreciated. Till next time, it seems we're on the road to nowhere, Bill
*Due to writing commitments of the new book the journals until further notice will short and sweet*
14/10/10: On the pitch; Well then, since the last time of posting, at the end of the campaign 09/10, a lot has been happening at Preston North End Football Club - I'll briefly delve into matters off the pitch. Firstly, the Taxman came a knocking at once fortress Deepdales' doors, with a demand for near half a million sheets. The pot was empty, the stock market got wind, shares crashed, trading was stopped, the club looked like it might go into administration and we would go bang, North End looked doomed - long story short. Things were seemingly very, very grim indeed with some fans having suicidal tendencies over the plight.
Then over the horizon came a saviour in the form Sir Trevor Hemmings, saving us from an abyss! The club already owed him quite a few million after he had bailed them out on a regular basis. He has acquired the majority of issued shares off holders, and is still digging deep into his Harris tweeds as I type. So, from the future looking shite, the future seems Mighty White? Because at the time of posting, the Good Ship PNE is buoyant for the time being with a new Chairman installed - he's going through the clubs deadwood with an almighty axe daily. It's once more a waiting game to see if we finally reach the Promised Land though - the wait for glory goes on!
Off the pitch: Northern Monkeys is still ticking along nicely but, due to a few issues the release date will be later than originally planned - everything comes to he who waits! Also Waiting for Glory has been rereleased under the new title 'Oh Yes, Oh Yes, We Are the PPS' by as you might have noticed on the homepage. The book has been updated, re-jigged and new pictures added on gloss paper - very slick indeed.
I'm not long back from the Lakes and Bonny Scotland, have a read below. I also took a few snaps of the trip - when sober.
The above blog post was for my friends at and they also do some The quality is second to none, and they're a bit exclusive so, you'll feel a bit one-upmanship when wearing one in the pub. I adorn many of the sites cool tee's while I'm out & about rambling or down the ale-house myself too.
With all the ups & downs of the last few months at North End, and that terrible, terrible show by England in South Africa, I think a bit of light humour is needed to lift ones spirits. I'm just glad I didn't bump into this bloke while on my recent travels, I can tell ya, ha.
Till the next time of posting, be lucky, and by then I may have even more tantalising news on the Trevolution that's happening at Mecca Deepdale. Regards & respect, Bill