The internet and social networking gets a bad press as a rule, but some of the people who I most respect, like and admire are “virtual” aquaintences at least to begin with and in many cases exclusively. One such was John “Paranormalhandy” Milne who I met on the James forum and through a chance mention of a Pale Fountains album we discovered that we had a number of musical obsessions in common.
Over the next four years we swapped likes and opinions, bootlegs, CDs and Tshirts as well as banter. On one occasion I was musing about the bands we have all missed. The ones that just flew under the radar and might otherwise have become firm favourites and I asked him if he had any suggestions. It all went quiet for a couple of weeks and then a CD landed on the mat, accompanied by four pages of type-written notes.
As a result of listening to his mix and following his recommendations I bought about 20 albums, some of which I would take to the desert island with me. Guided by Voices, The Ocean Blue, Candidate and even the Wild Swans had escaped me before the wonderful Mr Milne intervened and my life is much the richer for his help.
I wanted the mix and the notes made available as a memorial to John as they demonstrate better than any words I could summon the essence of the man. His encyclopedic knowledge of music and eye for detail, his excellent taste, his skill at writing, his kindness and generosity for taking such trouble and most of all his infectious passion for music.
I hope that at least a few will take the trouble to listen and read and, if so, I’m certain they will find some hidden gems too. If so they will be happy as I was and I’m sure that John would be too.
Mike Mullins – 6th October 2011Various Artists - Sorry It Took So Long