By Brian Hall
Sunday 17 Jun 2012 15:49:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



I always had a dream. If ever I won the lottery, I would set up a 24 hour radio station. Mag FM. Given that I divvent buy a ticket, the financial backing for the idea has never came to pass. So. I am now putting the responsibility on the ToonTalk Radio programme, and Mr Wraith, if in the unlikely event, he wins the lottery. Obviously, the coverage would range from up-to-date news bulletins, interviews, detailed documentaries, philosophical debates, loads of things really, and not least a canny bit music - all with NUFC themes.


Now, admission time. Occasionally, I listen to Radio 4. Am educated, me, like. And they run a great show called Desert Island Discs, where well-known people choose their top ten favourite songs. This would be ideal for the ToonTalk FM service, as Mags from all walks of life, could be interviewed, give the reasons, sometimes very personal of course, as to why a particular record means so much to them. I have mine lined up, for example, covering a wide range of musical taste and memories on the way.


Here goes.


Obviously, opera, to kick off with it. TIME TO SAY GOODBYE. Shearer Testimonial night, when the hardest, meanest-looking characters in Toon, had tears in their eyes when that brilliant woman sang that song on the pitch. An occasion not to be missed. All inside the ground had their own memories, including me. Saying tarah to the Talisman of the NUFC, and tarah to a big chunk of our lives, some to do with the personal, and some to do with Big Al's perfomances in that number 9 shirt.


Next, for me, would be I WAS BORN, UNDER A WANDERING STAR - Lee Marvin. Rugged country western music. Even more rugged voice to match. But of course, it was transformed into one of the main songs of the NUFC 70s and beyond. the Leazes End. For many of us, it was our second home, or in some cases, our first really. And we certainly did a lot of wandering in those days of mid-teens and early twenties. One line in original mentioned you know where Hell is, Hell is in... We knew where it Wembley in the 1974 FA Cup humiliation at the hands of Liverpool.


Change of mode into Oasis. DONT LOOK BACK IN ANGER. This was a song popular at the time in a particularly brutal combination of events in my life. 1996. Two events were running together. My marriage collapse, leading to separation and ultimately divorce. The other was the Loss of the Title for the NUFC. I gradually learnt how not to look back in anger, and obvious sadness, at the former situation, and it actually worked out fine in the end. My ex-wife is a very good friend, and we share a smashing daughter in common. But not too sure if, occasionallly, I dont look back at that bloody Mag as that black and white cat tried to scratch back up the ship, after Cantona's goal, Fenton's celebrations at Blackburn, and not least, the Red Scousers beating us 4-3 with an injury time winner just to kick the cat further.


Time for a rousing, inspiring, patriotic piece. LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY. It always stirs me. Our NUFC version, that is, as we changed the words in the 1970s, and even some of the younger elements of our tribe join in its rendition to this day. Frank Clark Knows My Father, Father Knows Frank Clark. It brings back so many memories, obviously touching into parents long gone, but also of Frank's goal in a League Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers at St James. 5-1 up, we were, and then, the most rare event happened. Clarkie scored. The fans invaded the pitch in celebration, much to the astonishment of the South Yorkshire players who did not have a clue what was going on!



Move onto a song of struggle, resistance, a fight for civil rights. WE SHALL OVERCOME. The American Deep South, the Irish Troubles, things like that. The old Leazes made no lyrics change on that one. It belted down from that wild, passionate crowd, and the words were meant from the Deep of Our Hearts. All believed that, one day, NUFC would overcome. 


Another choice of mine has to include YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, MY ONLY SUNSHINE. Lovely, happy song. Our version follows the tune, but the words are different, of course. We Are the Geordies, the Geordie Boot Boys, and We Are Mental and We Are Mad, by far the Loyalist Football Supporters, the World had Ever Had. I still whistle it in the flat sometimes, the Mag version, that is, and it cheers me up. And many an outside observer, well away from the North East, that the madness and loyalty of the fans is so very true.


Time for anarchy, chaos, via Punk. LONDON CALLING. Aye, the Clash. Later associated with the Billy Elliot film set against the Miners' Strike in the 80s, when the Met arrived in Easington in rather large numbers, and with far more armoury than the strikers. But on the NUFC front, it tends to remind me of visits to the capital in previous decades, when peace was not on the agenda, or the arrival of West Ham supporters in 1980, many of whom were National Front skinheads, and we all know what happened that day. Not a calm one. 


Then comes a modern version of one of my favourite songs. CANT TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU - FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS. A brilliant song in terms of romance and falling in love really - soppy time - but also one of the best, for me, in terms of Vietnam films, when it blasts out in the Deer Hunter as they play pool. Before they are sent to that hellhole. But the modern version is well known after Mag intervention - you know what I am talking about, Oh Colocinni, I'd Let You.....etc!!  And even better for me, there is a You Tube version of the pool scene from the Deer Hunter, complete with our Colo song replacing Frankie Valli's version.


To finish, two more to reach the 10 target. By the way, there could have been more, but anybody reading this will be dozing off now, without breaking the ToonFM Mag Island Discs. One is a tune. Inspiration-time again. THE DAMBUSTERS. Again, words added into this one, as they were'nt any in the original. Leeds, Leeds, and Leeds and Leeds..........Who the f.....g hell's Leeds. Ah, such happy times visiting Elland Road in those days. Ish.


And the other. RUN FOR HOME - LINDISFARNE. For me, living in London, Geordies used to get together up Kilburn on a weekend, and just blast it out. The London Irish lot knew us anyway, and understood the sentiment. The words said it all. And in relation to Newcastle United travels, it still brings out emotion for me, too. Anybody who sees Durham Cathedral from the train, and then crosses the Tyne Bridge, will know what I mean.






On BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs, you get a copy of the Bible, the complete works of Shakespeare, and one other thing you can take with you. On ToonTalk FM,  I can safely say that I would not take the Bible - or Shakespeare. Nothing against religion at all, although I have to admit that the so-called literary genius bored me to death in his stuff. No. I would gan to that island with a copy of  The Twenty Volumes of Photographs of the History of Newcastle United,  alongside with the complete works of the Tyneside press covering our matches since 1892.          Over to you, Mr Wraith, when you win that lottery. Your choice next, by the way!!







.............CAN MIX, BUT LEAZES MEANT IT SO MUCH  to overcome



...................................we want to be in that Number, obv   BUT TELL ME ANOTHER BUNCH OF FOOTY FANS WHO SING THAT ONE WITH SUCH PASSION. I CANNA THINK OF ANY



     billy elliott too when the Met came up here...BUT            either at SJP or indeed us in the capital!!


CANT TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU                                      deer hunter, vietnam.....brill.........BUT COLO SONG!!.........



                              lee marvin               some of us have roamed, have seen ......




and finally, RUN FOR HOME                                                             lindisfarne..........all that it says......seen it all, etc....

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