Danger Money

Out of curiosity I looked up the most dangerous occupations in the UK. There are several lists based on fatality statistics. They vary considerably but most include some or all of the following professions:

  • Seafarers, especially fishermen
  • Construction workers
  • Farmers and other agricultural workers
  • Lorry drivers

Some of the most dangerous jobs don’t employ that many people: oil rig operator, deep sea diver, secret agent. So, the number of fatalities probably isn’t a good measure of risk there. Statistics for members of the armed forces seem to be lacking, too. Strangely, emergency workers are rarely mentioned, not even fire fighters tackling forest fires like the one in the picture above. Perhaps they are more aware of the dangers than the average wage earner and are able to take effective precautions.

The Internet, too, is a dangerous place. Everybody knows that. Journalists who criticise dictators are particularly vulnerable, wherever they choose to live. In this age of information, they are the ones who should be paid danger money. I don’t suppose the Crotchety Man blog would be considered significantly subversive even if I was to make unflattering comments about, say, Alexander Lukashenko, so I’m probably safe enough. Some bloggers, though, know what it’s like to be on the run with nothing left to lose.

UK was formed around 1977 when John Wetton (bass, vocals) and Bill Bruford (drums) persuaded Eddie Jobson (keyboards, violin) and Allan Holdsworth (guitar) to join them. That lineup qualifies them as an undisputed supergroup. They released their first, eponymous album in 1978. The following year Bruford and Holdsworth left the band, Terry Bozzio took over on drums, and the resulting trio recorded the Danger Money album. The first album has the critical acclaim but, for my money, the second has the definitive UK sound.

The band split before plans for a third album came to fruition. One or two reunion concerts have taken place since then and a couple of live albums were released but the two early studio albums are, essentially, all that UK left behind. And Danger Money isn’t that easy to come by. Burning Shed has some slightly battered copies of the original 1979 vinyl release and a quick Google search brought to light a 2019 CD version available from Talking Elephant Records. The CD was added to the Crotchety Collection a few days ago, half plugging a yawning gap in the music library and making UK’s long overdue debut in these pages.

Here’s a live version of my favourite track from the album.


UK may have been a brief candle in the prog rock night, but they burned exceedingly bright.

Eddie Jobson, John Wetton, Terry Bozzio

Footnote

If you want to support this fearless blogger please contact me for the address of my Bitcoin account. 😉

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