Back in 1988 I first heard this song on a tape that I had bought of Guns n’Roses. The album was called Appetite For Destruction and the song in question was Sweet Child O’Mine. 22 years later, I still feel a euphoric aural wave washing over me every time I hear it, as soon as the opening guitar melody starts. It’s anthemic, its nostalgic, it’s arena filling and it’s fucking awesome.
Back then and for a few more years I thought that guitarist Saul Hudson aka Slash & Guns n’Roses couldn’t do any wrong. I woeruldn’t say that Slash is one of the best guitarists ever; he might not even make my top 25 list of all time greats. Infact, a big complain is that Slash has but one tone for all his solos. But what he made up for it was attitude & image most of all. Which rock fan could miss out the top hat, thick mop of unruly black curly hair that covered a quarter of his face, leather pants, cigarette dangling from his lips & followed by rock star poses on stage? He also gave us one of the most instantly recognizable sounds and beloved guitar riffs of all time.
So post 1993 GNR has been in name only, with Axl Rose owning & controlling the band name and piling a lot of strange musicians on stage with him for what was essentially his solo album & tour. Slash meanwhile released a solo album (sort off, he would call it a group effort) in 1996 and then later form a supergroup in Velvet Revolver and also play on stage with anyone who will have him. He recorded with whoever he liked on their released and had a great time while Axl sulked. Now, Slash has a new solo album out that he recorded with a bunch of his musician friends. I’ll be getting that soon but meanwhile here’s Slash performing live on stage at the Glastonbury festival. Joining him are singer Myles Kennedy (Alterbridge) and Todd Kerns (singer, guitarist of Sin City Sinners, former solo artist and ex member of Age Of Electric) on bass.
There are a couple of places that I’d like to go and visit that are part of my home state of Kerala. I have never been to either of these places but have heard a lot about them and yet haven’t got a chance to go there. These 2 places are Mahe & Lakshwadeep.
Mahe is a small town surrounded on all sides by Kerala and is officially a part of the union territory of Pondicherry. The former French colony now forms part of a municipality of Mahe in Mahe district of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. With a population of just under 37000 people, Mahe is much smaller than the other towns/cities I have been to. The official languages are Malayalam, Tamil & French.
Mahé, like most union territories in India, has a low taxes on liquor :) This in itself makes it a haven for the alcohol lovers in the state and since Malayalees have the highest per capita liquor consumption in India, no second guesses as to why most of us wanna go there. For those of you who watch his movies, M Night Shyamalan was born here.
The other place that I would want to visit is Lakshadweep, translated to English as 100,000 islands. Only 10 of these islands are inhabited. Lakshadweep officially consists of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks, with a total of about 36 islands and islets. By boat it takes roughly 15 hours to reach the islands and there are direct flights from Cochin to the only airport in Agatti. Tourists need a permit to visit the islands; foreign nationals are not permitted to visit certain islands. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted in the islands except on Bangaram Island. Ships are the major means of transportation for the islanders. Ships are operated from either Cochin or Calicut. There are around 5 passenger ships, but generally only two at a time operate. Advance bookings are required.
I would love to visit these places although Mahe seems much more easier to go, while I need to get a local from Lakshadweep to sponsor my visit to the islands.
Although I missed watching the Emmy’s live telecast on Sunday night (early Monday morning for us in India), I wanted to check out the winner & nominations just to see what was currently considered to be very good as per industry standards and how many of them I would be interested in.
In Outstanding Drama category, Mad Men won and this is a series I have been hearing a whole lot of good things about. My interest is also piqued due to the voluptuous Ms. Christina Hendricks who is a leading actress in this series. None of the others in this category interest me ; I’ve seen True Blood and wasn’t that into it and neither due I like Lost. I wasn’t a fan of any of the nominees in the Outstanding Comedy Series either, with a passing interest in 30 Rock and that’s solely due to Tina Fey. American Idol, a show that I watch a little bit, was nominated in the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category but lost out to Padma Lakshmi’s Top Chef.
Bryan Cranston & Kyra Sedgwick won best actor & actress in the Drama category for shows I haven’t seen or heard of yet, while Jim Parsons & Edie Falco won it for the comedy sections. If I had my way Tina Fey would win best actress in a Comedy for 10 years! The Outstanding Lead actor in a mini-series or television film had a very talented list of nominees this year – Al Pacino edging out Michael Sheen, Ian McKellen, Dennis Quaid & Jeff Bridges. And hey, Archie Panjabi, who played the hot, sexy older sister in Bend It Like Beckham won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for playing Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife. And Neil Patrick Harris won Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Bryan Ryan in an episode of Gleewhich was just shown last week here in India (I saw the ad, I don’t watch Glee).
The show was hosted by Jimmy Fallon, who I do not find to be funny!