Priest, Schubert, etc…

It does seem odd that Donna Summer should have died on the same day as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Dieskau…’disco’…geddit? Oh, suit yourself…). DFD was of course famous for his performances of Schubert, and one of my final memories before leaving Cornwall in 2010 is of listening to selected Schubert songs as part of the journey From Enlightenment to Romanticism, which I was making with the Open Uni.
Returning to the notes from that course, I find that Fischer-Dieskau appeared in only a single performance, the Zeller setting of Goethe’s Harfenspieler I. All the other songs are taken from recordings by a range of different artistes: Felicity Lott, Olaf Bär, Matthias Goerne etc.
In particular we were required to discuss how Schubert settings of Goethe could illustrate the idea of a ‘family resemblance’ between typically Romantic works of Art, rather than there being a ‘common essence’.
In 1980 I do not think I had ever heard a note of Schubert, and I had never heard of the writer Goethe; nor had I ever attended a rock music concert. Which is a great pity, for in 1979 Judas Priest released their live album ‘Unleashed in the East’, which included in the LP sleeve a chart of merchandise and forthcoming tour dates. March 1980 would see the lovely Rob and his merry men scampering about the UK, from Bristol to Manchester to Leicester to London, and so on before finally arriving in Birmingham for a grand pulsating climax at the Odeon in New Street.
(It was so common for people in B’ham to arrange to meet outside the Odeon that I formed a theory; if you waited there long enough, everyone you had ever known would at some point walk past…)
And in addition to the tour dates, this pull-out chart carried details of ticket prices for the various venues: mostly £2.25 to £3.75, except for the Hammersmith Odeon which charged a ruinous £4.00 for their best seats. Disgraceful!
I imagine the band was keen to make the most of their fifteen minutes of fame, and they would have laughed if anyone had said that thirty years later JP would release an album called ‘Nostradamus’.

Journal Entry, Fri 6 Feb 98:
Several weeks ago at work, Mike told us that we would soon be informed of the nature of lab reorganisation. Today at 1.30 we had a meeting in the Boardroom and he explained that the lab would now consist of five teams – Vehicle, Industrial Development, Process Improvement, Health & Safety, and Colour.
Proc Imp consists of me, Graham and Andy. Need I say more?
Everyone was in uproar because we were given no warning and no consultation. Made it obvious that I wasn’t happy, saying that it was cause I’d been moved out of Ind Dev.
Should be fun on Monday when Mr Squirm gets in.
It turned out that we had quoted a range of prices to VL based on incorrect RM resin cost, and that to fulfil this commitment would cause a shortfall of 300 grand.

11 Feb 98:
Today at work we were discussing the reorganisation and Mark said “No-one seems to have thought out what these teams are going to be like, for example Tim and Andy might not even get on together.” Which was hardly subtle.

13 Feb 98:
Today Mike called us in one-by-one to discuss our roles in the new reorganised lab.  I told him that the changeover has been badly handled. Also mentioned to him that appraisals (according to an article in JOCCA by some famous bloke called Deming) were counterproductive, causing divisiveness and friction.
Possible salary review in Summer: I said that ‘everyone in the lab thinks talk is cheap, and we reckon the company pays what it can get away with.’
Every time we have a team briefing, the report opens with “Sales continue to be below budget making it essential to keep all costs to a minimum.”  Like a mantra, bleat bleat….

17 Mar 98:
Last Friday zoomed down to Wood End, arrived at Robbie’s to find house empty. Five mins later he returned avec les chiens, saw my hair (shaved head) and shrieked ‘Oh My God!’ then spotted the new bike (CB500) and said ‘You’ve never ridden down on that thing? My, we have got a silver machine!’


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