Many great tunes start very, very quietly.

They build.

Great brands are like this, too.

Lean in.

Great  brands slowly draw people in.

They get you to lean in.

To listen.

They take you with them.


Great tunes show restraint as well.

They’re not showy just for the sake of being showy.

Just because they can be.

We know that Christina Aguilera can hit and hold the high notes as well as anyone in the whole wide world.

But in ‘Say Something’ by ‘A Great Big World and Christine Aguilera’

She doesn’t.

We wait for it, of course.

We lean in.

But it doesn’t come.

And that’s as it should be.

Because great tunes.

And brands.

Show restraint.

And they are doing it on purpose.

So we lean in.




Be brilliant.

Be really brilliant.

But show restraint too.

And go slow.

Because if you re worth waiting for.

We’ll wait.

And in the meantime.

Make us lean in.

And before you know it.

And before we know it.

You’ll have us.

Go here:

50odd is 1 year old today.

I’m 1 year in to writing 1 story each day.

For 10 years.


Thanks for sticking around if you’ve been here for all 365 stories.

Thanks for joining if you jumped on board part way through.

I’ll continue to write just for me.

And if it resonates.


And if not.

Thanks for being here for a while.


Anyhow, to continue my self indulgence.

Here is Chester Bennington looking, sounding and being brilliant.

Less than a year before, aged 41, killing himself in 2017.

There is, I think, a little internal battle going on when he sings this.

Especially around 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

A battle he lost.


When you have your battles.

As you and I will have had in this last 365 days.

Be kinder to yourself.

Life is hard enough sometimes.

You can do without you making it harder.

Holding on
To so much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free

Go here:


I thought she looked like a little bird.

Tottering on spindly legs.

Not belonging anywhere in particular.

Not with anyone in particular.

No one looking out for her.

Or understanding her.

Yet still sounding beautiful.

As only this particular little bird could.


Here is a really bad quality version.

A slightly clumsy, grainy and visually compromised version.

Of a spontaneous, fidgety and badly produced acoustic rendition.

Of ‘Love is a Losing Game’.

That Amy wrote in 2006 for her second and final album.

Back to Black.

It’s the best music you’ll hear today.

Go here:


Van Morrison has been in my life for years.

A grumpy little sod by all accounts.

And when I saw him live at The City Hall in Newcastle.

As I sat on the front row.

I fell asleep.

Admittedly, it was a very pissed 21 year old me that saw Van the Man at that point.

But I blame him.

Because he can’t sing.


I bloody love his music though.

I probably just mean the Moondance album, really.

But I love every single track on there.


And here it is (go to if you are reading this in your email).


There are two videos in this story.

So it is probably best read here:

OK so these three things are probably true about you.

  1. You worry too much what people think about you.
  2. This stops you from doing what you really want to do and being who you really want to be.
  3. If you were told you were going to die tomorrow, 1 and 2 would no longer be true.


Here’s the news.

You’re going to die.

(Not tomorrow hopefully).

But you are going to die in 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 years.

(I base this on what I know of the readership here).

So you can bin 1. and 2. right now if you like.

And do what you want.

And be who you want.

Just like these people, below.

Shooting Stars. 

It seems that people either really love Shooting Stars.

The ‘quiz’ with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

Or they really hate it.

Not least because Jim Moir and Bob Mortimer and Matt Lucas are just mucking about.

Within quite a tight framework actually.

But they are doing what makes them laugh.

Not us.

So, of course, they are going to have fans and haters.

But surely that’s so much better than being insipid?

Or invisible.

Or boring.

Or samey.


The best moment from all of the Shooting Stars series, I think, was George Dawes’ ‘Peanuts’ song.

It’s not comedy gold.

(Or maybe it is?)

It’s just weird.

I watched it first time around and just stared.

I watch it now and shake my head.

And smile.

And laugh.

Feeling like I am a voyeur at some strange get-together of creative, madcap, tiddly friends.

But I want to be their friend too.

Because I think I’d like it in their world.


The ‘Peanuts’ video is below.

It’s 60 seconds long.

And beneath that is a slightly longer video.

It’s an American audience reacting to Shooting Stars.


Some days.

No matter how good or bad things are going.

I only look on the shite side.

Some days.

I imagine only the worst thing that can happen.

And if someone asked me if the glass was half full or half empty.

I’d just tell them how shit the glass was.


Some days.

Clouds descend.

I become Mr. Shiteside.

That said, because I drink less alcohol these days.

And because I drink much less caffeine.

And because I exercise regularly.

I’m much better.

Yet still.

Some days.

I can find the cloud for every silver lining.


My best advice to me.

In an attempt to understand Mr. Shiteside.

Was get to know him better.

To try to understand how he ‘ticks’.

To try to understand what triggered his appearance.

And – most importantly – to try to understand what he is actually for. 

To try to understand what value the ‘Mr. Shiteside’ version of me adds.

To anything.

Mr. Shiteside.

So I have analysed Mr. Shiteside.

The version of me that imagines only the worst things that can happen.

To find out what he is worth, if you like.

And so far.

The answer is…

Absolutely nothing.


And as for your Mr. (or Mrs.) Shiteside.

They’re also worth nothing.

(Apart from if you change the lyrics to the Killers song to Mr. Shiteside.

In your head.

Then that’s quite funny).

But in any other capacity – useless.

Here is The Killer’s killer tune, live (with the story behind where the tune actually came from).

Sing and smile, here:

When you watch these two versions of this song.

It looks like a man that has turned into his own father.

James Taylor.

When James Taylor sings Fire and Rain live – I melt a little bit.

The first version is in 1970.

I was 2.

The second version is in 2007.

I was 39.

And I melt a little bit more.

And am reminded of the importance of music.

When I see user comments on YouTube:

Missing my son, since 12-22-2017 I always thought I would see him again.

The Song. 

I just think the song sounds like a beautiful, soothing story.

And it is noted by many people that, in his early years James looked so sad as he sang.

In the later video, there is a half smile.

I hope that means he’s happier.

Go here: