Friday, September 18, 2009

Funky Friday - Giant Steps Are What You Take

ILC made the original moon boots as used on Apollo 11

Well that's Andrew Smith's Moon Dust done and dusted (ouch!)From the book's giddy list of brain-frying facts, fresh perspectives and character analysis, a couple observations still orbiting about my noggin are:

That for the all acid-headed, hippy, other-wordliness of the counter culture running parallel to Apollo Project, it was only the handful of level-headed astronauts flying in and around the lunar orbit between 69 -72, that had a truly trippy, out-of-this-world experience.

That Neil Armstrong is the coolest of cucumbers.

That with even with NASA's 99% safety rate, on a Saturn rocket made from six million components - that 1% still translates as six thousand parts which may fail.

One criticism though, for a book using the Apollo story as it's launchpad, there could have been less of what the author wore to the interviews, the condition of the motel carpet or yet another quote from J G Ballard, and more moon matters - perhaps structured by the sequence of Apollo mission's too?

Anyways I'm two chapters into Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff, which hits home, heartbreaks and humanizes the earliest steps of the space racers - right from the opening sentence.

And on the subject of space books this is a must read for the scale, technical detail and timeline of events

But enough of my ol' guff, get your moon boots on and let's start stomping.

All tunes removed by DMCA takedown

Owen Gray - Apollo 12

Derrik Morgan - Moon Hop

The Crystalites - Splash Down

And as a bonus - Rico's reggae remake of the Star Wars theme.

Rico - Ska Wars

Haven't seen this yet - but it's meant to be a corker. And any ideas on the song spun during the trailer?


AXE FM Radio Download Hour said...

What kid didn't grow up wanting to be an astronaut eh? Good one.

Davy H said...

They were showing 'MW1' on a loop at the Science Museum as I munched olives and quaffed wine before the Eno thing, bon viveur that I am.

I liked the personal perspectives from A.Smith: but then I'm a sucker for writing-about-what-I'm-writing type writing, and I always notice the carpets.

Mondo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mondo said...

But Cosmonauts always seemed cooler though didn't they Axey - it was the CCCP helmets.

I just felt there were too many of them and too detailed, (Patrick Cox shoes, dodgy bars etc..)and the sequence of events was all out of whack - gimme the moon-men instead. Have you seen Shadow of The Moon - worth it for the extras alone, and adds some substance to Moon Dust's character sketches.

Or tried T.Wolfe's The Right Stuff yet - what a masterpiece almost like Catch 22 of the Jet Age. Stunning

Wine and Eno all good, I'll give the olives a swerve though

lil said...

“Patrick Moore” is an Icon; I’ve got an urge to rush out and buy the “Moonwalk One” DVD now!
Love all things Space age PM, brilliant post today…

Ps. Your recent reading material looks interesting too?

bleecher said...

haynes r the kiddies arnt they????

im moonwalking straight down to WH smiths ... watch me

Piley said...

I thought Armstrong was mad as a lorry these days??

As you know, I'm an autograph collector, and there are 'events' these days where celebs are brought over and you pay anywhere from £10 to £100 for their autograph (Mark Hamill charges around $200 for his as US events).

There is a BIG collectors market for astronaut autos, and one event just outside London (Autographica)pretty much concentrates on just that. They brought Buzz over a few years back and I understand he was charging well over £100 for his autograph.

Armstrong is continually asked to attend these type of things, and could easily command that sort of money, but choses not to. I've read somewhere that he could be a multi-millionaire if he wanted to be.


Simon said...

I enjoyed Moondust partly because of the structure and observations as it is more about the moonwalkers in the real world today than the space prog/effort per se. Plenty of other books on that score.

For the shuttle viewpoint you can't beat Riding Rockets by Mike Mullane.

Mondo said...

I think Moonwalk's still around twenty earth pounds at the mo though Lil - whereas you can get Shadow of the Moon (the trailer's above)for about £3 new or used from Amazon - it is incredible. You'll love it.

The Haynes manual's a knockout Bleech, the title does it a disservice - it's actually a document of the entire space race, not just Apollo 11 modules.

Armstrong's sound as pound P, but has pretty much turned his back on the whole moonwalkers circuit - I think Buzz had a wobble a few years back, and made quite clear in Moon Dust - Armstrong doesn't do autographs anymore - so you'll be lucky to get that for the collection.

You're right Simon I think my expectation was different I'd have been better off reading the others first..that Haynes book is well worth a peep - I never realised how quite heavily the Nazis figured in over Apollo story until the Haynes manual

Keith said...

I remember I was so obsessed with outer space when I was a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut. A buddy and me actually drew a ship that we wanted to fly to Mars.

Istvanski said...

Rico rules. I saw him sitting at the front of the stage being encouraged to play something by Jerry Dammers and his Skakestra!
Rico didn't look like he wanted to be there though.

Coop said...

Wot, no "Skinhead Moonstomp"?

Mondo said...

I was desperate to be an Astronaut too Keith - I got a spacesuit, helmet the full kit one Christmas when I was a nipper.

He's the kiddy isn't IV 'Rudy' wouldn't be the same without him - does anyone play the trombone these day?

I think this came before Symarip Coops - so thought it would make a change to hear the original

Coop said...

I've listened to 'em all and none of them sound that like "Skinhead Moonstomp" to me. Which one is the original then, "Moon Hop"?

Mondo said...

I'm not sure on the the timeline of the tracks Coops - but Moon Hop came before Skinhead Moonstomp though Derrik also did Man Pon Moon nice space noises and twang-solo on it.

AXE FM Radio Download Hour said...

Here you go fella, blast off to the stratosphere with the Istvanski Show on AXE FM - the one with Colin Gillman as a guest.

Gabbi said...

You have the best Friday posts dear Mondo! I love the outofthisworld theme :) And I love the The Crystalites 'Splash Down'.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!♥

Mondo said...

Tried it last night Col - phew! not one for the kiddies is it?

Skanky ol' number (in a good way)isn't Gabbi - the sort of tune you want to fanfare the start of your summer hols..

BLTP said...

nice on as ever PM not sure the intro of the derrick track is keeping with teh light muisc that follows. As you know I'm a beggar for space too oh and I've got Buzz's autograph and it only cost me £12 for his book!
The right stuff is a top book think my bros nabbed my copy. see yas

Mondo said...

Derrik does get himself in a bit of a tizz doesn't he..

Buzz Aldrin's autograph - blimey that's a bit special BL.

Any other space book recommendations while we're on the subject?

BLTP said...

space books.
starman is good straight forward bio of Yuri gagrin
look out for Full Moon Michael light
it's great fantastic pictures taken on the moon it's fantastic.

I picked up a bio of him by his brother which is interesting but out of print.
Most of books are second hand as most interested in retro pics and graphics.