NEWS

February 2013

 

First of all may I wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope the season brought special memories to your door. It was just the three of us this year and it was perfect. The tree went up, albeit late, and the house was dressed accordingly with all the festive rituals we drag out each year. I have to be honest and admit that if it weren’t for Max I would probably have given it a miss this year. After all we do it for our children and I loved seeing his face light up when he came home from University and saw that everything was like it should be, well in his book anyway.

I had told him I wasn’t doing a stocking this year but he insisted, saying it was one of his favourite parts so like a twit I rushed out trying to find small things that would fit into the 10 foot sack! The challenge as Max has grown older, is to try and stay awake longer than him. The clock stretched to nearly 2.00am before I realised he had gone to the land of nod and knowing the coast was clear I retrieved the hidden stocking and snuck along the hallway with the intention of placing it at the end of his bed. The thing is my cases littered the area and the sack was so cumbersome I couldn’t really see where I was going – result, my toe caught the wheel of my hand luggage. The diatribe of words did not contain one single Ho Ho Ho and laying on the floor with a sack on top of me didn’t help. I kept thinking, breathe in and out and any minute the main pain will ease. I lay there for quite some time before I realised the pain was not ebbing. I crawled along the corridor to my room where there was benefit of light to see my small toe was not in the position it was at 1.55am. Yep, you guessed it, I’d broken it. It really wasn’t the cleverest thing I could have done and even with it finally strapped and me dosed to the hilt with painkillers didn’t help me walk. The only thing with this sort of injury is that although it takes about five or six weeks to heal the main paid should have ebbed in a week. It didn’t but that comes later.

Since Max was born I’ve changed the Monro tradition and I actually serve a buffet on Christmas Day and the main roast on New Year’s Eve. I realised from my own childhood that one actually spent very little time with my parents as mum spent the majority of the daytime cooking and then I had to stay sat at the table till everyone was finished, then there was the inevitable afternoon nap for the grown-ups and various friends popped in throughout the evening. Doing a buffet gave me the freedom to spend the day with Max and enjoy his experience of Santa’s escapades. I have to say it wasn’t easy cooking on one leg but as with everything that comes to challenge us, one somehow manages and we did have a lovely day.

New Year’s Eve saw my son hit London with his friends, my brother in bed and asleep before 11.00pm and me sat watching Big Ben strike 2013 in from my bed. I have always thought New Year’s Eve was more for couples so I don’t really bother with it. Neither do I make silly resolutions that I’ve already broken by the time the sun rises on the first day. I do however offer up a silent prayer asking for a happy and healthy year for my family and friends.

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The beginning of last year saw me embark on P&O’s Arcadia and I had a wonderful time. My talks were extremely well received and I made a lot of new friends so I was delighted that my first outing on 2nd January was also with P&O. This time I sailed on Oceana. It is always difficult saying goodbye to my gorgeous son but as it happened I left the day before him going back to University and by the time he breaks for spring I’ll be back and waiting for the inevitable washing loads that seem to follow him across the country. You’d think that the whole of Warwick didn’t possess a washing machine!

As you know we are still waiting to hear official news on EMI UK so at the moment Richard and I do not have a project planned for the year but that could change. What ever happens I am not too worried as we have worked flat out over the last six years trying to bring you a rich plethora of projects showing dad at his very best and in my opinion we succeeded in every way. Dad’s anniversary this month means it is 28 years since he left us and I feel we have been extraordinarily lucky to have had free reign on the projects we’ve wanted to do. I don’t think there is any artist in that category that has had the amount of CDs we have released in that time.

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As you know I spent a lot of last year travelling and working the cruise ships and I am hoping to continue on this vein for another two years. My main passions are photography and travel and I decided to combine the two for a new project that I am bringing to the table. A year in the making ‘Lights of the Caribbean: A Portfolio’, is a selection of my best work from that period. There is nothing more breathtaking then a sunrise or sunset, even more so in tropical waters and I hope I have in some small way encapsulated the essence of what I witnessed. No two dawns are the same, each colour a different hue depending on the time of the day, sunsets that alter with the weather or the tropical winds that dance over the water adding even more mystery to its hidden beauty.

There is an almost indefinable characteristic that makes the islands magical. I love the early morning dawn when the sun rises from the earth and the heady scent of sugar cane blows on the warm breeze and invades my senses. But then the other end of the day is also quite beautiful when I watch the crimson sun bleed into the ocean mist to lay its head down for the night. The entire landscape takes on a surreal saffron hue as the clouds reflect the fading sun’s red and orange glow and the disappearing light dances on the horizon. My vantage point from a cruise ship really grants me the best seat in the house and it allowed me to witness the most incredible vistas as the island’s lights and colours came to life and I was desperate to try and capture the memory”.

As a special launch price all members of the forum will be entitled to a 25% discount on any standard unsigned order and 15% for a collector’s limited edition. All enquiries should be sent to richard@mint-audio-restoration.co.uk

I have actually had a 100 page book made up and printed and have sent it over to my publisher to see if they have any interest in publishing it and I have to say the shots look magnificent in high resolution and a gloss sealant on top. One can’t quite replicate that in a thumb nail on the website but if you’d like a high resolution image sent for you to look at Richard will be happy to help you out.

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The cruise I’m on will be a great testing ground for sales and I’m also hoping to get Park West Auctioneers interested in my work. That would be fantastic especially as they have a presence on most ships in the world. As I write this I still only have seven cruises in for next year and am still waiting to hear from Royal Caribbean and P&O. I have also had to turn cruises down with Thompson and Saga because they overlapped what was already in but suffice to say I don’t think I’ll be at sea as much as 2012. That will give me the opportunity of having a gallery show later in the year with the shots I bring back from this trip to the Caribbean. I am very excited about this new string to my bow and would certainly love to hear your feedback. With this in mind I have added a specific category for you in the Forum entitled ‘Lights of the Caribbean’.

Whatever the coming year holds, suffice to say that I shall be plugging Matt Monro’s music at every opportunity.  That is the wonderful thing about working the ships, it gives me a brand new audience each time and if then, a small percentage go home a fan, then it is worth all the blood, sweat and tears, not to mention the Bay of Biscay!!!!

I am still hoping to hold a Fans Reunited on board one of my sailings. Whilst I realise it might be out of a lot of people’s pockets it is much cheaper than one might imagine especially in the price wars between cruise lines. I’m just waiting for the right type of cruise to come in but as soon as I have news I will update you. As of today, the dates that are in are:

2 January – 6 February – P&O Oceana
4 April – 27 April – Fred Olsen Balmoral
5 May – 17 May – Cruise & Maritime Marco Polo
27 May – 10 June – Fred Olsen Balmoral
22 June – 12 July – Sea Princess
14 July – 26 July – Cruise & Maritime Marco Polo
6 October – 20 October – Cruise & Maritime Marco Polo

Of course while I am away it will be business as usual. The wonderful thing about email, Skype and mobile phones is that you are never really out of touch. If any of you need anything in my absence I am still available on email but you can also contact Richard on
richard@mint-audio-restoration.co.uk

I say it every month but don’t forget that if any of you have an attic full of old tapes that you want rescued or reel-to-reels that you want transferred then Richard would be happy to oblige. It’s amazing what we stuff into our attics and I am still hoping that some of you have a Matt Monro television show or radio that you taped years ago that you have forgotten about. You never know you might just be harboring one of dad’s jingles without knowing it.

I recently had contact with a researcher making a documentary on Dave Allen for the BBC. She told me that while working on a Leslie Crowther special she’d seen footage of dad from one of Leslie’s specials. It was in colour and had the two of them doing a duet. I don’t even know about this show let alone have a copy of it but she is going to do her best to track it down for me. Unfortunately the special was some time ago so it means she has to try and access her old notes but fingers crossed.

I am still making an appearance every Wednesday on Siren 107.8FM’s ‘Midweek Drive’. The weekly slot allows me to select some of the lesser-known tracks of dad and that is wonderful as it gives me a chance to play a broader range. Siren have actually asked me to pre-record shows for the dates I am not here this year although I shall be around to do plenty of live shows so that should be fun.

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month, I know so many of you enjoy them. This time round we look in at Duke Ellington as well as a Fan Spotlight on Mick Finn.

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to mattmonro.com’, which is available towards the bottom of the Homepage. A few of you have mentioned that you don’t know how to access certain areas of the site or in fact are unaware of new areas, this guide will explain how easy this website is to get around, once you know how.

There is also another information box “How to Use the Forum’. I know a lot of people have been tempted to join in on some of our conversations but are slightly nervous of doing so. For that reason I have printed step-by-step instructions of how to access it. It really does only take a few minutes.

Enjoy the start to the New Year and don’t forget to recommend the website to all your friends. If any of you have Facebook pages it would be great if you could put the website link on there.

If you’d like to do me a tremendous favour then a review of either my book or dad’s new album on www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com would be fabulous. You don’t even have to have bought the item there and your words could very well influence someone else investing their hard-earned money so it really could make a big difference.

I’ll see you next month with a run down of my latest cruise and here’s hoping that your life is always filled with music.


Warmest to you and yours
Michele

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Richard's Stop Press. - Information Appeal

Many thanks to Karl who sent in some pictures of Matt taken from a vintage Radio Luxembourg annual which I put on the forum and have included below.

This got me thinking about the mysterious radio series Matt made for Radio Luxembourg, probably around 1960/1. This would have been recorded in London and sponsored by Parlophone. The problem is this is ALL we know. We have no idea how many shows there were, how long they were or when they aired. Despite all our research over the years Michele and I have come across precisely nothing, not even a title

So I'm hoping you can help! Do you have any memories or information about the show? If so please let me know by contacting richard@mint-audio-restoration.co.uk or post on the forum

All the best

Richard

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Past News - December 2012

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Past News - February 2012

Past News - December 2011

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Past News - September 2011

Past News - August 2011

Past News - July 2011

 

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