I feel bit like a parrot as I seem to be repeating myself every month but nothing is really moving, well certainly not at any great speed. Because of the current pandemic things have been exceedingly slow the last few months and although our various projects are still going ahead, we are waiting on rights agreements and the like. The record companies have always been slow especially in this department but the current world news has seemed to give them an extra excuse for being even slower, if that is at all possible
As always Richard and I have our nose to the ground in trying to trace any MM memorabilia whether performances, radios, song sheets or photos and last month we were able to find a Des O’Connor Show from 1970 – which has dad singing a solo, a duet and appearing in two comedy sketches. This is fantastic and with luck it should pop up on the official YouTube site very soon. A collector in New Zealand also kindly sent us a radio performance of the Joe Loss Show with dad singing ‘Portrait of My Love’. This was an interesting find as I didn’t have a listing or contract for it. Having listened to the recording dad is only singing with a piano backing whereas the show itself had a full band. This seems to me that dad must have stepped in at the last minute to cover another artist’s illness or some such similar thing.
It is amazing that even though I have begged for material over the years people are reluctant to come forward. With the original Camay advert which took some 18 years to find, the lady said she hadn’t come forward because she’d assumed we must have it. Thankfully she did contact me eventually.
Last month I mentioned something momentous. Richard received an email asking if we wanted to buy a MM show from 1968. This is not a guest appearance but dad’s own 45-minute show from a venue that we didn’t know had been taped. Now we find that the BBC did tape it in broadcast quality and sold it abroad. I don’t want to put a hex on it by telling you what it is yet but once it is in our hands it will be the biggest find since dad’s Australian live show. The tape was received and sent out for transfer so I was excitedly waiting to get a viewing copy which I envisioned taking several weeks. Amazingly the same person who made contact came back again a few weeks later saying they also had another show, this time with dad appearing as a guest but this is a great find as the BBC don’t have a copy and the footage has never been seen apart from when it first aired in 1967. Dad was also the only guest on the show so there is quite a lot of content. Thankfully the cannister has also now been received and is with the other one being transferred. I can’t wait. But wait I have and wait. The company I am dealing with have not been upfront with the way they do things and I have only just found out that my film reels are nowhere near being transferred because of lack of funds on the company’s part. I am desperately trying to arrange a courier pick up so that I can send it to a transfer house that will deal with it immediately but that has also caused problems. It would seem that although I officially and legally now own the footage, having paid a huge sum of money for it, the company don’t want to let it go. I am continuing the fight and hope to have things sorted this week. Fingers crossed.
Richard has spent nearly a year updating the official MM website – www.mattmonro.com – and as he told you last month the discography is now complete. It is much more comprehensive than the old website, and is fully illustrated and contains track lists and links to ‘making of’ articles and other relevant links. This doesn’t include every single release as this would take hundreds of pages to achieve, but includes all original and important releases and covers the original release of every track. Updating the site is a mammoth job but He, as always, will win in the end. We are purposely paring it down as it would seem that a lot of areas aren’t looked at so we are condensing it to just MM content.
As you will know we launched the official MM YouTube site to coincide with dad’s 90th anniversary last December so we could offer you a 4-part audio documentary to celebrate the occasion. Because of all our staunch followers it was important to us that we give this for free and every week Aviator and the MM Estate are adding a MM video, some of which haven’t been available before. This collaboration is important as it takes off all the unofficial content on dubious sites, especially those of bad quality. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel (which is totally free) as they will advise you every time something new is added. Although videos are normally uploaded every week there has been a hold up in new material arriving from the television companies. Aviator had hoped to rectify the problem in August but I am still waiting for an update. Fingers crossed.
Because of the pandemic I haven’t been on the cruise ships for the last 18 months and because of that my new book ‘The Autonomous Cruiser: The Complete Guide to Cruising For and With Disabled Travellers’ has been sitting at the publisher the last year as the timing wasn’t right. Now the cruise ships are returning to the seas, I was looking at releasing this in the autumn but have now found out that the publisher can’t make the deadline so it now looks to being January or February. This is a big blow as I had hoped it would be included in a few people’s Christmas stockings. As I said earlier there is a delay on literally everything Richard and I are trying to get going, it is more than a little frustrating.
Celebrity Cruises offered me a slot on 6th September in Silhouette but I turned it down. Firstly, because I want to build my strength up before go back to work and also because the rules dictated that I could only get off the ship if I purchased a ship’s tour. The itinerary was mainly England and spending money on sites that I have probably seen is not appealing plus I’d end up spending more than I made, lol. Fingers crossed that I am offered some dates for the British season in 2022. Having said that I am booked on Fred Olsen in December, which I presume is still going ahead but with Covid looming its face everywhere things can change at a moment’s notice.
Any new visitors to the site please feel free to look around and if you would like to join the forum, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org rather than me as I’m not exactly a technical whizz kid.
If anyone is interested in previews and updates on the book’s release just drop me an email so that you can be kept in the loop. I’m sure you know the address by now but just in case it’s email@example.com
While the numbers continue to rise with covid cases, I can only hope you all stay safe and at least we can look forward to a full complement of Strictly Come Dancing this year.
Until next month, keep well and keep spreading the word about everything Matt Monro